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Wednesday 22 January 2014

Big Date

27 September 2014 is the date I would like to be in Madrid for the beatification of Alvero del Portillo. Pray this can happen for me.

Good news for the patron of my prayers

Thanks to a faithful reader for the heads up as I had not looked at Zenit today.

Several articles on the brain death in response to a reader

In 1994, some Catholics were warned by priests about the danger of caring organ donation cards. In the 2000s, I was warned by Catholic doctors not to carry organ donation cards. The first was 20 years ago. Nothing has changed for me not to pass on the warning. Also, I encourage readers to listen to Fr. Chad Ripperger on this stand on brain death, which I have before recently.

This is a serious question, as medical doctors no longer take the Hippocratic Oath to keep people alive and brain death is not the total criteria, unless the person has been dead for hours. Note that the doctors want this definition as if the heart dies first, they cannot use the heart. Evil has entered the medical profession at this stage and it will only get worse under Obamacare.

..., on February 16th 2012, an article appeared on the ‘Renew America’ website, written by Dr Paul Byrne MD,  for the benefit of 'Pastoral Care Workers' dedicated to caring for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, who have become primary targets for what he describes as the ‘insidious indoctrination’ of the organ donation industry.  

I have taken the liberty of quoting extracts from this important and informed article by Dr Byrne, a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and past-President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), who writes:- 
               “Pastoral Care Workers include not only priests and ministers at the bedside, but also Eucharistic ministers and other assistants and ultimately, the bishop, who is the shepherd of the Pastoral Care Workers. Today, Pastoral Care Workers are routinely asked to consult and actually encourage patients in hospitals to become organ donors. They are told to believe the lie that so-called "brain dead" patients are truly dead, when all their senses are telling them just the opposite.”

“There is no explicit requirement that prospective organ donors be given adequate information about the procedures involved in organ harvesting so that informed and rational decisions can be made. In almost all cases, the basic medical principles of "informed consent" are denied the patient/donor by transplant physicians, nurses, and industry representatives. This being the case, the role of the Pastoral Care Worker in advocating for the patient/donor becomes all the more important and urgent.”

“It seems only fair and equitable that a transplant surgeon ought to explain in detail the whole organ transplant process to the potential patient/donor and his family. But how many people will agree to be organ donors after they are informed (in addition to other equally distressing facts - see 'renewamerica' link below),  that organs can be transplanted only when healthy and must be removed while there is respiration, circulation and a beating heart?   Significantly,  the donor’s ‘time of death’ will be officially registered after the removal of all vital organs, not when some doctor arbitrarily declares him/her ‘brain dead’”

 “ Potential donors should understand before signing the donor application or donor card that once they have agreed to be a donor, their interests and welfare becomes secondary to that of the organ recipient. They will no longer be considered true "patients" but rather a source of spare human parts and vital organs to be used for "transplantation, therapy, research and education." The donor should know that death will be imposed on the operating table for another's benefit and for the financial good of the organ transplantation industry.”

“Patients should realize that it costs hospitals and other transplantation facilities money to adequately treat patients to protect and preserve their life. On the other hand, these same hospitals make a great deal of money from "organ transplantation, therapy, research and education." 

 “A diagnosis of "brain death" by neurological criteria is theory, not scientific fact. Also, irreversibility of neurological function is a prognosis, not a medically observable fact.”  Over time many have stated that the conceptual and/or medical bases for these approaches to determine death are fundamentally flawed, and depart substantially from our biological and common-sense understandings of death.

 “It appears that Pastoral Care Workers are no better informed about the truth of vital organ transplantation than the average layman. Nor have they been unaffected by the organ industry's propaganda machine which spill out emotionally loaded expressions like "last wishes," "you can't take them with you," "gift of life," "donate life," etc.”

 “Death can be determined when there is no breathing, no heart beat, no response and the body becomes cold. Before 1968 physicians did not hurry the final declaration of death in order not to declare someone dead before true death. Then the desire to transplant hearts and other vital organs prompted the invention of "brain death." This "allowed" the transplant surgeon to dissect the living person.  This is the truth concerning unpaired vital organ transplantation. It is a truth that pastoral care workers must understand if they are to respond to the needs of patients and their families, rather than the needs and desires of the ‘Organ transplantation industry’ and its minions.

“The dubious nature of "brain death" as a criterion to select persons for organ donation, is demonstrated by the recovery of numerous "brain dead" patients”,   Dr Byrne’s full report, including details of several recovery cases, can be seen on  the ‘Renew America’ website:-

 Ack. Dr Paul Byrne MD Director of Neonatology and Director of Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics University of Toledo College of Medicin

Second One

November 15, 2012 | 1:12 pm | Lead Story #2
Dr. Paul Byrne 023WEB
By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent
LEOMINSTER – Organ transplants are big business and patients are often declared “brain dead” in order to harvest their organs, neonatologist Dr. Paul A. Bryne said during a talk last Sunday at the Knights of Columbus hall.
The event was sponsored by the St. John the Baptist Pro-Life League of Saint Benedict Center in Still River.
Dr. Byrne, past president of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), has directed the neonatology and pediatrics departments at Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio. He is president of Life Guardian Foundation, a pro-life organization based in Vancouver, Washington.
He has appeared on television’s “Good Morning America” and “Cross-Fire,” opposite Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a promoter of physician-assisted suicide. The BBC interviewed him for a segment titled, “Are the Donors Really Dead?”
“Organ donation is a multi-billion dollar industry,” Dr. Byrne stated. “It’s larger than the abortion industry.”
“Every organ that’s transplanted is a healthy one and every organ that is transplanted comes from a living person,” he said, adding that these are taken out of bodies with a “beating heart and circulation.”
“Every donor is killed in the process,” he stated.
Although the medical profession declares patients “brain dead,” often following an accident, Dr. Byrne insisted there’s no such thing.
“Brain death was false,” he said. “Brain death was a lie from the beginning. It has always been a lie.”
“Brain death is not true death,” he continued. “Organ transplant is the reason you have to have brain death.”
Dr. Byrne said this term crept into the medical profession following the world’s first heart transplant in 1968. It has since been defined and redefined and is now being replaced by another term known as cardiac death, he noted.
He said donated organs, without exception, must come from a living person. Within minutes of “true death,” which, he explained, is the cessation of circulation and respiration, the organs will begin to die.
This is why, when organs are removed from a donor, the beating heart is always taken last. “You cannot get any organs from cadavers,” he noted. “If you’re really dead, then no organs can be extracted.”
He also pointed out the differences between living and dead patients. One example is cooling the body. This slows metabolism in someone who is alive. It slows destruction in a corpse.
He said a ventilator, which pushes air into the body, can only be used on someone who’s living, as the person exhales the air. Also, if you cut the skin of someone who’s living, but declared “brain dead,” the wound will heal, something that won’t happen in a dead person.
“Clearly there’s a difference,” said Dr. Byrne.
Dr. Bryne went on to describe the damage that can result when doctors perform an “apnea test,” which often sets the stage for organ donation. This is when a ventilator is removed, prematurely, for 10 minutes, to see if a person can breathe on their own. This process, which he called “suffocation,” typically results in the person’s conditioning worsening, he said.
‘No’ apnea test, he said.
Recovery after being declared “brain dead” is also possible. Dr. Byrne showed a widely televised clip of Zach Dunlap, who was close to having his organs removed, following an accident in an all-terrain vehicle. As a nurse was removing his life support, Mr. Dunlap’s cousin, also a nurse, did his own reflex test by scraping a sharp knife against the bottom of Mr. Dunlap’s foot. When he showed “purposeful movement” in response, the organ harvesting was canceled.
He said there are now 175 known long-term survivors of “brain death.”
The audience was warned against registering as an organ donor at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He advised people to carry a card, or a notarized document, stating they do not wish to donate their organs.
The criteria of “brain death” remains a controversial one, even within the Vatican, according to Catholic News Service reports.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has agreed that medically defined brain death means the person is no longer living, but, in 2005, shortly before he died, Pope John Paul II asked to reopen the debate. He has been widely quoted as saying, “vital organs which occur singly in the body can be removed only after death, that is from the body of someone who is certainly dead.”
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI requested a conference in which 20 medical authorities presented clinical evidence on brain death. The forum was not open to reporters.
Dr. Byrne’s organization, in 2009, held a “Signs of Life” conference in Rome, attended by Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani and Cardinal Francis Arinze.

Third One

from a paper written by a team including Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz, Bishop Robert F. Vasa
In a paper entitled “Brain Death is Not Actual Death: Philosophical Arguments,” Dr. Seifert makes a dramatic argument when he writes:
“During the first six weeks of pregnancy our body lives without a brain and hence our human life does not begin with the human brain. Certainly, the embryo is alive but his life is not bound to the functioning of his brain. Therefore, the thesis of brain death being the actual death of the person which ties human life inseparably to a functioning brain goes against this biological fact: the development of the embryonic body proves that the brain cannot be simply the seat of the human person’s life or soul. To hold the opposite view, you have to defend the position that the human soul is created or enters the body only after the human brain is formed.”
Fourth One

Please pray for this man

Good News

Any Catholic Who Voted This Man In Needs To Do Penance

President Obama on Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision with a statement calling on the nation to "recommit" to the principle "that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health."
"We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom," Obama said.
"And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams."

Read more:
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The Church on Homosexuality

A commentator on another post pointed this out today and I have the blessing of this website to repost on my blog things there. This is only some of the Doctors of the Church and the Early Church Fathers on homosexuality.
We need more clarity from the clergy on this.
1. Athenagoras of Athens (2nd Century)

Athenagoras of Athens was a philosopher who converted to Christianity in the second century. He shows that the pagans, who were totally immoral, did not even refrain from sins against nature:

"But though such is our character (Oh! why should I speak of things unfit to be uttered?), the things said of us are an example of the proverb, 'The harlot reproves the chaste.' For those who have set up a market for fornication and established infamous resorts for the young for every kind of vile pleasure – who do not abstain even from males, males with males committing shocking abominations, outraging all the noblest and comeliest bodies in all sorts of ways, so dishonoring the fair workmanship of God."1

2. Tertullian (160-225)

Tertullian was a great genius and apologist of the early Church. Unfortunately, after an initial period of fervor, he succumbed to resentment and pride, left the Church and adhered to the Montanist heresy. Because of works written while still in the Church, he is considered an Ecclesiastical Writer and, as such, is commonly quoted by Popes and theologians.  His treatise On Modesty is an apology of Christian chastity. He clearly shows the horror the Church has for sins against nature. After condemning adultery, he exclaims:

"But all the other frenzies of passions–impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes–beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities."2

3. Eusebius of Caesarea (260-341)

Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of C├Žsarea in Palestine and the “Father of Church History,” writes in his book, Demonstratio Evangelica:

“[God in the Law given to Moses] having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men.”3

4. Saint Jerome (340-420)

Saint Jerome is both Father and Doctor of the Church. He was also a notable exegete and great polemicist. In his book Against Jovinianus, he explains how a sodomite needs repentance and penance to be saved:

“And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God’s wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance.”4

5. Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)

Saint John Chrysostom is considered the greatest of the Greek Fathers and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church. He was Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople, and his revision of the Greek liturgy is used until today. In his sermons about Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he dwells on the gravity of the sin of homosexuality:

"But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…

"Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?5

6. Saint Augustine (354-430)

The greatest of the Fathers of the West and one of the great Doctors of the Church, Saint Augustine laid the foundations of Catholic theology. In his celebrated Confessions, he thus condemns homosexuality:

"Those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which hath not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another. For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust."6
7. Saint Gregory the Great (540-604)

Pope Saint Gregory I is called “the Great.” He is both Father and Doctor of the Church. He introduced Gregorian chant into the Church. He organized England’s conversion, sending Saint Augustine of Canterbury and many Benedictine monks there.

"Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire."7
8. Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072)

Doctor of the Church, cardinal and a great reformer of the clergy, Saint Peter Damian wrote his famous Book of Gomorrah against the inroads made by homosexuality among the clergy. He describes not only the iniquity of homosexuality, but also its psychological and moral consequences:

"Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth.…

"The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]…. In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured. It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself. This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.

"And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out."8

9.  Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Commenting upon Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1:26-27), Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, explains why the sin of homosexuality is so grave:

"Given the sin of impiety through which they [the Romans] sinned against the divine nature [by idolatry], the punishment that led them to sin against their own nature followed.... I say, therefore, that since they changed into lies [by idolatry] the truth about God, He brought them to ignominious passions, that is, to sins against nature; not that God led them to evil, but only that he abandoned them to evil....

"If all the sins of the flesh are worthy of condemnation because by them man allows himself to be dominated by that which he has of the animal nature, much more deserving of condemnation are the sins against nature by which man degrades his own animal nature....

"Man can sin against nature in two ways. First, when he sins against his specific rational nature, acting contrary to reason. In this sense, we can say that every sin is a sin against man’s nature, because it is against man’s right reason....

"Secondly, man sins against nature when he goes against his generic nature, that is to say, his animal nature. Now, it is evident that, in accord with natural order, the union of the sexes among animals is ordered towards conception. From this it follows that every sexual intercourse that cannot lead to conception is opposed to man’s animal nature."9

10.  Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

Saint Catherine, a great mystic and Doctor of the Church, lived in troubled times. The Papacy was in exile at Avignon, France. She was instrumental in bringing the Popes back to Rome. Her famous Dialogues are written as if dictated by God Himself:

"But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery, and not only of that impurity to which, through the fragility of your weak nature, you are all naturally inclined (although reason, when free will permits, can quiet the rebellion of nature), but these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility, but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools, with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before me, who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a divine judgment, my divine justice being no longer able to endure it. This sin not only displeases me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin.10
11.  Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

Saint Bernardine of Siena was a famous preacher, celebrated for his doctrine and holiness. Regarding homosexuality, he stated:

"No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy.... Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin."11
12.  Saint Peter Canisius (1521-1597)

Saint Peter Canisius, Jesuit and Doctor of the Church, is responsible for helping one third of Germany abandon Lutheranism and return to the Church. To Scripture’s condemnation of homosexuality, he added his own:

"As the Sacred Scripture says, the Sodomites were wicked and exceedingly sinful. Saint Peter and Saint Paul condemn this nefarious and depraved sin. In fact, the Scripture denounces this enormous indecency thus: 'The scandal of Sodomites and Gomorrhans has multiplied and their sins have become grave beyond measure.' So the angels said to just Lot, who totally abhorred the depravity of the Sodomites: 'Let us leave this city....' Holy Scripture does not fail to mention the causes that led the Sodomites, and can also lead others, to this most grievous sin. In fact, in Ezechiel we read: 'Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me; and I took them away as thou hast seen' (Ezech. 16: 49-50). Those unashamed of violating divine and natural law are slaves of this never sufficiently execrated depravity."12

Bad Catechesis

This is so bad....thank you Michael Voris for this. Contraception is a serious sin, and most birth control is abortive now. Wow! What a shock.

Proves my point on brain death

I have had a long discussion on some blogs and here on how brain death alone is not necessarily death. See the posts here on this and the talk by Fr. Ripperger. 

Here is an example of what the problem is-vultures hunting organs for money cause death. This girl was in a coma.

People, do not carry organ donation cards. Do not kill you relatives, parents, children for this cause.

Pham was declared brain dead but was being kept alive on a ventilator until her organs could be donated, a decision her family didn't know she made until she was fatally injured, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Dear Readers

I have been very ill with asthma for 20 days now and on a second bout of meds. Today, I just could not put new articles on the blog. Please pray for me. If anyone has asthma or if their family members do, you know how terribly disrupted this can be.

I do not have asthma in Europe, only in Iowa and Missouri, which is very interesting. My son had it here as well, but outgrew it, thankfully. I really need to move back to a place near the sea, where I have always breathed better. Keep praying for that, please. I have no intentions of being buried in prairie-land.

The bitter cold, below Fahreheit and low temperatures do not help, and in fact, exacerbate the problem

Prayers needed as I am, simply, exhausted.

Washington notes continued

The new pro-life generation of priests--photo from 

And, another re-post on an aspect of invincible ignorance

Friday, 14 June 2013

Why we MUST evangelize three.

From the CCC:

"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation" (CCC 847)

"If...the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience" (CCC 1793).

"However, no one is presumed to be ignorant of the principles of moral law since these are written on the heart of every man" (CCC 1860).

Syllabus of errors(1864) of Pope Pius IX 

Condemned Proposition #17: "Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical ‘Quanto Conficiamur,’ Aug. 10, 1863, etc.”
Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, 1863, #7: "Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching.

Yet another repost tied to invincible ignorance

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

On the Contracepting Mentality

Thanks to Philotheaonfire...........

In discussions with Catholics in England over the past 30 years, I have discovered, to this present day, the wide acceptance among Catholics of contraception. Contraception is held to be a "sacred cow" even among some Catholics who are anti-abortion.

How this happened to become so widespread partly has to do with three things which mark Catholicism in Great Britain since the War.

First, is the acceptance of mixed marriages. The marrying of a Catholic to a non-Catholic has been more widespread here than in America for a variety of reasons. One has been the soft-pedalling by the clergy of the dangers of such marriages and also, the demographics.

Second has been the sad and horribly scandalous acceptance of the clergy of the contraceptive mentality and the rejection of Humanae Vitae. This is still obvious by the position of the clergy towards The Tablet, which is still sold in the back of Catholic Churches and is supported by those priests who allow this to happen. The Tablet immediately broke with the Church over Humanae Vitae so many years ago.

Third, and this may be unique to British Catholics, as I never heard anyone state this opinion in the States, is that birth control is fine in a marriage relationship but not fine for fornication, that is, sex outside of marriage.

This, of course, is a misunderstanding of the purpose of marriage. This error lies at the feet of the clergy. I hate to say this, but too many priests have over-emphasized the primary reason of marriage as companionship and have separated the marriage act from the call of God to pro-create. NFP classes should be offered in all dioceses, so that engaged couples can learn how to use this effective means as soon as they are married. Why the emphasis on children has slipped away is part of the contraceptive mentality and the forgetfulness of one of the most important reasons for marriage, the establishment of the nuclear family, which is not a politically correct term.

Until this mentality is addressed, Catholics have lost the culture war in Britain and people's souls as in danger.

There is no such thing as invincible ignorance in our society, so that cannot be use as an excuse. Sadly, adults in Britain, who have grown up with the contracepting mentality, must be evangelized, which is hard when one of two in the couple are not open to changing.

Only the Holy Spirit can convict, but we must be willing to pray for loving approaches to this serious problem.

To be continued....

Re-post on ignorance and culpability

Friday, 27 July 2012

Types of sins and culpability mark two--perfection

Readers have asked me to look at Garrigou-Lagrange more directly with his definitions of sins. I did a few this past week and here are some more. He divides sins into classifications. After all this negativity, I shall go back to the virtues, which are much more interesting and fun for me.

These categories are connected to Thursday's response as well. The Dominican writes: The sin of ignorance is that which springs from voluntary and culpable ignorance, called vincible ignorance. The sin of frailty is that which arises from a strong passion which diminishes liberty and impels the will to give its consent. As for the sin of malice, it is committed with full liberty, quasi de industria, intentionally and often with premeditation, even without passion or ignorance. We shall recall what St. Thomas teaches about each of them.

This first demarcation reveals that frailty or weakness is culpable, which is hard for modern men and women to understand. We make psychological excuses for many things.

I am not going into all the categories of ignorance, but I want to highlight one. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange again: Voluntary or vincible ignorance cannot completely excuse sin, for there was negligence; it only diminishes culpability. Absolutely involuntary or invincible ignorance completely exculpates from sin; it does away with culpability. As for concomitant ignorance, it does not excuse from sin, for, even if it did not exist, one would still sin.
Invincible ignorance is called "good faith." That ignorance be truly invincible or involuntary, it is necessary that the person cannot morally free himself from it by a serious effort to know his duties. It is impossible to be invincibly ignorant of the first precepts of the natural law: Do good and avoid evil; do not do to others what you would not wish them to do to you; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; one God alone you shall adore. At least by the order of the world, the starry sky, and the whole creation, man can easily obtain a knowledge of the probability of the existence of God, supreme Ordainer and Legislator. When he has this probability, he must seek to become more enlightened and must ask for light; otherwise he is not in genuine good faith or in absolutely involuntary and invincible ignorance. As much must be said of a Protestant for whom it becomes seriously probable that Catholicism is the true religion. He must clarify his idea by study and ask God for light. Unless he does this, as St. Alphonsus says, he already sins against faith by not wishing to take the means necessary to obtain it.

If one does not desire to be free of sin, that in itself is a problem. As the author states, issues involving the human capacity of knowing natural law never excuse a person. I hope this is not confusing. In other words, as I have stated before, all people must learn what they need to know to be free of a vice and pray for help. Counseling and the sacramental life are necessities, not luxuries.

Fraility also involve choice: A sin of frailty is one which springs from a strong passion, which impels the will to give its consent. With this meaning, the Psalmist says: "Have mercy on me, a Lord, for I am weak." (17) The spiritual soul is weak when its will yields to the violence of the movements of the sensible appetites. It thus loses rectitude of practical judgment and of voluntary election or choice, by reason of fear, anger, or concupiscence. Thus, during the Passion, Peter yielded through fear and denied our Lord three times. When, by reason of a lively emotion or of a passion, we are inclined toward an object, the intellect is induced to judge that it is suitable for us, and the will to give its consent contrary to the divine law.(18)
But we must distinguish here the so-called antecedent passion, which precedes the consent of the will, and that called consequent, which follows it. Antecedent passion diminishes culpability, for it diminishes the liberty of judgment and of voluntary choice; it is particularly apparent in very impressionable people. On the contrary, consequent or voluntary passion does not lessen the gravity of sin, but augments it; or rather it is a sign that the sin is more voluntary, since the will itself arouses this inordinate movement of passion, as happens in a man who wishes to become angry the better to manifest his ill will.(19) Just as a good consequent passion, such as Christ's holy anger when He was driving the merchants from the Temple, increases the merit, so an evil consequent passion augments the demerit.

I repeat that there is always culpability, but sometimes this is lessened. Before I get to sins of malice, which we mostly understand, let us look at this warning from the text. It would be a gross error to think that only the sin of malice can be mortal because it alone implies the sufficient advertence, the full consent, together with the serious matter, necessary for the sin which gives death to the soul and renders it worthy of eternal death. Such an error would result from a badly formed conscience, and would contribute to increase this deformity. Let us remember that we can easily resist the beginning of the inordinate movement of passion, and that it is a duty for us to do so and also to pray for help, according to the words of St. Augustine, quoted by the Council of Trent: "God never commands the impossible, but, in commanding, He warns us to do what we are able and to ask Him for help to do that which we cannot." (22)

This is the rub...we must not cover over our own tendencies and weaknesses. As one of my readers noted remembering Barney in The Andy Griffith Show, "Nip it. Nip it in the bud!"

to be continued...

Re-post on baptism

Friday, 4 May 2012

On Baptism Again......

I shall get back to Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical on love after this post. I must write about the terrible confusion in the Church regarding the sacrament of Baptism. Now, I have written about this before, but the confusion is so widespread among Catholics, that a repetition is needed. I hope other people in catechesis and RCIA help clarify the confusion. It is almost as if some Catholics no longer believe in Original Sin.

We are all born with Original Sin. Baptism takes away the sin, which has separated us from God and grace.

So, what does baptism do?

One: it makes one a child of God. We are not born as adopted children of God; only once, in our life and with His Life, which is sanctifying grace, are we made children of God.

Two: it makes us co-heirs with Christ in eternal life and in the life of God on earth, with is the life of grace. Without baptism, we do not inherit heaven, nor the life of God, the Kingdom of God within. We receive the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in baptism, not in any other way. We are heirs of God and heirs of heaven. (These points could be divided into three).

Three: we are given the means to achieve perfection, that is, through sanctifying grace. We are given the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. We are given the gifts to grow and develop the other virtues, not natural virtues, but supernatural ones.

Four: we are given salvation, which means, eternal life, if we cooperate with the graces and virtues given.

Five: we are made pleasing to God and just in His Eyes, through the Death and Resurrection of Christ, through the waters of baptism.

Six: we are given the means to gain merit. Only souls in grace, not those in mortal sin, can gain merit.

Seven: we are united with God in an intimate union.

All these items may be found in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the documents of the Church regarding baptism, and in the Scriptures, particularly the Letters of Paul and the Letters of John and in other catechisms, as well as the writings of the saints.

To believe that all people have access to heaven and the above gifts, as well as the state of grace becoming children of God without baptism is to be a heretic. It is too bad, but many Catholics fall into heresy for the following reasons.

One: like myself, there are children in our families, such as nieces, nephews, etc. who are not baptised and some people cannot bear the suffering of facing the truth about their state. I, for example, have a niece who is not baptised. This is a painful situation, but as I am not her parents, I can only pray that God will inspire her to be baptised someday.

Two: many Catholics cannot face the real tragedy of abortion, which is that the souls of these little victims may not be taken up into the Beatific Vision as those who are baptised. Unbaptized babies, as Blessed John Paul II stated, are in the mercy of God. But, we cannot assume that their state is the same as that of a baptised baby. Otherwise, we are denying the efficacy of the sacrament.

Three: many Catholics simply do not believe in Original Sin, hell, or purgatory. In other words, some believe in the heresy of universal salvation, which I think is the most common heresy in the world today.

Four: relativism regarding religions demands that baptism makes no difference as all good people go to heaven--this is a common heresy as well.

Five: the misunderstanding of the baptism of desire, which only applies to those over the age of reason who cannot because of serious circumstances, such as persecution, be baptised. Another person other than one's self cannot desire baptism for a second party.

Six: some Catholics believe all children are in a state of innocence simply because they are children. This is a sentimental idea which used to be common and still lingers on in some circles.

Seven: the misunderstanding of the Nature of God makes some think that God would never punish or damn a child. Now, invincible ignorance is always a possibility, but as I wrote in an earlier posting, children can choose evil and if not baptised, the choosing of good is much harder.

Why Confusion?

I have been studying again, in the past four days, two subjects about which two people seem confused.

The first (I shall get to the second in another post) is the subject of invincible ignorance, a topic which was very important after the discovery of the natives of the New World in the 15th century. The Church had discussed such ignorance in the earliest days and the Doctors of the Church were very clear that the pagans having heard the Gospel were responsible for rejecting it.

In addition, such ignorance would have been informed by natural law, which all humans share by the fact that they are human. Now, the question has been incorrectly addressed in Catholic colleges, seminaries and universities in the last forty years.

Let me start this rehash of this subject which I have had on this blog before by stating that Aquinas, and especially the Thomist, Francisco de Vitoria, to whom I shall return in a minute, are clear on the responbilities of those who have heard the Gospel. 

The Doctors of the Church dealt with the problem of the non-salvation of the pagans over and over. The consensus was that pagans were not saved by their good works, and that it was very hard to remain free of mortal sin, even if one was in ignorance, and, therefore, most pagans who rejected Christ were not saved.

This idea, that most humans fall easily into mortal sin without the graces of baptism and the sacraments, is easily seen today. Without grace, one cannot save one's self by one's own efforts, which is the heresy of Pelagius.

To reject information is an act of the will or a reaction of the appetities, emotions involving the capitol sins of pride, sloth, and so on.

That most men and women today in America, Canada, and Europe are not in invincible ignorance must be stated clearly. Even if one did not have access to television, radio, the Internet, the culture of Europe, which was created by the Church, that is, Western Culture, constantly reminds one of the Catholic Faith.

One cannot ignore classical music, great churches, art, and so on in the West. All of these things point to God and to Christ, still.

The great philosophers and theologians agreed that even in a person was in invincible ignorance, they would most likely be damned because of Original Sin and mortal sins.

Vitoria, who was very fair to the natives of the New World and wrote extensively on how Europeans could not exploit them, still wrote this that even if a prophet came and foretold the conquest of the Indians by the Spanish with signs and miracles to back him up, this would not make them blameless, "any more than Nebuchadenazzer or Jeroboam".

The key is reason. The Faith is reasonable and therefore, all humans, who have reason, can come to the conclusion that Christianity is the way to truth and God.

Here is a summary of Vitoria on some of these points regarding the natives of the New World. Thanks to ET for this.

1. The Emperor is not the lord of the whole world.

2. Even if the Emperor were the lord of the world, that would not entitle
him to seize the provinces of the Indian aborigines and to erect new lords
and put down the former lords or to levy taxes.

3. The Pope is not civil or temporal lord of the whole world, in the proper
sense of civil lordship and power.

4. Even if the Supreme Pontiff had secular power over the world, he could
not give that power to secular princes.

5. The Pope has temporal power, but only so far as it subserves things

6. The Pope has no temporal power over the Indian aborigines or over other

7. A refusal by these aborigines to recognize any dominion of the Pope is
no reason for making war on them and for seizing their goods.

8. Whether these aborigines were guilty of the sin of unbelief, in that
they did not believe in Christ, before they heard anything of Christianity.

9. What is required in order that ignorance may be imputed to a person as,
and be, sin, that is, vincible ignorance. And what about invincible

10. Whether the aborigines are bound to hearken to the first messengers of
Christianity so as to commit mortal sin in not believing Christ's Gospel
merely on its simple announcement to them.

11. If the faith were simply announced and proposed to them and they will
not straightway receive it, this is no ground for the Spaniards to make war
on them or to proceed against them under the law of war.

12. How the aborigines, if they refuse when asked and counselled to hear
peaceably preachers of religion, can not be excused from mortal sin.

13. When the aborigines would be bound to receive Christianity under penalty
of mortal sin.

14. In the author's view it is not sufficiently dear whether Christianity
has been so proposed and announced to these aborigines that they are bound
to believe it under the penalty of fresh sin.

15. Even when Christianity has been proposed to them with never so much
sufficiency of proof and they will not accept it, this does not render it
lawful to make war on them and despoil them of their possessions.

16. Christian princes can not, even on the authority of the Pope, restrain
these aborigines from sins against the law of nature or punish them


High School Home Schooling Alert

  • The following is a list of all of Rev. John Anthony Hardon's publications. Use these for high school religion, as well as the Compendium:
    • Christianity in Conflict: A Catholic View of Protestantism, Newman Press: 1959
    • All My Liberty, Newman: 1959, rev. ed. 1981
    • Teaching Devotion to the Sacred Heart, Loyola University Press: 1963
    • For Jesuits: 1963
    • The Hungry Generation: Religious Attitudes and Needs in a State University, Newman: 1967
    • The Spirit and Origins of American Protestantism: A Sourcebook in Its Creeds, Pflaum Press: 1968
    • The Protestant Churches of America: 2d ed. 1968, rev. ed., Double Day & Co Inc.: 1981
    • Religions of the Orient—A Christian View, Loyola University Press: 1970
    • American Judaism, Loyola University Press: 1971
    • The Catholic Catechism: A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church, Image: 1975
    • Holiness in the Church, Saint Paul Editions: 1976
    • Religious Life Today, St. Paul Editions: 1977
    • Christianity in the 20th Century, Image Books, 2d. ed. 1972, rev. ed. 1978
    • Salvation and Sanctification, St. Paul: 1978
    • Theology of Prayer, Daughters of Saint Paul: 1979
    • Modern Catholic Dictionary, Doubleday : 1980
    • The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism, Hippo Books: 1981
    • Religions of the World, Image Books: 2d. ed.: 1981
    • Pocket Catholic Dictionary, Image Books: 1985
    • Family Consecration Prayer Book, Apostolate for Family Consecration: 1986
    • The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom, Doubleday: 1987
    • Basic Catholic Catechism: Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine for Catechists, The Catholic Voice of America: 1987
    • The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan, Doubleday: 1989
    • Pocket Catholic Catechism, Mass Market: 1989
    • Catholic Catechist’s Manual: 1989
    • The Catholic Answer Book: 1989
    • Catholic Life, Doubleday: 1989
    • Heart of the Redeemer: An Apologia for the Contemporary and Perennial Value of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Manassas Trinity Communications: 1989
    • Masters of the Spiritual Life: 1990
    • Great Marian Writers: 1990
    • The Catholic Family in the Modern World, The Leaflet Missal Company: 1991
    • History of Eucharistic Adoration, CMJ Marian Publishers: 1991
    • The Catholic Discovery of America: 1992
    • Memoirs of Fatima: 1992
    • The Real Presence: 1992
    • Retreat with the Lord: A Popular Guide to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, Servant Publications: 1993
    • The Faith: A Popular Guide Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Noram International Partners LLC: 1995
    • Catechism on the Gospel of Life, Eternal Life: 1996
    • A Prophet for the Priesthood: A Spiritual Biography of Father Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, Intermirifica Inc.: 1998
    • Father Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book, Eternal Life Inc.: 1999
    • Spiritual Life in the Modern World, Eternal Life: 2000
    • Catholic Catechism on the Angels, Eternal Life: 2000
    • A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, 1st Books Library: 2001
    • With Us Today: On the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Saint Austin Press: 2002
    • The History and Theology of Grace, Sapientia Press
  • Good luck finding these. Some are on Amazon.