In France, and around the world, there are now tens of thousands of these monuments with the single word, Normandy, proclaiming the courage, selflessness, and bravery of those who laid down their lives for their friends.
Dear President Trump,
I have now begun my eighth decade on God’s good earth. I am a lifelong Catholic.
Please do not give any more of my money to catholic bishops who defy the law. Please do not give any more of my money to catholic bishops who break the law. Please do not give any more of my money, or any other citizen’s money, to these bishops’ dioceses, organizations, so-called “ministries,” so-called “charities,” or conferences which defy and/or break the law.
I diligently avoid giving my money anymore, at any level, to such bishops, including at the parish level where they usually receive a diocesan “tax” amount from such donations. I will not support their illegal actions.
Please be aware that these defiant, outlaw bishops and their supporters are ignoring Church teaching (e.g., see below). These law-breaking bishops, their priests, and their employees in concert with them are also acting contrary to Jesus’s commands, contrary to the inspired words of God, and in opposition to Church tradition.
My money, and the money of other taxpayers – which as President you have a sacred role to use in accord with law – is not being used by them for “religious purposes.” It is being used to violate the law. Not only is this illegal, it is a scandal to the faithful.
Please, please, be a good steward of our money and stop, immediately, giving any more of it to these un-american, un-catholic, law-defying, law-breaking bishops.
Very truly yours,
Guy McClung, Texas
“Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” (#2241; Catechism of the Catholic Church).
“Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts. . . . . With regard to these [who wished to enter another country and be admitted into its society] a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people. Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain nations . . . that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations had been hostile, . . .) were never to be admitted to citizenship; while [others], who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity . . .” (St. Thomas Aquinas).
“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.” Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended. “ (# 2425; Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
“Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. [Cf. Gen 1:28; GS 34; CA 31] Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” (# 2427; Catechism of the Catholic Church).
“The responsibility of the state. Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly…. Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society.” (# 2431; Catechism of the Catholic Church).
The Thinking Person’s Bet On Eternity
There is a famous hypothetical “bet” called “ “Pascal’s Wager” which asserts that, since heaven is, or even only may be, eternal with infinite pleasure, a rational person, including a rational atheist or a rational agnostic, should “bet” that heaven actually does exist and do here on this earth what is needed to get to that perhaps-fictional heaven. If it turns out to exist, the bettor wins, and wins big; if not, nothing was lost anyway.
Place Your Bets – Pascal & Arnobius
Blaise Pascal was a noted author, thinker, mathematician, and philosopher who lived from, 1623 A.D to 1662 A.D. His famous wager had been stated centuries before by a Father Of The Church, Arnobius of Sicca, who died around 330 A.D. Arnobius put the eternity bet this way in his book, Against The Pagans:
Since, then, the nature of the future is such that it cannot be grasped and comprehended by any anticipation, is it not more rational, of two things uncertain and hanging in doubtful suspense, rather to believe that which carries with it some hopes, than that which brings none at all? For in the one case there is no danger, if that which is said to be at hand should prove vain and groundless; in the other there is the greatest loss, even the loss of salvation, if, when the time has come, it be shown that there was nothing false in what was declared.
Looking Down, Not Up, For the Eternity Bet
Eternity is forever and a long, long time. This is part of the appeal of the Pascal/Arnobius wager – spend a few dollars now, win not only millions, but everlasting heavenly mega millions. The wager’s focus has always been “up,” with heaven in mind.
But what about Hell? If Hell is infinite pain, agony, and suffering, and as eternal as an everlasting heaven, shouldn’t any thinking person avoid Hell, and the possibility of Hell, and bet that Hell exists as much as any thinking person should bet on heaven? Shouldn’t such a person live as if Hell is indeed forever?
God Says So
We have it on very good authority that there is a Hell and it is way, way more than a long, long time. Jesus, God the Son, told us:
Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. (Mt 25:41)
God’s own words, given to us through the divine inspiration of St. Paul, St. Jude, and St. John, tell us:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9,10).
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”(Jude 1:7).
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)
The Church, the Mystical Body Of Christ on earth, teaches and has always taught that there are two kinds of sin, venial and mortal.
If one commits unrepentant mortal sin, one will be condemned to Hell forever:
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. (1861; Catechism of the Catholic Church).
Committing mortal sin is like betting that there is no eternal, everlasting Hell. Why would anyone with half a brain do that? Especially anyone who has the gift of faith? Some might out of arrogance; but others might do so because the shepherds chosen by God to bring them to Him lead them astray. The wicked shepherds turn into hirelings, or worse, wolves who assist the devil in devouring the faithful sheep. Who would do such a terrible thing?
The man currently wearing papal white, Jorge Bergoglio, (placed in office by the illicit machinations of the St. Gallen Group, the “Gallen Mafia,” in violation of church procedures) has declared publicly – in his own words – “No one can be condemned forever.” (Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, section 297). He has refused to clarify these words, even when asked to do so by cardinals of Jesus’s Church. He has refused to explain how these words do not directly contradict the divinely-inspired words of God, or the clear teachings of Jesus’s Church.
There is so much more going on with the declaration of this bergoglian Hell heresy than its statement alone. If it is true, then the “mortal” sinfulness of any action is dissolved. There is no mortal sin.
That this is part of the heretical scheme is clear from Amoris Laetitia itself and from the subsequent actions, declarations, and interpretations of its bishop, priest, and lay supporters in dioceses and universities around the world. These include not only asserting that adultery, men acting effiminately, men sleeping with boys, and men voluntarily engaging in homosexual actions and sexual intercourse are not doing anything wrong or sinful; but that now such actions can and must be viewed as virtuous and as in accord with the will of God Himself. They are forming and furthering the Jorge denomination, they are not shepherding God’s faithful in Jesus’s Church.
The McC Wager
Any rational person must at the very least admit that Jorge Bergoglio might be wrong – and God might be right. You can believe God or you can believe Jorge Bergoglio. You cannot believe both. But you believe Jorge at your peril, and it is an eternal peril.
Since God has told us in undeniable, revealed truth that there is a Hell, and that it is everlasting, any rational person must “bet” that such a Hell could exist and do whatever is necessary so that they do not go there forever.
The Widow’s Mites & The Faithful’s Billions
It is old news, for decades now, and, sadly, ongoing daily news, that many priests and bishops of the Catholic Church were, have been and may still be themselves perverts, pederasts, pedophiles, and sexual assaulters of women, men, girls, and boys. A large number of bishops and archbishops have been involved in relocating guilty priests, knowing what they had done, hiding this from the civil authorities, hiding this from the faithful they are supposed to shepherd, moving these criminals around within a diocese from parish to parish with no warning to the faithful, especially parents of young children, and, in some cases, shuttling guilty priests from one diocese to another, keeping their crimes secret. No signs were posted when a shuttled cleric arrived at a new place, signs such as those required to be publicly displayed in many jurisdictions that say “Pursuant to statute, Father Drakenonsond who lives in this rectory is a sexual predator” or “Danger: Sex Offender, His Excellency Bishop Justenistone, lives at this location.”
There is something about all this that is equally bad, and, in some ways, worse.
The bishops have paid out billions of dollars of the faithful’s money to pay off the victims of these priest and prelate predators, and their attorneys. Even worse, in many cases, the bishops demand that the details of the payments be kept secret. Yes, that protects the victims; but is also keeps secret the details of the bishops’ actions, cooperation, and failures in relocating and shuttling of priests, with full knowledge of what they have done and, in some cases, with a probability that they would do it again.
It is impossible to determine the exact amount of the faithful’s money the bishops have taken to settle these claims. Some serious current estimates are over $4,000,000,000.00. These are just estimates. Because of the bishops’ demands, in most cases, for secrecy when settling a case, cold hard facts are hard to come by. For the purposes of what I have to say, even if you assume that number is half wrong, or even mostly wrong, it is still an amazingly large amount of the faithful’s money.
I am calling it the “faithful’s money” because, although many bishops are, personally, millionaires, in some cases, multi-millionaires, and perhaps a few billionaires, I have never heard reported that abuse, assault, rape, and criminal claims were settled with the personal wealth of a Catholic bishop.
Because I am not a canon lawyer, not a civil law litigator, not a tax attorney or a tax accountant, and not a criminal lawyer, I have some questions. I wonder about the answers and would welcome expert response from any one so qualified. It may be that the hypotheses that from the bases of the questions are not correct. I would welcome correction.
Canon Law – Legal Bishops’ Use of The Faithful’s Money
Some years ago I was at a parish that had a “capital campaign” to raise money to build a new multi-million dollar education building. The faithful were shown the survey of the land to be purchased onand drawings of the new building. Once the money was raised, I was told that there was a directive from powers beyond the parish level that the parish must use the money to build a new church, not an education building. I raised the issue that the money had been collected for an education building. I said that my family and others had been defrauded. Promptly a representative of the parish finance council contacted me and said that, if I wanted, our donated money would be refunded. I found out that, under canon law, money collected for one purpose cannot then be used for another purpose. (As an aside, the new church building was built, and, some years later, God flooded it, completely). I was then asked by the pastor personally to leave the parish. Since it was not his, I stayed.
Canon law – the Church’s own law – says this:
“Canon 1267, §3: Offerings given by the faithful for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose.”
“Canon 1300: The intentions of the faithful who give or leave goods to pious causes . . . are to be most carefully observed, even in the manner of the administration and the expending of the goods . . . . “
I am unaware of any “Capital Campaign To Raise Money To Pay Off Sexual Assault Victims Of Priests & Bishops” in any parish or diocese in America; of a “Pay For Priest & Prelate Predators Campaign,” or of a fundraiser “For The Pastoral Malpractice Of Bishops Who Enabled, Fostered , And Shuttled Abusers & Criminals.” In short, I am aware of no Catholic in the USA who donated money for the bishops to use to pay off claims against the Church and against them. It would be very surprising if, court-sealed, secret settlement documents do not include the provisions that all claims against the bishops personally are also settled, and ended, by the agreements.
Question: Under Canon Law, shouldn’t these bishops be required to, at minimum, offer back to the faithful their money? Pay back the laity’s money given by the laity for religious purposes, but that was instead used in settlements? And shouldn’t these payments come from the personal wealth of the bishops involved?
Questions: Do the faithful, under civil law, have a cause or causes of action against the settling, enabling and shuttling bishops for all of the faithful’s money that the bishops paid out to abuse victims and their attorneys? And, unfortunately, also a cause of action against the Church? Would this qualify as a “class action” ? If bishops did not act alone, if others acted with them to spread this plague and to steal the money of the faithful, are there causes of action against them too?
Questions: Did the bishops who took our money, and those who acted with them, commit crimes? It there was crime, does the corrupt organizations act apply?
Taxation – Secret Payments , Relgious Purpose ?
It is my understanding that the tax laws –state and federal – exempt from taxation church property that is used for a religious purpose. Although funds in accounts are intangible property, they are, nevertheless, property. The faithful’s monies used to pay off abuse and assault claims, and claims against bishop enablers, it seems to me, were property, and they were property not used for a religious purpose.
Question: Regarding the laity’s monies used to pay off claims and not used for a religious purpose: are taxes due on all such monies paid out?
Thieves in the Hierarchy of the Church
There is a long history of disciples of Jesus stealing the money of the faithful. Judas was the first:
“But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)
With good reason, actually with divine reason, Jesus warned against those of position in the Church accumulating wealth. He said:
“Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money.” (Luke 9:2)
It is no wonder that so many bishops in the United States, and in the world, are now trumpeting the Bergoglian heresies recently promulgated by the man wearing papal white. Among his heresies is a restatement of the ancient “mercy heresy,” that “No one can be condemned forever.” Some in the hierarchy may be relying on this. It would be so interesting to be a fly on the Pearly Gates when these bishops and their cohorts who have stolen the laity’s money try to instruct Jesus on their new rules regulating His judgment of them.
Often, under the law, a person who is at fault or who has committed a crime pays a money judgment for what has been done and pays restitution to those who have been injured and from whom money was taken. It is true that some of the laity have done things which were the subject of the bishops’ settlements; but the innocent laity are not at fault. The innocent laity have not committed crimes, nor enabled them or hid them. Still, the innocent laity’s money was taken and used. Do the laity have legally enforceable rights to be made whole?
St. Augustine had views on marriage, sin, adultery, and conscience directly contrary to those of Jorge Bergolgio as stated in his proclamation Amoris Laetitia (“AL” below). Passages quoted below from the works of St. Augustine, (henceforth “St. Augustine”) and Jorge Bergoglio (henceforth “Jorge”) show how widely the views of Jorge depart from, and in many instances contradict, Church teaching.
Can there be eternal condemnation ?
Jorge: “The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for ever” (AL, 296).
St. Augustine: “The Death of the Wicked Shall Be Eternal in the Same Sense as the Life of the Saints.This perpetual death of the wicked, then, that is, their alienation from the life of God, shall abide for ever, and shall be common to them all, whatever men, prompted by their human affections, may conjecture as to a variety of punishments, or as to a mitigation or intermission of their woes; just as the eternal life of the saints shall abide for ever, and shall be common to them all, whatever grades of rank and honor there may be among those who shine with an harmonious effulgence.” (Enchiridion, Chapter 113).
Can saying Hell is not eternal make it so, even if you are wearing papal white ?
Jorge: “No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel !” (AL. 297)
St. Augustine: “There is No Ground in Scripture for the Opinion of Those Who Deny the Eternity of Future Punishments. It is in vain, then, that some, indeed very many, make moan over the eternal punishment, and perpetual, unintermitted torments of the lost, and say they do not believe it shall be so; . . . at the suggestion of their own feelings, they soften down everything that seems hard, . . .there is no reason why they should therefore suppose that there will be an end to the punishment of those of whom it is said, These shall go away into everlasting punishment; for this shall end in the same manner and at the same time as the happiness of those of whom it is said, but the righteous unto life eternal. “(Enchiridion, Chapter 112).
Is there a Mortal Sin-Loving Adultery-Full Holy Marriage sacramental matrimony continuum ?
Jorge: “Christian marriage, as a reflection of the union between Christ and his Church, is fully realized in the union between a man and a woman who give themselves to each other . . . Some forms of union radically contradict this ideal, while others realize it in at least a partial and analogous way. “ (AL, 292).
St. Augustine: “Let us suppose another, a fornicator, unclean, lascivious, covetous, or even more openly given to idolatry, a student of witchcraft, a lover of strife and contention, envious, hot-tempered, seditious, jealous, drunken, and a reveller, but a Catholic; can it be that for this sole merit, that he is a Catholic, he will inherit the kingdom of God, though his deeds are of the kind of which the apostle thus concludes: “Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (On Baptism, Against The Donatists, Book IV, Chap 18).
Jorge: “Whatever the case, “all these situations [civil marriage without sacramental marriage; divorced and civil remarriage; simple cohabitation; de facto unions; material poverty] require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel.” (AL, 294).
St. Augustine: “Let us therefore not flatter the Catholic who is hemmed in with all these vices, nor venture, merely because he is a Catholic Christian, to promise him the impunity which holy Scripture does not promise him . . . For, in writing to the Corinthians, the apostle enumerates the several sins, under each of which it is implicitly understood that it shall not inherit the kingdom of God: “Be not deceived,” he says: “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. He does not say, those who possess all these vices together shall not inherit the kingdom of God; but neither these nor those: so that, as each is named, you may understand that no one of them shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (On Baptism, Against The Donatists, Book IV, Chap 19).
Is marriage a holy “Reality” for some & loving adultery a holy “Reality” for others ?
Jorge: “ For the Church’s pastors are not only responsible for promoting Christian marriage, but also the “pastoral discernment of the situations of a great many who no longer live this reality.” (AL, 293)
St. Augustine: “We must, however, beware of incurring the prophetic condemnation: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. . . . Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil! For he condemns the work of God, which is the man, and praises the defect of man, which is the wickedness. .” (Enchiridion: Chapter 13).
Can we enlist sympathy for innocent children to justify adultery ?
Jorge: “The Church acknowledges situations “where, for se- rious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate” (AL 298).
Jorge: “I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible, while avoiding any occasion of scandal. . . .. This integration is also needed in the care and Christian upbring ing of their children, who ought to be considered most important”. (AL 299).
St. Augustine: “ . . the good sons of adulterers are no defense of adulteries . . “ (On The Good Of Marriage, Section 18).
Hirelings Say To The Sinner: You Do Not Sin
Jorge: “ . . .since “the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases”, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same.” (AL, 300).
Jorge: “This is also the case with regard to sacramental discipline, since discernment can recognize that in a particular situation no grave fault exists” (AL, 300, footnote 336).
Jorge: “ Hence it is can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace “ (AL, 301).
St. Augustine: “If the hireling observe anyone indulging in wicked talking, or in sentiments to the deadly hurt of his soul, or doing ought that is abominable and unclean, and notwithstanding that he seems to bear a character of some importance in the Church (from which if he hopes for advantage he is an hireling); says nothing, and when he sees the man perishing in his sin, sees the wolf following him, sees his throat dragged by his teeth to punishment; says not to him, You sin; does not chide him, lest he lose his own advantage. This I say is, When he sees the wolf, he flees; he does not say to him, You are doing wickedly. This is no flight of the body, but of the soul. He whom you see standing still in body flies in heart, when he sees a sinner, and does not say to him, You sin; yea when he even is in concert with him.” (Sermons ON New Testament Lessons, Sermon LXXXVII).
Can an individual conscience make evil good ?
Jorge: “Therefore, while upholding a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that responsibility with respect to certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. Pastoral discernment, while taking into account a person’s properly formed conscience, must take responsibility for these situations. Even the consequences of actions taken are not necessarily the same in all cases.” (AL, 302).
Jorge: “ . . . individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage.” (AL, 303).
Jorge: “ Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. ”(AL, 303; emphasis added)
St. Augustine: “But however strong may be the purposes either of angels or of men, whether of good or bad, whether these purposes fall in with the will of God or run counter to it, the will of the Omnipotent is never defeated; and His will never can be evil.” (Enchiridion, Chapter 102).
Can there be God’s grace & good in the “faithfulnesss” of one adulterer to another ?
Jorge: “ . . . it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace . . . By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God. ” (AL, 305).
St. Augustine: “ . . .they [married people] owe faith alike to one another. . . But the violation of this faith is called adultery, when either by instigation of one’s own lust, or by consent of lust of another, there is sexual intercourse on either side with another against the marriage compact: and thus faith is broken . . . But when faith is employed to commit sin, it were strange that we should have to call it faith; however of whatever kind it be, if also the deed be done against it, it is the worse done;. . . . Thus a woman, if, having broken her marriage faith, she keep faith with her adulterer, is certainly evil . . ..” (On The Good Of Marriage, Section 4).
St. Augustine, over sixteen hundred years ago, warned about those within the Church itself who would proclaim heresy and lead the faithful into sin:
“. . . . Nevertheless, what ought above all things to be guarded against is, that no individual may allow himself to be tempted and deceived by men who are within the Catholic Church itself, and who are borne by it like the chaff that is sustained against the time of its winnowing. . . .. Accordingly, you will have to witness many drunkards, covetous men, deceivers gamesters, adulterers, fornicators, men who bind upon their persons sacrilegious charms and others given up to sorcerers and astrologers, and diviners practised in all kinds of impious arts.. . . . . .. Consequently, when you see many not only doing these things but also defending and recommending them, keep yourself firmly by the law of God, and follow not its willful transgressors. For it is not according to their mind, but according to His truth that you will be judged . . . .Believe these things, therefore, and be on your guard against temptations (for the devil seeks for others who may be brought to perish along with himself); so that not only may that adversary fail to seduce you by the help of those who are without the Church, whether they be pagans, or Jews, or heretics; but you yourself also may decline to follow the example of those within the Catholic Church itself whom you see leading an evil life,. . . But as regards the perverse, even if they find their way within the walls of the Church, think not that they will find their way into the kingdom of heaven; for in their own time they will be set apart, if they have not altered to the better.” (On The Catechising Of The Uninstructed, Chapter 25, Section 48, emphasis added).
Link to Augustine’s Works: (and many other Fathers Of The Church: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/index.html)
In the last few weeks some things have happened that have stunned me – and caused me to think and rethink writing about and discussing what I see as a the devastating crisis in Jesus’s Church.
A priest was introduced to me, ordained fifteen years, who is very active in parish work, not Judas social justice work, but real parish work, bringing the sacraments to the faithful. I mentioned the exhortation Amoris Laetitia and he said he had heard of it, but he had not read it.
In speaking with a close relative, she referred to the saintly man now wearing papal white and how she loves to hear the words he speaks to the faithful. She has only heard the “words” recounted from the pulpit at her local parish and as repeated to her by her fellow parishioners.
Another close relative told me he knows about all the corruption, wickedness, heresy and depravity of the priests, bishops, cardinals, and man wearing papal white, but he ignores it all, and would prefer I not speak of these things to him. He has a master’s degree in theology and teaches extensively in parish programs.
When I told both the priest and the one close relative that Jorge Bergolgio wrote and published the statement that “No one is condemned forever,” at first they did not believe me. I said that those were his actual, printed, proclaimed words. The priest said “that could be understood to lack clarity.”
I then asked the close relative had she heard of the homosexual cocaine orgies in the Vatican with male prostitutes or the pervert addicted to child pornography whisked away from the authorities in Canada, to the diplomatic safety of Vatican City, and now recently arrested in the Vatican. She asked me never again to tell her about such things and to send her no emails with any such information, or with anything derogatory about Jorge Bergoglio.
These are not three folks in outer Mongolia who have never heard the name, “Jesus.” These were cradle Catholics, one ordained who daily acts in persona Christi, all of whom, many times since the age of reason and literacy, have heard that Jesus said there is a hell and there is everlasting fire
So. This has made me think. Do I keep on keepin’ on ? Do I continue to say, when the occasion presents itself, I believe Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic and, while wearing the papal white, he has proclaimed his heresy? Do I go on in telling people the bishops and cardinals, some of whom themselves are perverts, pederasts, pedophiles and the abusers and assaulters of women, girls and boys, that these men have stolen billions of the widows’ mites and the faithful’s dollars, some to live a life of perverted luxury or to pay off those victims and their lawyers who speak out? Insuring that the details of their perfidy and the actions of the wicked are kept secret under the seals of the many, many courts who are dealing with these crimes?
I am thinking about the apostles, arrested by the church hierarchy of the time, and told you may not henceforth speak publicly in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. I am thinking about St. Peter’s response, the response of the Rock Jesus chose for His Church, the first pope, when the hierarchy told him to shut up: we can obey you or we can obey God.
I am praying.
I am also thinking about St. Dismas who, from his own cross, himself tortured and dying, ignored the crowd, ignored the ruling Romans, ignored the (so-called) “high” priests, and gave no heed to the soldiers of power gathered around celebrating Jesus’s suffering and crucifixion. St. Dismas, unlike his brother hanging nearby who was ridiculing Jesus in his agony. St. Dismas, the first and in some ways the most knowledegable evangelist of the passion, death and crucifixion of Jesus, who said, for all the world to hear, that Jesus is “Lord.”
Jorge Bergoglio’s new teaching in the papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, (“AL”), is explicitly directed to unrependant adulterers, still living in adultery, who can, according to the new morality of AL, be doing the will of God, as they continue in sin. From this it follows that they can receive the sacraments. The teaching then goes further: they should be integrated into the daily public life of the Church, joyfully.
The New Bergoglian Morality Applies To All Sins
AL’s new (im)morality does not stop at adultery-as-virtue. It goes further:
“No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone in whatever situation they find themselves. (AL, 297)“
This annihilation of hellish condemnation includes those who unrepentantly will continue in what Holy Mother Church teaches are “intrinsic evils,” those actions that are sinful no matter what the circumstances. Since this covers abortion, racism, and torture, it must certainly cover those who accuse a man wearing papal white of heresy.
This Is How Sinners Must Be Treated
Section 299 of AL provides for the “integration” in the life of the Church of those continuing in sin, unrepentant:
“ I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible, while avoiding any occasion of scandal.
The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, a care which would allow them not only to realize that they belong to the Church as the body of Christ, but also to know that they can have a joyful and fruitful experience in it. . . . Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services, which necessarily requires discerning which of the various forms of exclusion currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, educational and institutional framework, can be surmounted. Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel.”
Pastoral Accompaniment for Those Who Call Jorge Bergoglio A Heretic
If the alleged principles of Amoris Laetitia are just that – principles for moral action – they must apply across the board to all actions. This is why AL says that its new teachings apply in “all situations.” Without such universal scope, there is no moral principle.
Many, including this writer, have said that Amoris Laetitia, without further explanation, proclaims heresy; that its author, Jorge Bergoglio, is a heretic; and those, including lay people, theologians, pastors, bishops, and cardinals who echo it to the faithful are also heretics.
Argentine Bishops Show The Way To Accompany Heretic Accusers
According to Amoris Laetitia itself, how are these heretic accusers to be treated by the Church? The answer – assuming AL does put forth universal principles for all actions, many of which previously were sins – is to be found in the published Guidelines of the Argentine bishops for their implementation of the new morality. Jorge Bergoglio said this about those Guidelines: “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia,” and “There are no other intepretations.” (link to Argentine Guidelines: https://cvcomment.org/2016/09/18/buenos-aires-bishops-guidelines-on-amoris-laetitia-full-text/ )
What follows is the application of those Guidelines to those who say Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic.
1) Firstly, we should remember that it is not right to speak of giving “permission” for access to the sacraments to those who call Jorge Bergoglio a heretic (“Jorge’s heretic accusers”), but rather of a discernment process under the guidance of a pastor. This is a “personal and pastoral discernment.”
2) In this journey, the pastor should emphasize the fundamental proclamation, the kerygma, so as to foster or renew a personal encounter between the living Christ and each Jorge heretic accuser.
3) This via caritatis is an invitation to follow “the way of Jesus, the way of mercy and integration” and calls for the pastoral charity of the priest who welcomes the Jorge heretic accusers, listens to them attentively and shows them the maternal face of the Church, at the same time accepting the righteous intentions and goodwill of the Jorge heretic accusers.
4) The goal is further integration of the Jorge heretic accusers into the life of the Church: a more active presence in the community, participation in prayer or reflection groups, or giving time to church activities etc. Even in difficult cases, pastors should be patient companions, looking for ways of integrating the Jorge heretic accusers.
5) It may be right for Jorge heretic accusers to have eventual access to sacraments privately. But at the same time, we have to accompany our communities in their growing understanding and welcome of the Jorge heretic accusers, without this creating confusion about the Bergoglian teachings of the Church. The community is an instrument of mercy, which is “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” and this mercy is also for Jorge heretic accusers.
6) Above all, in dealing with Jorge heretic accusers, pastors should rejoice in the following words of Jorge Bergoglio and apply them to the Jorge heretic accusers: “I also encourage the Church’s pastors to listen with sensitivity and serenity, with a sincere desire to understand their plight and their point of view, in order to help them live better lives and to recognize their proper place in the Church.”
Sadly, many in the Church have not only shunned, but have publicly condemned the Jorge heretic accusers. Some have unjustly lost their positions and their jobs. They have not been showered with the joyful love of Amoris Laetitia as have been public adulterers and fornicators. Rather than saying that they are not condemned forever, or “Come, ye, blessed . . ,” Jorge Bergoglio himself has let it be known, “I know who they are.”
Part 3 of 3
In torment now, unable to resist, words came from Clement’s mouth, as if from a caged predator, “Pacabanab . . . and legion.” The demonic words echoed around the room as if it was a canyon in hell.
Jerry continued. “By the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” he made the Sign of the Cross continually toward Jessica Miriam Clement as he spoke, “I command you, serpent, and all you with it, to leave this woman and return to the everlasting fire prepared for you.”
Clement’s body slowly levitated from the chair and then was thrown violently around the room as she wailed and screamed.
While she was being tossed like a doll against the mirrored wall of the control room, Jerry quietly said: “I cast you out, Pacabanab and all you unclean spirits, along with every satanic power of the enemy, every spectre from hell, and all your evil companions; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
He made the Sign of the Cross and continued to do so as he spoke. “Begone and stay far from this creature of God. For it is Jesus Christ who commands you, He who flung you headlong from the heights of heaven into the depths of hell. It is He who commands you, He who once stilled the sea and the wind and the storm. Hearken, therefore, and tremble in fear, you enemies of the faith, you foes of the human race, you begetters of death, you robbers of life, you corrupters of justice, you root of all evil and vice; seducers of men, betrayers of the nations, instigators of envy, fonts of avarice, fomentors of discord, authors of pain and sorrow. Why, then, do you stand and resist, knowing as you must that Jesus Christ the Lord brings your plans to nothing? Fear Him, and begone, then, in the name of the Father, and of Jesus Christ the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Give place to the Holy Spirit by this sign of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.”
Like a torrent of filth going down a storm sewer, the evil demons left her and flowed from the room. Her body was slumped over the table. Her face covered with blood and filth, she sat up and stared at Jerry.
“Hello, Jessica Miriam Clement,” he said. “I am Father Jerry Christianson.” The stench was gone, the room was warm and quiet.
Then Jessica’s face and body became clean and fresh, even glowing. She looked at her hands and then looked up, glancing around the room as if at a place that was foreign to her. Two agents outside the room in the corridor had fallen unconscious as Jerry prayed, and the other woman in the control room, the decoy, who had begun vomiting and writhing on the floor, was now still.
Willoughby, who had been forced up against the control room wall, was released, but he could not hear what was going on. He punched and twisted buttons and switches, but there was no sound. He saw Jerry and Jessica talking, but the door to the interrogation could not be opened.
Jessica was confused. “What is happening?”
“Please hear me. I have a message for you, it is for you alone, from God.”
Jessica did not laugh, nor did she rise to leave.
Willoughby realized he could not hear what was going on. He left the control room and walked into the corridor. He could not open the door to the interrogation, nor could any of the other agents turn the doorknob.
Jerry looked at Jessica. “You will die in twelve days. You have seen what has happened. You know you are one of the most powerful persons still living, yet you are alive. You have turned God’s people from Him. God has sent you to me so I can tell you He loves you. You are to be given a chance to be truly sorry for all you have done, all of it, going back twenty four years, and you are being given this special grace from Him. It is your choice, as it was those years ago when you welcomed the first demon, and then the evil cohorts.”
Jessica thought back to that first demonic blood ritual to which she had been invited in Manhattan, with the politicians and the actors, the producers and the actresses, the criminals and the doctors and nurses, and the many that had followed in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. “What ‘chance’ if I am to die?”
“God knows the earthly power you have, the power you exercise daily, and how you have subverted and abused that power. You now have the chance to use that power to speak and spread the truth so that the world will know the message He has sent me to proclaim. You are free to choose to be His loving instrument. You are also free to choose, even now, to beseech the demons to return. If you do, you will die, pitifully, and they will be with you, screaming, as they usher you into hell.”
“There is not enough mercy, not enough forgiveness.” She bowed her head and began to shake, and weep. She had not felt so free in many years.
“This is your choice. You are free to choose. But do not doubt, because Jesus died for you and your sins, do not think there is not enough mercy, not enough love, no forgiveness,” said Jerry. “If you choose, if you repent, you will have eleven days. And you will be free of the evil that you welcomed and that then held you.”
“What am I to do?”
“You control the world’s information.”
She laughed. So few had known that or even suspected that Trip F existed. “But we could not stop you. Nothing worked. It was as if another power had taken over. Amazing”
“I do not mean to sound foolish or insane; but you must know that this is the power of God, God Almighty. What power you and your superiors thought you had was nothing, absolutely nothing. If you repent and if you agree, it is you who will have His message, which I will give you now, proclaimed to the ends of the earth, to all nations.”
She did not deny that she could do this. This is what FFF did every day. “Message?”
“You have seen what He told me to say. It is true. I will be given more which I will tell you. It will bring hope to those who believe. It will be the power of the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.”
Jessica paused. Then she said, “I don’t know if I can say this, but I will try to do His will. His will be done.”
Jerry nodded and began to tell her what had now been revealed to him, what she would add to God’s message for the world.
The next morning, media around the world, radio, television, cellphone screens, screens in bars, in airports, in restaurants, in homes, in automobiles and ships, buses, trains, and planes, screens and radio in public places around the world instantaneously presented Jessica speaking in a calm, confident, clear voice. Each heard in his or her own language.
“Thus says the Lord God, your heavenly Father, your Brother Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that enlivens and enlightens the whole world,” she looked straight into the camera. Her speech was being broadcast in real time. “Repent and return to Me, My beloved children. For yet a little while now be still and trust in Me. Each of you is precious to me. I am. I am here. I am your loving God. Repent and return to Me. My love for you is unlimited. For this each of your was made in our likeness, and each of you is good. For this each of you can freely choose to make good and avoid evil. I am calling the hirelings and the wolves. They cannot resist me and they will be brought to Me by My archangels. I will deal with them. They will no longer lead you astray. I will send you true shepherds to lead you in the way of goodness. Repent and return to me.”
Jessica then repeated the message that Jerry had already proclaimed. She ended, “Each of you, each of you one of My precious children, repent and return to Me.”
The next morning, Jerry awoke and then his chains fell from him and onto the floor. He knelt in his cell and thanked God for another glorious day. No one outside the cell in the corridor moved, no one said a word, as he walked out. He turned a corner to see Jessica coming towards him.
Silently, for a few moments, she held his hands in hers. Then they spoke and prayed. For almost an hour, she told him her sins. Then he absolved her of all of them.
“And your Father wants you to know,” said Jerry, “since you have chosen, as your conscience, His voice, has spoken to you, you will see your four children whom you have never held, touched or kissed on this earth.”
Within forty eight hours the world had changed. People walked everywhere, happy, openly praising God. Churches overflowed round the clock. Governments came to a standstill. As those in power became more enraged, their orders to their supporters, servants, minions, and underlings became more and more frantic, useless words ignored both by the evil ones plotting to succeed them and by the good ones who simply walked out. Some, in humility, did repent and join the crowds seeking forgiveness; but many relied on their own inner evil, thinking that, as always, it would be their salvation, that the evil ones they served would protect them from God.
Ten days later, those unrepentant ones were stunned as they began to suffer and die. Those who had come to contrition suffered, but their agony was lessened. Videos of Jessica Miriam Clement, as she disintegrated, showed a woman who suffered almost not at all, and then she smiled as she died, her mouth moving with unheard words. She was joyous.
Willoughby was still there after the twenty-eighth day had passed. He knew some of the newly-dead, worked with several of them. Some, including the pope, were no surprise to him; but so many were virtual unknowns outside the secret evil echelons of governments and of power around the world. He knew what he had had seen, what he had heard. He knew if not with those of the forty days, he most certainly would be with those on the fifty-fifth day. He stood up from his desk and walked down the corridors out of the building. Entering the sunlight, he looked up and said “Yes.”
At the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the lines for confession spilled out into the parking lots and along Michigan Avenue and the side streets. Willoughby walked up to the end of one of the the lines and took a rosary from his pocket.
Miles from El Paso, Father Jerry Christianson knelt in the grass outside his church and said a prayer for the repose of the soul of his bishop; then he looked up at the West Texas sky and said, Deo Gratias!”
Copyright GM 2017
Part 2 of 3
Everyone except Willoughby looked blank. Only he had ever heard that name.
“Who is ‘Jessica Miriam Clement’” asked Thorpe.
Before Willoughby could stop him, Father Christianson said, “She is your head of Trip F.”
“Shut it down, now!” Willoughby yelled. “Everything off, video, sound, recorders, sensors, off. “
“Sir?” Thorpe asked incredulously. “What’s happening? Who is Jessica Miriam Clement? What is Trip F?”
“I don’t know.” Willoughby was lying.
Steele and Tilney looked at each other then at the mirror wall.
“Now!” Willoughby repeated.
The glow of buttons, lit screens, and the buzz of equipment ceased in the rooms behind the mirror walls.
Jerry Christianson, again alone, touched his hands together as well as he could and prayed. “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou oh Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.” As he finished, the room seemed to warm up.
Willoughby entered the room. This had not gone the way he had planned. For some time he stared at the praying priest. He did not introduce himself. He reached to touch Jerry’s shoulder, but his hand was stopped in midair.
“Who is ‘Jessica Miriam Clement’ and what is Trip F?”
Jerry looked up. “I do not know her and I do not know about ‘Trip F.’ But I was told to speak to her.”
“And God also told you to do this?”
“Yes, before you brought me, He told me to come here, a place I had never heard of, a place I do not know, and that He cares about this woman, whom I have never met.” With the hint of a smile, he continued, “But He did not make it clear how I would arrive here and get to see her.”
“And what is it that you are going to tell this Jessica Miriam Clement?”
“Particulars of what I am to tell her have not yet been revealed to me; but she will come. I know that.”
Willoughby doubted that very much. “And what if you are simply inviting her to her death?”
“I do not know, and that may be; I do not yet know the message or the task; but I do know I am to tell her something.”
Very few people worldwide knew that the FFF existed. Let alone the name of its head, Jessica Miriam Clement. It not only oversaw all intelligence agencies, the FBI, Homeland Security, the NSA, the CIA, and all military intelligence, it also secretly and subtly directed all information gathering, collation, and analysis from almost every nation on earth. Worlwide, no new developments in computers, electronics, nanotechnology or communications saw the light of day until FFF gave its approval.
Willoughby had only heard Jessica Miriam Clement’s name and the acronym “FFF” by accident, once when he was passing by a side office at the Pentagon. When he asked his superior about it, she turned pale and told him, if he valued his life, to never again mention this. Later he learned FFF stood for “Fact Function Foundation,” and he thought what a strange name for such a secret entity.
Now he had a decision to make about what had just happened. Report what he had heard up the chain of command or remain quiet? He knew that within minutes the taped interrogation, up to the point at which he stopped it, would be going to the White House and then on to heads of multiple government agencies.
“Wait here, Father Christianson.” Jerry smiled and said, “As you wish,” holding up his handcuffed hands.
Willoughby thought about what he had to do. If he hid this, his career was over. If he sent out any alerts or warnings, his career could still be over because they would ask why he stopped the interrogation. If he acted like he did not know about FFF and Jessica Miriam Clement, he could plead ignorance, and say that he stopped it all since he had never heard that name.
He went back to the control room behind the mirror walls . “Turn it all back on,” he barked to all the agents and technicians. The lights came up, the recorders were activated, screens glowed, and the computers hummed.
Willoughby returned to the interrogation room. Steele and Tilney realized something had changed. They were now spectators and Willoughby began asking the questions.
“Tell me, Father,” he said, standing across from Jerry, “You saw the videos of the assassinations. There are some notable exceptions. You said the twelve most powerful people on earth; but the President of the United States is still alive and so is the Pope. What happened? Did someone not get the memo? Did someone hit the wrong target?”
“I do not know the answers. I have told you, and you must understand, there are no ‘targets’ like you mean targets. You are looking at this from a false reality. I do know that, if you pay attention to what was given to me, it was not simply the twelve most powerful people in the world, but the twelve who were most abusing their power and turning God’s people from Him. And the same is true about the president and the pope – maybe they are not among these twelve most powerful, or maybe they are not among the ‘world rulers of this present darkness who have done the most to hurt God’s children. I did see that three people very powerful private citizens died and that two Cardinals very close to the pope did also, one in Brussels and one in Stuttgart. And there was the head of the Vatican Bank. Either the president and the pope have not turned people away from God, or they have. But whatever the case, if you believe God, they were not among the twelve most powerful.”
“You are saying that it may be that these who did die have power over some men perceived to be very powerful?”
“Yes. And I repeat, I spoke the truth as it was given to me to speak.”
“Will the president and the pope be in the next seventy-two? Can the deaths of these people be avoided?”
“I have not been told that. I have been told the number of those who will die. I have spoken only the message, and the whole message I was given. I do not believe the deaths of these people can be avoided or stopped.”
“How did you spread it so far and so fast?”
“I am sure you can check this; but I posted it as I usually do my Sunday sermon. As for ‘spreading,’ that was not me.”
“We did check. And it appears you are telling the truth. Still, no one has ever seen anything like it.”
“When is the last time you commanded the morning, told the dawn its place, taught from a whirlwind, or spoke with the voice of thunder?”
Willoughby was taken aback. “What?”
“Sorry, just remembering what God said to Job and his buddies.”
“Yes, it is a book of the Bible and in it, in contrition, Job says he is repenting ‘in dust and ashes’. “
Less than three hours later, Willoughby was surprised to see a group marching down the corridor, armed with rifles and pistols. They surrounded a woman who looked from side to side as she approached, hesitant, as if she did not want to be there. No one said a word to Willoughby until one of the group asked, “Where is he?”
Willoughby gestured to the door of the interrogation room. Two men entered it and looked at Jerry and then walked around the room, inspecting the walls with handheld instruments, then the floor, feeling the legs of the furniture, scrutinizing the ceiling. The woman waited at the door, nervous, as the other agents, three men and two women, checked out the control room and corridor past it. Willoughby was surprised that they thought they had to check at all.
The two agents exited the room and then nodded at the woman. She entered and stood across the table from Jerry.
“You asked to see me?” she said.
“No,” Jerry responded. “I asked to see Jessica Miriam Clement.”
A woman now in the control room stared at the mirrored wall, silent, questioning. She placed her rifle and pistol on a chair and walked from the control room into the interrogation room. She gestured to the woman posing as her to leave.
“I am Jessica Miriam Clement,” she said to Jerry.
“I know,” said Jerry.
Clement sat down and stared at Jerry, surprised that she sensed no fear in him.
“And I know who you are,” said Jerry.
Clement was startled and sat upright, her eyes cold, lifeless, trying to bore through Jerry. Strange, she thought, there is power here. It unnerved her.
Jerry felt the presence of evil and he knew that he had encountered this particular evil before. He thought back to some years ago when a Methodist pastor had asked him to come and exorcise a member of his congregation, a young girl, who lived on a ranch outside El Paso. The prayers of the pastor’s and his people had failed to cast out the evil from the girl. Jerry had gone to the ranch house. It was one hundred seven degrees in the shade, but inside the house was freezing cold. The girl lay spread eagle on the floor, writhing in pain, her eyes bulging. When Jerry asked the demon its name, the demon had replied “Pacabanab, and legion.”
Jerry looked calmly at Clement, made the Sign of the Cross, and said, “Yes, I know you and, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus God Almighty . . . “
As he spoke there was a physical change in Clement. Her face contorted, becoming grotesque and she began to snarl.
“ . . .Jesus, Savior of all men, what is your name?” He made the Sign of the Cross over her.
As the name “Jesus” was said each time, and at each Sign of the Cross, she morphed more into a human monster and her snarls got louder and more menacing. Jerry sat immobile, unresponsive to what was happening in front of him, unmoved by the sounds and ignoring the stench that now filled the interrogation room.
He repeated, “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who are you?”
Copyright GM 2017
Part 1 of 3
The irony of the leg irons and handcuffs was not lost on the two agents escorting the manacled priest, who was wearing a black cassock and roman collar, his feet shackled together, hobbling each half step, as he shuffled down the corridor trying not to stumble, putting one foot in front of the other, the chain metallically rattling on the tile floor. No one spoke.
They came to a door, one of the agents opened it, and they ushered the priest into a gray room. It was cold. They motioned him to a table, attached his leg manacles to a hasp in the floor, put his hands on the table, and inserted a table-top stud through his handcuffs. Then they left.
Father Jerald Christianson, now alone, looked around the room. Two mirror walls, bright lights, concrete floor. He knew why he was here and he knew that whoever had brought him here did not. He heard a door open behind him. A man and a woman walked to the other side of the table and sat down, each placing a laptop on the table. They opened them in unison and pushed the “Power” buttons.
Behind one of the mirrored walls, Agent Willoughby, still watching the priest, asked Agent Thorpe, a man sitting at a monitor next to him, “What do you think?”
All the sensors read “Normal,” all the electrode outputs in the table and response sensors in the restraints read “Norm.” The retinal scanner and inspiration/exhalation monitor had found no anomalies.
Thorpe shook his head. “Can’t read him. Could he have been this well trained? Who is he? Spotless record, ordained Catholic priest, good as gold. You got me. I am clueless on this one. How did he do it? How did he know? Did he do it? Did he know?”
Willoughby stared at Father Christianson through the one-way glass. “We’ve got nothing. He was exiled out there, miles from El Paso-sent to the smallest armpit-of-the-world parish. Don’t understand all that, but he was in the dog house with the head guy. That’s a bishop.”
“What did he do?”
“They said he did things that pissed off this bishop. Report says things like ‘standing facing the altar with the people,’ ‘read Romans One from the pulpit,’ ‘ more than once, mentioned sin in his sermons,’ said ‘people could go to hell forever.’ “Willoughby was truly perplexed. “Didn’t Jesus say the same thing? Anyway, that’s the report we got back. Doesn’t sound like he got it wrong to me. I guess a bishop is a god for these guys. Go figure. Let’s see how it goes.”
The woman, Agent Gwen Steele, began. “Mr. Christianson, do you know why you are here?”
Jerry noticed that she did not call him ‘father.’ “
Agent Robert Tilney, sitting next to Jerry, noticed his reaction. He interrupted agent Steele. “Would you prefer we call you ‘father’?”
Jerry smiled. “Yes, I am, ordained; but I have no problem with however you want to address me.”
“Ordained? Asked Tilney “Just men, right?
“I have received a special sacrament that Jesus first gifted His apostles with and then the men who followed them. It is called ‘Holy Orders’ and it means that I and each man ‘ordained’ a priest stands in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. Some say an ‘alter Christus,’ another Christ. And, yes, the ‘only males’ was His command to His Church.”
Tilney continued, “Does that mean you are under orders to do this?
“I think we are talking past each other,” the priest replied.
Tilney and Steele stared at each other. This interrogation was not going as they had planned.
“I don’t know if ‘ordered’ is the correct term. Maybe ‘sent’ or ‘commissioned’ is better.”
Tilney asked another question. “Father Christianson, do you know why you are here?”
Jerry looked at the man and then at the woman. He thought about the answer to one of the first questions of the catechism and its answer. “Why did God make you? God made me to know love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him in heaven.” But he didn’t repeat that.
“I cannot help but think it is about what I said some weeks ago. But as to ‘why’ I am here, that depends on where you are coming from and where you think you are going.”
“Really?” said Steele condescendingly. She typed something on her computer and hit “Enter.” “This is from sixteen days ago.” A video began with Jerry speaking:
“My name is Father Jerry Christianson and I have a message for everyone. Thus says the Lord God:
‘I am your God and you are My people. I have waited, so that none should perish and all would come to repentance; but I will no longer delay My promise. From the moment of your conception and for all your lives you are Mine and you are all precious to Me. The world rulers of this present darkness have led you, My precious ones, from Us, from Me, from My beloved Son, Jesus, and from the Holy Spirit. But you will not be abandoned, not a single one of you. Fourteen days from now the twelve living persons who have forsaken Me and exercised their worldly power to turn the most of My children from Me – they will all return to dust; but first, before I remove them for this earth, I will give each of them a chance to repent and to turn back to Me. In twenty-eight days from these first judgments, another seventy two will die, after being offered My mercy. But My mercy is powerless in the face of their free will. If they freely choose not to repent, they will enter into the everlasting fire My Son told you about. In forty days, the next one thousand such people will be dealt with. In fifty days, the next one hundred thousand. And this will continue until all of the evil wicked rulers of this present darkness and their faithful have chosen My love and mercy, or seen My justice and power. All will see that My wrath is My mercy, and they are both My love.’ ”
Steele stopped the video. “That is you, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” said the priest.
“Who told you this? Who told you to publish it? Who are you working with? Where do you get your marching orders?”
The priest’s calm complacency unnerved Steele and Tilney. Willoughby and Thorpe were speechless behind the mirrors. “I really don’t think you will believe me, but I am not working with anyone, unless you include God. He told me to do this. He gave me His message. He is the only one I am working with.”
“Oh boy!” said Thorpe. “Has he been duped and used. Gotta get me some of that God KoolAid.”
“Yes,” said Willoughby, “but we have nothing on him. They have scoured his computer, his phone history, his house, his car, his parents, everywhere he went to school since Pre-K through theology studies, every term paper, every thesis, every transcript, every fellow seminarian, his teachers, every sermon anyone remembers, and they have squat. If he is a sleeper or an agent or a spy or an assassin, or anything, it is hidden deep.”
“And,” Thorpe continued, “what if his God did tell him all this? We only have a dozen days to stop the next round.”
“His God? Wonder who that is. When the first twelve were killed, he was in his parish, all day.” Willoughby shook his head.
Steele started a video montage on her computer. Jerry had seen most of it already. It showed the public agony and disintegration of twelve people. One was a film done by a news crew that happened to be at a press conference with a foreign cleric; another video from an interview of an old businessman in Europe; a third of a woman chief executive, in Manhattan, where a man had confronted her and sprinkled holy water on the sidewalk; and recordings from Beijing, Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, Moscow, Stuttgart, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Almost all from a variety of angles from multiple cell phone captures, one after the other, of bodies slowly disintegrating from the feet up, faces in anguish, screaming, in excruciating pain, the screams ending as their mouths disappeared, and the eyes wide, bulging then dissolving, as each of them flowed down into a pile of black dust.
Many of the pictures ended with the dark particles being blown away. Some ended with views of a small, black pile surrounded by the shoes of onlookers, and then a gust of wind making the piles vanish. Although some of them were easily recognized well-known persons of power, about half of them were virtually unknown to the general public.
“Were these the first dozen people targeted?” Tilney asked.
“Your question is senseless,” said Jerry. “And I don’t know if I would speak of God ‘targeting’ His people. They are His, their lives are His. He giveth, he taketh away. It appears that He did what He said He would do.”
“So you disavow any hand in this?’ asked Steele. “You say these are acts of God, not assassinations, not killings, not done by organized and very well-funded operatives or terrorists in a concerted effort with careful planning for a long time?”
“Planning? In terms of God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and eternity is not in time, I guess God must have ‘planned’ this since forever. I think we are not only not on the same page, we are not reading from the same book,” said Jerry. “I am simply a messenger and I delivered the message He told me to give.”
This was more true than Jerry knew. His uploaded video now had more than ten thousand times ten thousand the number of views of any uploaded video in history. It had been translated into virtually every language around the globe.
“And that is amazing that indeed you did get it out to the world. Nothing has ever gone pandemic around the world as fast as this did. Now you are here so we can learn the truth from you, Father,” said Tilney, “and we will. But as the next deadline approaches, if you have not cooperated, we will do whatever must be done to have you tell us how to stop this.”
The implication of Tilney’s threat was not lost on Jerry. “You cannot stop this,” he said placidly, without emotion. “No one can stop this. I am sorry you don’t understand God’s power or my role, but you should know that you cannot harm me and that I am simply and only the messenger.”
Steele looked at Tilney, then back at Jerry. “What do you mean?”
“I mean that I am protected. You each have a pistol. Either one of you, I am sure, could kill me with your weapon or with your bare hands. I invite you to try to shoot me or hit me. Or just try to punch me. Please.”
Steele stood up and drew her pistol. She walked around the table and raised her arm as if to hit Jerry.
Tilney yelled, “what are you doing?”
Steele brought her arm down hard, but it was stopped inches from Jerry’s face. Again she raised her arm and tried to hit the priest, but it was as if an invisible barrier stopped her.
Behind the mirrors, Thorpe exclaimed, “I’ll be damned.”
Willoughby laughed. “I don’t know if I would go saying things like that anymore.”
Steele stepped back from Jerry in disbelief. Staring first at her hand and then at Jerry. She and Tilney looked at each other, and then at the walls, speechless. They both stared at the walls as if asking Willoughby and Thorpe, “What do we do now?”
Jerry broke the silence. There was no jubilation in his voice, no joy, no irony in his manner. “You asked me if I know why I am here. I know what I have been summoned to do and I also know that I am here to ask you,” he looked up at the mirror walls, “to have Jessica Miriam Clement come here to me. God wants me to speak with Jessica Miriam Clement.”
Copyright GM 2017
It will be a small comfort in future to those faithful Catholics of today when the encyclopedic lists of heresies begins thus: “Arianism, Apollinarianism, Bergoglianism, . . .”.
This Heresy Is Unique In Church History
There are things unique about the Bergoglian heresy that do in fact make it the worst heresy of all time. These include:
- The astounding numbers of sheep led astray, deceived via the modern-day real-time worldwide promulgation of Bergoglian error and the use of media to spread this error to the ends of the earth.
- The Bergoglian denial, in effect, of the existence of Hell, making it into a somewhat warm vacation before one returns to the heavenly home, and the eradication of eternal punishment for every type of grievous, mortal sin.
- The Bergoglian demand that sin and sinners be publicly celebrated, elevated, and even blasphemously blessed within the church community.
- Jorge Bergolgio’s destruction of divine law in his new doctrine that God judges some to be in sin while requiring others doing the same sinful action to continue in sin; with the implications that God, in some situations, wills people to sin, that God has one divine law for some and a contradictory divine law for others.
- The utter depravity and demonic perversity of a legion of many who aid in the spread of this evil – including laity and clergy, priests, pastors, bishops, and cardinals worldwide, as well as Vatican officials, some of whom not only condone, but take part in, such abominations.
One thing that is not unique about Bergoglianism is that this heresy, like others, includes declarations directly and explicitly contrary to what Our Lord Jesus Christ said in His own words. It is difficult to conceive of what a man must be and must tell himself so that he can say, in effect, “Jesus, here is what you got wrong” and “God, here is how you can improve and be a better god.”
The Bergoglian Heresy
In denying Church tradition, in correcting God Almighty, in contradicting the infallible declarations of numerous Church Councils, and in proclaiming a new magisterium, Jorge Bergoglio announces the sand on which he would erect Jorge church:
“ . . .it can no longer simply be said . . “ (Bergoglian Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Section 301, henceforth “AL”)
What follows from this is that Jorge Bergoglio, he alone, is the one to let us know what can now “be said.”
The main tenets of his heresy are:
- There is no mortal sin, e.g. adultery and fornication, which results in the loss of sanctifying grace; even for those aware of the demands of the divine law.
- Divine grace does not make all mortal sins avoidable; a situation’s circumstances can dismiss one from the demands of the divine law.
- Depending on the situation and its circumstances, God sometimes wills a person to sin.
- For those God judges and who are then sent to Hell, Hell is not eternal, the fire is not everlasting. “No one is condemned forever,” the capsule version of Bergoglianism (from AL, 297), is the implicit Non Serviam of the Bergoglians.
How many sheep led astray?
Because of our modern media, and the present population of the world, this heresy will lead more people astray than any other heresy in all of history.
In past centuries, many thousands of faithful Catholics were assaulted by various heresies; but their numbers were relatively small compared to the number of Catholics today. There are over 1,000,000,000 Catholics alive today. These faithful 1.2 billion, plus or minus, are part of Jesus’s flock. Included in His command to the eleven apostles, and their apostolic successors, “Go and teach all nations,” are another 1,000,000,000 Christians; about 1,500,000,000 Muslims; and about 3,200,000,000 more souls here and there around the globe.
Jesus does not want to lose even one of these. Satan wants each and every one of them; and, with the media being what it is – the Internet, cellphones, satellites, television, mass communications, movies, and instant news – a multitude of the faithful will hear the Bergoglian heresy, and many of them will like what they hear, especially coming from “The Pope.” When a man wearing papal white says “Who am I to judge?” within thirty-six hours people everywhere conclude that what they are doing and what they want to do is just fine with a God who loves them, a God who will not judge them, despite the words they say weekly in the Creed, “who will come to judge the living and the dead.”
When this same man proclaims that God’s Hell, everlasting Hell, does not exist, and then in an official document proclaims that his new Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free Mercy Card applies to everyone, in every situation, and to everything previously called mortal sin, many will conclude that what sins they do here will never mean they will not, eventually, enjoy heaven. Never mind what God told them in His inspired Word, and continues to tell them as the voice of Conscience, the man in white has used the keys to the kingdom to loose them free eternally.
New paradigm, new dogma, heresy
Jorge Bergoglio and his mouthpieces have been joyfully proclaiming that there’s a new paradigm in town, replacing the old judgmental one of Jesus and ushering in a new light of love and mercy into Jorge’s church. This is being foisted on the faithful as the usual development of doctrine that happens in Jesus’s Church as it has been done since the Resurrection.
Paradigm shifts are cataclysmic. One paradigm replaces another. One paradigm is not the “development” of another. A new paradigm destroys an old one, utterly. This is why the philosopher of science who popularized the study of paradigms, Thomas .S. Kuhn, did not use the words “paradigm development,” but called his seminal book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”
For example, there was no “Copernican development” of the theory of the earth-centered universe; there was a revolt that undermined and threw out the geocentric Ptolemaic system and totally replaced it with the new paradigm, the Copernican sun-centered heliocentric theory.
Jorge Bergolgio and his brother Bergoglians are correct – he is declaring and promoting a new paradigm. Saying so is a tacit admission that Bergoglianism is heresy – a revolt against the deposit of faith, a denial of the immutable and infallible teachings of Jesus’s Church as proclaimed for millennia. The Jorge-centered paradigm’s appeal to sinners is that it is a me-myself centered paradigm, a pleasure-here-and-now paradigm. The Jorge paradigm says “Eat, drink, be merry, and fornicate, for tomorrow you may die.” The Jorge-centered paradigm, by definition, must supplant the Jesus-centered paradigm.
Many heretics over the centuries have had no problem publicly confronting their accusers and providing responses, however weak or vacuuous, to accusations of heresy and attacks against their heretical dogmas. One last reason Bergoglianism is the worst heresy is that Jorge Bergoglio refuses to respond to those faithfully expressing doubts and seeking the loving, caring guidance of the shepherd who is the “servant of the servants of God.”
Instead, like a totalitarian despot, a third world dictator, he calls the faithful who question him the “doctrinal resistance,” and he has let it be known, in his own words, “I know who they are.” This from a pope, the vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of shepherds, the successor of Peter. He has also let it be known that his minions inform him about the attacks on him. The Vatican now has its own Okhrana, KGB, Gestapo, and Stasi. Jorge church is a microcosm of 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World all rolled into one. Future lists of tyrants will include the names Nero, Adolf, Josef, and Jorge.
The conclusion to be drawn from his refusal to address those who seek clarification of what he has said is that the questions are spot-on. His studied indifference declares that he has no reasoned, credible response. His silence screams “Yes, I am a heretic, and proud of it.”
Someday Jesus will say to each of us, to Jorge Bergolio, and all the Bergoglians, “I indeed know who you are.” There will then be a progression for everyone from a belief in the mystery of resurrection to the certain knowledge that heaven is eternal, hell is real, and those in hell are condemned forever.
Jorge Bergolgio has said many things that Catholics must do; but he has also proclaimed a new moral code, or code of immorality as the case may be, with attempted magisterial oomph, in the proclamation Amoris Laetitia, (“AL”) which gives anyone the basis for disobeying him, ignoring what he says, and publicly denouncing him and his minions. The new Bergoglian Immorality:
- No one is condemned forever.
- What may be wrong in one situation is not wrong in another, including actions that hitherto were taught to be wrong in all circumstances, intrinsically evil actions.
- God wants you to continue in what the Church says is sin, even what it used to call “mortal” sin, if you have heard His voice, your conscience, tell you it is not sin – and such doing by you is not only what you then must do, not only virtuous, it will be your ticket to heaven. This is the very heart of the joy of love, that God can tell you to sin, and to continue in sinning, even publicly.
[If I am confused about AL, or have misunderstood its implications, which are clear to me, I welcome a true shepherd to lead me to the truth and dispel my dubia].
Based on his new morality, summarized above, we do not have to do anything that Jorge Bergoglio has said, over the last five years, we must do . With the answer to, “Oh, Hell where is thy sting?” now established as “Hell hath no sting,” with sin abolished, we can, for example, say “No way, Jorge,” when he says something is morally required, or must be done. His own new morality undercuts his demand that we must be obedient to him and definitively accept the new immorality as proclaimed by him.
Thanks to him, we can, with moral impunity and eschatological hope, do the following which have recently been prohibited:
You can breed like rabbits.
You can ignore illegal aliens
You can call the pope a liar, again and again, publicly
You can intentionally increase global warming
You can call the pope a heretic, again and again, publicly
You can say publicly the pope has contradicted Jesus
You can think that everything is black and white
You can champion the death penalty
You can be an amoral capitalist
You can disobey Jorge Bergolgio always, in everything, until death
You can publish articles like this
Here is a good summary of how, in accord with Jorge’s new immorality, you can now live your life, happily and virtuously, if thou get thy mind right and thy pastor discerneth with thee:
- Thou mayest have strange gods before thee other than the one true God.
- Thou mayest take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Thou mayest keep unholy the Sabbath day.
- Thous mayest dishonor thy father and mother.
- Thou mayest
- Thou mayest commit adultery.
- Thou mayest steal.
- Thou mayest bear false witness against thy neighbor.
- Thou mayest covet thy neighbor’s wife.
- Thou mayest covet thy neighbor’s goods.
One can get absolutely giddy anticipating the new Sacraments to be proclaimed soon. Imagine how Valentine’s Day will be celebrated in churches next year.
In addition to differing with Jorge Bergoglio in thinking that Hell is eternal and men and women really can be condemned forever, St. John Chrysostom’s writings make a stunning, yet apt, comparison between whorehouses and a church that would celebrate sinners and allow unrepentant adulterers to receive the sacraments. Unlike recent papal exhortations that speak in terms of how the Church “must” incorporate such adulterers into the ongoing daily life of the parish and diocesan communities, St. John Chrysostom (349 – 407 A.D.), Archbishop of Constantinople, exhorted the faithful to “drive them from the fold.” The excerpts below present his powerful words which are true for us today, all these centuries later.
The full text of his homilies on the Gospel of John is here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240163.htm
Homilies On The Gospel Of John
Excerpts: Homily LXIII [Emphasis Added]
St. John Chrysostom
“Paul, . . . in his letter to the Hebrews he thus speaks and exhorts them, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” ( Hebrews 12:14). By holiness, meaning chastity, so that it behooved each to be content with his own wife, and not have to do with any other woman; for it is impossible that one not so contented should be saved; he must assuredly perish though he have ten thousand right actions, since with fornication it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Or rather, this is henceforth not fornication but adultery; for as a woman who is bound to a man, if she come together with another man, then has committed adultery, so he that is bound to a woman, if he have another, has committed adultery. Such a one shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, but shall fall into the pit. Hear what Christ says concerning these, “Their worm shall not die, and the fire shall not be quenched.” ( Mark 9:44). For he can have no pardon, who after (possessing) a wife, and the comfort of a wife, then acts shamelessly towards another woman; since this is henceforth wantonness.
. . . .
Not so concerning a harlot; but what? If any man put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, he causes her to commit adultery. (Matthew 5:32). For if the coming together makes one body, he who comes together with a harlot must needs become one body with her. . . .1 Cor. 6:15 . . . “.Shall I then make the members of Christ the members of a harlot? “. . . .A dreadful, a dreadful thing is fornication, and an agent for everlasting punishment; and even in this world it brings with it ten thousand woes. . . . Wherefore I exhort you to be freed from this malady, and if you obey not, step not on the sacred sanctuary. Sheep that are covered with the scab, and full of disease, may not herd with those that are in health; we must drive them from the fold until they get rid of the malady. We have been made members of Christ; let us not, I entreat, become members of a harlot. This place is not a brothel but a church; if then you have the members of a harlot, stand not in the church, lest you insult the place. If there were no hell, if there were no punishment, yet, after those contracts, those marriage torches, the lawful bed, the procreation of children, the intercourse, how could you bear to join yourself to another? How is it that you are not ashamed nor blushest? . . . . .but you bring in another while your wife is yet alive. What lustfulness is this! Learn what has been spoken concerning such men, “Their worm”, It says,” shall not die, and the fire shall not be quenched.” (Mark 9:44). Shudder at the threat, dread the vengeance. The pleasure here is not so great as the punishment there, but may it not came to pass that any one (here) become liable to that punishment, but that exercising holiness they may see Christ, and obtain the promised good things, which may we all enjoy, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”
In the new Bergoglian churches, to be sung at the Offertory to the tune of If You’re Happy And You Know It, Clap Your Hands; and choreographed with a welcoming, lusty rhythm for the liturgical dancers:
Praise the Lord for adultery, clap your hands.
Praise the Lord for adulterers, clap your hands.
If in Church they belong, a happy, holy throng,
Praise the Lord for adultery, clap your hands.
Now that I have your attention –even without including Sola Scriptura, Purgatory, the Papacy in Holy Writ, Sprinking vs. Immersion, Sola Fide, Confessing To Oneself, and Infant Baptism – and with sincere apologies to all the internet trolls who felt compelled to read thus far or who were taken in by the graphic – here is what this article is really about: Hell !
Since we are dealing with Hell and the possibility of never-ending pain for sinners, I felt the subterfuges were OK; and if there is no Hell, my prevarication does not matter – as Snoopy once told Charlie Brown: “A hundred years from now, who will care?”
If Hell is not forever, you know, eternal fire and everlasting torment, and all that never-ending agony for sinners stuff, you can proceed to:
Never ever clothe the naked. Keep your three winter coats.
Not once ever in your life to give a drink to the thirsty.
Turn your glance away from all the homeless, never caring for a stranger.
Never care for any sick person, not ever, not even your Mom.
Drive by jails and prisons, but never go in.
Making sure you yourself never miss a meal, and always have a scrumptious dessert, never feed anyone who is hungry.
Because if Hell is not forever, even if you never do any good act, you know that somehow – however dimensions of time out-of-time after bodily death are measured – you will eventually be in heaven.
If, put in other terms, everyone – eventually – will, without doubt, inherit the Kingdom, you can now proceed to steal, assault little boys, get stinking drunk regularly, abuse young men, slander any and everyone, commit adultery daily, worship idols, and swindle little old ladies out of their life savings. Why? Because at some point, even if you are being tortured after you die and are in unbearable pain, it will stop – if Hell is not forever – and you will inherit the Kingdom and be clothed in the regal raiment of a Prince or Princess of God.
Despite what Jesus told us in His own words, and ignoring the words of of divinely-inspired Holy Scripture to the contrary, you could attempt to proclaim, even under the guise of magisterial teaching, that
“No one is condemned forever.”
If Hell is not endless, if this new illogic of the good news is true, then even you who proclaim this will, someday, somehow, be in heaven with the God whom you have contradicted, as will all those who, hearing your words, believed you and did any and all of the things mentioned above.
But, what if Hell is what Jesus said it is?
I have no standing to cry out in anguish “How long, O Lord, how long?” about the dismal darkness of Jesus’s Church today because I have contributed to it, especially by silence. So I am comforted that there are present-day Basil’s who can speak truth to evil power and confront the “rulers of this present darkness” in Holy Mother Church.
St. Basil, 329-379 A.D., also known as Basil The Great, was an influential deacon, priest, and then bishop of Cappadocia, in what is Turkey today in Asia Minor. As both a very public bishop and an expert theologian, he vehemently opposed Arian and Apollinarian heretics. He is remembered for how he dealt with an emissary of the Roman emperor, Valens, who was himself an Arian heretic. The emissary, imperial prefect Modestus, was taken aback when Basil, without deference, told him how there was no “making nice” with heretics for the sake of peace and that compromise with those who oppose the truth is impossible. Modestus, affronted, told him no one had ever addressed him in this way. Basil replied, “Perhaps you have never had to deal with a bishop.”
Would that we had a multitude of bishops like this today instead of the handful with the moral courage to decry heresy in the Church. It is refreshing to read the writings of Basil. In confronting the widespread acceptance of heresy, even by those of rank and power within the Church, Basil wrote his own version of “How long, O Lord”:
“For, when life is buffeted by so fierce a storm that all the intelligence of those who are instructed in the word is filled with the deceit of false reasoning and confounded, like an eye filled with dust, when men are stunned by strange and awful noises, when all the world is shaken and everything tottering to its fall, what profits it to cry, as I am really crying, to the wind?” (Basil, On The Holy Spirit, Chapter 29).
Basil then goes on to say why one must not give up. In his Chapter 30 that follows the above quote, Basil describes the Church as if he had a crystal ball and could see the world in 2018.
There are many sources for Basil’s writings on the Internet; e.g. at the New Advent site: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3203.htm. In concluding this post, I will quote, probably too extensively, from his On The Holy Spirit, Chapter 30. It is recommended in its entirety.
Exposition of the present state of the Churches.
- To what then shall I liken our present condition. . . . The disorder and confusion is tremendous, for the extremity of misfortune, when life is despaired of, gives men license for every kind of wickedness. Suppose, too, that the men are all smitten with the incurable plague of mad love of glory, so that they do not cease from their struggle each to get the better of the other, while their ship is actually settling down into the deep.
- Turn now I beg you from this figurative description to the unhappy reality. Did it not at one time appear that the Arian schism, after its separation into a sect opposed to the Church of God, stood itself alone in hostile array? But when the attitude of our foes against us was changed . . ., so that all men were stirred to a state of inveterate hatred alike by common party spirit and individual suspicion. But what storm at sea was ever so fierce and wild as this tempest of the Churches? In it every landmark of the Fathers has been moved; every foundation, every bulwark of opinion has been shaken: everything buoyed up on the unsound is dashed about and shaken down. We attack one another. We are overthrown by one another. If our enemy is not the first to strike us, we are wounded by the comrade at our side. . . .. And who could make a complete list of all the wrecks? Some have gone to the bottom on the attack of the enemy, some through the unsuspected treachery of their allies, some from the blundering of their own officers. We see, as it were, whole churches, crews and all, dashed and shattered upon the sunken reefs of disingenuous heresy, while others of the enemies of the Spirit of Salvation have seized the helm and made shipwreck of the faith. …. The luminaries of the world, which God set to give light to the souls of the people, have been driven from their homes, and a darkness verily gloomy and disheartening has settled on the Churches.. . .Harsh rises the cry of the combatants encountering one another in dispute; already all the Church is almost full of the inarticulate screams, the unintelligible noises, rising from the ceaseless agitations that divert the right rule of the doctrine of true religion, now in the direction of excess, now in that of defect. . . . No oaths of confederacy are so efficacious in keeping men true to sedition as their likeness in error. . . The institutions of the Gospel have now everywhere been thrown into confusion by want of discipline; there is an indescribable pushing for the chief places while every self-advertiser tries to force himself into high office. The result of this lust for ordering is that our people are in a state of wild confusion for lack of being ordered; the exhortations of those in authority are rendered wholly purposeless and void, because there is not a man but, out of his ignorant impudence, thinks that it is just as much his duty to give orders to other people, as it is to obey any one else. . .
- Now there is no one to receive the weak in faith . . . but mutual hatred has blazed so high among fellow men that they are more delighted at a neighbour’s fall than at their own success. Just as in a plague, men of the most regular lives suffer from the same sickness as the rest, because they catch the disease by communication with the infected, so nowadays by the evil rivalry which possesses our souls we are carried away to an emulation in wickedness, and are all of us each as bad as the others. Hence merciless and sour sit the judges of the erring; unfeeling and hostile are the critics of the well disposed. And to such a depth is this evil rooted among us that we have become more brutish than the brutes; they do at least herd with their fellows, but our most savage warfare is with our own people. . . .
- . . . I was taught too . . . that, when there is no one to support the cause of true religion, we ought alone and all unaided to do our duty. . Wherefore we too are undismayed at the cloud of our enemies, and, resting our hope on the aid of the Spirit, have, with all boldness, proclaimed the truth.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:37)
With those words from Mary, the first Christmas was “on.” From that moment, God’s plan went into glorious effect for the celebration, nine months later, of His Son’s birthday. It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
No Mary, No Christmas
Mary’s “Yes” was incarnated in the Baby Jesus, in the flesh, conceived within her before she was even aware He was there. Her “Yes” is the reason for the Reason for the season. Mary’s “Yes” was a yes for all of us, for all time.
Mary’s choice was to have the Baby Jesus. God did not force her to be the Theotokos, the God-bearer. Mary freely decided to bear and give birth to the Son of God. She freely chose not to abort Him, to kill Him in her womb, or to kill Him once He was born; although infanticide was almost as common in the ancient world as it is today. Because her “Yes” meant the possibility of eternal life for all of us, to say Mary was prolife is the understatement of all time.
What if Mary had said “No,” or “No!” ?
This is difficult to ponder. Would there have been no salvation of all mankind? Would there have been no Christmas? Did God have a second choice in mind, a runner up? Had someone already turned God down? Was there a No. 2, an understudy in the wings? We do know that God knew Mary would say “Yes,” although His foreknowledge did not prevent her from freely agreeing to bear and birth this holy Child.
If Mary had said “No,” if there was no Christ Child, no Christmas, then, to plagiarize from a famous source and apply it to this hypothetical:
“The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.” (Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus; F. Church , 1897)
Part of our joy at Christmas is our joyful awe and thanks to Mary. Her “Yes” was yes for all God’s children. It meant, as the angel of the Lord told Joseph in a dream, that – because Mary agreed to mama this Child, named “Jesus,” – we would all be saved from our sins. (Mt 1:21).
Mary Does Not Name Her Own Son
Mary and Joseph are both told by the angel of God what the Child’s name will be. (Mary: Lk 1:31 ; Joseph: Mt 1:21). Mary, the mother, and Joseph, the ostensible head of the family whose job it usually was, do not get to name Jesus; but they both, without grumbling, accept that God will name this Baby.
In Holy Scripture, naming someone is an act of power, and a name is a thing of power. Again and again, beginning in Genesis, naming is a major theme, including God naming things, God naming human beings, men and women naming things and offspring, and God re-naming men and women.
The first book of Samuel makes it clear that a person is what a name says. (1Sam 25:25). For the Jewish people a name was much more than a label, or a tag for distinguishing between persons. A name was the equivalent to the person himself or herself. A person’s name was his or her very person, identity, worth, character, reputation, authority, will, ownership, and power.
In Hebrew, the name God gives His Son – Jesus – literally means “Yahweh helps” or “Yahweh saves.” God is naming His Son God.
God’s naming His son Jesus is God’s announcement – His, “Yes, that’s My Boy, chip off the old [very old] block” – gift of this Son. The Bible does not mention God handing out cigars. Such naming is referred to in Isaiah:
“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” (Is 43:1).
By naming His Son Jesus, God makes available to all of us the power of that name, the power of His Son. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:13)Bottom of Form
Why Would God Let Mary Birth His Son?
Why would God send His own Son to us? Why, after the Fall of Adam, does God want His divine Son to become man? Man, that creature of God as Francis Thompson tells us in his poem, The Hound Of Heaven, “of all God’s clotted clay, the dingiest clot.” St. John says: “Et verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis.” (Jn 1:14). It is easy to think of reasons God would not want to “pitch His tent with us” (literal translation of “habitavit”) and let His Son live on earth as a man; and reasons for His not having wanted to redeem us.
Still, God saw something in us, in each of us. To paraphrase some lines from Thompson’s poem, whom would love ignoble me and you enough to come here and shiver in the cold in Bethlehem so we did not burn in the eternal heat of hell? To be convinced of “how little worthy of any love though art” when we sin, all one need do is look in a mirror. I think about all the times I have been to confession, and all my sins, since that day so long ago at St. Paul’s Parish in San Antonio, going in to talk to the very priest who had baptized me six years earlier, the preist who had married my Mom and Dad, and even then and since being fully aware of my ignobility. Why would God want to redeem me? or any of us? Why would He want to ransom us from this ignobility and make us celestial nobles, His heirs, heavenly aristocrats, His princess, His prince?
The besutiful answer is in a poem, Love Came Down At Christmas, by Christina Rosetti:
“Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.”
Know Mary, Know Christmas
This embodied Christmas Love began with Mary’s love of God. But for that love, there may have been no Christmas.
So, what is there to learn from Mary’s not only talking the Christmas talk – “Yes. I’ll have this Baby” – but also her walking the Christmas walk ? It’s about ninety miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and it would seem much longer if you were about to deliver a child . (The scope of this writing is way too limited to enter into the discussion of whether or not she rode on a donkey. The ensuing intense theological debate will not be discussed here).
Mary’s “Yes” is startling evidence of her humility, obedience, generosity, trust, and love, love not only for God, but for all of us. Gabriel tells Mary her Son will be named “Jesus.” Mary knows what that name means in Hebrew, and she knows that God the Father Himself has given her Son this name.
As the angel proclaims to the shepherds, “a savior has been born for you.” (Lk 2:11). Mary says “Yes, I will have this Baby for everyone.”
Merry Mary CHRISTmas!
Why, hanging on the Cross, did Jesus single out His mother and St. John and say, “Woman, behold your Son” ?
Presented here is a theory, a possibility, an opinion that, just before He died on the Cross, when Jesus said “Behold, your son,” He was announcing that, after He died, He would be present in person in this young man, the apostle John, and in all men subsequently who would receive, and whose being would be changed by, His new sacrament of Holy Orders. He instituted this sacrament the night before Good Friday and then administered it to John and the remaining men, all apostles. This happened before Pentecost, the birthday of His Church.
At the Foot of the Cross
On Calvary when Jesus was crucified and died, His final significant act, before saying “I thirst,” and “It is accomplished,” was this, as the divinely-inspired words of John’s Gospel tell us:
“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, behold your son,” and to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. “ (Jn 19:26,27)
Of all the people present, in these words Jesus speaks directly to only two of them – He singles out His mother and the “apostle whom He loved,” John. There is no give-and-take conversation, only the words of Jesus.
Some traditional interpretations of what happened and why Jesus did what He did are that: Jesus wanted John to care for His mother after he died; Jesus is recognizing His mother as the mother of not only John, but of all Christians; and Jesus is saying that the Church, His Church, all of us, are now His family.
Some writers have that John, who had been ordained in the sacrament of Holy Orders less than twenty-four hours before, was present at the Cross as an ordained priest. No other apostle – no other ordained priest – was there. (For example: The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Role in the Celibate Priest’s Spousal and Paternal Love; Monsignor John Cihak, S.T.D.; Ignatius Insight; http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2009/jcihak_maryandpriests1_july09.asp).
What Jesus Did Not Say
Jesus could have chosen to say anything. He knew that John was there and He knew that some years later John, divinely inspired, would write down His words, and then for all time people would read what He had said. Interestingly, Jesus did not say any of these things, which He could have said:
“Mother, behold your children.” [referring to not only John, but the other Marys present, including Mary Magdalene].
“Woman, behold your son, John, and your daughter, Mary Magdalene.”
“John, treat this woman now as your own mother.”
“John, take care of My mother.”
“Mother, behold everyone here.” [including the women, any representatives of the high priest, the Roman soldiers, the Centurion, the two thieves, and the Gentiles].
“Woman, behold all these people here ”
“Everyone, love one another.”
“Woman, this young man is now to be like a son to you.”
“Everybody hear Me. My mercy will now cover all your sins and all sins for all time.”
But Jesus chose not to say any of these things.
Why Speak Only To Mary, and Only To John?
Jesus chose to speak to Mary and John. So why the words reported in the Gospel of John and why did He speak only to Mary, His Mother, and only to the young apostle John?
Perhaps there is no reason to ask why and the words should simply be taken as written. Considering, however, some facts – that John was the only ordained priest present; that this was done immediately before Jesus dies; Jesus uses the word “son;” and that years later John was inspired by God to recount verbatim what happened for everyone to read until the end of time; that the sacrament of Holy Orders had changed John’s very being – there may be some interesting paths to pursue, even if clear, certain, and unambigous insights are not possible.
What follows, although stated in declarative sentences, is opinion or theory; and, if these make no sense, some more learned can, and there is hope they will, explain why this is “mere” opinion and “mere” theory.
The words Jesus chose, “woman” and “son” have meanings deeper than what they literally signify.
The Woman, Mary
It is fairly well accepted that Jesus, in addressing Mary as “woman” is calling to mind Genesis 3:15:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This – “woman” – is how He addressed her previously at Cana, when He performed His first miracle.
It is Mary’s offspring, her Son, who defeats Satan and all evil.
The Son, John
The word Jesus uses for “son” is the same word used throughout the New Testament, in the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary and to Joseph, in the words of Jesus, in the words of His apostles, in the words of demons, in the words of the evangelists, and in the words of the other New Testament writers. He does not say to Mary “John here is now like me, like your son.”
Why Did Jesus Say This?
This is the opinion/theory: In saying “Woman, behold your son,” Jesus is saying to His mother, and to all of us who through the centuries and who today read these words:
“This ‘son,’ John, is now Me in person. I have made him so, changed his very being, by the change effected in My new sacrament of Holy Orders. Woman, I am your only Son, and when I am no longer here, I will be here as your Son in person in all men ordained and for all time to be ordained My priests. Here right now, after I have said this, I will offer the sacrifice of my life on this Cross, I will die. Then, I, from now until the end of the world, will be actually present for you and for all, and with you in person – body and soul, and body – in a special sacramental way in these men, and not in this way in any other human beings. I will act in person in these men who will re-present for Me to My Father this sacrifice of Mine.”
Holy Orders – Priests & Priests Only, In Persona Christi
The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that Jesus is present today in person in His priests in a way in which He is not present in anyone else:
“In the person of Christ the Head . . .
“1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:[citing Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 10]
“It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi) [citing Pius XII, Mediator Dei].” (Catechism 1548)
“1563 ‘Through that sacrament priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit are signed with a special character and so are configured to Christ the priest in such a way that they are able to act in the person of Christ the head.’ ” (citing Vatican II, Presbyterorem Ordinis). (Catechism 1563)
“1591 . . . the task [of the ordained priest] is to serve in the name of and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.” (Catechism 1591)
Sacrifice of the Mass – Jesus In Person In His Priest
Jesus in present in person in His priests at each Mass, and only in His priests who are there in persona Christi:
“1566 ‘It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful (synaxis) that they [ordained priests] exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office; there, acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery, they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head, and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply, until the coming of the Lord, the unique sacrifice of the New Testament, that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father.’ “ (citing Vatican II, Lumen Gentium).
No matter which accepted definition of “person” is used and followed, a “person” is not only a soul or not only a body. A person is a soul/body, a body/soul, an “ensouled body,” or an “embodied soul.” No matter how you define “person,” the body is there.
When Jesus is present with us today in person, He is with us totally, wholly, soul/body, body/soul. He is with us in the person of His priests, their persons which are both soul and body, in the person of their embodied souls, in the person of their ensouled bodies. This is why from the time of the Last Supper until today the Church has faithfully obeyed the Command Of The Lord that only males be ordained; and why is it senseless, in terms of theology, sacramentality, and ecclesiology to think that anyone other than a male even could receive Holy Orders and be ordained a priest to be Jesus, in person, for us.
Clues From The Original Greek of St. John’s Gospel
Here is a literal translation of John 19:26-27 :
“Jesus therefore seeing and knowing the mother and the disciple having stood by whom he was loving, says to the mother, Woman see and know the son of you. Then He says to the disciple, See and know the mother of you. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own.
The verb Jesus uses, typically translated as “behold,” means more than simply “see.” It means to both see and then to realize what you are seeing, to see and to know. Jesus is telling His mother, and us today, you see this young man here, he is now more than he was, he is now configured to Me so that in him I can be with you, in person, in the “son of you, mother,” in the person of My priests.
He is also speaking to John, and in speaking to John speaking to all priests for all time: You, now that you have been ordained My priest, see and know that you are now so changed in your very being that you are My mother’s Son, taking my place here in earth, her son in a way that no one else is.
There are three sacraments you can receive only once: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. This is so because they effect a real change which cannot be reversed and is a change forever. This has been described as an indelible mark on the soul and the imprinting of a sacramental, spiritual character on the soul. (See, e.g. Catechism 1582; and Canon Law 1008 and related commentaries)
By His sacrament of Holy Orders, a man is changed, a new reality comes into existence in the person of the priest. Jesus is not there merely in spirit, He is there in person, in His priest:
“The ordained ministry, which may never be reduced to its merely functional aspect since it belongs on the level of “being,” enables the priest to act “in persona Christi” and culminates in the moment when he consecrates the bread and wine, repeating the actions and words of Jesus during the Last Supper . . . The Eucharist, like the priesthood, is a gift from God “which radically transcends the power of the assembly” and which the assembly “receives through episcopal succession going back to the Apostles” (Encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” 29). The Second Vatican Council teaches that “the ministerial priest, by the sacred power that he enjoys … effects the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the person of Christ and offers it to God in the name of all the people” (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 10).” (Letter of John Paul II to Priests, Holy Thursday, 2004).
This is what is being proposed here. Jesus is telling Mary that, since He is going to heaven, and as He is her Son, the offspring who crushes the head of evil, these men He has really, sacramentally changed are now her sons, her offspring through His sacramental power and they will now be here on earth for Him, in person.
Nothing can substitute for reading the entire text of the Commintory of St. Vincent of Lerins on heresy. It is available on several internet sites, e.g. at newadvent.org:
This is Part III, the last of the summary of Vincent’s work on heresies. In the excerpts below, a pithy comment in brackets precedes some paragraphs of Vincent’s own words.
“The Notes of a true Catholic.
[A single man does not and cannot determine the true faith]
“[48.] This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time . . .
“Exposition of St. Paul’s Words.— 1 Tim. vi. 20.
[Wicked novelties of heresies will be decapitated with a spiritual sword]
“[51.] . . . I cannot sufficiently wonder at the madness of certain men, at the impiety of their blinded understanding, at their lust of error, such that, not content with the rule of faith delivered once for all, and received from the times of old, they are every day seeking one novelty after another, and are constantly longing to add, change, take away, in religion, . . . as with a spiritual sword, all the wicked novelties of all heresies often have been, and will always have to be, decapitated,
[Heretics teach furtively, and in secret; and tell us “silly wretches” they, despite centuries of error, now have the true faith]
“[52.] After words such as these, is there any one of so hardened a front, such anvil-like impudence, such adamantine pertinacity, as not to succumb to so huge a mass, not to be crushed by so ponderous a weight, not to be shaken in pieces by such heavy blows, not to be annihilated by such dreadful thunderbolts of divine eloquence? . . .Falsely called indeed, as applied to the doctrines of heretics, where ignorance is disguised under the name of knowledge, fog of sunshine, darkness of light. Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Professing what? What but some (I know not what) new and unheard-of doctrine. For you may hear some of these same doctors say, Come, O silly wretches, who go by the name of Catholics, come and learn the true faith, which no one but ourselves is acquainted with, which same has lain hid these many ages, but has recently been revealed and made manifest. But learn it by stealth and in secret, for you will be delighted with it. Moreover, when you have learned it, teach it furtively, that the world may not hear, that the Church may not know. For there are but few to whom it is granted to receive the secret of so great a mystery. . .
“A more particular Exposition of 1 Tim. vi. 20.
[Heretics are thieves and adversaries]
“[53.] But it is worth while to expound the whole of that passage of the apostle more fully, O Timothy, keep the deposit, avoiding profane novelties of words. . . .
What is Keep the deposit? Keep it, because of thieves, because of adversaries, lest, while men sleep, they sow tares over that good wheat which the Son of Man had sown in his field. Keep the deposit.. . . . Keep the deposit. Preserve the talent of Catholic Faith inviolate, unadulterate. That which has been entrusted to you, let it continue in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold; give gold in turn. Do not substitute one thing for another. Do not for gold impudently substitute lead or brass. Give real gold, not counterfeit.
“On Development in Religious Knowledge.
[Adulteration of the faith is not real progress]
“[54.] But some one will say, perhaps, Shall there, then, be no progress in Christ’s Church? Certainly; all possible progress. For what being is there, so envious of men, so full of hatred to God, who would seek to forbid it? Yet on condition that it be real progress, not alteration of the faith. . . .
[The frenzy of the ungodly, the impious fraud. If one doctrine domino is allowed to fall, is contradicted, or is denied, all the doctrines fall; as does the Church itself]
“[58.] For if once this license of impious fraud be admitted, I dread to say in how great danger religion will be of being utterly destroyed and annihilated. For if any one part of Catholic truth be given up, another, and another, and another will thenceforward be given up as a matter of course, and the several individual portions having been rejected, what will follow in the end but the rejection of the whole? On the other hand, if what is new begins to be mingled with what is old, foreign with domestic, profane with sacred, the custom will of necessity creep on universally, till at last the Church will have nothing left untampered with, nothing unadulterated, nothing sound, nothing pure; but where formerly there was a sanctuary of chaste and undefiled truth, thenceforward there will be a brothel of impious and base errors. May God’s mercy avert this wickedness from the minds of his servants; be it rather the frenzy of the ungodly.
“Continuation of the Exposition of 1 Tim. vi. 20.
[Shun him who proclaims heresy as you would a poisonous snake]
“[60.] But let us return to the apostle. O Timothy, he says, Guard the deposit, shunning profane novelties of words. Shun them as you would a viper, as you would a scorpion, as you would a basilisk, lest they smite you not only with their touch, but even with their eyes and breath. . . . Receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed, for he that bids him Godspeed communicates with him in his evil deeds. 2 John 10
[Heretics do not speak clearly, and they cite Holy Scripture for their evil purposes]
“ [65.] But the more secretly they conceal themselves under shelter of the Divine Law, so much the more are they to be feared and guarded against. For they know that the evil stench of their doctrine will hardly find acceptance with any one if it be exhaled pure and simple. They sprinkle it over, therefore, with the perfume of heavenly language, in order that one who would be ready to despise human error, may hesitate to condemn divine words. . . .So too do these act, who disguise poisonous herbs and noxious juices under the names of medicines, so that no one almost, when he reads the label, suspects the poison.
[Like Satan, their father, heretics may seem to be of the light]
“ [67.] . . .And no wonder, he says, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. It is no marvel then if his servants are transformed as the servants of righteousness. Therefore, . . . there is no doubt that they are following the cunning devices of their father, which assuredly he would never have devised, but that he knew that where he could fraudulently and by stealth introduce error, there is no easier way of effecting his impious purpose than by pretending the authority of Holy Scripture.
[Heresy can be the newly-devised error of one man, who could put our eternal salvation in jeopardy]
“[72.] . … But whatsoever a teacher holds, other than all, or contrary to all, be he holy and learned, be he a bishop, be he a Confessor, be he a martyr, let that be regarded as a private fancy of his own, and be separated from the authority of common, public, general persuasion, lest, after the sacrilegious custom of heretics and schismatics, rejecting the ancient truth of the universal Creed, we follow, at the utmost peril of our eternal salvation, the newly devised error of one man.
[Be wary of an individual man who arrogantly proclaims that he alone has the truth]
“[74.] And lest any one, disregarding every one else, should arrogantly claim to be listened to himself alone, himself alone to be believed, the Apostle goes on to say, Did the word of God proceed from you, or did it come to you only? And, lest this should be thought lightly spoken, he continues, If any man seem to be a prophet or a spiritual person, let him acknowledge that the things which I write unto you are the Lord’s commands.”
Let him, the heretic, be accursed.
St. Vincent of Lerins warns that the current heresy must not be “blessed, praised and welcomed.” It is our duty, he says,“To anathematize those who preach anything other than what has once been received, always was a duty, always is a duty, always will be a duty.”
You would think St. Vincent of Lerins time travelled to the twenty first century:
“Nauseating the truth.”
“Garbage of heretical novelty.”
“He means, though Peter, though Andrew, though John, in a word, though the whole company of apostles, preach unto you other than we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Full text, excerpts From the Commintory of St. Vincent, 5th Century Anno Domini:
“Exposition of St. Paul’s Words, Gal. i. 8.
“[21.] When therefore certain of this sort wandering about provinces and cities, and carrying with them their venal errors, had found their way to Galatia, and when the Galatians, on hearing them, nauseating the truth, and vomiting up the manna of Apostolic and Catholic doctrine, were delighted with the garbage of heretical novelty, the apostle putting in exercise the authority of his office, delivered his sentence with the utmost severity, Though we, he says, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8
“[22.] Why does he say Though we? Why not rather though I? He means, though Peter, though Andrew, though John, in a word, though the whole company of apostles, preach unto you other than we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Tremendous severity! He spares neither himself nor his fellow apostles, so he may preserve unaltered the faith which was at first delivered. Nay, this is not all. He goes on Even though an angel from heaven preach unto you any other Gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. It was not enough for the preservation of the faith once delivered to have referred to man; he must needs comprehend angels also. Though we, he says, or an angel from heaven. Not that the holy angels of heaven are now capable of sinning. But what he means is: Even if that were to happen which cannot happen—if any one, be he who he may, attempt to alter the faith once for all delivered, let him be accursed.
“[23.] But it may be, he spoke thus in the first instance inconsiderately, giving vent to human impetuosity rather than expressing himself under divine guidance. Far from it. He follows up what he had said, and urges it with intense reiterated earnestness, As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. He does not say, If any man deliver to you another message than that you have received, let him be blessed, praised, welcomed,— no; but let him be accursed, [anathema] i.e., separated, segregated, excluded, lest the dire contagion of a single sheep contaminate the guiltless flock of Christ by his poisonous intermixture with them.
“His warning to the Galatians a warning to all.
“[25.] Or perhaps the anathema pronounced on any one who should preach another Gospel than that which had been preached was meant for those times, not for the present. Then, also, the exhortation, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, Galatians 5:16 was meant for those times, not for the present. But if it be both impious and pernicious to believe this, then it follows necessarily, that as these injunctions are to be observed by all ages, so those warnings also which forbid alteration of the faith are warnings intended for all ages. To preach any doctrine therefore to Catholic Christians other than what they have received never was lawful, never is lawful, never will be lawful: and to anathematize those who preach anything other than what has once been received, always was a duty, always is a duty, always will be a duty.
“[26.] Which being the case, is there any one either so audacious as to preach any other doctrine than that which the Church preaches, or so inconstant as to receive any other doctrine than that which he has received from the Church? That elect vessel, that teacher of the Gentiles, that trumpet of the apostles, that preacher whose commission was to the whole earth, that man who was caught up to heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2 cries and cries again in his Epistles to all, always, in all places, If any man preach any new doctrine, let him be accursed. On the other hand, an ephemeral, moribund set of frogs, fleas, and flies, such as the Pelagians, call out in opposition, and that to Catholics, Take our word, follow our lead, accept our exposition, condemn what you used to hold, hold what you used to condemn, cast aside the ancient faith, the institutes of your fathers, the trusts left for you by your ancestors and receive instead—what? I tremble to utter it: for it is so full of arrogance and self-conceit, that it seems to me that not only to affirm it, but even to refute it, cannot be done without guilt in some sort.”
More to come.
For Our Time, For This Time,
Commintory, St. Vincent of Lerins (early 5th Century Anno Domini)
“A General Rule for distinguishing the Truth of the Catholic Faith from the Falsehood of Heretical Pravity.
“[4.] I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.
“[6.] Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholics, which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.
“What is to be done if one or more dissent from the rest.
“[7.] What then will a Catholic Christian do, if a small portion of the Church have cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body to the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt member? What, if some novel contagion seek to infect not merely an insignificant portion of the Church, but the whole? Then it will be his care to cleave to antiquity, which at this day cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty.
“The evil resulting from the bringing in of Novel Doctrine shown in the instances of the Donatists and Arians.
“[9.] But that we may make what we say more intelligible, we must illustrate it by individual examples, and enlarge upon it somewhat more fully, lest by aiming at too great brevity important matters be hurried over and lost sight of.
“In the time of Donatus, from whom his followers were called Donatists, when great numbers in Africa were rushing headlong into their own mad error, and unmindful of their name, their religion, their profession, were preferring the sacriligeous temerity of one man before the Church of Christ, then they alone throughout Africa were safe within the sacred precincts of the Catholic faith, who, detesting the profane schism, continued in communion with the universal Church, leaving to posterity an illustrious example, how, and how well in future the soundness of the whole body should be preferred before the madness of one, or at most of a few.
“[10.] So also when the Arian poison had infected not an insignificant portion of the Church but almost the whole world, so that a sort of blindness had fallen upon almost all the bishops of the Latin tongue, circumvented partly by force partly by fraud, and was preventing them from seeing what was most expedient to be done in the midst of so much confusion, then whoever was a true lover and worshipper of Christ, preferring the ancient belief to the novel misbelief, escaped the pestilent infection.
“[11.] By the peril of which time was abundantly shown how great a calamity the introduction of a novel doctrine causes. For then truly not only interests of small account, but others of the very gravest importance, were subverted. For not only affinities, relationships, friendships, families, but moreover, cities, peoples, provinces, nations, at last the whole Roman Empire, were shaken to their foundation and ruined. For when this same profane Arian novelty, like a Bellona or a Fury, had first taken captive the Emperor,and had then subjected all the principal persons of the palace to new laws, from that time it never ceased to involve everything in confusion, disturbing all things, public and private, sacred and profane, paying no regard to what was good and true, but, as though holding a position of authority, smiting whomsoever it pleased. Then wives were Then wives were violated, widows ravished, virgins profaned, monasteries demolished, clergymen ejected, the inferior clergy scourged, priests driven into exile, jails, prisons, mines, filled with saints, of whom the greater part, forbidden to enter into cities, thrust forth from their homes to wander in deserts and caves, among rocks and the haunts of wild beasts, exposed to nakedness, hunger, thirst, were worn out and consumed. Of all of which was there any other cause than that, while human superstitions are being brought in to supplant heavenly doctrine, while well established antiquity is being subverted by wicked novelty, while the institutions of former ages are being set at naught, while the decrees of our fathers are being rescinded, while the determinations of our ancestors are being torn in pieces, the lust of profane and novel curiosity refuses to restrict itself within the most chaste limits of hallowed and uncorrupt antiquity?
“[20.] But to return to the matter in hand: It behooves us then to have a great dread of the crime of perverting the faith and adulterating religion, a crime from which we are deterred not only by the Church’s discipline, but also by the censure of authority. Fore very one knows how gravely, how severely, how vehemently, the blessed apostle Paul inveighs against certain, who, with marvellous levity, had been so soon removed from him who had called them to the grace of Christ to another Gospel, which was not another; Galatians 1:6 who had heaped to themselves teachers after their own lusts, turning away their ears from the truth, and being turned aside unto fables; 2 Timothy 4:3-4 having damnation because they had cast off their first faith; 1 Timothy 5:12 who had been deceived by those of whom the same apostle writes to the Roman Christians, Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not the Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, Romans 16:17-18 who enter into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; 2 Timothy 3:6 vain talkers and deceivers, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake; Titus 1:10 men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith; 2 Timothy 3:8 proud knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, destitute of the truth, supposing that godliness is gain, 1 Timothy 6:4 withal learning to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not, 1 Timothy 5:13 who having put away a good conscience have made shipwreck concerning the faith; 1 Timothy 1:19 whose profane and vain babblings increase unto more ungodliness, and their word does eat as does a cancer. 2 Timothy 2:16-17 Well, also, is it written of them: But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 2 Timothy 3:9
Part II to follow.
For some years now I have been standing and praying for an end to the murders; and praying for an end to the bloody money trail from abortion businesses to office holders, to (mostly democrat) candidates for office, to the government coffers at all levels, city, county, state, nation; then the tax dollars flowing back to abortion businesses and on and on and on, in a deathly, seemingly eternal, cash-for- death/cash-for-politicians/death-for-cash cycle.
But, there is a glow, a glimmer at the end of this ghastly, deathly, dark tunnel; and there is a sparkling, effervescing, coruscating, vibrant, alive, shining, spectacular, hope-filled, joy-full explosion of energy, goodness and light which will dispel this darkness, permanently.
There are some poignant lines from the end of the play and movie, Camelot , when King Arthur, before battle, tells a young boy to let the world know about “one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot”:
Arthur: Run boy! Through the lines!
Pellinore: Who is that, Arthur?
Arthur: One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seem some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle! Run, boy!
The boy runs off, quickly, courageoulsly, and does not turn back.
The young people fighting for the unborn do sparkle; and it is they, with God’s sparkling light, who will conquer this evil .
Go to any organized prolife event, meeting, march, conference, seminar, or gathering . Go to many college or university service days; go to any sidewallk outside an abortion business, well almost any, and, as I have, you will see young people, many of them proclaiming Hey I Am PostRoe And I Made It Out Of the Womb Alive! They say “I am here to be a voice for those whose voices cannot be heard”.
You cannot warn them off, deflate them, or deter them. You cannot tell them they will fail.
I truly believe that it is the young people (and that is a whole lot of folks younger than my seven decades) who are the lifeblood of the prolife cause and who will make real, for a prolife America, both the words of Wm. Barrett Travis from the Alamo – “I shall never surrender, victory or death” – and the words of Winston Churchill after the disaster of Dunquerqe, spoken in defiance of the prodeath evil engulfing Europe and threatening the entire world, the evil proclaiming some human beings as subhuman – “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
After Dunquerque, the British fought and won the air Battle Of Britain, against overwhelming odds, practically without the support of any other nation.
In Fall 1941 Churchill went to his high school, Harrow, and spoke to the young students there, knowing that in months, if not weeks, many of these teenagers would be laying down their lives for their fellow Englishmen. His words ring true again for the young prolife already-born brothers and already-born sisters of America:
“But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period . . . surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. . . . We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated. Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.”
At the foot of the Cross as Christ hung there in anguish, dying, there were no Sons of Thunder present, no apostle Peter brandishing a sword and saving Our Lord, no brave apostles – but one, the teenager John. Today’s young prolife apostles are now with Jesus on His Cross. They were not born around12 B.C. (or, if you choose, B.C.E., Before the Christ Era) so they could pray for the Holy Innocents killed at Bethlehem. They were not born around 1842 A.D. so they could tell the world that Dred Scott, his wife and their unborn child were not subhuman property. They were not born around 1922 so they could peacefully stand and pray outside Auschwitz and the other camps as subhuman Jews, non-master-race priests, blobs-of-cells children, handicapped persons, and mothers were tortured, experimented on to death, and gassed. No, God wanted these young pray-ers here now. They are His soldiers, His army, navy, air force and, semper fi, His marines. They are also His special beloved. As David slew Goliath, they will be victorious.
The courageous young prolifers, all over this country and around the world, do not flinch, and they will conquer, because they truly believe. They will never give in to the apparent might of the power of evil. This is their declaration:
“We shall defend our preborn sisters and unborn brothers, all of them, always, whatever the cost may be, on the streets, outside the abortion businesses in the minority neighborhoods, before the many silent pastors and priests, in the classrooms, in reply to mute theologians, in the face of the rulers of this present darkness, in the legislatures, in courtrooms, in city halls, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. We shall overcome. We shall never, never, never, never, never surrender.”
Guy McClung, Texas
In his masterpiece, City Of God, St. Augustine devotes seven entire chapters of Book XXI to this subject, as stated at the beginning of Chapter 17: “Of Those Who Fantasize That No Men Shall Be Punished Eternally.”
It was as if St. Augustine got an advance copy of the papal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, and read its proclamation that: ”No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves.” (Para. 297).
This discussion assumes – particularly since it has not been denied or clarified in response to responsible questions and reasonable doubts – that Amoris Laetitia teaches that there is no eternal punishment for sin, for any sin, of any kind, in any situation. Should the questions be addressed and the doubts dissolved, and the words of Jesus and the constant teaching of the Church for about two millennia be affirmed (that indeed, a person can go to Hell forever), then the following discussion can be shredded and thrown into the bin.
St. Augustine begins with a reference to “tender-hearted Christians”:
“I must now, I see, enter the lists of amicable controversy with those tender-hearted Christians who decline to believe that any, or that all of those whom the infallibly just Judge may pronounce worthy of the punishment of hell, shall suffer eternally, and who suppose that they shall be delivered after a fixed term of punishment, longer or shorter according to the amount of each man’s sin.” (Chapter 17; Book XXI, City Of God; henceforth in the form “17:XXI”)
Mercy For The Devils In Hell ?
If no sinner will be condemned forever, St. Augustine wonders why this will not apply to the fallen angels:
“Which opinion, if it is good and true because it is merciful, will be so much the better and truer in proportion as it becomes more merciful. Let, then, this fountain of mercy be extended, and flow forth even to the lost angels, and let them also be set free, at least after as many and long ages as seem fit! Why does this stream of mercy flow to all the human race, and dry up as soon as it reaches the angelic? And yet they dare not extend their pity further, and propose the deliverance of the devil himself. Or if anyone is bold enough to do so, he does indeed put to shame their charity, but is himself convicted of error that is more unsightly, and a wresting of God’s truth that is more perverse, in proportion as his clemency of sentiment seems to be greater.” (17:XXI)
It Is In Sinners’ Interest To Deny an Eternal Hell
St. Augustine notes that there are some whose opinions he has heard, who live a bad life, who profess that God’s mercy will be their salvation:
“There are others, again, with whose opinions I have become acquainted in conversation, who, though they seem to reverence the holy Scriptures, are yet of reprehensible life, and who accordingly, in their own interest, attribute to God a still greater compassion towards men. For they acknowledge that it is truly predicted in the divine word that the wicked and unbelieving are worthy of punishment, but they assert that, when the judgment comes, mercy will prevail.” (18:XXI)
Conjectures, Absurdity & Arguing Against God
St. Augustine, again and again, makes the point that those who would rely on total, encompassing-all-sin, divine mercy, while denying endless punishment, are simply making absurd arguments. For example:
“ . . . Or is perhaps the sentence of God, which is to be pronounced on wicked men and angels alike, to be true in the case of the angels, false in that of men? Plainly it will be so if the conjectures of men are to weigh more than the word of God. But because this is absurd, they who desire to be rid of eternal punishment ought to abstain from arguing against God, and rather, while yet there is opportunity, obey the divine commands. . . . And to say in one and the same sense, life eternal shall be endless, punishment eternal shall come to an end, is the height of absurdity. Wherefore, as the eternal life of the saints shall be endless, so too the eternal punishment of those who are doomed to it shall have no end.” (23:XXI)
Asserted By No One Sound In The Faith
St. Augustine sees that some proclaiming that divine mercy trumps divine justice “attempt to invalidate the words of God,” not to proclaim the extent of His mercy, but “in their own interest . . .under the guise of greater tenderness of sprit.” (24:XXI). He wonders how far those who promote these errors will go:
“Or will there, perhaps, be someone hardy enough to affirm that even the holy angels will make common cause with holy men (then become the equals of God’s angels), and will intercede for the guilty, both men and angels, that mercy may spare them the punishment which truth has pronounced them to deserve? But this has been asserted by no one sound in the faith; nor will be. Otherwise there is no reason why the Church should not even now pray for the devil and his angels, since God her Master has ordered her to pray for her enemies. The reason, then, which prevents the Church from now praying for the wicked angels, whom she knows to be her enemies, is the identical reason which shall prevent her, however perfected in holiness, from praying at the last judgment for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire.” (24:XXI)
God’s Words Are Truth, Not An Empty Threat
St. Augustine says that these declarations about mercy are contradicted by the clear words of Jesus and of Holy Scripture:
“As for those who find an empty threat rather than a truth in such passages as these: “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire; and These shall go away into eternal punishment” [Mt 25: 41,46]; “They shall be tormented for ever and ever” [Rev 20:10]; and “Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, [Is 66:24] — such persons, I say, are most emphatically and abundantly refuted, not by me so much as by the divine Scripture itself.” (24:XXI)
Later in this Chapter 24, St. Augustine refers to those who deny that some sinners will be subject to eternal punishment as “perversely compassionate.” (24:XXI).
It Is Error To Say God Will Condemn No One
In discussing Romans 11: 32 – “For God has concluded all in unbelief, that He may have mercy upon all” – St. Augustine says that this statement of St. Paul “ . . . does not mean that He will condemn no one . . . “ (18:XXXI)
The false position on mercy has come be called the “universalist heresy,” the heresy that all persons will be saved due to God’s mercy, and that a God who is merciful will not condemn anyone to an eternal hell. If the words “No one is condemned forever” stand as written and promulgated, without change or explanation, then they are a statement of the universalist heresy.
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus commanded that only males were to receive His sacrament of Holy Orders – ordination as deacon, priest, and bishop. Before the first Pentecost, the birth day of His Church, Jesus commanded that only males, and not females, could receive His sacrament of Holy Orders.
With only the eleven remaining Apostles present, before His ascension, He ordered the Apostles to “go to the mountain” which He designated and there He said to them: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. “ (Mt 28:19-20).
Can the Commands Of The Lord regarding the male-only priesthood now be disobeyed ?
The constant Church teaching on the males-only-priesthood Command Of The Lord, since the first century, is reflected in current Canon Law: “A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.” (Canon 1024; Code of Canon Law, 1983). Papal teaching has always held, proclaimed and made clear what Pope St. John Paul II said in his apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (May 22, 1994):
“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren, I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful”
This statement by Pope St. John Paul is in accord with the conditions for an infallible statement and is clearly worded in such a manner.
Failed Ordination Attempts
A rebel bishop lays hands on a woman, says the words of the Sacrament of Holy Orders for deacons, correctly; says all the prayers, performs all the associated gestures and ritual. He then says, “I have just conferred on this woman the Sacrament of Holy Orders and she is now an ordained deacon!” A dissident archbishop lays hands on a woman, Jane Doe, goes through the required rubrics, says the mandated prayers and words, and does the stipulated gestures and actions, and declares, “I have ordained this woman to the priesthood. She is now Father Doe.”
To any of these fictional scenarios, add this: “But my bishops conference said this was legitimate, this is OK, this is valid, and that I can do this.” Or, purely hypothetically, fantastic as it may sound, ratchet this up a few more ecclesial notches, “But the Pope said this is in accord with his magisterial teaching and that now women can be ordained deacons and priests.”
The woman is not a deacon. Why not? Jane Doe is not Father Jane. Why not? The hypothetical episcopal and papal changes and validations had no effect. Why not?
What Actually Happened ?
To answer these ‘Why not?’ questions, beginning in the beginning is always a good place to begin.
History is important here. Did the Church, after it came into existence on the first Pentecost, after it then received the Holy Spirit, did it form a Committee On Getting Grace To Flow from Jesus to His Christians? Did it hold a synod with 10% of the Apostles to create ways to bring God’s life to people ? Did this new Church develop rituals, signs, regulations, prayers, and rubrics for the Church ? Did the Church set all this out and make it subject to change in the future by a group of bishops, by a pope in concert with a council, or even by a pope alone?
The chronology in fact was this: in time, the sacraments came first, then the Church. Jesus made and gifted us with His sacraments before He ascended into heaven, before the first Pentecost. Before His Church was instituted, Jesus gave us his words, directives, instructions, laws, limitations, orders, His “commands,” regarding His seven sacraments, including His sacrament of Priesthood.
What Is a Sacrament ?
Catechisms have answered the question: ‘What is a sacrament?’ :
Baltimore Catechism No. 1, 1885 A.D. : “A sacrament is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 A.D. : The seven sacraments are “this treasure from the Lord.” (1117). Quoting from the Council of Trent, 1547 A.D.: “Adhering to the teaching of Holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers,” we profess that “the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1114).
This is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Church, including that of Vatican II: “ They [the sacraments] must always however be referred to Christ, from whom their effectiveness derives . . . Of themselves, they certainly express the effective will of Christ the Savior . . .. (from the General Catechetical Directory, paras, 55, 56, published by the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, in accord with the directive in the Vatican II Council’s Decree on the Bishops’ Pastoral Office in the Church).
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Two keys to understanding the Sacrament of Holy Orders from these definitions are: 1. that Jesus made the sacraments; and 2. they are gifts to us from Him. As His gifts, the sacraments are not mere incidental unimportant signs that the Church now today can substantially change – the Church must take them as Jesus has given them. Pope Pius XII, in accord with the teachings of the Council of Trent, stated, “The Church has no power over the substance of the sacraments, that is to say, over what Christ the Lord, as the sources of Revelation bear witness, determined should be maintained in the sacramental sign.” (Sacramentum Ordinis, No. 5).
Through All Church History
Holy Scripture, the tradition of the Church, and the constant teaching of the Church for now almost two millennia is that Jesus commanded that only males would be His priests, that females can not be ordained bishops, priests, or deacons.
Only twelve males were selected by Jesus as the first Apostles. When Jesus said “He who receives you receives me,” He sent out only males. Only the twelve Apostles were present at the Last Supper when He instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders and, by His command, ordered them, and only them, to do what He was doing in remembrance of Him, to act as priests in persona Christi in re-presenting Jesus’s sacrifice to His Father.
Although some women witnessed to the Resurrection, Jesus did not make them Apostles. Only males were considered as replacement for the Apostle Judas. When, at the end of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells the remaining eleven Apostles that they must do what He has commanded, no women are present.
St. Paul, recognizing that in Christ there is neither male no female, still is inspired by God to write that what he is saying about order in the Church, including the male-only priesthood, is not simply his own personal opinion, a personal directive, or a church custom, but is a “command of the Lord” already in effect:
“Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.” (1 Cor 14:36-38).
Throughout Church history, through and past the Middle Ages, the Church Fathers, scholars, and theologians uphold the Command of the Lord that women cannot be ordained as bishops, priests, or deacons. “Whenever the Church Fathers have occasion to speak, directly or indirectly, about ‘women in the priesthood,’ they reject it clearly and unanimously.” (Hauke, p. 425).
“In fact, ordination of women has been rejected in the Church with remarkable unanimity throughout two thousand years. This testimony is all the more impressive when – above all during the early period in Church history – it stands in contrast to existing ‘emancipatory’ trends. If women are ordained among the heretics or even if they only take on official teaching or baptismal duties, then such behavior is branded not only as a breach of Church discipline, but as heresy.” (Fr. Manfred Hauke, Women in the Priethood? Ignatius Press, 1988, p. 478).
“In sum, the Tradition has been so firm throughout the centuries that, as Inter Insigniores, no. 8 notes, “the Magisterium has not felt the need to intervene in order to formulate a principle which was not attacked, or to defend a law that was not challenged. … each time that this tradition had the occasion to manifest itself, it witnessed to the Church’s desire to conform to the model left to her by the Lord.” [Inter Insigniores, Declaration of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Question of Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood, 1976]. But of course such principles and laws have been challenged in the past thirty years. Hence, the recent Magisterium has had to respond, and it has done so carefully, patiently and firmly. (Mark Lowery, The Male Priesthood the Argument From Tradition, https://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/MALEPRIE.TXT.).
But . . .
All of the law, Holy Scripture, tradition, magisterial declarations, documents, treatises, reasoning, history, teachings, and Jesus’s words themselves make no difference to those who now demand that women be ordained, first deacons, then priests, eventually as bishops, and finally, some day, a female pope. Their response to the Command Of The Lord that His priests will only be males and that women will not be priests is one of:
- There is no such Command
- There is such a Command, but it does not apply today
- There is such a Command, but it can be ignored
- There is such a Command, but it can be disobeyed
- There is such a Command, but it must be disobeyed
- There is such a Command, but it can and must be reinterpreted today
- There is such a Command, but a pope can countermand it
- There is [or is not] such a Command, and there are exceptions; there were female deacons, “deaconesses,” who were ordained; and there were female “apostles”
- Right, justice, social justice, equality, recent research, and/or good, and/or the changing times, demand that women be ordained deacons and priests
Full treatments of such positions, and the reasons that they are wrong, can be reviewed in detail in the Hauke and Lowery works cited above, and in Eamon Keane’s The Ordained Priesthood, at https://www.ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/ORDAINED.TXT.
It is not possible to put in words this author’s debts to Fr. Hauke, Dr. Lowery, and Mr. Keane – whose works are cited above – for the information and sources on the Command Of The Lord regarding male only priests. Of course, none of them is responsible for anything said here.
Why say it? There was a time when the faithful heard that there was going to be a Synod on the Family, and what was expected was a discussion of glorious, sharing heterosexual marriage between a loving man and a loving woman, and the joys of children. In truth and reality, as it turned out, the event was explicitly a Sin-od on Virtuous Adultery and, by implication, a Sin-od on loving virtuous sinful relationships of all types. It was also a vehicle for the proclamation of new teaching, including that the reception of Holy Communion by continuing adulterous sinners is permissible, and that the ecclesial community must “integrate” such ongoing, public sinners into the active life of the Church.
The faithful have now been alerted to what is termed a Synod ostensibly dealing with youth and “vocations.” Based on how things have been going, it seemed a good time to make clear that Jesus gave His Church a command that men alone will receive His sacrament of Holy Orders; that women cannot and will not be ordained, priests, deacons, or bishops; and His Church will never have a female pope.
by Guy McClung
That will be the headline someday. No discussion, no debate, no other possible outcome. God is Almighty, “Patrem Omnipotentem,” the unborn babies are His children, He never forsakes His own. It may be the most classic case of Texas Horse & Rabbit Stew [Recipe: 1 horse, 1 rabbit], but God + Us cannot be beaten. We plus God win; not “if,” but “when.” That wished-for and prayed-for headline will someday be the truth.
A real headline recently announced “PLANNED PARENTHOOD TEAMS UP WITH SATANISTS TO PROMOTE ABORTION IN MISSOURI.” Really? Well, finally, Planned Parenthood is publicly proclaiming what it has been all along. Now it admits and says it does not matter that this is a human child, and now it is refreshingly candid about abortion – “Let’s-all-dance-and-celebrate-baby-killings” – so it is no surprise that Planned Parenthood has decided to also flaunt publicly its for-decades-deal with the devil. Don’t they know that the Father Of Lies never keeps a deal? Don’t they know what happens when the demons face off against Jesus and His Mom? I seem to remember something along the lines of “head crushing” and the opening up of a large can of good ole spiritual Texas whup butt.
When you calm down after reading the recent headline, you realize that each person – including each Planned Parenthood executive, nurse, doctor, technician, administrator, supporter, and employee – is made by God in His image, He wants each of them back with Him; and He will do everything in His almighty power ‘til they draw their last breaths to welcome them home with Him. So – once you get past the disgust, anger, and revulsion – there must be prayers for each and every one of these Planned Parenthood people. Otherwise, the Father of Lies and his demonic minions will rejoice over their suffering souls for all eternity.
John Newton, former slave ship captain, (1725-1807 A.D.) became an Anglican priest and wrote the hymn “Faith’s Review & Expectation,” which has come to be known by its first words, “Amazing Grace.” Newton, who was instrumental in the shipment and sale of what to him were once profitable subhuman blobs of living cells (not just parts, but whole living breathing human beings), had a conversion. The role of God’s grace in that conversion is the theme of his famous hymn.
That grace is the life of God Himself, and each unborn child has this Life. Thank you to John Newton for the inspiration for the song below about God’s creatures whom some regard as subhumans, not entitled to God’s love, or to His life. God plans all parenthood, and each of His unborn babies – sweet, unique, special, loved – is our hope. Each of these children will live from now on forever, and each of them blesses all of us.
Unborn, unborn grace, how sweet this child,
A gift from God above.
A precious child since first conceived,
Bright shining star of love.
‘Twas grace made this tiny heart to sing,
And grace keeps it beating on.
Amazing child, unique in all of time,
Amazing, wondrous song.
The Lord has promised love to us,
This child that hope secures.
This child a blessing here for all of us,
As long as life endures.
Unborn, unborn grace, how sweet this child,
A gift from God above.
A precious child since first conceived,
Bright shining star of love.
© Copyright Guy McClung 2017
The author grants a royalty-free license to sing this song at abortion businesses, abortion clinics, abortion hospitals, Planned Parenthood abortion business locations, at any offices and events of Planned Parenthood and of any abortion provider, and at any location where abortions have been or are being committed.