Friday, August 23, 2019

EWTN World Over - 2019-08-22 - Vigano One Year Later

Watch this important episode where the Papal Posse looks at the Vigano testimony and the state of the Church one year later.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Traditional Catholic Generation Is Almost Gone! Seek Them Out While You Can!

We hear faithful Catholics often talking about waiting for the bad generation to die off, who are typically liberal. What we don't often talk about is how those faithful Catholics of the same generation who were trained in Thomistic philosophy and theology are also going to be gone very soon. There are less and less clergy who are still alive who were ordained with the Latin Mass. I have been blessed to know a couple and I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge they have given me. As much as I value reading, there is no substitute for receiving the tradition first person, handed on directly from those who were living the Catholic faith, fueled by solid Thomistic theology.

Finding ourselves in very confusing times in the Church, I try and hand on what they taught me, often using the same explanations and examples that they gave me. The fact is, there are many young men and women who desire to live the traditional Catholic faith, yet even well read they are deficient in their theological and philosophical knowledge. Books alone are not enough. If you are a faithful Catholic not old enough to remember what the Church was like before Vatican II, seek out a faithful priest who is, and learn from them while you can! The living traditional Catholic generation is almost gone, seek out their wisdom while there is still time.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Yes, Aquinas's Theology Has Been Officially Endorsed By the Church Over Others!

Contrary to popular opinion these days of the many theologians who claim the Church has never endorsed a particular school of theology, the theology of Saint Thomas has been officially endorsed by the Church on more than one occasion. In fact, if you truly believe in the Church's defined dogma of Transubstantiation at Trent, then you must hold to the Thomistic theological view. With the continuing loss of faith concerning this dogma, I thought it would be an opportune time to put this paper out. In my opinion, we need to see more theological works with sourced documentation in the Catholic blogosphere, so here is my small contribution. This post is an expanded version of a term paper I wrote a couple of years ago. All sources are listed at the end of the paper. It's quite long so you may want to print this one out! Keep the faith and pass it along. God bless!

Transubstantiation and the Necessity of Thomistic Theology

Matthew J. Bellisario
Oct 19, 2017

 "The chief doctrines of St. Thomas' philosophy cannot be regarded as mere opinions—which anyone might discuss pro and con, but rather as a foundation on which all science of both natural and divine things rests. If they are taken away, or perverted in any way, then this necessarily follows: that the students of sacred studies will not perceive even the meaning of those words whereby the divinely revealed dogmas are uttered by the teaching of the Church."
(Pope Pius X, Doctoris Angelici, June 29, 1914)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Punishment: Is Revenge or Vengeance Justified?

The childish definition of vengeance as understood by today's liberals. 

According to many anti-capital punishment enthusiasts today, revenge is one of the primary motives to reject capital punishment. Revenge is usually childishly equated with Charles Bronson in a Death Wish Movie or some other Hollywood fantasy. Is there is distinction between revenge and vengeance? Why do the two terms seem to be used interchangeably? Is all form of revenge or vengeance always immoral? Are they always an offense to human dignity? 

To answer this question we must define the terms. If revenge is defined as an individual carrying out his form of vigilante justice, then yes we could say that it is immoral. However, if we look at the term revenge in its traditional sense, along with the term vengeance, we see that it can have a positive and negative connotation depending on its application. For Catholics it is important to be grounded in a sensible theological framework such as Thomism. Below I have taken a passage of the Summa to demonstrate how the Church's most enlightened theologian viewed vengeance in the context of punishment.

Vengeance consists in the infliction of a penal evil on one who has sinned.  Accordingly, in the matter of vengeance, we must consider the mind of the avenger.  For if his intention is directed chiefly to the evil of the person on whom he takes vengeance and rests there, then his vengeance is altogether unlawful: because to take pleasure in another's evil belongs to hatred, which is contrary to the charity whereby we are bound to love all men.  Nor is it an excuse that he intends the evil of one who has unjustly inflicted evil on him, as neither is a man excused for hating one that hates him: for a man may not sin against another just because the latter has already sinned against him, since this is to be overcome by evil, which was forbidden by the Apostle, who says (Romans 12:21): "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good."
If, however, the avenger's intention be directed chiefly to some good, to be obtained by means of the punishment of the person who has sinned (for instance that the sinner may amend, or at least that he may be restrained and others be not disturbed, that justice may be upheld, and God honored), then vengeance may be lawful, provided other due circumstances be observed. (Summa Theologiae II-II.108.1)

If we understand these terms properly, then we can clearly see that any legitimate form of punishment involves vengeance to some degree in its lawful sense. If a person is imprisoned it is a vengeful act carried out by a legitimate government to punish a wrongdoer. This would include any kind of imprisonment, fines or anything which causes the criminal to suffer. If we understand this then no Catholic can reject Capital Punishment based on the idea that it is immoral revenge or vengeance. The punishment is not being carried out in the form of vigilante justice, and thus is not sinful if carried out by a legitimate authority. Pius XII wrote in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1955, pp 81-2 the following which upholds the perennial idea of the vengeful purpose of punishment. He says it will never be outdated and always will have a lasting value. Contrast this to what we hear today.
Medicinal and Vengeful Penalties
In our speech of 3 October 1953 at the VI International Congress of Criminal Law, and also on this occasion,  we detected the fact that many, perhaps the majority of civil jurists reject that penalty; we added, however, to considerations and arguments adducted in evidence was given perhaps greater importance and strength than they actually have. We also noted that the Church in theory and in practice has maintained the double species of penalties (medicinal and vengeful) and that this is more in line with the sources of the revelation and the Traditional doctrine teaches about the coercive power of legitimate human authority. The assertion given is incorrect which says that we can say that these sources only contain ideas which are conditioned by historical circumstances and therefore they cannot be given a general and always lasting value.

Father John Hardon S.J. also referred to this passage in his defense of Capital Punishment. I recommend reading his entire article.
The Church holds that there are two reasons for inflicting punishment, namely "medicinal" and "vindictive." The medicinal purpose is to prevent the criminal from repeating his crime, and to protect society from his criminal behavior. The vindictive is to expiate for the wrongdoing perpetrated by the criminal. Thus reparation is made to an offended God, and the disorder caused by the crime is expiated. 
Equally important is the Pope's insistence that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture of Christianity. Why? Because the Church's teaching on "the coercive power of legitimate human authority" is based on "the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine." It is wrong, therefore "to say that these sources only contain ideas which are conditioned by historical circumstances." On the contrary, they have "a general and abiding validity." ( Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1955, pp 81-2).

In summary then, no right thinking person can reject Capital Punishment based on the rejection of the principle of vengeance or revenge, if understood properly. If one does so, they must reject every form of punishment. There very nature of punishment contains the principle of vengeance.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller Calls Working Amazonian Synod Document Heretical!

I have been reading reactions over the past week or so to the working document, or the (Instrumentum Laboris) for the October 2019 Pan-Amazonian synod. Most Catholics who actually believe what the Church teaches about paganism and modernism have been very critical of the document. Some of the most striking tones of the document are the one praising witchdoctors and the like as being holy men who unlike westerners take care of the environment. There is also references to changing doctrine and finding a place in the Church hierarchy for women, and much more which all hit high on the heresy meter. For a change a Cardinal has come out and called this working document heretical. Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has done what few Cardinals other than Cardinal Burke have done, and that is call a spade a spade. Check out the entire document here. Things are going to heat up as we head towards this diabolical synod. 

It is to be stated now with insistence that the Instrumentum Laboris contradicts the binding teaching of the Church in decisive points and thus has to be qualified as heretical.
Inasmuch as even the fact of Divine Revelation is here being questioned, or misunderstood, one also now has to speak, additionally, of apostasy. 
This is even more justified in light of the fact that the Instrumentum Laboris uses a purely immanentist notion of religion and that it considers religion as the result and form of expression of man's own spiritual self-experience. The use of Christian words and notions cannot conceal that these are being merely used as empty words, despite their original meaning.
The Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod constitutes an attack on the foundations of the Faith,  and in a way that has not heretofore been thought possible. Thus it must be rejected with all decisiveness. (Cardinal Walter Brandmüller)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cardinals and Bishops Offer Doctrinal Correction to Church Authorities!

Finally we have a document issued by some bishops and cardinals of the Church offering a sober defense of the Catholic faith, which is being challenged by the highest authorities in the Church. Read it here in full.

Signatories of the declaration include: Cardinal Raymond Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga, Latvia; His Excellency Tomash Peta, Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan; Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda, Kazakhstan; and Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Theologians Charge Pope Francis As Heretic!

Another historic moment in the Church has come to pass. Several prominent theologians have decided that enough is enough, and have leveled the charge of heresy at Francis. After watching and reading many of his many statements over the years that contradict Catholic teaching, this course of action at least speaks the truth of traditional teaching of the Church. The group of theologians include reputable names such as Fr Thomas Crean, OP,  Fr John Hunwicke, Peter Kwasniewski, PhD, and Fr Aidan Nichols, OP among others. The theologians call on the bishops to consider their claim and then take canonical action directly to Francis so that he may retract his heresies, or give up the papal chair. We will see how much traction this gets if any. How many bishops are willing to sacrifice to step and push this course of action? The seven accusations in the twenty page open letter are listed as, 

Image result for pope francis
We accuse Pope Francis of having, through his words and actions, publicly and pertinaciously demonstrated his belief in the following propositions that contradict divinely revealed truth (for each proposition we provide a selection of Scriptural and magisterial teachings that condemn them as contrary to divine revelation; these references are conclusive but are not intended to be exhaustive.)

I. A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18: “If anyone says that the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace, let him be anathema” (DH 1568). See also: Gen. 4:7; Deut. 30:11-19; Ecclesiasticus 15: 11-22; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Zosimus, 15th (or 16th) Synod of Carthage, canon 3 on grace, DH 225; Felix III, 2nd Synod of Orange, DH 397; Council of Trent, Session 5, canon 5; Session 6, canons 18-20, 22, 27 and 29; Pius V, Bull Ex omnibus afflictionibus, On the errors of Michael du Bay, 54, DH 1954; Innocent X, Constitution Cum occasione, On the errors of Cornelius Jansen, 1, DH 2001; Clement XI, Constitution  2. Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185- 89, DH 4964-67.] 

II. A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action. [Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20: “If anyone says that a justified man, however perfect he may be, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church but is bound only to believe, as if the Gospel were merely an absolute promise of eternal life without the condition that the commandments be observed, let him be anathema” (DH 1570). See also: Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Council of Trent, session 6, canons 19 and 27; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor, 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89, DH 4964-67.] 

III. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act ofobedience. [Ps. 18:8: “The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls.” See also: Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598 (DH 3248); John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 40: AAS 85 (1993): 1165 (DH 4953).]

IV. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right, or requested or even commanded by God.
[Council of Trent, session 6, canon 21: “If anyone says that Jesus Christ was given by God to men as a redeemer in whom they are to trust but not also as a lawgiver whom they are bound to obey, let him be anathema”, DH 1571. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 2: “If anyone says that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not forbidden by any divine law, let him be anathema”, DH 1802. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 5: “If anyone says that the marriage bond can be dissolved because of heresy or difficulties in cohabitation or because of the wilful absence of one of the spouses, let him be anathema”, DH 1805. Council of Trent, session 24, canon 7: “If anyone says that the Church is in error for having taught and for still teaching that in accordance with the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, the marriage bond cannot be dissolved because of adultery on the part of one of the spouses and that neither of the two, not even the innocent one who has given no cause for infidelity, can contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other, and that the husband who dismisses an adulterous wife and marries again and the wife who dismisses an adulterous husband and marries again are both guilty of adultery, let him be anathema”, DH 1807.
See also: Ps. 5:5; Ps. 18:8-9; Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Heb. 10:26-29; Jas. 1:13; 1 Jn. 3:7; Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 62-63, DH 2162-63; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus,  3. On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71, DH 2471; Leo XIII, encyclical letter Libertas   raestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598, DH 3248; Pius XII, Decree of the Holy Office on situation ethics, DH 3918; 2 nd Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 16; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 54: AAS 85 (1993): 1177; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1786-87.]

V. It is false that the only sexual acts that are good of their kind and morally licit are acts between husband and wife. [I Corinthians 6:9-10; "Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God." Jude 1:7; "As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire." See also: Romans 1:26-32; Ephesians 5:3-5; Galatians 5;19-21; Pius IX, Casti connubii, 10, 19-21, 73; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 11-14; John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, 13-14.] 

VI. Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object. [John Paul II, Veritatis splendor 115: “Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with the reaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts”, DH 4971.See also: Rom. 3:8; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10; Gal. 5: 19-21; Apoc. 22:15; 4th Lateran Council, chapter 22, DH 815; Council of Constance, Bull Inter cunctas, 14, DH 1254; Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 14: AAS 60 (1968) 490-91; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 83: AAS 85 (1993): 1199, DH 4970.] 

VII. God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian. [John 14:6; "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me." Acts 4:11-12; "This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." See also Exodus 22:20; Exodus 23:24; 2 Chronicles 34:25; Psalm 95:5; Jeremiah 10:11; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Gregory XVI, Mirari vos, 13-14; Pius XI, Qui pluribus, 15; Singulari quidem, 3-5; First Vatican Council, Profession of Faith: Leo XIII, Immortale dei, 31; Satis cognitum, 3-9; Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1-2, 6].

Monday, April 15, 2019

Notre Dame Disaster: Symbol of Falling Western Christendom

As we have witnessed over our lifetimes, Christendom is in fact dying. As Christendom continues to surrender the guiding light of humanity, the teaching of Christ, to man's own immoral devices we see Notre Dame burn. Notre Dame, literally meaning "Our Lady" is now literally burning to the ground. As of this time the cause is unknown. What we do know is that this Church is not only one of the most famous churches of Christendom, it is 'the' most famous one named after Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin Mary who is the most pure symbol of true femininity and the family, but also the perfect model of the Christian.

Modern man has indeed divorced himself from God. Modernism is now man's "god" which in reality makes each person his or her own god. One of the most pronounced attacks has been on the family, which began with attacks on true femininity. Modern man's disdain for the raising of families and stay at home mothers has all but silenced the wedding bells which are truly the foundation of humanity. Thus, we see the Church at a time where she does not lead the world and in many cases has surrendered to the world. Many in the Church have watered down Christ's teaching on marriage and the family. Western civilization has traded its Christian heritage for a counterfeit.

The symbolization is clear as we watch Notre Dame in Paris burn to the ground. Sure we see people on the news decrying how we have lost a symbol of French culture, blah, blah blah. "It is a world heritage site!" But they all miss the point here. The very symbol of everything beautiful that came forth from Christendom is now largely in flames. Yes, they may save many of its treasures. They may even be able to rebuild it in some form. They will not however not be able to rebuild the faith that brought that beautiful church originally up from the ground to the heavens. It is the Catholic faith that made that Christian icon and not anything else. Christendom gave us Notre Dame and it belongs to Christendom. It does not belong to the world. It is a symbol that counters the spirit of the world. It surely does not belong to a bunch of museum preserving organizations! It is the one true faith that God is calling us to rebuild. Without that Catholic faith, we would have had no Notre Dame. The reality it seems is that without the Catholic faith we lose Notre Dame. Chew on that reality for awhile!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Why Is It Really Called the Mass? Sacrifice

A temple without an altar of sacrifice is non-existent among primitive peoples, and is meaningless among Christians. And so in the Catholic Church the altar, and not the pulpit or the choir or the organ, is the center of worship, for there is re-enacted the memorial of His Passion. Its value does not depend on him who says it, or on him who hears it; it depends on Him who is the One High Priest and Victim, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Sheen, Calvary and the Cross)

There is a reason why Catholics traditionally called the liturgy 'The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.' Why do we not hear that term anymore? I recently read an article over at Aleteia about why the Mass is called the Mass. I found it baffling how the author quoted Aquinas' explanation of the word Missa but quoted it out of context, stressing over the course of the article that the Mass is named primarily for us as going out into the world as a mission, "to be sent, or dismissed," The emphasis with modern Catholics always seems to be on the dismissal element when it comes to Ite, missa est. This however misses the essential point of calling the liturgy 'The Mass' as well as missing the point in "being sent." Aquinas' focus is on sacrifice! This shows how far modern Catholics have strayed from the sacrificial dimension of the Mass, which is its very essence! Ite, missa est is literally translated as “Go, it has been sent.” At one point this term was linked only with the concluding prayer of the Mass meaning "dismissal." But as the term in the West gradually began to adopt Missa or Mass as representative of the entire liturgy, it took on a much deeper meaning.  Let's first look at what Aquinas says about it,

The priest does not pray that the sacramental species may be borne up to heaven; nor that Christ's true body may be borne thither, for it does not cease to be there; but he offers this prayer for Christ's mystical body, which is signified in this sacrament, that the angel standing by at the Divine mysteries may present to God the prayers of both priest and people, according to Apocalypse 8:4: "And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God, from the hand of the angel." But God's "altar on high" means either the Church triumphant, unto which we pray to be translated, or else God Himself, in Whom we ask to share; because it is said of this altar (Exodus 20:26): "Thou shalt not go up by steps unto My altar, i.e. thou shalt make no steps towards the Trinity." Or else by the angel we are to understand Christ Himself, Who is the "Angel of great counsel" (Isaiah 9:6: Septuagint), Who unites His mystical body with God the Father and the Church triumphant.
And from this the mass derives its name [missa; because the priest sends [mittit] his prayers up to God through the angel, as the people do through the priest. or else because Christ is the victim sent [missa] to us: accordingly the deacon on festival days "dismisses" the people at the end of the mass, by saying: "Ite, missa est," that is, the victim has been sent [missa est] to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God. (III, Q83, A4)

Notice how Christ's sacrifice is emphasized here in the context of the mystical body. Aquinas tells us the victim, Christ, has been sent as a sacrifice 'victim' to God. He thus puts the emphasis here on the reality of the end of the Mass completing the perfect sacrifice to God the Father. "It has been sent." The "It" being Christ's sacrifice. Of course at the end of the Mass we are called to go out and evangelize, to go and make disciples. Aquinas rightly says that we need to make the consecration "fruitful." But as to why the Mass is truly called the Mass, that was never the real point here for Aquinas. The author over at Aleteia puts the emphasis in the wrong place, that is on the original prayer at the end of Mass pointing to us being sent, which however true that may be, is not why the Mass is called the Mass. Yes, I know we hear this all the time by priests today after Mass, right? The reality is that it's called the Mass because it is the sacrifice of Christ who is perfect and accepted by God. The sacrifice is finished, let us go. In other words when they began using this term as a designation for the entire liturgy the word took on a deeper hidden meaning only known to Christians. The theological emphasis was be focused on the right place, that is the sacrifice of Christ, Christ being sent to the Father. Without that, we have no mission, we cannot be sent. This realty does not obscure our mission to go and be sent, it gives it its true meaning.

The Catholic liturgical theologian Nicholas Ghir explains clearly this term in the context of the liturgy. It is clear that Ghir puts the emphasis on Sacrifice in the context of liturgy.

...the dismissal prayer, namely, is conceived, supported and based in a manifold way. At one time by the subject of the day's celebration of the Sacrifice, at another by the celebration of the Sacrifice, again by participation in the Sacrificial Banquet, and also by all these motives combined. The goods and gifts implored are of most various kinds. They comprise all that may be beneficial to our welfare and salvation for time and for eternity. Chiefly do we pray for a plenteous outpouring, as well as for the preservation, of all the fruits of the Sacrifice and of the Communion celebration. What is more opportune at this moment than the ardent desire, that the Sacrificial Body and Blood of Christ, which we have received, may "as the vine bring forth a pleasant odor, the fruit of honor and riches" (Eccl. 24, 23), of virtue and sanctity unto perfection ! The Post-Communions are always recited by the priest in the plural number, that is, for all and in the name of all who have taken part in the Mass, either by actual (sacramental) Communion, as was generally the case in ancient times, or at least by Spiritual Communion, which should never be omitted by those who unite in the Sacrifice. (Ghir, The holy sacrifice of the mass; dogmatically, liturgically and ascetically explained)
Finally, if we look to Archbishop Fulton Sheen we can see how he clearly understands both realities, yet is always sure to put the emphasis first on sacrifice. He compared the term Ite, missa est  to "It is finished."-John 19:30, the work of salvation is finished. This clearly emphasizes Christ's sacrifice. However, Sheen beautifully takes Christ's sacrifice and calls us to join it to our lives. This is where the mission truly derives. We should not be telling people that ite missa est as the root to the name 'Mass' as merely the call to our mission, or for us to be sent, or dismissed. The term does not stand on its own. It is deeply tied to the sacrifice of Christ, which we never hear about from todays theologians or priests these days. Today we are given a watered down explanation divorcing the dismissal prayer from the essence of the altar. I am not implying that the author of the article does not believe that the Mass is a sacrifice. However, in his article on this topic its not mentioned once! He calls it the "celebration." It is time to reemphasize proper Catholic theology. Are we called to go out into the world at the end of Mass, yes! But this is not possible without first and primarily acknowledging how it is possible that we can go forth. It is only possible in that we are grafted into the cross of Christ! The Mass is literally His Sacrifice! This is why it is called the Mass.

He has finished salvation, we have not yet applied it to our souls. He has finished the Temple, but we must live in it. He has finished the model Cross, we must fashion ours to its pattern. He has finished sowing the seed, we must reap the harvest. He has finished filling the chalice, but we have not finished drinking its refreshing draughts. He has planted the wheat field; we must gather it into our barns. He has finished the Sacrifice of Calvary; we must finish the Mass. (Sheen, Calvary and the Mass) 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Lyceum: Fighting for Catholic Education

On Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) will file a powerful groundbreaking lawsuit against a local Ohio sexual orientation gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination law that some say may become the most significant religious freedom case since Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018). This lawsuit aims to protect a small Catholic school from stifling LGBT laws that cut to the heart of religious education. Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Rights of The State: The Myth of Migration

Catholic teaching has always been clear about the right of the state, or a country. It is based on the natural law and has a right to its existence and independence just as an individual has its own right to existence and independence. No state has a right to destroy another state's independence by any means, including sending mass amounts of people across its borders. Just as an individual can protect itself from harm from another, so can the state. It has a duty to do so for the sake of its common good. This is why countries across the globe have immigration laws.

What constitutes an attack on a sovereign state? Many things, such as all out war, sedition, treason or any societal upheaval by foreign states or individuals. That means if other nations outside a sovereign state send a number of people to cross its borders which cause societal upheaval, then the state has the obligation to protect its social order and stop them from coming in. Despite what we are hearing from many in the Catholic hierarchy today, there is not any Catholic teaching that says a state must let everyone across its borders. To do so presents many risks to those already residing in the state who have rights. Just look at France, the UK and Germany. Social unrest exists because of poor immigration policy. If you compare them to Hungary and Poland there is a clear difference in their social order. Poland has chosen to act for the common good of its society, while France has clearly not done so.

A country's citizens have a right to their own property, health, freedom to worship God and a right to act in charity by their own freewill. Letting hoards of people across the border without conditions as many are calling for, is to put citizens at risk for disease, crime and other disruptions to society. The state has the duty to enact legislation that is best for the entire common good of the country to protect its citizens rights. This is Catholic teaching. Catholicism has always taught that one must have a love for country and that it "is a virtue akin to piety or love of parents." (Right and Reason 437) So contrary to what we have been hearing out of the Vatican these days, patriotism or rightly ordered nationalism is not evil. Yes, patriotism or nationalism can go too far if one takes the state to be above the common good of its citizens. So an exaggerated nationalism that hates all foreign people would obviously be immoral. The state exists for promoting the common good for the social order of man. This does not mean however that the state must be involved in every aspect of the common good. The Church teaches the ideal of subsidiarity, which means that whatever the lowest level of society that the issue can be addressed at, should be done at that lowest level. The national state for example does not have to provide free food or free healthcare for everyone. This can be done at a local level, traditionally by the Church. 

What about migration? Migration implies a continuous geographic moving of people or animals. As great as this is for birds, this is not how man was created to live. Man is created to live in a stable society, not as wondering nomads akin to locusts devouring the earth as it moves across the globe. This means that people should strive to live in one state or country and adopt its social order. When a person chooses to live in another country other than the one of his or her origin it is called immigration. That means that the individual chooses to adopt the societal conditions of the state they have chosen to immigrate. It would be immoral for the state to allow people to enter into its society who do not want to adopt to its societal way of life. It is also immoral for a person to come into another country and choose to oppose its general societal governmental structure. This is anti-patriotism and this is a vice according to Catholic teaching. This obviously includes those obstinate individuals who come from Islamic states who attempt to overthrow the US judicial system for their own Sharia law. Those politicians and judges who are allowing this are committing grave evil.

What about immigration laws? There is nothing wrong with allowing people to immigrate into a country guided by proper regulation that is ordered to the common good. For example, immigrants must not have untreated infectious diseases that can harm the current society. Criminals must not be allowed to enter. That being said, the majority of people who want to move out of Mexico for example, are legitimately looking to improve their way of life and should be able to apply to come into the US. Currently the US has laws on the books make it expensive and difficult for people to immigrate. A state has the right to make its own laws as it sees fit to protect the common good. I personally believe the current laws can and should be changed to make it easier and less expensive for upright immigrants to come into the country. The problem is that the current political parties in power want to use these people as political weapons to keep them in power and malign their political opponents.

In closing, every sovereign state has a right to its independence and its own common good. A state is not obligated to let unchecked hoards of foreigners to come over its borders for a variety of reasons already presented above. Patriotism is not bad, its a virtue, and we as patriots should look for ways to make our society better including allowing upstanding immigrants to come into the country under a reasonable regulation. One may ask, what about charity and feeding the poor. This can and is being done outside our borders on a daily basis. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing it on our own soil provided it is done morally and orderly. If possible a society should help the poor. This however must not be forced on people by the state as Socialism and Communism attempt. There is no law given by God that says a state has to let everyone across its borders to feed them or provide them with medical care using its citizens money. The Church in its mission has always fed the poor and provided medical assistance to the poor in most countries across the globe.  This is done by man's freewill and through charity as God intended. "For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good..." (Mark 14:7)

Main source: Right and Reason- Austin Fagothey 1967

Saint Benedict feeding the poor.