12 09, 2022

When to Deny Absolution

By |2022-09-13T03:42:35+00:00September 12th, 2022|Theology|

Jesus said therefore to them again, "Peace be to you.  As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you."  When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."—John 20:21-23, DRB. Let me say at the outset of this blog that it is long but probably worth it.  It is practically written for other priests but it will help lay people historically.  The only answer you need is in the last paragraph of this post.  However, this blog will give much sacramental [...]

8 09, 2022

Attending Ex-Catholics’ “Weddings”

By |2022-09-09T03:13:25+00:00September 8th, 2022|Theology|

There's a lot of combinations of sacramental debates happening today, but most of them are very similar:  Someone's Catholic family member is getting married outside the Church.  Half the family feels squeamish about it.  A priest steps in and says to the more conservative family members, "You should indeed go to your son's wedding outside the Church, so as to not break the bonds of charity.  That way, you can evangelize him back into the Church later." Then, all the lay people in the family have their consciences euthanized by the smiling priest, and they all go to the "wedding." Here's why that priest is wrong and it's actually a [...]

7 06, 2022

Season After Pentecost or “Ordinary Time”?

By |2022-06-06T21:25:35+00:00June 7th, 2022|Theology|

p/c Star of the Sea, San Francisco. The 1950 Carmelite devotional Divine Intimacy reads: “The Father and the Word, mutually beholding Their infinite goodness and beauty, love each other from all eternity, and the expression of this unitive love is a third Person, the Holy Spirit. As the Word is generated by the Father by way of knowledge, so the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of love. The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the terminus, and the effusion of the reciprocal love of the Father and the Son, an effusion so substantial and perfect that it is a Person, the third Person of the Most [...]

5 06, 2022

Was the Church Formed on Good Friday or on Pentecost?

By |2022-06-05T17:13:27+00:00June 5th, 2022|Theology|

The Church Fathers say that the Catholic Church was formed on Good Friday.  Indeed, this is when the water flowing from the pierced Sacred Heart of Jesus was more than symbolic for the water that would one day wash us clean of sin in baptism.  Was not the Roman soldier, St. Longinus, washed clean by that very water as he pierced the Sacred Heart of Jesus with his own spear and believed in Him?  Furthermore, the Church Fathers teach that the Most Precious Blood that flowed from Christ's pierced heart on the day of His crucifixion is literally the same as the blood that fills the priest's chalice after the [...]

10 03, 2022

Galvanized Love

By |2022-03-10T01:47:59+00:00March 10th, 2022|Theology|

I am on a group Signal thread with a couple getting married and they asked me on that thread about how to explain the sacrament of marriage to a group of believers and non-believers: The audience will be people attending the wedding ceremony. Many of them aren’t Catholic or even Christian. The goal is to explain what they are seeing today and why it is important. Part of the explanation is going to be about Christian Marriage as a permanent union of man and woman. The union was made sacred when Christ raised it to the dignity of a Sacrament. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the essential element of the [...]

17 02, 2022

Ex Opere Operato vs. Ex Opere Operantis

By |2022-02-16T02:10:47+00:00February 17th, 2022|Theology|

Fr. John Hardon SJ is quoted at The Fatima Center defining these two sacramental terms:   Ex opere operantis is a term mainly applied to the good dispositions with which a sacrament is received, to distinguish it from the ex opere operato which is the built-in efficacy of a sacrament properly conferred.   The above is an excellent definition of those two sacramental terms that always must be considered in a balance.  Most amateur theologians today are pretty good at knowing the principle of ex opere operato, namely, that a priest in mortal sin still validly confects the sacraments (provided he say the correct words.)  This is good that amateur theologians know this.  But most amateur [...]

8 02, 2022

Is Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

By |2022-02-05T02:13:37+00:00February 8th, 2022|Theology|

Is water baptism necessary for salvation?  The first Pope (St. Peter) wrote under inspiration the following:  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him.—1 Peter 3:21-22. The Catholic Church has interpreted this as water baptism being ordinarily necessary for salvation.  However, there are some extraordinary circumstances to consider.  The Church also teaches officially that baptism by blood (martyrdom) is sufficient for salvation [...]

5 06, 2021

Life Update 2021.06.05

By |2021-05-27T18:15:45+00:00June 5th, 2021|Life|

This is the 19th century Papally-approved prayer I keep laminated in my Roman Breviary to pray before hearing confessions: Da mihi, Domine, sedium tuarum assistricem sapientiam, ut sciam judicare populum tuum in justitia et pauperos tuos in judicio. Fac me ita tractare claves regni coelorum, ut nulli aperiam cui claudendum sit, nulli claudam cui aperiendum sit. Sit intentio mea pura, zelus meus sincerus, charitas mea patiens, labor meus fructuosus. Sit in me lenitas non remissa, asperitas non severa; pauperem ne despiciam, diviti ne adulor. Fac me ad alliciendos peccatores suavem, ad interrogandos prudentem, ad instruendos peritum. Tribue, quaeso, ad retrahendos a malo solertiam, ad confirmandos in bono sedulitatem, ad promovendos [...]

23 05, 2020

Can Adult Baptisms Be Canonically Suspended during COVID-19?

By |2020-05-23T21:29:34+00:00May 23rd, 2020|Theology|

This was an email I received from out of country. He gave me permission to reproduce it below under condition of anonymity. I changed his name and retracted the country of origin: Dear Father Nix, Here in COUNTRY-X, the government have banned all baptisms, and, by extension, all receptions into the Church. The bishops'conference have followed suit issuing their own edicts to this effect. There is, at the time of writing, no end date in sight for these measures, or even a vague time frame. Two catechumens, one whom was being prepared for unconditional Baptism, and the other who was being prepared to be received (with conditional Baptism), have asked [...]

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