Monday, February 27, 2023

Did The Blessed Virgin Mary Die?


On the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII solemnly promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus which defined ex cathedra the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary in the following words:

For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. (para. #44; Emphasis mine). 

The Apostolic Constitution, wherein the dogmatic definition is contained, was principally drafted by theologian Michel-Louis Guerard des Lauriers, who in 1981 would receive episcopal consecration from Archbishop Peter Thuc as a Traditionalist Bishop. Des Lauriers would also formulate the sedeprivationist theory to explain the state of the Vacancy after the death of Pope Pius XII. When the eminent theologian presented the final draft to His Holiness for approval, the pope told him to change one part of the definition, which he did dutifully. The pope then approved it as above. The original, uncorrected version is below:

For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having died, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. (Emphasis mine). 

The difference should be obvious. After having received the final draft, Pope Pius was conferring with several prominent theologians, and some of them urged him to remove the death of the Blessed Mother from the definition. After prayerful consideration, the pope agreed, and had theologian des Lauriers make the change from Mary "having died," to "having completed the course of her earthly life." The significance of the change cannot be understated. There are theologians who believe (like my spiritual father, Fr. Gommar DePauw, JCD) that the Blessed Virgin Mary never experienced death. Rather, when her mission on earth was over, God had her Assumed into Heaven by angels, and she was given a glorified body. 

The majority of theologians held Mary had indeed died, but prior to the first moment of bodily corruption setting in, she was resurrected with a glorified body and Assumed, by the Almighty Power of God, into Heaven. By removing "having died" from the text of the definition, Pope Pius XII made clear that he was not settling the theological controversy. A Traditionalist Catholic is therefore free to hold either opinion. In this post, I will set forth the arguments of both sides. I have taken the opinions of some of the greatest approved theologians' Mariology, including Scheeben, Carol, Pohle, Mare, Everett and Neubert in the composition of this post. I have included the notes I took from Fr. DePauw, an approved canonist pre-Vatican II. This post is my compilation of their writings. 

I (like Fr. DePauw) hold the minority view that Mary never died. Of course, you are free to disagree, and I submit all I write to the judgement of Holy Mother Church should the papacy be restored; humbly accepting Her decisions. 

The Death of Mary Thesis

Without a doubt, the thesis that Mary died like all the other children of Adam, is the majority opinion among the theologians and carries much theological weight. Prior to the dogma of the Assumption, a great many theologians classified the death of Mary as "proximately definable." The theological arguments for this thesis can be grouped under five (5) headings: (a) the Magisterium; (b) the liturgy; (c) the Holy Bible; (d) Sacred Tradition; and (e) theological reasoning. Each will be examined.

The Magisterium

There are no papal decrees that pronounce for or against the death of Mary. However, Pope Clement V (d. 1314), wrote in a sermon: "It must be held firmly she (Mary) really and truly rose again." The pope therefore presupposes death in order for her to rise again. In a 1933 address, Pope Pius XI stated that the grace Our Lady received at the time of Her Immaculate Conception was "...a grace of Redemption which did not confer on her a true and proper immortality." 

The Liturgy

It is well known that the liturgy, which reflects the mind of the Magisterium in doctrinal matters, contains repeated allusions to the specific manner in which Our Lady departed this life. Two are of special significance: the famous Collect Veneranda was composed on the initiative of Pope Sergius I (d. 701), and to be recited at the beginning of a procession held in connection with the Feast of the Dormition ("falling asleep") of Mary reads, Veneranda nobis, Domine, huius diei festivitas opem conferat salutarem, in qua sancta Dei Genetrix mortem subiit temporalem, nec tamen mortis nexibus deprimi potuit, quae Filium tuum Dominum nostrum de se genuit incarnatum:  Qui tecum vivit et regnat... which translates as  May this hallowed feast shower us with saving grace, O Lord; since today the mother of God underwent the death of the body yet could not be held in death-bonds, as having brought forth Your incarnate Son, Our Lord; Who lives and reigns...(Emphasis mine). 

Likewise, the prayer Subveniat, was part of the Mass (Collect) for the Feast of the Assumption until 1950, reads as follows:

Subveniat, Domine, plebi tuae Dei Genitricis oratio: quam etsi pro conditione carnis migrasse cognoscimus, in caelesti gloria apud te pro nobis intercedere sentiamus.

Translation: May the prayer of the Mother of God assist Thy people, O Lord: although we know that she passed according to the condition of the flesh, may we nevertheless feel her interceding for us in heavenly glory. (Emphasis mine). 

The liturgy cannot give error or evil, so Mary died.

The Holy Bible

The Bible makes no explicit mention of Mary's final fate on this Earth. Genesis 3:15 may be said to contain a veiled reference to her death: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. The solemn words which God addressed to the serpent in the Garden of Eden foretold Our Lady's intimate share in the redemptive mission of her Son. Since this mission, in the present economy, calls for the death of the Redeemer as a means of destroying the power of Satan, we might conclude that the Redeemer's partner should likewise die in order to achieve a greater conformity with Him in His triumph. 

Sacred Tradition

Many Church Fathers taught the death of Mary, such as Origen (when Catholic), St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Augustine, among others. 

Theological Reasoning

All theologians who hold this thesis agree that Mary's death was not due to her having contracted Original Sin. Such is incompatible with the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and even prior to the 1854 definition, it was condemned in 1567 by Pope St. Pius V: No one except Christ is free from Original Sin; hence, the Blessed Virgin died because of sin contracted from Adam, and all of her afflictions in this life as well as those of other just persons were the punishments for actual sin, or for Original Sin. CONDEMNED PROPOSITION #73 of the Errors of Michael du Bay.

However, while true that Mary was immune from Original Sin, this was due to a special privilege which did not carry with it the preternatural gifts conferred on Adam before his sin, such as impassibility and immortality. Our Lady lacked immortality not because she "lost" it in Adam, but rather because God decreed she would have a human body (which is intrinsically mortal, regardless of sin) so that she might share the lot of her Son, the Redeemer. Since Our Lady was Co-Redemptrix, she was united to the Redeemer by an indissoluble bond. Therefore, it seems natural that she, too, should offer the supreme sacrifice of her life to the same end and to obtain the same effects, although on a different plane. 

The Immortality of Mary Thesis

The Magisterium

In the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII purposely rejected defining the death of Mary, even when such was in the final draft given him. Had the previous opinions of Pope Clement V and Pope Pius XI been definitive teaching, he would not have changed the definition so as to remove defining Our Lady's purported death. Two further points:

  • Pope Pius XII not only did not define Mary's death, but whenever he mentions it in the Apostolic Constitution, he is referring to someone else's views, not his own
  • In the Apostolic Constitution, the pope stresses the fact that, since Mary was conceived without Original Sin, she was not subject to the law of corruption  
Moreover, when Pius XI said that the Immaculate Conception was "...a grace of Redemption which did not confer on her a true and proper immortality," it was true insofar as Mary's human nature was not by nature (true and proper) immortal, as was the case with human nature elevated in Original Justice, but God could give such as a gift for cause (and as a reward for her super-meritorious life). 

The Liturgy

The Feast was of the Dormition (i.e., "falling asleep") of the Blessed Virgin Mary; "sleep" not necessarily meaning "death." The Dormition of Mary has been likened by several theologians to the sleep of Adam in the Garden of Eden when God formed Eve from one of his ribs. This, obviously, was not a true death. More than a few theologians teach that a procession is not truly a liturgical function, so the Veneranda holds no weight; it was an opinion. The prayer Subveniat has the phrase "passed according to the condition of the flesh," not "death," because all flesh must "pass out" of this world, yet not necessarily by death. 

In the new Mass of the Assumption, issued simultaneously with the Apostolic Constitution (11/1/1950), Pope Pius XII substitutes a new Subveniat for the old one. This prayer specifically makes no mention of Mary's death. Therefore, it shows the mind of the Pontiff that the old prayer was not speaking about physical death. Moreover, this change in wording was purposely introduced by the pope. 

The Holy Bible

It is clear from Sacred Scripture that, in the present order of things, death is the penal consequence of Original Sin personally contracted by each human being. (Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die; Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned). Since Our Lady was free from the stain of Original Sin, so too she should be free from death. Proponents of the Death of Mary Thesis will agree, yet they state that doesn't prevent God from permitting Mary's death from an altogether different reason not connected to Original Sin. 

While their assertion is true, the burden of proof is on those theologians to prove what the reason is and why it is greater than preserving Our Lady from death. St. Paul writes:

Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Cor 15:51-53). It is an opinion of many theologians that those living at the time of the Second Coming of Christ shall not die. (See theologian Sagues, Sacrae Theologiae Summa IVB, [1956], pgs. 290-293). The Nicene Creed states that Christ shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead. If this can be held tenable for sinners, then shouldn't it be held certain for She who is Immaculate? 

Sacred Tradition

In the first three centuries there are absolutely no references in the authentic works of the Fathers or ecclesiastical writers to the death or bodily immortality of Mary. Nor is there any mention of a tomb of Mary in the first centuries of Christianity. The veneration of the tomb of the Blessed Virgin at Jerusalem began about the middle of the fifth century; and even here there is no agreement as to whether its locality was in the Garden of Olives or in the Valley of Josaphat. Nor is any mention made in the Acts of the Council of Ephesus (431) of the fact that the Council, convened to defend the Divine Maternity of the Mother of God, is being held in the very city selected by God for her final resting place. Only after the Council did the tradition begin which placed her tomb in that city.

The earliest known (non-Apocryphal) mention concerning the end of Mary's life appears in the writings of St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Constantia, the ancient Salamina, in the isle of Cyprus. Born in Palestine, we may assume that he was well aware of the traditions there. Yet we find these words in his Panarion or Medicine Chest (of remedies for all heresies), written in circa 377: "Whether she died or was buried we know not."

All the great Scholastics of the thirteenth century taught that Mary died. The principal reason for their so teaching was obviously the fact that they denied the Immaculate Conception in the sense in which it was defined by Pope Pius IX. Thus we read in the writings of St. Bonaventure: "If the Blessed Virgin was free from Original Sin, she was also exempt from the necessity of dying; therefore, either her death was an injustice or she died for the salvation of the human race. But the former supposition is blasphemous, implying that God is not just; and the latter, too, is a blasphemy against Christ for it implies that His Redemption is insufficient. Both are therefore erroneous and impossible. Therefore Our Blessed Lady was subject to Original Sin." St. Bonaventure was not a heretic because the Immaculate Conception was a subject open to theological debate at that time in history. 

The converse of what St. Bonaventure wrote must therefore be true, "If the Blessed Virgin was free from Original Sin, she was also exempt from the necessity of dying; therefore, either her death was an injustice or she died for the salvation of the human race. But the former supposition is blasphemous, implying that God is not just; and the latter, too, is a blasphemy against Christ for it implies that His Redemption is insufficient. Both are therefore erroneous and impossible. Therefore Our Blessed Lady did not die for she was not subject to original sin." The erroneous idea that Mary had contracted Original Sin was also the cause of some of the Fathers to declare she died. St. Augustine wrote that Our Lady died "on account of Adam's sin." He was obviously wrong. 

Theological Reasoning

The Second Council of Orange is quite explicit in its teaching that those who hold that the penalty of death (reatus poenae) is transmitted to the body without the transmission of sin or the death of the soul (reatus culpae) to all the children of Adam, do an injustice to God. Hence, where there is no sin there can be no obligatory death of the body in a child of Adam. Therefore, it would appear that if  the death of Mary is to be defended, there must be another reason, one wherein the acceptance of death by Mary would be a voluntary act. Theologians see this in Mary's role of Co-Redemptrix of the human race as stated in the Thesis of Mary's death above. 

Due to the teaching of the Second Council of Orange, many theologians who maintain that Mary died claim that she had a right to immortality but, like her Son, freely accepted death in order that she might Co-Redeem the human race together with Him. Yet the objection is raised against this opinion that Mary should then have died on Calvary with Christ. For, with the death and resurrection of Christ the Redemption was completed in actu primo (in the primary act) and, consequently, the Co-Redemption. This, too, goes counter to the traditionally accepted belief that Mary Co-Redeemed us by a spiritual compassion, suffering in her soul the agony Christ suffered for us in His Body. Hence, it is not necessary that Mary needs to die for her to be called Co-Redemptrix. 

As theologian Mare writes, “Death with all it signifies for a simple human creature could not possibly avoid involving some character of disgrace and forfeiture, incompatible with her Immaculate Conception and her Divine Maternity.”


Whether or not Mary died prior to her Assumption is an open theological question. Along with Fr. DePauw, I believe she did not.  Christ's Resurrection and Mary's Assumption remind us that death never has the final say. During this time of Lent meditate on death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. Think often on the Passion of Christ and the Sorrows of Mary. If we are faithful in serving them, we too, can hope for an eternity of happiness when we leave this "valley of tears." 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Another "Saint" Who Ain't


To My Readers: This week we have a wonderful and insightful post thanks to my guest poster, Lee. As always, feel free to comment. If anyone has a specific comment or question for me, I will answer as always, but it may take me longer to respond this week.

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

Another "Saint" Who Ain't
By Lee

"In the Father’s house we shall meet Buddhists and Jews, Muslims and Protestants—even a few Catholics too, I dare say … We should be more humble about people who, even if they have never heard of the name of Jesus Christ, may well be more Christian than we are."

These aren't the words of Jorge Bergoglio (A.K.A. "Pope" Francis I). Rather, these are the words of a man who was declared "Servant of God" (Venerable) in 2015 when the case for his canonization was opened in that same year, sixteen years after his death. His name; Dom Helder Camara.

First Things First

Who was Dom Helder Camara? Born February 7 1909 – Died August 27 1999, Camara was ordained a priest in 1931 in Brazil at a young age. He was later appointed auxiliary bishop of Rio de Janeiro in 1952. During his younger years as a cleric, he was heavily involved in a political organization known as Brazilian Integralism, which generally speaking, held to the viewpoint that every race should be united under one flag with Christian values. Much like today, there were conservative and liberal camps that had their own beliefs in this system, but Camara later drifted away from being active in it because his mind and heart was set more on Liberation Theology and the Rights of Man.

He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council and had a significant role in the formation of Gaudium et Spes. This set him up to be appointed Archbishop of Olinda e Recife by Paul VI on March 12th 1964, a metropolitan diocese in northeast Brazil. When the Council was coming to a close he along with 42 other liberal bishops signed a document called The Pact of the Catacombs which, in 13 points, challenged all their brother bishops to renounce wealth and live under poor conditions such as the common people in their dioceses. Five hundred (500) bishops ended up signing it in the following months, and while it sounds like a noble practice, the purpose of it was to call for openness "to all, no matter what their beliefs" in the "spirit of Vatican II."

He was an author of many books throughout the 70's, promoting socialism and ecumenism. Morally speaking he was considered really liberal for his time by advocating for the idea that spouses who were abandoned should be allowed to remarry (in other words, commit adultery). He said that by not allowing artificial contraception to spouses, it was a form of torture. He was also known for being sympathetic to Marxism when he said he disagreed with his (Marx) conclusions but agreed with his analysis of the capitalist society.

The fact that he is now declared a "Servant of God" in the new religion means he is known for his heroic virtue and impeccable orthodoxy of faith. Other than what has already been said, we shall see if Liberation Theology, which was his primary goal in propagating, was orthodoxy in faith.

Liberation Theology

Liberation Theology was from the fruits of those like Camara who were present at the Second Vatican Council. It was not just found in Latin American countries in the late 60's and 70's where Camara was from, but among prominent religious orders throughout the world, especially the Jesuits and Maryknolls. First mentioned in 1968 in a conference by Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez (born June 8, 1928) and written about by him in 1971 (called A Theology of Liberation), Liberation Theology had nothing to do with theology except abandoning it. In fact, members of the hierarchy who were strong proponents of it cared neither for Thomistic theology or philosophy, nor any of the theological greats such as Bellarmine, Cajetan, Suaraez etc. 

The liberation theologian saw these theological giants as no use in a modern world because for them the mission was about the "People of God." The people were seen as the source of revelation and religious authority. All that mattered was how "the people" were able to solve the here and now in the social, political, and economic difficulties of an ever evolving world. Old concepts of dogmas and rules based on Thomism were a burden, and needed to be thrown out. Indeed, there was no rest for those wicked Modernists. Liberation Theology was an attempt to blend Marxist and Socialist beliefs in the most artificial way possible and dare proclaim itself as "the religion of the future."

Liberation Theology openly proclaims itself to be Marxist socialism. Father Gutierrez was more precise when he said it was "the concrete historical march forward in the direction of socialism." Now what does "a society of the socialist type" mean? It meant in the eyes of the liberation theologian a freeing from political oppression, economic want, and misery on earth. More specifically, a freeing from the influence of capitalism in the U.S. For those like Camara, Latin America's strong arm leaders were the result of its oppression. As the Primer encueiztro por une Iglesia solidaria says: "Christians must be committed both personally and collectively to the building of a new society. This new society must be a classless society in which there is collective ownership of the means of production." They thought ownership of private property lead to oppression and hence to class warfare. The only way to eliminate oppression and to resolve class struggle was to eliminate private property.

The aim was the creation of a "new society" or “a new humanity.” It was to be a transformation that was hinted at by the likes of  heretic Teilhard de Chardin, whose theory was that Man is setting out himself to evolve to what he called the Omega Point by achieving hominization---thereby passing over into the "Ultra Man." Gutierrez's idea of the "creation of a new Man" was, as he wrote, a "new universalistic consciousness... a new way for men and women to be more human... a human being that grows progressively free of all servitude preventing it from being the agent of its own lot in history."

How was this to be brought about? The battle of which Liberation Theology told its die hard supporters they must fight and win was not for Christ's Church and the salvation of souls, but rather for the worldwide class of men and women against the toils and traps of capitalism. Liberation theologians saw themselves as champs for a good cause if they fought against the oppression of the poor. The next step was for Christians to engage in class struggle. "Class struggle," says Gutierrez, "is a fact, and neutrality in this matter is impossible... We must avoid getting bogged down in doctrinal analysis, that is, in an attempt to treat the problem outside the framework of the class struggle." 

The only way one can be a committed Christian (as they saw it) was to engage in the class struggle, because only this process is how one is to "encounter and love God." Sin is no longer separation from God, but separation from one's oppressed brothers. Liberation was the beginning battle against established order. They believed there was only one way to encounter Christ, and that was in the poor (sound familiar?). Grace was the solidarity of the people, and sin consisted in the failure to cooperate with solidarity. The purpose of class solidarity lived out within this conflict was the sole means of realizing the Christian imperative. If this resulted in violence, such is inevitable, for the "rich" will never give up their power willingly. Father Jose Miranda (another liberation theologian) tells us, “Jesus was a hardened revolutionary” and “explicitly approved of and defended the use of violence” when he was in the temple. We find liberation theologians committed to a Marxist analysis of the historical process, and Gutierrez openly admits Marxism as the common denominator of all the theologies of liberation.

Salvation and liberation is for all who “enlist sincerely and effectively in the struggle,” and as Gutierrez would to say, "God will judge us by our capacity to create brotherly conditions of life.” This, of course, meant revolutionary socialism. “Only by loving mankind as he exists in the concrete historical situation can man know and love God.” Christians (mainly Catholics), unlike Marxists, were failing to do this. The logical conclusion of his position was that Marxists were to be included in the plan of salvation because they were to be considered "Christian." 

The liberation theologian also believed in evolution of dogma which was condemned by Pope St. Pius X. As Gutierrez says, ‘various political events have profoundly modified history. The rapid development of science and the consequent mastery of nature; the use of new instrumentation, for the understanding of social reality... have hastened the maturation of political consciousness... history demonstrates that the achievements of man are cumulative and allow for even greater achievements in the generations yet to come... there is only a single process of human development definitely and irreversibly assumed by Christ.”  As a result of progress, Man is also changing. “The scope of our radical challenge to the prevailing social order would escape us, were we unaware of the change that has taken place in human self-understanding, the change that has occurred in the approach to truth... God reveals Himself only in history and salvation is a historical process. There is only one single history adding up to the evolution of the species, and in that process, the genesis of humanity is the central axis, a genesis realized through the energy of conflict in the struggle for liberation, class against class. This truth is the primary object of faith." 

The culmination of this process will be the acceptance by Man of the socialist "truth"-- the break with a social order of oppression and the erection of a classless society. Gutierrez goes on to say that this society "affirms a utopia on the way to becoming a historical reality." This was the end game of liberation. A manifestation of salvation and history. It's as if Paul VI, shortly after the Council, was speaking when he said, "If the world changes should not religion change?"

Indeed Pope St. Pius X knew them by their fruits when he said:

Hence it is quite impossible to maintain that they express absolute truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sentiment in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sentiment. But the object of the religious sentiment, since it embraces that absolute, possesses an infinite variety of aspects of which now one, now another, may present itself. In like manner, he who believes may pass through different phases. Consequently, the formulae too, which we call dogmas, must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. An immense collection of sophisms this, that ruins and destroys all religion. Dogma is not only able, but ought to evolve and to be changed. This is strongly affirmed by the Modernists, and as clearly flows from their principles. For amongst the chief points of their teaching is this which they deduce from the principle of vital immanence; that religious formulas, to be really religious and not merely theological speculations, ought to be living and to live the life of the religious sentiment. 

This is not to be understood in the sense that these formulas, especially if merely imaginative, were to be made for the religious sentiment; it has no more to do with their origin than with number or quality; what is necessary is that the religious sentiment, with some modification when necessary, should vitally assimilate them. In other words, it is necessary that the primitive formula be accepted and sanctioned by the heart; and similarly the subsequent work from which spring the secondary formulas must proceed under the guidance of the heart. Hence it comes that these formulas, to be living, should be, and should remain, adapted to the faith and to him who believes. Wherefore if for any reason this adaptation should cease to exist, they lose their first meaning and accordingly must be changed. And since the character and lot of dogmatic formulas is so precarious, there is no room for surprise that Modernists regard them so lightly and in such open disrespect.

 And so they audaciously charge the Church both with taking the wrong road from inability to distinguish the religious and moral sense of formulas from their surface meaning, and with clinging tenaciously and vainly to meaningless formulas whilst religion is allowed to go to ruin. Blind that they are, and leaders of the blind, inflated with a boastful science, they have reached that pitch of folly where they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true nature of the religious sentiment; with that new system of theirs they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, condemned by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can rest and maintain truth itself. (See Pascendi Dominici Gregis #13). 

What about its theology aspect? According to Gutierrez this science comes from "the people" or from society. The Church became "the People of God." It wasn't about the hierarchy in Rome. Sin was not primarily personal but social, and based on the "injustices and oppressions" from capitalism. For them, the Blessed Virgin Mary was the mother of a revolutionary Jesus. The idea of the priesthood was either the service given by an individual (the priest himself) who builds up socialism or it is the "People of God" as they worship as they like. Thomist theology reflected medieval outdated ideas, while liberal theology reflected the ideas of the French Revolution. Indeed as John XXIII put it when they were opening up the Council "to let in some fresh air."  Gutierrez continues: "a different analysis of reality" and "a new way to do theology based on practice." 

Through this practice is to come the "theology of the future... our approach is to reflect critically on the practice of liberation and not to limp after reality." In other words, he's saying the practice of liberation creates a reality and we are obliged to derive our theology from it. The whole notion of "People of God" that we see over and over again in the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church and other sources of the "New Evangelization" springs from this idea. Ironically, John Paul II was suppose to be against this theology. Like a great many Republicans in the United States, Modernists pretend they are for conservative values when they slip in the very heretical phrases that are pro-liberal.

To sum it up, Liberation Theology is a form of Modernism mixed in with condemned social issues of the Church. It is a system which focuses on the here and now and not on things to come (eternity). It's the opposite of why Man is really on Earth. Just as it was gaining popularity in religious Orders in the 60's and 70's, so too has it permeated itself in current life. We see it's influence in groups like Antifa and BLM. We see its influence in public schools and colleges. We see it in certain colleagues at places of work. Its theology, to those who adhere to its core beliefs, are centered on Man and those things which better him in this life. The idea of liberation brainwashes an individual to think they are perpetually a victim. Unfortunately, weak-minded people fall for it, and weak-willed men throughout the world kowtow to it, because of political correctness and fear of hurting somebody's feelings. In essence it's the "Gospel of Man."

List of Popes condemning Socialism and Communism

Pope Pius IX:

“You are aware indeed, that the goal of this most iniquitous plot is to drive people to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them over to the wicked theories of this Socialism and Communism, by confusing them with perverted teachings.” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849).

Pope Leo XIII:

"There is need for a union of brave minds with all the resources they can command. The harvest of misery is before our eyes, and the dreadful projects of the most disastrous national upheavals are threatening us from the growing power of the socialistic movement. They have insidiously worked their way into the very heart of the community, and in the darkness of their secret gatherings, and in the open light of day, in their writings and their harangues, they are urging the masses onward to sedition; they fling aside religious discipline; they scorn duties; they clamor only for rights; they are working incessantly on the multitudes of the needy which daily grow greater, and which, because of their poverty are easily deluded and led into error. It is equally the concern of the State and of religion, and all good men should deem it a sacred duty to preserve and guard both in the honor which is their due.” (Encyclical Graves de Communi Re, January 18, 1901, n. 21).

Pope St. Pius X:

“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ … What are they going to produce? … A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.” (Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique [“Our Apostolic Mandate”] to the French Bishops, August 25, 1910, condemning the movement Le Sillon).

Pope Benedict XV:

“It is not our intention here to repeat the arguments which clearly expose the errors of Socialism and of similar doctrines. Our predecessor, Leo XIII, most wisely did so in truly memorable Encyclicals; and you, Venerable Brethren, will take the greatest care that those grave precepts are never forgotten, but that whenever circumstances call for it, they should be clearly expounded and inculcated in Catholic associations and congresses, in sermons and in the Catholic press.” (Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914, n. 13).

Pope Pius XI:

“That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.” (Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931, n 117).

"This all too imminent danger, Venerable Brethren, as you have already surmised, is bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which aims at upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization.

In the face of such a threat, the Catholic Church could not and does not remain silent. This Apostolic See, above all, has not refrained from raising its voice, for it knows that its proper and social mission is to defend truth, justice and all those eternal values which Communism ignores or attacks. Ever since the days when groups of "intellectuals" were formed in an arrogant attempt to free civilization from the bonds of morality and religion, Our Predecessors overtly and explicitly drew the attention of the world to the consequences of the de-christianization of human society.

 With reference to Communism, Our Venerable Predecessor, Pius IX, of holy memory, as early as 1846 pronounced a solemn condemnation, which he confirmed in the words of the Syllabus directed against "that infamous doctrine of so-called Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself." Later on, another of Our predecessors, the immortal Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, defined Communism as "the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin." With clear intuition he pointed out that the atheistic movements existing among the masses of the Machine Age had their origin in that school of philosophy which for centuries had sought to divorce science from the life of the Faith and of the Church." (Encyclical Divini Redemptoris # 3 and #4 March 19, 1937).


If Bergoglio ("Pope" Francis I) does end up canonizing Camara, it would come as no surprise because he has said similar sentiments as Camara. He recently said, I always ask myself, where does this labeling come from? For example, when we were returning from Ireland on the plane, a letter from an American prelate erupted that said all kinds of things about me. I try to follow the Gospel. I am much enlightened by the Beatitudes, but above all by the standard by which we will be judged: Matthew 25. “I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was in prison, and you visited me. I was sick and you cared for me.” Is Jesus a communist, then? The problem that is behind this, that you have rightly touched on, is the socio-political reduction of the Gospel message. If I see the Gospel in a sociological way only, yes, I am a communist, and so too is Jesus. Behind these Beatitudes and Matthew 25 there is a message that is Jesus’ own. And that is to be Christian. The communists stole some of our Christian values. [Laughter.] Some others, they made a disaster out of them in an interview from "Fr." Mat Malone.

To say that such a man as Dom Helder Camara is "orthodox in faith" and worthy of sainthood with all the rest of the saints in Heaven, is another example of absurdity. Hence, the reason it cannot be the Catholic Church, because the Catholic Church cannot infallibly canonize a man who throughout his whole life worked tirelessly in his promotion of condemned doctrines from real popes. At best we can hope that he repented at the end of his life and was spared from eternal ruin.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Homeopathy II: Answering My Critics


In my January 9, 2023 post I wrote about the errors of homeopathy. I received quite a pushback from those who swear by the practice. (See The purpose of this post is to answer those critics' objections. I'm sure they are good and well-intentioned people. This is not to be an attack on any person's character who uses homeopathy. I believe homeopathic remedies to be bad for both body and soul. Many of the contentions brought forth by my objectors were "speaking past" what I wrote and not really addressing the problems. I will let this post be my last word on the topic--at least for a long time. You, my dear readers, must decide for yourselves what to do, but I feel I that I have a duty to make the information clearly known. 

Just as in my 1/9/23 post, I want to state that in addition to the sources listed below, I have drawn heavily upon many other papers and books on homeopathy, most notably Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, 6th edition, reprint [1978]; and Martin Gumpert, Hahnemann: The Adventurous Career of a Medical Rebel [1945]. My post is my compilation and condensation of the pertinent sources with my commentary. All credit for the facts herein I give to the appropriate authors, and I take credit only for putting their works into a concise and thorough post.---Introibo

Homeopathy is Based on Occult Principles
An indisputable fact is that the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, was a Freemason and occultist. The objection was raised, "Thomas Edison was a Freemason, does that mean we can't use a lightbulb, or that they are somehow evil?" The objection totally misses the point. Freemasons can do good things, just as anyone else. Freemasonic clerics are also presumed by the Church to confer valid Sacraments, which is why the "Masonic Objection" to Archbishop Lefebvre's ordination by Cardinal Leinart (who was considered to be a high ranking Freemason) holds no water. 

Homeopathy is not bad because it was founded by a Mason/occultist, rather it is bad because it is founded on occult principles. To illustrate: If Satanist Aleister Crowley wrote a book on e.g., marine biology, the book is not thereby Satanic, nor is the subject matter. His Book of the Law, [1909] is evil because the subject matter is Satanic. Hence, there is a difference between a book written by a Satanist and a Satanic book.  Likewise, homeopathy is not simply made by an occultist, but is based on occult principles.

As I wrote in my last homeopathy post, some homeopathy "medicines" are diluted to the point where they no longer exist. You're basically drinking ordinary water.  How can a substance that, in some cases, is literally no longer present be stronger than when it's present? How can a dilute substance be stronger than the same substance less diluted? Hahnemann reasoned we must be dealing with energy, not matter. If one can really produce dramatic healings with virtually no physical medicine, then we must be dealing in the realm of a vital force, or some spiritual power that resides within matter itself.
(See Hahnemann, Organon, pgs. 112-113; See also Yogi Ramacharaka, The Science of Psychic Healing, reprint [1937], p. 104). 

He concluded that homeopathy must produce spiritual medicines, not physical ones.

If so, how could spiritual medicines affect and cure physical diseases? Apparently, they could not; the only way a spiritual medicine could work on a physical illness was if a physical disease was only a symptom of a much deeper spiritual disease. Hahnemann thus concluded that disease was not ultimately physical in nature but “spiritual.” Therefore, because disease represents an improper function or imbalance of vital force or energy, it must be cured by a like healing or realignment of energy. This, he believed, was accomplished by medicines prepared homeopathically.

Therefore, homeopathic medicines are spiritual, energetic medicines, not physical medicines, and the homeopath works ultimately with energies, not physical disease. In his Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann declares the following:

The diseases of man are not caused by any [material] substance,… any disease-matter, but… they are solely spirit-like (dynamic) derangements of the spirit-like power (the vital principle) that animates the human body. Homeopathy knows that a cure can only take place by the reaction of the vital force against the rightly chosen remedy that has been ingested. (See Hahnemann, Organon, p. 18). 

He continues, ...the true healing art is… to effect an alteration in… energetic automatic vital force… whereby the vital force is liberated and enabled to return to the normal standard of health and to its proper function…. Homeopathy teaches us how to effect this. (Ibid., p. 67). 

Once Hahnemann believed he had discovered that the true cause of illness and disease was based in energy, not matter, his hostility toward the medical profession re-doubled.

They only fancied that they could discover the cause of disease; they did not discover it, however, as it is not perceptible and not discoverable. For as far the greatest number of diseases are of dynamic (spiritual) origin and dynamic (spiritual) nature, their cause is therefore not perceptible to the senses; so they [doctors] exerted themselves to imagine one… (See Ibid., p. 32)

Unfortunately, once Hahnemann entered the realm of “spirit,” all bets were off; he could never really know the true cause of disease. He could never again practice medicine based on the physical body in the way the average physician does. He even confessed,

It is the morbidly affected vital energy alone that produces diseases. … How the vital force causes the organism to display morbid phenomena [symptoms], that is, how it produces disease, it would be of no practical utility to the physician to know, and will forever remain concealed from him…. (See Ibid., pgs. 99, 102).

Thus, for Hahnemann, There was nothing he would ignore except the immaterial, meta­physical sources of illness for nothing could be ever known about how disease originates. (See Martin Gumpert, Hahnemann: The Adventurous Career of a Medical Rebel [1945], pg. 137).

Here is the fundamental problem between classical homeopathy and modern medicine: physicians are trained to painstakingly uncover the root cause of disease, but Hahnemann maintains the entire procedure is worthless. Hahnemann again confessed,

It is unnecessary for the cure to know how the vital force produces the symptoms. To regard those diseases that are not surgical as [physical] … is an absurdity which has rendered allopathy so pernicious….It is only by the spiritual influences… that our spirit-like vital force can become ill; and in like manner, only by the spirit-like… operation of medicines that it can be again restored to health. (See Hahnemann, Organon, pg. 21, cf. pg. 112). 

The spirit-like operation of medicines is how homeopathy claims to cure. Hahnemann taught that:

Homeopathic Dynamizations are processes by which the medicinal properties, which are latent in natural substances while in their crude state, become aroused, and then become enabled to act in an almost spiritual manner on our life;... (See The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homeopathic Cure—Theoretical Part, trans, Louis H. Tafel,  [1976], pg. 17). 

In speaking of the “healing energy” of his medicines, he freely admitted such energy did not reside in the “corporeal atoms” of the substances themselves:

That smallest dose can therefore contain almost entirely only the pure, freely-developed, conceptual medicinal energy, and bring about only dynamically such great effects as can never be reached by the crude medicinal substance itself taken in large doses. It is not in the corporeal atoms of these highly dynamized medicines,… that the medicinal energy is found. (See Hahnemann, Organon, pg. 101). 

Finally, he confessed that homeopathy alone could restore the vital force to its proper func­tioning, increase its energetic powers for healing, and that such powers had divine origin;

Only homeopathic medicine can give this superior power to the invalidated vital force….
We gradually cause and compel this instinctive vital force to increase its energies by degrees, and to increase them more and more, and at last to such a degree that it becomes far more powerful than the original disease….The fundamental essence of this spiritual vital principle, imparted to us men by the infinitely merciful Creator, is incredibly great…. (See Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases, pgs. 14-15). 

In essence, Hahnemann taught that diseases are simply too profound and spiritual for any physician to ever locate them by scientific instruments or specific tests; furthermore, classical homeopaths would claim that any modern “scientifically oriented” homeopathic physician who does so is only deceiving himself. Diseases are the result of energy imbalance, and it is the energy imbalance that must be corrected. Moreover, what "fundamental essence of this spiritual vital principle, imparted to us men by the infinitely merciful Creator" is this Mason talking about...the soul?  This is the occult principle of homeopathy. There's no getting around it. 

Three Levels of Occult Homeopathy
Homeopaths can be divided into three categories: (1) the traditional homoeopath who largely follows the unscientific and occultic theories of the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann; (2) the scientifically and/or parapsychological oriented homeopath who attempts to bring homeopathy into the twenty-first century, including, however, the suspect practice of “infinitely” diluting its medications; and (3) the “demythologized” homeopathist who thinks homeopathic medicines may work by unknown principles but questions that homeopathic medicines can be effective in dilutions so high that none of the original medicine remains. They sometimes invoke quantum physics as an explanation. 
(See David S. Sobel, ed., Ways of Health: Wholistic Approaches to Ancient and Contemporary Medicine [1979], pgs. 301-305).

The traditional homeopath generally follows the teachings and philosophy of Samuel Hahnemann, offering the least amount of revision, if any, in light of modern scientific knowledge. This group almost blindly accepts all or most of Hahnemann’s ideas and is the most overtly reactionary, anachronistic, and occultic among the three. They readily prescribe ho­meopathic medicines in such high dilutions that not a single molecule of the original substance remains. They believe that the homeopathic practice of repetitive shaking and diluting the sub­stance somehow energizes it to become an effective medicine. They may employ astrology, radionics devices, pendulums, or spiritistic revelations in their work.

The second category is comprised of both scientifically oriented homeopaths and parapsychologically oriented practitioners. The scientific homeopath usually operates in con­junction with scientific medicine and believes that homeopathy works on the basis of physical principles that have not yet been discovered. This group thinks science will one day prove the truth and efficacy of homeopathy, but they have no idea how this will be accomplished. 

Even in the third category of "scientific homeopath," problems remain in the classification of their practices. Many of them still maintain that homeopathy is only effective in such high dilutions that not a single molecule of the homeopathic medicine remains. This raises the issue of "are they really scientific"? The appeal to quantum physics fails since  neither the actions of sub-atomic particles, nor their observed paradoxes, are applicable to the homeopathic claim that infinite dilutions of a substance somehow produce extremely powerful medicines. 

Some critics told me homeopathy is like antivenom for a snakebite. Antivenom is traditionally made by collecting venom from the relevant animal and injecting small amounts of it into a domestic animal. The antibodies that form are then collected from the domestic animal's blood and purified. Versions are available for spider bites, snake bites, fish stings, and scorpion stings. Antivenom is therefore something, not something diluted to the point of nothing. The analogy fails. 

Vaccinations allegedly demonstrate the “like cures like” principle because an individual is immunized against a disease by giving him a small part of that which causes the disease. Allergies allegedly demonstrate that substances which are often in a very weak concentration can produce very powerful and even violent reactions in the human body. Hormones and biocatalysts also demonstrate that minute amounts of a substance can powerfully affect the physical organism.

Homeopaths will cite illustrations. One milligram of acetylcholine dissolved in 500,000 gallons of blood will lower a cat’s blood pressure. Pure penicillin will inhibit the development of some microorganisms even when it is diluted at one part to fifty million; the thyroid hormone is effective at one part per ten trillion of blood plasma, etc.

The problem with these illustrations is that even if they were legitimate applications, they could still not prove homeopathy. They could only suggest it might be true in theory; but, in fact, they are usually not even legitimate applications.

Vaccinations and homeopathic remedies work on entirely different principles and have different effects. Vaccinations deal with physical substances designed to stimulate the production of specific antibodies to act against specific microbes. It is scientifically demonstrated that they are effective in this.

How does this have anything to do with homeopathy? Homeopathic treatments are not intended to stimulate antibodies, do not produce them, and, in fact, often do not contain even a single molecule of the alleged medicine. Vaccinations work on a physical, material level; homeopathic treatments work on an entirely non-physical level, allegedly altering the “vital force” of the body. Or, they claimed to work in a scientifically undemonstrated manner supposedly acting on the immune system in some unknown way. Nevertheless, such supposed action is not much different from occult magick; magick is also scientifically undemonstrated and works in an unknown manner (think: Reiki, etc.). 

In the cases of allergies, hormones, and biocatalysts, we are again dealing with the demon­strated effect of known material substances on the body. They are proven to work as claimed.

Homeopathic medicines or effects do not work as claimed; they are not material, not demonstrated, and probably never can be demonstrated.

In addition, although hormones, biocatalysts, and the entities producing allergies are much smaller than tiny grains of sand, they are gigantic suns in comparison with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic remedies are infinitely more minute or even non-existent, yet such “medicines” of homeopathy are said to work even when none of the original medicine remains.

Other Objections Answered
  • Homeopathy has worked for over 150 years. I've seen [insert names] cured. 
Reply: Claims to healing are cheap; proof is another matter. So then how do we really know it was homeopathy that cured any practitioner’s patients when there is no proof? Often the anecdotal evidence is the weakest of all because it is wholly uncontrolled and subject to the errors of observation or logic of both patient and practitioner. Astrologic medicine has made similar claims for much longer than one hundred and fifty years. Astrologers also think their practices have served as the basis for successful astrological treatment of disease. But, like homeopaths, they are wrong and have been proven wrong.

  • There are scientific studies that prove homeopathy effective.
Reply: No, there isn't. The same old disproven studies are trotted out. All extensive reviews and meta-studies conclude that homeopathy is a mere placebo effect at best. It is pseudo-science. (See 

  • It can't be a placebo effect, because homeopathy works on infants and dogs which don't have use of reason. 
Reply: If such an effect had really been proven, I think everyone would know it. It would have spurred a multi-billion-dollar research program, and homeopathy would have been accepted long ago. For Americans, the discovery of a dramatic new healing power for their infants and pets would hardly go unnoticed. Furthermore, corporate interests (Big Pharma) would have been secured by the promise of vast profits in the neo-natal industry and veterinarian care. Such a discovery would have caused a public sensation from the implications alone. Interestingly, homeopaths often appeal to the "Big Pharma Is Against Us" conspiracy theory, yet in this case they dismiss obvious and huge profits that could be gained by Big Pharma. 

  • Modern medicine (often called by the archaic "allopathic" medicine) gave us the COVID vaccines and other scams.
Reply: That modern medicine has produced bad things; CONCEDED. That everything modern medicine has produced is bad; DENIED. Let's face facts: (1) modern food with all its chemicals and processing is the worst food in history; (2) the pollution of the air, (especially around major cities) is the worst ever; (3) the stresses of modern life are the worst ever--and YET people are living longer on average--than ever! We can attribute this to (a) homeopathy, (b) modern medical screenings, surgeries and medicines; (c) Divine intervention; or (d) something else. Since most people don't use homeopathy, choice (a) can be dismissed. If someone wants to assert Divine intervention, I'd like to see their proof. If something else, what is it and what facts support it? In the absence of such evidence I must conclude the answer is (b). 
  • The FDA regulates homeopathy. It's OK.
Here's what the FDA has to say:
On December 6, 2022, FDA issued a final guidance, Homeopathic Drug Products, that describes the agency’s approach to prioritizing regulatory actions for homeopathic products posing the greatest risk to patients. The FDA is prioritizing specific categories of drugs, such as those intended for populations at greater risk for adverse reactions. There are currently no FDA-approved products labeled as homeopathic, and the agency cannot ensure these drugs meet standards for safety, effectiveness, and quality. Previously, the FDA warned the public about homeopathic products, including those containing a toxic substance and ones recalled due to contamination.  

(See Emphasis mine). Doesn't sound too reassuring, does it? 
  • Even if occult, you can take homeopathic medicine as long as you bless it with holy water or touch it to some other sacramental.
This is tempting God. To knowingly involve yourself with something based on occult principles and expect God to protect you in spite of your knowledge and consent is ludicrous. Do you think it OK to read the Satanic Bible as long as you sprinkle the pages with holy water? How about reading it through sunglasses blessed by a priest? It's as bad as someone who thinks wearing a Brown Scapular is a license to sin. Wear the Scapular and live like a heathen--then expect to be given the grace of Final Perseverance. It doesn't work like that. 

Homeopathy is just plain bad. Think of people who may neglect real medical treatment for this sham and find out (God forbid) too late that what could have been cured can no longer be. Waiting for a diluted nothing to cure something resulted in real harm. I'll repeat what I wrote in the conclusion of my last homeopathy post: Do not seek the services of some homeopath and warn anyone who does go of the inherent peril. None of the claimed evidences offered in support of homeopathy, theoretical or practical, proves that homeopathy is an effective medical procedure. Not only does homeopathy fail to operate under the principles of scientific medicine, it may cause bodily harm and involve one, unwittingly, in the occult that can lead to demonic possession. 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Contending For The Faith---Part 12


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 has 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.

The "Fine-Tuning" (Teleological) Argument for the Existence of God

To My Readers: The information in this post is condensed and presented by me, but the content is that of the brilliant philosophical minds which produced it. I wish to acknowledge the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern proponents of the Teleological Argument, including (but not limited to) Robin Collins, William Dembski, William Lane Craig, and John Leslie. The work belongs to them, and I take no credit for any of it.---Introibo

The Fine-Tuning Argument is presented thus:

1. Every complex design has a designer.

2. Everywhere people look in the universe, they find evidence of complex design. 

3. Therefore, the universe had a Designer.

Again, if the first two premises are true, then so is the third (conclusion). Before going further, it must be specified what is meant by complex design. Here are three tests  that will be used to determine whether or not something is truly designed, as opposed to being the result of natural forces.

1. Is it simple or complex? 

2. Is it just orderly or does it also convey some kind of information? 

3. Does it seem to have a purpose?

Test #1: Whether the design is simple or complex.

An example of what is meant by simple and complex can be made: A mountain, even if picturesque and beautiful, has a simple form that’s explained by the forces of nature—wind, rain, ice, and snow, for instance, have shaped its outline. By contrast, specifically, picture Mount Rushmore, which famously and intricately displays the faces of four American presidents. These very complex features cannot be the result of natural causes—even if we didn’t know who caused the design, obviously someone planned and designed the faces we see. 

Test #2: Does the Design Convey Information?

Here’s an example of order: DXDXDXDXDXDXDXDXDX. Everything is organized into an orderly pattern but there’s no information—it makes no sense and conveys no message. By contrast, seeing "SEND HELP" written in the sand at the beach, clearly contains information. Information is a mark of design, and design is a mark of an intelligent being. In the case of the universe, we’ll call the intelligent being the Designer. For one more example, first picture a canyon that over time has been eroded into certain patterns. Then picture a rock wall with hieroglyphics that depict birds and people and homes. The features of the canyon are the result of time, wind, water, and erosion. The hieroglyphics were made by design. They were designed by a designer, and convey information (even if people don’t understand it).

Test #3: Does the Design Have a Purpose?

Sometimes no one can be sure about a design’s intended purpose. For example, people have not always understood the meaning or purpose of hieroglyphics. But they did know it served a purpose: it was conveying some kind of information. Once the code was broken, we could understand the meaning and therefore the purpose. In the case above of the message in the sand, the purpose is pretty clear. Someone wants someone else to know that they need help.

With this understanding of design, the first premise can be established.

First Premise: Every Complex Design has a Designer.

There is no need to search long or hard for examples of design. Among the nearly countless things people design are homes, buildings, bridges, factories, cars, engines, planes, watches, computers, cameras, paintings, sculptures, and clothes. All of these need someone who plans them out, whether an architect, a painter, an engineer, or other. In fact, though certainly some designs work better than others, everything people make is designed. This point is easy to prove. Everything that’s complex, conveys information, and has a purpose is designed. Where design is found, a designer will likewise be found.

Second Premise: Everywhere People Look in the Universe, They Find Evidence of Complex Design. 

Just like in the everyday world, in the universe design can be found virtually everywhere. To determine whether it was designed, and thus whether there’s a Designer, the three tests will be applied to it.

APPLYING TEST #1 FOR DESIGN: SIMPLE OR COMPLEX? Consider the cell. Every life form, including plants and animals, is made up of cells. The human body is composed of many different types, such as blood cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, and bone cells. Until recently these cells were essentially a mystery to scientists. This was because the early microscopes weren’t powerful enough to see inner cellular details, cells appeared to be very simple. However, modern technology has shown scientists the details inside a given cell, and initially they were stunned to see the complexity of even the simplest cell. It is known in 2023 that a single cell is made up of multiple complex parts. Consider the human body, which has various internal parts—such as the stomach, heart, brain, liver, kidneys— called organs. Each has a unique duty to perform. While the organs interact with one another, they each perform their own function as well.

Cells also have parts known as organelles, or “little organs.” These also interact, and each has a job. For instance, some organelles clean up the cell, others help make proteins, and others help the cell divide. The cell is the simplest of life forms, yet the more scientists learn about it, the more they see its complexity. Each and every cell provides good evidence of complex design.


 In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered DNA. Those letters stand for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is found inside each individual cell of every plant, animal, and human being. Visually, DNA can be pictured like two sides of a twisting ladder, steps (rungs) and all. DNA is to the cell what our brain is to our body. It’s where the cell stores all the information necessary for it (the cell) to function. The more scientists study DNA, the more they realize how much info is stored there. Like a highly detailed manual, DNA tells each cell what to make and how to make it. Hair, muscle, nerves, blood, bone cells—DNA runs them all. DNA also contains instructions that tell each cell how to replicate itself and when to divide. For life to continue, DNA must reproduce itself daily inside special cells in a person’s body, since cells do not always have a very long life; that is, some cells exist for a short time and then die. (Other kinds of cells, such as nerve cells, divide inside the body until they reach a certain level of maturity, and then they live until the person dies). 

If cells didn’t know how to divide, they’d eventually die out, and ultimately so would humanity. Without DNA, and all the information it contains, life would not be possible. DNA works like extremely complex software. It cannot be seen by the human eye, yet it stores more data in a smaller space than our most advanced supercomputers. The DNA in the human brain contains more information than hundreds of encyclopedia volumes. 

DNA certainly meets the first two tests: It’s highly complex and contains detailed information. But this raises some questions. What’s the source of the information and instructions stored in DNA? What determines how its messages are sent? How does the cell’s machinery know to build proteins? Who or what tells its machinery how to divide? There aren’t many choices as to the answers. Everyone knows that information comes only from a mind; all information is the result of someone’s mind, somewhere. Look at any email, article, book, or code—someone had to plan and write it. There is an intelligent mind behind each one. But DNA is far more than an email or a book. It’s a phenomenal amount of organized data. All these marks of design mean somewhere a Designer is behind it.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, a founder of the Center for Science and Culture (part of the Discovery Institute), said there is a mind behind the information found in DNA “that’s far greater than our own—a conscious, purposeful, rational, intelligent designer, who’s amazingly creative. There’s no getting around it.” (See Stephen C. Meyer, “The Explanatory Power of Design: DNA and the Origin of Information” in William A. Dembski, ed., Mere Creation, 1998, pg. 244). Even the detestable Bill Gates admits, “DNA is like a software program, only much more complex than anything we’ve ever devised.” (See Ibid, pg. 225). 


The final test will show the degree to which the universe has been designed for a purpose: that of sustaining human life. It's been noted that if something is designed, it is normally designed for a purpose, even if just for fun. Consider cars. They’re all designed, and their primary purpose is getting people from one place to another. Even so, today’s cars are designed to do more. They’re also designed to get someone from one place to another safely, and in comfort, and with options and amenities. Car designers leave a lot of evidence that they want the driver and passengers to arrive securely while having enjoyed the trip.

Just think of all the things designed into today’s cars. Seats for our comfort. Air bags for our safety. GPS for keeping us on track. Multimedia centers (with premium sound and even HD) for our enjoyment. Data panels for accurate and precise information. Wheels and a finely tuned engine to ensure we finish our journey in good shape. Great care is being taken to design cars for easier, safer, and more enjoyable road travel.

The Universe Appears to Be Designed for Life

The universe also seems to have been planned and designed with a particular purpose in mind: to sustain life on Earth. In fact, it has been designed and prepared as though humans were expected to show up. Here are three supporting facts:

1. The Beginning of the Universe was Designed for Life.

That from the very beginning the universe was suited to allow for life can be seen in the fact that its original expansion rate was perfectly balanced. If the universe had expanded faster than it did, no planets could have formed. 

2. The Galaxy was Designed for Life. 

There are billions of galaxies in the universe. Also, there are different kinds of galaxies. Human beings live in a spiral galaxy, the kind most suited for life. Other kinds, like elliptical or irregular galaxies, cannot support life. Some are too close to each other. Others are too hot or too unstable. Only the kind of galaxy like the Milky Way in which we find ourselves provides life with the best chance of beginning or survival.

3. Earth's Location in the Galaxy was Designed for Life.

Spiral galaxies look like they have “arms,” and Earth is located in a perfect spot between two spiral “arms.” If the planet were closer to our galaxy’s “arms,” it could not have formed. If  Earth were too close to the galaxy’s nucleus, life could not survive the deadly radiation bursts and gamma rays found there. Furthermore, Earth is located in what’s known as a “safe zone,” a narrow area outside of which life cannot exist. For example, if this planet were any closer to our sun, it would burn up. If it were any farther from it, even by as little as 2 to 5 percent, it would be too cold to sustain life.

Anticipating the Atheistic Response: Natural Selection Explains Design Via Evolution

The typical atheist response is to assert natural selection from evolution is responsible for humans appearing on Earth. The brilliance of the Teleological/Fine-Tuning argument, is that the objection fails because the fine-tuning took place at the beginning of the universe, prior to any claim for natural selection. Scientists used to think that whatever the early universe might have been like, given sufficient time and luck, intelligent life forms would evolve somewhere. As a result of scientific discoveries over the last fifty (50) years or so, we know that assumption was wrong; the exact opposite is true.

Astronomers have been stunned by the discovery of complex and delicate balance of initial conditions must be present in the Big Bang itself if the universe is to permit the existence of intelligent life anywhere at all in the cosmos. This delicate balance is the focal point of the argument today. 

Two Kinds of Fine-Tuning

There are two kinds of fine-tuning. The first involves constants of nature, and the second involves certain arbitrary physical quantities.

(a) The constants of nature. What is a constant? When laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain symbols which stand for unchanging quantities such as the force of gravity, and the electromagnetic force. These unchanging quantities are called constants. There could be different universes governed by the same laws of nature, even though these constants had very different values. So the actual values of the constants are independent of nature's laws; depending on the values of those constants, universes governed by the same laws of nature will look very different. 

(b) Arbitrary physical quantities. There are certain arbitrary quantities in the initial conditions of the universe on which the laws of nature operate upon, but those laws did not create the quantities. An example would be the amount of entropy in the early universe. It's just a given in the Big Bang as an initial condition, and the laws of nature take over and develop from there. If the initial quantities had been different, then the laws would produce a very different universe. 

These quantities and constants must fall into an incredibly narrow range to produce a life-permitting universe. Scientific laymen might think that if the constants and quantities had assumed different values, then other forms of life might well have evolved. This is not the case. By “life” scientists mean that property of organisms to take in food, extract energy from it, grow, adapt to their environment, and reproduce. The point is that in order for the universe to permit life so defined, whatever form organisms might take, the constants and quantities have to be incomprehensibly fine-tuned. In the absence of fine-tuning, not even atomic matter or chemistry would exist, not to speak of planets where life might evolve. 

Sometimes atheists will object that in universes governed by different laws of nature, such disastrous consequences might not result from varying the values of the constants and quantities. The Catholic apologist needn’t deny that possibility. Maybe in a universe governed by different equations, the gravitational constant G could have a greatly different value and yet life still exist. However, such universes are irrelevant to the argument. All that is needed to be shown is that among possible universes governed by the same equations (but having different values of the constants and quantities) as the actual universe, life-permitting universes are extraordinarily improbable.

This can all be expressed in the following syllogism:

1) The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. 

2) It is not due to physical necessity or chance. 

3) Therefore, it is due to design.

Premise #1 The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. 

"Fine-tuning” is a neutral expression that has to do with the constants and quantities’ being just right for the existence of intelligent life. There is little doubt that the universe is fine-tuned in this neutral sense. Even if some of the evidence of fine-tuning should prove to be mistaken, the multiplicity of lines of evidence for the fine-tuning of certain constants and quantities as well as the number and variety of the constants and quantities that exhibit fine-tuning give ample grounds for thinking that fine-tuning is here to stay and cannot be just written off as a colossal blunder on the part of the scientific community.

A person is justified in thinking that premise 1 includes all the alternatives, since necessity and chance seem to exhaust the alternatives to design.

Premise #2 It is not due to physical necessity or chance. 

Can the cosmic fine-tuning be plausibly attributed to physical necessity? According to this alternative, the constants and quantities must have the values they do, and there was really no chance or little chance of the universe’s not being life-permitting. Now, on the face of it, this alternative seems extraordinarily implausible. It requires someone to believe that a life-prohibiting universe is virtually physically impossible. However, it does seem possible. If the primordial matter and anti-matter had been differently proportioned, if the universe had expanded just a little more slowly, if the entropy of the universe were marginally greater, any of these adjustments and more would have prevented a life-permitting universe, yet all seem perfectly possible physically. The person who maintains that the universe must be life-permitting is taking a radical line which requires strong proof. Yet there is none; this alternative is simply put forward as a bare possibility.

What, then, about chance? Some people say that the existence of any universe is equally improbable and yet some universe must exist. The fine-tuning of the universe is said to be like a lottery in which any individual’s winning is fantastically and equally improbable but which some individual has to win. Just as the winner of such a lottery should not conclude that the lottery must be rigged just because he won, so we should not conclude that there is a cosmic designer just because our universe exists. The fallacy in this reasoning is that we are not trying to explain the existence of our universe; rather it is the existence of a life-permitting universe that demands explanation.

Thus, the proper lottery analogy to the fine-tuning of the universe is a lottery in which a single white ball is mixed into a billion billion billion black balls, and a ball is then selected randomly from the collection. True, any ball that rolls down the chute will be fantastically and equally improbable; nevertheless, it is overwhelmingly more probable that whichever ball rolls down the chute, it will be black rather than white. Similarly, the existence of any particular universe is equally improbable; but it is incomprehensibly more probable that whichever universe exists will be life-prohibiting rather than life-permitting. It is the enormous, specified improbability of a life-permitting universe that presents the hurdle for the chance hypothesis.

In order to defeat the teleological argument, some atheists posit a Multiverse Hypothesis, which is essentially an effort on the part of partisans of the chance hypothesis to multiply their probabilistic resources in order to reduce the improbability of the occurrence of fine-tuning. The very fact that otherwise sober scientists/philosophers must resort to such a remarkable hypothesis is a sort of backhanded compliment to the design hypothesis. It shows that the fine-tuning does cry out for explanation. Nevertheless, is the Multiverse Hypothesis as plausible as the design hypothesis?

Two problems with a Multiverse: (1) It is pure speculation with no scientific confirmation. (2) Dr. Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of our universe’s low entropy condition obtaining by chance alone are on the order of 1:10(10)(123), an inconceivable number. If our universe were but one member of a collection of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe.

The conclusion is now inevitable (#3): It therefore seems that the fine-tuning of the universe is plausibly due neither to physical necessity nor to chance. It follows that the fine-tuning is therefore due to design, unless the design hypothesis can be shown to be even more implausible than its competitors. The universe was designed by a Supreme Intelligence we call God.


The Teleological (or Fine-Tuning) Argument is a strong proof for the existence of God. It should be no surprise that a universe created by an Intelligent Designer will show its design so as to point to Him. " For I will behold Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers: the moon and the stars which Thou hast founded." (Psalm 8:4).