Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From Christ The King, Sarasota 2011

Merry Christmas to all from Christ the King, Sarasota, FL! Words do not begin to describe the beauty of tonight's candle lit midnight Mass, so I thought I would share a few pictures I took instead.

Checking out Fr. James Fryar's antique missal before Mass.

The altar before Mass.
Fr. Fryar carries in the infant Jesus.
Fr. Fryar kissing the altar.

Breaking out the incense.

Reading the Epistle.
Incensing the Gospel.

The Consecration.

We at Christ the King are truly blessed to have something that few have today in the world. Indeed a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Commentary on the Psalms: St. Bellarmine

I just bought myself a Christmas gift! Well, that is the excuse I am using for the purchase of my new Bellarmine commentary on the Psalms book. There is a wealth of spiritual guidance offered in this 380 plus page coffee table sized book. Each Psalm is expounded upon by one our great Saints of the Church in extensive commentary, perfect for sitting home at the desk for spiritual contemplation. This along with St. Augustine's commentary should be sufficient for years or perhaps even a lifetime of examining the Psalms. If you are still looking for Christmas gifts, this will make a nice one.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Podcast: A Legitimate Crusade To End The Death Penalty?

I have compiled much of what I have written and referenced concerning the death penalty in a new Podcast episode. It is titled, 'A Legitimate Crusade To End The Death Penalty?' It clocks in at over an hour and I have tried to present my position refuting the current crusade that the US Catholic bishops are making to abolish capital punishment. You can stream the podcast here or download it on iTunes from the CatholicChampion podcast channel. Just click the update option on your iTunes for the podcast and it will be downloaded to your computer. Comments are welcome here so don't be shy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

James White, a 100 Denominations or 100,000 What’s the Difference?

James White, a 100 Denominations or 100,000 What’s the Difference?
Matthew J. Bellisario. 2011

    I saw the arch-heretic “Reformed” Protestant James White complaining about Catholic apologists using the 33,000 denomination number again for the number of Protestant sects in existence since the “Reformation.” I wrote an article a couple of years ago addressing this issue and I came to the conclusion that there were well over 100 plus Protestant denominations with significant doctrinal beliefs, which came about as a result of their personal interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures. I believe that by Catholics using this inflated number of 33,000, they are only causing problems for future conversions, because this number is not truly accurate. We can see why this is the case when we look at James White’s latest video where he cries like a baby over Michael Voris using a number of 40,000 Protestant denominations. Can anyone wine and complain so much as this droning, blathering windbag? How one can stand to listen to his rant on this video is beyond me. However, I am sorry to say, I would never use such an inflated number, because quite frankly, it is not accurate. What this does is give White and those wining Protestant apologists like him an easy smokescreen. White loves to gloat about the unjustified inflated number that these Catholic apologists use today in their apologetic works to demonstrate the failure of Sola Scriptura. Yet, I find it ironic that White never addresses the justified number of 100 plus (Going by a wide variety of names) Protestant sects that I can prove do exist. It is a fact these 100 plus Protestant sects all disagree with each other on a huge number of significant doctrinal beliefs. These include, how they are saved, if they can lose their salvation, if they are strictly predestined for heaven or hell, how they understand the sacrament of Baptism, how they interpret and understand the Last Supper, and the list goes on and on. How does James White deal with this enormous failure of the heresy of Sola Scriptura, which has produced well over 100 Protestant sects? You guessed it, he does not address the issue. He would rather focus on the inflated number that these apologists keep using.

The fact is, whether or not there are 100, or 100,000 Protestant sects makes no real difference in the end. Did Our Lord come to make 100 churches all teaching different core doctrines? No, He established one Church, not 100, not 33,000, not 40,000, not 100,000. So all James White does in his latest video is throw huge smokescreen over his man made doctrine by attacking the gross exaggeration that unfortunately all too many Catholic apologists use today. He does this rather than addressing the real insurmountable problem the “Reformers” have, which is that Sola Scriptura has been a cause of doctrinal division, not doctrinal unity. Did the early Church believe in Sola Scriptura? No. Did any of the early Church Fathers teach it? No. Oh sure you will see the Protestant pop-apologists like White take the Fathers out of context when the Fathers speak highly of Sacred Scripture, but the Fathers never taught the heretical doctrine that James White and his pop-apologist buddies teach today, which is that Scripture alone is the sole rule of the Christian faith. Jesus didn’t teach it, the apostles didn’t teach it, the Church Fathers didn’t teach it, and the Sacred Scriptures never teach it. So even while White is justified in refuting the gross exaggeration (Not wining incessantly about it) of how many Protestant denominations many Catholics claim there are, it really doesn’t help his overall argument concerning Sola Scriptura. White never really addresses the division this man made doctrine has fostered over the past 500 plus years. I would love for once to see James White actually deal with the problem of this huge Protestant division that has been caused largely, but not solely by Sola Scriptura, rather than use the exaggerations of these Catholic apologists to hide behind like a coward. 100 or 100,000 denominations, does it really matter? I agree that this exaggeration is not justified and I call upon Catholic apologists like Michael Voris to quit using these inflated numbers so that White and those like him will have less to hide behind. In the end, division is division, and division is not of the Holy Spirit, and Sola Scriptura is not of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Who sent you Dr. White? Not Jesus, not the apostles and not Sacred Scripture. Deal with the fact that your man made doctrine is part of the cause of over 100 different Protestant sects, all claiming that they are the true Church and the true interpreters of Sacred Scripture. Deal with that rather than crying like a 5 year old for minutes on end about something that in principle doesn’t fix the pickle you are in.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Traditional Catholic Understanding of Punishment

You have heard me say before that many in the Church hierarchy today are attempting to redefine moral theology to suit their modernist agendas. An assault is being waged against the natural law today within the Church, and the subject of legitimate punishment legislated by the state is often maligned and intentionally misconstrued by many in the Church today. Below is an excerpt from a Thomistic moral theology book published in 1895 by Rev. Charles Coppens, S.J., and the work is titled 'A Brief Textbook of Moral Philosophy'. Notice here how the Church had clearly defined punishment, and the primary and secondary reasons for it. Next observe how the Church understood capital punishment in regard to human dignity. It is clear that many of the bishops today do not have a clear understanding of the topic at hand or we would not see the misguided opposition to the death penalty that we see today by the bishops. Take a look below to familiarize yourself with how the Church up until recent times viewed punishment and the death penalty.

From 'A Brief Textbook of Moral Philosophy'

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Archbishop Dolan Redefining Human Dignity

The modernist crisis is alive and well within the Church hierarchy. In reading a recent article concerning Archbishop Dolan's teaching regarding human dignity and the death penalty, we can see what happens when the seminaries quit teaching Thomistic principles in moral theology. The archbishop nonsensically stated ,"“If even a man on death row has a soul, is a human person, an ‘is’ that cannot be erased even by beastly crimes he may have committed, then we ought not to strap him to a gurney and inject him with poison.” The Archbishop obviously does not understand that the death penalty cannot be against the dignity of the human person if carried out by a lawful authority. In fact it upholds it by sustaining the common good of society. If we read past documents by Saints and past Popes we all know that the death penalty does not in any way violate a person's "human dignity." Does the archbishop think himself wiser than St Thomas Aquinas, Pope Pius XII, or the entire Church of the year 1210 when it formally mandated that the Waldensians accept the use of the death penalty as a legitimate form of punishment? Did they think it contrary to human dignity? No.

St. Thomas Aquinas addressed this issue in depth long before Archbishop Dolan, and the Church has firmly stood by his point of view concerning this matter throughout the centuries. St. Thomas clearly views capital punishment as being in keeping with the fundamental principles of human dignity. If we read the ST 1-2.85 we can see how St. Thomas understands the effects of sin. He understands that even a criminal does not lose their fundamental dignity, which is that they are made in the image and likeness of God. This however never compelled St. Thomas to advocate abolishing capital punishment. What is true then is true now. Cultural variation does not change truth and Pope Pius XII told us this specifically in regard to capital punishment. (cf. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 47 (1955): 81-82.) The Archbishop here is clearly railing against 2000 years of the Church's voice repeatedly telling us that the death penalty does not in any manner violate human dignity. If it did, it would be malum in se, that is it would be evil in itself and it would never be justified as a licit moral act upheld by the Church in past centuries. When are the few Thomists that are left in the hierarchy going to challenge this kind of modernist theological rubbish? Is it not time that the seminaries and bishops honored Pope Leo XIII's wishes to restore Thomism to the Church?

"Among the Scholastic Doctors, the chief and master of all towers Thomas Aquinas, who, as Cajetan observes, because "he most venerated the ancient doctors of the Church, in a certain way seems to have inherited the intellect of all. The doctrines of those illustrious men, like the scattered members of a body, Thomas collected together and cemented, distributed in wonderful order, and so increased with important additions that he is rightly and deservedly esteemed the special bulwark and glory of the Catholic faith... But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull In Ordine; Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull Pretiosus, and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows lustre from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull Mirabilis that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors;...the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: "It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same."...We think it hazardous that its special honor should not always and everywhere remain, especially when it is established that daily experience, and the judgment of the greatest men, and, to crown all, the voice of the Church, have favored the Scholastic philosophy.

Moreover, to the old teaching a novel system of philosophy has succeeded here and there, in which We fail to perceive those desirable and wholesome fruits which the Church and civil society itself would prefer. For it pleased the struggling innovators of the sixteenth century to philosophize without any respect for faith, the power of inventing in accordance with his own pleasure and bent being asked and given in turn by each one. Hence, it was natural that systems of philosophy multiplied beyond measure, and conclusions differing and clashing one with another arose about those matters even which are the most important in human knowledge. From a mass of conclusions men often come to wavering and doubt; and who knows not how easily the mind slips from doubt to error? But, as men are apt to follow the lead given them, this new pursuit seems to have caught the souls of certain Catholic philosophers, who, throwing aside the patrimony of ancient wisdom, chose rather to build up a new edifice than to strengthen and complete the old by aid of the new-ill-advisedly, in sooth, and not without detriment to the sciences. For, a multiform system of this kind, which depends on the authority and choice of any professor, has a foundation open to change, and consequently gives us a philosophy not firm, and stable, and robust like that of old, but tottering and feeble.
Taken from Pope Leo III, Aeterni Patris

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Excellent Article On Capital Punishment

Christopher Ferrara has written a great article regarding Capital Punishment in Crisis Magazine.

"Clearly, the Church has no authority to abandon the radical moral distinction between capital punishment of the guilty and the killing of an innocent. To reject that distinction is to undermine belief in divine justice itself, which demands the supernatural death of unrepentant souls for all eternity. It is manifestly impossible for Catholic doctrine on the death penalty to “develop” from an approbation based on revealed truth to  a condemnation based on the teaching of the last Pope. And, if we are not discussing the immorality of capital punishment in itself, when all is said and done it is not a question of “development” of doctrine, but only the debatable application of a morally legitimate penalty. Here Catholics, and civil authorities, remain free to make their own prudential judgments."
Christopher A. Ferrara (Can the Church Ban Capital Punishment)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Documentary on Archbishop Lefebvre

Coming in the very near future is a documentary on Archbishop Lefebvre. It looks to be very interesting. In the meantime if you are interested in learning more about him and the modernism he opposed in the Church, there are a few good books worth reading listed below the video.

Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography-
I am reading this now and it very well written. It is well over 600 pages so it is not for the light reader. 

Horn Of The Unicorn
For those who want a more abbreviated and headline type biography, this may be the book you want to start with.  

I Accuse The Council
Don't be put off by the title. This book summarizes the interventions that Lefebvre was involved in during the Second Vatican Council.  It makes for interesting reading.

They Have Uncrowned Him
This is his work detailing his thoughts on the history of modernism and how he perceived it to be creeping into the Church.