Saturday, December 30, 2017

Catechetical Basics: The Sacraments Explained

The theology of the Sacraments much like other points of theological teaching are under assault in the Church today. The Sacraments are often trivialized or taught to be mere signs of communal membership within the Church. Often heretical theologians, RCIA team members or DREs in parishes teach that certain Sacraments such as that of Penance only were developed later in the Church communities. Thus they come to ridiculous conclusions that one can receive forgiveness of mortal sins by going to Mass and participating in the penitential rite. I have heard this myself in the confessional as well as in the classroom. Why are these pernicious errors so prevalent in the Church today?

Catechesis is at an all time low in the Church and I would argue that the clergy and laity have not been this ignorant since the Black Plague killed off the educated clergy in the 14th century. There are a few basics concerning the Sacraments that I wanted to document here for those who may stumble across them on the Net searching for a basic outline. If anyone were to contradict any of these basic teachings of the Church listed below, they would be in error and they should be resisted. Below is a simple outline which can be used as a tool to further examine the Sacraments more in depth. I used mostly the wonderful work of Arthur Devine, 'The Sacraments Explained' to compile this outline. I recommend this work for anyone who wants an in depth understanding of the Sacraments. Reprints, used copies and free Epubs can be found online. As I have mentioned before, the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent should be required reading for anyone teaching the faith. 

There are three essential attributes that apply to all of the Sacraments. 
1. They are outward visible signs of a reality. We see these signs in the performed rite of the Church such as the sprinkling of water in Baptism. These are required as the Church prescribes to be valid. 
2. The were all divinely instituted by Jesus Christ Himself, without exception. This is a dogma of the Catholic faith. All seven Sacraments come from Christ and were all known and performed by the apostles by His command. Thus they are all necessary and none are superfluous. 
3. They contain in themselves by their own virtue and power, ex opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), the power of life giving grace. This means that the Sacrament itself is a channel of divine grace given for the salvation and sanctification of all men. They are not mere external signs of membership to a community and contain in themselves the production of grace in virtue of the power given to them by God. The Sacraments themselves then are instruments of grace. 

The Sacraments in number. 
There are seven Sacraments of the Church, no more and no less. The Councils of Trent and Florence are clear that they are as follows.. Baptism, Confirmation, The Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. 

Character on the soul. 
Certain Sacraments impress a character on the soul while the others do not. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders impress a character on the soul and thus can only be received once. 

Sacraments of the living and the dead. 
Sacraments of the living are those supposed to be living in a state of grace and thus supply an increase of grace in the person who receives them. They are Confirmation, The Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony. 

Sacraments of the dead are those who are spiritually dead and are said to give grace to give life to those in such a state. These are Baptism and Penance. Those who have yet to receive Baptism or those in mortal sin who have not gone to the Sacrament of Penance should not receive any of the other Sacraments until they have done so. 

Proper matter and form make a Sacrament valid. 
1. The matter of the Sacrament is the sensible thing used such as water for Baptism. 
2. The form is the manner in which the Sacrament is performed in the words of the rite itself. Some are essential some are not. Certain words are essential in each Sacrament in order for it to be valid. These signify the grace or power to be conveyed as such distinguishing it from the other Sacraments. For example, in the case of Baptism for example the words, ""N___, I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." 
3. The matter and form go together as a whole thus the water is poured while the Baptismal formula is pronounced. Each Sacrament has its proper rite to which these two go together as a whole and should be followed as prescribed by the Church in the appropriate rite. 
4. Any substantial change in either the matter or form invalidates the Sacrament. 
5. Whenever a reasonable doubt exists as to their validity the Sacrament can be repeated conditionally. 

The proper administrator of the Sacraments. 
1. The primary minister of the Sacraments is Christ, the secondary is the minister who confers or administrates the Sacrament physically in the name of Christ by His authority. 
2. There are ordinary and extraordinary ministers. The ordinary is that who has the authority to do so according to the general law established by the Church. The extraordinary is one who ministers outside the general law due to necessity. 
3. There are two conditions required for a minister to validly administrate the Sacraments, 1) That they have power given to them by God to so so, 2) To have the intention of doing what the Church does. Each Sacrament has different laws concerning ministers. For example, Holy Orders can only be administrated by bishops, no exceptions, while Baptism could be administrated by a lay person in time of necessity. 

The Canons of Trent on the Sacraments in General- Session 7

Canon 1. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, or that there are more or less than seven, namely, baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order and matrimony, or that any one of these seven is not truly and intrinsically a sacrament, let him be anathema.

Canon 2. If anyone says that these sacraments of the New Law do not differ from the sacraments of the Old Law, except that the ceremonies are different and the external rites are different, let him be anathema.

Canon 3. If anyone says that these seven sacraments are so equal to each other that one is not for any reason more excellent than the other, let him be anathema.

Canon 4. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification, though all are not necessary for each one, let him be anathema.

Canon 5. If anyone says that these sacraments have been instituted for the nourishment of faith alone, let him be anathema.

Canon 6. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify, or that they do not confer that grace on those who place no obstacles in its way, as though they were only outward signs of grace or justice received through faith and certain marks of Christian profession, whereby among men believers are distinguished from unbelievers, let him be anathema.

Canon 7. If anyone says that grace, so far as God's part is concerned, is not impaired through the sacraments always and to all men even if they receive them rightly, but only sometimes and to some persons, let him be anathema.

Canon 8. If anyone says that by the sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred ex opere operato, but that faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient to obtain grace, let him be anathema.

Canon 9. If anyone says that in three sacraments, namely, baptism, confirmation and order, there is not imprinted on the soul a character, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible mark, by reason of which they cannot be repeated, let him be anathema.

Canon 10. If anyone says that all Christians have the power to administer the word and all the sacraments, let him be anathema.

Canon 11. If anyone says that in ministers, when they effect and confer the sacraments, there is not required at least the intention of doing what the Church does, let him be anathema.

Canon 12. If anyone says that a minister who is in mortal sin, though he observes all the essentials that pertain to the effecting or conferring of a sacrament, neither effects nor confers a sacrament, let him be anathema.

Canon 13. If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the administration of the sacraments, may be despised or omitted by the ministers without sin and at their pleasure, or may be changed by any pastor of the churches to other new ones, let him be anathema.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Join the Fight in San Jose! Pray the Rosary Dec 30th, 2017

If you can't be there in person offer up your Rosary at home to fight the Satanic assault against Our Lord.

In San Jose, in the Cesar Chavez Park, the usual "Christmas in the Park" trees and decorations were joined by displays of LGBT, anti-American and Satanic inspiration - even a goat-head atop a Christmas tree!

In response, we must show Our Lord, Our Lady and St. Joseph that we love them and won't let these anti-Christmas displays go unanswered!

Join an act of reparation: Rosary, Christmas Carols, Divine Praises and Consecration to Jesus through Mary. 

Bring friends to the Rosary: tomorrow, Dec. 30, 12 Noon at the Cesar Chavez Park Intersection between South Market Street and Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95113

Thursday, December 28, 2017

St. Catherine of Siena Letters and Anthology Books

Saint Catherine of Siena is one of my favorite Saints. If you take her work the 'Dialogue' along with her collection of letters there is not much in the way of spirituality and theology that is not covered. Catherine was no nonsense and her letters provide the reader with a unique spiritual insight into the lives of people from every walk of life. Catherine writes to "popes, cardinals and bishops, royalty and public officials, family and friends and disciples, and an assortment of others, including allies and opponents, a mercenary captain, a prostitute, a homosexual, and political prisoners." Suzanne Noffke, O.P. is the preeminent scholar on Saint Catherine and she provides the translations of her letters along with a brilliant 'Anthology' which allows you to look up important theological and spiritual topics in the four volumes of letters as well as the Dialogue and her Prayers. Be sure to have a copy of Nofke's translation of the Dialogue and her translation of her prayers so you can reference the passages. For example, in the Anthology if you look up the Sacrament of Confession there are seven letters referenced, one prayer referenced and three passages from the dialog referenced. The text is cited and where to find the entire letter or passage is noted so you can read the quotation in context.

These books are a bit pricey but worth every penny. You may have to make an effort to look at every avenue online to obtain all six books at a reasonable price. In general Amazon has most of them but some are over priced. Try and go to the publisher ACMRS to see which ones they have. The 385 letters are published in four hardback volumes. The Anthology is published in two volumes. The binding is nice and they are a set that can be passed on to your children. So far no paperback versions exist. These books will offer you a lifetime of enjoyment as well an extensive reference point for perennial theological and spiritual insight. I would not waste time in getting them since they seem to be harder to come by as time goes on and I am not sure if they are all still in print.

All Six Volumes

Anthology Volume One
Letters Volume One

All Six Volumes

Noffke's Translation of the Dialogue

Noffke's translation of the prayers.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Page...'Read it!'

Being a book fanatic I have added a new page to the website that offers a list of ongoing recommended books. Under the header you will see now the 'Home' page and the new 'Read It!' page. Please check back often to see what new titles have been added. Feel free to comment and recommend books that you think should be added! Also look down the sidebar for more detailed reviews and recommendations. Happy reading!

Read it!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christ is Born, Glorify Him! A Merry Christmas With Sacred Music!

Learn about Sacred Christmas music and hear it sung by one of the world's finest choirs, Harry Christopher's 'The Sixteen.' Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

When the World Lost the Sacraments: The Church and the World Today

 I would propose that the loss of grace through the loss of the proper reception of the Sacraments in the Church over the past 50 or so years has helped to put modern cultures across the globe over the edge into the immoral abyss of hell.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Presents Us With A Question: Do You Welcome Him Or Reject Him?

Advent is coming to a close and Christmas is almost here. With the coming of Christ in the Incarnation, the world has been changed. No other person in the history of the world has had as much impact on the world as Jesus Christ. There is of course a reason for this, He is the creator of it! With the coming of Christ comes also a responsibility for each and every person. Will the love of Christ be the focus of one's life or will the world be the focus of one's life? As we know wherever the love of man is directed, there his time and his heart will also be found. Does our relationship with Christ come first in our lives or does something else preoccupy us? The Incarnation of Jesus Christ brings mercy to the world, yes, it's the good news! But it also brings forth a mandatory response from each person to accept or reject His mercy. The choice is ours. Which side are you on? This question beckons us this Christmas season. As the world falls deeper and deeper into an anti-Christian abyss, will we ourselves fall into it? Or will we look instead into the abyss of mercy and love of Jesus Christ? As we see the merciful infant Jesus bring forth love and grace to all mankind, are we prepared to welcome Him or reject Him? Is our lamp lit and burning or is it found to be without flame? This is the message we need to share with our friends and loved ones this Christmas season.

Building Your Reference Library: Dogmatic Theology

As most people know, I am a book fiend. I would rather keep wearing my old clothes, skip haircuts and not eat than not purchase a great book. In order to research theological topics it is important to have a wide selection of reliable doctrinal and spiritual writings from which to choose. I try and stay with traditional reprints when it comes to dogmatic theology, which I am focusing on in this post. Listed below are several traditional resources that I consider to be of great value in a home library. These can be used to teach family catechism and most questions that arise concerning dogmatic theology can be answered by referring to these books. Yes, these books are not cheap, but they are an investment in your faith! At least that is the excuse I use! 😉 In my opinion no one should be teaching RCIA without using these resources. They are all steeped in the theology of Trent heavily influenced by Aquinas.

1. Pohle-Preuss Manual of Dogmatic Theology - Complete set of 12 Volumes in Six Books
The original publication was in 12 separate volumes. Loreto has re-issued the complete set of 12 volumes in six books. The six books may be purchased individually or as a set.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Favorite Books Read In 2017

Books, books and more books! As the year comes to a close I wanted to put forth a recommended book list. Listed below are some of the books that I have read this year that I would recommend you get your hands on. They are in no particular order. Happy reading!

1. The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena.
This book really needs no introduction. It is one of the most prolific spiritual and theological writings in the history of the Church. This book is largely composed of Catherine's accounts of God the Father speaking to her during her locutions. This one book that can be read over and over, even on a yearly basis. I have a feeling that St. Catherine and God the Father would be considered rigid by today's standards!

2. Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development. by Thomas McDermott
There are many lessons to be learned if one takes their time to read and meditate on the passages in this book which quotes primarily from Catherine's Dialogue, her Letters and Sacred Scripture. There are also comparisons to the teachings of some of the Church Fathers and Saints as well. The book is well written and thoughtfully laid out. It is repetitious at times but in a pleasant way that keeps reemphasizing the spiritual themes that permeate Catherine's life and her work. This allows you to internalize her thought and hopefully grow in the love of God.

3. Christian Spirituality in Catholic Tradition. by Jordan Aumann
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing where the many spiritual practices we know of today originated from, and how there came to be different emphasis on spiritual practices depending on the time it was needed in the Church. Every major spiritual school of thought is covered.

4. Faith Comes From What is Heard. by Lawrence Feingold
This 600 plus page book is packed with a ton useful information. The book focuses on the Church and how Divine Revelation is passed on to the faithful. Topics covered include, The primacy of Peter, the Magisterium, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, Biblical typology, Exegesis of Scripture, apostolic succession and more.  

5. Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness by Peter Kwasniewski
This book is not for the faint of heart. The Mass of Paul VI is put under scrutiny and compared to the traditional Latin Mass. I don't have to say more since readers of this blog know where I stand on the liturgical changes after Vatican II.

6. Saint Dominic by Sister Mary Jane Dorcy
Saint Dominic is my favorite Saint and he has done wonderful things for me! This is a great biographical account of his life.

7. The Political Pope. by George Neumayr
Its sad to say that a critical book compiling the life of Pope Francis would make the list, but tough times call for tough measures. This book is also not for the faint of heart. The author does a good job of recounting the events of Pope Francis before he was pope and after. Don't expect fanciful prose here, just the documented facts.

8. Christ's Fulfillment of Torah and Temple. by Matthew Levering
If you desire to understand Biblical typology then this book is for you. Using Thomas Aquinas, Levering describes how the Old Testament is prefigured, transformed and fulfilled in the New Testament. This book should be in the hands of all those who take Scripture study seriously.

9. Participatory Biblical Exegesis. by Matthew Levering
This is the second book this year I read by Levering. Once again Levering offers us a true understanding of Biblical exegesis according to the Church Fathers and the theologians of the Middle Ages such as Aquinas. Levering understands the benefits and limitations of historical criticism and seeks to retrieve and restore medieval Biblical exegesis into modern Catholic Biblical scholarship.

10. Reflections. Ascent of Mt Carmel. by Marc Foley
This spiritual work is sure to prick your conscience as the author takes you on a guided trip through St John of the Cross' profound spiritual work. Pick it up daily and reflect on where your spiritual life is lacking and put into practice the recommendations given.

11. The Power of Silence. by Cardinal Robert Sarah
This writing emphasizes the importance of spending time in silent prayer. With all of the media we are bombarded with on a daily basis, the good Cardinal offers some inspiration to make time to sit in silence with God.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Necessity of Baptism (What About Baptism by Blood and Desire?)

After recently encountering some Catholic websites, it seems that some simply do not understand the sacrament of Baptism. Unfortunately most Catholics today are poorly Catechized and are thus confused even on some of the basic teachings of the Church. What grade school children understood at a basic level in years past adults today do not understand. As we know Christ calls all men to be Baptized in order to receive salvation. "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19) Through this Sacrament all guilt and temporal punishment due to sin is removed and a divine imprint is made upon the soul making one able to receive the other Sacraments. Ordinarily this entry of the Christian into the Body of Christ happens through water Baptism. There are however two other means in which adults can possibly receive some of the effects of the Sacrament, minus the imprinting of the character of the Sacrament. These are Baptism by Blood and Desire. I must state that according to reliable Catholic theological manuals such as The' Pohle-Preuss Manual of Dogmatic Theology', they define the level of authoritative teaching of the Church concerning each of these as follows.

NFP and Artificial Birth Control, Whats the Difference?

"..reason attests that there are objects of the human act which are by their nature “incapable of being ordered” to God, because they radically contradict the good of the person made in his image. These are the acts which, in the Church’s moral tradition, have been termed “intrinsically evil” (intrinsece malum); they are such always and per se, in other words, on account of their very object, and apart from the ulterior intentions of the one acting and the circumstances (Veritatis splendor, no. 80, 1)

A question has been asked in one of my comboxes so I thought it would be best to answer in a separate post. The question is as follows, 

Rhythm method is not a sexual act but neither is taking birth control. Both of these thing come from the same intent of heart to be non procreative. They both are not full proof but originate from the same desire. How can the church be ok with the premise of stopping life but only be ok with one method. In everything I have studied I have concluded that it is either 100% wrong to prevent life by any measure or if I admit that the church is smarter than I and that preventing life is ok by them then I have to believe that contraception is ok(absent of abortive ones) as long as you are open to life and share the marital act with your spouse. I have been researching this for almost a year and this is what I have concluded to hear your response would be welcoming and hopefully enlightening.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Praying the Rosary to the Interior: Purification of the Church (February 2, 2018)

We hear and see Catholics around the country complaining about the state of the Church today. Here is a chance to actually do something about it! A movement is beginning spread among Catholics in the US that is inspired by Catholics in Poland praying the Rosary together for the Church and their country. On February 2, 2018, which is the day celebrating the double Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also called Candlemas), there will occur throughout the United States the gathering of faithful in their parish churches to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Purification of the Church, and the Triumph of the Light of Christ over all sin and error. This event is titled 'Rosary To The Interior'.

I personally have been a promoter of the Rosary, and I believe that it has kept me grounded through many trials and tribulations. The Rosary is a powerful prayer that has had much success in the life of the Church against evil. Catholics united in praying the Rosary have produced many miracles throughout history including stopping the invading hordes of Islam across Europe. If you have any doubts as to the importance of the Rosary, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of 'Champions of the Rosary.' Once you begin reading it you will not want to put it down. I believe this book will inspire you to pick up the Rosary often. That being said, this event on February 2nd offers us a chance to pray together in an effort to purify the Church in our own country. Lets unite on this occasion to do something significant for our Church and country. Below is the letter that was sent out explaining what the 'Rosary To The Interior' is all about. Put this date on your calendar!

Be inspired by the Rosary!

Rosary To The Interior: For the Purification of the Church

On February 2, 2018, which is the day celebrating the double Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also called Candlemas), there will occur throughout the  United States the gathering of faithful in their parish churches  to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Purification of the Church, and the Triumph of the Light of Christ over all sin and error.

The Salvation of the Jews: Fulfillment and Transformation of the Old Covenant

Since the Church claims that the Old Covenant has never been revoked, does this mean that today's practice of Judaism is salvific? I will answer this question and more though the intriguing prophetical figure of Elijah!

This presentation is presented in both video format as well as written format. I will be examining the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New, using the prophet Elijah as the figure to deliver this teaching of the Church. I have broken this into two videos and the text follows, which includes all of my referenced sources.

Part I

Part II

The Prefigurement of Christ in the Prophetical Figure of Elijah
Matthew J Bellisario 2017

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For amen, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Realizing the Narrow Gate Part III: The Apostles, Saints and Conclusion

This is the third and final part of the series 'Realizing the Narrow Gate' where I discuss the loss of oppostio in the modern Church.

“Sin robs us of life and gives us death. It robs us of light and gives us darkness, because it dims the mind’s eye and keeps it from seeing either the sun or the dark. I mean here the dark of self-knowledge, in which we discover and see the dark sensuality that is always rebelling and fighting against our Creator. And if we do not see our own darkness we cannot know the love and light of divine goodness.” St Catherine of Siena

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Realizing the Narrow Gate Part II: The Middle Ages and Christ in the New Testament

This is the second video in the series, 'Realizing the Narrow Gate', in which I discuss the imagery of juxtaposing good and evil in the Church.

For evil men have no hope of things to come, and the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. Prov24:20

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Realizing the Narrow Gate Part I: Pope John XXIII's Paradigm Shift

This video is the first part in a series addressing the loss of the juxtaposition between good and evil in the Catholic Church. This introduction looks at the shift in thinking during the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, specifically in his opening address to the Second Vatican Council.

Vatican Wreckovation of the Nativity Scene- Will Nothing Be Spared?

Is nothing sacred anymore? Edward Pentin has tweeted out these pictures of this year's Vatican nativity scene. Will nothing be left untouched by the Francis regime? Apparently now the corporal works of mercy have been merged into the traditional arrangement.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Amoris Heretical Interpretation Now Official? Updated with Links To Articles

Has the interpretation that a person having relations with someone other than their spouse can in some cases take Holy Communion official? This is what the latest news coming out of the Vatican is saying. Any comments, ideas, thoughts?

Father Brian Harrison responds..

Dear Friends,

Today we have heard grievously troubling news from Rome: the publication in Acta Apostolicae Sedis of Pope Francis' approval of a 2016 letter of a group of Argentinian bishops, raising their controversial doctrinal position to the status of "authentic magisterium".

Some, including Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, have recently been reported as saying that the Buenos Aires bishops' letter is itself capable of a traditional, orthodox reading on the vital point - i.e., that it was still ambiguous about whether divorced and invalidly remarried Catholics could "in certain cases" receive the sacraments even without a commitment to practice continence. That is something the existing  magisterium (e.g., John Paul II in Familaris Consortio #84, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1650 and 2390,  and canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law) has insisted can never be permitted.

But on looking again at the key sections 5 and 6 of the Buenos Aires bishops' letter, I cannot see any ambiguity. Below I have reproduced the relevant text, so you, dear reader, can judge for yourself. (I have checked this translation with the original Spanish and found it accurate.) These bishops are saying that although "unrestricted" access to the sacraments cannot be granted to all divorced and invalidly remarried Catholics, Amoris Laetitia "opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist" for some people in that situation, that is, in "particular cases" where "one arrives at the recognition" that they have diminished responsibility and culpability. (We are left wondering who, exactly, is supposed to do the "recognizing" here: priest confessors? penitents themselves? a consensus of both parties?)

Excerpt from the Buenos Aires Bishops’ Letter of September 5, 2016, on the interpretation of Amoris Laetitita, Chapter 8:

5) When the concrete circumstances of a [divorced and invalidly remarried] couple make it feasible, especially when both are Christians with a journey of faith, it is possible to propose that they make the effort of living in continence. Amoris Laetitia does not ignore the difficulties of this option (cf. note 329) and leaves open the possibility of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation when one fails in this intention (cf. note 364, according to the teaching of Saint John Paul II to Cardinal W. Baum, of 22/03/1996).

6) In other, more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity, the aforementioned option [i.e., a commitment to continence] may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment. If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges [or "considers" - Spanish considere] that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351). These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace. [emphasis added above]

7) However, it is necessary to avoid understanding this possibility as an unrestricted access to the sacraments, or as though any situation might justify it.

Now, today we have been told officially in the Holy See's official record, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis that the Supreme Pontiff Francis teaches, by his letter of approval to the said bishops, that this position is now "authentic magisterium".

So Pope Francis is not proposing it as infallible teaching, which would require our definitive, irrevocable assent. Nevertheless, all teachings proposed as "authentic magisterium" are supposed to require our "religious assent of mind and will". That is, we're to accept them as almost certainly true, or morally certain (and so, if we're priests and/or theologians and/or catechists, preach and teach them confidently to our people without fear of being in error). But since the same Catholic magisterium has already for two millennia required us (I would say infallibly by virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium,  but at the very least "authentically") to believe the opposite of what the present Holy Father says, I find myself unable in conscience to just flick a switch in my mind and give my religious assent to his novel doctrine. For it's a doctrine that has been constantly and energetically rejected by the present Holy Father's predecessors in the See of Peter. Moreover, I find the argumentation being given for the supposed continuity of this new doctrine with Catholic tradition quite implausible and fallacious (see and, and I have further hesitations about the strength of a doctrine that was originally formulated in nothing more than two mere (and unclear) footnotes to the papal exhortation in question (AL notes 336 and 351).

Oremus pro Sancta Matre Ecclesia!

Fr. Brian W. Harrison, OS, STD
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Links to articles on the fallout!

Lifesite Confusion Explodes

Interview – Roberto de Mattei Discusses the Escalating Church Crisis

Edward Pentin Article

Kasper Responds

Pro-Life Leaders Pledge Fidelity

Peter Kwasniewski's Dialog of the Two Monks

The World Over Responds

Bishops in Kazakhstan Respond

Friday, December 1, 2017

Are All Religions a Unifying Force?

Pope Francis in his address in Bangledesh Nov 30th says the following,

Although my visit is primarily addressed to Bangladesh’s Catholic community, a privileged moment will be my meeting tomorrow in Ramna with ecumenical and interreligious leaders. Together we will pray for peace and reaffirm our commitment to work for peace. Bangladesh is known for the harmony that has traditionally existed between followers of the various religions. This atmosphere of mutual respect and a growing climate of interreligious dialogue enables believers to express freely their deepest convictions about the meaning and purpose of life. In this way, they can contribute to promoting the spiritual values that are the sure basis for a just and peaceful society. In a world where religion is often – scandalously – misused to foment division, such a witness to its reconciling and unifying power is all the more necessary.

Once again we see Pope Francis peddling this idea of this supposed unifying power of various religions. Although many religions share some similarities in their moral beliefs, they are far from unifying. By the fact that these different religions profess to have their own set of "truths" or philosophies, they are in contradiction to one another. There is no common good to truly be found outside of Jesus Christ. We can only go so far with the natural law. Even with the light of the natural law these other religions teach things that are contrary to the natural law. Pope Francis seems to think that this religious diversity is a good thing that can bring some type of unity to a culture or society. This of course is contrary to reason. This can be seen by the very fact that this diversity never leads to a stable society.

This ecumenical interreligious "mission" has to stop. How is Pope Francis calling those that are in the dark forces of diabolic religions and cults such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism to Christ?  He is in Bangladesh where 90% of the population is Muslim! How is that a diverse harmony of religions? How is their "spiritual values" a sure basis for a just and peaceful society? The answer is, it isn't. Islam's "spiritual values" are toxic to any culture, because it promotes falsehoods against God! Catholicism is less than 1%! What is he doing about that? Where is the call to the conversion to Christ in his addresses? There aren't any. There is not even a hint of it. It is all about making a worldly utopia, which is never going to happen. That being said, nothing is going to even improve without the light of Christ. There is no unifying good that comes from a diversity of religions which is why Christ called us to preach the Gospel to all nations.

Pope Pius IX wrote in his encyclical Qui Pluribus the following truth,

 15. Also perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Important Questions On Our Modern Culture

I recommend checking out this video which takes a look at Hollywood and the modern music industry. Have we been brainwashed into accepting evil through the gradual degradation of society? Have we even as traditional Catholics also bought into the modernist notion of abandoning the moral taboos of our forefathers? If we think hard on it, we may not like the answer.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Proper View of the Crusades

We have all heard it before, the attacks leveled against the Catholic Church and the crusades. Here is a proper response for those hecklers. Looking at the damage being done by Islam now in western society, it may be a good time to reflect on the past. 

1. We might refrain from treating this question of the Crusades. [1] We have only to read an impartial history to find the justification of these warlike expeditions which exhibit Christian society in all the splendor of religious heroism. Let us observe, however, that the end or motive of the Crusades was perfectly just, and that, so far from having the disastrous effects sometimes attributed to them, they were productive of the happiest results. 
A. The Crusades had an end which was just, generous, and civilizing. Mohammed had inspired his followers with the ardor of proselytizing by the sword. Their fanaticism had conquered Spain and, though arrested by the valiant sword of Charles Martel, meditated the conquest of the East and the destruction of civilization. The Emperors of Constantinople appealed to the Christians of the East to protect the last bulwark of Europe, and the Church added her exhortation to this pressing appeal. After Sylvester II and Sergius IV had made a generous appeal in behalf of the Christians of the Holy Land, St. Gregory VII wrote to the Emperor in 1074: "The Christians beyond the sea who are suffering unheard-of outrages, and are daily massacred like sheep, have sent to me in their great need, beseeching me to help our brethren by every means in my power in order that the Christian religion may not, God forbid, be completely annihilated in our time." 
In answering the appeal made by Urban II and Peter the Hermit in the Council of Clermont (1095) the Christian princes felt confident they were obeying the will of God. Hitherto they had only defended themselves; now they decided to carry the war into the heart of Islamism, which it was their right and their duty to do, for all the religious and social rights of European nations were threatened by the Mohammedans. Was Europe to await quietly the shame and scourge of slavery; was every Christian nation to allow itself to be oppressed, instead of forming with all the others a holy league against the enemies of the Cross? "When we blame these enterprises," says the learned de Guignes in the Memoires de l'Academie des inscriptions et des belles-lettres  (t. lxviii.), "it is because we have not sufficiently reflected upon the state of the times. The Mussulmans had taken possession of Syria, and had made themselves masters of Africa, of Spain, and of all the islands of the Mediterranean, whence they continually insulted the inhabitants on the shores of Italy. Through Spain and Corsica they entered and ravaged the southern provinces, and pillaged all the vessels they encountered. Constantinople was a powerful barrier to them; should they succeed in their attempt against it, all Europe would be endangered and run the risk of falling into their power. Attacking them in the centre of their empire would reduce their strength and deal them a blow from which they could never recover." 
B. The Crusades, it is true, did not completely accomplish the end for which they were undertaken, but we may say with Count de Maistre, "Though each one failed, yet all succeeded."  To judge these vast enterprises we must take them as a whole, without stopping at the abuses and faults which are the result of human passions, and which are to be found in all wars. Mgr. Pie, in the panegyric on St. Louis, enumerates among the happy results of the Crusades:  1st. The Moslem conquest of Constantinople and the subjugation of the East retarded four hundred years. 
2d. The saving of the West and of Christian civilization from the brutalizing rule of Islamism. The Ottoman power, which for centuries threatened to swallow up everything, was so weakened and received such a mortal blow that it continued to exist only through the indulgence of Christianity.

3d. The people of Europe were delivered from the evils which they brought upon themselves by the dissension and incessant wars of prince with prince, lord with lord, city with city. The passion for combats with which the knights were filled found noble vent: ceasing to fight among themselves, Christian warriors united their efforts against the common enemy. 
4th. The condition of the people was improved; serfs and vassals were freed by thousands; the commons acquired rights and privileges which curbed the arbitrary and tyrannical power of the lords. 
5th. Agriculture, science, and the arts also reaped great advantages. Who does not know that these expeditions paved the way for the beautiful age of Leo X and Louis XIV?
6th. They were likewise productive of much spiritual good. "Can the Christian," exclaims Mgr. Pie, "confine his gaze to the present and forget the grand horizon which opens beyond the tomb? Ah! what matters it to me, a man of the next life, what matters it to me that the Crusades are judged wrong according to the cold and tardy computations of our modern calculators, when the holy Abbot of Clairvaux assures me that he learned from Heaven that this employment of the mammon of iniquity secured to thousands of Frenchmen the imperishable treasures of supreme beatitude?
The losses of the terrestrial country were soon forgotten, and the heavenly country was enriched forever. Men of time, you speak to me of numbers; and I, a priest of eternity, I know but one number which interests me and which is worthy of my attention, the eternal number of the elect."  All these advantages largely compensated for the checks which the Crusaders suffered in consequence of dissensions and rivalries among themselves and the perfidy of the Greeks. 
Fr. W. Devivier, SJ
Edited by Bishop S.G. Messmer, DD, DCL
Bishop of Green Bay, Wisc.
Imprimatur, 1903

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Council of Trent: Original Sin

This will be the first in a series of posts that I will make concerning the Church's dogmatic teachings from the Council of Trent. As I have stated before, Trent is the Council that we should be most concerned with today in the Church since it specifically binds us in its doctrinal definitions contained in its decrees and canons. The definitions of Trent in its decrees and canons are binding on all Catholics, and those who would obstinately oppose its doctrinal definitions would be guilty of heresy. One who opposes defined doctrine cannot be pleasing to God. "That our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may, errors being purged away, continue in its own perfect and spotless integrity, and that the Christian people may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine."

Trent gave its formal decree on the doctrine of 'Original Sin' in its fifth session. The doctrine of original sin is important for any Catholic to understand. If we get it wrong it severely cripples one's understanding of man, his relationship to God and the need for a divine savior. Man's fallen nature separates him from God's friendship. This reality is founded upon a historical reality revealed to us by God in Sacred Scripture, through Christ's one and only Church. Among other things, the book of Genesis gives us an historical account of God's creation narratives and the fall of Adam, which accounts for the sinful state of mankind.

The Council of Trent held between 1545 and 1563 was called to primarily address the heretical teachings of the pretended "Reformers." Few central doctrines were left untouched by the heretics. As we know one error often leads to many others. This is the reason that the council fathers at Trent had to deal with so many of the Church's core teachings. They did this with great study and deliberation. There has been no council in which so much time in study and deliberation on these core teachings took place in the history of the Church. There are some fundamental truths that we must adhere to have a firm grasp on this doctrine. The council fathers determined five definitions that would make up the decree concerning this doctrine. They are listed below in block quotations. Notice that each definition is sealed with an anathema, meaning that one would sever or cut oneself off from the unity of faith by denying the definition. If you would like to pull up the text for yourself, you can do so by clicking on this link.

1. The first definition is that the Genesis accounts of Adam and Eve are historical accounts. Although they are not written as a modern historian would write them, they are nonetheless historical accounts of actual events and actual figures. Adam and Eve were historical figures, not myths or names for a group of people representing humanity. Trent defines that sin came through the historical figure of Adam and that specific consequences followed.

If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.
This historical event is important because God created Adam in a state of grace. When Adam sinned he lost this grace and incurred a separation from God and inherited death in both body and soul. Secondly it is also true that Adam not only effected himself but the entire human race from which we are all descended. This includes all of the consequences including the death of the soul.
If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.
  Next Trent gives us the remedy for these deadly consequences, which is the reestablishment of grace, God's friendship, to all mankind through Jesus Christ, alone.
If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema: For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. Whence that voice; Behold the lamb of God behold him who taketh away the sins of the world; and that other; As many as have been baptized, have put on Christ.
Notice that Trent defines the only means given to us by Jesus to establish this reestablishment of grace, which is through Baptism. The council fathers of Trent do not look for any exceptions to the divine command to go and baptize the entire world. The fathers at Trent did not look to accommodate other religions or look for politically correct ways to avoid offending others. They did not begin as many Catholics do today with an exception of invincible ignorance and the mere following of one's conscience in order to obtain salvation. They did not build a theology around an exception as many bankrupt theologians do today. The fathers understood the mandate give by Christ and the severe repercussions of being separated from God's grace and friendship.
If any one denies, that infants, newly born from their mothers' wombs, even though they be sprung from baptized parents, are to be baptized; or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which has need of being expiated by the laver of regeneration for the obtaining life everlasting,--whence it follows as a consequence, that in them the form of baptism, for the remission of sins, is understood to be not true, but false, --let him be anathema. For that which the apostle has said, By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned, is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere hath always understood it. For, by reason of this rule of faith, from a tradition of the apostles, even infants, who could not as yet commit any sin of themselves, are for this cause truly baptized for the remission of sins, that in them that may be cleansed away by regeneration, which they have contracted by generation. For, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
 Finally Trent finishes its decree concerning this dogma by expounding upon the effects of the Sacrament of Baptism.
If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only rased, or not imputed; let him be anathema. For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, There is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. But this holy synod confesses and is sensible, that in the baptized there remains concupiscence, or an incentive (to sin); which, whereas it is left for our exercise, cannot injure those who consent not, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; yea, he who shall have striven lawfully shall be crowned. This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy Synod declares that the Catholic Church has never understood it to be called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born again, but because it is of sin, and inclines to sin. 
Trent is sure to define the effects of Baptism clearly to combat the errors of the heretical notions of Baptism being only a symbol of one's commitment to Christ, or being merely one's profession of faith. Baptism in effect remits the deadly consequences of original sin, being the loss of original justice due to sin. It is also noted that concupiscence, or the inclination to sin remains, but man can with God's grace overcome it. We also notice here the reality of man's cooperation with God's grace being necessary.

These five definitions in this decree are infallible and indeed need to be believed in order to understand one's relationship with God. Only with this reality in mind do we see the necessity to evangelize those outside the Church. Obviously this decree does not cover every aspect of this teaching, but establishes a firm foundation for which to build upon.

What needs to be understood is that there are serious consequences for denying any of these realities that Trent defines. For example, if one were to deny that Adam was a real person through which mankind lost friendship with God, what would be the necessity of reestablishing it through Christ? How would we explain man's propensity to sin? Mankind would instead stand in no need of a savior. The entire narrative of God's relationship with Israel and all of His covenants He made with His people would be mere fabrications built on sand. There would be no need of the Old Law or its fulfillment in the New through Christ. This decree should be the starting point for understanding the Church's teaching on original sin. This decree may seem elementary to some, but unfortunately there are many in the Church who have never read this decree and have no idea as to its importance. I will cover more of Trent's decrees and canons in upcoming posts.

The eighteenth general Council terminated at Trent, on the 4th of December, 1563, and was confirmed on the 26th of January following, by a Bull of Pius IV. It had been eagerly and urgently called for by the whole Church, but it was held under the most difficult circumstances, and amid innumerable obstacles. (Rev. A. Nampon, SJ)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ten Years of Blogging!

The end of 2017 will be the centennial mark of the Catholic Champion blog. With now over 1140 posts, its been an interesting and often fun venture. The site has taken on different personalities of sorts over the years. The first four years or so the blog was oriented towards apologetics. I engaged in several debates in Protestant circles which allowed me to dig deep into the Catholic faith. Thus the majority of my earlier posts are focused on apologetic topics mostly aimed at combating the errors of Protestantism. After a several years of spirited exchanges with close minded anti-Catholic bigots such as James White, James Swan and an anonymous blogger calling himself  'Turretin Fan' I grew bored and tired of the same old nonsensical attacks and crippled arguments against the Church. Although I did receive some positive emails from Protestants who said they were thinking of converting, I decided to turn the blog in a different direction. The time I was spending in the apologetics realm was simply too draining and I began to realize there was another direction that was more important.

Being an avid reader I began to notice bad theological opinions in many of the newer Catholic books. I soon began to understand the errors of modernism. As I became immersed in the Latin Mass I began to learn about St. Thomas Aquinas. This was in large part to a couple of FSSP priests who were well versed in Thomism. I credit them as being the catalysts that drove me to study Saint Thomas. This opened a huge avenue for me to grow in my faith. As I studied Thomistic theology I began to see clearly the many errors that were being taught in the Church, and where these erroneous ideas were coming from. This prompted me to focus the blog on the traditional teachings of the Church and the reliable Catholic sources that I came across. The blog became a springboard for promoting traditional Thomistic material including books, videos and lectures.

Being a lover of the Dominicans the blog has also incorporated an orientation towards Dominican spirituality. Theology is not something that is an intellectual exercise alone, it must be aimed at deepening our love for God. So I like to throw in posts that give some insight into living the Catholic faith, taken again from time tested traditional sources.

Along the way I have posted about some of my experiences including pilgrimages I have taken. I was also fortunate enough to document the establishment and growth of the FSSP church, Christ the King in Sarasota, Florida. On the side bar you can see a chronology of Christ the King in the photographs I took. I feel privileged to have been a part of that. I still miss going to Mass there.

In ten years of writing I have learned a lot. Some of what I have written I regret the manner in which I wrote it, sometimes lacking charity. Despite my shortcomings, I have always had a desire to know and pass on the truth, and I hope that I have been able to do that successfully in most cases. While this blog is not as popular as others, I am grateful for those who stop by to read and comment. At a minimum I hope to continue in promoting solid Thomistic theological and spiritual material to my readers. Am I celebrating ten years of blogging? Not really, but I am grateful to be able to contribute in some way to this era of the Church, and I pray that it is a positive contribution. I hope to be starting a series on the Council of Trent soon, so stay tuned. May God bless and keep you!

Below are a few of my favorite articles over the years.

Save St. Thomas, Save the Church!

Transformation of a Building, Transformation of the Soul

Christ the King Photobucket

Seven Arrows Against Modernism

Pope Francis and "Immanentizing the Eschaton"

Keeping the Death Penalty Alive

Is the Catholic Church's Teaching on Contraception Infallible?

Ignorance, Conscience and Vatican II

Theology of the Icon

Blueprints Alone I Say!

Satan's Siege!

Invasion of the Soul Snatchers!

"It’s a Wonderful Life", or "Its My Life?"

Razing the Bastions

Our Lady of Good Success

Father James Gillis

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Edward Feser Interview On the Five Ways and Richard Dawkins Part I

Listen to this new interview with one of today's preeminent Thomistic scholars, Edward Feser. If you have not purchased any of his books, I would recommend starting off with these three! Enjoy!

The Last Superstition

By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed

Five Proofs of the Existence of God

Why The Council of Trent is Still the Preeminent Council of the Church

We hear day in and day out ad-nauseum about the Second Vatican Council. Bishops, priests and theologians bore us to tears harping on the same tiresome documents of Vatican II acting as if the Church started with the Second Vatican Council. Any Catholic who has studied the Church's theology and history ought to know that the documents of Vatican II hardly scratch the surface of our faith, and often times are written so poorly that they obscure the faith. The pastoral Council so called by Pope John XXIII himself brought nothing new in terms of theology and made no canonical pronouncements as the Councils before it had done. That is why we must must look back to the documents and Councils before Vatican II if we are to be fully immersed in our faith.

Although it is important to read and understand the First Vatican Council, I would argue that the preeminent Council for our time is still the Council of Trent. Trent is the most important Council the Church has had in over 500 years. The Council defined many dogmas that were under attack by the Protestant heretics. Thus what Trent defined solemnly is to be believed by every faithful Catholic, and nothing that goes against any of its canons or definitions can be accepted as orthodox. Trent defined many of the Church's theological doctrines very specifically including Transubstantiation, Justification, and all of the Sacraments.

This Council is also important for its Thomistic underpinning which its definitions and canons were built upon. Many modern theologians have claimed that the Church has never favored one particular theological "school" but this is a myth. The Church has favored the theological principles of St Thomas Aquinas both formally and informally in papal documents, Catechisms and in its definitions in general Councils. This is true of Trent. Romanus Cessario, OP writes in his recent work ‘The Achievement of Thomas Aquinas and His Interpreters’, “… as the presence of Thomists in influential positions at the Council of Trent suggests, anyone who wanted to exegete the main dogmatic definitions contained in the Decrees of the Council would have had to consult Aquinas, especially his Summa theologiae.”

As we know all of the popes for almost 100 years before the Second Vatican Council warned the Church that if the teaching of Thomas was dispensed with in the seminaries, the Church would fall into ruin. After Vatican II the modernist theologians were given pride of place. They have obscured the clear teachings of Thomas with their theological fantasies based in the modern crippled philosophies of Hegel, Kant, Heidegger and others. If we are to reorient ourselves back to reality and pull our gaze away from the fantasy-land of modernism, we must look back to Trent. Since Trent's definitions are rooted in Thomas, it is a good place to start. The time has come to stop this charade of presenting the few documents of Vatican II as the "be all, end all" expressions of our faith. The Council of Trent and the Catechism of Trent is where you will find the heart of Catholic teaching and it would do the Church well for theologians, priests, bishops and laity to start delving back into its rich presentation of our faith.

The Council of Trent

The Catechism of the Council of Trent

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Edward Pentin on the State of the Vatican Today

If you want an inside view on what is going on in the Church this video is a must watch!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cardinal Burke Gives Lecture on Modernism, Apostasy and Fatima

Here is the full text of a recent lecture given by Cardinal Burke on the state of the Church today. Burke quotes Aquinas and encyclicals such as  E Supremi, and  Pascendi Dominici Gregis to explain what we are facing today. I am happy to see a prince of the Church turn to the warnings and solutions of the popes prior to Vatican II. 

Apostasy is distinguished from heresy, the other grave sin against the faith. Father Dominic Prümmer, O.P., in his classic manual of moral theology, defines apostasy as the “total defection from the Christian faith formerly willingly received.” Apostasy is the total defection from the Catholic faith, whereas heresy is the denial of one or another article of the faith. Whereas heresy, depending upon the manner in which it is embraced, can lead to apostasy, that is, to the total abandonment of the faith, apostasy, at its root, is a total drawing away from the life of faith.
One thinks, for example, of how the Church has suffered from the persistent heretical doctrines of Modernism, as treated by Pope Saint Pius X in his first Encyclical Letter, E Supremi, of October 4, 1903.
Pope Saint Pius X courageously identified a poisonous way of thinking which had been plaguing the Church for some centuries and which continues to plague the Church in our time. 
Excerpts from “Fatima 100 Years Later: A Marian Call for the Whole Church”
The Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre
Buckfast, Devon, England
12 October 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fr. Romanus Cessario: Lumen Civitatis

I recommend this video for a Thomistic explanation on the Catholic faith and the Sacraments. The issue of communion for the divorced and remarried is also discussed. Thank God we still have good Thomistic theologians!