Tag Archives: Doctrine

World Religions Part III: Real Catholicism is the Only Antidote to Chaos

I attempted to prove in World Religions part I and part II that Catholicism is the only world religion that even claims to deliver lasting fulfillment to modern man. In this blog post, I will attempt to show that an “updated” Catholicism can never do this.  Only real Catholicism can serve as “an antidote to chaos” to borrow a term from the best-selling book by Jordan Peterson. Yesterday, I drove from Denver to Chicagoland to be with my grandma for what may be her last month on earth. I am vigiling by her bed with both an iPad to get some work done and the old Collectio Rituum to begin the Litany of the Dying and De Expiratione if she should begin to actively die.  (As I write this blog post at her side, she is sleeping peacefully and in no pain at 103 years old.) A few hours ago, before she fell asleep, I gave her extreme unction and the Apostolic Pardon.  Below are the last words that a Catholic is supposed to say on earth before he or she goes before the judgment seat of Christ the Lord. If the dying person can not repeat the following words spoken by the priest (in the green squares of De Expiratione below) the priest will pray the following words in proxy for his dying parishioner:


Although we are not at the point of expiration with my grandmother, notice the beginning of the green boxes above: “O my God, I believe everything that the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church believes and teaches. In this belief, will I live and die.” Of course, these words were removed from the new rites. This is just one of a thousand things that we trashed that has led to chaos in the Catholic Church.  When I was in seminary, I asked our dogmatics professor why we changed so much of the sacraments and dogma. He said that modern man’s “sensitivities” could not handle classic terminology. I believed him at the time. Another cup of modernist kool-aid I repeatedly regurgitated in seminary went like this: “Medieval man loved pomp and circumstance, but the early Christians just wanted simple faith and liturgy.”  However, the answer to both errors is actually very simple: The early Church did not change her liturgy or dogma one iota to condescend to the “sensitivities” of the fleshy Roman Empire.

In an article by Edward Pentin, Msgr. Bux said this stunning line two years ago: “Perseverance in teaching and obedience to doctrine leads souls to eternal salvation. The Church cannot change the faith and at the same time ask believers to remain faithful to it.” Although this is a powerful theological statement, it is actually also a sociological statement that applies to even non-religious organizations:  You can not rapidly change the mission statement of the Red Cross or Amnesty International and then expect the most passionate adherents to stick around in the club that lost its passion for a weaker creed.  One more time that powerful line from Msgr. Bux:  “The Church cannot change the faith and at the same time ask believers to remain faithful to it.”  Indeed, we must ask:  How could lay people expect anyone to take us priests and bishops seriously if we changed our religion to be more “sensitive”?

As I watch my grandmother during her last day or week or month on earth, I realize again there is no pendulum swing  of Church dogma through time like a political cycle. It is not like my great, great, great, great great grandmother was a liberal Catholic in Ireland and my great, great, great, great grandmother was a conservative Catholic in Ireland and then my great, great, great grandmother was a liberal Catholic again. Catholicism was Catholicism was Catholicism until the 20th century.  It had an unchanged dogma and liturgy. We can not change the faith and expect anyone to stick with it. The only fulfilling religion in the world is: Real Catholicism. It is the only thing that will restore order within the Catholic Church, and that—a restored Catholic Church in dogma and liturgy—is the only thing that will bring any semblance of a lighthouse to a shiprecked secular world.

Only real and unchangeable Catholicism can restore order to the current hierarchal chaos (diabolical disorientation) found in the clergy of the Catholic Church who can’t even agree if it’s night. Satan chose his targets cleverly, for we priests and bishops comprise the only tenable spiritual fatherhood that can restore order to the chaos found in the catechesis of the Catholic laity. The fifth chapter in Jordan Peterson’s book says the entire blueprint we need to institute the coming restoration of the Catholic Church: “Clear rules make for secure children and calm, rational parents.”—Jordan Peterson Rule #5 in 12 Rules for Life. 

Apply this rule to the Catholic Church in the 21st century and it goes like this: Only a Catholic hierarchy that is “rational” (first of all, not so gay) will engender a Catholic laity that is “secure and calm.” This is why we need a real and total Catholicism to be re-instituted with no more of this childish fence-riding dubbed the “the hermeneutic of continuity.” This effeminate game has been tried, and it must now end. Real Catholicism is the only answer to bringing order to the Church, and the Church to the world, so that we can again prove what I tried to prove in my first two blog posts of this series: Only the blood of Jesus Christ transmitted through the Catholic Church can give glory to God on earth and save souls for heaven.

When we return to real Catholicism, we will be able to hear Our Lord again say to His bride on earth: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”—Matthew 5:14-16

World Religions Part II: The Exclusive, All-Embracing Cross

Because this blog post will inevitably raise the question “Who can be saved?” I would like to give the two bookends within which all Catholic orthodox answers must fall. One the one end, Pope Pius IX wrote, “By Faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation. This is the only ark of salvation. He who does not enter into it, will perish in the flood. Nevertheless equally certainly it is to be held that those who suffer from invincible ignorance of the true religion, are not, for this reason, guilty in the eyes of the Lord.” (Denzinger 1647, Ott 312.) Invincible ignorance means a person is ignorant of Christ and never had the chance to learn about Christ. There is a small chance an ignorant pagan could be saved if he had an implicit baptism of desire. However, the person who would have, could have, should have learned about Christ and His Church but chose not to out of laziness is still under vincible ignorance. Such a person can not be saved without a radical last-minute grace of perfect contrition. This is extremely rare.

The other bookend is found in the words of Christ: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”—Mt 7:21. That not all will be saved is also infallibly defined in the Council of Trent: “But though He died for all, yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His passion is communicated; because as truly as men would not be born unjust, if they were not born through propagation of the seed of Adam, since by that propagation they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own, so if they were not born again in Christ, they would never be justified, since in that new birth there is bestowed upon them, through the merit of His passion, the grace by which they are made just.”—Chapter 3, Session 6, Council of Trent, 13 January 1547 under Pope Paul III. Therefore, it is a heresy to say that there is even a chance that all men are saved.

Today, the most simple members of the Catholic Church have heard over and over during the past few years that even atheists can go to heaven and/or that hell is either empty and/or that wicked souls are mysteriously annihilated before arriving in hell. If such heresies were true, then Jesus never had to die on the cross. If atheists go to heaven and nobody is in hell, then Jesus never had to rise from the dead, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”—1 Cor 15:17. Modern theologians can not be correct on “good atheists” going to heaven because this would deny the words the Holy Spirit gave us through the Apostle Paul: “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists.”—Hebrews 11:6. Although Christ’s cross will never be emptied of its power objectively, if simple people go on believing our “top theologians” that atheists can go to heaven (and hell is either empty or not eternal) then more and more Catholics will ironically go to hell.

Last year when I needed a home, a family near Los Angeles gave me a small trailer home on a mountain overlooking the city. One day I was in Los Angeles at a Korean market to get some food. The place was so alive with hundreds or thousands of joyful people carrying strange fish with tentacles that looked like it would be served at a bar in Star Wars. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles and I marveled at how Jesus Christ died for each one of these people. I thought about how I longed like St. Francis Xavier to preach the Gospel to all of Asia, and yet here they all were in a market in Los Angeles.

In the parking lot outside this market, I was listening to an audio book by Jordan Peterson called 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos where the author talks about how he was once overwhelmed to the point of despair as he encountered all the evil in history books describing Communist gulags. Peterson explained that when you lose all purpose in life due to evil, suicide becomes a possible way out. But then, without ever naming himself a Christian, Peterson reveals that we must begin to recognize humanity is already tainted with a pervasive selfishness (original sin?) and that the only other answer besides suicide would be “a responsible atonement” for all the evil in the world. With Asians from all over the Eastern world around me as I listened to his audio book, it hit me at that moment like a ton of bricks that Christianity was the only world religion that could even claim to bring meaning to people’s lives amidst so much suffering. With the cross and the cross alone, suffering is transformed into love.  What I knew intellectually became so clear by experience that only Catholicism could bring order to society that is riddled by chaos, even if peppered by daily moments of happiness.

In the parking lot of that Korean market I began thinking of all the world’s religions. I thought of how Islam can not offer meaning or order precisely because their view of Allah is ultimately arbitrary, exemplified in that nominalism that Pope Benedict XVI named at the Regensburg conference. Pope Benedict XVI was correct that the Muslim view of God is nothing more than a capricious bully living out Nietzsche’s will-to-power. Muslims attempt in vain to grasp a divinity who lives so arbitrarily as to function in a manner that can only be described as “willy-nilly.” Practically speaking, if Allah tells you to crash two airplanes into two large towers full of people, you just don’t look for reasons or justification. You just do it. Some extreme Muslims (I mean, sharia-abiding Muslims) find meaning in this, but most Muslim consciences are deeply troubled by such a moral theology. Indeed, it must be lonely to believe in a God who has not made our brains in His own image and likeness. “Allah the Merciful” might be a common term in the Qur’an, but Allah’s peace only comes when the rest of the world submits to the sword of his rulers.

At that Asian market I began to think of the Asian world religions of the far East. The lay professor of a priest friend who taught in Minnesota once explained that when you boil truth down to the two simplest forms, the only two world religions presented to us are Catholicism or Buddhism. Here’s why: If truth matters, you should be Catholic. If truth does not matter, you should be Buddhist. But the modern Buddhist has only two options: Maximize pleasure or extinguish the desire for pleasure. Notice that both of these are essentially individualistic and selfish. This is why all the Caucasians who try out Buddhism in Boulder end up leaving their rice-bowls to drive Beamers. In some sense, I don’t blame them for this, because if there is no meaning to life, you might as well live it up with as much pleasure as possible! If we have no eternal destiny, then we should either extinguish our annoying itches for pleasure, or simply give into them.   Both Buddhism and epicureanism essentially have nothing to do with anyone except: Myself. I blogged about both of these options in my last post on World Religions Part I: Three Options.

As I listened to Jordan Peterson in that Korean parking lot, I was watching so many beautiful families who were smiling and walking under the Los Angeles sun. I realized that modern-man can not live in the selfishness of Islam or Buddhism and still hope to survive here on earth, much less heaven. The families I saw made me realize in a new way that only Christ and His Cross could bring meaning through what Jordan Peterson called “responsible atonement” precisely because we were made not for pleasure, or the willy-nilly violence of Islam, or the selfish ascetic feats of Hinduism and Buddhism. We were made for an eternal relationship with God who is Love, and who transfers this love in many ways, including redemptive suffering. No universalist loopholes on salvation can rid us of this infinite desire ant eternal destiny.

The worst evil Peterson described in his book was Unit 731 where 3,000 men, women and children were used as living scientific experiments by the Japanese government between 1937 and 1945. How could there be any hope in humanity if live children could be experimented upon as they shrieked for hours in horrible pain?  I hope Peterson sees that Christianity is the only religion that has God encounter the innocent suffering on the cross.  Only Christianity can give any meaning to a world of sex-slaved children. CS Lewis points out that although thirst in the desert does not prove there is water in the desert, the reality of thirst does prove that there is water somewhere! Our hunger for our suffering to become redemptive in these days of relativism means that Christ is still offering to be our Living Water. Yes, as I watched all these people from around the world walk in and out of that bustling enormous LA market with smiling children and chests of ice and octopus tentacles, I realized that there was, more than ever, today the offer of Christ as the Eternal Living water being offered them.

Probably half of those Koreans I saw in that market were already Christian, but I want to stay on this question of Buddhists or pagans or Muslims obtaining heaven. Is it enough for a good Buddhist following his conscience to get to heaven? I know the post Vatican II answer is an immediate “Yes!” but such would not be the answer of a St. Peter Claver or a St. Junipero Serra. Although an implicit desire for baptism can save a non-Catholic person (as even Pope St. Pius X says in his catechism) this does not overturn the absolute necessity of baptism. In fact, baptism by water, fire or desire (even if implicit) is the only way to transmit to a sinful soul (every single one of us) the infinite merits of the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ to the soul.

With that Nota Bene out of the way, let’s try that question with in blue-collar Catholicism answer: Why couldn’t a good Buddhist get to heaven? Answer:  Because the natural goodness of a good life can not reach the supernatural goal of heaven.  For that supernatural life, we need the sacraments.  Try, for a minute, to see this as a medical equation instead of a legalistic equation on salvation.  A man can only do natural good. Therefore, only with supernatural help can man hope to reach a supernatural goal. This is transmitted through grace, beginning with the sacraments.  Christ is not a privileged way, like some privileged theologians say.  Rather, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Romans 6:23.

Never has the world been more hungry for the sacraments of the Catholic Church but never have erudite theologians been so embroiled in intellectualism so as to squash all international missionary congregations (and undeniable fact that happened to every missionary congregation immediately following Vatican II, with exceptions that can now be counted on one hand.) What would someone like St. Francis Xavier say to our “most educated” theologians today? St. Francis Xavier wrote this excerpt from Asia to Europe in the 16th century, but it could be written today to everyone in American seminaries today who promote that Jesuit priest Von Balthasar’s “Dare We Hope that All Men Might Be Saved?” For my part, I’ll trust the theology of the Jesuit saint who raised the dead.  St. Francis Xavier wrote: “Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: There is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again, I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: ‘What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!’ I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.”

So, I ask myself today: How can we sit around Roman coffee-shops outside the Biblicum or Angelicum or “the Greg” in 2019 and lazily declare that a loving God would not send good pagans to hell? First, we must must begin by realizing that Christ longs for loving relationship with pagans more than us lazy theologians writing blog posts, for it is Christ Himself who says these shocking words: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”—John 6:53-55.  Secondly, we Catholics must realize that “He who knew no sin made Himself sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.”—2 Cor 5:21. In that sentence, “sin” is not a verb but a noun. In other words, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the filth of my sin, without Himself actually doing it, all with the goal of transmitting to me the holiness of God. This is an exchange that has been labeled Protestant, but substitution theology is in all the Church Fathers (linked at ) and this explains why I can not get to heaven without Jesus Christ’s bloody cross.  Salvation must begin here on earth by surrender to Christ, not via last minute mind games with God (as all modernists all bank on.)

Can you imagine what a crushing exchange this must have been in the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ to take on my sins and give me His blood? Think for a minute that the eternal Son of God would transfer His love to me, while all I had was hatred of Him (Rom 5.) How can we contemplate that the pure Son of Mary would transfer His own purity to my soul while I scourged Him with my own sins? The scourging of Jesus at that pillar is said by all the mystics to have been the main atonement for sins of sexual impurity, giving Christ that weird word that is in both the Old and New Testament: Stripes. Yes, Christ took my sin in this marvelous exchange of love, so “that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.”—1 Pt 2:24 KJV. Here St. Peter, the first Pope, is recalling under inspiration a direct prophesy of what Isaiah foretold in the suffering Messiah 600 years before the birth of Christ: “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.”—Is 53:5 KJV.

Even the nicest person alive today in Los Angeles or Nairobi or Paris has somehow, in some way, offended the infinite goodness of the Blessed Trinity. How could an infinite repair be made by a finite being? We are faced with a harsh truth from both the Old and New Testament: “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”—Hebrews 9:22. Doubly-difficult is the fact that not even the blood of goats in the Old Testament could forgive sins since goats could never provide a boundless and blameless sacrifice. Even the lambs of the Old Testament that were found in the flesh to be “spotless” and ready for sacrifice in the Temple could never be considered “boundless” to atone to an infinitely good God Who is also infinitely offended by sin. Thus, the only blood that could repair a single sin of mine or a billion sins of humanity against an infinitely good God would have to be the very blood of God-Himself. But God is pure spirit, so how could He have blood? Only by becoming a perfect man. But man is sinful, so how could flesh be carry the Divinity to earth? Even if this God-man wanted to die for the whole world, what vessel could contain such commensurate purity? Ah, this God would have to take flesh from something equally pure as Himself—the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary gave God the one thing He did not have: The ability to die for you and me.

We Catholic must tell the world about this wonder, not how they are already saved without Christ. What a blasphemy and a mockery of the cross of Christ it is to promote Von Balthasar on this topic. The cross of Christ will never be emptied of its power objectively, but if we continue to let modernist theologians teach the loopholes of the faith to seminarians and would-be missionaries, the cross will be nearly emptied subjectively. May it never be. May we begin to recognize bow down before that exclusive but all-embracing cross of Jesus Christ. May all priests begin at the restoration of the Catholic Church be able to repeat with St. Paul: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”—1 Cor 2:2-5

1

  1. This is a picture I took of the enormous and lit mountain cross above the road that also contains my hermitage a bit farther up the road.

Salvation Podcast 1

Who was Pelagius and what is Pelagianism? How did Pelgianism in the 5th century lead to ecumenism in the 20th century? Has ecumenism led the Vatican to begin an approach to the UN’s Agenda 2030? What is “one world religion”? Is salvation a free-gift or must we work hard for it? What is that 18th century heresy of Quietism? How does free-will come into salvation? What importance does faith, grace and works make in our lives?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”—Eph 2:8-10

The Simple Gospel

Our Patristics professor in seminary said something that I will never forget. He said: “Don’t read the Scriptures with a higher IQ than who it was written for.” I’m going to keep coming back to this line, “Don’t read the Scriptures with a higher IQ than who it was written for,” so I need to explain first what it does not mean.

My professor was a very intellectual man, so he was not saying that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was created to trick peasant-doofuses into becoming Christians or later that Catholicism would become the opium of the illiterate-masses. Nor did he mean that the Deposit of the Faith was transmitted by Christ to a group of shallow fishermen who went forward to find the most deceivable people to baptize. 

While re-reading Acts of the Apostles, I recently discovered that the Apostles were actually not sloppy in their original observance of Judaism (despite how Protestant movies often portray them as saccharine-sweet modern used car-salesmen.) The opposite is true, in fact, as is found in Acts of the Apostles. Despite his impetuosity and fast tongue to Our Lord (even after Christ’s Resurrection!) consider below how St. Peter has an insistence on how he has always adhered to Mosaic law:

The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.—Acts 10:9-16

The idea of Don’t read the Scriptures with a higher IQ than who it was written for also does not also does not mean that the infinite orthodox interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures are immediately obvious to even the greatest of theologians. Both scientists and theologians define simple as “nothing lacking and nothing superfluous.” Thus, God Himself is simple, nothing lacking but nothing superfluous.  But God is not simplistic. So also, the Sacred Scriptures. It has been said that the Gospel of John is easy enough for a child to play in but deep enough for a theologian to drown in.  So, my prof’s line Don’t read the Scriptures with a higher IQ than who it was written for does not mean we don’t need theologians who will go deep into typology.  

Indeed, we need holy theologians, but not legalistic scribes.

I believe that if Satan tricked the religious leaders of the first century towards a religious attitude so legalistic to the right that they would not recognize the first coming of Christ, it would equally be the perfect trick of Satan to trick the religious leaders before the second coming of Christ to adopt a religious attitude so legalistic to the left that they would not recognize the time of Christ’ second return.

Indeed, theologians today are more legalistic than they have ever been in the history of the Church since the first century scribes. Here’s a few examples:

  1. Many young men have been told by priests that (based on a seriously ambiguous line in the new Catechism) that if they have the habit of masturbation, that very habit reduces culpability and it is thus not a mortal sin. Those guys go on sinning into their own marriages and thus endanger their marriages and salvation.  I hope someone will come and tell them that loopholes don’t save; only Jesus Christ saves.  This is the Simple Gospel. But if they listen to that modern confessor…. Loophole theologian: 1. Soul won for Jesus: 0.
  2. Almost every tribunal in the USA doles out endless declarations of nullity (annulments) based on a Canon in the Code of Canon Law that says if a couple had “lack of due discretion” in their time of engagement, that marriage might not be valid.  Well, guess what:  That is every vocation, including my priesthood.  Did I have “due discretion” of the priesthood before I ended up in this mess?  No, but I’m still a priest. Now, I have no problem with “lack of form” annulments, but the “lack of due discretion” thing is for new Pharisees and scribes to manipulate without any end.  I often tease families with five or ten kids that I could get them an annulment under “lack of due discretion” despite having 7 kids!  The couple then laughs nervously at me when I say this. But I mean it: Through this legal loophole, tens of thousands of American marriages (which God has put together) have been sundered apart by modern day legalistic scribes who essentially say: “Better to declare it null through ‘lack of due discretion’ so as to get them ‘out of sin’ as they’re already in bed with their new squeezes.” Satan via gentle scribes: 1. Marriage: 0.
  3. Under the clause “Those who through no fault of their own do not know the Catholic Faith can still be saved,” we have actually created an entire effeminate army of theologians, priests and bishops who essentially teach that everyone is saved, barring major malice in their hearts to God at the very last breath of their lives. If you try to argue with such theologians, they (much like first century Pharisees) will have a loophole (usually quoting Lumen Gentium) as to why every non-Catholic will be saved as long as they didn’t know about the Catholic Church—and even then—could anyone really reject Jesus if they saw His loving face? I mean: Could anyone really commit a mortal sin with full knowledge and full consent of the will if they knew God? Of course not! Therefore, everyone is saved. Satan via liberal legalism: 1. International missionary congregations: 0.

Yes, I realize that it is ironic that a Traditional Latin Mass priest is saying most modern theologians and tribunal officers are mostly Pharisees and scribes.  But I believe in a Simple Gospel with no loopholes. It’s not because I’m mean or less merciful, but precisely because I believe the Cross of Jesus Christ does not need any loopholes to have power! I explained many of these modern legalistic errors more in-depth in this podcast, the same talk as found in this Sensus Fidelium video:

Do you see how modern day Catholic scribes (found literally everywhere in the West!) have used historically-untried but currently-universally-accepted theology to totally empty the Cross of Jesus Christ of all its power? The Gospel is very simple, and it was made for the average person to understand.  

Here is the basics of the Simple Gospel found in Scripture and Catholicism:

Jesus Christ is God who died a horrible death as a man for you and me. Christ had to be a man, so as to offer a human body for our sins done in the body. Christ had to be God for this sacrifice to be boundless and blameless. This sacrifice is perpetuated forever in the Holy Mass.  The merits of Jesus’ infinite love is transmitted by baptism and it is a totally free gift that saves us (1 Pt 3:21) but we will be judged on our actions (Mt 25:31-46.)

No loophole will save you from this:   Not a priest telling you that your mortal sin is not a sin or a Tribunal telling you that you’re not married.  Indeed, salvation only comes from Jesus Christ, “and there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”—Acts 4:12.

All through seminary, I said that Pope John Paull II was the Pope for the blue-collar man but that the old Popes like Pope St. Pius X were the over-intellectuals. The more I read these two Popes, the more I now realize that the opposite is true. Although Pope John Paul II comes to orthodox conclusions, it is only through an endless philosophical sea of anthropocentric phenomenology. Pope St. Pius X, however, simply said the faith in a way that could be understood by, say, a plumber in Chicago in the 1940s.  The great thing about perennial Catholicism is that if a plumber in Chicago in 1940 committed a mortal sin on a Friday night, he went to confession on Saturday afternoon before he went to receive Holy Communion on Sunday morning.

People might retort to my above example, “Oh, but that plumber didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!”

My response:  Really? How do you know that? I am not so sure about that. When I was with the FSSP for six months, I will never forget an older woman who once said to me, “When I was in Catholic school, there wasn’t a tweet every time a Pope burped. The Pope was just a picture on the wall at my Catholic grade-school. We had a relationship with Jesus and Mary.” Think about that: We had a relationship with Jesus and Mary. Yes, she was referring to the 1940s. In fact, she and I weren’t even talking about having a relationship with Christ when she said that…which is why I know it came out as truth. The more and more I talk to old people, the more I don’t buy the garbage that no Catholic had a relationship with Jesus Christ before Vatican II.

Nowadays we have many Catholic celebrities who tell us to have a relationship with Jesus Christ in large stadiums with great emotions. Now, unlike most priests who offer exclusively the Traditional Latin Mass, I actually like these Catholic celebrities. I mean it. Many people on the Steubenville speaking circuit actually bring lots of young people to Jesus Christ, and sometimes there is even doctrinal content to their call to surrender.  I’m not being sarcastic. I believe the Holy Spirit very much works at these conferences. But such conferences and Catholic celebrities are only necessary because we have trashed the simple Gospel of pre-Vatican II dogma and liturgy. Yes, I actually believe that the Acts of the Apostles is the same faith that drove immigrants to build Churches like St. Francis De Sales in St. Louis (the shot at the very top of this blog post that I snapped one night while visiting there last year.)  Yes, the same Simple Gospel drove Acts of the Apostles and Polish immigrants, even if our Churches in the West happened to be bigger and more ornate than the underground Church.

Modern youth conferences (not WYD Masses, to be sure, where I have seen people committing sacrilege by making-out at Holy Mass) but the good youth conferences and mens’ conferences and women’s conferences are essentially collateral circulation.  Collateral circulation is what happens when the body creates a concessionary artery when the main artery is clogged.  In my analogy, of course, the original artery is a simple and Holy Priesthood, where the most simple priest (like St. John Vianney) could show up in any country and bring an Apostolic dogma and liturgy to a simple people.   Concessionary circulation is Steubenville conferences.  It’s fine, for a time, in this current Church crisis…but we must return to what Catholicism has always been.

What has it always been?  It has been a Simple Gospel of heaven and hell, redemption and sin.  You did not need a PhD in loopholes, I mean Canon Law, to get people to heaven.  Priests of every century would simply teach their peasants and geniuses alike the Creed, the Our Father, the 10 Commandments and the sacraments. I blogged about how easy it was to transmit traditional Catholicism to everyone (not just the elite) in The Over-Intellectualization of the Catholic Faith. Such peasants could have an IQ of 80 or 180 and still start to establish the reign of Christ the King in both their hearts and society.

For example, a simple Spanish Franciscan showing up as a missionary to pagan Mexico in the 16th century did not need any laser beams, nearly-invisible megaChurch microphones around his face or cool intro-songs with dry-ice fog to announce his entrance. That is because it was the same convicting beautiful faith that the soldiers of World War II found at Holy Mass, a catechesis in and of itself that led to not only love of God but fear of God:

Chaplain Dennis Murphy celebrates mass for the men of 65th AAA Bn., at Bolo Point, Okinawa. July 19, 1951. Nelse Einwaechter. (Army) NARA FILE # 111-SC-378561 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1464

Catholic Church history has no pendulum between conservative and liberal like we were told in High Schoo.l Catholicism is Catholicism that has simply endured four major Church crises, the worst of which we are in right now. The Catholic Faith of the Desert Fathers in the 3rd century was the same as the Catholic Faith of the 13th century Franciscans and Dominicans and the same Faith as the great Doctors of the Church and international missionaries of the 16th century. There were no scribes and loopholes who emptied the power of the cross, as we sadly see today. Even the early Christians (even with all of their beautiful speaking in tongues, which I believe is a real gift) were closer to traditional Catholics today than Pentecostals.

No one can argue the facts: Traditional Catholicism made one billion Catholics, where US Catholicism has bled one million Catholics every year since the year 2000. Why should a basic blue-collar man take the faith seriously if it can be argued away by loophole-loving scribes?

So, what do you do about this in your family? The best I can do is to tell you to purchase the Catechism of Pius X. It sounds daunting and scary, but it is actually easier to read than even the Baltimore Catechism for children! The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X has no errors in it like: “Muslims…together with us…adore the one, merciful God.” While the new CCC was written for bishops to distill further down into their own pastoral needs, and whereas the Catechism of the Council of Trent was actually written for priests, the Catechism of Pius X was made for the layman:

It was recently translated into English by Aeterna Press. And while I would encourage Aeterna Press to fix up the punctuation typos (found on nearly every single page of their production) it my still my absolute go-to, gold-standard for all teaching and evangelization. I encourage anyone who reads this blog post to purchase many copies. It is only $7 on Prime and it explains the entire Catholic faith in what can be read in less than two hours. It is a total treasure of the faith in only 150 pages (with huge spaces between lines.)

Such is the simple faith of the deposit Jesus Christ handed down to the Apostles. Like the Bible, in this Catechism, you will find no loopholes, only that Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church can bring you to see the fullness of Our Father’s face in heaven. Such is the Simple Gospel found in none of the duplicitous tongues of our modern liberal scribes Pharisees, found teaching and annulling the power of the Gospel over the Western-Hemisphere.

What Catholics Are Missing in the Death Penalty Debate

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 Ecclesiastica which 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.


  1. 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.”

  2. 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.”

Heresy Podcast: 4th century Arians vs. St. Athanasius

This podcast considers the heresy of Arius and how St. Athanasius (featured image on blog, feast day 2 May) promoted the faith that is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. That Christ is homoousian (of one substance or one in being) with the Father is the true and orthodox view.  Heterodox or heretical views include homoiousian (that the Son is of a similar substance to the Father but not the same) and homoian (that the Son is similar to the Father, in all things, without speaking of substance) and heteroousian (that the Son is of a different substance from the Father, that is, created, as Arius wrongly taught.)  But again, the orthodox teaching is that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are homoousian or one in being as found in the Athanasian Creed, below in both English and Latin below.

Athanasian Creed in English:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.


Symbolum S. Athanasii

Quicúmque vult salvus esse, *
ante ómnia opus est, ut téneat cathólicam fidem:
Quam nisi quisque íntegram inviolatámque serváverit,
absque dúbio in aetérnum períbit.

Fides autem cathólica haec est: *
ut unum Deum in Trinitáte, et Trinitátem in unitáte venerémur.
Neque confundéntes persónas, *
neque substántiam seperántes.
Alia est enim persóna Patris, alia Fílii, *
alia Spíritus Sancti:

Sed Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti una est divínitas,
aequális glória, coaetérna maiéstas.

Qualis Pater, talis Fílius, *
talis Spíritus Sanctus.

Increátus Pater, increátus Fílius, *
increátus Spíritus Sanctus.
Immènsus Pater, imménsus Fílius, *
imménsus Spíritus Sanctus.
Aetérnus Pater, aetérnus Fílius, *
aetérnus Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres aetérni, *
sed unus aetérnus.

Sicut non tres increáti, nec tres imménsi, *
sed unus increátus, et unus imménsus.

Simíliter omnípotens Pater, omnípotens Fílius, *
omnípotens Spíritus Sanctus.

Et tamen non tres omnipoténtes, *
sed unus omnípotens.
Ita Deus Pater, Deus Fílius, *
Deus Spíritus Sanctus.

Et tamen non tres dii, *
sed unus est Deus.

Ita Dóminus Pater, Dóminus Fílius, *
Dóminus Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres Dómini, *
sed unus est Dóminus.
Quia, sicut singillátim unamquámque persónam Deum ac Dóminum confitéri christiána veritáte compéllimur: *
ita tres Deos aut Dóminos dícere cathólica religióne prohibémur.
Pater a nullo est factus: *
nec creátus, nec génitus.

Fílius a Patre solo est:*
non factus, nec creátus, sed génitus.
Spíritus Sanctus a Patre et Fílio: *
non factus, nec creátus, nec génitus, sed procédens.

Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Fílius, non tres Fílii: *
unus Spíritus Sanctus, non tres Spíritus Sancti.
Et in hac Trinitáte nihil prius aut postérius, nihil maius aut minus: *
sed totae tres persónae coaetèrnae sibi sunt et coaequáles.

Ita ut per ómnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, *
et únitas in Trinitáte, et Trínitas in unitáte veneránda sit.

Qui vult ergo salvus esse, *
ita de Trinitáte séntiat.
Sed necessárium est ad aetérnam salútem, *
ut incarnatiónem quoque Dómini nostri Iesu Christi fidéliter credat.
Est ergo fides recta ut credámus et confiteámur, *
quia Dóminus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Fílius, Deus et homo est.

Deus est ex substántia Patris ante saécula génitus: *
et homo est ex substántia matris in saéculo natus.

Perféctus Deus, perféctus homo: *
ex ánima rationáli et humána carne subsístens.
Aequális Patri secúndum divinitátem: *
minor Patre secúndum humanitátem.
Qui, licet Deus sit et homo, *
non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. .

Unus autem non conversióne divinitátis in carnem, *
sed assumptióne humanitátis in Deum.

Unus omníno, non confusióne substántiae, *
sed unitáte persónae.

Nam sicut ánima rationális et caro unus est homo:
ita Deus et homo unus est Christus.

Qui passus est pro salúte nostra: descéndit ad ínferos: *
tértia die resurréxit a mórtuis.

Ascéndit ad coélos, sedet ad déxteram Dei Patris omnipoténtis: *
inde ventúrus est iudicáre vivos et mórtuos.
Ad cuius advéntum omnes hómines resúrgere habent cum corpóribus suis: *
et redditúri sunt de factis própriis ratiónem.

Et qui bona egérunt, ibunt in vitam aetérnam: *
qui vero mala, in ígnem aetérnum.

Haec est fides cathólica, *
quam nisi quisque fidéliter firmitérque credíderit, salvus esse non póterit.
Amen.