Monday, July 15, 2024

Catholic To A Certain Degree? The Heretical Ecclesiology Of Vatican II

 

With all the errors of Bergoglio abounding, the Vatican II sect apologists certainly have their work cut out for them. Yet all can be traced back to one huge heresy, as the root of the bad tree bringing forth bad fruit. At the heart of the Modernist heresy that imbues the sect is the false ecclesiology taught at the Robber Council in Lumen Gentium. Ecclesiology is that branch of theology which deals with the doctrine on the nature of the One True Church. Pope Pius XII and all of his predecessors in the Petrine Office always taught that the Church of Christ is the Roman Catholic Church. 

On November 21, 1964, Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) signed and promulgated the heretical Dogmatic Constitution on the Church known as Lumen Gentium (LG). This document broke with all prior Church teaching and introduced what was to be known as "communio ecclesiology." A  new and heretical idea was adopted that the Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are not one and the same entity. The Church of Christ "subsists" in its fullness within the Roman Catholic Church, because it possesses all of the "elements" of the Church of Christ. However, sects have some elements of the Church of Christ which subsists there "partially." To have all the elements is best, but to have just some is very good too, and are a means of salvation. 

Paragraph #8 of LG states: This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

My attention was recently brought to a couple of articles written last year for Crisis Magazine. The first article, written by Kennedy Hall, acknowledges the absurdity of  communio ecclesiology, yet he draws the false conclusion that the "popes" and Council which produced it cannot be illegitimate. A week later, Hall was criticized by Aaron Debusschere, who castigates Kennedy for not being Modernist enough and claims that communio theology was taught "long before Vatican II." 
(See crisismagazine.com/opinion/are-there-degrees-of-communion). 

This post will demonstrate that communio ecclesiology was never taught by the Church, and Vatican II propagated heresy, creating a new sect.  

The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ

The greatest and most comprehensive exposition of traditional ecclesiology was put forth in the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi of His Holiness Pope Pius XII in 1943. The first sentence of said encyclical begins with the following affirmation: The doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, was first taught us by the Redeemer Himself. Hence, the doctrine is from Christ and is therefore true. The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. The One True Church of Christ is the Catholic Church and co-extensive with it. 

In order to be a member of the Church, four conditions must obtain: Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.(para. #22; Emphasis mine).  A member of the Catholic Church must therefore be (1) baptized, (2) profess the true Faith (not heretics), (3) not separated from unity (not schismatics) and (4) not excluded by legitimate authority (not excommunicated). 

Those are the members of the Church. As the encyclical explains, a person can be united to the Church by a desire to belong:

As you know, Venerable Brethren, from the very beginning of Our Pontificate, We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church, solemnly declaring that after the example of the Good Shepherd We desire nothing more ardently than that they may have life and have it more abundantly. Imploring the prayers of the whole Church We wish to repeat this solemn declaration in this Encyclical Letter in which We have proclaimed the praises of the "great and glorious Body of Christ" and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church. (para. #103). 

These are not members of the Church, but they are within the Church by desire, but cannot be assured of remaining within the Church unto salvation for they are deprived of "those many heavenly gifts and helps" only available to members of the Church. Remember, the dogma is "Outside the Church, No Salvation," and not "Without Church Membership, No Salvation." 

This is summarized perfectly by theologian Hanahoe:

...in order to be saved, a person must in fact (in re) be visibly conjoined to the Church, i.e., be a member, or, he must, at least intend (in voto) to become a member of the Church. This intention to become a member of the Church may be explicit or implicit. The intention is explicit when a person is actually under instruction preparing to enter Catholic unity [i.e., catechumen]. On the other hand the intention is implicit if a person, while invincibly ignorant of the Church, possesses sanctifying grace. The fact that he is in the state of grace indicates that he has a sincere will of using all the means which God has established; even though he does not know explicitly single means, he implicitly receives all. This person is then unknowingly participating in the life of the Church---he is saved through the Church. 

Pius IX indicates what may well be considered an implicit intention of entering the Catholic Church:

There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments. (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, para. #7). 

(See Catholic Ecumenism, [1953], pg. 108; Emphasis in original). 

It must be noted that what matters is what state the soul is in at the moment of death. "But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved." (St. Matthew 24:13). God can infuse anything lacking in such a person (Divine light of faith and grace) prior to the moment of death, ensuring salvation. Theologian Hanahoe goes on to explain exactly how hard it is for those within the Church, and not members, to be saved:

However, the position of such a person is not completely secure, because once his initial ignorance is no longer invincible and his conscience, under grace, moves him to enter the Church, or at least, study its claims, then the issue is formally presented to him. If he refuses to examine further or does not seek to enter the Church, his implicit intention is dissolved, because he has withdrawn himself from the sincere will of using all the means which God wills; his condition is changed because his will towards God is changed. If he perseveres in this condition he cannot be saved. (Ibid; Emphasis in original).

Does this mean that those who are within the Church by desire are "partially" Catholic? Debusschere, cited above, seems to think so:

Thus, for [theologian] Fenton and the neo-scholastics of the pre-conciliar era, they may not be members of the Church—this is black and white—but they do belong to the Church and are even within the Church. Such ones must have some degree of communion with the Church that is not “full.”

Wrong. There are members of the Church and those united in desire. Both are within the Church; some by virtue of baptism as members, and some by virtue of votum or desire. If they did not belong to the Church, salvation would be impossible. Hence, the difference is in the mode of belonging, not by degree or being "partially" in the Church. Note well, that those who are within the Church implicitly are there in spite of their adherence to a false religion and their  ignorance of the One True Church, not because of it. This teaching will change drastically at Vatican II. 

Here is an exemplary summation of Mystici Corporis by theologian King:

Thus the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are identical; the importance of the visible aspect of the Church is not to be minimized; all salvation is caused by the visible Church; there is a sharp distinction between membership and being  related to [within] the Church by desire, though in a given case either can suffice for salvation. (The Necessity of the Church for Salvation in Selected Theological Writings of the Past Century, [1960], pg. 286; Emphasis mine).

The Modernist Attack on Ecclesiology Pre-Vatican II

With the ink on the document barely dry after the signing of Mystici Corporis, the attack on ecclesiology by the Modernist theologians began. The Holy Father hit back a mere seven years later with another theological masterpiece, the encyclical Humani Generis, in 1950. Its purpose was to condemn "some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic Doctrine." 

In paragraph number 27, Pope Pius XII writes:

Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith.

According to theologian King:

...the Holy Father regards these two errors as connected so that "meaningless formula" would, sometimes at least, involve incorrect notions concerning the identity of the Roman Catholic Church and the Mystical Body. By dissociating these two concepts, the former is easily made to appear as inconsequential. 

How can a theologian separate these two concepts? One such way is to:

...overvalue the "Catholic elements" present in non-Catholic religions, considering them means of salvation in themselves. This would effectively reduce the doctrine to a meaningless formula, since there would be no urgent necessity for union with the Roman Catholic Church.  (Ibid, pgs. 290-291; Emphasis mine). 

Also a problem was Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit priest who would react to the Modernists with a heresy that now bears his name: Feeneyism. Feeney was excommunicated in 1953 for denying Baptism of Desire (BOD) and Baptism of Blood (BOB). According to him, no one could be within the Church by desire---not even explicitly. Salvation could only be achieved by Church membership through water Baptism. 

The Modernists would have their day at Vatican II.

It Depends On What You Mean By "Is"

Vatican II sect apologists, like "ecclesiastical Bill Clintons" are telling us the change at the Robber Council from "is" to "subsists in" mean the same thing. (N. B. In August of 1998, then President Bill Clinton was asked whether the statement by his lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, to Judge Susan Webber Wright that, "there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton [and Monica Lewinsky]" was truthful, Bill Clinton replied, "It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is." Clinton explained that if "is" meant "never has been" that is one thing; but, if "is" meant "there is none currently" then the statement by Mr. Bennett was the truth).

First, why the change of the verb? Why not say that the Catholic Church is the One True Church of Jesus Christ as was always done prior to LG in 1964? The original schema on the Church used "is" until the Modernists scrapped it with the help of Roncalli (John XXIII). The reason is summed up in a single word: Ecumenism. Not Catholic ecumenism properly understood, but Modernist ecumenism which seeks to make a one-world religion stripped of the supernatural and ends up being little more than atheism in lofty sounding language. (Read the great Pope St. Pius X's encyclical Pascendi Domenici Gregis to understand the goals of the Modernists). 

Yet Vatican II apologists will insist that "subsists in" really means "is" but in a more precise manner. The following facts give the lie to that contention. Vatican II introduces two heretical novelties: (1) The Church of Christ is NOT co-extensive with the Catholic Church, but is found in false religions, and (2) because of this, the false religion itself--as a corporate body--is a "means of salvation." Remember what was said above, that it is ERROR to "...overvalue the "Catholic elements" present in non-Catholic religions, considering them means of salvation in themselves. This would effectively reduce the doctrine to a meaningless formula, since there would be no urgent necessity for union with the Roman Catholic Church."

The teaching of Vatican II in Unitatis Reditegratio para. #3, brings the teaching of Lumen Gentium to its logical conclusion:
For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them [false religions] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. (Emphasis mine). 

The Church has never taught that false religions, as corporate bodies, can help anyone achieve salvation. Quite to the contrary, they are means of damnation.  


Heretical Theologians Admit the Difference and Rejoice

Avery Dulles

For ecumenical reasons the council distanced itself from the more controversial affirmations of Mystici corporis. Where Pius XII had said that the Mystical Body and the Roman Catholic Church were one and the same thing, Vatican II contented itself with saying that the Church of Christ "subsists in" the Roman Catholic Church—an expression deliberately chosen to allow for the ecclesial reality of other Christian communities. At various points the council seemed to imply that non-Catholic Christians are members of the Body of Christ, and thus of the Church. (See Theological Studies 50 (1989), "A Half Century of Ecclesiology," pg. 430; Emphasis mine). 

Francis Sullivan

(N.B. Fr. Tromp, discussed below, was an approved theologian and anti-Modernist at the Council. Vatican II apologists will state that since theologian Tromp was one of the major drafters of LG and thought "subsists in" could be orthodox, it must be. They are wrong. Tromp was trying to keep out an even more perverse definition of the Modernists and thought "subsists" could be accepted). 

The doctrinal commission accepted Tromp’s suggestion to say subsistit in. Becker argues that it also accepted his understanding of it. But in fact there is good evidence that it did not agree with his understanding of it. For, having accepted the change from est to subsistit in, the doctrinal commission went on to approve another change that the sub-commission had made in the section dealing with the various ways in which the Catholic Church knows itself to be joined with other Christians. The 1963 draft had said of them: “They lovingly believe in Christ, Son of God and Savior, they are sealed with indelible baptism, indeed they recognize and receive all or at least some of the sacraments.” The revised text said: “They are sealed with baptism, by which they are joined with Christ, and indeed they recognize and receive other sacraments in their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities.” The two previous drafts had recognized the presence of sacraments outside the Catholic Church.

Here, for the first time, a conciliar text uses the terms “Churches” and “ecclesiastical” of the communities in which those sacraments are received. The Relatio given for this text shows that the doctrinal commission realized that this language, of which Tromp could hardly have approved, needed to be justified. It said: “The elements that are mentioned regard not only individuals, but also communities; precisely in this fact is located the foundation of the ecumenical movement. Papal documents regularly speak of the separated eastern ‘Churches.’ For Protestants the recent Pontiffs use the term ‘Christian communities.’” If one considers the fact that the draft in which est had been changed to subsistit in was the first one that spoke of “Churches” and “ecclesiastical communities” that are found outside the Catholic Church, one can hardly escape the conclusion that the doctrinal commission did not agree with Tromp, who had forcefully insisted that subsistit in must be understood to be exclusivism, with the consequence that outside the Catholic Church there could be nothing but elements.  (See Theological Studies 67 (2006), "QUAESTIO DISPUTATA A RESPONSE TO KARL BECKER, S.J., ON THE MEANING OF SUBSISTIT IN," pgs. 400-401; Emphasis mine).

Joseph Ratzinger (later "Pope" Benedict XVI):

In an interview to the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, at that time "Cardinal" Ratzinger states:


When the Council Fathers replace the word "is," used by Pius XII, with the word "subsistit," they did so for a very precise reason. The concept expressed by "is" (to be) is far broader than that expressed by "to subsist." "To subsist" is a very precise way of being, that is, to be as a subject, which exists in itself. Thus the Council Fathers meant to say: the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church, but within the latter it acquires, in an incomparable way, the character of a true and proper subject. (Emphasis mine). 

As "pope," Ratzinger approved a document of the Modernist Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (sic) on July 10, 2007 entitled Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church. Over forty years after Lumen Gentium, he's still trying to tell us "subsists" means "is." It reads:

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, "subsistence" means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church,  in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth. It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church. (Emphasis mine)

We now have what an authoritative decision from a man the Vatican II apologists recognize as "pope." He regurgitates the same "elements" nonsense as in Lumen Gentium, and the text makes clear that the Church of Christ is not identical to the Catholic Church! The "Church of Christ" is concretely found on this earth in the Catholic Church, but it is (allegedly) possible for the Church of Christ to be present in the "churches" not yet "fully in communion" with the Catholic Church because of the "elements" of sanctification that they possess. Interestingly, the document does not cite to one single pre-Vatican II source--and with good reason. There is no Catholic doctrine before Vatican II which supports any of this novel (and heretical) teaching. 

Another Nail in the "Subsists in" Coffin: The Magisterium Cannot Teach Ambiguously

Pope Pius VI taught in Auctorum Fidei, of August 28, 1794:

In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.

 Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.

It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions, which are published in the common language for everyone's use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor St. Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.

 In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged. The more freely We embraced a program of complete moderation, the more we foresaw.  (Emphasis mine).

On this basis alone, Lumen Gentium can be dismissed, as almost six decades later, there are "explanations" from "theologians" trying to tell us the "true meaning." We are told "subsists" is a more powerful expression of "is" and nothing has changed--Bill Clinton couldn't have said it more disingenuously.

The Teaching of the One True Church

Here is the correct teaching on ecclesiology:

Pope Pius IX: None [of  false sects], not even taken as a whole, constitutes in any way and are not that one, Catholic Church founded and made by Our Lord and which He wished to create. Further, one cannot say in any way that these societies are either members or parts of that same Church, because they are visibly separated from Catholic Unity(See Iam vos omnes #3; Emphasis mine). 

Pope Leo XIII: Jesus Christ never conceived of nor instituted a Church formed of many communities which were brought together by certain general traits - but which would be distinct one from another and not bound together among themselves by ties which make the Church one and indivisible - since we clearly profess in the Creed of our Faith: " 'I believe in one...Church.' (See Satis Cognitum #4; Emphasis mine). 

Pope Pius XI: It is absurd and ridiculous to say that the Mystical Body can be formed out of separated and disjunctive members, whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head. (See Mortalium Animos #10; Emphasis mine)

  • False sects do not help you to Heaven. If you have all the parts of a car engine except the battery, it takes you no place. Having 99% of a car engine is just as bad as having none. You don't have a working automobile. Likewise, the "elements of sanctification" are all necessary for salvation. Whatever Bible, valid sacraments, Creed, etc., is used by false sects, they are not efficacious unto sanctification and salvation because they are as stolen goods that are not meant to be used outside the One True Church. 
Pope Pius XI:  The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind. (See Mortalium Animos #11)

Pope Leo XIII: The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. (See Satis Cognitum #9)

  • The True Church already possesses fullness of unity. It is not "divided," "separated," or "wounded" because of those who are not united and form false sects. The Church is One. She does not "need" the return of those outside Her fold; they need Her. False sects are just that--sects or groups of people with no right to exist. They are not a "church" and God does not recognize them. 
Pope Pius XI: And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one.... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd," with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment. (See Mortalium Animos #7).

Pope Pius XII: Also they must restrain that dangerous manner of speaking which generates false opinions and fallacious hopes incapable of realization; for example, to the effect that the teachings of the Encyclicals of the Roman Pontiffs on the return of dissidents to the Church, on the constitution of the Church, on the Mystical Body of Christ, should not be given too much importance seeing that they are not all matters of faith, or, what is worse, that in matters of dogma even the Catholic Church has not yet attained the fullness of Christ, but can still be perfected by other religions. (See Instruction "On the Ecumenical Movement" by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, December 20, 1949).

Finally, it must be remembered that while someone may be within the Church who is not a member, that is only known to God in the internal forum. Baptism of Desire is a rare miracle of grace and must not be presumed. Hence, the need for the Great Commission. 

Conclusion
It should be clear that the Church has never taught "partial communion" until Vatican II. The Vatican II sect is an ecumenical, Modernist monstrosity. Anyone who thinks they can be "partially Catholic," will be totally lost. 

Monday, July 8, 2024

The Four Temperaments---Melancholic (Part II)

 

To My Readers: I have received several requests for posts on the subject of The Four Temperaments. This week's post is the third installment to this most important and interesting topic. I will follow-up with other posts so that by the end of 2024, I will have done some justice to presenting the Four Temperaments. 

I want to acknowledge that I take no credit for the posts on this topic. My primary sources will be from theologian Schagemann and his work entitled Manual of Self-Knowledge and Christian Perfection (1913).  Also, the work of theologian Hock The Four Temperaments (1934) will be used throughout this series of posts, with various other sources. I take absolutely no credit whatsoever for the content of this post (or the ones on this topic to follow). All I did was condense the material of these theologians into a terse post that hopefully will be advantageous for  those looking for information, but without time to read an entire book or two from the pre-Vatican II era on the subject. 

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

The Melancholic Temperament--Part II

This post will finish the examination of the melancholic temperament by looking at its "dark side" and how one with this temperament should self-train for spiritual advancement.

Dark Side of the Melancholic Temperament 

1. The melancholic by committing sin falls into the most terrible distress of mind, because in the depth of his heart he is, more than those of other temperaments, filled with a longing desire for God, with a keen perception of the malice and consequences of sin. The consciousness of being separated from God by mortal sin has a crushing effect upon him. If be falls into grievous sin, it is hard for him to rise again, because confession, in which he is bound to humiliate himself deeply. is so hard for him. 

He is also in great danger of falling back into sin; because by his continual brooding over the sins committed he causes new temptations to arise. When tempted he indulges in sentimental moods, thus increasing the danger and the strength of temptations. To remain in a state of sin or even occasionally to relapse into sin may cause him a profound and lasting sadness, and rob him gradually of confidence in God and in himself. He says to himself: "I have not the strength to rise again and God does not help me either by His grace, for He does not love me but wants to damn me." This fatal condition can easily assume the proportion of despair.

2. A melancholic person who has no confidence in God and love for the cross falls into great despondency, inactivity, and even into despair. If he has confidence in God and love for the Crucified, he is led to God and sanctified more quickly by suffering mishaps, calumniation, unfair treatment, etc. But if these two virtues are lacking, his condition is very dangerous and pitiable. If sufferings, although little in themselves, befall him, the melancholic person, who has no confidence in God and love for Christ, becomes downcast and depressed, ill-humored and sensitive. He does not speak, or he speaks very little, is peevish and disconsolate and keeps apart from his fellow men. Soon he loses courage to continue his work, and interest even in his professiona1 occupation. He feels that he has nothing but sorrow and grief. finally this disposition may culminate in actua1 despondency and despair.

3. The melancholic who gives way to sad moods, falls into many faults against charity and becomes a real burden to his fellow men:

a) He easily loses confidence in his fellow men, (especially Superiors, Confessors), because of slight defects which he discovers in them, or on account of corrections in small matters.

 b) He is vehemently exasperated and provoked by disorder or injustice. The cause of his exasperation is often justifiable, but rarely to the degree felt.

 c) He can hardly forgive offenses. The first offense he ignores quite easily. But renewed offenses penetrate deeply into the soul and can hardly be forgotten. Strong aversion easily takes root in his heart against persons from whom he has suffered, or in whom be finds this or that fault. This aversion becomes so strong that he can hardly see these persons without new excitement, that he does not want to speak to them and is exasperated by the very thought of them. Usually this aversion is abandoned only after the melancholic is separated from persons who incurred his displeasure and at times only after months or even years.

d) He is very suspicious. He rarely trusts people and is always afraid that others have a grudge against him. Thus he often and without cause entertains uncharitable and unjust suspicion suspicion about his neighbor, conjectures evil intentions, and fears dangers which do not exist at all. 

e) He sees everything from the dark side. He is peevish, always draws attention to the serious side of affairs, complains regularly about the perversion of people, bad times, downfall of morals, etc. His motto is: Things grow worse all along. Offenses, mishaps, obstacles he always considers much worse than they really are. The consequence is often excessive sadness, unfounded vexation about others, brooding for weeks and weeks on account of real or imaginary insults. 

Melancholic persons who give way to this disposition to look at everything through a dark glass, gradually become pessimists, that is, persons who always expect a bad result; hypochondriacs, that is, persons who complain continually of insignificant ailments and constantly fear grave sickness; misanthropes, that is, persons who suffer from fear and hatred of men.

f) He finds peculiar difficulties in correcting people. As said above he is vehemently excited at the slightest disorder or injustice and feels obliged to correct such disorders, but at the same time he has very little skill or courage in making corrections. He deliberates long on how to express the correction; but when he is about to make it, the words fail him, or he goes about it so carefully, so tenderly and reluctantly that it can hardly be called a correction. 

If the melancholic tries to master his timidity, he easily falls into the opposite fault of shouting his correction excitedly, angrily, in unsuited or scolding words, so that again his reproach loses its effect. This difficulty is the besetting cross of melancholic superiors. They are unable to discuss things with others, therefore, they swallow their grief and permit many disorders to creep in, although their conscience recognizes the duty to interfere. 

Melancholic educators, too, often commit the fault of keeping silent too long about a fault of their charges and when at last they are forced to speak, they do it in such an tuliortunate and harsh manner, that the pupils become discouraged and frightened by such admonitions, instead of being encouraged and directed.

Spiritual Self-Training for the Melancholic Person

1. The melancholic must cultivate great confidence in God and love for suffering, for his spiritual and temporal welfare depend on these two virtues. Confidence in God and love of the Crucified are the two pillars on which he will rest so firmly, that he will not succumb to the most severe trials arising from his temperament. The misfortune of the melancholic consists in refusing to carry his cross; his salvation will be found in the voluntary and joyful bearing of that cross.

 Therefore, he should meditate often on the Providence of God, and the goodness of the Heavenly Father, who sends sufferings only for our spiritual welfare, and he must practice a fervent devotion to the Passion of Christ and His Sorrowful Mother Mary.

2. He should always, especially during attacks of melancholy, say to himself: "It is not so bad as I imagine. I see things too darkly," or "I am a pessimist."

 3. He must from the very beginning resist every feeling of aversion, diffidence, discouragement, or despondency. so that these evil impressions can take no root in the soul. 

4. He must keep himself continually occupied, so that he finds no time for brooding. Persevering work will master all. 

5. He is bound to cultivate the good side of his temperament and especially his inclination to interior life and his sympathy for suffering fellow men. He must struggle continually against his weaknesses.

6. St. Theresa devotes an entire chapter to the treatment of malicious melancholies. She writes: ''Upon close observation you will notice that melancholic persons are especially inclined to have their own way, to say everything that comes into their mind, to watch for the faults of others in order to hide their own and to find peace in that which is according to their own liking." 

St. Theresa, in this chapter touches upon two points to which the melancholic person must pay special attention. He frequently is much excited, full of disgust and bitterness, because he occupies himself too much with the faults of others, and again because he would like to have everything according to his own will and notion. He can get into bad humor and discouragement on account of the most insignificant things.

 If be feels very downcast be should ask himself whether be concerned himself too much about the faults of others. Let other people have their own way! Or whether perhaps things do not go according to his own will. Let him learn the truth of the words of the Imitation (1,22), "Who is there that has all things according to his will? Neither I nor you, nor any man on earth. There is no man in the world without some trouble or affliction be he king or pope. Who then is the best off? Truly he that is able to suffer something for the love of God."


Important Training Points to Remember

In the treatment of the melancholic special attention must be given to the following points: 1. It is necessary to have a sympathetic understanding of the melancholic. In his entire deportment he presents many riddles to those who do not understand the peculiarities of the melancholic temperament. It is necessary, therefore, to study it and at the same time to find out how this temperament manifests itself in each individual. Without this knowledge great mistakes cannot be avoided. 

2. It is necessary to gain the confidence of the melancholic person. This is not at all easy and can be done only by giving him a good example in everything and by manifesting an unselfish and sincere love for him. Like an unfolding bud opens to the sun, so the heart of the melancholic person opens to the sunshine of kindness and love. 

3. One must always encourage him. Rude reproach, harsh treatment, hardness of heart cast him down and paralyze his efforts. Friendly advice and patience with his slow actions give him courage and vigor. He will show himself very grateful for such kindness. 

4. It is well to keep him always busy, but do not overburden him with work. 

5. Since melancholies take everything to heart and are very sensitive, they are in great danger of weakening their nerves. It is necessary, therefore, to watch nervous troubles of those entrusted to one's care. Melancholies who suffer a nervous breakdown are in a very bad state and cannot recover very easily.

 6. In the training of a melancholic child, special care must be taken to be always kind and friendly, to encourage and keep him busy. The child, moreover, must be taught always to pronounce words properly, to use his five senses, and to cultivate piety. Special care must be observed in the punishment of the melancholic child, otherwise obstinacy and excessive reserve may result. Necessary punishment must be given with precaution and great kindness and the slightest appearance of injustice must be carefully avoided.

Conclusion

This concludes what theologians Schagemann and Hock had written about the melancholic temperament. Once more, all of the content is theirs and none comes from me. I hope this post and the last gave you insight to the melancholic person--especially if you happen to be one. These were the major points the theologians made. When the fourth post in this series comes out, it will deal with the phlegmatic temperament.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Contending For The Faith---Part 29

 

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

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

Are Atheists Smarter Than Believers?

A few years back, I had an argument with another lawyer with whom I worked. He was an atheist and about as arrogant as you can be. He challenged me on a point of law concerning one of my cases, telling me that the case would be lost unless I changed the particular process of service I was planning to use. He was the type of guy who couldn't let anything go, and gave me no small amount of grief by constantly asking me "Are you going to change the way you serve your summons and complaint"? followed by an argument when I said "no." 

Final outcome: not only was service fine, I won the case. The next time I saw him, I said, "Before you tell me something is wrong over and over, it might help if you actually understood the topic you were discussing." He turned red with anger. About a week later, he came into my office when the door was open, and slapped a paper on my desk. "If you were really so smart, you wouldn't be praying to imaginary friends in the sky, " he said as he turned and quickly left. 

He printed out an article, the headline of which read: "Atheists are more intelligent than religious people, finds study" It referenced this study: The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations.

(See journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1088868313497266) . 

Here is the study Abstract:

 A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.

As a result of this study, I find this alleged “fact” that regularly makes the rounds online: “Studies show that theists are less intelligent than atheists.”  Atheists, like my lawyer colleague, want to reinforce their claim that religion is for the poor, ignorant, unintelligent, and non-believers are well-off, well-educated, and super-smart. 

The purpose of this post will be to explain what this study (and those like it) really means. I will then show some very unintelligent attacks on faith used by atheists; attacks which only seem intelligent. 

I have taken this information from numerous sources, both online and in books. I wish to credit these sources and will take personal credit only for putting all the information into a terse and readable post. God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

What Studies Really Prove

First, many people should be acquainted with the power of  statistics to bolster weak arguments. To paraphrase and old adage, "There are three types of lies: white lies, big lies, and statistics." So let me say from the very outset that even if we could reliably measure which group is smarter, the answer wouldn’t tell us anything about the truth of Christianity. Intelligence doesn’t equate to always having the right answer.

Second, what do those 63 studies actually demonstrate? A breakdown reveals the following:

  • 35 showed a significant negative relationship between intelligence and religiousness (the more intelligent a person, the less likely to be religious).
  • 2 showed a significant positive relationship between intelligence and religiousness (the more intelligent a person, the more likely to be religious).
  • 26 showed no significant relationship between intelligence and religiousness.
Therefore, roughly 55.5% of the studies found religious people less intelligent than atheists, but almost half (44.5%) found showed no such finding. The researchers of the meta-analysis wrote: The relation between intelligence and religiosity has been examined repeatedly, but so far there is no clear consensus on the direction and/or the magnitude of this association. (See study citation above).
Yet, the atheists are trying to show this as a definitive statement of fact that they are scientifically proven to be more intelligent than believers. They are depending on "sound bites" from the media that are misleading and the lack of checking by religious people as to the actual content of the meta-analysis. 

The validity of this meta-analysis is inconclusive. There are several major methodological flaws:

  • Some studied precollege teens, some studied college students, and some studied non-college adults (people recruited outside an academic context).
  • Sample sizes ranged from 20 to more than 14,000
  • The studies were done over an 84-year span of time (the earliest study in 1928, the most recent in 2012)
How do you measure "religiosity"?  Some studies measured religious behavior (for example, church attendance and/or participation in religious organizations) and some measured religious beliefs (for example, belief in God and the Bible). This is very difficult to quantify. 

There are problems with the intelligence measurements. Twenty-three different types of tests were used to measure intelligence (for example, university entrance exams, vocabulary tests, scientific literacy tests, etc.). Details weren’t provided on how exactly each study measured religious behavior and beliefs, but that surely varied extensively as well.

Serious methodological concerns aside, The results suggest a negative relationship specifically between intelligence and religious belief for adults, but the mathematical magnitude of that relationship is very small. Religious belief has a very weak negative relationship with intelligence for college and non-college adults. (The higher the intelligence, the less likely a person is to have religious beliefs; the weak relationship is a -0.17 correlation between intelligence and religious beliefs for the college studies and a -0.20 correlation for the non-college studies). To give an example, I wouldn't consider someone with an IQ of 120 to be "less intelligent" than someone with an IQ of 125. The difference is not large enough to be significant.

When combatting this nonsense that is how to respond. You should not list the impressive geniuses who believed in God, such as Aquinas, Bonaventure, Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, Descartes, Newton, Bach, and Mendel, just to name a very few. It doesn’t matter if the 50 or even 1,000 most intelligent people on Earth are theists or not—that doesn’t statistically mean anything about the relative intelligence of theists as a group. Engage instead on the studies underlying the atheists’ claims by sharing this analysis.

Twenty (Vacuous) Statements
One of the many loathsome atheists doing all he can to take people away from God is Michael Nugent. Nugent is the chairman of Atheist Ireland. The group describes itself as follows:

Atheist Ireland is a democratic and successful advocacy group for secularism, rationality, pluralism and human rights. We led the successful campaign to Repeal the Irish Blasphemy Law, and we are the only national-level atheist advocacy group to have special consultative status at the United Nations.

Formed in November 2008, Atheist Ireland promotes atheism and reason over superstition and supernaturalism, and also promotes an ethical, secular society where the State does not support or finance or give special treatment to any religion.

Atheist Ireland has a democratic structure and is a major player in leading reform, promoting wellbeing, equality, justice, rationality and human rights in Ireland and abroad. We adhere to a policy of peaceful and legal advocacy via debates, media, information tables, lunches, education, lobbying and rational argument etc. (See atheist.ie/information/about/).

Just before Vatican II, Ireland stood with Belgium, Italy, and Spain as among the most Catholic countries on Earth. As of 2022, almost 15% of Ireland has no religion. (See https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cpp5/census2022profile5-diversitymigrationethnicityirishtravellersreligion/religion/#:~:text=Census%202022%20Results&text=The%20number%20of%20people%20who,they%20were%20Agnostic%20or%20Atheist.)

Ah, the "New Springtime of Vatican II"! Moving things along, Nugent has frequently discussed "20 statements" that make "God improbable." While I have not been able to locate a list of all twenty statements, I have found some. Rather than "making God improbable," they make Nugent nonsensical. 

I will list a small sample of his statements against God, with a short response below. (N.B. Nugent blasphemously refers to God as "it.")

1. If God is changeless then "it" (God) cannot create anything because it would have to change in order to do so.

Response: That God cannot change intrinsically and substantially conceded; that He cannot change externally and accidentally, denied. God, considered in Himself, is changeless. He "changes" insofar as He created a world with people, and He can interact with them.

2. If it is all-perfect and all-good then it would have created a perfect universe. At a minimum a perfect universe would not contain suffering or evil. If the response is that even a perfect God can only do what is logically possible then it is logically possible to have a universe without suffering or evil.

Response: It is not true that if God is all-perfect and all-good then he must create a perfect universe. That is a false assumption. On the one hand, it may be that a perfect universe is impossible. It is not feasible for God to create a world in which there are free moral agents who always do the right thing and never go wrong. Secondly, there can be cases in which God may permit suffering or evil in order to achieve some greater good. So it is just not true that in virtue of God’s perfection he has to create a world without suffering or evil. Therefore, Nugent simply fails to reckon with this crucial distinction that philosophers make between what is logically possible and what is feasible for God.

3. If God is perfect but we don’t understand how then why did God have to intervene in this perfect universe through miracles?

Response: It is NOT true that we don’t understand what God’s perfection means. We don't fully understand his moral perfection and holiness. However, the reason for miracles is that they serve as signs to people of God’s existence and activity. When Jesus Christ performed His dramatic miracles, these were signs to the people of the arrival of the Messiah in His Person. Jesus’ miracles and exorcisms were signs of  Hid Divinity. 

4.  If God is all-knowing then it knows the taste of strawberry yogurt. Yet, if it doesn’t have a body or senses then how can it know the state of anything? If the response is that saying what it knows is the truth of the proposition then it is not all-knowing; it is less than all-knowing.

Response: When someone is tasting strawberry yogurt, there is a certain mental state that the person is in. Why can’t God simply put Himself into that same mental state without having a body or taste buds? I don’t see any reason to think that He couldn’t. If there is a mental state associated with the taste of yogurt or the feeling of a rough surface or the sound of something, God can put Himself into such a mental state and thereby have that mental experience even though he doesn’t have a body with eardrums and nerve endings and taste buds.

Conclusion
The so-called "scientific fact" of atheistic superiority in intelligence is really a bald-faced lie. The meta-analysis based on various other studies does not support that contention at all. Moreover, non-believers, like Nugent, merely display their gross and culpable ignorance when making statements that demonstrate a lack of understanding of theism. "For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22). 

Monday, June 24, 2024

The Sacred Heart: A Call To Deepen Our Love For God

 


To My Readers: This week my monthly guest poster, Mr. Dominic Caggeso, gives us some beautiful and thoughtful insight regarding the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. I can't think of a better way to end this month of June, traditionally dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart, and now a month recently defiled and desecrated by perverts. Feel free to comment as always. If anyone has a specific question or comment for me, I will respond as usual, but it may take me a bit longer to do so this week.

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

The Sacred Heart: A Call To Deepen Our Love For God

By Dominic Caggeso

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” - St. Luke 6: 45


The world is an ugly place, inwardly impoverished and full of corruption and death. Natural virtues, gifts of God that propel a soul to search for Him, are so often numbed and deadened by a worldling’s acceptance of evil.  But at the same time, through the beauty and goodness of the created world, God continues to remind men of these virtues. The innocence of a child, the fragrance of spring lilacs, or the song of morning birds all serve as reminders. The collision of these two realities creates an awareness in many people, even if subconscious, that their personal lives are not what they ought to be. The human soul is created for God and His absence is a tragedy that each soul bewails. Faced with this wretchedness, they are compelled to act. Sadly, to bridge the gap between what they ought to be and who they have become through sin, they often turn to the foolish tools of pretension and deception. They sweep the dirt under the rug. I would even go so far as to say that the world is so filled with facades and costumes, that to many, honesty has lost its meaning.

As my family began our journey out of the Novus Ordo many years ago, one of the things I was so refreshed to experience was a general absence of pretentiousness among Traditional Catholics. I found myself having many discussions with new friends and acquaintances in which I walked away sensing honesty and integrity. There was much less idle chatter to fill the air and waste everyone’s time. To a much greater extent, my experience with Traditional Catholics was that they spoke truthfully.  With charity, they said what they thought, not presenting a complex system of smoke and mirrors.

Upon reflection of these experiences, I have formed some conclusions. For the most part, Traditional Catholics, Sedevacantists in particular, have made real-life decisions and sacrifices to align their lives with the Truth. When confronted with contradictions and cognitive dissonance produced by the world, the Novus Ordo and then “Recognize and Resist”, Sedes have responded by adhering to the principle of integrity. They chose not to deceive themselves, and not to consent to lies around them. Just like how waving a magnet over a pile of scattered paperclips makes them all stand on end, pointing in the same direction, so too does the mental decision to reject falsehood align our hearts, minds, and speech with the ideals of simplicity and straightforwardness.

Deconstructing facades and speaking from the heart is a good thing, for it at least allows for the possibility of honest communication. When people stop lying to themselves, they can speak more honestly to God. They can then speak more honestly to others as well. This honesty is like pulling the curtains back on a messy room that has been hidden in darkness. In the dark, the mess is relatively unnoticed, but when the curtains are pulled, the sunlight demonstrates just what a disaster the room has become. The light makes it possible to clean the room. In similar fashion, in one’s heart, when one refuses to consent to falsehood, it is like pulling back the curtain. It becomes possible to see and fix the problems in the heart. 

The ultimate goal, therefore, is to change the heart. Changes to the core will undulate outward to change thoughts, words, and actions. There is a Latin axiom: “Nemo dat quod non habet”, which means “You cannot give what you do not have”. In other words, you can’t act and speak with true virtue if you don’t possess it in your heart in the first place. It is just as Our Lord said “for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. 

As I have stated already, in my experience, Traditional Catholics as a whole speak honestly and without pretentiousness. Indeed, this is remarkable in today’s world. Honest speech reflects what exists in the heart. But honesty and integrity are only prerequisites for something greater. A cup without holes maintains its integrity and is therefore useful, but in and of itself, it cannot quench your thirst.  A heart filled with zeal and virtue will spill out through the words and actions of an honest person.

Burning Heart, Burning Lips

The figures and forms of the Old Testament were like a cup waiting to be filled. It was required for Old Testament Israel to outwardly speak and practice the word of God so as to prepare for the New Testament “Israel” that would be inwardly filled with the Holy Ghost. These outer and inner relationships with God are beautifully highlighted when comparing the story of the purification of Isaias’ lips to the story of St. Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart.

In my book, Divine Poetry, I try to demonstrate that the entire history of the Catholic Church has been entirely foreshadowed by the Old Testament, even in the same chronological order! Part of this seamless fabric of prefigurement are the stories of Isaias the prophet and St. Margaret Mary. Isaias’ lips were purified by fire for his divinely appointed mission just as St. Margaret Mary had her heart purified by fire for her divinely appointed mission. Both these two stories of purification by divine fire appear at the same point on their chronologically paralleled timelines, which is astonishing! Before we delve into a deeper significance brought about by comparing the two stories, please allow me to establish their place in history. 

1. Both St. Margaret Mary and Isaias lived in the period of the “divided Kingdom”. In the Old Testament, this was after the revolt of Jeroboam in which the northern tribes of Israel went into apostasy. In Church history, this period of divided Christendom occurred after the revolt of Martin Luther in which northern Europe went into apostasy. 

2. Both St. Margaret Mary and Isaias went before the king. Isaias predicted the end of the Davidic dynasty at the hands of the Babylonians. St. Margaret Mary went before King Louis XIV to pass on the message about the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart. After 100 years, the French monarchy ended during the French Revolution. 

In chapter six of the book of Isaias, the prophet was given the singular grace of seeing God on His throne. This vision of the inner chamber of Heaven is unprecedented in the Old Testament. The prophet Isaias comes as close to God as the Old Testament relationship with Him would permit. After Isaias declares his unworthiness before God, a seraphim angel descends and purifies Isaias by burning his lips with a hot coal from the heavenly altar. He then is sent by God to preach to a people who will not listen.

“And the lintels of the doors were moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me, because I have held my peace; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people that hath unclean lips, and I have seen with my eyes the King the Lord of hosts. And one of the seraphims flew to me, and in his hand was a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs off the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: Behold this hath touched thy lips, and thy iniquities shall be taken away, and thy sin shall be cleansed. And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me. And he said: Go, and thou shalt say to this people: Hearing, hear, and understand not: and see the vision, and know it not. Blind the heart of this people, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes: lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.”

- Isaias 6: 4-10

In Church history, St. Margaret Mary was likewise chosen by Heaven for hitherto unheard-of privileges and intimacies with Our Lord. Just as Isaias is given a singular grace to see the inner chamber of God’s throne room, so too did St. Margaret Mary receive a singular grace to be taken into the inner chambers of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart! Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary various times from 1673 to 1675, making known His Sacred Heart to her, aflame with love of men. Just as Isaias had his lips purified with a hot coal from the altar in Heaven, St. Margaret Mary had her own heart purified with divine fire. 

At one point, Our Lord asked if He could have her heart, to which she willingly accepted. Her diary recounts that Our Lord took her heart from within her breast and placed it in the burning furnace of His Sacred Heart. She wrote that her heart appeared to be a small atom compared to the immense and flaming heart of Our Lord. After her heart was set ablaze, Our Lord placed it back in her breast. She later described the physical sensation of burning that she felt, a pain which she joyfully offered back to God, a remembrance and token of the intimacy she had with Our Lord. 

Afterward, Our Lord went on to lament to her, speaking words that have resounded from many pulpits over the last few centuries. In this month of June, perhaps you have heard these words, “Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to consuming itself to witness its love. And in return, I receive from most of them only ingratitude from their irreverences and their sacrileges and by the coldness and contempt that they have for Me in this sacrament of love." In this lament by Our Lord, He makes known His desire to suffer for men, if only they would return His love. Our Lord offered His last drop of blood on the cross, dying for us. He was a suffering servant, as was prophesied in Isaias 53.

Contrast the two stories of Isaias and St. Margaret Mary, and it is yet again revealed how the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have fundamentally changed God’s relationship with His chosen people. Both were purified by divine fire but with a major difference. The Old Testament was an endeavor in externally obeying the laws of God. Thus, Isaias had his lips purified that he may go forth to speak. Obedience to the law was the litmus test for loving God in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we still must obey the law of God, but we are given a much greater calling. The mere adherence to the law of God in our external actions is good, but we are capable of, and indeed invited to so much more. Like the empty cup that is capable of being filled, a desire to obey God’s laws is a starting place for deeper intimacy with Him. The story of St. Margaret Mary reminds us that Our Lord wants to go beyond the lips. He wants our hearts, the very core of our beings, and He wants them to be ablaze with charity and zeal.

Conclusion

It is an ardent love for God that forges saints, not just the profession of the Catholic Faith. As Traditional Catholics, we have preserved the Catholic Faith during the Great Apostasy and truly this is a remarkable accomplishment (through the grace of God). In doing so, we have retained the possibility of going to Heaven, just as the cup retains the possibility of being filled. Now let us make sure our charity does not grow cold, as Our Lord has warned us. May we fill up our hearts with an ardent love for God and zeal for the salvation of souls.

When Our Lord returns, may He find His Bride radiant and lively, and not merely fulfilling the outward obligations of Her duties. In the presence of the immense inequity of the world, may true Catholics respond by redoubling their zeal and charity, fueled by frequent reception of the Sacraments. The month of the Sacred Heart reminds us to continually move beyond outward purification, which is indeed necessary, and be like St. Margaret Mary who handed over her heart, only to receive it back purified by fire.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Dungeons & Dragons & Vatican II

 

Other than to place the link to my post here each week, I rarely go on "X" (formerly called "Twitter"). When I do look to see what people are saying, it never fails to reinforce what horrible shape the world is in. The last time I went on, the passage from Hosea 4:6 immediately came to mind: "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge..." The members of the Vatican II sect are woefully ignorant of theology, and not just as concerns the papacy. This culpable ignorance bleeds into how they live every aspect of their lives and has devastating consequences.  This is true even among the so-called "conservative" members of the sect. 

I saw an X post from a young mother of three children (pregnant with her fourth child) and goes by the moniker Daughter of Wolves. The name seemed odd. She describes herself as a "Catholic" (Vatican II sect) homeschooling mom. She presents as being in her late twenties. The next part made it clear as to the reason for the strange name: she is a Dungeons & Dragons (aka "D&D") enthusiast, who was taking a poll as to what she should name her "human Circle of the Moon Druid" character in the game. 

For those of you who are unaware, D&D is one of several fantasy role playing games (FRP). It was introduced in 1974 by Gary Gygax (d. 2008), and became a sensation in the 1980s. Gygax was a member of the Jehovah's Witness sect; it is rumored that he became a "born-again" Protestant just prior to his death. D&D, as I will demonstrate, is thoroughly occult. When I informed this woman, she laughed and said I was "really dumb.” I challenged her to debate me on an online neutral debating platform, and I would prove my contention. She refused, ostensibly because she's too busy with her kids. Interesting, since she has hours at her disposal to frequently post on X and play D&D. 

The reason I challenge Feeneyites and other enemies of the Faith to debate is three-fold. First, once they see the arguments, with God's grace, they may be persuaded to leave falsehood for truth. Second, it would give others exposure to the arguments and possibly make converts. Finally, it shows that most people (esp. those against the Faith) can't defend their beliefs and would rather be with a comforting lie than the upsetting truth which would demand they make changes in their beliefs and lives. No one has ever taken me up on my challenge. Earlier this year, Bobby Dimond ("Brother Peter") came to challenge me in the comments to a post. Needless to say, I enjoyed giving Bobby an intellectual beat-down so others could see just how false the Feeneyite position is against the dogma of Baptism of Desire. 
(See introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2024/02/the-dimonds-ensoulment-and-baptism-of.html). 

For this reason, the first Monday of each month is my "Contending For The Faith" series of apologetics so we may, as our first pope tells us, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1Peter 3:16). Therefore, I was hoping to take "Daughter of Wolves" and her family away from occult danger, and perhaps to the One True Church as well. 

Another person jumped into the thread, another Vatican II sect member going by the name "Darthjimscott." As soon as I saw "Darth" I knew he was into the occult with the Star Wars franchise. He claimed D&D was harmless and not at all like the Ouija board, to which I compared it. He further used a citation to Wojtyla's Catechism of the Catholic (sic) Church, which defines superstition, and said he is not involved with superstition by playing D&D. Finally, he said D&D was no different than Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I challenged him to debate and (no surprise) he wouldn't. 

Lastly, some persons have posted, now and in the past, that my blog has good material, but when I claim that many things (like D&D) are occult, it seems like I see Satan everywhere. I usually just  politely reply that the problem is not that I see Satan everywhere, but that most people refuse to see him anywhere. We are living in the Great Apostasy, with a false sect claiming to be the Catholic Church. Is it really a surprise that Satan is having the best time ensnaring souls with an occult revival/explosion in the wake of Vatican II? 

This post will explain the occult danger of FRP games like D&D, and how they continue unabated in popularity. The abysmal failure of the Vatican II sect to protect its members will also be demonstrated. 

 (I would like to credit the various sources of information culled for the writing of this post. Besides the cited sources, I also wish to acknowledge Gary Gygax, "The Dungeons and Dragons Magic System," The Best of the Dragon,  [1980]; Gary Gygax, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook, [1978]; Gary Gygax, Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook, [1975] as among my primary sources. Special acknowledgement as well to the "Spiritual Counterfeits Project's" numerous pamphlets which were highly informative. I also browsed numerous book and online resources about FRP games which were incorporated herein. I take no credit other than putting it all together in a readable post.---Introibo). 

FRP Games: The Facts from the Beginning
Dungeons and Dragons began as an offshoot of the war games of the late 1950s and 1960s, such as Bismarck and Gettysburg. These games involved the use of strategy and the playing out of historical battles with miniature soldiers and landscapes. Thus, war-gaming of the recent past was extended into the ancient past along a "swords and sorcery" theme, where the life and battles of various heroes or wizards could be played out. 

D&D is an elaborate fantasy game played out primarily in one's mind using creative imagination. There are dice, although no cards or boards; there are no strict rules, only guidelines. There are also no absolutes, no boundaries, and no time limitations, since FRP games are not single experience contests but ongoing adventures or campaigns traversing from one episode to another. In theory, a single game could last a lifetime. The "dungeon master," or referee, is someone who is very experienced in D & D. He shapes the fantasy milieu with the aid of maps, monster lists, combat tables, and the psychological and geographical terrain the players will travel. This may involve multilevel dungeons, various occult planes of existence, towns, and other worlds or time periods. All of this is mapped out on graph paper, complete with wizards, treasures, monsters, magical objects, traps, potions, demons, and the gods who reside throughout the various regions.

Each player selects a character whose role he assumes, such as a fighter, assassin, monk, druid, magic user, or thief. The thief, apparently, is one of the best characters to emulate according to the players' handbook. Characters are assigned strengths or weaknesses on a scale of 3 to 18 and six principle attributes, including intelligence, strength, and wisdom—all determined by a toss of the dice. A racial stock is also selected from among gnomes, humans, dwarfs, and elves. Each player must decide his or her character's alignment, whether good, neutral, or evil.

Little has changed in the 50 years since D&D was introduced. There is a renewed interest in these D&D-type FRP games (and D&D itself) among "conservative" Vatican II sect members and (sadly) even some Traditionalists. According to one source, as of 2023:
  • More than 50 million people play Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Dungeons & Dragons is most popular in Canada.
  • D&D grew 65% in just one year in Europe.
  • D&D fans watch 4.3 billion minutes of D&D-related media yearly.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has been steadily growing since 2014.
  • It’s been the leading tabletop game since it came out.
(See webtribunal.net/blog/how-many-people-play-dnd#gref). 

The Many Problems with FRP and D&D
A major problem with FRP is that the worldview in which most of these games are conducted is either not Catholic or anti-Catholic, and although played out in fantasy, it can still have an impact on young or impressionable minds. In the past, similar games at least had a concrete historical setting, often with a moral basis underlying the conflict. Today the games comprise a mixture of fantasy, mythology, and often the occult. Most players participate without ever considering the worldview in which they are role playing. This means that they do not consider how this might be contrary to their own philosophy and beliefs.

FRP games are addictive, and many people will play for hours on end. After such exposure, players may not notice subtle negative changes that may be occurring in their lives as a result of playing the game. If they do notice, they may not attribute the changes to the games. If you contrast the general perspective of D&D and related FRP games with a Traditionalist Catholic worldview, you can see the possible impact such games may have. The issue is to what extent a "crossover" effect may occur, such that aspects of the role being played in an extended fantasy game are gradually adopted in real life.

For example, most FRP games present no system of absolute morality; morality is for the individual to choose or reject as the player sees fit. Thieves, assassins, sorcerers, and witches may all be role-played and even developed into a kind of "alter ego." In general, FRP games perceive the universe as amoral. Good and evil are presented as equal, opposite poles, and both the characters and the "gods" are expected to align themselves with one pole or the other.

Although each player brings his own innate moral standards, the game itself provides the player with the potential for laying aside those standards. Thus, in many of these games, an immoral use of power, sex, or violence is acceptable. Even activities such as stealing, mutilation, human sacrifice, murder, and rape can be incorporated into the games. Only the pragmatism of the overriding situation and the good or evil characters involved determine the best course of action, or what is "right" or "wrong." Obviously, this contrasts with the Traditionalist Catholic worldview, in which morality is absolute and grounded in the character and nature of a holy God.

The theology of most FRP games is not Catholic. Probably because of the diversity they offer, FRP games generally present a polytheistic rather than monotheistic worldview; that is, they present the belief in many gods rather than the One True God. As the D&D manual, Deities and Demigods, asserts, "No fantasy world would be complete without the gods, mighty deities who influence the fate of men and move mortals about like chess pieces ..." (pg. 37). This contrasts with the Catholic teaching that there is only One True God and that this God is moral, not amoral. Most FRP games also have un-Christian or even anti-Christian views of the creation, man, and life after death. 

To summarize: The first major problem with FRPs is that they are played within a polytheistic and amoral worldview which is in stark contrast to reality. This overarching worldview can begin to influence the players, especially those who play the most often. The specific dangers of FRPs (in general) and D&D (in particular) will be examined.

The Four Dangers of FRPs
1. Fantasy. There is a good use of fantasy but also an evil use. Fantasy role playing games in general seem to promote the wrong use of fantasy by presenting character roles that assume an amoral use of power, violence, immorality, and sorcery—all things God hates. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8).

Furthermore, such role playing could affect the lives of players, especially preadolescent and adolescent players, who are still in the formative stages of developing their personal philosophy, worldview, moral system, and self-image.

2. Morality. FRP games in general promote an amoral universe. In fact, the games contain many activities and practices that God forbids and condemns. Thus FRP games have the potential to undermine or negate the influence of Christian morality in a player's life. In D&D you are allowed to murder, rape. steal, and offer sacrifice to false "gods." 

3. Escape. Escape, like fantasy, can be used in a wholesome and healthy way or it can be misused. The complexity and ego-involvement in fantasy role playing games in general appears to provide the potential for an unhealthy use of escape, or at the least a wasting of valuable time.

4, The Occult. By far, the occult is the worst and most dangerous part of FRPs and D&D. Dungeons and Dragons was a forerunner of a greater acceptance of the occult in America. It became a socially accepted means of dwelling on pagan, mythological, and occult practices. 

The main characteristic of  D&D is the element of sorcery, also called magick. This fantasy game uses terms common to the occult, such as: conjure, spell casting, divination, channeling, invocation, evocation, and summon. One form of sorcery allows the character to practice a spell called the death spell or finger of death. Some characters are required to perform rituals that call upon evil spirits

An article in the February 1999 issue of  Dragon, a D&D magazine, lists a series of spells with names like “Chant of Dark Summons,” “Chorus of Wrath,” “Danse Macabre,” “Melody of Madness,” and “Nightmare Lullaby.” The description of one spell concludes that “[U]se of this spell is unequivocally evil” (pp. 84-88).

Characters who make mistakes can suffer punishments such as insanity, which includes being possessed by an outside entity or being seized by the desire to kill those closest to you. This role-playing by the emotionally immature or unstable can lead to mental problems.

This game’s scenarios and occult terms desensitize players to that which is bizarre and morbid, creating an acceptance of the deviant as the norm. At the very least, D&D and related FRPs expose players to occult terms and concepts. Players may want to further study the occult and engage in such occult activity. 

Even some occultists have utilized these games, either as a means to introduce occult ideas through entertainment, or as a way to encourage people to accept genuine necromancy. In 1980, Philip Bonewitz published Authentic Thaumaturgy: A Professional Occultist on Improving the Realism of Magic Systems in Fantasy Simulating Games for just this purpose.

The problem is that this is not merely an "innocent" introduction to the occult, but as stated, what is played out in the imagination as a game can also be pursued in a serious manner in real life. Moreover,  the individual player has no guarantee that just because he is "merely" engaged in use of the imagination, demons will not respond when beckoned. In fact, many psychics and mediums (such as Erika Gabriel) recommend the use of the fantasy imagination to help foster psychic development and actual spirit contact.

The playing of the game could, therefore, engage demonic activity. In D&D there is also a preponderance of spells for different characters, levels, categories, and expectations. Some spells are bestowed by the gods; others are not. Most spells have a verbal component, which means they must be spoken to be effective and the player finds himself reciting an actual Wiccan spell.

The "magic circle, pentagram, and thaumaturgic triangle" have all been incorporated into Dungeons and Dragons. Players are taught how to use these symbols as forms of protective inscriptions in a fashion similar to the way they are actually used in Wicca and Satanism. The occult practice of "astral projection," or "soul travel," can be found in a few FRP games, including D&D. In astral projection, it is believed that the soul can depart from the body and travel to other dimensions and planes. According to Dungeons and Dragons, this practice is possible by various means, including specific magic spells and "psionic" disciplines.

In Dungeons and Dragons, necromantic spells not only heal wounds, restore strength, limbs, and life, and resurrect the dead, but they also bring forth the dead for divinational and other purposes, in a manner similar to that in spiritism. If a cleric, for example, needs information, he knows that he may summon the dead with a spell. "Upon casting a speak with the dead spell the cleric is able to ask several questions of a dead creature in a set period of time and receive answers according to the knowledge of the creature" (See Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook, pg. 48; Emphasis mine).

The D&D Monster Manual has a detailed section devoted solely to demons. They are named, described (complete with an artist's sketch), and categorized according to their varying abilities and powers. Players are encouraged to use this information in conjunction with certain spells to summon these beings. Thus, a cleric, for example, using a seventh level gate spell, knows that he "must name the demon, devil, demigod, god, or similar being he or she desires to make use of the gate and come to the cleric's aid." He is also told that there is "a 100% certainty that something will step through the gate"(pg. 53). Occult alignment with supernatural powers or deities can be found in some of the FRP games. Players must worship a false, pagan "god."

D&D manuals suggest research into the occult. One bibliography recommends E. A. Wallis Budge's The Egyptian Book of the Dead and Sr. James Frazier's The Golden Bough. The former is a potent occult volume chronicling ritualistic preparations and instructions for the dead in their postmortem state; the latter, an anthropological compendium on occult practices in primitive societies. Is this game not, in effect, encouraging its participants to concentrate their investigation on the supernatural and even occult aspects of pagan cultures?

Objections Answered
Objection: These games are mere fantasy. You are not actually engaging in any proscribed activity such as necromancy. To compare D&D to the Ouija board, which is actual necromancy, is absurd.

Response: That the Ouija board is more dangerous than D&D, CONCEDED. That D&D is not occult like the Ouija board, DENIED.  The very nature of D&D, and FRP in general, is such that the imagination is being guided into encounters with nonmaterial entities, forces, or spirits. Those entities, we are told, are mere fantasies with no basis in reality. If, however, those entities do actually exist in the real world, then the line of demarcation between what is pure fantasy and what is actual contact with spiritual, demonic forces becomes extremely abstruse if not entirely nonexistent. This is hardly to infer that there is no difference between actual participation in occult activities and imagining the same, or that every time someone participates in imaginative occult activity one will come in contact with occult forces. I'm simply pointing out that relegating "occult contact" to mere imagination does not guarantee one freedom from demonic influence. Actual mediums have used the imagination to effectuate contact with demons.

Today, classes in psychic and spiritual development use imagination and visualization techniques in their methodology to achieve out-of-body experiences, develop occult powers, and foster contact with spirits. Many of the most popular books on various occult themes allude to these same techniques. Whether one accepts it or not, simple imagination has been used to establish spirit contact (e.g., when an imaginary "inner adviser" suddenly becomes a real being). There are numerous cases in occult literature where demons have actively sought out human contacts under the guise of an "imagined" patron god, ascended master, inner counselor, or spirit helper.

Is it sinful (like actual necromancy) to fantasize about it? I have no Magisterial authority to declare anything a sin. However, consider the following:
  • it has the real potential to open a gate to the demonic
  • Our Lord said in St. Matthew 5:28, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." We commit sins in word, deed, and thoughts
  • If Jesus considered one's lusting after a woman in his heart (i.e., fantasy) tantamount to adultery, what would He say about someone's pursuing the occult in his mind (i.e., fantasy)? Would He approve, or would He say it was wrong? If one's mind is centered upon the "imaginative" use of occult power, is he not at least tolerating the idea of its use? Furthermore, what about thoughts concerning murder, rape, theft, and worshipping false gods? Ask yourself, "Is this something a Traditionalist Catholic should be doing?" 

Objection: You're not opposed to The Lord of the Rings which has a wizard and casts spells. It's no different from D&D.

Response: Lord of the Rings (LOTR) is not at all like D&D. The "wizard" Gandolf, gets his power from the "One" (God) in a Christian allegory. Tolkien was a devout Catholic, and said as much. The worldview of LOTR is decidedly monotheistic with strict and objective moral values. Incorrect use of power corrupts. The Ring is not to be had (like sin) and if you keep it, your sin will become "precious" to you and totally corrupt you. 

To compare that to a worldview that is polytheistic, amoral, and sanctions fantasy about murder, rape, and sacrificing to false gods, is sheer lunacy.

Objection: Can't you have an FRP without all the occult elements?

Response: Perhaps, but then we are not talking about D&D. There are no "Christian FRPs" as far as I'm aware. I would need to thoroughly investigate any such FRP, to see if it really avoids the serious problems of all FRPs of which I am aware. 

If you take away the occult from D&D, nothing would be left. It's analogous to saying, "Let's play Monopoly without any money, without any buying of real estate, and without trying to get rich." You no longer have Monopoly. (Maybe "Bernie Sanders' Socialism"?). 

Objection: You're a fundamentalist Protestant now. They were the ones condemning D&D back during the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s.

Reply: The Satanic infestation was real in the 1980s. It was what I call the real take-off of the Occult revival/invasion. There were some exaggerations, but it was very real. I liken it to Senator Joe McCarthy whose only fault was overestimating the number of Communist infiltrators by about 10%. Yes, Protestants sounded the alarm, which shows how inept the Vatican II sect is in protecting its members. It doesn't even try, as it leads them to perdition. Fundamentalist Protestants were also the most vociferous in fighting abortion in the 1980s. They certainly weren't wrong about that either.

Vatican II was Originally Set to Condemn the Occult
 When false pope Roncalli (John XXIII) called Vatican II in 1959, the most eminent and approved theologians drew up the original schemas (drafts) of the documents to be debated and voted upon. These schemas were Catholic to the core. In 1962, the Modernists, with Roncalli helping them, got them scrapped, and new schemas were drawn up by Modernist theologians rehabilitated by "good Pope John." They became the heretical teachings of the Robber Council.

One of the orthodox schemas scrapped was entitled, "The Dogmatic Constitution Defending Intact the Deposit of Faith." The name alone sent chills down the spines of Modernists. For those who think I see Satan everywhere, it was the most Catholic theologians who saw the occult raising its ugly head and wanted to combat it. This was circa 1960--64 years ago when there was still a hierarchy with Magisterial authority and the True Mass and sacraments. After Vatican II sent the One True Church underground, the floodgates were opened, and Satan wasted no time dragging as many souls as possible to Hell. Thus began the Occult Invasion. Here is what para. nos. 33, 34, and 35 of that beautiful schema had to say about the occult:

Para. #33: Such curiosity becomes truly pernicious when it moves believers to give themselves over to the superstition of divination of any form, but especially to that spiritualism that attempts by human effort to evoke sensible communication with spirits or with separated souls in order to attain various information or various helps. "There shall not be found among you anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.. For the Lord abominates all these things" (Dt 18:10-12). The Apostolic See has not neglected in various of its documents to oppose evil spiritualism with appropriate remedies.

Para. #34: In many regions superstition is creeping widely and is being spread more every day, sometimes also deceitfully under the false title of parapsychology, the discipline whose task it is to explain facts that appear to contradict the ordinary laws of psychology. The Sacred Council declares that the divine law prohibits as a very serious sin against religion both to want to call out the souls of the dead and to wish to establish perceptible communications with them or with any other spirits, however it may be done, publicly or privately, even if the intention is to address only good spirits and the whole exhibition has the appearance of propriety, piety and religion. It forbids all Christians even out of mere curiosity to attend or to promote in any way spiritualist sessions or other meetings of this sort.

Para. #35: The Holy Synod does, however, exhort all the faithful to imitate the example of holy Mother Church by praying for the faithful departed that they may attain the vision of God and intercede with Him for us; it also exhorts them to commend themselves to the holy Angels who in God's fatherly providence guard the human race and are ready by direction, assistance, and enlightenment to help individuals not to succumb to their malicious enemies.


Conclusion
FRP games, including D&D, are seeped in an occult worldview. This worldview can have an adverse affect on participants by desensitizing them to all things occult, and even making a player interested enough to get involved in the occult. Moreover, thinking repeatedly and deeply about the occult can actually open the door to demons. Finally, do you want to subject yourself or others to a worldview that is decidedly polytheistic and amoral? Is perseverating over fantasy acts of murder, rape, and theft something that is mentally healthy or morally acceptable for a member of Christ's One True Church? I must pray for that woman's eyes to be opened that her homeschooled children will not be exposed to such evil.

It's no surprise that when people lack even basic discernment and fail to see the evil present in D&D and FRP games that they are mostly members of the Vatican II sect. After all, they fail to see the phony in the Modernist Vatican who role plays the part of "pope" and leads as many as he can to Hell. 

Addendum: Are Sedevacantists "Protestants"?
To My Readers: "Darth" from "X" came into the comments claiming that Traditionalists (i.e., true Catholics who hold the sedevacantist position) are "Protestants."  Such massive theological ignorance explains why this man plays and defends D&D. This Addendum will expose the culpable ignorance of the charge.---Introibo

Protestants are, by definition, heretics. Heresy is defined as "A teaching which is directly contradictory to a truth revealed by God and proposed to the faithful as such by the Church." (See theologian Parente, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, Bruce Publishing Company, [1951], pg. 123). It is up to "Darth" to explain what dogma we sedes (Traditionalists) deny. 

No Traditionalist denies the office of the papacy and its prerogatives, like Protestants do. Nor does claiming that a particular claimant (or claimants) to the papacy is (are) illegitimate constitute a heresy. So the most he could claim, is that Traditionalists are schismatic. However, that charge won't stick either. 

According to theologian Szal, "Nor is there any schism if one merely transgresses a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state." (See The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, [1948], pg 2; Emphasis mine).  We have many good reasons to outright deny, not just suspect, the validity of Bergoglio's election. (Not to mention Roncalli to Ratzinger). 

Private Interpretation?

The most common reason Traditionalists are wrongfully called "Protestants" is because we use "private judgement" with the papacy like Protestants use private judgement with the Bible. A notorious "recognize and resist" (R&R) bugbear states: Sedevacantism "judges" the pope. As a procedural matter the R&R is correct, "The First See is judged by no one" as Canon 1556 of the 1917 Code clearly states. As explained by canonist Cappello, "Immunity of the Roman Pontiff. 'The First See is judged by no one.' (Canon 1556). This concerns the Apostolic See or the Roman Pontiff who by the divine law itself enjoys full and absolute immunity." (See Summa Juris Canonici 3:19.) 

However, a pope who becomes a manifest heretic loses his office by DIVINE LAW, and an apostate, like Bergoglio, cannot attain the office. This is the teaching of all pre-Vatican II canonists and theologians. (To name but a few, Van Noort, Coronata, Dorsch, Iragui, Prümmer, Regatillo, Salaverri, and Zubizarreta).  Sedevacantists depose no one, we just recognize a fact that has already happened.

Who are you to judge something heretical?
Another objection frequently advanced is that no matter what the alleged "pope" does, it's not really heresy. For example, JP II kissed the Koran, and Bergoglio was praying with Jews to show respect and try and convert them. Ah, no. Vatican II to which Montini (Paul VI) to Bergoglio (Francis) adhere, is full of heresy. What does Vatican II really teach about false non-Christian religions? In Nostra Aetate, para. #2, we read:

Thus, in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an unspent fruitfulness of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight toward God. Buddhism in its multiple forms acknowledges the radical insufficiency of this shifting world. It teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance.

Both of these false, pagan religions are based on the HERESY of pantheism, i.e., the false doctrine that the universe and God are one and the same substance. This contradicts the INFALLIBLE teaching of the Vatican Council of 1870:

CANON 3. If anyone says that God and all things possess one and the same substance and essence: let him be anathema.

There is no "loving, trusting flight towards" the True God which is denied by pantheism. 

However, the root of all the Modernist heresy in Vatican II--from which all the others derive, directly or indirectly--is the false ecclesiology. Lumen Gentium para. #8:

This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Savior, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth" This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

Always, from 33AD until November 21, 1964, it was dogma that the Church of Christ was identical to the Roman Catholic Church. The new ecclesiology teaches there is a "Church of Christ" not identical to the RC Church, but "subsists" there in its fulness because She has all the "elements" of the Church of Christ. However, the Church of Christ can subsist in other sects (more or less) according to how many "elements of truth" they possess. To have all the elements is best, but to have just some is OK too and leads to salvation. Hence, Nostra Aetate can praise the "elements of truth" in Buddhism and Hinduism.  The end result: universalism--all are saved regardless of religion. 

More proof--and drawing necessary conclusions
Vatican II and its "popes" teach contrary to everything before:

Compare:
Wojtyla (JPII):
All the baptized are in Christ's Church. (Ut Unum Sint, para. #42).

Pope Pius XII:
Only those are really to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith and who have not had the misfortune of withdrawing from the body or for grave faults been cut off by legitimate authority. (Mystici Corporis, para. #22). 

Note to "Darth:" Which one is the truth?

Compare:
Vatican II:
The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (Lumen Gentium, #15).

Pope Leo XIII:
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.
(Satis Cognitum, para. #9).

Note to "Darth:" Which one is the truth? 

I could literally multiply these examples much more, but this suffices to show that Traditional and Modernist (Vatican II) understanding of the nature of the Church are contradictory. Both can be false but both cannot be true. 

Therefore, we can draw one of three conclusions:
1. Post-Vatican II and Pre-Vatican II are both FALSE.
This is the position of the Eastern Heterodox. The Church is not Indefectible. You are now the heretic and unable to defend the Faith.

2. Post-Vatican II is correct and Pre-Vatican II was wrong and/or the "meanings of things changed over time"
This is the position of the Modernists. Christ allowed His Church be be wrong or not possess "the fullness of truth" until Vatican II.

3. Pre-Vatican II is correct and Post-Vatican II is false.
 Despite appearances to the contrary, Vatican II was not a legitimate Ecumenical Council, nor were Roncalli through Francis real popes. They either fell from office or never attained the papacy by the profession of heresy as a private theologian. Result? The Church did not defect and the Gates of Hell have not prevailed. The Vatican II sect is a heretical, man-made religion, and the One True Church continues with Traditionalists.  Welcome to sedevacantism.

Does it sound farfetched? Not if you know the teaching of the Church.  

According to theologian Berry, "The prophesies of the Apocalypse show that Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind; he will set up a church of Satan in opposition of the Church of Christ. Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of pope, and there will be imitations of the Sacraments of the Church. There will also be lying wonders in imitation of the miracles wrought in the Church." (See Berry,  The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise , [1927], pg.119; Emphasis in original). It should also be noted that the Vatican II "popes" are not "antipopes." An antipope is one whom is elected in opposition to a true pope as a rival claimant (See A Concise Catholic Dictionary, [1943], pg. 36). Roncalli to Bergoglio are "false popes."

Ergo, sedevacantists are not Protestant.

Addendum II: Real Problems with Make-Believe
To My Readers: Never did I even remotely suspect the vituperation I would receive as a result of this post. I have received an incredible number of comments, most of which I cannot publish due to the use of profanity directed at me. When I was growing up here in New York City, there was a saying; "He was so angry, you would think I killed his mother." That expression was used when someone got very upset over something trivial. 

If FRPs are "only games" you would think those who disagree would say something along the lines of "This is silly. It's only a game. Write on other topics, not games." (or words similar). Instead, there has been a non-stop onslaught unlike anything I had before. Even Feeneyites seem level-headed and calm by comparison. If these are mostly the kind of people who play D&D, there is indeed something seriously wrong. Those claiming to be "Catholic" should be able to express themselves without profanity and without ad hominem invectives.  

One less  histrionic objector (no profanity but boorish nevertheless), going by the moniker "Physiologus" (hereinafter "P"), has a "blog" of sorts (he only has three posts for all of 2024 so far), and made his recent post to attempt a refutation of mine. You would think of all the issues upon which one could write, he chooses to defend D&D. This Addendum shall be my last word on the matter, as I respond to P.  

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

P's post may be read here: physiologus11.wordpress.com/2024/06/18/reply-to-introibo-regarding-dd/

1. Are FRPs addictive?

P writes:
Of the many problem I see with Introibo’s critique the first is the claim that “FRP games are addictive, and many people will play for hours on end.” They’re not addictive. You will not suffer from withdrawal, you will not get the shakes, you will not risk death if you stop engaging with them. There’s no FRP addiction, there’s no porn addiction, there’s no gambling addiction, there’s no social media addiction – those are habits. Every habit, good or bad, causes discomfort when broken. It is a modern fad to view every undesired attachment as an addiction. D&D is not heroin.

Reply: P doesn't understand what an addiction is or thinks he knows better than those trained in studies of the brain. If P means to suggest that people are responsible for their addictions and the actions that emanate from same, he is correct. If he is suggesting that you need to suffer from withdrawal like a heroin addict, P is sadly mistaken. He clearly states there is no porn addiction

First, an addiction is defined as follows: "A person with an addiction uses a substance, or engages in a behavior, for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeat the activity, despite detrimental consequences. Addiction may involve the use of substances such as alcohol, inhalants, opioids, cocaine, and nicotine, or behaviors such as gambling." 
(See psychologytoday.com/us/basics/addiction). 

A study by Simone Kuhn and Jurgen Gallinat, "Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated with Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn," JAMA Psychiatry 71, no.7 (July 2014) came up with incredible findings concerning porn's effects on the brain. Other studies show porn's effects on emotional health, sexual violence, and marriage (there were other factors as well). For the full article on the brain, 
See http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/1874574 .

Various studies show:
  • When researchers compared the brain scans of porn users to non-users, those who used porn had a dulled reward center.
  • When the reward center is dulled, the person doesn't feel dopamine's effects like they used to do. This means that in order to get the same excitement as before, porn users must resort to more hard-core material.
  • Since porn addiction goes hand in glove with Internet addiction, such people have less gray matter in several important areas of the brain, such as the frontal lobes, the striatum, and the insula. These areas help people with self-control, prioritizing, and feeling empathy; when gray matter lessens, so do these important functions.
The work I cited above states, " A representative Swedish study on adolescent boys has shown that boys with daily consumption showed more interest in deviant and illegal types of pornography and more frequently reported the wish to actualize what was seen in real life." However, P knows better. There's no addiction to porn or anything else but drugs, and no one would ever act on a fantasy, right?

2. Possibility and Probability.
P writes:
Whilst the previous problem is only peripherally related to the subject of discussion the next point is my main problem with Introibo’s argument. ‘The issue is to what extent a “crossover” effect may occur…’ “May” occur. The whole essay is in this style: “it may occur”; “it can be incorporated”; “can begin to influence…”; “could affect the lives…”; “…have the potential…”; “Players may want to further study the occult…” It’s not that it will affect you, but it may. Of course if you get into a car it may cause an accident. What is the actual level of risk? Without showing a serious danger this is just pointless fearmongering.

Reply: Let me put it another way. P states on his X account that he uses tobacco. Here's the statistics on smoking and dangers to health:

Estimates show smoking increases the risk:
  • For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
  • For stroke by 2 to 4 times
  • Of men developing lung cancer by 25 times
(See https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm#:~:text=Estimates%20show%20smoking%20increases%20the,by%202%20to%204%20times&text=For%20stroke%20by%202%20to%204%20times&text=Of%20men%20developing%20lung%20cancer%20by%2025%20times). 

Does this mean P will (God forbid) get one of these horrible diseases/conditions if he smokes? NO! I grew up near a lady who smoked 3 packs of cigarettes everyday from age 21 until her death at age 82. How did she die? She tripped and split her head open on concrete, dying from blood loss. 

However, is it probable that smoking will give you a serious health issue? Yes. Is that probability enough that someone should not smoke? Yes. It is possible to be in a car accident, it is probable to have one or more health issues from smoking. Prudent people act on that which is more probable than not. In D&D we are dealing with the occult and pagan worldview and themes. The occult explosion is deadly to the soul. Due to the deadly nature of such, one should stay away. After all, the life of the soul is more important than the life of the body. 

Our Lord said, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell." (St. Matthew 10:28).  If P considers this "fearmongering" there should be more of it.

3. Does D&D promote worship of false gods, rape and worse?
P writes, "That being said, D&D evolved from wargaming and has specific written rules for fighting or stealth. I know nothing about it having specific rules for rape. I looked up the Player’s Handbook and see rules for how long a torch burns and how much space it illuminates, the same for a lantern, how fast characters can run in different conditions, a chapter on negotiation, how much damage falling down a pit does, the monetary system, etc. I don’t see a chapter on rape or other perversions imagination can conjure. I would like Introibo to show where exactly does D&D “sanction fantasy about murder, rape, and sacrificing to false gods.”

Reply:  Both dungeon masters and players are told, "No fantasy world is complete without the gods, mighty deities who influence the fates of men and move mortals about like chesspieces in their obscure games of power.... They [the gods] are one of the Dungeon Master's most important tools in his or her shaping of events. The gods serve an important purpose for the players as well. Serving a deity is a significant part of AD & D [Advanced Dungeons & Dragons], and all player characters should have a patron god. Alignment assumes its full importance when tied to the worship of a deity" (See James M. Ward and Robert J. Kuntz, Deities and Demigods: Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes From Myth and Legion, ed., Lawrence Chica, Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Games, [1980], pg. 37). 

Got that, P? As to rape, I was very much surrounded by the D&D craze in the 1980s. I knew several players who couldn't get girlfriends and would rape in the game. They bragged about how "fun it was" to imagine rape. Lest P complain this is mere anecdotal evidence, a simple perusal of the Internet would have produced the following results:

WARNING! The link is disturbing. Reader discretion advised. 

https://www.vice.com/en/article/qbeev7/notallroleplayers-a-history-of-rapey-dungeon-masters

How about the D&D book, The Book of Vile Darkness?

"The Book of Vile Darkness was named after a powerful artifact players could find in Dungeons & Dragons. The real-life version of the book gave rules for things like alcohol and drug addiction, cannibalism, mutilation, sacrifice, and sexual fetishes. The intention was for the DM to be able to go to extremes with their villains, rather than relying on the cookie-cutter definition of evil present in the Player's Handbook. The book also gave advice on running games with evil characters, though this generally won't be to everyone's' tastes, as it can lead to some nasty and selfish behavior on the part of the players." (See https://screenrant.com/dungeons-dragons-books-vile-darkness-exalted-deeds-dnd/; Emphasis mine). 

How's that P? Remember, you claim to be the "expert" and said I'm talking complete nonsense.

Finally, P discusses scenarios and asks, can a Catholic play Satan, or kids play cops and robbers? 

In cops and robbers there are firm rules of good and evil. You could play the devil in The Passion of the Christ, because he is defeated by Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross, but not in the TV show Lucifer, where he is a "charming good guy who got a bad rep." 

Summary and Conclusion
  • P's contention that porn and other addictions don't exist only "habits"--proven wrong by science. D&D like the Internet itself, can be addictive
  • Having contact with occult, amoral D&D creates a probability of interaction with the occult--a matter so deadly you should avoid it at all costs
  • I have cited where worship of false gods and even rules for alcohol and drug addiction, cannibalism, mutilation, sacrifice, and sexual fetishes are intended 
  • Role playing good vs. evil can be good if in proper context, evil if not
P obviously is clueless as to the real danger of D&D and other FPRs I am open to the possibility of  a genuine Christian FRP, but I know of none. I hope for his own mental, physical and spiritual health, he quits D&D as well as tobacco. 

 Rejoinder

I will not add another Addendum, but I just wanted to show the continued cluelessness of P who attempted another "rebuttal" on his "blog"--meaning he used 50% of all his posts this year on D&D! See the citation to his blog above.---Introibo

1. Habitual nonsense about addiction.

P disagrees with the scientific consensus on addiction. There is almost no unanimity on anything in science, only consensus. Accordingly, " Behavioral science experts believe that all entities capable of stimulating a person can be addictive; and whenever a habit changes into an obligation, it can be considered as an addiction. Researchers also believe that there are a number of similarities as well as some differences between drug addiction and behavioral addiction diagnostic symptoms." (See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354400; Emphasis mine).

Furthermore, many FRPs are moving online. This makes it worse. Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has passed scientific scrutiny to the point of being included in the DSM. Can the tabletop version become addictive? There is not enough evidence at this time, hence no brain studies, as in the case of porn, which is a much bigger problem. Why risk it? 

"Addiction to gaming is described in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR), which is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. In the DSM-5-TR, the condition is referred to as Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD)"

(See https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming#:~:text=Addiction%20to%20gaming%20is%20described,Disorder%20(IGD)(1): Emphasis mine).

You can therefore have an addiction that has no physiological withdrawal problems, unlike heroin. It is treated in a different way.  

The fact that P disagrees is no more relevant than the "science" of the Flat Earth Society on the shape of our planet.

2. Quantifying the Spiritual?

There are books in D&D on demons, books containing spell casting, and more. It makes the player aware of occult phrases, rituals, and encourages people to investigate the occult with actual occult books recommended. This increases the chance that people (especially the young) will investigate the occult and become involved with it. When it comes to your soul, any increase in its exposure to evil is unacceptable. There is also the real possibility of opening the door to the demonic. In fact, many psychics and mediums (such as Erika Gabriel) recommend the use of the fantasy imagination to help foster psychic development and actual spirit contact--a point I already made in this post.

Moreover, P's attempt to vindicate the evil in various D&D books is without merit. He quotes The Book of Vile Darkness: "The darker the shadow of evil, the brighter the light of good. The more horrible the villain, the greater the hero. If you are interested in adding the truly horrific to your game as something for the player characters (PCs) to vanquish, then this book is for you."(Emphasis mine) OK, so you can have murder, cannibalism, and sexual fetishes, as long as the hero wins. Thinking about these things is healthy and moral? 

P's citations prove my point--such things are so vile and occult they must be avoided.  

The "reasoning" of the D&D book for horrid evil to be employed is the same claptrap used to defend horror movies. A colleague of mine walked out on a screening of an small independent horror movie when the villain forced a teenage boy to rape his own mother at gun point. Yet, since the good guy wins, it justifies that perversion to be seen and/or thought about? 

3. I didn't have impure thoughts, it was my character!

P thinks there's a distinction between the player and the character. So if someone were to imagine adultery with the woman next door, but his fantasy is about someone else having relations with her, that's not sinful? If during the game someone says, "I call up demon X" who really said that? News flash: The character is an extension of the player. The demon may just take you up on the offer.

P's protest that D&D could be played morally fails miserably. I'm open to the possibility of an acceptable FRP, but D&D will not be one. The Book of Vile Darkness, has people hearing and imagining great evils and it was intended for such. The Book of Demons describes no less than 85 specific demons. How is perseverating on such evil made good? The "good guy wins"? Please.

By the logical extension, we could make The Satanic Bible good by taking out the bad stuff and replacing it with things that are good. Is that still  The Satanic Bible ?

4. Moralizing with the Daughter of Darkness.

P thinks I deserved the invectives people heaped upon me for this post. I wonder if he realizes that these were comments I could not publish because of the multiple obscenities. I was called four letter words and some even cursed out my family as well as me.  Do you think that's an overreaction, P? I'm more convinced than ever that those who play such games and display such behavior (while claiming to be "Catholic") proves something is seriously wrong with those who play FRPs.

Out of Christian charity, I told "Daughter of Wolves" on X that D&D was occult and she should not expose her children to such. I also told her that the Vatican II sect was just that; a sect. P thinks this is wrong. If P is Traditionalist as he claims, then he too agrees she belongs to a sect--The Vatican II sect is not the Catholic Church. 

I did not mention how evil this woman is in calling herself a "conservative Catholic." On her timeline she:

  • admits to using marijuana (as a homeschooling mom of three kids)
  • brags about her "hourglass figure" of "36, 27, 38" and how her husband loves her going out in public showing off her "bare arms" and "bare legs"
Do you see anything wrong with this, P? Do you think that's setting a bad example or being a "good Catholic mother"? Do you think maybe she could use someone trying to convert her and (at least) get her away from occult influences that can also afflict her children?

5. The Danger of Even the Possibility of Occult Involvement.
I have shown evil and occult elements pervade the D&D books. It is there. It also encourages people, with citations to actual books, to investigate the occult.

According to theologian Slater: "It is well to bear in mind a remark which St. Thomas Aquinas makes after St. Augustine, that the devil wishes to excite among men a greater curiosity about occult matters 'so that being implicated in these observances, they may become more curious and get themselves more entangled in the manifold snares of pernicious error." (See A Manual of Moral Theology, 1:144 [1925]; Emphasis mine).  That alone condemns FRPs and D&D. 

Here is what is proven:
1. D&D has books that expose people (the young and impressionable among them) to occult rituals, themes, and verbiage. The books even cite occult books for the DM and players to investigate.

2. The occult is mortally sinful (necromancy, divination, etc.) 

3. Players are more likely by virtue of facts 1 &2 to investigate the occult by curiosity, if nothing else. D&D also uses fantasy imagination that could open a doorway for demons to enter a person's life.

4. As theologian Slater teaches, this is exactly what Satan wants to get people entangled in "pernicious error."

5. Therefore, D&D is to be avoided. 

P will have to prove that #s 1-4 are incorrect or that #5 does not logically follow from 1-4.

I find it odd that P claims he doesn't play D&D yet devotes so much time and energy to defending it. After all, if it is a harmless game, and people stop playing it to do something else, what real harm ensues? If P wants to make a third post (a majority of all he wrote this year) go ahead. His blog blather is just that. I'll heed the words of Scripture: "Talk not much with a fool, and go not with him that hath no sense." (Sirach 22:14).