Monday, March 27, 2017

The Nephilim

 Much is spoken on the topic of angels, but little in the way of true doctrine is understood. Many who call themselves Christians have drunk deeply from the well of New Age paganism. Since the Great Apostasy, people get their ideas from all the wrong places. New Agers teach that angels reside within us and are waiting for us to use them to tap our human potential, enhance creativity, provide psychological fulfillment, and spiritual self-enlightenment. Thus promoters of "angel contact" offer people what they want and need in troubled times: assurance, love, and guidance. It is a warped view of Guardian Angels. A couple of years ago, a gentleman at my Church told me about a time when he saw large bones he claimed belonged to beings conceived of angels and human females called the "Nephilim." There are some Protestant sects that actually believe this to be the case. It is based on a misunderstanding of Genesis 6:4. I didn't have time to discuss the issue with the gentleman that day (and I haven't seen him since). This post will give the Church's teaching on angels, and explain the so-called Nephilim.

Church Teaching on Angels
Except where expressly stated otherwise, the teaching of the Church is taken from the writings of theologians Ott and Pohle. 

1. In the beginning of time God created spiritual essences out of nothing. It is a dogma declared by the Fourth Lateran Council and the First Vatican Council that "simultaneously at the beginning of time He created from nothing both spiritual and corporeal creation, angelic and mundane." The creation of the angels is directly attested to in Colossians 1:16, "For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him." (Four of the angelic choirs are mentioned; Emphasis mine).

2. The number and hierarchy of the angels. There is no definitive teaching on how many angels exist, although it is certain they are very numerous. Apocalypse 5: 11, "I heard the voice of many angels...and the number of them was thousands of thousands." The so-called "orders" or "choirs" of angels are not an article of faith, but the theologians hold it to be a theologically certain truth. The theological schools have put them into three hierarchies with three choirs in each hierarchy. The supreme hierarchy has the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. The intermediate hierarchy is composed of the Dominations, Virtues, and Powers. The lowest hierarchy is made of the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. It is speculated that the difference in rank is due to the supreme hierarchy assisting at the Throne of God and getting their orders directly from Almighty God Himself. They then hand these orders down to the intermediate hierarchy which, in turn, hands them down to the lowest hierarchy, and the angels bring messages (when necessary) to men. The name angel means "messenger."

3.  The angels have an intellect superior to men and are endowed with free will. The angels were given a test, like humans, to earn the Beatific Vision. They were subjected to a probation which a number failed and became demons in Hell. The angels are vastly superior to humans, but cannot produce a true miracle which is something only God can do. The leader of the rebellious angels became known as "Satan" or "adversary" and it is conjectured that approximately one third of the angels followed his rebellion against God, Who created and condemned them to Hell. What was the test? We don't know for certain. Most theologians agree it was a sin of pride. Some theologians speculate that they did not want to serve God. Other theologians, most notably the great Suarez, teach that the sin of pride was in refusing to obey and worship God the Son when it was made known He would take on a human nature (Hypostatic Union).

4. Every human being has a Guardian Angel who should be venerated and invoked. There are four points on this:

  • Angels have a general guardianship over the human race. It is good and salutary to pray to them and venerate them. All humans, not just members of the One True Church are given a Guardian Angel upon conception. Theologians agree that even the Antichrist will have a Guardian Angel, but all his efforts to turn him from utter wickedness will be in vain because of the sheer perversity of his will.It is to be rejected that every person also has a demon to tempt him. It is impious to even think God, Who wills the salvation of all, would permit it. 
  • Guardian Angels ward off dangers of body and soul consonant with the Will of God.
  • They inspire good and salutary thoughts and covey our prayers to the Throne of God.
  •  They assist us at the hour of death and bear the souls of the elect to Heaven. 

The Nephilim

 Genesis 6: 2-4 reads, "The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to themselves wives of all which they chose. And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown." 

From this verse, comes the idea of a "race of supermen" half-angelic, and half-human. According to theologian Tanquerey, there are many errors concerning angels. Their very existence is denied by atheists, and some Protestants who claim that the angels in the Bible are either good inspirations sent by God, or men sent by God to enlighten others. On the other hand, Some of the Fathers and early theologians were in error regarding the nature of angels, thinking they were united to special bodies. They were led astray by either Platonic philosophy or the verse at hand which they misinterpreted. It is certain that angels are entirely spiritual. (See Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology (1:372)). Thus the angel Raphael says to Tobias, " I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men." From this we may infer that angels do not have a body but only an apparent body.

Since angels do not have bodies, how does the Church interpret the passage? According to theologian Haydock, "sons of God" refers to the godly line of Seth (from whom the Redeemer would come; see Genesis 4:26) who intermarried with the godless line of Cain. At that time, people were preserved by God for long lives; some more than 900 years. God would now shorten their lives to 120 years for them to repent before He would send the great deluge. As far as size is concerned, is it possible that men who lived so much longer, could also have been much bigger in stature? Think of Goliath. It is pagan, and illogical, to think spiritual substances can have carnal relations with humans producing "heroes" much like the pagan Greeks believed about Hercules. Christ said, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." (St. Matthew 22:30). 


 As with all things theological, we must always consult the teaching of the Church. Those who do not seek out the true doctrine as taught by the Church's theologians on any given issue will fall in error (at best) or into heresy (at worst). The danger becomes apparent in the case of angels. Modernists and atheists outright deny their existence. New Agers turn them into self-help gurus from within, and promote "contact" with them in what will become contact with demons. Others distort the Bible believing in pagan-like "demi-gods" (Nephilim) derived from the alleged union between angels and humans. Pray to your Guardian Angel and ask him to help you learn, and love, authentic Church teaching on any given subject. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Defending The Indefensible

  Leave it to the "recognize and resistors" (R&R) of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to try and exculpate "Pope" Francis of heresy by inventing new theological principles. In Amoris Laetitia, Frankie's "Apostolic Exhortation" on the "Joy of Love," he opens the door to "communion" for open and notorious adulterers (i.e., those divorced and "remarried"). It was so bad, even four of his "cardinals" sent him five dubia (i.e., "doubts" or queries) regarding its orthodoxy (or rather, the lack thereof). Frankie has not responded. When the Modernists start to question your orthodoxy, there are no words to adequately express the situation.

 According to the Catholic (sic) News Service, "The first dubium asks whether following Amoris laetitia “it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person 'more uxorio' (in a marital way) without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris consortio n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia n. 34 and Sacramentum Caritatis n. 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation Amoris laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live 'more uxorio'?" 

In a series of articles called "The Question of Papal Heresy," SSPX priest Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, attempts to exonerate Frankie on this (and the other four dubia) with the following:
First, are the five truths demolished by these five doubts so many dogmas? Secondly, does Amoris laetitia negate these dogmas, or at least call them into question formally and explicitly enough? The answer to these two questions is far from obvious and certain. For this new theology of Francis, which extends that of Vatican II, avoids this sort of formal opposition with regard to truths already proposed infallibly by the Magisterium before Vatican II. It sins most often by omission or by ambivalence. It is therefore dubious, in its very substance. And it is dubious exactly insofar as it is modernist, or more precisely: neo-modernist.

His contention is that in order to be a formal heretic, Frankie has to negate one or more dogmas and/or call them into question formally and explicitly enough. Let's cut to the chase, what does the Church have to say?

The Church and Loss of Papal Authority

As St. Alphonsus Liguori, the great Doctor of the Church teaches:  "If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate." (See Verita della Fede, Pt. III, Ch. VIII, 9-10). However, at this point, we can ask "Could Jorge Bergoglio ever even attain the papacy in the first place? Accoring to canonist Wernz-Vidal, "Those capable of being validly elected are all who are not prohibited by divine law or by an invalidating ecclesiastical law… Those who are barred as incapable of being validly elected are all women, children who have not reached the age of reason; also, those afflicted with habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics, schismatics…"(Jus Canonicum 1:415; Emphasis mine). Again according to Badius, "c) The law now in force for the election of the Roman Pontiff is reduced to these points… Barred as incapable of being validly elected are all women, children who have not reached the age of reason; also, those afflicted with habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics and schismatics…" (Institutiones, 160)

Divine Law prohibits heretics from attaining to the papacy. Was Bergoglio a heretic prior to his alleged "election" four years ago? First, we need to define heresy.  Heresy is defined as "A teaching which is directly contradictory to a truth revealed by God and proposed to the faithful as such by the Church." (See theologian Parente, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, Bruce Publishing Company, [1951], pg. 123). Let's see what Begoglio did as "bishop" and "cardinal." 

Juan Pablo BongarrĂ¡, president of the Argentine Bible Society, recounts that Bergoglio not only met with Evangelicals, and prayed with them—but he also asked them to pray for him. BongarrĂ¡ notes that Bergoglio would frequently end a conversation with the request, "Pastor, pray for me."

Additionally, BongarrĂ¡ tells the story of a weekly worship meeting of charismatic pastors in Buenos Aires, which Bergoglio attended: "He mounted the platform and called for pastors to pray for him. He knelt in front of nearly 6,000 people, and [the Protestant leaders there] laid hands and prayed."

Religious leaders in Buenos Aires have stated that it was Bergoglio who "opened up the Cathedral in Buenos Aires for interfaith ceremonies". For example, in November 2012 he brought "leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, evangelical, and other Christian faiths" together in the Cathedral to pray for peace in the Middle East. Leaders quoted in a 2013 Associated Press article said that Bergoglio has a "very deep capacity for dialogue with other religions", and considers "healing divisions between religions a major part of the Catholic Church's mission". (See  In addition, Bergoglio celebrated Hanukkah with the Jews in 2012.

According to theologians McHugh and Callan, "It is unlawful for Catholics in anyway to assist actively at or take part in the worship of non-Catholics (Canon 1258)." (See Moral Theology, 1: 376).  Canonists Abbo and Hannon explain the meaning of the Canon, "Thus is forbidden what is technically known as communicatio in sacris. The reason for this prohibition are founded in the natural and divine positive law. Among them is the following: the Catholic Church is the only Church in which, by divine ordinance, worship may be rendered to God..." (See The Sacred Canons, 2: 512).

 For this reason the Holy Office said that by participating [in schismatic and heretical worship], Catholics give exterior signs of segregation from and disapproval of the Catholic Church  by unifying themselves with those who disapprove or segregate themselves from the Catholic Church, since participation in liturgical actions constitutes a sign of unity.  By coming together with them in unity of prayer, in unity of cult, in unity of veneration and worship, one does so with perverse schismatic and heretical ministers.  In effect, the Holy Office was saying that it is by the very coming together with those who reject the Faith and joining one's prayer and worship to them that one is participating in worship which is done by those who reject the Catholic Church.  To participate with those who reject the faith is therefore forbidden. (See Collectanea S. Congregationis de Propaganda Fidei seu Decreta Instructiones Rescripta pro Apostolicis Missionibus (Ex Typographia Polyglotta, Roma, 1907); Emphasis mine).

How is heresy made manifest? According to theologian MacKenzie, "Words are the ordinary, but not the only means of communication. Complete externalization of thought may exist in signs, acts, or omissions." (The Delict of Heresy in its Commission, Penalization, Absolution, pg.35).

Bergoglio could never even attain to the office, let alone fall from it! This explains how he can say, "There is no Catholic God," "Proselytism is nonsense," etc. As a matter of fact, "Cardinal" Bergoglio co-authored a book with Rabbi Abraham Skorka entitled On Heaven and Earth. It's loaded with error and heresy.

1. Atheists don't need conversion and need not be condemned. On pgs. 12-13:  "I do not approach the relationship in order to proselytize, or convert the atheist; I respect him and I show myself as I am…nor would I say that his life is condemned, because I am convinced that I do not have the right to make a judgement about the honesty of that person; even less, if he shows me those human virtues that exalt others and do me good." (Emphasis mine)

The First Vatican Council infallibly declared: "If anyone shall say that the One True God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be certainly known by the natural light of human reason through created things; let him be anathema."

2. Agnosticism as to the nature of God. On pg. 14, "We can say what God is not, we can speak of His attributes, but we cannot say what He is.” Isn't God a Trinity? Isn't He all-Perfect?

3. Denial of Church teaching on suicide. On Pg. 93, "There was a time when they did not perform funerals for those that committed suicide because they had not continued toward the goal; they ended the path when they wanted to. But I still respect the one who commits suicide; he is a person who could not overcome the contradictions in his life." (Emphasis mine) You respect someone who was either (a) mentally unbalanced and needed help, or (b) committed the act of ultimate despair? According to theologian Prummer, "The direct killing of oneself on one's own authority is a most grievous sin against divine, natural, and ecclesiastical law." (Moral Theology, section 275).

Of course, the SSPX ends with the tired, worn out quotes from theologians Suarez and Cajetan to support the idea that a pope does not lose his office until the Church somehow issues a judgement. They disregard their minority status, and the fact that the theological developments since their time have relegated this opinion to the status of untenable. However, even more than this--they miss the point. It's irrelevant because Bergoglio was a heretic prior to his election, so he could not become the pope in the first place (ditto for every "successor" to Montini, "Pope" Paul VI). There is even papal legislation on this point. Pope Paul IV issued the Apostolic Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. The pontiff decreed that if  it should ever appear that someone who was elected Roman Pontiff had beforehand "deviated from the Catholic faith or fallen into any heresy," his election, even with the agreement and unanimous consent of all the cardinals, would be "null, legally invalid and void."

But What About Amoris Laetitia in Particular?

 Even if Bergoglio could have become the pope, does his teaching on "pastoral solutions" for adulterers getting the Novus Bogus "communion" constitute heresy? In a word, yes. Let's go by Fr. Gleize's criterion. 

(a) What dogmas are called into doubt or negated? There are two; the indissolubility of marriage and the necessity of sanctifying grace to receive Communion. According to theologian Ott, "From the sacramental contract of marriage emerges the Bond of Marriage, which binds both marriage partners to a lifelong indivisible community of life. (De Fide)." Also, "For the worthy reception of the Eucharist the state of grace...[is] necessary. (De Fide)." (See Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pgs. 399, and 467). 

Giving "communion" to an open and notorious adulterer denies either the sin of adultery or the necessity of sanctifying grace in order to worthily receive the Eucharist. For Bergoglio to even consider such an abomination calls both dogmas into question. 

(b) The invented principle of calling dogma into question "formally and explicitly enough." Let's give Frankie a pass and say his exhortation was only "ambiguous." That's enough to condemn him.   The Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius VI, Auctorum Fidei (1794), teaches, "Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it...Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged." 

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:

"The teaching authority of the Church in the divine wisdom was constituted on Earth in order that the revealed doctrines might remain forever in tact and might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men." (Emphasis mine)

Summary and Conclusion
  • Bergoglio is too Modernist for even some Modernists. He wants to give "communion" to adulterers. Some of his own so-called cardinals have asked him to clarify his Apostolic Exhortation.
  • The SSPX tries to exonerate Bergoglio from heresy.
  • The Church teaches that heretics cannot even attain the office of pope, and Bergoglio's ecumenism was heretical. He prays in public with heretics and Jews, the latter is a de facto denial of the Divinity of Christ. He wrote a book with a rabbi when he was a "cardinal." It is riddled with heresy and error.
  • Even if Bergoglio were pope, heretics fall from office by Divine Law, and his teaching in Amoris Laetitia alone qualifies as heresy because it calls into question the indissolubility of sacramental marriage and the necessity of sanctifying grace for the worthy reception of Holy Communion. 
  • The Church does not teach ambiguously. If She did, the Church would cease to be a teaching authority in any meaningful sense. 
  • Interestingly, the SSPX calls Amoris Laetitia "dubious in its substance" and "Neo-Modernist." Yet this does not qualify Bergoglio as a heretic and false pope because it is not "formal and explicit enough"? What a joke. Bottom line: The SSPX believes that a formal heretic, someone who is not a member of the Church, can be the Head of that Church. 
The dubia never cite to the teachings pre-Vatican II. Why would they? Their sect began in the 1960s. Yet Bergoglio makes John Paul the Great Apostate look orthodox in comparison. The SSPX tries to defend the indefensible. Even members of the Vatican II sect know the Church has always taught that marriage is indissoluble, that divorce and subsequent attempted remarriage is a sin, and that those living in the latter situation cannot receive the sacraments--end of story. Does the SSPX wish to forget that on Easter Monday of 2014, Frankie phoned an Argentine woman who had been refused communion by her parish "priest" for living in an invalid marriage? Mr. Bergoglio told her she could "safely receive Communion, because she is doing nothing wrong." What's ambiguous about that, SSPX? They blasphemously make the martyrdom of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More a useless and needless act on their part.  

Monday, March 13, 2017


 "Has your mother visited you?" asked my primary care physician, "Dr. A." A few years back, I was going to him for many stress induced symptoms relating to my job, and was seeking relief. Dr. A is a good man, and a great doctor. He grew up in a foreign (formerly Catholic) country, and was a general surgeon until an accident forced him to practice Internal Medicine only. He still works a full schedule at nearly 72 years old, and when my mother broke her leg some years back, he got out of bed at 3 am and drove himself to the hospital to meet me there and personally examine her at no charge. He is very pro-life and likes to know his patients, so it makes sense he would ask a personal question relating to one's family relationships. There was just one problem with the good doctor's question; my mother had died nearly two years prior and he knew it.

 Dr. A, like many members in the Vatican II sect (and other sects), believe that the souls of the departed will make "visits" to their loved ones on Earth. To see how far pagan/New Age ideas have infiltrated society, some will actually refer to these souls as "ghosts." A 2006 Gallup poll showed that fully 38% of Americans (over 100 million people) believe in such visitations from spirits of the dead, and 28% believe that you can "mentally communicate with them," at least during such times. The English word ghost comes from the German word geist which means "spirit."Many people today are influenced by the ubiquitous presence of so-called "psychics" on television, as well as by popular movies over the years, which give them false ideas concerning departed souls. No longer able to receive true doctrine from the Vatican II sect, this is what people rely upon. Consider how many highly successful movies (with big name stars) have come out concerning "ghosts":

  • The Shining (1980)
  • Ghost Story (1981)
  • Poltergeist (1982) 
  • Ghostbusters (original; 1984)
  • Ghost (1990)
  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • What Lies Beneath (2000)
  • The Others (2001)
  • Gothika (2003)
  • White Noise (2005)
  • Ghostbusters (remake; 2016)
 What is a Traditionalist to make of such claims? Does God permit souls of the dead to visit on Earth?  As always, let's see what the Church teaches and what the possibilities are when we investigate an issue.

Church Teaching On The Soul After Death

 According to theologian Pohle, there is the particular judgement, which happens immediately upon death, when the soul separates from the body. (See Dogmatic Theology, 12: 18). This precedes the General Judgement, when Christ comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead. The Apostolic Constitution Benedictus Deus (1336 A.D.) of Pope Benedict XII dogmatically defined, "that...the souls of those who depart this life in the state of mortal sin descend into Hell immediately after death and are there subject to infernal torments." Furthermore, those who depart this life in the state of sanctifying grace, "behold the divine essence intuitively and face to face" in Heaven.  Of course, those who need to expiate venial sin (and the debt of temporal punishment not fully expiated for their sins) must spend time in Purgatory prior to their entrance into Heaven.  (Ibid, 12:75-76).

 Does God permit souls (damned or blessed) to visit human beings still on Earth? There's no dogmatic teaching on this point. There have been many approved reports, in the lives of certain saints, where souls from Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory have been permitted to visit. For example, it was reported that St. Maria Goretti appeared to her murderer, Alessandro Serenelli, while he was serving 27 years in prison. She told him she had forgiven him on her death bed. Serenelli was converted as a result, and lived as a model prisoner; when he was finally released after serving his sentence, he became a lay brother at a Capuchin monastery. He begged forgiveness from St. Maria's mother and was present at her canonization by Pope Pius XII in 1950. He died in 1970.

It is therefore possible for souls of the departed to visit the living, but it must be stressed that such visitations are rare and extraordinary events to either prove a point of Catholic faith, or to accomplish a salutary act. In the aforementioned case of St. Maria, it seems she was allowed by God to appear to her murderer for two reasons: (a) to demonstrate God's will that she be numbered among the saints, and (b) to grant the heroic virgin's desire that her killer repent. To say that God allows such visitations on a regular basis would be to make the miraculous common, and detract from the extraordinary character.

 The Bible tells us that the saved are not on Earth, but are with the Lord in Heaven, where they keep intimate union (i.e., the Beatific Vision--see 1 Thessalonians 4:17). We also read where the damned go to Hell, and are not permitted to contact the living (See e.g., St. Luke 16:19-31). So it certainly seems the rule that human souls do not, as a matter of routine, contact the living except in the most extraordinary circumstances allowed by Almighty God.

The Occult Teaching On The Soul After Death

 To the occultists (so-called psychics and mediums), the soul of a dead person is a "ghost" who has not passed over to "the Other Side," but instead has remained on Earth after death.  Occultist Sylvia Brown claims in her book, Life On The Other Side(New York: Signet [2000]), that upon death, some souls "don't accept the reality of their demise," and refuse to "go through the tunnel of light to the "Other Side" (always capitalized).On the Other Side, souls "progress and evolve," but the souls who don't accept the reality of their death, refuse the tunnel and "get trapped" between our dimension and the Other Side. They exist thinking themselves to be still alive. This was the basis for the blockbuster movie The Sixth Sense (mentioned above) wherein Bruce Willis' character doesn't realize he is dead until the very end of the movie, shocking the audience. 

These ghosts walk around and appear as shadowy figures, and have a fog-like substance around them called "ectoplasm" (think of the movie Ghostbusters). They make their presence known by footsteps, moving objects, and flipping lights on and off. Sometimes they come back to "send a message" to a loved one in order to accept their fate and move on to the Other Side. (A woman I know told me she sometimes feels a breeze go past her in the kitchen, and she "knows" it's her deceased grandfather looking out for her). The more nuanced form of "ghosts" stresses that a deceased person needs to tell someone something, visit them, or look out for them, until they can "rest in peace" on the Other Side. They may make themselves known in various ways, like a breeze, or movement seen from the corner of the eye, much like the lady told me about her "grandfather." 

Possible Explanations

 Many of these alleged "ghost sightings" and experiences have rational explanations.

1. Peripheral vision. A person's peripheral vision is very sensitive to motion. When some people, who already believe in such visits from the dead, sense a random motion, they jump to the conclusion it was a "ghost."

2. Sleep-induced experience. Many reports of ghostly visits occur upon waking up from a dream. If the person was dreaming of their departed loved one, as they wake-up, sensory and cognitive abilities are impaired and they might mistake part of a dream for reality.

3. Night terrors. The universal feature of night terrors is the inability to be consoled from a sudden burst of fear and dread very similar to having a panic attack. During night terror bouts, people are usually described as "bolting upright" with their eyes wide open and a look of fear and panic on their faces. They will often scream. Superstitious people, or those with these false ideas about ghosts, will attribute the sensation to being "haunted."

4. Fraud and mental instability. Some reports are simply lies that people tell for the proverbial "fifteen minutes of fame," and some people have psychological problems (some may be induced by drug abuse and/or alcohol).

5. The Power of suggestion. So much occult garbage is seen on TV, in movies, books, and the Internet, people now "expect the unexpected," and the "paranormal" becomes the norm instead. So of course, if you feel a breeze in the kitchen, it can't possibly be a defective window that sometimes lets in air, it's "your grandfather looking out for you."  In addition, many people want to feel connected to someone who died, so they will interpret any data they can to console themselves. (e.g., "The refrigerator magnet moved, so it was my departed father telling me he's OK.")

The Doctrine of Demons

Although many of the explanations above solve the mystery, there are some cases that cannot be easily dismissed. Satan and his demons have the power to do harm in this world. What better way to do it than "proving correct" occult doctrine, which is an abomination to God. Getting people to think that a deceased relative or friend is trying to tell them something will very likely lead them to places they shouldn't go--to psychics and mediums who can "talk to the dead," to seances, to Tarot cards and Ouija boards. This opens up the person to demonic influence and even possession.  As I've written in prior posts, mediums are condemned by both the Bible and Church teaching. "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you." (See Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Emphasis mine.) According to theologian Jone, "Spiritism claims to be able to communicate with the spirit world and endeavors to establish such commerce with it. Although spiritism is for the most part fraud, still the intention alone to enter into communication with spirits is gravely sinful. Therefore, it is mortally sinful to conduct a spiritistic seance or to act as a medium." (See Moral Theology, pg. 100; Emphasis mine). 

Summary and Conclusion
  • The Church teaches the souls of the deceased are judged immediately upon death. This is called the particular judgement, which comes before the General Judgement when Christ returns in glory. 
  • The souls of those in sanctifying grace (the just) go immediately to Heaven, or to Purgatory, to be followed by Heaven. The souls of the wicked (who died without sanctifying grace) go immediately to Hell.
  • God only rarely allows the souls of the dead to make contact with the living. Such encounters will be forceful and in line with the teachings of the Church. 
  • The occult teaches there is the "Other Side" and some souls won't accept their death and go there. Others "need" to contact relatives or friends first so they can "move on to the Other Side." Occultists frequently refer to these souls as "ghosts."
  • The occult idea of life after death has been popularized in the media. The Vatican II sect does nothing to counter it. 
  • There are many rational explanations for most ghost experiences.
  • Some experiences are perpetrated by demonic forces trying to get people to buy into occult doctrine and practices, all of which are condemned by the Church
Neither my mother or my father "visited me" after they died. And why should they? As I tried to explain to Dr. A, I know such is not the case with good reason. It flies in the face of Church teaching. There's no extraordinary reason God should allow such a visit. Both my parents died as Traditionalists after receiving the Last Rites of the True Church. I have good reason to hope they are enjoying eternity with God, and someday I will (hopefully, please God) join them and we will then have contact. The pain of separation when a loved one dies is very great indeed. We should pray for our deceased family and friends and work on our salvation so as to hopefully be reunited one day. Don't let the pain and anguish drive you to go to people and do things that God has forbidden. The occult is for Satan. We don't need to "see ghosts, " when we have the True Faith of the One True Church. "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:8-9). 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Promises, Promises

 Joan Carroll Cruz was an author and "conservative" member of the Vatican II sect. Most of what she wrote is reverent and edifying. She writes about popular devotional topics, typically saints, relics, Eucharistic miracles and the like. She passed in 2012 at the age of 81. I have a copy of her popular little booklet entitled Prayers and Heavenly Promises (compiled from approved sources). The "approval" of some promises comes from the Vatican II sect, which is no approval at all. Traditionalists must be careful when it comes to belief in promises attached to some prayer or devotion. There is a three-fold danger: (1) promises which claim approval and are not, (2) promises which have been condemned or censured, and (3) misunderstandings of authentic promises which can lead to a loss of Faith, or even jeopardize one's soul. This post will examine true and false promises from Heaven as well as the Church's teaching on interpreting such promises.

Church Teaching on Devotions 

 On May 26, 1937, The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office published the following decree with full approval of His Holiness Pope Pius XI:

  "Long ago the Sacred Council of Trent, after declaring that the worship of the saints and the use of their images to obtain favors from God is legitimate, solemnly warned the Bishops that, if they found that any abuses were creeping in or had crept into these holy and salutary practices, they must take great care to eradicate them, so that no images that are theologically false and might be an occasion of dangerous error to the unlearned be set up; that all superstition in the invocation of saints and in the use of sacred images be removed; that all profit seeking be eliminated; and finally that nothing inordinate, nothing distorted or hasty, nothing profane, nothing unworthy be observed.

Faithful to these prescriptions, the Roman Pontiffs have been diligent in calling them to mind upon various occasions and in demanding that they be fully observed. In particular, Pius IX of holy memory, through a decree of the Holy Office dated January 13, 1875, by his supreme authority decreed: “that writers who exercise their talents upon subjects savoring of novelty, and who under the guise of piety try to promote unaccustomed forms of devotion even through papers and magazines, be warned to cease from these activities and to consider the danger which they incur of drawing the faithful into error even regarding the dogmas of the Faith, and of giving to those who hate religion the opportunity to disparage the purity of Catholic doctrine and of true devotion.” These same provisions have lately been confirmed by being introduced, almost in the same words, into the Code of Canon Law, especially in canons 1259, 1261, and 1279.

Unfortunately, however, so many grave warnings and injunctions of the Supreme ecclesiastical Authority have thus far failed to obtain full obedience. In fact, as everyone knows, these new forms of worship and devotion, often enough ridiculous, usually useless imitations or corruptions of similar ones which are already legitimately established, are in many places, especially in these recent days, being daily multiplied and propagated among the faithful, giving occasion to great astonishment and to bitter aspersion on the part of non-Catholics.

Again and again therefore, this Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, which is charged with the guardianship of the purity and integrity of faith and morals, by express mandate of His Holiness, by Divine Providence Pope, Pius XI, earnestly appeals to the zeal and pastoral solicitude of the Bishops who have the care of souls throughout the Catholic world, and charges them in conscience to urge at last the strictest observance of the aforesaid admonitions and injunctions, by firmly abolishing abuses which have already arisen, and taking the most diligent precautions lest any new ones come into vogue.

Approved and confirmed in every respect, and ordered to be published, by His Holiness, in the audience of May 20, 1937. Given at Rome, from the Palace of the Holy Office, May 26, 1937." 

One must also keep in mind what the Church dogmatically teaches regarding salvation. In the Decree on  Justification,  The Council of Trent teaches:

"No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; as if it were true, that he that is justified, either cannot sin any more, or, if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance; for except by special revelation, it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself."

"So also as regards the gift of perseverance, of which it is written, He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved: which gift cannot be derived from any other but Him, who is able to establish him who standeth that he stand perseveringly, and to restore him who falleth: let no one herein promise himself any thing as certain with an absolute certainty; though all ought to place and repose a most firm hope in God's help."

"For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God."

From Trent we learn that it is of Faith that: (1) no one can know for certain he will be saved except by special revelation from God, such as in the case of the Good Thief. "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation." (See Philippians 2: 12); (2) The greatest gift of Final Perseverance comes from God and we should pray and  do good works for it unceasingly. This gift cannot be merited so as God "must save us," however, if you continue with prayer and good works until your last breath, you can place firm hope that God will save you. (3) No one can have absolute certainty they are in the state of grace at any given moment. Only moral certainty is possible.

Hence, any promise which gives you a "guarantee of salvation" for saying certain prayers, doing certain pious acts cannot be true. For God can neither deceive nor be deceived. He cannot contradict the dogmatic teachings of His One True Church.

Unapproved and Censured Promises

The Two Divine Promises. In Mrs. Cruz' booklet, on pg. 12. Briefly stated, the "Two Divine Promises" ensure the salvation of any priest (and one person selected by that priest) who offers Mass for 30 consecutive days and prays the Stations of the Cross daily during that time.  In addition, anyone who worthily receives Holy Communion for 30 consecutive days and prays one Pater and one Ave for the welfare of the Catholic Church will be saved along with one other person of his choosing. This promise was allegedly made to a"Polish soul" by Our Lord. Who could "approve" something directly opposed to divine and Catholic Faith? To my knowledge, these promises were never approved (at least prior to Vatican II).

The Magnificent Promises. St. Bridget of Sweden allegedly received these fifteen (15) promises from Christ for any person who recites the fifteen (15) prayers in honor of the (alleged) 5,480 blows He received during His Holy Passion. The prayers are not heretical, and are edifying, but the promises stand censured. The second promise purports to have "Fifteen souls of his (the person who says the prayers) lineage... confirmed and preserved in grace." This means assurance of salvation for him and fifteen (15) people in his lineage. In 1954 the Holy Office decreed:

 "In certain places a booklet has appeared with the title 'The Secret of Happiness: Fifteen Prayers Revealed by Our Lord to Saint Brigid in the Church of Saint Paul in Rome,' published in various languages at Nice (and elsewhere).Since it is asserted in this booklet that certain promises were made by God to Saint Brigid, and it is by no means certain that these promises were of supernatural origin, Ordinaries of places [bishops of dioceses] must avoid giving permission to publish or to reprint works or writings which contain the aforesaid promises. Given at Rome, from the Holy Office, 28 January, 1954" 

 Prayer of St. Gertrude, Drops of Blood Prayer, Shoulder Wound Prayer. These three prayers were ascribed as releasing a certain number of souls from Purgatory whenever recited. It was alleged that 1,000 souls would be released from Purgatory each time the St. Gertrude Prayer was recited. On May 26, 1898, the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences and Holy Relics under Pope Leo XIII decreed, "The leaflets and booklets which promise the faithful that they will free one or more souls from Purgatory by the recitation of some prayer or another are to be rejected : and the Indulgences which are wont to be attached to the said promise are to be held as apocryphal."

Divine Mercy. Now celebrated in the Vatican II sect with much fanfare the Sunday after Easter (Low Sunday on the Traditionalist Calendar), the works of "St." Faustina Kowalska were placed on the Index of Prohibited Books by His Holiness Pope Pius XII. The Holy Office in 1959, under Cardinal Ottaviani, (Roncalli was only "pope" a very short time, and the Cardinals of the Congregation all enjoyed true jurisdiction) forbade "images and writings that promote devotion to Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina." The image is a pallid imitation of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the devotion is to be recited on the Rosary--supplanting the greatest devotion in the Church! There is no evidence of supernatural character, but all was "rehabilitated" under John Paul the Great Apostate. 

Don't Some True Devotions Promise Salvation?

 Some people mistakenly think that true devotions and promises such as the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Five First Saturdays in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Brown Scapular promise us salvation. This is simply false. The 12th Promise of those devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus states, "I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." How is this different from the Two Divine Promises, or the other unapproved promises? 

First, the supernatural origin is beyond doubt. Second, no one can have absolute certainty they carried out the request with the correct disposition--remember that no one can know if they are in the state of grace, so you have only moral certainty. Third, to persevere in the love of Christ's Heart so long is thereby engaging in prayers and works to obtain salvation. Fourth, anyone who performs the Nine First Fridays with the intention that they will sin with impunity thereafter, or not need to worry about getting to Heaven, does not have the proper disposition to gain the promise in the first place! Likewise, the scapular promise, "Whosoever dies clothed in this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire" was always understood by the Church as meaning Mary will help to salvation those devoted to her and who work out their salvation battling the devil, the flesh and the world. It is not a license to wear the Scapular, live like a heathen committing mortal sins, and you can die entering Heaven because you're wearing a Scapular. 

Avoid any new devotions and the promises connected to them. We have no one to authorize anything in this time of near universal apostasy. Remain true to those devotions propagated time and again by Holy Mother Church, and remember that the promises are not guarantees.  They can help us get to Heaven, but they are not "golden tickets" nor a free pass to sin. Be careful, too, that prayers that promise to grant you some favor are always conditioned on what God knows is best for us. He will not grant something we want if He knows it will end up damning us. People often forget that and, when some petition is not granted, they lose faith. 

 God has given us some wonderful promises. However, in order to obtain them, we must promise to always work out our salvation in fear and trembling, and remember that God will not grant anything He knows will hurt us.