Johannesburg, South Africa used to be the gunshot wound (GSW) capitol of the world. Several years ago, I was reading about how a Joburg paramedic was treating a conscious GSW patient. After a body sweep to find the exact number of GSWs, the paramedic found an exit wound in addition to the single entrance wound. Finding the exit wound made the medic exclaim, “This means you’re going to live! This means you’re going to live!” (Keep in mind that GSW patients frequently survive. Other victims may die hours later in the Operating Room, unlike the movies where the victim always dies on-scene.)
I’ve been very curious about that story for about a decade, so this week I did some research to see if an exit wound truly increased survival for GSW patients. All I could find in Western medical studies online was that entrance/exit wounds are frequently misdiagnosed about 50% of the time in American Emergency Departments. (In other words, trauma docs often think that the entrance wound is the exit wound and the exit wound is the entrance wound!)
But I have met a few grizzled, old street paramedics who can both identify and even diagnose things that ED physicians can not without their CT and ultrasound toys. So, perhaps this is one of those cases where the Joburg street medics simply know something important from experience: Single-GSW patients have a better chance of living if they also find an exit wound in addition to the entrance wound. (This may be true based on sheer fact that hollow tip bullets do more damage to body systems instead of exiting immediately.)
In this Joburg street medicine we can also find an analogy for our current Church crisis. I keep hearing many Western Catholics bemoaning: “I hope the Church doesn’t schism! I hope we doesn’t schism!” Well…there already is an internal schism. Just look around. Just go to Sunday Mass. Just look on social media. Just look at the Vatican news services: We already have a schism of beliefs. We are not unified.
An external schism will only increase the chances of survival. At least, it will help us Catholics admit we’re at the point where we’re at.
Of course, we already know that the Church will survive by Christ’s promise, but we have no guarantee that the good guys will keep the buildings and the schools and the money. St. Athanasius admitted the good guys did not get the buildings in the Arian heresy. More recently, Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen called those who live off the Church but do not contribute to her growth “parasites on the mystical body of Christ.” Yes, an external schism will let those parasites depart, even if they leave with the Church buildings and school and money.
But this schism is not divided exclusively into those people who go to the Latin Mass versus those who go to Mass in the vernacular. The schism we now see is a group of Catholics who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and another group who essentially believe on salvation what Universalist Unitarians believe, namely, that everyone who follows their conscience is saved. Of course, I put “traditionalists” in the former category of those who believe in the Gospel, but I’m thrilled to see so many other non-Latin-Mass Catholics coming out of the wood-works to side with the Truth instead of relativism, to side with the Apostles over the heresy of modernism, who side with sexual-purity over the destructive synods in Dublin and Rome, who essentially side with a God-centered religion instead of a man-centered religion as we see that so many chanceries are built on man, under the pretext of simply being “pastoral.”
Maybe we should start praying for this external schism to manifest itself for survival of the Church on top of the already-existing internal schism that has already bubbled to the top in every parish in the West, on every Catholic’s social media. I don’t propose schism as Martin Luther meant it. In fact, I know we need the Pope and the Cardinals to surivive as Catholics in an Apostolic Church. But perhaps this external schism’s pressure release valve would be an imperfect council held by only a few Cardinals to determine an honest future in the Catholic Church. That is above my pay-grade in the Catholic Church to determine how to slough-off the bad and get on with the good in a small but broken Church. 1
All I know at this point is that an exit wound would increase survival more than a single entrance wound, with all these damaging bullets bouncing around in the soft-tissue of the mystical body of Christ like so many parasites. Yes, this current internal schism may find relief in the outlet of a full external schism. I, for one, am praying for this, because it would be honest to admit that two religions are now occupying the same space, “Catholic.” An external schism will only increase the chances of supernatural survival of the Catholic Church in our lifetimes, so let’s pray that we all admit what has arrived internally becomes formally recognized so we can get on with that single, unchanging Faith in Jesus Christ that Catholics have clung to everywhere and at all times.
By “schism” I of course mean that orthodox Catholics would remain under the title “Catholic” and that the heretics would remain under the title of “modernists.” The reason I am not more clear about that in this blog post is because the bad guys are not going to distance themselves from the term “Catholic” so easily. In fact, Fr. James Martin SJ recently tweeted that the Catholics that oppose him not only oppose the “Vatican” but appear to not be “orthodox.”
I wish the bad guys would leave us with the title “Catholic” even if they insisted on taking our beautiful Churches. But the bad guys might not relinquish the title “Catholic” to the good guys so easily as seen in the above tweet on Fr. Martin that LSN reported on here.
That is why I propose in this blog post that the first step is simply to publicly admit “schism” in the manner that “schism” means tear in Greek. I propose we do this first without naming who is obviously Catholic. Furthermore, it may not be initially clear who has the majority of the piece of fabric that has been torn. I fear that the orthodox Catholics will be in the minority (population wise) while the modernist heretics (at least in the USA and Europe) would be in the majority of the Catholic population with most of the clergy.
However, those gay priests will not reproduce vocations because they are not inspiring. Similarly, the contracepting modernist families will not produce many children. Thus, in one generation or two, the good-guys in the Catholic Church would outnumber the bad-guy modernists. But, as it is becoming clear that the latter has no intention of converting, I say that the good guys split ways with the bad guys so that the good guys can reproduce physically and spiritually without the negative influence, and then in 100 years the good-guys will be the only Catholics left and the modernist heretics would have died out by their own lack of reproduction, even if they initially held on to the title “orthodox.” ↩
Here are 10 very important Nota Benes to read before the account of homosexuality in the American Catholic Church: 1. This is not a gay-bashing blog-post. I have good friends who have struggled with same-sex attraction. Most of them were smart enough not to enter seminary or religious life. I say “smart” because it would be stupid to go live with 100 people you’re sexually attracted to for over seven years in a celibate vocation. 2. I do not believe anyone is born “gay,” so the correct Catholic term is actually “someone who struggles with same-sex attraction.” However, for the sake of brevity, I will often use the term “gay” or “homosexual.” 3. There have always been gays in the priesthood, but this blog post is a cultural evaluation of what is different about the 20th and 21st centuries. I know a 55 years old priest who claims that 60% of the priests his age are gay and 80% of the bishops are gay. The priest who told me this is a normal diocesan priest who does not even know the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM.) Many priests and seminarians from several dioceses concur on these admittedly-estimated numbers. 4. If you can show me any time in Church history with as many gays as the Catholic clergy in Europe and the Americas today, I will give you my vehicle, a 2007 Nissan Murano. You giving me numerous quotes from St. Peter Damien in the 11th century is not sufficient. In fact, the fact that we have only one saint repeatedly quoted on this topic from 19 centuries before our own proves to me that we have never had an epidemic of so many homosexuals in the priesthood as today. 5. Most priests and seminarians under 45 years old in the United States are straight, so things are getting better. 6. 80% of the cases of priests raping children came from priests (including now bishops and Cardinals) who self-identify as same-sex attracted. This was proven here. 7. Nevertheless, only 1.8% of priests are pedophiles as proven here. 8. This blog post is not about the child abuse in the clergy, but one of the many underlying perversions, namely, homosexuality in the priesthood. That is not the exclusive cause of criminal activity, but it is not a factor we can ignore. 9. This blog post is not about the full history of homosexuals in the priesthood, but rather the cultural factors and attacks on the Church in 20th century that created the perfect storm for many homosexuals to enter Catholic seminaries. 10. The next blog post after this one will have solutions to many of the below problems.
Jesus Christ chose twelve Apostles as His first Catholic bishops, half of whom were fishermen. Let that reality set in for a minute: Tough, blue-collar workers who never made it to rabbi-school were chosen as Apostles. To be sure, neither were they impious doofuses. They were tough, blue-collar workers who took their faith seriously, even when they had to say things to Our Lord like “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”—Luke 5:8. They thought in black-and-whites like that, not Hegelian greys.
St. John the Baptist, although never chosen to be a Catholic priest, was of a Jewish priestly tribe. We know this because of what St. Luke tells us about the Baptist’s father, Zachariah: “And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord.”—Luke 1:8-9. As you know, in Judaism, the son of a priest is always a priest.
Now, St. John the Baptist lived out his priesthood not in the Second Temple, but in the original temple of the cosmos, under the stars, in reflection of the first priest, Adam. That second temple in Jerusalem was built by King Herod, who’s son Herod who would one day kill St. John the Baptist for preaching against him taking his brother Phillip’s wife. But Herod was also rumored in Roman circles to be a vicious homosexual. Thus, by today’s standards, Herod was therefore a “bi-sexual” or “pan-sexual” since he also liked children.
In a little known passage from the Gospels, Jesus contrasts his saintly second-cousin John the Baptist to the filthy Herod who would one day kill the Baptist. St. Matthew writes: “As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.'”—Mt 11:7-8 ESV.
That word translated above “soft” in Greek is μαλακοῖς, and Jesus is saying that John the Baptist would never be caught in soft garments like rich kings. But the adjective μαλακοῖς (pronounced malakois) which is indeed accurately translated as “soft,” also has a very telling etymology. μαλακοῖς comes from the noun μαλακός (pronounced malakos) and my Greek-English dictionary defines it as this: “μαλακός—soft, soft to the touch, metaph. in a bad sense, effeminate, of a catamite, of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man, of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, of a male prostitute.”
If you doubt that this interpretation is a simply a stretch to include homosexuality in my blog post, look at which word the Apostle Paul uses to show how practicing homosexuals will not make it to heaven: 1 Cor 6:9: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality (μαλακοὶ), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”—1 Cor 6:9-10. Notice that μαλακοὶ is the plural for effeminate men.
In his section on effeminacy in the Summa Theologica II-II.138, St. Thomas Aquinas writes, “It is inconsistent for one who is not cast down by fear, to be defeated by lust, or who has proved himself unbeaten by toil, to yield to pleasure.” In other words, St. Thomas is saying that the man “unbeaten by toil” is not likely to be effeminate. Unfortunately, the homes of modern bishops are more like those of Herod, than the rough tree-canopy of John the Baptist at the Jordan River.
Similarly, up until the 20th century, the priesthood was known as the most difficult life that a Catholic man could live. We all know of the constant physical pain felt by the first missionaries to the United States, like the Jesuit St. Isaac Jogues or the Franciscan St. Junipero Serra. St. Isaac Jogues had his fingers chewed off by Iriquois in upstate New York. St. Junipero Serra walked from central Mexico to southern California after being stung on his heel by a scorpion…all to establish missions up and down the California coast.
People expect this from old-school Jesuits and Franciscans, but did you know that bishops in the 19th century led lives as physically challenging? The first bishop of Colorado, Bishop Machebeuf, swept up and down the front range (modern day I-25) from Santa Fe to Denver and then back again, establishing missions, fighting off bands of bandits, mountain lions and bears…sleeping in tents, eating little, exposed to the New Mexico heat and the Colorado cold.
Bishop Machebeuf left France for this challenge in the 19th century and went everywhere with two priests. It was a hard life that only the toughest Catholic Frenchmen could endure. Colorado’s first parishes established by this first bishop of Colorado, Bishop Machebeuf, came at the price of his own body being racked by constant pain…yet it left him a humble demeanor and an excellent sense of humor. Only the toughest athletes of Europe could come be priests in the United States, be it religious or diocesan.
Before Vatican II, there was already a small infiltration of homosexuals and communists into seminaries and religious orders in the United States and Europe. In the 1960s, a French nurse named Marie Carre took care of a man in a horrible car accident. She found in his briefcase nearly-unbelievable evidence that the communists had placed 1100 men into Western seminaries for ordination, and they had made it to ordination undetected. The man who died in that car accident was one of them, and the findings of that mysterious briefcase are in this book. The point is that the infiltration of the priesthood of communists, gays and freemasons began sometime in the 20th century significantly before Vatican II.
Remember that the point of this blog post is simply to show how the culture and the Church changed to allow more gays into the priesthood than ever before. Also, remember that although this blog post is not about the raping of children, Nota Bene number six at the beginning of this blog post shows that 80% of the priests who harm children were identified as gay. Part 2 will be solutions.
Catholicism grows very well in pain and opposition. But by the time John F. Kennedy was President of the United States, Catholics were no longer sidelined, but rather mainstream. Fighting side-by-side with Protestants in two World Wars earned us the respect as equals, as true American citizens. Of course, the Irish Catholic President Kennedy greatly promoted the cause of Catholic popularity in both the United States and Europe. This is fine too, but it presents a small problem: It it is hard to be faithful when things get easy as a Catholic. As the Clear Creek translation of the Bible says, “The beloved have become fat and frisky.”—Dt 32:15.
. The bishop in the middle is straight, but I learned as a priest that that gentle elbow grab with a goofy smile is usually a good sign the cleric is struggling with same sex attraction. I mean—not struggling.
Thus, Catholics (and especially priests and bishops) went from unpopular and poor in the 19th century to popular and rich after the second World War. It came to be that if you want to live in a million-dollar rectory just for offering one Mass a day but you don’t want to tell your mother why you don’t like women, then the Catholic priesthood might be right for you! As if this was not a perfect storm enough, then Vatican II arrived. For nearly 40 years before Vatican II, there was a small creep of modernism, homosexuality and even communism into seminaries in North America and South America. Vatican II was not the root of such men in the Church, but they certainly hijacked the original documents of the Council in the second week of October 1962.
The decade that followed Vatican II was not the genesis of gay priests, but it allowed them to live in the open, and here’s my guess as to why: All through seminary, I was told that there was no change to liturgy or doctrine. Vatican II had just been mis-implemented. I repeated this odd mantra, and somehow I got ordained. So, I arrive in the parish, and I do the Mass of Vatican II according to the rules of Vatican II as faithfully as I could. Then, I sadly had five parishes in five years, repeatedly getting booted for disallowing careless so-called “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.” (Only one of those pastors was probably gay, thankfully.)
But still, I would always end up in the bishop’s office quoting a 2004 document, Redemptonis Sacramentum, against this and countless other abuses. At the end of five years, I had been kicked out of five parishes, and I was exhausted. If I expected my reader in previous blog posts to pity me for having so many parishes, I now write this to prove a simple point: If a priest is not allowed to do the Mass of Vatican II according to the rules of Vatican II in a conservative diocese, under five conservative pastors…then there is no order to the Novus Ordo.
Let me write that again with no exaggeration: Even in conservative dioceses, there is no order to the Novus Ordo liturgy. This means the Mass of Vatican II was not just mis-implemented. It was written to have no order. The Dutch, Dominican Father of Vatican II, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx said: “We have used ambiguous phrases during the Council and we know how we will interpret them afterwards.”—Fr. Schillebeeckx.
Mission Accomplished, Fr. Schillebeeckx! Many if not most American dioceses have at least one young, straight priest who has been suspended from offering public Masses not because he did the Traditional Latin Mass, but because he did the Mass of Vatican II according to the so-called “rules” of Vatican II. But as Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx admitted, the ambiguity of the Mass of Paul VI was ultimately for chaos in the rules. This does not come from me, but from one of the main players of Vatican II.
This also proves there is no “hermeneutic of continuity” even in conservative dioceses. This is not only a problem in liturgy, but also doctrine. In my first five Novus Ordo parishes, I was certainly allowed to preach the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and I was even allowed to preach pro-life, but anything else that came from the doctrine of Catholic tradition, and I was frequently told that I was not “pastoral.” What kind of men are going to be attracted to a no order system of doctrine like that? What kind of men are going to be attracted to a liturgy that puts entertainment ahead of liturgical precision? What kind of men are going to be attracted to popularity ahead of doctrinal precision? There’s only one answer to all three questions: Homosexuals.
A no-order liturgy and a no-order doctrine are going to attract a man who is aberrantly-ordered sexually. It’s really very simple. The Mass of Vatican II and the amorphous teaching of the last fifty years on doctrine is very attractive to manipulative and emotional men, and such personality traits are always correlative to same-sex attracted men. It is a lot easier since I now offer only the Traditional Latin Mass.
What happened to the straight men who were attracted to solid, doctrinal parameters? They were kicked out of seminaries in the 1990s. A man who does not believe in any objective order for his sexuality (homosex at best, child abuse at worst) is going to be attracted to a Mass where he, the narcissist, is the only point of reference for entertaining the people. Furthermore, unrepentant gay men prefer the fuzzy doctrine of the post Vatican II era, for here, every rule can be dispensed for “pastoral reasons.”
Once the gay, conniving manipulative priests began to fill seminaries and religious orders in the 1970s, they easily became priests by the 1980s, and then bishops by the 1990s. To prove that gay bishops ambitiously helped each other in ladder-climbing through the hierarchy would take another five blog posts. Always follow the money. Oh, and follow the sex: As we saw in the Cdl. McCarrick history, the gay hierarchy purposefully sought out soft or handsome young men (and even boys) to enter their seminaries for untoward reasons. “Conservative” orders like the Legionnaires of Christ were simply smoother about their destruction of the priesthood than the liberals. It should be noted that this gay perversion and child abuse has even made it a little bit to certain traditional religious congregations that use the Traditional Latin Mass. Joseph Sciambra reported abuse of children in the traditional Society of St. John decades ago. He was not fully vindicated until the last chapter of the recently-released 2018Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on the Society of St. John.
Why don’t current, young orthodox priests blow the whistle on this gay mafia? Because most of the straight guys become cowardly, company men under their gay superiors, even when they avoid sexual sins with them. Occasionally one priest or another has the fortitude to blow the whistle. But when a straight-priest blows a whistle on a gay orgy of other priests, his bishop removes him. Of course, the bishop throws a red-herring to the faithful to incriminate the solid, young priest. If you think this is only a thing of the 1990s à la GoodBye Good Men, then see a recent account here on the good Fr. Leatherby.
Msgr. Ricca was a Vatican diplomat posted in Montevideo, Uruguay and has made secular international news many times for homosexual scandals. Ricca was later later named as “head of the Papal residence” at the Casa Santa Martha.
Finally, realize that the necessity of gay men running parishes jives very well with an America where women are the spiritual leaders of the families. Although I blame these scandals entirely on priests, not on families, we must recognize that the breakdown of the family contributed to such rotten priests. Catholic boys for the past fifty years have mostly been raised by their mothers, not their fathers. This has partly contributed to a mostly-gay priesthood. These gay priests furthermore surround themselves with old women in the parish, to whom they give much control. It’s a symbiotic relationship: The gay priest gets to gossip over coffee with the ladies all morning. In return, the ladies are delegated control of a parish—the next best thing to getting ordained.
In the next blog post, I’ll offer some possible but real solutions to re-establishing a straight, healthy and strong priesthood in the Catholic Church.
This was a real email I got tonight. My response also follows verbatim.
Hi, Fr. DN,
I asked three local pastors in the area I live in in NJ about what Catholics should do if they are invited to same sex marriages. They all said that if it is a close relative that you should attend so as not to lose the relationship or bond with that relative. Does the Catholic Church have any dogma on this? Thank you, Karen
Those priests are wrong. You would be committing grave mortal sin in participating in the attempted “marriage” of same-sex people by going to their “wedding.” Your sin would be what the Catholic Church calls “being an accessory to another’s sin” and it comes in 9 ways. In your case, you would be committing sins number 3 and 5 and 7 and 8 below in dogmatic Catholic moral theology:
1. By counsel
2. By command 3. By consent
4. By provocation 5. By praise or flattery
6. By concealment 7. By partaking 8. By silence
9. By defense of the ill done
I know you don’t want to break relationships with your loved ones, but one can never offend God so as to maintain a human relationship, even to win them back to God. It’s a bit of a show-stopper, but simply attending a same-sex “marriage” would require you to participate in the very sin of sodomy by the above numbers 3,5,7, and 8…namely: by consent to same-sex sins by your presence at what will be assumedly “consummated” in filth that night, by praise (as all weddings praise the couples) and by partaking in such a false-union. Also, unless you are going to yell at the vows, “You are in danger of hell!” then number eight would also be on your soul, namely, silence in the face of such an abomination.
Look, I am very compassionate in the confessional to those who deal with same-sex attraction, and I am often brought to tears at their plight. I try to love them in the confessional with the love of Jesus Christ, but the reality is that straight people publicly helping them in sin is never the way of Jesus Christ, and in fact, it would forfeit your salvation along with theirs. Without repentance, those priests telling you to go to such an abomination are forfeiting their own souls by number one, namely, counsel. To your loved ones dealing with same sex-attraction, be compassionate, but love them back into the truth through a heroic witness of placing the First Great Commandment before the Second Great Commandment. An inversion of those has probably never won anyone back to Christ and His Church.
WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. Before skimming this article to see if you like my conclusion on the death penalty, please realize that this blog post is a work on systematic theology, not moral theology. Systematic theology is a consideration of the levels dogma in the Catholic Church. Indeed, the question of By What Authority must precede visceral reactions to difficult issues that divide Catholics today like the death penalty or gay “marriage.” Against the better judgment of half-my-mind, I’m going to give you (here in the first paragraph) the dogmatic conclusion of this blog post that will be proved below: The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not infallible.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not infallible. I imagine this sentence will delight many liberal Catholics (who like to put moral relativism above the Catechism under the auspices of “conscience.”)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not infallible. I imagine this sentence will worry many neo-conservative Catholics (who treat the Catechism released under Pope John Paul II as their magic little book.)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not infallible. I imagine that sentence will delight many traditional Catholics (until they read my proof below that the Bible, not the Council of Trent, is the summit and source of Divine Revelation for Catholics.)
The top left book in the above picture is called Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, a German systematic theologian who produced the book in the early 1950s. Like Denzinger, it is a conglomeration of all doctrines of the Catholic Church. Unlike Denzinger, it is a one volume book. Ott lists eight levels of theological certainty: De Fide Definita, Fides Ecclesiastica, Sententia Fidei Proxima, Sententia Ad Fidem Pertinens, Sententia Communis, Sententia Probabilis, Sententia Pia and Opinio Tolerata. As you can probably see, the first levels are infallible. Towards the end we see levels of certainty that even non-Latin scholars can see are “probable” (Sententia Probabilis) and at the very end a “tolerated opinion” (Opinio Tolerata) which is not bad, but, well, maybe just odd. But there are also about eight theological censures (levels of heresy) the gravest of which is a Propositio Haeretica (a heretical proposition) all the way down to the lightweight-but-still bad Propositio Scandalosa (obviously “a scandalous proposition” that can’t be proved to be heresy, but might lead less-discerning minds to heresy.)
Here, we are only going to consider the first two levels of theological certainty that are considered to be infallible: De Fide Definita has “the highest degree of certainty appertaining to the immediately revealed truths…contained in Revelation…If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are de fide definita.” One level down is Fides Ecclesiasticawhich are “Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, and are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica.) These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.” Notice that these things come only from a “solemn judgment of faith by the Pope” or a “General Council.” Notice that in this list of infallible dogmas, we find neither personal opinions of Popes, nor do we even find the Catechism to be an infallible document. (We will henceforth refer to the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church released by Pope John Paul II as the CCC or the new CCC.)
There are several parts of the above infallible teachings: 1) Sacred Scripture. 2) General Dogmatic Councils. 3) A Creed. 4) Any time the Church Fathers agree on a dogma (proved four paragraphs below from a quote form the Council of Trent) and 5) Ex-Cathedra statements (like the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.) Notice that in this list, we do not include any Catechisms (before Vatican II or after Vatican II.) There are probably catechisms without error, but be aware that no catechism is by the nature of having the simple term “catechism” infallible by its nature of being “a catechism.” That the new catechism is infallible is a new urban legend among neo-conservative Catholics. I invite any of them reading this blog post to challenge me on this on email. You can probably see where I am going in regards to the modern panic on the doctrine of the death penalty being changed, but stay with me on the level of systematic theology for a little longer…
Whereas the above five items (Councils, Creed, etc.) bring doctrine into the infallible De Fide realms or at least infallible Fides Ecclesiastica realms, there is only one of those five that is absolutely and totally inspired by God. It is the Bible. I quote here one paragraph of Pope Leo XIII’s Providentissimus Deus, an 1893 encyclical on the Sacred Scriptures:
“For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican. These are the words of the last: ‘The Books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council (Trent) and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author.’”—Providentissimus Deus #20
In other words, notice that there is a difference between infallibility and inspiration. Only the Sacred Scriptures (the Bible) reach the level of both infallibility and inspiration. This might make some traditionalists squeamish that the Bible is the highest, but just go re-read the above quote by Pope Leo XIII to notice the singularity of the term “inspiration” above and beyond the five parts of doctrine that are “infallible.” We can see this historically in the 16th century: We all know that the Council of Trent in an infallible interpreter of the Sacred Scriptures. We know that the main “looking glass” if you will at the Council of Trent for looking at any passage of the Bible was St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, for the latter is not only a theology of the Church, but Aquinas is the theology of the Catholic Church. I certainly place him above all doctors of the Church. But notice that even here that St. Thomas Aquinas’ final say on anything was never himself. It was always Sacred Scripture. If there was an unclear passage, Aquinas always looked to the Church Fathers for interpretation of the Bible.
Regarding the unanimous “call” of the Church Fathers on any interpretation of Sacred Scripture, the Council of Trent states that “in things of faith and morals, belonging to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be considered the true sense of Holy Scripture which has been held and is held by our Holy Mother the Church, whose place it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.”—Council of Trent, Session 3, Chapter 2, On Revelation. Notice that the unanimous agreement of the Church Fathers on any passage in Scripture is to be considered infallible to the point that “no one is to interpret Holy Scriptures” against them.
Do you notice any mention in the past four paragraphs of any catechisms? No. There is no mention of any new catechism or even ancient catechism in the above discussions of infallible dogma or inspired Scripture. In fact, there is very little in the above paragraphs even on the authority of the Pope when it comes down to De Fide topics. And here’s why: Divine Revelation was given from Jesus to the Apostles where no Pope is a creative artist of dogma, only the chief safe-guarder of dogma. Yes, these Popes and Church Fathers existed for a few hundred years before the Bible. Thus, the Church was One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic even before the 4th century when the canon of the Bible was agreed upon. For this reason, I carefully use the word “written” when I say that the Bible is the written gold-standard of infallible Catholic dogma. Again, it is the only part of doctrine that we Catholics we use the word “inspired” for. Don’t feel Protestant for that. That is why I just proved this to you from an old-school Pope and the Council of Trent and the Church Fathers.
So, what does the Bible say about the death penalty? Answer: It is commanded by God in the Old Testament in too many places to list here. We will consider one passage from the New Testament (which, again, as proved below, is directly inspired by God the Holy Spirit):
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.—Romans 13:1-4
The phrase that the state “bears the sword” for wrong-doers has been interpreted by all Church Fathers as the necessity for the death penalty. They are too many Fathers, Popes and Doctors to list here, so I include a link here if you want to read how the Church Fathers taught that God infallibly inspired the necessity of the death penalty in the Bible. I’m footnoting here the Magisterial and Patristic declarations on the death penalty from the above link: 1
Let me throw in a personal note here. In high school and early university, I was a liberal Catholic. I had tried braiding my hair into dreadlocks. I went to coffee shops and wrote letters against the death penalty on behalf of Amnesty International. (Then, AI was mildly pro-life; now they’re irresponsibly pro-abortion.)
Slightly later, I had my conversion and became a neo-conservative Catholic. I was taught by Dr. Peter Kreeft. I worked for FOCUS. I was on EWTN‘s Life on the Rock. I still owe a lot of my ability to talk to non-Catholics to their great power of evangelization. My go-to book for everything in those years was the CCC released under Pope John Paul II.
Now, I don’t like the term “traditional Catholic.” I am just a “Catholic” who has seen that the doctrine and liturgy of 20 centuries has sustained a rupture in the 20th century. Where I still rather like my JPII CCC more than most Traditional Latin Mass goers, I have found some errors in the new CCC. (Neo-cons, don’t panic! I’m not saying Pope John Paul II was not a Pope or anything.) But I can prove just one such error:
“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”—CCC #841
The notion found in the new CCC that Muslims worship the same God as Christians is false, false, false. In fact, the more I study Islam, the more I am convinced that the “angel” that appeared to Mohammed in that cave was not Gabriel, but a fallen angel, possibly Satan himself. I am very convinced that Islam is the most satanic religion on the planet, for it promotes murder and child-rape on the global level of the most organized religion of tiny-pockets of fanaticism. I write without scruple that Muslims are serving Satan (probably most of them without knowing it) so to say that they worship they same God as Christians is blasphemy. Every Pope from 700AD to 1950AD would agree with me. Their quotes are too numerous to write here, but the point is that I’m going to take the preponderance of evidence of 200 Popes over the past few Popes on this topic.
So, when it comes to the death penalty, I will first look to the Bible, not the CCC. God says “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”—Ezekiel 18:23. Yes, this seems to say God is against the death penalty. But the Bible is written by the Holy Spirit—every book—so He can’t contradict Himself. This means that when we combine Ezekiel 18 with Romans 13, the answer is simple: We need to aim for a just society where evil people convert (Ez 18) but God prescribes the death penalty for a just society (Rom 13.) There is nothing contradictory about that. As the Roman Catechism of Trent writes: “This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.”–Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4
Notice that I do not say that even the old-school Roman Catechism of Trent is infallible either. (Do I think it has errors like the new CCC? Probably not, but even if it did, it wouldn’t make me panic.) A catechism is not infallible. Neither is the personal opinion of a Pope on the death penalty or contraception or kissing the Koran. But back to the death penalty: A sure part of the deposit of the faith starting with the Old and New Testament is that the death penalty is licit and moral in the eyes of the Blessed Trinity, even if we may continue the debate as to its actual application in the 21st century. So, when someone says to you “Why do you believe in the death penalty?” you should’t feel like a backwater Baptist to answer: “Because the Bible tells me to believe in the death penalty.” If they ask where, you can say “Romans 13.” Post-production correction: 2
You see, if you take “certain people’s” bait on debating the death penalty on the grounds of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, then you will lose…and possibly lose your Faith in Christ and the Church. Do not meet your enemies on their ground. Bring them to the higher ground of the Bible and Dogmatic Councils like Trent. This is extremely serious: If you don’t learn that the Bible is the written summit and source of our Divine Revelation (even according to the Doctors and Popes of the Church) then you will begin to believe a Pope or a Catechism could overturn the prohibition of gay “marriage” or contraception…after the changes to the death penalty. People panicking about changes to an already-erroneous CCC proves to me that many good Catholics do not know the basics of systematic theology. All Christians really need to learn the levels of infallibility outlined in the first half of this blog post.
Again, why am I for the death penalty? Because the Bible is for it. It’s that simple. I don’t care if traditional Catholics call me a “Bible-based Protestant” or neo-conservatives call me “schismatic” or liberals call me a “fundamentalist.” I’ve proved from Scripture and tradition in this blog post that such is timeless Divine Revelation. I am going to put the Bible and Church Fathers and dogmatic Councils before any Catechism, especially a new one. Why can I do this? Because I’m above the Church? No, precisely because I am below the Church, and under 250+ Popes who were for the death-penalty and 200+ Popes who believed Islam is evil. Folks, if you don’t get this systematic theology straight, you’re going to panic over more fake changes to doctrine coming down the Vatican pipeline soon.
Truth Himself Speaks Truly. I believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (and I do believe, because He did.) Since Christ could raise Himself from the dead, then He could miraculously make one Church (full at times, of corrupt leaders) to maintain Divine Revelation on all matters that pertain to human life in a way that even the most simple peasant could understand, but the most advanced saintly theologian could plumb for his whole life. These articulated faith and morals are called “the Deposit of Faith” and I believe it as much as I believe in the Resurrection, for Christ can only have one spouse, the Catholic Church, promoting the One Faith found in all 20 centuries without change.
Thanks to Steve Skojek at OnePeterFive for these magisterial pronouncements:
“It must be remembered that power was granted by God [to the magistrates], and to avenge crime by the sword was permitted. He who carries out this vengeance is God’s minister (Rm 13:1-4). Why should we condemn a practice that all hold to be permitted by God? We uphold, therefore, what has been observed until now, in order not to alter the discipline and so that we may not appear to act contrary to God’s authority.” (Pope Innocent 1, Epist. 6, C. 3. 8, ad Exsuperium, Episcopum Tolosanum, 20 February 405, PL 20,495)
Condemned as an error: “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.” – Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine (1520)
“The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thy shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives. In the Psalms we find a vindication of this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps. 101:8). (Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4)
“Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.” (Pope Pius XII, Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology of the Nervous System, 14 September 1952, XIV, 328)
And finally, some teachings from the doctors of the Church:
“The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time. The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ to wage war at God’s bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason.” – (St. Augustine, The City of God, Book 1, chapter 21)
It is written: “Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live” (Ex. 22:18); and: “In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land” (Ps. 100:8). …Every part is directed to the whole, as imperfect to perfect, wherefore every part exists naturally for the sake of the whole. For this reason we see that if the health of the whole human body demands the excision of a member, because it became putrid or infectious to the other members, it would be both praiseworthy and healthful to have it cut away. Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since “a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). – (St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)
In Iota Unum, Romano Amerio cites St. Thomas on the expiatory nature of accepting a death sentence:
“Even death inflicted as a punishment for crimes takes away the whole punishment for those crimes in the next life, or at least part of that punishment, according to the quantities of guilt, resignation, and contrition; but a natural death does not.” (Cf. Romano Amerio Iota Unum, 435)
AND FINALLY APROPOS TO OTHER CATHOLIC NEWS:
In his apostolic constitution, Horrendum illud scelus, Pope St. Pius V even decreed that actively homosexual clerics were to be stripped of their office and handed over to the civil authorities, who at that time held sodomy as a capital offense. He wrote: “We determine that clerics guilty of this execrable crime are to be quite gravely punished, so that whoever does not abhor the ruination of the soul, the avenging secular sword of civil laws will certainly deter.” ↩
A reader on my blog corrected me and pointed out that Pope Clement XIII actually declared in his Encyclical In Dominico Agro that the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent was free from error: “As our predecessors understood that that holy meeting of the universal Church was so prudent in judgment and so moderate that it abstained from condemning ideas which authorities among Church scholars supported, they wanted another work prepared with the agreement of that holy council which would cover the entire teaching which the faithful should know and which would be far removed from any error. They printed and distributed this book under the title of The Roman Catechism. There are aspects of their action worthy of special praise. In it they compiled the teaching which is common to the whole Church and which is far removed from every danger of error, and they proposed to transmit it openly to the faithful in very eloquent words according to the precept of Christ the Lord who told the apostles to proclaim in the light what He had said in the dark and to proclaim from the rooftops what they heard in secret.” ↩
“Act bravely, my brethren; take courage and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. The devils will have unusual power; the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who obey the true Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal ears and perfect charity.
“At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
“There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God….
“Those who persevere in their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth…
“Some preachers will keep silent about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them, not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”
—Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, published in 1882 by the London-based Catholic publishing house R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250.
This is actually one of my most hope-filled posts, but follow me down the bad rabbit hole of humanism for a minute before we come rocketing up to the glory of God: Most conservative pundits say that the world is now worse than previous centuries. However, most professors of world history at American and European universities teach that (except for modern wars) we now live in a world much safer, thanks to medicine, secularism and globalism. Of course, I would want to point the latter group to the millions of yearly abortions, but the Western academy will not accept that the unborn constitute an actual genocide of slaughtered human beings.
However, every once in awhile, even the liberal academy releases evidence that things are now worse now than ever in world history. The United-Nations-affiliate International Labor Organization released statistics in 2017 that there are now 40 million people in modern slavery and 152 million in child labour around the world: “The new estimates also show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting almost 29 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total. Women represent 99 per cent of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 per cent of forced marriages.” Notice that the trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 18th century had enslaved between 6 million and 7 million black slaves from Africa. 1
But the Apostle Paul writes: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”—Romans 5:20b
St. John of the Cross writes: “The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of His wisdom and spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare His treasures more.”—Dichas, #1
So, two things have been on my mind incessantly the past year as I see world history “circling the drain” (as people in EMS would rather irreverently describe deteriorating patients.)
First, I see great global hope of Christians uniting. (Remember I have never been accused of being an optimist on this topic, so follow me closely here.) This is because I think constantly of a mysterious, short 20-page prophetic fiction written in 1900 by the elusive Russian named Vladimir Soloviev. He called his short work Antichrist, and I linked it here on my Evernote if you want to take the 25 minutes to read it. I highly highly suggest you read it. In this short and striking tale of the future, the final global persecutor of the few remaining good Catholics, good Orthodox and good Protestants accidentally becomes the one to unite all Christians. Yes, you read that correctly: God uses the final antichrist to unite all Christians into one fold. The few remaining final Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants become one under the final Peter in this hauntingly beautiful apocalyptic tale.
Secondly, I think constantly of St. Louis De Montfort who wrote, “Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ. … But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.”
St. Louis De Montfort prophesies that the true apostles of the latter times will look like this:
Towards the end of the world … Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.
These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.
With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin. …
They will be like thunderclouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin; they will storm against the world; they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.
They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from His enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are, with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.
They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the bloodstained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart.
“Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million black slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.”—history.com↩
The final quote was taken from St. Louis De Montfort’s True Devotion #56-59. The images I chose for this post are both pictures I took on Good Friday above the altar at St. Maron Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is a Maronite-Rite (Lebanese) Catholic Church in union with Rome. ↩
On 13 October 1884, Pope Leo XIII entered a trance after finishing Mass in the Vatican and he saw Jesus and Satan talking:
Satan: “I can destroy Your Church.”
Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?”
Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”
Pope Leo XIII then went to compose his prayer to St. Michael to be prayed after Masses everywhere.
Fast forward 33 years to 1917 when the Mother of God would have monthly apparitions to simple shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. To these children, Mary revealed warnings about World War II and the future of the Catholic Church. Besides these prophesies coming true, the children were also vindicated when 70,000 onlookers (including atheists) saw the sun zig-zagging and diving to the earth:
Even secular press admitted this “sun miracle” took place. It was probably the most spectacular miracle in the history of the world, at least since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Several months before that miracle, Mary spoke to those same children of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart in regards to Russia and the entire future of the world and the Catholic Church. She said:
“If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” 1
I have only recently been convinced how much Communism has already influenced the United States in our American social policies (sex-education) to our social habits (women in the work place) to the intolerance of Christianity in the academy (all the while Russia slowly crawls back to her own Christian roots.) But what does it mean that “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph“? This is only my theory but I believe there are only two possibilities for this triumph period of peace, and they are indeed mutually exclusive:
1) The end of the world. or 2) The transition from this turbulent fifth age of the Church into the sixth and peaceful age of the Church.
The second admittedly sounds strange, and we will get to that later. But let’s start with evidence for the first via a Vatican-approved apparition of Mary. The Mother of God appeared to some children in Africa throughout the 1980s, warning them about heaven and hell, as well as a coming genocide to Rwanda (which ended up coming true in 1994.) One of the visionaries of Our Lady of Kibeho said this about Our Lady’s warnings:
“Because she loves us so much, she wants us to have more faith in God. During Advent we should reflect upon the return of Jesus. She told me that her Son will return to Earth soon, and that our souls must be prepared for His arrival. The world is in a very bad way…”—Visionary at Kibeho, Rwanda
This sounds like Christ is returning soon! Furthermore, it seems that many of the criteria for Christ’s second coming found in Matthew 24 have been fulfilled. 2
However, there is more evidence for the second theory, namely that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not going to be the end of the world, but rather a new era of peace coming upon the Church and the whole world. This is already found in the writings of Ven. Bartholomew Holzhauser, a 17th century founder of a religious community who conglomerated the teaching of many saints and prophets. Much evidence points to the fact that we (now in the 21st century) are at the end of that tumultuousfifth age of the Church coming quickly into the sixth age of an “era of peace.” Notice how similar this is to what Mary said at Fatima regarding a “period of peace.” In fact, many canonized saints and ancient prophets conglomerated in this book prophesy that the sixth age of Church history will include two figures known as “The Holy Pope” and “The Great Catholic Monarch.” (I preached on these two expected men in the second half of a podcast here.) 3
Even before the death of the last Apostle, already the Catholic Church was facing several antichrists (See 1 John 2:18.) However, the final antichrist will not come until the seventh age of the Church, concurrent with several global happenings I podcasted about here, all proved from the Bible and the Catechism, not private revelation. Again, notice that we are only in the fifth age of the Church, and these events will be found in the seventh age of the Church, so the final antichrist is probably not in power yet anywhere in the world.
Still, our current age of Church history also has plenty of trouble, and Our Lady of Akita gave astonishingly clear warnings of the future to Sr. Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in as late as 1973:
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…The Church will be full of those who accept compromises….”—Our Lady of Akita, 13 October 1973
Notice that date of 13 October: 13 October is the date of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of Jesus and Satan. 13 October is the date of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. 13 October is the date of one of the main apparitions of Our Lady of Akita! Our Lady of Akita also spoke of a coming chastisement if we do not repent:
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”—Our Lady of Akita. 4
Besides the days of Acts of the Apostles, I would argue that these are the most exciting times of Church history in which to live as a Catholic! We will either get to see Christ’s second return, or, more likely, the ushering in of a great Catholic era of [relative] world peace and a restoration of all things Catholic, albeit through a great chastisement. Yes, Our Lady of Good Success promised this “complete restoration” of the Catholic Church sometime after the 20th century. So, I believe this is the transition from the fifth age of the Church to the peaceful sixth age of the Church via a global chastisement. Perhaps the most important line of Fatima is:
“The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
We know this will happen, so our goal as simple Catholics remains the same to expedite this: To stay in sanctifying grace. This is nearly guaranteed in a relationship with Jesus Christ, a deep prayer life, frequent confession and the daily Rosary. Yes, Our Lady of Akita warned us for tough times, even a fiery chastisement, but we were made for a time like this! God did not make a mistake in which time period He placed you. We have already been given the boldness, courage and fortitude to remain with Jesus and Mary so that Russia may be converted and so that your children (or at least your grandchildren) will see that “period of peace granted to the world.” I write of these private revelations not to scare you but to show that whereas the earth seems to be in a free-fall, the Blessed Trinity is actually in total control of modern world history and modern Church history. We can neither stop the punishment for sins nor stop the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but I believe we can expedite both by our prayers and penance in sacrificial love. Yes, it all now depends on you and your Rosary beads…more than any players in modern world history.
This quote comes from Louis Kondor, S.V.D. (Ed.) Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (Fatima: Postulation Centre, 1976), p. 162. Although this blog post is not about whether Russia was adequately consecrated or not, it is interesting to note what Fr. Gabriele Amorth said about this. Before his death last year, he was the chief exorcist of Rome (and before that) a trusted man of Pope John Paul II. Fr. Amorth said the following about Russia here. ↩
I already know that many people want to say “But we don’t know the day nor the hour!” Yes, I know Christ says that. But just because we don’t know the “day nor the hour” of Christ’s return does not mean that we won’t know the year! Not that I claim to have any idea when that year actually is, but Jesus never would have given us so many clues in Matthew 24 if we were supposed to be totally in the dark on eschatological events. Remember also that Christ’s indication in the Gospels of the coming the destruction of the Temple (70 AD) was enough to get all the early Jewish-Christian converts out of Jerusalem to the hills before its destruction. The temple is a microcosm of the cosmos, and the cosmos will also burn one day, so it would make sense why Christ would give us the clues of Matthew 24 regarding his return. Even CNN admits we have had more earthquakes than ever before in history. Notice how many of these are taking place.: As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your ycoming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (17th Century)
The fifth period of the Church, which began circa 1520, will end with the arrival of the holy Pope and of the powerful Monarch who is called “Help From God” because he will restore everything. The fifth period is one of affliction, desolation, humiliation, and poverty for the Church. Jesus Christ will purify His people through cruel wars, famines, plagues, epidemics, and other horrible calamities. He will also afflict and weaken the Latin Church with many heresies. It is a period of defections, calamities and exterminations. Those Christians who survive the sword, plague and famines, will be few on earth. During this period, many men will abuse of the freedom of conscience conceded to them. It is of such men that Jude the Apostle spoke when he said, “These men blaspheme whatever they do not understand; and they corrupt whatever they know naturally as irrational animals do.” They will ridicule Christian simplicity; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge, and for the skill by which the axioms of law, the precepts of morality, the Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. These are the evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. but God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down churches and destroy everything. ↩
These are not crackpot apparitions or backwater trad tales. After eight years of investigations, Bishop John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata, Japan, recognized “the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events concerning the statue of the Holy Mother Mary” and authorized “throughout the entire diocese, the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, while awaiting that the Holy See publishes definitive judgment on this matter.”—EWTN. EWTN also remarks on the veracity of the apparitions of Our Lady of Akita: “Despite claims that Cardinal Ratzinger gave definitive approval to Akita in 1988, no ecclesiastical decree appears to exist, as certainly would in such a case. However, some individuals, such as former Ambassador of the Phillipines to the Holy See, Mr. Howard Dee, have stated that they were given private assurances by Cardinal Ratzinger of the authenticity of Akita. In any case, in keeping with the current norms, given the absence of a repudiation of Bp. Ito’s decision by his successors, or by higher authority, the events of Akita continue to have ecclesiastical approval.”
Another key line of Our Lady of Akita regarding this chastisement is this:
“In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger. I desire this also from your community…that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men.”—Our Lady of Akita. ↩
Blessed are You, Magnificent Holy Father of Gentleness and Majesty. Nothing compares to you, the Holy, Almighty One of Israel. Thank you Father for your power—You to whom all things in heaven, on earth and under the earth, do bow and obey. I now see that You alone are worthy, O God. I praise you and worship you with holy hands, night and day in the temple with Simeon. Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, how sweet are you to me who cries “God alone!” Kyrie Eleison. I adore you profoundly in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all aflame with the Holy Spirit. I pierced the meek and mild heart of your Son Jesus by my many sins. I repent heartily of my sins and those of the whole world. Victorious Lion of Judah, as your child, I ask you for these fruits of the Resurrection: Trust, purity, peace and wonder. Tenderly may our charity cover a multitude of sins of rage and fear growing in the world today, present in the darkness of my heart, too. Heal this land, for we know not what we do. Jesus, Your Church shows that Love is the Triumph of the cross when the world thinks it has won. Let us lose ourselves for Love, ever more sincerely and joyfully, even with growing persecutions against your littlest ones. I adore you Jesus, Adonai, my Lord and my God! Let every cell in my body speak of your wounds—once in your pain and tears—now in the Eucharistic host silent as a lamb before its shearers, forgotten, dropped and sacrileged these nights. I offer you my life with yours. I give you everything and I thank you for everything. I want to bring many souls to you. I want to love you recklessly. I want to be free and lose myself fumbling after Love. Please turn my rights, blaming and rage into gift and levity. O radiant Holy Spirit let me drown in the silent torrent of your love. Your lightnings light up the world. The earth sees and trembles. Please bless my Memory and my memories; purify my imagination. One word from You will disperse a million demons and restore the wasted years. So, I give my life for your glory in the renewal of the Liturgy, and the rescue of all lives on earth, in purgatory and for the unborn, the frozen and the trafficked. Deliver us, and atone for our sins, for Your Name’s sake! Mary Immaculata, my Mother, you are so beautiful and strong. Help me to keep and to remember. Cover me in your smile so that my justice may become God’s mercy. Let this, your prince’s prayer remain in our heart today, so we may worship the Living God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with many angels, numbering myriads of myriads, today and forever, crying: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how untraceable His paths! Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Amen.
Myth 1: Catholic means universal, as in what all Catholics believe in the 21st century.
Truth: Catholic is that which is believed everywhere, always and by all.
Many people believe that the term “Catholic” means universal in Latin. This is true, but the Greek root of this word is even older:
As you can see, Catholic means “according to the whole.” By whole, that means everything in the Bible and oral tradition (2 Thess 2:15.) It means the fullness of the truth. The modern myth is that “Catholic” means universal—but only today. The problem with this definition is that it falls short of the original Patristic definitions of Catholic. The fifth century monk St. Vincent of Lérins taught: “Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believedeverywhere, always, by all (quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est.)”—St. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium 4. Thus, Catholic doesn’t mean that quasi-deposit of the faith which is believed universally in an isolated époque of history, but rather the common teaching of the Popes and Fathers and saints of the 2nd century and the 8th century and the 13th century and the 17th century, and every century of the Magisterium.
Myth 2: Church History is like a pendulum that swings back and forth between conservative and liberal.
Truth: Church history is politically unstable, but dogmatically quite stable, except for two unique doctrinal crises in Church history. Even in these periods, the Magisterium remains untouched.
I graduated from a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit University and then I had another several years of Jesuit spiritual direction in seminary. I owe the Jesuits a lot, at least the true sons of Ignatius. But one of those false-sons of Ignatius tuaght us at some point in high-school that Church history is like a pendulum that swung back and forth between “conservative” and “liberal.”
For perhaps a decade, I promoted this odd teaching.
But as I started reading Church history, I never found a century when the pendulum went to “the left.” I found that St. Ignatius of Antioch (1st century) taught the same thing about salvation outside the Church as St. Alphonsus Liguori (18th century) as St. Theresa of Avila (16th century) as, yes, even every liberal’s favorite mascot, St. Francis of Assisi. Before that, I would happily remind people in my high-school days that “St. Francis of Assisi said that we should preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary.”
Well, then I found out that St. Francis of Assisi believed words to be so necessary to the preaching of the Gospel for the salvation of Muslims that he actually went to Muslim lands to preach to the Sultan the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church:
Thus, there was no pendulum swing to “the left” as we had been taught. It was always on the right, with every saint teaching that “No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6. In other words, if everyone’s favorite ecumenical mascot St. Francis of Assisi wrote “woe to those who die in mortal sin,” then there are no saints of the left-leaning pendulum. If St. Therese of Lisieux fasted as a child from not only food, but also water to save the criminal Pranzini as he approached the gallows, then who are all these Methodist-sounding saints before, say, 1950? When, before our odd modern times did the pendulum swing to the left? Was it in the 8th century? Or the 16th century? Who are these mysterious ecumenical saints of the 2nd century or the 13th century or the 18th century? Who are the saints of the pendulum leaning left and away from traditional Catholicism? I never found any. Write me if you do.
The only explanation is that we don’t have a pendulum swing. We have solid and normal and beautiful Catholicism for 20 centuries, all except the Arian crisis and the current modernist crisis.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan names the crises of the Church here including:
1) The Arian heresy, about which I podcasted here yesterday.
2) The Dark Century of the Roman Mafia
3) The Great Western Schism
4) Today’s Anthropocentric Crisis that Bp. Athanasius describes as “doctrinal, moral and tremendous liturgical anarchy.”
Notice that there have been four great crises in Church History, but see that exclusively number two and number three refer mostly to politics of the Church, not much doctrine. But the first crisis (the Arian crisis) and today’s crisis (the anthropocentric crisis) is doctrinal first. That means that essentially, these are about the only times in history when nearly all Catholics have almost globally and entirely diverted from Catholic Deposit of the Faith on matters “doctrinal, moral and liturgical” as His Excellency has pointed out. Indeed, we have a pretty unbroken tradition of what was taught always and at all times in an Apostolic manner, except for two unique crises when dogmatic relativism ruled even the hierarchy.
It is no wonder that our liturgy is so different from every single century, either.
The most recent shocker of this new mis-narrative in Catholic Church history is that certain modernists now belabor orthodox Catholics for being “Pelagians” for simply taking the Gospel seriously, while simultaneously teaching that a “good” atheist can go to heaven by his deeds. That is the true definition of Pelagianism, for the Bible and the Church have always taught that a man can not be saved by his good works, without the blood of Jesus Christ. 1
So, put it all together, and you can see that there is no pendulum swing. Catholicism was Catholicism in every century ubique, semper, et ab omnibus except the 4th century and the 20th century. St. Athanasius taught in that first crisis that the only way back to the source is to see what Christ and the Apostles taught in unbroken Magisterial authority in faith and morals, unbroken in a straight stream (with only slight diversions of style and discipline) for every century before his own.
Mary, the destroyer of all heresies, will lead us back to Her Son Jesus, and the beliefs of her dear and earliest Christians.
The Most Precious Blood of our redemption can be applied via perfect contrition in an extraordinary way through faith and love without baptism, like that which was given to the thief at the foot of the cross, but the ordinary way of salvation is the free gift of baptism, “for it is baptism that now saves you.”—1 Peter 3:21 and the works necessary for salvation described extremely clearly in Matthew 25. ↩
One of the most amazing things about the God of the New and Old Testament is how He deals with families. Although women are frequently holier than their husbands, God has chosen—already found in the first book of the Bible—the generational blessing to be transferred from the husband through the boys of his family and so on.
Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.—Genesis 27:38
We long for our father’s blessing, but we often only receive his negligence or bad habits. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk these days about generational curses, and these do indeed exist, but we have to be careful about falling overboard into generational fatalism. At one point in the history of Israel, God gets so fed up with the Hebrew “daddy-wound” excuse that He prohibits this parable from being spoke all over Israel: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
What this means is that God prohibited the excuse, “I sinned because my Dad sinned.” It’s like: My Dad ate bad grapes, so I can’t get my act together. In modern terms, it would be “I’m an alcoholic because my Dad is an alcoholic.” or “I’m addicted to porn because my Dad abused me.” Although there is a high correlation for both of these evils that I do not mean to mock, we must also remember that God prohibits excuses, for God has given to every man a free-will to begin a new family with fresh responsibility:
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.—Ezekiel 18:1-4. 1
The reason we can not use a pious “daddy wound” excuse for our sins is because the grace we receive from God in the sacraments is infinitely more powerful than our physical, fallen bloodline. The grace and peace coming through the Precious Blood of Jesus is more powerful than the sins of the bloodline of the Maranzano family or the Mangano family or your family or my family. This is why God prohibits the ancient “daddy wound” excuse of the fathers eating sour grapes as it somehow transfers to the kids. 2
Although only original sin (not actual sins) transfers down a bloodline, the propensity for sins can indeed transfer down a bloodline, especially when mortal sins are committed under the roof of your children (and yes, pornography and drunkenness are both mortal sins.) This is where I am going to admonish the men reading this blog post to double-down in their vigilance against curses (that come primarily from their own sins) and blessings (literal blessings upon their children) to leave a legacy in their families today. I am going to give five battle-goals in this post.
Why should our vigilance be doubled?
Good Catholic parents keep telling me about their good children who are more frequently showing a propensity for same-sex attraction, transgender feelings, children making strange noises (yes, I know most kids make odd noises, but I mean preternaturally strange noises) as well as a highly-unusual propensity for finding pornography. Even relatively sheltered kids are doing sexual dances without ever having been taught. How is this possible?
It is either through learned behavior via the five-senses or through some type of cultural osmosis or even by demons that come into the home. I had written in an earlier blog post against pornography that a man must not use pornography unless he wants demons to invade his home. I realize this is a rather show-stopping claim, but every exorcist I know will back me up on this claim. Thus, I stick by this original claim.
But now, I am realizing something more scary: Even men who are successfully avoiding pornography and other mortal sins are finding their very young children get into sexual dancing and perverted experiments with themselves or other strange things. Some of this is the common effect of original sin that is only avoided in the childhood accounts of canonized saints. But nowadays, some of these unusual perversions are because the fathers of families are not providing the full gamut of protection prayers and blessings that their children need against the most perverse and pro-death culture in the history of the world. Indeed, refraining from pornography is only the beginning of keeping many demons out of the home. But from what many good Catholic families are now reporting to me, I see: It is not enough.
I want to give my top five suggestions for how men can begin to provide spiritual protection for their families.
Five-Point Battle Plan:
1. Pray at least Five Decades of Daily Rosary with your family. You can no longer afford to say “We try for one decade at night but we have little kids who are too unruly.” Fine. Put the little ones to bed and say the five decades with the kids who can stay awake. Or, if none can stay awake, go to your bed and get on your knees with your wife at your side, and pray five decades of the Rosary with her. Or, perhaps you are waiting for her to lead the family? Men, you must take the initiative of spiritual warfare here, or you will lose. No exagerration here with what I’m coming against even in good Catholic families. You can’t afford to call me an extremist anymore with the preternatural proof I have of what is going on in even sheltered Catholic families. With the current spiritual and cultural war, you can not afford to spiritually lead your family without the minimum of 5 decades of the Rosary a day.
2. Auxilium Christianorum: The exorcist Fr. Ripperger has put together an international team of tens of thousands of lay men and women and priests. They are now praying basic prayers of spiritual protection over their families and over each other from afar. (One laywoman told me that there are now hundreds of thousands of people signed up!) The goal of Auxilium Christianorum is to provide prayers for the members – priests, laity, family and friends – so that they are not adversely affected by the demonic. Because men have the greatest gift of spiritual authority and protection in their families, I suggest as many men as possible enroll in this venture, provided they meet these few requirements. These are the willing ones, the spiritually vigilant warriors who want to fight to get their families to heaven. Auxilium Christianorum has an excellent FAQ here that you should read before signing up.
3. Praise God for His goodness together as a family! This is first because praise is God’s due and secondly because it is our salvation to praise God and thirdly because it unites our families to thank God but as a distant fourth: Praise is exorcismal against Satan. Satan and his legion of demons can not stand a family that praises God. Satan got especially angry at St. Faustina for writing about His goodness: “Do not write about the goodness of God! He is just!”—Satan to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy Diary 1338.
4. Praise your wife and children. By “praise” I do not mean “praise” in the same way as number three above, for the above refers to “latria” in the sense of adoration due only to God. By praise of your family, I mean encouragement and compliments. At least, let your encouragements be as frequent as your corrections.
5. Bless your wife and your children. This is the blessing that is transferred inter-generationally for as many generations as will exist from your progeny until the second coming of Jesus Christ. Imagine this blessing passing through your son, to his son, to your grandson, to the point of leaving a dynastic legacy. Satan can not do this, because his only legacy is de-creation. A humble man becomes God-like by simply blessing his children before they go to bed. This blessing is not to make them feel good (although it will make them feel more protected than living in a fortress!) or encouraged (although it will make them feel like the son or daughter of a warrior!) but because the multi-generational blessing that a father can give his son is real. A blessing is efficacious, meaning it will change world history, as we see in Aaron’s blessing in the Old Testament:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”—Numbers 6:22-27
If you’re not good at making up spontaneous prayers, just memorize and pray the bold above, every night upon your wife and children. 3
We long to be blessed by our fathers, to be protected by our fathers, to be praised by our fathers. This is done through blessings, encouragements and protection prayers. Men, I admonish you to begin one or even all of the above five today.
All of Ezekiel 18 is worth reading: The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.“If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God. “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.“Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. “Yet you say, Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”↩
A friend wrote me an email after reading this article tonight and it read: “As a veterinarian, I can tell you that wounds that are licked fester and become extremely gross.” I had never thought of licking wounds this way! ↩
There is a modern myth among conservative Catholics that only a priest can bless people. This is simply not the tradition of the Church. You can find St. Catherine of Siena blessing people. You can find biological fathers blessing their family in all ancient rites of the Catholic Church (Roman, Byzantine, Armenian, Greek, Russian, etc.) To be sure, there are some unique things about a priest’s blessing. First, only a priest carries with him the whole blessing of the Church behind him. Secondly, it is probably best that only the priest bless with his whole arm “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (although I think some non-priestly saints did this occasionally, too.) But certainly, every father of a family can bless his wife and children by tracing the sign of the cross on her forehead as he says the above prayer, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Every mother can bless her children in a similar way, but she can not bless her husband this way. This is not to say that she is not holier than him. She probably is holier than her husband! But God established the blessing to go down the latter of spiritual authority, not holiness. This is also why a holy layman should not bless a rotten priest. The layman’s prayers for the priest will be more powerful than vice versa, but we must respect the authority given in a blessing. Finally, I want to give one more reason why you should not be afraid of blessing your children: Satanists and witches have absolutely no qualms about cursing strangers (especially those with big families) with their diabolical hexes, curses and voodoo. Families should not live in fear of these people. Why? Because the curses of Satanists upon children are not as powerful as the blessings that parents bring into their children’s lives…provided the parents are actually blessing their children before bed. Again, just trace the sign of the cross on their forehead as they go to bed and bless them in spontaneous prayer or the above Aaronic blessing. ↩