Monday, May 29, 2017

Burning Heretics


 We have been so inundated with political correctness, many things which are immoral currently seem right to a majority of people. Just thirty years ago, had you proclaimed yourself in favor of same sex "marriage," you would have been a pariah, and it would be the death knell for a politician. The Great Apostasy has made society lose its moral compass. Conversely, a majority of people also see things which are moral as having become immoral. Case in point: the Vatican II sect has made opposition to capital punishment the equivalent of opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Enemies of Traditionalists and apologists for the Vatican II sect will both cite to the "evil practice" of burning heretics at the stake as alleged "proof" that (a) the Church can be wrong in matters of faith and morals not infallibly defined and/or (b) Church doctrine can "evolve" to the point where something thought to be right can now be wrong. I will set forth the True Church teaching on capital punishment and heresy.

The Morality of the Death Penalty


According to theologian Prummer, "Only the State has the right to put to death those who have committed most serious crimes. The State has this right since the penalty of death is sometimes necessary for safeguarding the common weal [good] and only the State has the duty of safeguarding society. Capital punishment must be reserved for the most serious of crimes and these must be fully proven...Since the State has the power to put the criminal to death, so it has the power for a sufficient reason to mutilate the criminal (e.g., by cutting off his hand) or to flog him." (See Handbook of Moral Theology, pg. 126).

Theologians McHugh and Callan teach, "Killing human beings is lawful in two cases. (a) It is lawful when when the common safety requires that the State inflict death for a crime (capital punishment)" (See Moral Theology 2: 100).

Theologian Jone writes, "A criminal may be executed if juridical proof has established the moral certainty that he has committed a grave crime for which the State, in the interest of the common welfare, inflicts capital punishment, and if someone has been authorized by the State to execute the sentence." (See Moral Theology, pg. 140).

Proposition required by Pope Innocent III as a condition to be readmitted to the Church: "We declare that the secular power can without mortal sin impose a judgement of blood provided the punishment is carried out not in hatred but in good judgement, not inconsistently but after mature deliberation."

From the practice of the Church: "From 1815, when the pope regained political control of Rome from Napoleon, until 1870, the popes ordered the executions of hundreds of malefactors." (See Norko, M., "The Death Penalty in Catholic Teaching and Medicine: Intersections and Places for Dialogue," Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 36 (2008): 470-481).

From the Holy Bible: Genesis 9:6, "Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind." St. John 19:10, "Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest Thou not to me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and I have power to release Thee?" Romans 13: 4, "For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. "

It is clear that the Church, in principle, allows for the execution of criminals who have committed "the most serious of crimes." This has always been the case.

Is Heresy A Crime Deserving The Death Penalty?

The propagation of heresy is worse than murder. Our Lord said, "And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in Hell." (St. Matthew 10: 28). Murder destroys the body. Heresy can bring eternal death in Hell. There is but One True Church, outside of which no one can be saved. It is the duty of the State to uphold the Rights of the Church as the sole and exclusive State religion. Error has no rights. 

CONDEMNED Proposition # 77 from the Syllabus of Errors promulgated by Pope Pius IX (1864): "77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship." 

In the bull Exsurge Domine, excommunicating Martin Luther and condemning his heresies, CONDEMNED proposition # 33 states, "That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit."

It should be noted that there is a difference between:

(a) condemning a proposition that heretics being burned is always against the will of the Holy Ghost.

(b) endorsing a proposition that heretics being burned is the will of the Holy Ghost in all cases and at all times.

The first is merely asserting that it is possible that at some time and place burning of heretics may not have been against the will of the Holy Ghost, whereas the second proposition claims that the burning of heretics is always the active will of the Holy Ghost. The second statement is not implied by the first. This is where people make the error, and think it "wrong" or "scandalous" that God should permit the burning of heretics.

Let's look at a similar pair of propositions that might shed light on the subject. It is Church teaching that God may permit the capital punishment of some offenders and so to assert that "capital punishment is not against the will of God" is quite a different assertion than claiming that God simply wills capital punishment under all conditions or compels it. As theologians McHugh and Callan teach, "Though lawful, capital punishment is not always necessary; for it is a means to an end, and it may be omitted therefore, when the end can be obtained by the use of other and less severe means." (See Moral Theology, 2: 101).

Again, the first statement says nothing about when or where the Holy Ghost may permit the burning of heretics, the second implies that the Holy Ghost wills or is never against the burning of heretics. They are not the same claim.

It is the case that proposition (a) is true, that there may be times when burning of certain heretics may not be contrary to the will of the Holy Ghost, but still insist that not every specific case of burning heretics, as these have occurred in history, have always been contrary to the will of the Holy Ghost. It may be that only a certain severity of heresy could result in the Holy Ghost permitting the burning of that individual, and it is possible that such a severity has never occurred.

There is a difference between an "in principle" condemnation and a "de facto" one. In principle, burning heretics is a form of capital punishment, because their evil doctrines kill the soul, which is worse than killing the body (murder). But, just as you don't need to be in favor of capital punishment, as long as you don't condemn it in principle--the same applies here. Hence, there was no change in Church teaching and the burning of heretics is permitted in principle as a form of capital punishment! 

The Vatican II Sect and Capital Punishment

 The ecumenical/universalist sect spawned from the Second Vatican (Robber) Council, sees all religions as more or less equally good and leading to Heaven. Don't expect them to defend capital punishment for heretics, since they no longer believe in heresy (unless you believe the truth as a Traditionalist). However, the sect has basically adopted a de facto stance against capital punishment, in principle, even for premeditated murder. The sect advances four arguments against capital punishment: (1) it allows the killing of a person made in God's image; (2) it violates "the Gospel message;" (3) it is contrary to God's forgiveness; and (4) it shows a depraved desire for revenge. Each argument is seriously flawed.

As to argument #1:
  • God can take human life, as He is the Author of Life. The State has authority from God to "remove from the body politic" someone deemed a threat to the common good. Some object that mistakes are made in executing innocent people, and you can't give that person back their life. However, even if a mistake is made, we would need to do away with imprisonment. If an innocent person is incarcerated for life and either dies in prison, or loses years of his life, those goods can not be restored either.
As to argument # 2:
  • The account of the adulteress brought for stoning and stopped by Christ, is often used as "proof" that capital punishment is wrong because Christ said, "let him without sin cast the first stone." (St John 8: 1-11).
  • This is not a per se condemnation of capital punishment. If it were, then how could any punishment be inflicted, as we are all sinners?
  • The death penalty for adultery was applied to men as well as women under Mosaic Law, yet only the woman was brought to be executed.
  • Roman law prohibited the Jews from executing anyone. This is why Pontius Pilate needed to OK the Crucifixion of Christ. Our Lord could also be protecting Himself of the accusation that He was disobedient to the law.
  • Christ let the woman go free without any penalty. Does that mean adultery is not deserving of any punishment here--or hereafter? Christ was merely showing the Jews as hypocrites. 
  • Romans 13: 1-4, specifically allows for capital punishment: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil."
As to argument # 3:

  • Christ was executed by the State, yet he did not condemn the practice. Execution allows time for the convicted to repent and escape eternal punishment, thereby being very forgiving, as opposed to imprisonment which usually just hardens the heart of the killer being locked up for many years.
  • The Good Thief declared in St. Luke 23: 41, "We [i.e. the other thief and himself] are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this Man [Christ] has done nothing wrong." Christ was unjustly put to death, but not the other two. Our Lord did not rebuke the Good Thief, but promised him salvation, "This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." The Holy Ghost would not inspire St. Luke to record something regarded as just if such were not the case. 
As to argument # 4:
  • In Contra Faustum, St. Augustine writes, "Though there is no sin in wishing for revenge within the limits of justice, the man who wishes for no revenge at all is further from the sin of an unjust revenge." (Emphasis mine).  Notice there is nothing wrong with desiring an offender to be punished proportionately within the limits of the law.
The only argument really needed against ANY of them: It goes against the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium, which clearly teaches capital punishment is not wrong in principle. 

Conclusion

  Heresy is the root cause of our decaying society. People act on their beliefs, and when those beliefs are wrong, wrong actions follow. Vatican II and Wojtyla (JPII) urged States to adopt "religious liberty." Now, every moral aberration can be found in these formerly Catholic countries. The Vatican II sect dares to put the taking of innocent life (abortion and euthanasia) on the same level as the taking of a life from a criminal who has forfeited his/her own right to life by the murder of another. The Church has always recognized capital punishment, self-defense, and just war as reasons permissible to take human life.

 In today's world, where everything is considered relative, beliefs are "subjective," and everyone is entitled to profess any religion, the idea of burning heretics seems unthinkable as well as cruel and unusual punishment. When put in perspective, it is an act of mercy. It is better to see the horror of a temporary punishment here, and escape a permanent burning in Hell. 

33 comments:

  1. The Vatican II Sect adores Modern Man as a god. It is no wonder that, immanent and idolatrous, it is against capital punishment and its current leader, Jorge Bergoglio, aka Francis, militate against and say that to live sinning is "an imperfection of the state of grace."

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  2. The farther we get from God, the farther likewise we get from the most basic ideas of common sense. Capital punishment is a practice literally as old as the world. Every society in human history, whether pagan or practicing the true religion, from the most advanced civilizations of Greece and Rome, to the most primitive tribe on the most remote island of the Pacific Ocean, of every era from Adam and Eve to the 20th century, has executed those who commit serious crimes. The very suggestion that there is anything wrong with such a practice is an unheard-of assertion until the French Revolution. And now most people believe in it, and those who simply believe what humanity has always held are the ones considered fanatics.

    It is truly amazing how corrupt and perverted our modern thinking is, to the point where modern man doesn't even realize he is literally a walking, talking lunatic in comparison with nearly all the rest of human history.

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    1. A very good assessment of the situation my friend!

      ---Introibo

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  3. Thanks for writing another excellent article. I look forward to your weekly piece.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words Mike! It's comments like yours that keep me going!

      ---Introibo

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  4. Excellent refreshing post!!!
    God bless you.

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    1. Thank you my friend!

      God bless,
      ---Introibo

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  5. Speaking of Papal Law,you ever read a book called "Dark Side of the Papacy?"
    Is it written by a non-catholic that bashes Catholicism?
    Or is it a balanced book written by a Catholic?

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    1. It is not a balanced book. Anti-Catholic, poorly written propaganda.

      ---Introibo

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    2. Thank you,I will save my federal reserve notes.
      If you take suggestions on writing articles,the FSSP/ICKSP being ordained in traditional rite by Novus Ordo "bishops" would be most interesting.

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    3. I always consider suggestions! Thank you.

      ---Introibo

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  6. Introibo - Thanks for a most interesting and insightful post!!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Joann! I'm glad my readers get something out of my weekly post!

      ---Introibo

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  7. Can you give examples from the New Testament where Christ or the Apostles advocated murdering heretics? Also, can you give any examples from the first 1,000 years of Christianity that shows Christians either practiced or approved of the specific practice of murdering heretics? Thank you.

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    1. I can't answer your question since I'm not advocating "murder." Murder is a direct mortal sin against the Fifth Commandment, so of course neither Christ nor the Apostles would advocate committing sin. Murder is defined by the Church as, "the direct killing of an INNOCENT person." (See theologian Jone, "Moral Theology", pg. 136).

      Heretics are not innocent as they kill the life of the soul, which is worse than the killing of the body. The Church has always recognized JUST WAR, SELF-DEFENSE, and CAPITAL PUNISHMENT as morally permissible and they are not, therefore, murder.

      Secondly, Traditionalists do not adhere to the heresy of "sola scriptura" (the Bible Alone" as the sole rule of Faith). There are many things that Christ and the Apostles don't specifically mention, yet are held to be moral or immoral by the One True Church founded by Our Lord. You will look in vain,e.g., for Christ and the Apostles approving "just war" or condemning euthanasia. It doesn't logically follow that "just war" is condemned because it was not mentioned with approval in the New Testament, nor does it follow that euthanasia is morally permissible because not specifically condemned in the Bible.

      As far as historical examples of Christians approving capital punishment for heretics, under 6th century Emperor Justinian I, the death penalty had been decreed for impenitent Manicheans.

      I hope this helps.

      ---Introibo

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    2. Oops, I should have specified that I'm actually interested in Church teachings that advocate "killing" heretics. Justinian 1 was a politician and that is not what I am looking for. Do you have any knowledge that writings of popes or Fathers of the Church advocated killing heretics before medieval times?

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    3. You're interested in something that doesn't exist. The Church does not "advocate" for capital punishment, but admits that it is permissible in principle. Justinian was the lawful ruler and that is who caries out the sentence--the State.

      ---Introibo

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    4. Do you have any writings from the first 1,000 years of Christianity from popes or fathers who "admit" that killing heretics is permissible? Thank you.

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    5. Here's something in which you may be interested:
      I was born at night, but it wasn't last night. Your queries grow both tiresome and revealing. You are not interested in seeking answers, but in deriding Church teaching.

      I respectfully suggest you go back and read my post once more.

      1. Capital punishment is permissible.
      2. The burning of heretics is a form of capital punishment.
      3. Therefore, the burning of heretics is permissible.

      According to St. Augustine: "The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time.

      The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill' to wage war at God's bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason." (See "The City of God," Book 1, Chapter 21)

      Unrepentant heretics qualify as "criminals."

      Cogitesne? Probably not, unfortunately.

      ---Introibo

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    6. I am not interested in you or when you were born. I am specifically interested in the killing of heretics before Medieval times. Did Augustine permit burning of heretics explicitly? I am interested in the first writing of pope or Father that "permits" burning of heretics. If you don't know just say so.

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    7. If you're not interested in me, why are you asking me? There's something called "research," and I suggest you do your own--provided you know how.

      ---Introibo

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  8. Good article
    http://www.holyromancatholicchurch.org/rama/society-saint-peter-fssp.html

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  9. Well thank God the Catholic Church had the good sense to disavow its monstrous past and make some changes for the better. Burning people alive because they don't believe as somebody else dictates, really? What a disgusting history and you traditionalists actually want to bring that back. Well its not going to happen. The ugly dark days of Catholic Church sponsored torture, inquisitions, witch hunts, and forced beliefs are over.

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    1. The Church changed nothing, the Vatican 2 sect is not the Catholic Church--Deo gratias! You don't believe in objective truth. No one would be the subject of capital punishment unless they spread their errors and refused to stop. These errors lead souls to Hell-- worse than murder.

      ---Introibo

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    2. When you have time,will you please read this article & give your opinion?
      I don't agree with everything he says(I do acknowledge his report of Cardinal Pacelli helping center left causes in Central Europe to be a fact)and he seems to give a bizarre pass on key sensitive history.
      Keep in mind,this crew encourages the pre-1950 calendar/holy week/etc..but they renounce the sedevacantist position and are more than ok with novus ordo "sacraments".
      These fellas are smart,educated,and write good articles.Simultaneously,I disagree with their theology.
      Thank you God bless you!!

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    3. Sure I'd look it over for you, but you don't have an article listed!

      ---Introibo

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    4. Oops my bad bro
      http://theradtrad.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-pre-conciliar-church.html?m=1

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    5. When you have a spare 5 mins,I'd love to know your opinion of the article I linked above.
      I am learning about the Catholic Church/Faith(left Novus Ordo 2014,held "sede" position since 2011 while attending a 1962 Indult with a valid priest every few weeks,left indult for trad chapel 2014)but nowhere near the knowledge of you or the "rad trad blog".
      Thank you.
      Benedicat Vos Omnipotens Dues!

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    6. I read the article you referenced above. It's an interesting narrative bereft of any citations. His thesis is severely flawed in several places. His attempt to blame Pope St Pius X for the rise of Modernism is offensive to pious ears. The Church as "perfect society" is firmly grounded in theology that is orthodox to the core. The article reads more like a Malchi Martin novel than anything based on solid evidence.

      ---Introibo

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    7. Introibo: The author, Mary Ball Martinez, in her work, "The Undermining of the Catholic Church", popularized --- if we may use that word --- the notion that with Pius XII the Church as "the perfect Society" gave way to the less than Aristotelian "Mystical Body of Christ" concept; and, according to Mrs. Martinez, at the same time, with less than desirable results.

      One of the main problems with this book is that she offers not a single citation to substantiate her assertions; her criticism of past true Pontiffs are both devoid of citation and source. And, while I am sure she was an honest woman, from a literary standpoint, this is entirely inadequate.

      In the same connection, I think that the late Mrs. Martinez was also the first to widely popularize this notion of a theological distinction to Traditionalist Catholic circles (Perfect Society vs. Mystical Body), and, no doubt, I am willing to bet that the author of the linked article (who was referenced above) similarly learned the same from reading her works, or, perhaps, in correspondence with those who have.

      Again, this is not to discount her work entirely; it is just that when you cite no sources in your work, it can become quite problematical. -- The Home Aloner

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    8. Your critique is well written and has much merit. Thank you for leaving this comment; I'm not familiar with the works of Mrs. Martinez. This is the problem with people who abandon the approved theologians for people who are unqualified to make theological judgements.

      ---Introibo

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    9. Thank both of you all very much!

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