Monday, June 13, 2022

The Straight Dope On Drugs

 


When people hear about "drug abuse," images of addicts buying cocaine, heroin, etc., from shady looking dealers in dark places comes to mind for most. However, the acceptance of drugs has become rampant in recent years. As of January 2022, nineteen (19) states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, going a long way in making the acceptance of substance abuse a reality. This is but one example of the law making something evil appear good, or at least morally neutral. 

I fully support the use of psychotropic medication for those who have serious mental issues or traumatic events from which they need to recover. Nevertheless, it is abuse when people think that being unhappy about something jejune requires mind-altering drugs. According to the CDC, "During 2015–2018, 13.2% of Americans aged 18 and over reported taking antidepressant medication in the past 30 days. Antidepressant use was higher among women than men in every age group. Use increased with age, in both men and women. Almost one-quarter of women aged 60 and over (24.3%) took antidepressants." (See https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db377.htm#:~:text=%2C%202009%E2%80%932018.-,Summary,men%20in%20every%20age%20group.). The answer to life's adversities is not to be found in a medicine bottle.

This post will give the Church's teaching on drugs and the theological implications for our times. 

The Teaching of the Church Regarding Drugs
According to theologian Jone, "Since morphine, opium, chloroform and similar drugs can also deprive one of the use of his reason temporarily, that which was said of intoxicating drinks holds also for narcotics. To use narcotics in small quantities and only occasionally, is a venial sin if done without a sufficient reason. Any proportionately good reason justifies their use, e.g., to calm the nerves, dispel insomnia, etc. Such use becomes gravely sinful if it creates an habitual craving for 'dope' which is more difficult to overcome than dipsomania and more injurious to health. To use drugs in greater quantities so as to lose the use of one's reason is itself a mortal sin; but for a good reason it is permissible. Such a good reason is had in case of an operation, i.e., that the patient be rendered insensible to intense pain, or that one might remain calm under the knife. In like manner one may administer opiates to one who is suffering greatly in order to alleviate his pain." (See Moral Theology, [1961], pgs. 57-58; Emphasis mine). 

Since narcotics are under the same general rule as alcohol, here's what moral theologian O'Connell has to say about the loss of reason: "It is not requisite...[to] be rendered utterly stupid and helpless...[rather] that one would do things inordinate which otherwise he would not do...The malice of drunkenness consists in the fact that, without a sufficient reason, a person in a violent way deprives himself of the use of the noblest of his faculties." (See Outlines of Moral Theology, [1958], pg. 168; Emphasis mine).

As you keep in mind these principles of Church teaching, also consider that we know so much more about the effects of drugs today than when theologians O'Connell and Jone were writing in the late 1950s-early 1960s. Then came the Great Apostasy and the drug culture of the late 1960s. I can only imagine how Church teaching would have further developed on this issue in light of all we now understand.

Drug Abuse and Health
Here are the facts:
  • 40 million Americans ages 12 and older have substance problems. Addiction and substance abuse affect more Americans than heart conditions, diabetes or cancer
  • 75% of all high school students have used addictive substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine; 1 in 5 has a substance problem
  • Almost half (46%) of all high school students currently use addictive substances
  • 46% of children under age 18 live in a household where someone age 18 or older is smoking, drinking excessively, misusing prescription drugs or using illegal drugs
  • Addiction, substance use and abuse are the largest preventable and most costly health problems facing the U.S. today, responsible for more than 20% of deaths in the U.S.
  • Addiction, substance use and abuse cause or contribute to more than 70 other conditions requiring medical care, including cancer, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy complications, cirrhosis, ulcers and trauma, and account for one-third of all hospital in-patient costs
(Source: drugfree.org/article/fast-facts-about-addiction). 

Drugs and the Occult
In the 1960s, Timothy Leary, "the Pied Piper of Harvard," led mesmerized youth into spiritual experiences that materialistic scientism had told them did not exist. Leary’s LSD (and other psychedelics) turned out to be the launching pad for mind trips "beyond the physical universe of time, space, and matter" to a strange dimension where anything was possible. For millions it was a “mind-blowing” experience that forever changed their lives.

The drugs of abusers put people into an altered state of consciousness; hence, the attraction. Those of you who read my series of posts called "Singing For Satan" (published August 2017-August 2019), know that almost all of the musicians were drug users, and most claimed contact/inspiration from "spirits"--Eminem, The Eagles, etc. They used drugs and entered into an altered state of consciousness which makes one susceptible (like hypnosis) to demonic forces. So-called "shamans" (pagan "witch-doctors") take drugs for this very reason; it enables them to make "contact with the spirits." Leary called the Beatles “the four evangelists.” Listening to the Beatles’ album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Leary said, “The Beatles have taken my place. That latest album—a complete celebration of LSD.” (See Jay Stevens, Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream, [1987], pg. 345). 

Millions subsequently discovered that they could get as “high” or even “higher” through various techniques of Eastern mysticism (TM and other forms of yoga, visualization and hypnosis). Thus was born something called The New Age Movement. Hindu and Buddhist occultism penetrated every area of Western society, from psychology and medicine to education and business. Numerous yogis and gurus, such as Vivekananda, Yogananda, Maharaj Ji, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Baba Muktananda, and others quickly realized that drugs had opened the Western mind to their message, and they invaded our shores.

Even young children are being caught in the drug web. If Johnny misbehaves, mother increases his Ritalin dose; and to keep herself on an even keel, she takes Prozac. A large percentage of Americans no longer know how to stand up to adversity and thereby develop strength of character. Instead of facing their problems and working through to a solution, they insist upon a wonder drug to assist them with every difficulty.

There are approximately 171 BILLION cells in an adult human brain, and we don't fully understand how they all function. Moreover, the mysterious link between the human soul (which was made in God’s image) and the brain and body is forever beyond the grasp of science. Yet that connection is being tampered with by drugs in order to adjust the behavior of people. How could there be a chemical solution? Yet millions take drugs such as Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Sertraline, Paroxetine, Escitalopram, etc. to adjust mood and behavior long term for non-severe problems.

In the Apocalypse 22:15, we read, "Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying." According to theologian Haydock, "the dogs" refer to unbelievers (See The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with a Comprehensive Catholic Commentary, reprint from 1859, pg. 1656), and "sorcerers" comes from the Greek word pharmakeia from which we get the word "pharmacy." The word does not only mean the sorcery that comes from idolatry, but can also refer to the use or administration of drugs. We see that pagans often used drugs to call on their "gods" (demons), so it's not surprising that Holy Scripture seems to link the two. 

Aldous Huxley (d. 1963), the famous author of Brave New World, and philosopher, was known to experiment with LSD and mescaline. He was deeply involved in the occult. On his deathbed, he asked his wife to shoot him up with LSD so he could "trip" into the afterlife. She complied, and I cannot imagine what horrors he found that never end, unless he somehow repented by a miracle of grace. In a speech he delivered to a California medical school, two years before his death, he made the following chilling prediction:

There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.  (See academyofideas.com/2018/06/aldous-huxley-brave-new-world-dark-side-of-pleasure; Emphasis mine). 

Other Considerations
1. St. Paul writes, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The reason St. Paul gives for this instruction, is that alcohol (a substance like narcotics) leads to indulging passions without restraint, a.k.a. debauchery. He contrasts drunkenness with being filled with the Holy Ghost. The principle behind the passage is simply this: Stay away from alcohol and other drugs that will confuse your thoughts, weaken your inhibitions and make you more vulnerable to sin. Can anyone think of a drug that doesn’t do all those things? Whether depressant or stimulant, psychedelic or dissociative, legal or illegal, substances that affect the mind are given a negative appraisal by God: “In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things” (Proverbs 23:32-33). Although taking alcohol in moderation (and prescription drugs) is fine, why use them unless necessary? Why invite something that can lead to serious sin into your life?

2. Long-term use of mind-altering drugs can cause the actual things they are prescribed to prevent; e.g., suicidal ideations, and even homicidal rage. 

3. Self-control is one of the primary virtues of the Christian life. Traditionalists are instructed to be in control of their decision-making processes and not enslaved to anything that erodes their ability to act in ways that are honoring to God. A clear mind — which is impossible under the influence of drugs — is crucial to self-control, which in turn affects our ability to grow in the spiritual life.

Conclusion
Only God, and not drugs, can be trusted to get us through life's hardships. Yes, for serious mental defects and short-term use, prescription drugs are a blessing. However, abusing drugs proscribed, or using "recreational marijuana," or  taking illicit drugs puts a person on a physical, mental, and spiritual crash course. There are all kinds of reasons people turn to drugs, but it all boils down to the escape from pain in our life. Pains that come from abuse, job problems, marital problems, etc., are all too real and very hurtful.

Nevertheless, ponder this question: How do drugs really help? They may alter your perception of reality for a while, but they do nothing to change it. In fact, they only give you more problems in the end. Addiction. Isolation. Financial burden. More hurt piled on top of what was there before. Stay close to the Sacraments. Pray, and offer up your pain to God as a sacrifice for your sins in order to save your soul and the souls of others. Turn to Christ and His Mother--and don't be a dope. 







43 comments:

  1. I thank God that I never smoked, took drugs or alcohol in my life. I already tasted beer when I was young but I didn't like the taste. And when I took alcohol, it was on certain occasions and in very small quantities. My elderly mother suffers from joint pains and takes drugs but also alcohol (but not at the same time as her drugs, however) and it leads her to states of intoxication. Alcohol inhibits the sense of pain, but consuming it like my mother does has made her addicted over time. I manage to control his drinking but it does not happen without causing some problems...

    Karl Marx said that religion was the opium of the people. Today's pagans seek escape from the present evil reality through all kinds of false pleasures and harmful substances. It is the real opium of the people.

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  2. Introibo,
    Please pray for my alcoholic father.

    Paweł

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pawel,
      Your father shall be in my prayers, and I ask all my readers to do likewise.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  3. Soma anyone?

    Tom A

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    Replies
    1. You will be pilled and you will be happy 🦖🐍🦎

      Delete
    2. Tom and anon@2:39,

      Yes, we shall be drugged and vaccinated!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  4. I used to take fluoxetine because I had troublesome intrusive thoughts and mild depression.

    During the first months, I had more energy, and had even less intrusive suicidal thoughts; however, whenever I had a *genuine* reason for being sad (eg; reading truly distressing articles, like one about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia), I felt just as sad as when I was without the drug. Most people take it thinking on something like soma, but it is *not* magical specially if you have serious reasons for being depressed, (eg; homeless). That is my experience, at least.

    I stopped taking it because I didn't wanted to become dependent on a pill. What if something happens that I can't get it? Being that I don't have serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, being perfectly capable of surviving without it, I just didn't see what was the need for it. I needed to become anti-fragile.

    Plus, it is true that some pills can cause unwanted secondary effects, like homicidal rage. Since all brains are different, no condition, be it ridiculous or serious, can be treated with the same medication.

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    Replies
    1. Poni,
      Excellent points! Congratulations on getting off long term meds!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  5. Here's a massive problem.
    Traditional Catholics who've never experienced addiction withdrawal recovery etc have no idea what this is like or how to deal w it on a daily basis.
    This is said in all due respect with absolutely no malice or sarcasm.
    One thing which is humiliating and irksome to recovering addicts is someone talking to you about this and having ever experienced it.
    Not that traditional Catholics are beating down doors and preaching to addicts,I mean to say in a counseling situation.
    This is not a passive aggressive jab at this article,speaking objectively.
    White Men especially are lost with little or no reason to care and it's beyond difficult to explain why addiction is sinful and crippling.
    I don't have the answers,simply giving you another problem on top of this epidemic. Props for covering this subject,you are trying to get the conversation started which is 🚫 nonexistent in traditional Catholic conversations.
    God bless -Andrew

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    Replies
    1. Andrew,
      Thank you (as always) for commenting. You're right, I have no idea what addiction and recovery is like. I don't drink and don't take drugs. I take a small amount of medicine to control my high blood pressure.

      That having been said, I have the greatest respect and admiration for recovered addicts. They are to be praised for doing something unbelievably difficult. This post was meant to keep those who are not on drugs to stay off of them, except for necessary medications.

      It was never my intent to hurt anyone's feelings or denigrate recovered addicts. Getting a conversation started is a good thing, and thank you for saying so!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. No apologies necessary,you did an awesome job with this article.
      God bless -Andrew

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  6. What would you say about these criticisms of Cmris and bp pivarunass stance on the so called 'brain death'?
    http://www.christorchaos.com/NotUnderAnyCircumstances.html

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    1. @anon6:00
      I agree with Dr. Droleskey that the CMRI made a mistake. "Brain death" should not be the criteria of separation of the soul from the body.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. What is the criterion for death?

      Delete
    3. @anon5:14
      There is clinical death (cessation of heart and lungs), and brain death. Doctors themselves cannot say for certain when the moment of death arrives. It could be held as morally certain 20 minutes after clinical death, when the hope of revival is gone in almost all cases.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  7. Personally, I try to let go of the "hot" issues like the one you refer to above. It seems that every well-known group of traditionalist clergy has been associated with some sort of controversy over the years. Those who are new to the Faith can get scandalized very easily and I guess hardly anyone has the time and the willingness to research traditionalist "controversies" thoroughly and with no bias. That being said, I did read the article you posted above. I'm personally strongly against the medically-concocted term "brain death" ("fun" fact: it turns out in Poland EVERYONE is considered a donor by default unless you send your explicit refusal to the donor refusal registration center!). However, I don't see why the CMRI and Bp. Pivarunas should be ostracized for acting the way they did. That's just my opinion, though.

    God Bless,
    Joanna S.

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    Replies
    1. Joanna,
      We agree. The Polish considering everyone a "donor by default" is downright ghoulish. I concur with you that, while wrong, Bp. Pivarunas and the CMRI should not be ostracized.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  8. Just to be clear regarding the CMRI and "brain death", I do agree with Mr. Droleskey that we can't shy away from making decisions just because we have no authoritative judgments of the Church prior to the year 1958. There's so much evil in this world that no one could have conceived of just 70 years ago, and that's no excuse for not using our right reason.
    The problem is, some clergy will go to the other extreme, declaring something mortally sinful, creating unnecessary antagonisms when they should be speaking more against those things the Church has always held as mortal sins.

    God Bless,
    Joanna S.

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    Replies
    1. Joanna,
      Yes! Do you know here in New York, an SSPX priest had the temerity to declare the mere owning of a television set "mortally sinful" and that Fr. DePauw was a "mortal sinner" because he watched a half-hour of TV news after finishing his prayers and before going to sleep!

      Fr. DePauw, a pre-Vatican II approved canonist, and seminary professor of Canon Law, Latin, and Moral Theology for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, had PLENTY to say in response! He began by asking how something intrinsically evil received a Patron Saint (St. Clare of Assisi) by Pope Pius XII, and after ripping the SSPX priest's opinion apart, said he never would have passed his first year Moral Theology course pre-Vatican II.

      Such sad times in which we must live.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. I'm utterly overwhelmed w all traditional Catholic disunity and controversy.Joanna S is right,some clerics go much too far in the extreme by declaring rules for Holy Communion and "new dogmas" such as
      "Una Cum " I pray for a Catholic Pope Hierarchy & traditional Catholic unity daily.
      Good for Fr.DePauw on standing up for himself.
      Fr knew what was up and the SSPX backed himself into a corner.
      God bless -Andrew

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    3. Introibo,
      wow, that's sheer insanity what this SSPX priest had the nerve to say. And, smearing the good name of Father DePauw like that!
      I do hope you'll be able to write down your memories of the good Father some time when you're retired, Intro.

      Andrew,
      it seems to me after decades of "garage" Masses many groups of traditional Catholics have been able to establish themselves more or less, and once they found their comfort zones, they suppose there's nothing more to be done. The various trad controversies are part of these comfort zones, too. That's just my two cents and I may be wrong.

      If only we had more priests, true spiritual fathers, after the example of Fr. DePauw!

      God Bless You,
      Joanna S.

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    4. Agree,it's like they've all unwittingly acclimated to being permanent splinter groups out of routine or never knowing Catholic life post 1970.
      It's unavoidable and understandable due to 5 + decades of the vacancy.
      On my bad days it feels like we're becoming a smaller version of Eastern Orthodoxy.
      Thank God for the Thuc Lefebvre Mendez Priests Bishops+ chapels, we'd be in full blown chaos without them.
      Still,instead of trad Catholics condemning and anathematizing each other monthly,they and we should issue a truce and ask for prayers of trad Catholic unity.
      Hypothetically,it would be good to see Fr.David Hewko,Fr.Jenkins,and Bishop Sanborn sit in the same room and talk about the possibility of trad Catholic unity in the future.
      God bless -Andrew

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    5. Joanna and Andrew,
      The need for unity is great. I agree that complacency amongst Traditionalists is great, when we should be petitioning the clergy to work out their problems and unite and against the real enemy--the Vatican II sect.

      Joanna, when I retire, I will indeed write about Fr. DePauw!

      God Bless you both,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  9. For the most part, drugs don't cure diseases; they only treat symptoms. Think of this: the NIH, the National Institute of Health, has been in existence for over 100 years. In 2022, they have about 20,000+ employees. They have received over $1 trillion (a thousand billion) in their long history.

    The NIH has never found the cure to ONE single disease. Not one.

    Most diseases are caused by lifestyle choices. As an example, for the women reading this:

    Women can reduce their likelihood of breast cancer diagnosis by up to 40-70%(!) by doing one thing (which their doctors can't make money from!) It costs the women $0.00 to do this: Get 4 hours a week of exercise every week. It doesn't have to be strenuous, either. Just consistent.

    Cancer of the uterus: Here's how a woman can practically make sure she'll NEVER get that disease. Women, when you meet a man, you marry him, and you only have marital relations with that one man, your husband. Gee, weren't we taught that as Catholics, anyway? Even apart from your soul, it has benefits in this life for your health.

    My point here is that diseases don't just "fall from the sky"; we do things that bring them on.

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    Replies
    1. Dave,
      As a general rule I agree with you. However, we all will die someday and aging brings on failure of our organs. Some diseases are genetic (e.g., sickle cell anemia). Most diseases can be prevented or at least put off until advanced old age. Getting medically screened is also a must. Once a year, a full body check for melanoma, a prostate exam (men), breast exam (women), colonoscopy once every five years, etc.

      Screenings are lifesavers too!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Cancer is big business but chemotherapy has a 97% failure rate. Cancer screening programs often lead to overdiagnosis. Tumours are often where your body stores toxins that it cannot get rid of. Learn to detox regularly and you can avoid them. There are many cancer cures but you won’t hear about them because the treatments for cancer is just part of our eugenics “healthcare” system.

      Delete
  10. The reason why bp pivarunas and cmri might be ostracised is that they are responsible (as a whole, no member of the cmri made public a dissenting stance as far as we know) for a serious error in the realm of faith and morals. They never discussed the stance again which suggests that they hold to it.

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    Replies
    1. @anon4:01
      That may be the reason. However, silence does not necessarily imply consent. I don't believe St. Gertrude the Great should be ostracized even though Fr. Cekada (defended by Bp. Dolan and his other clergy) made a serious error by condoning the murder of Terri Schiavo.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  11. I have a question.

    Can priests give inheritance to someone? (I am thinking in close friends and relatives who are not not his children).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon10:13
      Yes. A priest may bequeath anything he owns to anyone he so chooses, just as any other American citizen; and nothing in ecclesiastical law prohibits it either. (Hopefully, he would not have children!!).

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Hypothetically,a man has children,wife is deceased,and he hopefully wants to be Ordained. Is this wrong?
      What do you think of the
      "Simplex married Priest" idea floating around on the internet.
      He's married w 1 or more children,is validly Ordained after yrs of seminary,and can only offer confession and Holy Mass? I'm not advocating,it's an active subject on internet threads. The idea being a priest shortage and/or severe totalitarian future lockdown preventing Catholics from Holy Mass & receiving Sacraments.

      God bless -Andrew

      Delete
    3. Andrew,
      The ordination of widowers with no dependents was done via dispensation pre-Vatican II. Can epikeia justify such? Perhaps, but I need to give this topic MUCH thought before I can give an informed opinion.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  12. Copyright Question: Suppose there is a book, whose author is dead, has left no inheritance and the editorial that published exists no more. There is no way of buying the book because other libraries do not sell it.

    However, the laws of copyright claim the book is still outside of public domain. Are this laws just or unjust?

    Thank You and God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon10:16
      I am not a copyright attorney and do not know the legalities involved. If you're asking me if it is moral (and assuming the law is exactly as you stated), it appears unjust. There'a the old saying, "Sometimes the law is an ass."

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    2. Ok Thank you

      Delete
  13. Another dolt pretending to be a Catholic:
    https://fitzinfo.net/2022/02/23/fatima-a-satanic-deception-to-aid-anti-christ-ecumenism-subjection-to-russia-and-to-lead-souls-to-hell-says-catholic-author/?noamp=mobile#comments

    He said St. Alphonsus "taught 30 ways of swearing falsely without guilt."

    That the great apostasy could not be started by Johnny 23, and that therefore Pius XII and other real Popes must have been antipopes.

    Can anyone here address this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon3:17
      The author of the site is another "Vacancy Pusher," i.e., one who "pushes" the time of the Vacancy prior to Roncalli (John XXIII). From this stems his other errors. Two of the most infamous are Michael Bizzaro (his real name) who claims Pope St. Pius X as the last pope, and Richard Ibranyi (formerly associated with Fred and Bobby Dimond) who has the vacancy starting in 1130 A.D.!

      I wrote a post about this, and if you look in the comments, a disturbed individual named Miguel Pasamano claimed Pope Pius IX was the last pope. I challenged him and told him it wouldn't be long until he was like Ibranyi.

      He commented back to me:
      "People were questioning Antipopes "Leo XIII", "Pius X", "Benedict XV", "Pius XI", and "Pius XII" long before Richard Ibranyi stupidly started denouncing every true pope after Innocent II all the way up to Pius IX but leave it to dishonest schismatics and heretics like you to mention radical schismatics and heretics like him..."

      Got all that? Well, he soon claimed Pope Pius IX as an "antipope." Now, he claims the vacancy began in 904 A.D. outdoing Ibranyi by over 200 years! Won't be long until he's back to St. Peter as the last pope (I always was suspicious of that Pope St. Linus!).

      See my post:
      http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2017/08/pushing-back-time-of-vacancy.html

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  14. Moderate use of alcohol and tobacco makes life eassier to me. Dipping twice a day helps me concentrate, having a drink (one, not more) in the evening makes it easier for me to sleep. Dipping is low risk (proportionate to the benefits in my case), one drink a day isn't risk at all. Tobacco is an addiction in the sense that I will feel a bit nervous if I don't take it (same as with coffee), but not in the sense that I will put it before God and His law. I don't see why that would be sinful or reprehensible in any way... You may choose not to use it, but I don't see it as sinful, especially since many holy men of preconciliar era smoked or used snuff and it was never condemned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon12:33
      You are correct that the Church has never pronounced the use of tobacco sinful. However, since the time of the Great Apostasy, we know all the myriad ills caused by tobacco. I believe that, if Vatican II had not taken place, the Magisterium would have declared the use of tobacco a sin against the Fifth Commandment which enjoins the reasonable good care of one's health. Nevertheless, while I consider any use of tobacco foolish in the extreme, I have no authority to deem it a sin. You might want to try herbal teas and such as a better way to enhance concentration.

      As to alcohol, please read my post:
      https://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2020/08/sobering-thoughts.html

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    2. I appriciate the fact that, while disagreeing with me, You leave final judgement for the Church. I agree that many risks of tobacco use weren't known before the Council, but the addictive nature ("addictive" in the sense of users feeling nervous without it, not in the sense of being slave to it and limiting free will) of tobacco was surely known, since it is part of every user's experience. It is also my personal oppinion that there is not proportionate reason for habitual smoking of cigarettes (at least in a way that average smoker does it), but I would say that all studies I have found on the subject (and I really didn't cherry-pick) show that the habitual use of smokeless tobacco is, while not being without risks, significantly less risky and can be proportionate. This is not widely publicized, not because of some conspiracy, but because the policy of major health organizations is tobacco-free world, rather than risk reduction, but it can be confirmed even in these studies. With oral tobacco, there is significant risk of gum recession (which in majority of cases won't cause serious problems), but quite slight risk of serious life-threatening diseases such as oral cancer. Again, risks are, according to most studies, higher than with non-users, but I would consider it quite low.

      Regarding alcohol, I agree with you that it's habitual use, even in moderate ammounts, brings certain temptations (mainly alcoholism and putting too much confidence in material things), but if use is carefully controlled, it can also diminish others, since in certain cases being relaxed makes you less likely to commit sin. We should weight it's effect on us and make a judgement according to what we believe is better for us.

      I have tried herbal teas as well as L-theanine (extract of green tea), but it didn't really work for me. Cantarion tea did help a bit with sleep, but I started having weird dreams and panic attacks during night (which never happened after a glass of wine), so I guess it's not for me either.

      I fully agree that abstinence is, in general, more perfect way. This doesn't apply just to alcohol or tobacco, but also to things like coffee, sweets, meat, decent (i.e. not sinful to watch) movies, detective stories and even marriage (virginity is superior to marriage), but what is generally speaking more perfect isn't necessarily better with all people and in all ocassions. Thus, while virginity is in itself more perfect than marriage, for some people it is better to marry and while abstinence from meat is better than eating meat, for some people it is better to eat meat, even on daily basis (we are, however, not allowed to judge for ourselves on days of obligatory abstinence - the only exception there is grave necessity).

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