Monday, May 20, 2024

God The Holy Ghost

 

To My Readers: This week my guest poster Lee returns after a brief hiatus with an excellent post on God The Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. There is no better time for such a post as today, the day after Traditionalist Catholics celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Please comment as always. If you have a particular question or comment for me, I will respond as usual, but it may take me a bit longer to reply this week.

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

God The Holy Ghost

By Lee

As we have arrived at the season of Pentecost, we are reminded of two things. The descent of the Holy Ghost on His Church (the Twelve Apostles) and the gifts in the form of fire which He bestowed on them. Gifts which were for the purpose of a divine mission. These gifts enabled them to perform many miracles in the early Church to prove it is a spotless bride which belongs to a spotless head. Christ promised the Apostles the Paraclete would come in John 16:7 but it wasn't until all things in its proper time were fulfilled. Therefore, the Holy Ghost had to proceed from the Father and the Son in perfect time and unity. A friend of mine exclaimed that the Catholic Church started when Christ's side was opened with a lance when dying on the cross. While my dear friend was close to being right, Pope Leo XIII explains, "The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost. (Divinum Illud Munus #5-- 1897; Emphasis mine). This implies a birth date. Just as we are conceived 9 months before our birth, the Church is conceived and then born.


On The Importance of The Holy Ghost

In his booklet, The Holy Ghost, Our Greatest Friend the great Dominican writer Fr. Paul O' Sullivan explains: 

The doctrine of the Holy Ghost is without doubt the most important of all the Church's teachings because, if we do not know and love the Holy Ghost, we cannot possibly understand the other great truths of our Holy Religion. Without the Holy Ghost we are blind. Not only is this doctrine the most important, it is the most wonderful, the most consoling, the most sublime of all doctrines, for with the Holy Ghost we can do all things easily and well. He is the Spirit of Love, of Peace, of Joy, the Spirit of Divine Consolation. He is the Light of Our Souls and the Strength of Our Wills: Yet, strange to say, this doctrine is little understood by great numbers of Christians. Some have a vague knowledge of the Holy Ghost, but very few indeed have a real grasp of all the Holy Ghost has done for them and is most ready to do if only they allow Him. 

We love and honor the Eternal Father whenever we say the Our Father, and this not once, but many times a day. Whenever, too, we speak of the Great Creator of Heaven and Earth, the God of the Universe, we think of the Eternal Father. We pray to the Son, not only when invoking the Blessed Trinity, but when praying to Our Lord Jesus Christ. We honor His Incarnation, His life, His Passion and death. We honor His Sacred Heart, His Holy Name, and above all we honor Him in the Holy Eucharist. But many rarely or ever think of the Holy Ghost! They know very little about all the wonderful things He is ready to give them—the peace, the immense joy, the consolations, the love He is offering them. 

“How extraordinary,” Cardinal Manning exclaims, “it is that Christians know so little about the Holy Ghost though He is the Author of our Sanctification, the Giver of all Joys and Consolations!” His Eminence was in his youth a sincere Protestant. He became, with the help of the Holy Ghost, a fervent Catholic. Under the same divine guidance, he became a priest, a bishop and finally a cardinal, He ever cherished a great devotion to the Holy Ghost and solved all his doubts and difficulties by praying to this Holy Spirit. When called on to make any important decision, he first of all bent his head in silent prayer. If the problem were graver, he devoted more time and fervor in asking for guidance. Thanks to the graces he thus received, he was able not only to attain high personal sanctity but to render great services to the Catholic Church in England. He wrote two beautiful books on the Holy Ghost. Cardinal Newman gives us a touching example of love for the Holy Ghost. He, too, was brought up by his parents in the Protestant religion. Unfortunately, he had the strongest prejudices against the Catholic Church. 

At an early age he began to see that his own religion could not be the true one, so full was it of contradictions and errors. He spent years trying to find the Church of Christ. He read history, he argued with eminent divines and consulted many learned friends, but all in vain. He failed to recognize in the midst of so many claims the religion given us by Jesus Christ. Finally, one day he received from God, who was pleased with his good intentions, an inspiration. "What have I been doing!" he exclaimed. “I have labored much, I have studied, I have read many books, I have consulted good friends, but I have not prayed enough, I have not sufficiently asked God's light and guidance." Then falling on his knees he prayed fervently. The clouds of doubt began to disappear, and he at last saw the truth of the Catholic Church. He describes his conversion in the following beautiful hymn, written not long before his conversion.

Lead Kindly Light

Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, 

Lead Thou me on! 

The night is dark, and I am far from home— 

Lead Thou me on! 

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see 

The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayd that Thou 

Shouldst lead me on, 

I loved to choose and see my path; but now 

Lead Thou me. on! 

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, 

Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 

Will lead me on, 

O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone; 

And with the morn those angel faces smile 

Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.

He became a Catholic, and following his example, more than a thousand Protestant ministers were converted and a very host of laymen. 

Cardinal Gibbons had the following experience when still a parish priest: He was called to see a distinguished American senator who was gravely ill. Unfortunately, the sick man did not believe in the existence of God. He listened, however, attentively to Father Gibbons, who spoke to him of the goodness of God and His love for us, proving at the same time God's existence with several cogent arguments. These, however, made no impression on the Senator. Father Gibbons finally asked him whether, if such a good God as he had been describing did exist, he would believe in and love Him? “Most certainly,” was the answer. “Well then,” said Fr. Gibbons, “will you say the following little prayer sometimes: ‘O God of infinite goodness, if You exist, make me know You.’” 

This the sick man promised to do, and then came a flood of light! Some days after, Fr. Gibbons was once more summoned to the bedside of the dying man, who on seeing him, called out, “Father, I believe, I believe!” And for the remaining weeks of his life he manifested the liveliest faith in and love for God. A priest who is devoted to the Holy Ghost does more than a thousand others. The writer met one such priest recently. He was extremely modest and unpretentious, yet he got through a prodigious amount of work. He not only worked successfully himself, but he had the gift of attracting and inspiring others to work with him. In the course of conversation he mentioned that he had great devotion to the Holy Ghost, to whom he attributed all his success. When Catholic universities commence the year’s work, when law courts begin their annual sessions, at the opening of parliaments and other important corporations, the Mass of the Holy Ghost is solemnly said and His Divine guidance invoked, and as we shall see afterwards, individual members of these corporations beg light and help from the Holy Ghost in all grave emergencies. We, too, should make it our practice to seek in all things the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Pgs. 1-6)

Sins against The Holy Ghost

While much can be said about the gifts of the Holy Ghost which are exercised in confirmed Catholics in the state of grace, what often does not get discussed are the sins against Him. One verse from Scripture that should be on our minds is found in Matthew 12:31-32 which states "Wherefore I say unto to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven Him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Emphasis mine). 

Commenting on these verses, theologian Cornelius a Lapide says, 

"Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven a man: but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. The word Spirit is in the genitive case, as is plain from the Greek πνεύματος. The blasphemy therefore of the Spirit is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Whence the Arabic translates, Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; Syriac, Blasphemy against the Spirit of Holiness.

You will ask, what is this blasphemy? 1. Philastrius (On the Heresy of Rotorius) thinks it is heresy, especially that of Eunomius, who said that the Holy Ghost was not God. Thus also S. Ambrose (Lib. 1, de Spir. Sanc. sec. 3).

2. S. Hilary thinks that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is when a man denies that Christ is God. “The sin against the Holy Ghost,” he says, “is to deny to God the power of virtue, and to take away from Christ His eternal substance, by which, because God came into man, man shall in turn come to God; since God grants pardon to all other things, whilst this only is without forgiveness.”

3. S. Ambrose (L. 2, de pśniten. see. 4) thinks it is schism; also Simony, the sin whereby, for example, Simon Magus wished to buy the Holy Spirit of S. Peter.

4. Origen says it is every mortal sin after Baptism; committed, that is, after the grace of the Holy Spirit received in Baptism. Moreover, Pope Gelasius (de Anath. vinc.) understands by it sins which are not forgiven, either in this world, or in the world to come. But he thinks it refers to sinners who do not wish to repent. For he says, that man makes the sentence against himself irrevocable who wills to continue in such a state as that he cannot truly be forgiven.

5. S. Cyprian (L. 3, ad Quirinal, N. 28) says, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is every sin committed against God: but blasphemy against the Son of Man is every sin committed against man.

6. The same Saint (L 3, Epist. 14) thinks blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is denial of the faith in persecution.

7. Richard of S. Victor says, it is to hate and revile God.

I have summarily embraced eighteen expositions of the Fathers (viz., eleven of the Latin Fathers and seven of the Greek) in the foregoing paragraphs.

Lastly, theologians—and from them, catechists—out of various expositions of S. Augustine, collect six sins against the Holy Ghost; namely, presumption, despair, striving against known truth, envy of fraternal charity, impenitence, and obstinacy. They say that these are called sins against the Holy Ghost, because they are committed through undoubted wickedness against the goodness of God, which is an attribute of the Holy Ghost. Thus, likewise, sins which are committed through infirmity are said to be done against God the Father, because power is one of His especial attributes. And sins which are done through ignorance, are said to be done against the Son, because of His attribute of wisdom.

Note, therefore, that Christ is here speaking not of every sin against the Holy Ghost, but only of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which may take place by words; and the same reasoning will apply to thoughts and actions, as when anyone reviles works manifestly divine and miraculous, which God works for the salvation of men, by which He confirms faith and truth. Such a work is the casting out of devils; and because such works proceed from the goodness and holiness of God, they are attributed to the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son by procession and inspiration, as Love, Goodness, and Holiness. When, therefore, anyone calumniates such things, and knowingly out of malice ascribes them to an unclean spirit (as these Pharisees did), such an one is said to commit blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; for such an one directly fights against God and takes from Him His holiness and purity. The whole argument is expressed in the following syllogism:—

The author of the miracles which Christ performs is, according to you, 0 ye Scribes, Beelzebub:

But God the Holy Ghost is, in truth, the Author of these miracles :

Therefore, according to you, God and the Holy Ghost are Beelzebub.

What more horrible can possibly be said? What greater blasphemy can be imagined? S. Basil adds that there are such persons even now, who ascribe the fruits and actions of the Holy Ghost to the opposing unclean spirit. We many of us do this, when we call earnestness ambition, and impute the calumny of anger to one who is only moved by zeal and righteous indignation. Moreover, Christ opposes this blasphemy against God and the Holy Ghost to that blasphemy against the Son of Man by which some who were offended at Christ’s human conversation, calumniated what He did as man, as when they called Him a wine bibber, and a friend of Publicans and sinners. This was something more excusable, and less unworthy of forgiveness, because it had respect to Christ as Man rather than as God.

Shall not be forgiven: Arab. Shall not be relaxed, i.e., shall with difficulty, and seldom be forgiven. For this blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is most horrible, inexcusable, and altogether unworthy of pardon, and, considered simply in itself, takes away and excludes all medicine, and means of obtaining forgiveness. For such a blasphemer places himself in diametrical opposition to the Holy Ghost, and drives Him from him, yea blasphemes Him: the Holy Ghost, I say, by whom alone he could be absolved, healed, and sanctified. Similarly, we call an incurable disease one which does not admit of medicine, and rejects every kind of food. Nevertheless a blasphemer does not shut up the hand of God, so that God cannot have mercy upon him, although unworthy; and convert him, as He converted S. Paul, who confesses that he had been a blasphemer against God (1 Tim. 1: 13).

And whosoever shall speak a word, &c. Christ declares the same truth in still clearer words. A word, anything injurious, reviling, blasphemous, it shall be forgiven him, it is remissible, and is readily forgiven to the penitent. From hence, it is plain against the Novatians, that all persons who have lapsed into heinous sins, should he admitted to penance.

But whosoever shall speak against the Holy Ghost, &c. Syriac, whosoever shall revile the Holy Ghost.

Here, first, Origen is condemned, who extended repentance, pardon, and salvation, to all sinners, after this life. For he said, after the great year of Plato, all things would be restored afresh, and that Judas would be saved; and Lucifer, together with the devils and the damned, would be brought back to heaven.

2. S. Aug. (21 Civit. 24), S. Greg. (4 dialog. 39), Isidore, Bede, S. Bern., and others, quoted by Bellarmine (Lib. 2. de Purgat. sec. 4), prove from this passage, that there is a Purgatory after this life. For it would be unmeaning to say, shall not be forgiven nor in the world to come, if there were no remission of sins in the world to come. Thus a person would speak vainly who said, I will never marry a wife, neither in this world, nor in the world to come, since no wife can be married in the world to come. Mark adds, and gives greater force to the saying: but shall be guilty of eternal damnation. Moreover mortal sins are expiated in Purgatory, so far only as pertains to their punishment, but venial sins as regards both fault and punishment. (The Great Biblical Commentary).

In his book The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Cardinal Manning quotes St. Augustine on what he says about the sins against the Holy Ghost:

In commenting on the sin against the Holy Ghost,, S. Augustine says :  And for this cause both the Jews and such heretics, whatsoever they be, who believe in the Holy Ghost, but deny his presence in the body of Christ — that is, in His only Church, which is no other than the Church, one and Catholic — without doubt are like the Pharisees who, at that day, though they acknowledged the existence of the Holy Spirit, yet denied that he was in the Christ.' He then argues as follows: 

For to Him [the Spirit] belongs the fellowship by which we are made the one body of the only Son of God; wherefore,' he says again,  Whosoever hath not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His. For, to whom in the Trinity should properly belong the communion of this fellowship but to that Spirit who is common to the Father and the Son? That they who are separated from the Church have not this Spirit, the Apostle Jude openly declared.'  In these passages S. Augustine distinctly affirms that, to deny the office of the Holy Ghost in the Church, is to deny a part of the doctrine of the — Trinity. So again, speaking of the absolution of sin, S. Augustine ascribes it to the operation of the Three Persons. 'For the Holy Ghost dwells in no one without the Father and the Son; nor the Son without the Father and the Holy Ghost; nor without them the Father. 

For their indwelling is inseparable whose operation is inseparable. . . . But, as I have already often said, the remission of sins, whereby the kingdom of the Spirit divided against Himself is overthrown and cast out — and, therefore, the fellowship of the unity of the Church of God, out of which the remission of sins is not given — is the proper office of the Holy Ghost, the Father and the Son cooperating ; for the Holy Ghost Himself is the fellowship of the Father and the Son. . . . Whosoever therefore is guilty of impenitence against the Spirit, in whom the unity and fellowship of the communion of the Church is held together, it shall never be forgiven him, because he hath closed against himself the way of remission, and shall justly be condemned with the spirit, who is divided against himself, being also divided against the Holy Ghost, who, against Himself, is not divided... 

And, therefore, all congregations, or rather dispersions, which call themselves churches of Christ, and are divided and contrary among themselves, and to the congregation of unity which is His true Church, are enemies: nor because they seem to have His name, do they therefore belong to His congregation. They would indeed belong to it if the Holy Ghost, in whom this congregation is associated together, were divided against Himself. But, because this is not so (for he who is not with Christ is against Him, and he who gathers not with Him scatters), therefore, all sin and all .blasphemy shall be remitted unto men in this congregation, which Christ gathers together in the Holy Ghost, and not in the spirit which is divided against himself.' Like as in the old world the divine tradition of the knowledge of (rod was encompassed by corrupt and fragmentary religions, so the divine tradition of the faith is encompassed by fragmentary Christianities and fragmentary churches. 

The belief in the unity of God, before the Incarnation, was broken up into the polytheisms of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Since the Incarnation this can not be. The illumination of the Word made flesh renders impossible all polytheism and idolatry. The unity and the spirituality of the eternal (rod are now axioms of the human reason. But, as S. Augustine profoundly observes, the analogy still holds between the errors of the old creation and of the new. Satan, as he says, can no longer divide the true (rod, nor bring in among us false gods, therefore he has sent strifes among Christians. Because he could not fabricate  many gods, therefore he has multiplied sects, and sowed errors, and set up heresies. (Pgs. 23-26)

Going back to Fr. O'Sullivan's book from above, he tells of a consequential ending when one breaks from the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Ghost): 

The Great Sin Against the Holy Ghost and Its Punishment

The fall of Constantinople and its destruction is a striking example of the awful punishment meted out by God to those who sin against the Holy Spirit. The Greeks, led by their Patriarchs Photius and Cerularius, denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost and, after apparently renouncing their error, fell back into the same sin. They were threatened by Pope Nicholas V with God's anger if they did not repent. This they obstinately refused to do.

Three years later, in 1453, Mahomet II, at the head of a formidable Moslem army, surrounded the city and after fierce fighting defeated the Greeks and captured Constantinople —this, on the very feast of the Holy Ghost. Fearful massacres, pillage and fires lasted three whole days, reducing the inhabitants to an awful plight: Mahomet, on the fourth day, entered the city, took possession of the Imperial Palace and turned the cathedral into a mosque.

Constantinople has since then lain under the cruel yoke of the Turks for over 500 years. What a punishment!" (Ibid.pg.59)

Conclusion

By observing the 21st century and its continual downfall and loss of faith, there is no doubt it's clearly a result from a multitude of sins against God The Holy Ghost. While it is true that any sin can be forgiven if the proper dispositions are made in the confessional to a valid Catholic priest, many are not, simply because of the nature of such sins. The malice is great depending on the knowledge and the will of the sinner. 

Pentecost is indeed a special time to ponder, but it is more beneficial to examine ourselves and see if we have truly given in to such pride which is the root of despair, presumption, having repugnance of the known truth (such as from divine revelation), envy of another's spiritual good, obstinacy in sin, and finally impenitence. Those in the new religion or any false religion for that matter ought to seriously consider who they will have to stand before one day and start asking for the first gift of Fear of the Lord. Below is a good way to start.

Litany to the Holy Ghost

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Father all powerful, Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, Save us.

Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless Life of both, Sanctify us.

Holy Trinity, Hear us.

Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.

Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us.

Author of all good, etc.

Source of heavenly water,

Consuming Fire,

Ardent Charity,

Spiritual Unction,

Spirit of love and truth,

Spirit of wisdom and understanding, Spirit of counsel and fortitude,

Spirit of knowledge and piety,

Spirit of the fear of the Lord,

Spirit of grace and prayer,

Spirit of peace and meekness,

Spirit of modesty and innocence,

Holy Ghost, the Comforter,

Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier,

Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church, Gift of God the Most High,

Spirit Who fillest the universe,

Spirit of the adoption of the children of God,

Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.

Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.

Holy Ghost, shed Thy light into our souls.

Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts.

Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.

Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces.

Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.

Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.

Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation.

Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.

Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.

Holy Ghost, grant us the merits.of all virtues. Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice. Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Ghost.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.


V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful, 

R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.


LET US PRAY: Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us. fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the ‘same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Vatican II Homo-Revisionists

 

A couple of weeks ago, a person on "X" (formerly "Twitter") responded to one of my posts that "There is no Vatican II sect." He goes by the moniker "Leo the Great" and is an apologist for Bergoglio's man-made sect. I explained that the dogma of Indefectibility means that the Church cannot give that which is evil and/or heretical to Her members. Yet, Vatican II and the Conciliar "popes" have given error and evil. Therefore, appearances to the contrary, these errors and evils did not come from the Church, but from those clerics who defected from the Church and created a de facto sect of counterfeit Catholicism. One of the examples I gave of evil being given to Vatican II sect members, was the decree Fiducia Supplicans (FS), which allows sodomite "couples" to be "blessed." 

To this, he replied, "Homosexuality has never been condemned." I shook my head in utter disbelief. He also stated the old canard that "the sin of Sodom was inhospitality." I really wonder if he was that badly informed, or was willfully distorting reality to make Bergoglio "pope." He is not alone, unfortunately, in his detachment from reality. There is a movement afoot in both liberal Protestant sects and now the Vatican II sect (in the wake of FS), to "normalize" sexual perversion. To give but one example, more and more Lutheran parishes are joining the "Reconciling in Christ" program, aka "Reconciling Works." Started in 1974, and having really taken off in the last ten years, its mission is to advocate " for the acceptance, full participation, and liberation of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions within the Lutheran Church.(sic)" 
(See reconcilingworks.org/about/). 

Here's but one prayer suggested to be used during a Lutheran worship service:
God of all mercy and consolation, come to the help of your people, and in particular your LGBTQIA+ children whom for too long the church was a harmful place. Turn those of us who have actively participated in the sins of homophobia, transphobia, and fear to live for you alone. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit that we may confess our sins, receive your forgiveness, and grow into the fullness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Liberator. Amen. (Ibid). 

Notice the topsy-turvy morality: No longer are the perverts commiting sin, rather those who don't condone and celebrate that sin are the sinners. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20). 

They even have  LGBTQIA  Stations of the Cross for Lent. Here's the "reflection" for the Crucifixion:
Reflection
The epidemic of violence against the transgender community, and BIPOC transgender people in particular, should be a call to action for us all. We may never know the true number of transgender people who are victims of violence due to deadnaming, misgendering, and other factors that seek to erase their existence from our society. We all can and must do better for our transgender siblings because they deserve to live fully into the people they know themselves to be. What are ways you can live out your values of love, justice, and welcome for LGBTQIA+ people in your life? We extend an invitation to learn about the lives of transgender victims of violence, to say their names, and share with friends and family how you stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable in the LGBTQIA+ community.
(Ibid). [N.B. "BIPOC" means  Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The reflection is therefore in particular about a non-White person who thinks they belong to the opposite gender.). 

If you are as sickened as I am by this blasphemous perversion, the purpose of this post is to answer the three new arguments of the "gay is Ok" movement, state clearly the teaching of the Church, and explain why "inhospitality" was NOT the "sin of Sodom" for which God destroyed the city. 

The New "Gay is OK" Arguments
Here is a summary of some new arguments to legitimize sexual perverts, and my response. N.B. The responses are not mine, but rather information compiled from multiple theological sources, and to whom I give full credit.  

Argument #1: Celibacy cannot be mandated, so it is wrong to require homosexuals to live celibate lives.
Celibacy is a gift that should not be forced on anyone. Genesis 2:18 says that it is not good for man to be alone, and in the New Testament, Jesus says celibacy can be accepted only by those to whom it is given (St. Matthew 19:11–12). Paul says he prefers all to be celibate, but recognizes that people have different gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7). Thus, requiring celibacy for all Catholics with homosexual desires violates this teaching, which the Catholic tradition has affirmed for two thousand years.

Reply: While no one should not minimize the genuine struggle those with unnatural desires have to remain chaste, this argument fails on two fronts. First, while celibacy may be a gift in some cases, it is mandated in others. For example, a married man whose wife leaves him may not remarry (St. Matthew 19:9).  Let's not forget the single Traditionalist Catholic man who never finds a wife, and single Traditionalist woman who never finds a husband. The single vocation is called to do the same as priests and religious. Sex is only permitted within marriage. Even if we do not have the “gift,” each of us is called to be sexually pure in such circumstances, and God will always give us the necessary grace to resist temptation and keep His Commandments. 

Second, this point equivocates on “lonely” and “alone.” Nowhere in the creation account are humans told that the man is lonely and in need of companionship. Rather, God’s verdict is that he is alone and in need of a helper. For what does he need a helper? To “fill and form” the entire planet.

Genesis is making an objective point about the man’s incompleteness, that is, his inability to populate the Earth, not about his subjective experience of loneliness, which requires a companion. In the state of Original Justice, Adam was perfectly happy and could not feel lonely.

Argument #2: Marriage is about "keeping covenant" with your spouse as a reflection of Christ’s love for His Church.
Ephesians 5:21–33 is a foundational biblical text on marriage. As this text portrays, marriage is essentially about commitment, which involves keeping our covenant with our spouse as a reflection of God’s covenant with His own people. Vatican II did away with the idea of marriage as a contract. Same-sex couples can do this just as effectively as heterosexual couples who are sterile or who are in old age and are married in Church. 

Reply:  Commitment is not the primary point of this passage, although it is important. Marriage is specifically portrayed as a gendered institution with husbands and wives, not merely “spouses.” In Ephesians 5:31, St. Paul refers back to the creation account as the Divinely decreed institution for humanity, which is specifically about Christ as the Groom and the Church as the Bride. To ignore the gender component of marriage is to violate God's design of marriage. While it is true the Church has always allowed those who are sterile (through no fault of their own) and the elderly to marry, the fact they cannot procreate does not change the gender component of what a marriage must be like. They still reflect God's design and some can adopt children providing them a father and mother; something sodomites cannot do. 

Argument #3: This argument is more "recycled" from the past than new--but it has come back into vogue. "Both Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 tell how a centurion asked Jesus to heal the young man referred to in the original Greek as his “pais." The word was commonly used for the younger partner in a same-sex relationship. It is usually translated into English as boy, servant or slave. In recent years progressive Bible scholars have concluded that the centurion was in a homosexual relationship with the “slave who was dear to him” in the gospel story.  However being gay today implies an egalitarian relationship, while the centurion and his pais were obviously unequal male partners, as was common at the time." (See qspirit.net/gay-centurion/). Therefore, Christ healed the homosexual and did not condemn the behavior so, it is blasphemously asserted, Christ does not condemn homosexuality. 

Reply: There is actually no indication that the centurion had a homosexual relationship with his servant boy just by use of the word “pais.” While these relationships did exist, to assume that this centurion was having sexual relations with the servant, based on the simple fact that he had a servant, would be analogous to asserting that a man had a wife and then assuming that he must have cheated on his wife, because some men do that. In fact, St. Luke uses the word doulos (the general word for servant) to describe this young male ( St. Luke 7:2). Furthermore, of the 24 uses of pais in the Greek New Testament, it is never used of a homosexual relationship. It was something Modernist "scholars" twisted to say something it never asserted. As shall be demonstrated below, Christ actually condemned homosexuality in Sacred Scripture.  

The Church has Unequivocally Condemned Homosexuality
The Third Lateran Ecumenical Council 1179 A.D.
Canon 11: "...Let all who are found guilty of that unnatural vice for which the wrath of God came down upon the sons of disobedience and destroyed the five cities with fire, if they are clerics be expelled from the clergy or confined in monasteries to do penance; if they are laymen they are to incur excommunication and be completely separated from the society of the faithful..." 
(See papalencyclicals.net/councils/ecum11.htm).

Pope St Pius V:

Cum Primum  April 1, 1566:

"Having determined to do away with everything that may in some way offend the Divine Majesty, we resolve to punish, above all and without indulgence, those things which, by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures or by most grievous examples, are more repugnant to God than any others and raise His wrath: that is, negligence in divine worship, ruinous simony, the crime of blasphemy, and the execrable libidinous vice against nature. For such faults peoples and nations are scourged by God Who, according to His just condemnation, sends catastrophes, wars, famine, and pestilence ... and if he is a cleric, he will be subject to the same punishment after having been stripped of all his degrees [of ecclesiastical dignity]." (Emphasis mine).

Horrendum Illud Scelus August 30, 1568:

P I U S , B I S H O P

Servant of the Servants of God: For perpetual memory. That horrendous crime, for which polluted and filthy cities were burned by the frightful judgment of God, pains Us most bitterly, and gravely stirs our soul, so that, insofar as it is possible, we might strive to crush it.

I. It is reasonably established in the [Third] Lateran Council that any Clerics who are discovered in that act of incontinence that is against nature, because of which the wrath of God came upon the children of unbelief, should be expelled from the clergy, or be cast into monasteries for the purpose of doing penance.

2. However, lest the contagion of such a disgrace, from the hope of impunity – which is the greatest incentive to sin – strengthen in boldness, we have decided that the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime are to be more gravely punished, so that the avenger of the civil laws, the secular sword, might certainly deter those who do not fear the death of the soul.

3. And therefore, seeking to more completely and forcefully pursue what We already decreed regarding this matter at the beginning of our Pontificate, any and all priests and other secular and regular Clergy of whatever grade and dignity who practice such a dire sin We deprive of every clerical privilege, and of every Ecclesiastical office, dignity, and benefit, by the authority of the present canon. So that, having been degraded by Ecclesiastical Judgment, they may be handed over to the secular power, which may exact from them that same punishment that is received by laity who have fallen into this ruin, which is found to be constituted in legitimate ordinances....

Given at St. Peter’s in Rome, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1568, on the third Kalends of September (August 30), in the third year of Our Pontificate. (Emphasis mine). 

1917 Code of Canon Law:
Canon 2357: section 1:  Lay persons who have been legally found guilty of a crime of sexual immorality committed with a minor under 16 years of age or rape, sodomy, incest, pandering, are ipso facto infamous, besides being subject to other penalties which the Ordinary may deem proper to inflict.(Emphasis mine)

Canon 2359: section 2: Deprives clerics (guilty of the same crimes enumerated above) of "any office, benefice, dignity, or position which they may have and in more serious cases be deposed."
(See Canonist Bouscaren Canon Law: A Text and Commentary (1951), pgs. 931-932).

Homosexuality is infallibly condemned as evil by the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium (UOM). All the Church Fathers and approved theologians unequivocally condemn unnatural vice.  

Approved Theologians:

Prummer: "Sodomy is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance." (Handbook of Moral Theology, [1957], pg. 236).

Jone: "Sexual paresthesia is had when sex life is not affected by venereal matters, but by objects all together foreign to sex life. The following are forms of this perversion: (a) Sadism...(b) Masochism...(c) Fetishism...(d) Homosexuality..."(Moral Theology, [1961], pg. 151). 

McHugh and Callan: "Worst among the sins of impurity, as such, are crimes of unnatural lust...For procreation requires heterosexual intercourse, a condition disregarded by sodomy, which is the lustful commerce of male with male...or of female with female (tribadism, sapphism, lesbian love)." (Moral Theology, [1930], 2:543). 

Cronin: "The sexual function can only be exercised in a way consonant with the generation of offspring. Any other use of it would be a perversion of the natural order and, therefore, a violation of the natural law." (The Science of Ethics, [1939], 2:63). 

(All emphasis mine).

Church Fathers and Doctors:
St. Augustine: “[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way." 

St. John Chrysostom: "But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?"

Pope St. Gregory the Great: "Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire."

St. Peter Damien: "Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth.…"

(As cited in the pamphlet The Sin of Homosexuality, [1949], Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, no author given). 

Sacred Scripture:
Old Testament
Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination."
(Emphasis mine).

New Testament
1 Corinthians 6:9: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

1 Timothy 1:10: "... law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly ... the unchaste, practicing homosexuals, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching."

Romans 1:26-27: "Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."

St. Jude 1:7: "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."

(All emphasis mine).

It should be clear that homosexuality stands condemned by Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium as contrary to both Natural Law and Divine Positive Law. Moreover, the Church considers it one of the Four Sins That Scream To Heaven For Vengeance. 

Was the Sin of Sodom Really "Inhospitality"?
The story of Sodom, told in Genesis 19, explains how Lot (Abraham's nephew) was met by two strangers at the gate of the city. These men were actually angels in disguise. Lot brings them to his house and, after a meal but before going to bed, the men of Sodom (young and old) surround the house and demand to have sex with them. Lot refuses to allow the gang rape of his guests and (tragically) offers them his virgin daughters instead. The men of Sodom are not interested in the women, only wanting sex with the men. The mob is about to break down the door of the house, when the "men" reveal themselves and save Lot by striking the mob with blindness. Revisionists tell us this is a case of attempted gang rape and  being "inhospitable" to guests, it is not "loving and consensual relations" that God would not condemn.

That Sodom was condemned for unnatural vice (later to be named after the city itself--"sodomy") is made clear by the New Testament, specifically, the epistle of St. Jude 1: 7: "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." (Emphasis mine). Doesn't leave much room for declaring "the sin of Sodom" as being a lack of hospitality.

N.B. Some wonder how Lot could be considered a good man when he offered his daughters to be raped. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) answers: "Lot interceded in behalf of his guests in accordance with his duties as host, which are most sacred in the East, but made the mistake of placing them above his duties as a father by offering his two daughters to the wicked designs of the Sodomites..." Lot tried to spare his guests (which he did not realize were angels disguised as men) from being sodomized and failing his duties as a host. The evil of sodomy was known even then, and duties of hosts were considered sacred. In his zeal to prevent this dual evil, he committed a sin in offering his daughters to be raped. However, even in this, his sin did not even come close to the savage brutality and iniquity of the Sodomites. (Emphasis mine).

Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Condemns Homosexuality
Homo-revisionists will claim that "Jesus never condemns or even mentions homosexuality. If it were really evil, He wouldn't have remained silent on the matter." 

Actually, Christ refers to the city of Sodom no less than four times. Each time Our Lord refers to that immoral city, He refers to its sinfulness and agrees that it stands condemned:

  • St. Matthew 10:15, "Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town." (Clearly implying that on Judgement Day, Sodom and Gomorrah will stand condemned)
  • St. Matthew 11:23-24, "And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hell. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
  • St. Luke 10:12, "I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day."
  • St. Luke 17:30, "But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from Heaven and destroyed them all."
The Inescapable Logic
First, Sodom was destroyed by God for it's "sexual immorality and perversion." (St. Jude 1:7)

Second, this perversion is homosexuality, because Genesis 19 clearly states it was men wanting sex with two angels who appeared as men, and they had no (sexual) use for women.

Third, Our Lord Jesus Christ is recorded referring to Sodom no less than four (4) times, and each time He agrees the city stands condemned for this sin ("sodomy") and calls Sodom "wicked." 

Therefore, Jesus Christ condemned homosexuality. True, He never uses the word "homosexuality," but He never specifically condemned "rape" by name, so are we thereby to blasphemously assume He didn't condemn it? 

Conclusion
Bergoglio and his homo-revisionist allies have both a strategy and a specialized message to persuade this new generation that God "blesses same-sex relationships." When someone asks, "What harm is there to blessing same-sex relationships," here is the answer:

1. It makes a mockery of the Sacrament of Matrimony which is meant for the procreation and education of children. It builds up the Mystical Body of Christ. 

2. Marriage is no longer seen as being about procreation, but about hooking-up.

3. It makes the unnatural and perverted seem acceptable and normal.

4. Children will be more likely to experiment with perversions and become perverts themselves. 

5. Children raised via adoption (or conceived by surrogate mothers for same-sex "marriages") will be heavily influenced by the perverts. Many will be molested. Of parents who commit incest: Homosexual parents — 18%; Heterosexual parents — 0.6% (See Freund K, Watson RJ (1992) "The proportions of heterosexual and homosexual pedophiles among sex offenders against children: an exploratory study." Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 18:34-43).  

Moreover, with women willing to sell their bodies as surrogates for different men, don't be surprised if unintended incest spikes when half-siblings marry, not knowing their background, and an increase in special needs children spawned by them, will result.

Of special mention: my X account was restricted temporarily after my condemnation of sodomites in my exchange with "Leo the Great;" so much for "free speech." As I've stated before, I believe that the two greatest dangers facing us in the Great Apostasy are occultists and sodomites. Big Sibling is watching--and uses they/them pronouns. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary save us. 

Monday, May 6, 2024

Contending For The Faith---Part 27

 

In St. Jude 1:3, we read, "Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." [Emphasis mine]. Contending For The Faith is a series of posts dedicated to apologetics (i.e.,  the intellectual defense of the truth of the Traditional Catholic Faith) to be published the first Monday of each month.  This is the next installment.

Sadly, in this time of Great Apostasy, the faith is under attack like never before, and many Traditionalists don't know their faith well enough to defend it. Remember the words of our first pope, "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..." (1Peter 3:16). There are five (5) categories of attacks that will be dealt with in these posts. Attacks against:
  • The existence and attributes of God
  • The truth of the One True Church established by Christ for the salvation of all 
  • The truth of a particular dogma or doctrine of the Church
  • The truth of Catholic moral teaching
  • The truth of the sedevacantist position as the only Catholic solution to what has happened since Vatican II 
In addition, controversial topics touching on the Faith will sometimes be featured, so that the problem and possible solutions may be better understood. If anyone had suggestions for topics that would fall into any of these categories, you may post them in the comments. I cannot guarantee a post on each one, but each will be carefully considered.

Did Morality Evolve?

To My Readers: This post tackles the attack against morality by skeptics, agnostics, atheists, and others who reject objective moral values. They claim that God is unnecessary to having morality; that it evolved as humans evolved. Darwinian evolution is false. The Church teaches that one may believe in the evolution of the body, but the soul is created out of nothing by Almighty God. I will not address whether or not evolution of the body should be believed. Following the example of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, I will admit ad arguendo, that the atheist's premise of Darwinian evolution is true, and then explain why it doesn't advance their false idea that morality evolved or is independent of God. I take no credit for the content of this post. Besides the cited works, I read many books and articles (online and print), that helped form this post. I take no credit except in condensing everything into a terse and readable post.

In Christian charity, I ask you all to say a prayer today for the repose of the soul of my spiritual father, Fr. Gommar A. DePauw, JCD, who went to Judgement exactly 19 years ago. He was God's chosen instrument to preserve the Church in the dawn of the Great Apostasy. I miss him greatly, and he is responsible for my conversion and my decision to start this blog; passing on the One True Faith he gave to me. 

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

"If there is no God, everything is permitted."---Attributed to Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

The infamous American serial killer, Jefferey Dahmer (d. 1994) made this remarkable statement before his death:

If you don’t . . . think that there is a God to be accountable to . . . what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought, anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we . . . died, you know, that was it, there was nothing. (From transcript of Dateline NBC news program of 11/29/94). 

Dahmer aka The Milwaukee Monster, murdered 17 young men in cold-blood from 1978-1991. He ate some of their body parts and committed necrophilia (i.e., sex with dead bodies). After his conviction, he began reading the Bible and became a "born-again" Protestant in 1994, just six months before his death. He made the above statement explaining that, since he had been an atheist when he committed the murders, he did not believe in objective moral values as a result. 

Let me be clear: by the phrase objective moral values I mean certain things are morally right and certain things are morally wrong independent of  the human mind. Therefore, even if Joseph Stalin had conquered the world for Communism, and brainwashed everyone in the world to believe that Communism, and all its evil ways was good--it would still be wrong. However, in order for that to be true, there must be something independent of the human mind; an external and eternal standard by which we can judge things as good or evil. That standard is to be found in the omnibenevolent nature of God. If there is no God, no objective standard, then moral beliefs are no more than mere opinions. You might not like it when people kill other people, but it's just your opinion. When an animal kills another animal, we don't call it "murder." 

Some atheists/agnostics/skeptics believe that morality is an adaption—a survival aid—like opposable thumbs, feet, teeth, or ears. The implication? Moral beliefs like “Love your neighbor” and “Be kind to one another” aren’t true duties; they’re just evolutionarily hardwired into us to help us survive. Such ingrained beliefs aren’t objectively good; we’re biologically duped to believe them to be good. (For an example of such thinking, See Michael Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm, [1989]). 

A massive difficulty with the hardwiring theory is this: Why should we trust any of our beliefs? Naturalistic evolution isn’t interested in truth but in survival. In other words, we may hold beliefs that help us survive—for example, that we possess value and that we have moral obligations to fulfill. However,  these beliefs may be completely false. In fact, if naturalistic evolution were responsible for our beliefs, and we happened to believe naturalistic evolution is true, then this would have come about completely by accident. We would hold accidentally true beliefs, which, in turn, would mean knowledge is impossible.

Remember: Generally, knowledge is a belief that is true and is warranted or "properly accounted for." In other words, knowledge excludes beliefs that are just true accidentally. For example, suppose it’s 12:30 p.m., and through an antique shop window I happen to look at a non-working clock, which by chance indicates 12:30. I would not be warranted in concluding that it’s 12:30 p.m. I may have a belief that is true—the first two components of knowledge—but I happened to get lucky. This doesn’t qualify for knowledge; it’s not properly warranted (which completes the definition of knowledge).

The genetic-and-social-conditioning explanation for morality, if true, turns out to be either trivial or incoherent. Consider what the behaviorist psychologist B. F. Skinner (1904–1990) declared: 

If I am right about human behavior, I have written the autobiography of a nonperson. . . . So far as I know, my behavior at any given moment has been nothing more than the product of my genetic endowment, my personal history, and the current setting. (See Thomas W. Clark, Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses, [2007], pg. 94). 

If so, then Skinner’s own views were nothing more than the product of his genetic endowment, personal history, and the current setting (trivial, and thus to be ignored). Now, if he was speaking for everyone’s belief-forming processes, then he had somehow risen above all deterministic influences to offer a reasoned, truthful conclusion (incoherent, since it completely goes against what he said).

Another Problem with "Evolving Morality

Here’s another problem: Given naturalism, it’s hard to avoid the theory’s arbitrariness of moral beliefs—even if they help us to survive. Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse’s gives an example of how people could have developed “termite values” (cannibalizing each other, needing to live in darkness) rather than those of “savannah-dwelling primates.” Supposedly, we could explain away certain abhorrent moral practices in other cultures by rationalizing that these somehow enhance their survival.

If a naturalist (i.e., an atheistic worldview that nature is all that exists) happens to think moral values are objective and that we are duty-bound to them (this is naturalistic moral realism), he still has to grapple with significant challenges. He faces the “is-ought problem” (also called “the naturalistic fallacy”): How do we move from what is (the descriptive) to what ought to be (the prescriptive). There are lots of “natural” phenomena with biological, survival-enhancing explanations that we intuitively know are profoundly wrong, however advantageous to creating progeny.

The atheist Michael Shermer (b. 1954) considers the question “Why should we be moral?” to be much like “Why should we be hungry or h***y?” He insists “the answer is that it is as much a part of human nature to be moral as it is to be hungry, h***y, jealous, and in love”; such drives are hardwired into us by evolution. (See Michael Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule, [2004], pg. 57).  So all Shermer can do is describe how human beings actually do function; based on scientific observation, he can’t prescribe how humans therefore ought to behave. There is no difference between whether I ought to be moral and whether I ought to be hungry; both are functions of evolutionary hardwiring. These states just are, and, randomly, we could have evolved quite differently.

To further illustrate the arbitrariness of this hardwiring, consider the book A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion, coauthored by an anthropologist and a biologist who maintain that the act of rape can be explained biologically. When a male can’t find a mate, his subconscious drive to reproduce his own species allegedly pushes him to force himself upon a female. Such beastly acts happen in the animal kingdom all the time (e.g., with mallards, orangutans, or scorpion flies).

While the authors don’t advocate rape (they don’t want to move from is to ought), my question is: If the rape impulse happens to be embedded in human nature from antiquity, and if it confers biological advantage, how can the authors imply that this behavior ought to be ended? Their resistance to rape, despite its “naturalness,” suggests that true moral values aren’t rooted in nature after all. Pure natural hardwiring may produce beliefs that enhance fitness (leaving us with more offspring), but it can’t produce goodness, and value.

Alternatively, God’s existence makes excellent sense of objective morality. Rather than moving from no value to value, the theist begins with value (God’s good character) and ends with value (divine-image-bearing humans with moral responsibility and rights). God perfectly bridges the chasm between is and ought. 

The Insufficiency of Instinct

Another difficulty with naturalistic evolutionary morality is this: The naturalist’s viewpoint is hard to reconcile with acts of self-sacrifice that we typically consider morally praiseworthy and heroic. An individual ant or termite may feel compelled to sacrifice itself for the colony. But if it somehow knows it’s giving up all the existence it will ever have, then why is there any obligation to sacrifice itself for the colony if it can overcome its self-sacrificing instinct? If a man sees his child drowning but feels too scared to risk his life, why condemn him? He’s just acting in accordance accordance with his strongest instinct. Charles Darwin (1809–1882) himself doubted that humans have free will, since every action is “determined by heredity, constitution, example of others or teaching of others.” He claimed that this view “should teach one profound humility” since “one deserves no credit for anything . . . nor ought one to blame others.” (Ibid).  Humility? Why not passivity? Why rescue the drowning child and risk losing your own life? What’s more, why sacrifice our lives for other merely advanced animals that are here by chance?

Even if morality were to have progressed through biological evolution and historical processes (e.g., abolishing slavery and widow-burning), this wouldn’t mean that morality is invented (as opposed to discovered), or that moral standards don’t exist, or that slavery and widow-burning were good “back then.” We’ve seen that moral reform or improvement strongly implies that ideal standards exist—even if humans have been slow to grasp them. Furthermore, moral progress through biological evolution (even if Darwinian evolution were true) doesn’t exclude God from the picture. Indeed, God is needed to ground the moral values and human rights we intuitively recognize. If biological evolution is true, and if people have progressed in moral understanding and recognition of humans being special, then God could have utilized these processes in the unfolding of his purposes. We begin with value (God), and so we need not be surprised that humans have value.

Can an Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic Be Good Without God?

Many Traditionalists have made the classic mistake of assuming that lack of belief in God entails lack of morality. Even if they reject God’s existence, Confucians, Buddhists, and adherents to certain versions of Hinduism uphold certain moral beliefs that compare favorably with what Traditionalist Catholics uphold. In fact, there are some atheists a person would rather have as neighbors, than some of those who profess belief in God. Belief in God isn’t a requirement for being moral. Nevertheless, there’s something more basic to consider: The existence of a personal God is crucial as a coherent foundation of objective morality, and personal accountability. That is, one can’t be a moral being unless God exists—whether or not one believes God exists—and atheists as well as theists have been made in God’s image. Thus, both can recognize basic moral goodness and evil when they’re functioning properly.

Atheist philosophers have claimed that morality doesn’t depend on God; we don’t need God to be good. Protestant-turned-atheist William Rowe (d. 2015) writes: “The claim that God is needed for morality to be objective is absurd.” (See William Rowe, “Reflections on the Craig-Flew Debate,” in Does God Exist? The Craig-Flew Debate, ed. Stan W. Wallace, [2003], pg. 66). Atheist Michael Martin (b. 1932) argues that people can know that, e.g., rape is wrong, without appealing to God’s existence—it’s wrong because it violates the victim’s rights and tears apart the fabric of society. (See Atheism, Morality, and Meaning ,[2002]). Of course, neither Rowe nor Martin tells us how such rights or values could emerge from valueless matter. Matter has properties (shape, mass, color, texture, and so on), but moral value isn’t one of them.

Sam Harris, one of the emboldened so-called “New Atheists,” declares that we can know objective moral truths (right and wrong) without “the existence of a lawgiving God,” and we can judge Hitler to be morally reprehensible “without reference to Scripture.” (See Sam Harris, The End of Faith, [2004], pgs. 23-24). However, here we have an example of a common confusion: between knowing and being. One can know what’s right without believing in God, the Bible, or the Church. Nevertheless, the claim that goodness doesn’t depend on God fails to explain how valuable, rights-bearing beings could exist in the first place. Goodness is bound up with personhood, and without the existence of a personal God (who created all other persons), no moral values would exist, period. 

If God doesn’t exist, moral values and duties must have emerged from valueless processes. In fact, and in contrast, from no values, values cannot come. However, God’s existence offers a ready explanation for the existence of value in the world. If goodness somehow existed as part of the furniture of the universe (reflecting Plato’s theory of forms), then it would be an astonishing cosmic coincidence that creatures would evolve over billions of years and somehow be duty-bound to moral values just waiting “out there” . . . as though these values were somehow anticipating the emergence of humans.  Again, God’s existence connects preexisting goodness (in God’s character) with these valuable creatures (in God’s image).

Conclusion

A solely materialistic universe might produce in us feelings and beliefs of obligation—like the protection of our children or the survival of our species—but that’s a different matter from actually having such obligations we ought to carry out. False Darwinian evolution, even if true, does nothing to show there are objective moral values and duties. Atheists will often appeal to various secular ethical theories in hopes of finding morality without God—but they inevitably end in failure. May God have mercy on such people and lead them into His One True Church.

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Novus Ordo, The Abomination of Desolation, And The Prophet Daniel --Part II

 

To My Readers: This week, my monthly guest poster, Mr. Dominic Caggeso, continues presenting his analysis of the Vatican II sect in light of the Old Testament. My gratitude to Dominic, Bellarminus, and John Gregory for giving me three weeks off from researching and writing! It was my longest continuous break in twelve years!! 

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

The Novus Ordo, The Abomination of Desolation, And The Prophet Daniel--Part II
By Dominic Caggeso

“I am come to shew it to thee, because thou art a man of desires.” In Daniel 9:23, this is what the angel Gabriel told the prophet Daniel as he wept for his people. That which the angel Gabriel showed to Daniel is the same that Our Lord referred to in the Gospel of St. Matthew 24:15 when He said: “When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand”. 

In this chapter of the book of Daniel that we are given the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, a mysterious timetable of events leading up to the dreaded abomination of desolation and the destruction of “the city” and “the sanctuary”. At the beginning of chapter 9, before Daniel was given this prophecy, he was contemplating the length of the Jews’ exile in Babylon.  He was confessing his sins and the sins of his people, weeping for their punishment and begging for God’s mercy. For this, the angel Gabriel called Daniel a “man of desires” and went on to mystically explain to Daniel the length of exile, the coming of Christ, and the end times abomination of desolation, all at the same time through this enigmatic prophecy.

It stands to reason, therefore, that if we are looking to the prophet Daniel for understanding about the abomination of desolation, as Our Lord indicated for us to do, then we must be, like Daniel, a “man of desires”. As Daniel lamented the sad state of his people, do we also lament the state of Catholics? The Second Vatican Council has destroyed the Faith of countless unfortunate souls. Those of us who have retained the Faith are scattered, having no pope to unify us. This long and grinding sedevacante crisis wears down our zeal. With each passing year, we must dig deeper to renew our fervor, lest we grow lukewarm. Our Lord warned us that “the charity of many shall grow cold” because of an abundance of inequity. Do we yearn for the Church’s vindication as Daniel pleaded for an end to his people’s exile? If we are moved by such longings in our hearts and stirrings in our souls, then perhaps we are a “man of desires”.

I believe a certain kind of detachment is necessary to pursue these prophecies. There can be a stigma associated with those who seek to understand the book of Daniel. Despite some rolling eyes and light chuckles, I am spurred forward along this path by Christ’s words “as spoken by the prophet Daniel”. Furthermore, after coming to terms with sedevacantism and invalid NO rites, one becomes less influenced by the opinions and esteem of “the many." The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks will be fulfilled, or Our Lord would not have mentioned it. The question remains, “Who will be given the grace to see”? 

This path, through the prophecies in the book of Daniel, has been attempted many times before. Protestants have been searching for end-times answers by means of this prophecy, coming up with outlandish conclusions. This prophecy, as we will shortly see, features “the sacrifice” as a central concept. Because Protestants have rejected the Holy Mass, they have no idea what this “sacrifice” could be and thus, are obstructed from seeing this prophecy’s fulfillment. Like a treasure map, the starting place is vital. Get that wrong and the rest of the map is useless. The Protestants are looking in all the wrong places. Further, as you will see, those in the Novus Ordo are also obstructed from seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy. The prophecy goes on to mention that “the victim and the sacrifice shall fail”. If the “sacrifice” is the Holy Mass, then only Traditional Catholics are positioned to understand this. Those in the Novus Ordo are unaware that their “sacrifice” is invalid. They are unaware that the Holy Mass was almost completely suspended and absent from the face of the earth for a couple of years starting in 1969-1971.

By the grace of God, Traditional Catholics are uniquely equipped to see the fulfillment of this prophecy. We must only connect the abomination of desolation with the Novus Ordo rite to establish a starting place for our treasure map. This association has already been made in my last blog post dated March 11, 2024 (http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2024/03/the-novus-ordo-abomination-of.html). If you have not yet read that blog post, then you might be unaware of just how solid and likely the assertion that the Novus Ordo rite is the abomination of desolation for which we have been awaiting. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you read that blog post first since the conclusions of this article are based, in part, on the assertions in that one. 

Because this prophecy from the book of Daniel is mysterious, and because it deals with such a significant subject, please allow me to construct a little more framework from which I will explain my thoughts before we get into the actual prophecy itself. I would like to:

1. Briefly summarize last month’s article dated March 11, 2024, just to refresh the memories of those who have read it.
2. Briefly summarize the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks and then invite you to read the actual prophecy.


1. Summary of Last Month’s Article

The books of the Maccabees seem very much to be a foreshadowing of the Second Vatican Council. The Hellenizing Jews at the beginning of the book are like the Modernists present in the Church before the Council. The Temple was stripped of its ornaments and beauty just as Catholic Churches across the world were likewise stripped. The Jews suffered under usurper Hellenizing high priests just as Catholics suffered under usurper modernist anti-popes. Women thrust themselves into the holy places in the Temple just as they did inside our churches after the Council. A second altar was erected in the Temple just like the second “altar” that was placed in every Catholic church worldwide.

It is powerfully persuasive to see so many chronological parallels, much more than just one or two isolated connections. Therefore, when we see that the abomination of desolation in the books of the Machabees was placed on the second altar in the Temple, the significance of the Novus Ordo appearing on second “altars” in churches across the world is magnified. Thus we can conclude, based on a combination of these parallels and also our lived experience as Traditional Catholics, that the Novus Ordo rite is the pre-eminent fulfillment of Our Lord’s warning of the abomination of desolation “standing in the holy place”. (I say “pre-eminent fulfillment” because I believe there are many other minor fulfillments. I will explain this at the end of this article.)


2. Summary of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks

The prophecy starts with a decree to rebuild “Jerusalem”. From that point, the seventy-week countdown starts. There is no specific mention as to what exactly constitutes a “week”. We can logically deduce that a “week” consists of seven units of equal time. It is commonly assumed that each “week” is seven actual years.  This is the “Weeks of Years” method in which each day of the week is one year, thus each “week” is seven years.  By a simple calculation, the seventy weeks is equivalent to 490 years.  Indeed, this is the method employed in the footnotes of the Douay Rheims Bible, as noted below. Using this method and starting with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by King Artaxerxes (per the Douay Rheims footnotes), we arrive at the baptism of Christ.

The seventy weeks are broken up into three separate periods. There is a seven-week period, a sixty-two-week period, and a one-week period: totaling seventy weeks. The one-week period is also known as the “final week”. 

  • After the sixty-two weeks, Jerusalem will be built up again in the “straitness of times"
  • After sixty-two weeks, “Christ shall be slain”
  • In the mid-point of this “final week” the abomination of desolation appears
  • At the start of this “final week”, “he” will “confirm the covenant with many” 

Here is the actual prophecy and corresponding footnotes:

Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the saint of saints may be anointed. Know thou therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end. 
- Daniel 9: 24-27

[24] "Seventy weeks": Viz., of years, (or seventy times seven, that is, 490 years,) are shortened; that is, fixed and determined, so that the time shall be no longer. 

[25] "From the going forth of the word": That is, from the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, when by his commandment Nehemias rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, 2 Esd. 2. From which time, according to the best chronology, there were just sixty-nine weeks of years, that is, 483 years to the baptism of Christ, when he first began to preach and execute the office of Messias.-- Ibid. 

[25] "In straitness of times": angustia temporum: which may allude both to the difficulties and opposition they met with in building: and to the shortness of the time in which they finished the wall, viz., fifty-two days. 

[26] "A people with their leader": The Romans under Titus. 

[27] "In the half of the week": or, in the middle of the week, etc. Because Christ preached three years and a half: and then by his sacrifice upon the cross abolished all the sacrifices of the law.-- Ibid. 

[27] "The abomination of desolation": Some understand this of the profanation of the temple by the crimes of the Jews, and by the bloody faction of the zealots. Others of the bringing in thither the ensigns and standard of the pagan Romans. Others, in fine, distinguish three different times of desolation: viz., that under Antiochus; that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans; and the last near the end of the world under Antichrist. To all which, as they suppose, this prophecy may have a relation. 

Now that we have been prepped, we are ready to start our journey. I intend to lay out the prophecy fulfillment by working backward. The identification of the Novus Ordo rite as the abomination of desolation is the keystone on which this interpretation will rest. Once we determine the actual date on which the Novus Ordo was implemented, then we can assume that date to be at the mid-point of the “final week”. Once we identify the “final week”, we should theoretically be able to work backward again to see the previous sixty-nine weeks, arriving at the beginning of the prophecy: the decree to rebuild “Jerusalem”. 


Ascertaining a Concrete Date for the Novus Ordo

If the Novus Ordo is the pre-eminent fulfillment of the abomination of desolation, and because the Novus Ordo rite is a historical occurrence with concrete dates associated with it, then we can gain a handle on which to grab ahold of this prophecy. The two major dates associated with the Novus Ordo are April 3, 1969 (the day it was first officially introduced) and Nov 28, 1971 (the date after which no diocese had the option to still say the Tridentine Mass). This date of Nov 28, 1971, is given by Fr. Cekada in this article, page 8.   https://www.traditionalmass.org/images/articles/P6Illegally.pdf

Given the universal character of the Novus Ordo implementation deadline of Nov 28, 1971, it is the best candidate. On April 3, 1969, the Novus Ordo was just being introduced and would not have been yet experienced by all Catholics. But by Nov 28, 1971, virtually every Mass-attending Catholic, in their parish church, saw the abominable rite of the Novus Ordo on a second altar.

Identifying the Final Week

Assuming that the date of Nov 28, 1971 is a logical choice for when the Novus Ordo appeared in the “holy place”, then we would have to assume, per the prophecy, that this date is in the middle of the “final week”. The next step is to find a unit of time, divisible by seven, that has its midpoint in 1971. Going simultaneously backward and forward from this date, in equal time increments, we should eventually arrive at some kind of significant “week”, which to be convincing, should be marked with distinct and relevant beginning and endpoints. I’ll spare you the long process that I employed and cut to the chase.

If we go backward forty-two years, and then also forward forty-two years, we come to the two dates of Feb. 11, 1929 and Feb 11, 2013. This first date is very important in modern Catholic history. On Feb 11, 1929 the Lateran Treaty was signed between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, creating the modern-day city-state of Vatican City. This was extremely significant because, in 1870, the Italian freemasons stole the Papal States, interrupting the First Vatican Council. From that point onward, the popes would not leave the Vatican in protest, referring to themselves as “prisoners in the Vatican”. The Church was persecuted by the new freemasonic kingdom of Italy. The 1929 Lateran Treaty changed this, not only by granting a small portion of the Holy See’s land back (Vatican City) but also by establishing Catholicism as the state religion in Italy. Canon law regulated Italian marriage law. Catechism was taught in primary and secondary public schools. The Italian state adopted the Church’s holy days as official state holidays, and much more. In doing all this, the Lateran Treaty “confirmed the covenant with many”, just as the prophecy says would happen. So far so good!

The date that punctuates the end of the “final week” is Feb 11, 2013. On this exact date, Benedict XVI resigned, and lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica twice, in some kind of ominous sign. One month later, Francis would emerge on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. Benedict XVI was the seventh priest-king of Vatican City, a concept I’ll get to in a moment.

When the Lateran Treaty was signed on Feb 11, 1929, it created a new political entity and a new, monarchical form of government over this new city-state. Upon the ratification of the treaty, Pope Pius XI became the very first priest-king of the newly formed entity of Vatican City.  Prior to the Lateran Treaty, the Popes had no land (it was stolen from them) and thus, the popes could not be considered temporal kings. That changed when Pope Pius XI ratified the Lateran Treaty. There were a total of seven priest-kings of Vatican City, with Benedict XVI being the last one, then he resigned and lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica. Please note that I am not claiming John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI were real popes.  I am only claiming they were temporal kings of Vatican City and that they were validly ordained priests.  Likewise, I am not claiming that Pope Pius XI or Pope Pius XII were antipopes.  I am only noting that all seven were both kings and priests. Francis is not a priest-king because he is not a valid priest.  He was “ordained” in the new rite. 

The period between Feb 11, 1929 and Feb 11, 2013 is exactly 84 years, and 1971 (the year that the NO was universally mandated) lies in the middle of these two dates. Half of 84 is 42. If we add 42 and 1971, we arrive at 2013. If we subtract 42 from 1971, we arrive at 1929. Additionally, the period of 84 years constitutes a “week” because 84 is divisible by 7. By dividing 84 years by 7 years we arrive at 12 years. Thus the “final week” is comprised of 7 “days”, with each “day” constituted by 12 actual years. And to add extra significance, that same period from Feb 11, 1929 (when Pope Pius XI became the first priest-king) and Feb 11, 2013 (when Benedict XVI resigned) corresponds exactly to the reign of seven priest-kings. As many are aware, the period of the “seven kings” is significant.

Working backward

It seems likely that we have a “final week” since the Novus Ordo appears at the mid-point. Moreover, this week started with a major treaty that “confirmed the covenant with many”. Now, can we work backward from there to find a decree to “rebuild Jerusalem”? By following the time frame given in the prophecy, we have to go back sixty-nine weeks from 1929 to find this decree. However, where are we to look? Jerusalem seems out of place because, so far, this fulfillment of the prophecy has dealt with events specific to the Catholic Church and Rome. To illustrate, the abomination of desolation in the Old Testament took place in the Temple but in Church history, it took place in our churches. So, instead of looking for a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, perhaps we should look for a decree to rebuild Rome.

To continue with the prophecy, we must go backward a period of sixty-nine weeks from 1929. Sixty-nine “weeks” multiplied by seven (assuming each week is seven years) equals 483 years.  Now we take the date of 1929 and subtract 483 years, arriving at the year 1446. In 1446, Rome was in a state of disrepair. The Avignon papacy and the Papal Schism caused Rome to be neglected. Churches were old and falling down and walls were crumbling.  The First St. Peter’s Basilica, built by Constantine in the 300s, was leaning and slowly collapsing. In 1447, Pope Nicholas V was elected (one year after 1446).  He announced the construction of a new St. Peter’s Basilica and even laid up significant stones to start its construction. He also built up the infrastructure of Rome such as roads, bridges, and walls. In essence, Pope Nicholas V gave the word to build up Rome again. 

Astonishingly, the prophecy seems fulfilled! There is not a greater icon of the Catholic Church in Rome than St. Peter’s Basilica, and the initial announcement of its construction is about as great of a decree to rebuild as we could possibly find. Thus, how can we not say that this prophecy has been fulfilled? It seems that all the major elements are present. Additionally, some of the other aspects of this prophecy also seem to be fulfilled. For example:

1. “After sixty-two weeks, Christ shall be slain” – Because the Holy Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary, then the decree of Paul VI to eliminate the Holy Mass constitutes its “crucifixion” or “death” in metaphor. Recall that this prophecy was told to us to be fulfilled the first time with the coming of Christ and His Baptism and Crucifixion. Thus, it is fitting and poetic that its fulfillment in Church history would include the “death of Christ in the Mass”. The Bible is a Catholic book, and its prophecies point to the Truths of the Catholic Faith. 

2. The prophecy states “there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times.” This seems to indicate that after the initial sixty-nine weeks, Rome should be being built up again, but this time in difficult times. That would mean around 1929, we should see this happening. Amazingly, in 1929 and in subsequent years, Benito Mussolini was in the process of remaking Rome into the capital of his new fascist empire.  He was widening the streets and constructing new buildings.  It was the “straitness of times” because Mussolini’s rule was not particularly easy for the Catholic Church and World War II was about to start. 

Conclusion

It seems clear to me that the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks is pre-eminently fulfilled in our times, with the Novus Ordo rite being the unholy climax. There is more to this prophecy for which I don’t have a clear answer.  But for me, there are too many correlations, lying outside the realm of statistical probability. And even more important and amazing is that this conclusion is synchronous and confirmatory to our present ecclesial situation. 

Going back to my use of the word “pre-eminent”, I would like to say that I believe there are other fulfillments of this prophecy as well.  For instance, the Anglican schism of Henry VIII is a microcosm of the Second Vatican Council as it shares so many of the same elements.  In both instances, most of the bishops went along with the apostasy. In both instances, it was instigated by an overweight king (Henry VIII and John XXIII). In both instances, the Catholic churches were commandeered for the new, apostate religion. The Cranmer “service” is eerily similar to the Novus Ordo rite. 

Cranmer's new rite, which was an “abomination” that appeared in the “holy places” throughout England, was instituted in the mid-1500s. Amazingly, if you go backward about 483 years (69 weeks multiplied by 7 years), we arrive close to the date of 1070.  It just so happens that the flagship Cathedral of England, the Canterbury Cathedral, was decreed to be rebuilt in 1070. The original structure was built in 597 and was old and falling down. It was time to build a new one.