Monday, August 14, 2017

Prayers For Non-Catholics



 Praying for someone's conversion to the One True Church is a most Catholic act. You would think that there would be no controversy attached to this topic, but somehow controversy seems to find its way into almost every aspect of Traditional Catholic teaching these days. Without a pope, division is the logical result because "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered..." (Zechariah 13: 7). We should strive to have as much unity as possible on topics where there is no clear answer. Too often Traditionalists forget the maxim of St. Augustine, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."

Now, when it comes to straightforward prayers for Mr./Miss/Mrs. X who is a (Jew, Protestant, Hindu, Moslem, atheist, member of the Vatican II sect, etc.) to be enlightened by the grace of God to become a Traditionalist, we have no problem. However, someone raised the query, "Is it OK to pray for the soul of a deceased relative who was Protestant?" Ask the Vatican II sect clergy, and they will say it's OK to canonize him. Ask a Feeneyite, and they will tell you they are burning in Hell so don't waste your time. In medio stat veritas. "The truth stands in the middle." In this post I will explain and defend Church teaching against the infamous Dimond brother Feeneyites, and I will also revisit the Una Cum issue I tackled in my post of 7/10/17.


Are Prayers For Deceased Non-Catholics Permissible?

  There's an old aphorism, "A proof-text without context is a pretext." If you take something out of the context in which it was written and hold it up as "proof" for a preconceived notion, you're not interested in the Truth, just validating your point; "My mind is made up, so don't bother me with the facts." This is the hallmark of Fred and Bobby Dimond of "Most Holy Family Monastery" (MHFM). In their article Catholics May Not Pray For Deceased Non-Catholics, Fred and Bobby contort Church teaching. They begin with this general statement:

It’s a dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.  All who die as non-Catholics go to Hell.  Therefore, prayers may not be offered for people who die as non-Catholics.  If a person was a non-Catholic or a heretic during life, unless there is evidence of a conversion to the true faith in the external forum, the person is considered to have died as he or she lived (i.e. as a non-Catholic and outside the Church).  Therefore prayers may not be offered for a person who, based on the last available evidence, was a non-Catholic or a heretic on the hope that there was a conversion in that person’s final days.  Prayers may only be offered for people who die with the true faith.  Here are some quotes that reiterate the Church’s teaching that Catholics may not pray for (or consider among the faithful departed) those who die as non-Catholics or without the true faith. (See http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/catholicchurch/catholics-may-not-pray-deceased-non-catholics/#.WYvioNQrKt_).

It is true that there is no salvation outside the One True Church and all non-Traditionalist Catholics who die as such go to Hell. The rest is woefully wrong. They claim that unless there is evidence that the person converted, prayers may not be offered in the hope that there was a conversion in the person's final days.

Let's see what the Church has to say:

1. 1917 Code of Canon Law 
Canon 1240 speaks to the types of persons to be denied ecclesiastical burial. They include Masons, excommunicates, those who committed suicide, those who live as public and notorious sinners, etc. However, Canon 1241 says a person deprived of Christian burial "shall also be denied any funeral Mass, even an anniversary Mass, as well as all other public funeral services. Priests may say Mass privately for him and the faithful may pray for him. (See canonists Abbo and Hannon, The Sacred Canons, 2: 495-497; Emphasis mine). Obviously the Church does not give up hope in a last minute repentance/conversion, but Fred and Bobby do.

2. Theologian O'Connell
"So far as the dead are concerned, the Exequial Mass and Anniversary Mass (or other public funeral offices)may not be offered for a person to whom ecclesiastical burial had been denied...It is not, however, forbidden to offer a Mass privately for such persons." (See The Celebration of Mass, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee [1941], pg. 45; Emphasis mine).

3. Theologian Szal
"But if he [a schismatic] gave no signs of repentance, then Mass can still be said for him, but only privately and in the absence of scandal." (See The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, CUA Press, [1948], pg. 181; Emphasis mine).

What proof did the Dimond brothers give for claiming Catholics can't pray for deceased non-Catholics? A quote from St. Thomas Aquinas, "St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Suppl. Q. 71, A. 5. “Gregory says (Moralia xxxiv): There is the same reason for not praying then (namely after the judgment day) for men condemned to everlasting fire, as there is now for not praying for the devil and his angels who are sentenced to eternal punishment, and for this reason the saints do not pray for dead unbelieving and wicked men, because, forsooth, knowing them to be already condemned to eternal punishment, they shrink from pleading for them by the merit of their prayers…” Yes, THE SAINTS do not pray for dead and unbelieving men because they know for certain who they are, and we do not (except for Judas Iscariot, for the Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches, "...but the priesthood brings to them [i.e., evil clerics] in its train the same rewards the Apostleship brought to Judas--eternal perdition." pg. 213).

The other quotes from, e.g., Pope Gregory the Great, clearly mean prayers are not offered for non-Catholics publicly, because no one but God knows what happens between Him and a soul prior to death except by special revelation. We know the canonized saints are in Heaven; that is an infallible decree. We know Judas is in Hell. For everyone else, we may hope they were saved by God in the last moments of life, being brought into the Church infused with faith and sanctifying grace, because nothing is impossible with God. Prayers said for them, if they did not convert, are not "wasted;" they will be used by God for another poor soul--the same as prayers for someone whom is now (unknown to us) in Heaven are never "wasted."

Una Cum --Revisited

 In my post of 7/10/17 entitled "Una Cum," I defended the permissibility of attending a True Mass offered with the name of false pope Francis in the Canon when no other option is available. I specified that "It must be offered by a validly ordained priest who professes the Integral Catholic Faith whole and entire, who is not in actual union with Modernist Rome and specifically rejects all the errors of both Vatican II and the post-conciliar "popes."  Please refer to the aforementioned post for the background of the issue.

 In the comments section of that post, my conclusion was challenged by a reader who alleged to pass on a comment from Fr. Cekada who holds the view that Una Cum is impermissible to attend. I don't know if the anonymous commenter was the same person who sent me an anti-Una Cum article written by the late Patrick Henry Omlor. I also have no way to verify if the alleged comment was actually made by Fr. Cekada or not (I will assume, for sake of Charity, it was not). My training as a lawyer (and my thirst for knowledge when challenged) made me do further research. Fr. Cekada is alleged to have written, "There is no citation in the article to any Vatican decree. The author merely provides a link to an 1806 Latin-English missal for the laity in which [the] Latin text of the Canon contains the phrase “pro Rege nostro N.” (for our King, N.). The Missal of Pius V discontinued the mention of the king or civil rulers in the Te Igitur, and the practice was allowed only by way of privilege (as in Spain and Austria), where the ruler was a Catholic. Until I see an actual Vatican decree, therefore, I will treat the claim as nonsense."

I went back and examined Fr. Cekada's article The Grain of Incense available to view/download at traditionalmass.org. On page 10, footnote 50, Fr. Cekada writes, "... From [theologian Fr. Ignatius] Szal (183), though, it seems that the most the Holy See occasionally tolerated was a prayer for a lay heretic or schismatic in his capacity as a head of state (King, President, etc.) — but never one for a heretical or schismatic cleric." Here, Fr. Cekada cites to theologian Szal and admits that heretics and schismatics were prayed for liturgically! So why would he need a Vatican decree to support praying for the heretical King of England, to give credence to this already established fact? There is direct confirmation the King of England was mentioned liturgically, as you will read below. 

This changes his argument substantially to, "It's permissible to pray for a heretical head of state, but not a heretical cleric." Says whom? When I say, "whom" I mean what approved theologian, canonist, or decree of the Holy See supports this contention? Now Fr. Cekada is inferring something not expressly addressed. He also asserts that the heretic is prayed for "in his capacity as a head of state." I don't know where he got this idea, but it was not from Szal. Here is what Szal has to say on page 183 of his book The Communication of Catholics With Schismatics (cited previously in this post):

Benedict XIV, in an encyclical letter of March 1, 1756, condemned the practice of mentioning liturgically the name of the Bishop or Patriarch when he was recognized as a heretic or a schismatic. However, a favorable reply was given by the Holy Office on February 23, 1820, for the Archdiocese of Quebec. It was revealed in this case that prayers were said for the Pope, for the Bishop, and for the King, at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. And at Solemn Mass there was sung the "Domine, salvum fac Regem." The continuance of both practices was tolerated. Here, then, there was question of a heretical monarch, but the same principle of tolerance could also find application when there was question of a schismatic.

 The foregoing answer was evidently within the memory of the Holy See in the following case. The President of the Greek States had asked that prayers be said for him. The Bishop had proscribed the words, Domine, salvum fac Praesidem after the "Domine, salvum fac Regem." The Holy See replied the arrangement could stand. 

 In another instance the Catholic Latin bishops were asked by the local governor to solemnize the feasts of the courts in their churches. They limited the solemnity to the Ambrosian hymn and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, after which the accustomed triple acclamation, "viva il Re," was made. In its response to the Bishop of Santorin the Holy See recalled former similar instructions, and stated that the prayers were to be directed not only for the temporal welfare of the governor, but also for his true happiness, namely, that he receive the precious gift of faith. 

The implications of the foregoing cannot be overstated. 

  • We have positive proof that the Holy See has tolerated using the name of heretics and schismatics in the liturgical functions of the Church. 
  • The general prohibition on mentioning heretics in the liturgy cannot be of Divine positive law, but only of ecclesiastical precept, for the Church cannot make exceptions to Divine positive law. There is nothing in the text of what Szal wrote to indicate you are only praying for the office. There is a declaration from the Holy See that prayers be directed not only to the office of a heretical governor, "but  also for his true happiness, namely that he receive the precious gift of faith" (conversion to the True Church). An office doesn't convert or have happiness; the individual does. 
  • Even if a distinction could be made between the office and the heresy, what about permission to mention the King given for the Archdiocese of Quebec in 1820? Canada has no King--the King in question was the King of England! Furthermore, whomsoever holds the office of monarch in England also holds the office of the Head of the (false) Sect of England. He therefore has clerical authority as the head of a false religion. 
  • Can't the points above be said of Bergoglio, and we pray for his conversion as Head of the Vatican City-State and perhaps as material-only pope, for his conversion? 
Few people have the time or ability to vet an article, such as the one written by Fr. Cekada. I have approximately four thousand (4, 000) books in my personal library, and I made the time to learn thanks to my readers. (We learn even when we disagree with each other). I am now more convinced than ever of the correctness of my position set forth in my post of 7/10/17 on "Una Cum."

Conclusion

 We should pray for the conversion of non-Catholics, that they may become Traditionalists (true Catholics) in this time of near universal apostasy. They need our prayers, and our help to see the truth. Do not bother with Fred and Bobby Dimond's "theology." Also, as much as I respect and admire Fr. Cekada, I call on him to re-think his position. Re-read Szal. If we are to get a pope back, we must get more unity than we have, and a "follow me or die" attitude helps no one on matters not settled. When dealing with non-Traditionalists (or even Traditionalists with whom we disagree), never forget the words of 1 Peter 3: 16-17, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Singing For Satan


 In the comments section of my post two weeks ago, I mentioned how in the early 1990s I had done an informal study of rock and popular music. Several of my readers expressed an interest in my findings. Therefore, this will be the first of a rotating series of posts (one per month), about my discoveries during the roughly five years (1991-1996) when I did this on my spare time. Why did I perform such a study? When I was a young teenager, I wanted to be a radio DJ. Back before satellite radio and iTunes, your favorite DJ was spinning the records you wanted to hear with commentary that would make you laugh or think. He/she became like a family friend whose voice you'd frequently hear on your favorite frequency! In my twenties, I actually was on a smaller radio station here in New York, reading the news as a part time gig. I got to know the radio business rather well, and although I never pursued a career in radio, I learned a lot about the music.

   My favorite radio station was WPLJ-FM, New York City, which from 1968-1983 played an AOR ("album oriented rock") format. Tony Pigg (real name Anthony Pignotti) was my favorite DJ with the most awesome and distinctive on-air voice I've ever heard to this day. His banter was witty and you could tell he loved his job; speaking and playing rock music to the largest city in America. Upon becoming a Traditionalist in 1981, there were certain messages in rock music that disturbed me, and I avoided those bands. There were those who sang openly about Satan, such as the band AC/DC and their songs Highway To Hell and Hell's Bells. On the cover of one album, a band member sports devil horns. (AC/DC was also street lingo in the 1970s for being bisexual).

 I stopped listening to the overtly evil music above. Of course, AC/DC claimed Highway To Hell was a song about how touring as a band on the road can be living "hell." A nice try to deflect criticism, but the lyrics to the song say something different:

No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me around
Hey Satan, paid my dues
Playing in a rocking band
Hey mama, look at me
I'm on my way to the promised land, whoo!
I'm on the highway to hell

"Hey, Satan, paid my dues" is about life touring on the road? Please. Hell's Bells proclaims, "Satan's gotcha, Satan's gonna getcha." People will also say "it's a gimmick, they don't really worship Satan;" perhaps in this case, but some musicians (like Marilyn Manson and King Diamond) are professed Satanists. So, I thought to myself, if I just stay away from the evil wackos, the rest of the music is OK.

 Something didn't feel right. The music I was listening to was leaving me feeling slightly depressed afterwards. In 1989, I met someone with whom I am still good friends today. He was a DJ on a small station in NY, playing CCM ("Contemporary Christian Music") which included "Christian Heavy Metal"! I learned quite a bit from him. He told me that the problem with secular rock and pop music are the lifestyles of the artists and the lyrics. He did not condemn all secular music. He does not claim that everything is evil unless specifically religious. He did bring out the need to beware and use discernment.

 As a father, he was vigilant as to what his children listened to and encouraged CCM. He told me what I already knew, that we are at war with the devil, the flesh, and the world. He reminded me that  not only was the overtly Satanic King Diamond evil, but so were those who (perhaps) used Satan for "shock value." Their lyrics and lifestyles tend to corrupt listeners because they send messages that are for the world--- and the values of the world--- which oppose God. I was fascinated. I began to research not just overtly Satanic (or Satanic-like) bands, but the ones considered "tame" and "good." I found many to be neither when I examined how they live and what they sing. There is power in words. Professional research now backs up what my friend knew decades ago. According to Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed articled appeared stating,
"Parents often are unaware of the lyrics to which their children are listening because of the increasing use of downloaded music and headphones. Research on popular music has explored its effects on schoolwork, social interactions, mood and affect, and particularly behavior. The effect that popular music has on children's and adolescents' behavior and emotions is of paramount concern. Lyrics have become more explicit in their references to drugs, sex, and violence over the years, particularly in certain genres. A teenager's preference for certain types of music could be correlated or associated with certain behaviors." (See http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1488)

 So I began my research project with gusto, thinking that perhaps I'd put out a booklet warning people, and especially parents, about the dangers of rock, rap, and popular music. Life so often gets in the way of our plans, and I've amassed a lot of information, but no booklet. Now, I'm going to look over what I learned in the past,edit my notes and present it in a once-per-month post.  As the Vatican II sect does nothing to warn people of modern dangers (indeed, they even promote them), I feel it my duty as God's unworthy instrument to sound the alarm. Please, if you have a moment, leave a comment and let me know if you think continuing this series would be worthwhile.


The Evil Elements In Rock and Popular Music

   I don't need to state that as Traditionalists, we live in an unprecedented time of near universal apostasy.  Music exerts a powerful influence on listeners, as I found out on my own from personal experience. There are seven elements that pervade today's music:

1. Violence/Murder/Suicide
2. Nihilism/Despair
3. Drug and alcohol glorification
4. Adultery/ Fornication and sexual perversion
5. The occult
6. Rebellion against lawful superiors
7. Blasphemy against God, Jesus Christ in particular, and the Church

These elements are present in most of today's secular music in the form of the lyrics and lifestyles of the artists. Please remember these points:


  • No one is without sin except Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. It's one thing if a singer was an alcoholic or drug addict and now repents, as opposed to someone who glorifies it by their songs or thinks it's "no big deal" in their own life.
  • You must discern what is appropriate music for you once you have the facts. Would you feel comfortable listening to a song you like while Jesus and the Blessed Mother were sitting next to you? If not, you might want to re-think what you allow yourself to hear. 
  • Don't delude yourself that YOU are not affected by the music because you are an adult. There's a reason advertisers are willing to spend $5 million dollars for a half-minute during the Super Bowl. People are persuaded through the media. Now consider the HOURS per week the average person listens to music. 
  • "I only listen because I like the beat." Yes, but subconsciously, your mind hears the lyrics. You might even sing them to yourself without taking into conscious account what those lyrics really mean.  When lyrics are depressing, you can become depressed. When lyrics glorify what is wrong, you might come to regard it as less of an evil than it really is, thereby giving an opening to temptation and sin.
  • CCM is Protestant, but most of it is general in theology (love of God and neighbor). If the lyrics are theologically heretical, avoid that particular song. I'm not advocating CCM, nor am I condemning it, since it is a viable alternative (especially for kids) to the secular music. It certainly does not belong in Church, but it is (for the most part) a wholesome alternative that makes us think of God.
  • There is no such thing as an "evil beat." My spiritual father, the late, great Fr. DePauw was once accused by someone in the congregation of playing "an evil hymn"--Holy God We Praise Thy Name!  Father devoted a sermon (as only a former professor of Moral Theology could do!) to the topic. God allows us to make music. There is no "intrinsically evil" music. It is the lyrics that make it good or bad. There is the Catholic Holy God We Praise Thy Name, and the Protestant version which corrupted the lyrics! We, of course, used the Catholic hymn. 
  • This is information, not a booklet. Use it to learn and teach others of the pitfalls in music. Some are going to have an emotional reaction, much like when I wrote a post against teaching kids about Santa Claus because it involves parents lying to children about a God-surrogate which could weaken trust in parents and belief in God.
  • I will present the artists/groups in no particular order. Most are from circa 1964-1996. However, as this is an interest of mine, I also have added information over the years on more contemporary artists and kept up with developments of those who still perform. It's funny how some of the groups considered "hard rock" in the 1970s and 1980s are now played on Adult Contemporary "Lite Music" stations--once reserved for elevator muzak! 
  • Remember the inspired words of St. Paul, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. –Philippians 4:8
Let the exposing of the music groups and artists begin!

A Journey You May Not Want To Take

 Considered one of the "tame" groups, Journey was among the super-groups of the 1970s, hitting superstar status in the 1980s. They still put out albums today, and every lead singer must sound like the legendary Steve Perry whose incredible vocals made them world famous. Perry was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as # 76 of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time." Journey is tainted by two elements: the occult and promotion of sexual sins (adultery, fornication). 

1. The Scarab Beetle
Most of Journey's album covers feature a scarab beetle. The Evolution album and subsequent work depict the "winged globe" which signifies the omnipresence of the false sun "god" Ra. The album Captured shows the scarab beetle in a mirrored image. According to McClung Museum, " By far the most important amulet in ancient Egypt was the scarab, symbolically as sacred to the Egyptians as the cross is to Christians. Scarabs were already known in the Old Kingdom, and in the First Intermediate Period the undersides were decorated. They were probably sacred in the Prehistoric Period and had a role in the early worship of animals, judging from the actual beetles that were found stored in jars buried with the deceased and from those found in graves during the time of King Den of Dynasty I. A scaraboid-shaped alabaster box from Tarkhan seems to confirm that the scarab was already venerated at the beginning of Dynasty I. Scarabs are the most numerous amulets and were produced well beyond the dynastic periods." (See museum.unl.edu/research/entomology/Egyptian_Sacred_Scarab/egs-text.htm--Emphasis mine). 

Beetles of the Scarabaeidae family (dung beetle) roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs; this way, the larvae hatch and are immediately surrounded by food. For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of a "heavenly cycle" and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration. This explains their presence in being buried with the deceased.  The world of Egyptian magic has long been embraced by secret societies condemned by the Church, including Rosicrucian orders, Freemasonry, Theosophy, and the Golden Dawn. According to Perry, on his FB page, "Apparently, the scarab beetle appears on the majority of the Journey album covers because the band's former manager, Walter "Herbie" Herbert decided upon using this artwork for Journey's album covers, although there seems to be no explanation for why this was done." No one from the band ever questioned it? It seems to be an interesting way of getting the image of a false god introduced into your house; especially before iTunes. Would you want a pagan Egyptian "god" introduced in your home along with beautiful and proper images of Jesus, Mary, the angels and saints?

Remember what Deuteronomy 7: 25-26 says: "Neither shalt thou bring any thing of the idol into thy house, lest thou become an anathema, like it. Thou shalt detest it as dung, and shalt utterly abhor it as uncleanness and filth, because it is an anathema." "Detest it like dung"-- what an appropriate condemnation for a filthy dung beetle with false ideas of reincarnation and an associated symbol of Ra.  

Jonathan Cain, the original keyboard player, now claims to be an "evangelical Christian," and his wife is a minister. He got into a public dispute with member Neal Schon who wants not to "mix religion and the band." Too late, Mr. Schon! See the picture of the album Captured below. 


2. Glorification of Sex in the Lyrics

 The song Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin' tells the story of a man cheating on his wife, while the wife's lover is also cheating on her:


Lovin', touchin', squeezin' each other
When I'm alone all by myself
You're out with someone else
Lovin', touchin', squeezin' each other

You're tearin' me apart
Every, every day
You're tearin' me apart
Oh what can I say?
You're tearin' me apart

It won't be long, yes, till you're alone
When your lover, oh, he hasn't come home
Cause he's lovin', who he's touchin',
He's squeezin' another

The song Anyway You Want It is about a nymphomaniac who needs sex "all night," and the man willing to give it to her.

Any way you want it
That's the way you need it
Any way you want it
She loves to laugh
She loves to sing
She does everything
She loves to move
She loves to groove
She loves the loving things
Ooh, all night, all night
Oh, every night
So hold tight, hold tight
Ooh, baby, hold tight

Their multi-platinum selling album Escape (1981) features the ubiquitous power ballad Don't Stop Believin.'  The song has been used on the successful TV series the Sopranos and young couples have (unfortunately) used it as their wedding song. It tells the story of a one night stand between two strangers. Not exactly the theme you want at your wedding.

Just a small town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train
Goin' anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train
Goin' anywhere

A singer in a smokey room
The smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on, and on, and on (Emphasis mine)

Conclusion

There are many who knowingly or unwittingly sing for Satan. Some, like Marilyn Manson, are avowed Satanists. Others, like Journey, do Satan's work as his "useful idiots," or perhaps covertly.  In any case you must learn to discern--especially if you have young children and teens. Don't place your faith in this rotten world and its evil music. Rather, don't stop believin' in the One True Church of Jesus Christ.