Tuesday, November 19, 2013

HELL & the DAMNED: A Response to Christian Ohnimus Responding to Michael Voris Responding to Fr. Robert Barron

*Before reading anything, please watch the following two videos for context and, if you have time, listen to the sermon below those*

Fr. Robert Barron - Word On Fire

Michael Voris - The Vortex

St. Leonard of Port Maurice - The Fewness of the Saved (read by Fr. Michael Rodriguez)

I saw the video above from Fr. Robert Barron at least a year ago, maybe more. It was sometime after I came back to the Church, and I remember having the following reactions/thoughts:
- "This video is so deceiving and misleading. And I have never read anything credible from any reputable Catholic source to support what he is suggesting."
- "This is a very intelligent man. How can he be speaking with such ignorance?"
- "This video could, by itself, cause souls to go to Hell. I need to do something to refute this error."

At the time, there was then swirling discussion with a number of my former friends (those whom I still love and pray for often but who would not uncommonly run from tough discussions and challenging subjects, among those certainly being Hell and the Damned). I quickly found that I was alone, on an island when it came to believing that Fr. Barron was widely off the mark with his assertions.

That was right around the same time I began being more and more compelled to read pre-conciliar texts from saints, popes, et al...finding I was anything but alone in a broader and more comforting historical Communion of the Saints.

That final thought, "I need to do something," I hope is now coming more to fruition thanks to Michael Voris' recent response video to Fr. Barron.

Right after seeing that episode of "The Vortex," a good friend of mine also sent me the following article written by a local blogger and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Mr. Christian Ohnimus.


Now, right off the bat, I hope to establish something key. As I understand it, the blog is managed by a number of West Michigan Catholics, my strongest and sincerest hope would be that this post - which will be somewhat in depth - will spur "dialogue" (as the post-conciliar Church is so fond of) with these local individuals so that they can come to a "deeper understanding" of authentic Catholic teaching and tradition. And I am saying that with as little intent to sound condescending, arrogant or the like as possible.

There has been a systemic indoctrination of the "Church of Nice" mentality being propagated most assuredly at Aquinas College (of which I am a graduate and experienced first hand) and also, without a doubt, at Franciscan University...touted by many as the premier Catholic higher education institution in the United States.
By the way, just to be crystal clear, I am not singling out any particular faculty or staff member at either college. It's simply a candid assessment of the "warm fuzzy Kumbaya" theology and psychology being promoted at these two schools and many others.

I can understand how someone like Mr. Ohnimus would see the video from Mr. Voris as snarky, overbearing and perhaps even lacking in charity. I will admit that I do, from time to time, grow a bit weary from the same style of delivery in every episode of "The Vortex" (often craving something of a bit more substance and a bit less rhetoric). Yet in spite of that, I am beyond confident that this it was not the goal of Mr. Voris to "defame" Fr. Barron. It is precisely because of the seriousness of the subject that Mr. Voris has every reason to respond to this “deeply misleading” video post from Fr. Barron.

So, as I like to do so often in order to ensure that I am capturing the full context of what I comment on, I will post the original text of Mr. Ohnimus (hereafter referred to as Mr. O) and will then post my comments below. For a change of pace, I will put his text in red and mine will remain in black. Any external sources being used as quotes will be in green (Sacred Scripture, Saints, Encyclicals, etc.).

Well-known evangelist Father Barron, in discussing Hell, hopes and prays for universal salvation, stating that we cannot positively know that any human person is in Hell. Catholic commentator Michael Voris, in a video entitled simply “Fr. Barron is Wrong”, volunteers a brutish retort. After disregarding the Church’s silence on the issue as meaningless, Voris argues that many souls must be in Hell and to hope otherwise is naïve and erroneous. Voris appeals to scripture, Fatima, and ultimately questions the entire priesthood and Fr. Barron’s own vocation if no one is in Hell.
I find Voris’ response and the crowd that has come to cheer him on disturbing. What is so disturbing to me is not his belief that some must, seemingly of necessity, go to Hell as part of the Divine Plan but that Voris is so compelled to defend the Church from such faithful Catholics as Fr. Barron, to the point of defaming him. 

 Mr. Voris isn’t defaming Fr. Barron because he hasn’t said anything false or even twisted. Mr. O could perhaps accuse him of detracting, a sin of no less serious nature if it has no good cause. However, Mr. Voris has very good cause to raise the alarm, as will be shown.

 I believe, as I think Fr. Barron does, that in all probability someone is in Hell; 
There is no doubt. This will also be proven.

Voris is probably correct in his assertion that souls will indeed be damned to eternal torment but like Fr. Barron I hope for everyone’s salvation. Despite Voris’ many counter-arguments, no matter how strong they may be, Fr. Barron’s beliefs regarding Heaven and Hell are in no way heretical, in no way contradict Church doctrine, and do not lead souls into sin.
Fr. Barron's comments may not lead souls into sin, but they certainly do not do anything to steer them away from sin nor to encourage them away from it. He may not be encouraging sinful behavior, but by the overemphasis on mercy (as is so typical of the post-conciliar “Church of Nice” [as Voris rightly calls it]), we are not encouraging others to do what was first proclaimed by St. John the Baptist and, shortly thereafter by the one whom he came to announce, our Lord Jesus Christ: REPENT! DO PENANCE AND BE BAPTIZED!  We are going to see the oh-so-prevalent theme of hyper-reliance (aka false reliance) upon God's mercy with absolutely no mention of His justice. Therefore, consider the following:

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 2: 
21 They that fear the Lord, keep his Commandments, and will have patience even until his visitation,
22 Saying: If we do not penance, we shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men.
23 For according to his greatness, so also is his mercy with him.
(He alludes to 2 Kings xxiv. 14. In this world, God punishes with mercy; in the next, with severity, Daniel xiii. 23. (Calmet) - Haydock1859

 This entire chapter speaks of true reliance upon God's mercy, that which is patient and persevering and which, above all, exhibits humility and fear of the Lord (which is "the beginning of wisdom" as says Proverbs). Where else have we seen that God is merciful to those who fear him?

Luke 1:
50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
The Blessed Virgin Mary declared this truth in her Magnificat, the precursor and total exemplification of the Beatitudes 30 years before they were proclaimed on the Mount of Olives.

This is crucial to try to reiterate over and over to everyone. God's mercy is limitless in the sense that there is no sin he cannot / will not forgive if the person seeking His mercy is truly contrite of heart and repentant.
However, God's mercy is limited insofar as it cannot contradict His justice. Fr. Barron rightly calls out that Jesus Christ went "all the way to the limits of God-forsakenness" (4:52) in order that all could be saved, but He also definitively stated that not all would be saved.

Matthew 26:
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.
There is a very real reason why Pope Benedict had the words "for all" properly translated back to "for many" during the consecration of the Novus Ordo liturgy...because Christ, in His propitiatory sacrifice, still could not do anything to appease the just wrath of the Father for those who would nail Him to the Cross over and over again without repentance, both then and now.

Jesus cried out those famous last words, "forgive them Father, they know not what they do." And yet, how many throughout the last two millennia reject His grace and persist in wretchedness?

Indeed, it is precisely BECAUSE OF the extreme sacrificial nature that Christ made that the ongoing and repeated rejection of His divine mandate to "be baptized and do penance" is the stamp that seals the deal on the damnation of so many.

Back to Mr. O:
 Instead, as he tends to do in his work, Fr. Barron enlightens and builds up others towards Heaven. He warns of the very real danger of Hell, explains how even this dark concept is a manifestation of God’s love and mercy, and, in hoping for universal salvation, places no limits on God’s mercy.
 Well, I just touched the tip of the iceberg on the true limits of God's mercy. But rather than being accused of conjecture, let me turn to some voices of the past still echoing their divinely bestowed authority throughout the ages:
Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors #17:
 “Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.” - CONDEMNED

At the end of this encyclical, Pope Pius IX details that these errors were (and still are today) being spread by the Masonic sects trying to destroy the Church, and that it is from these errors “that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength.” The devil’s #1 victory is when nobody believes he exists and that nobody goes to spend eternity with him. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, "God's name is I AM WHO AM, while the devil mocks God saying I AM WHO AM NOT."

It is CRUCIAL for me to point out here, as I have done so many times in the past, that many of these quotes I am supplying are from former Popes. And just as we need to understand Christ to be ONE and His Church to be ONE, so too must we understand the entire Petrine lineage to be ONE. Alpha and Omega, non-contradictory. There must indeed be a "hermeneutic of continuity" amongst the voices of the Holy Fathers throughout the ages, in such a way that if one were found to be contradicting another, we must always defer to the one in unison with all of his predecessors.

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane, 1907:
"The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas."

"What if some novel contagions try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty." - St. Vincent de Lerins

The Church, while condemning the heresy of universalism that everyone will be saved, which disregards free will and our ability to reject God, in her wisdom, has never posited that anyone is in Hell or condemned the possibility that everyone can be saved. The Church, like us, simply cannot know who will be saved. 

We could safely finish/add on to this sentence to say “…or who will (or will not) be damned.” The Church may not be able to definitively declare at the highest degree of infallibility that a specific person is in hell. However, the idea that the Church has "never posited that anyone is in Hell" is patently false and, in fact, where I disagree with Mr. Voris, or at least his wording. In Mr. Voris' video, he states that "the Church has never declared on that subject of people being in Hell. That is correct...it is beyond the Church's authority and competence to declare that humans are in Hell." (1:56)

This is false and I disagree. I think I know what he means, that no single person has ex cathedra been declared in Hell, but the Church has declared countless times that souls are in Hell for the rest of eternity, and beyond that she has declared what kinds of people are in Hell.
 Catechism of the Council of Trent:
He descended into Hell to Proclaim His Power: “Another reason why Christ the Lord descended into hell is that there, as well as in heaven and on earth, He might proclaim His power and authority, and that every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And here, who is not filled with admiration and astonishment when he contemplates the infinite love of God for man! Not satisfied with having undergone for our sake a most cruel death, He penetrates the inmost recesses of the earth to transport into bliss the souls whom He so dearly loved and whose liberation from thence He had achieved.”  
Are we really to believe that there is nobody there "under the earth" to be made to bend a knee at His Sovereignty? That He descended into Hell in vain to a vacant realm with nobody there?
There is part that comes to mind from the movie Hook where Peter Pan asks why they have [imaginary] silverware if they don't use them. To which one of the young Lost Boys responds, "we have them so we don't have to use them."

I think it is safe to say that such logic does not exist in the divine mind of God. Hell does not exist so that He does not have to use it. God made nothing in vain, and certainly not Hell.

What types of people are there?

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.
Catechism of the Council of Trent - 8th Commandment:
He who continues in [the sin of calumny]is destined to the unending punishments of hell. Let no one indulge the hope of obtaining the pardon of his calumnies or detractions, until he has repaired the injury which they have inflicted on the honour or fame of another, whether this was done in a court of justice, or in private and familiar conversation”
These are just samples of the countless sources available declaring those who cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. The quote from the Catechism of Trent duly and clearly points out that it is those who "continue" (aka persist) in [mortal] sin who are destined for Hell. In addition, that quote is only speaking of one of the 10 Commandments, and yet we know that any violation of those Commandments of God is worthy of condemnation.

John 14:
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
24 He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father's who sent me.
Matthew 10:
32 Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.
33 But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.
 Those who do not  keep the Commandments do not love Christ. They deny Him, and - as such - He will deny them before the Father.
It seems most prudent to here supply a longer quote about the particular judgment of men.

The Four Last Things (Fr. Martin von Cochem, 1899)
      “We know from the testimony of Christ’s own words that the damned will be permitted to speak to him after they have received their sentence. He tells us, ‘They also answer Him saying: Lord, when did we ever see Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?’ (Mt 25:44).
       When the lost souls perceive that there is no remnant of hope that their terrible sentence of condemnation might be mitigated, they will, in their despair, pour out horrible imprecations: ‘Cursed be the parents who gave birth to us; cursed be all those who led us into sin; cursed be all men who have lived with us upon this earth; cursed be He who created us; cursed be the blood of Christ, wherewith we were redeemed; cursed be all the saints of God!’
       When Christ hears these blasphemies, He will exclaim in holy indignation: ‘They have blasphemed God, they have cursed Me and My saints! You have heard it yourselves, now what think you?’
Thereupon all the angels and saints will answer: ‘They are worthy of eternal death, of the everlasting pains of hell! Away with them to the place of torment, away with them into everlasting fire!’
Then that will be fulfilled which is foretold in the book of Wisdom: ‘18 And his zeal will take armour, and he will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies. 19 He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet. 20 He will take equity for an invincible shield: 21 And he will sharpen his severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with him against the unwise. 22 Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark. 23 And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stone casting wrath: the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner. 24 A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.’ (Wisdom 5).
St. John, in the Apocalypse, says: ‘And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.’ (Apoc. 18:21)
Do not these words that the angel uttered signify that all the lost souls will go odwn into hell with the impetus of a millstone that sinks to the bottom of the abyss of waters into which it was hurled?
Reflect upon this, o reader. Reflect upon it often, and do not fritter away wthy life in idle pleasures, but look to it that thou save thy soul. Call upon God with all the fervor of thy heart, and beg Him to grant thee a favorable sentence in the day of final judgment…”
 Fr. Barron points out that St. Thomas Aquinas believed that God even takes joy in damning the reprobate and in their eternal perdition (with which Fr. Barron disagrees). This is surely foreign to our 20th/21st century ears and even seems to go against the notion of the omnibenevolence of God. However, after reading the above, we can perhaps even understand that God, who is always peaceful (as I believe it was St. Francis of Assisi said), can also only be of joy (even amidst sorrow) in His perfect and duly executed justice.

Again, back to Mr. O:
Voris, however, states that the Church is silent because it has no authority on the subject and that to appeal to the Church’s silence as license to employ our own rational judgment is wrong.  I find such a stance incomprehensibly absurd, especially in light of Voris’ subsequent quoting of scripture to attack Fr. Barron and to confirm that there are human souls in Hell. I must ask, however, how can Voris possess the authority to interpret scripture in answering the question “who’s in Hell?” but not the Church? 
 Really? He's going to go there? To the "who are you to interpret" argument? This is such a tired defense. A faithful Catholic uses infallible Sacred Scripture infallibly interpreted to defend authentic Catholic teaching, and the confused or malicious party defensively retorts, "who are YOU to interpret scripture. You're not the Magisterium. And you do realize that as Catholics we are not sola scriptura, right?"
It's a broken record defense and a manifest red herring. It’s fallacious reasoning, which is one of the 6 tricks of the devil detailed by St. Ignatius Loyola in the Rules for Discernment of Spirits.

Here are some facts:
Fr. Barron is not “the Church.”
He is not even part of the Magisterium, so saying he definitively interprets scripture better than a lay person is nonsense. This would be no different than saying that all the priests and bishops who signed the declaration by Henry VIII understood scripture better than St. Thomas More.
Fr. Barron is admittedly siding with the likes of Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar over the likes of Sts. Augustine and Aquinas, two Doctors of the Church and the two greatest theologians AND philosophers of the years "A.D."
Worth noting, there has been plenty of discussion about whether or not Von Balthasar was a heretic (or espoused heretical opinions). This is not a matter of siding with Augustine over Aquinas on an undefined matter, this is a matter of siding with potential heretics over two decidedly saintly and authoritative men.
Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #13The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences - CONDEMNED
Pope Pius XII, Menti Nostrae - Thoughts for the Clergy of the World (1950)
The greatest importance must be given to philosophical and theological teaching "according to the method of the Angelic Doctor" brought up to date and adapted to meet modern errors...It must be added that the priest who is the "salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" must labor mightily for the defense of the Faith by preaching the Gospel and confuting the doctrinal errors opposed to it which are disseminated today among the people by every possible means. But these errors cannot be efficaciously fought if the unassailable principles of Catholic philosophy and theology are not thoroughly known.
Note that Popes Pius IX and XII both agree with each other that the teachings of the Angelic Doctor (Aquinas) and those others of old must be adhered to and utilized in the demonstration and promulgation of truth. But here we are seeing the exact opposite. Dissension from Aquinas and Augustine in favor of Modernist novelty...
I am hesitant to personally interpret scripture, especially in condemnation of a fellow Catholic. Instead, in trying to be docile to the Truth and not be misled by my own shortsightedness, I must turn to the Church for guidance. Because the Church has not declared anyone to be in Hell in light of these scripture passages I can only consider that a possible interpretation but not one possessing definitive, doctrinal authority.
Look, there is a difference between "personally interpreting scripture" and doing it properly. If Mr. O could reasonably prove that Mr. Voris' utilization of the Book of Apocalypse (Revelation) is incorrect, that would be something worth reading. But as such, he just plays what I commonly refer to as the "nanny nanny boo boo" card...in other words, the thing you spit out when you can't think of anything intelligible, concrete or veracious to say.

It is true, we must turn to the Church, yes. Always. Using resources such as Haydock 1859 is always a good choice. So what sources can we be assured that Fr. Barron is using to support his alleged exegetically infallible understanding of scripture? As I tried to point out before, we must understand all of this in terms of the eternal Church. The 2,000 year old Church, not the “Church of Nice.”

The Curé d'Ars by Abbé François Trochu (1927)"Did M. le Curé preach long sermons?" Mgr Convert one day asked Père Drémieux. "Yes, long ones, and always on Hell...there are people who say there is no Hell [or that nobody is there]. Ah, well...he believed in it!"
That is the type of preaching a Catholic priest does. One which speaks of the "Last Four Things" (Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell). Preaching about the "good hope that all might be saved" does not fall in line with "Vianneyesque" pastoral care...pretty telling when a priest disagrees with the Patron Saint of Parish Priests.

The fact that we are sitting here getting hung up on whether or not this ex cathedra declaration that anyone is in hell has ever happened is a moot point. Completely and utterly. Which is what Voris was getting at when he said as much. We know that people are in hell. We know this absolutely, and in fact we do know it infallibly because we declare as much in our [infallible] creed: "I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins." Without such baptism, there is no such remission.
It’s no different than the fact that all faithful Catholics knew Mary was conceived without sin prior to the solemn declaration in 1854. To suggest nobody is in hell is a complete and utter 180 from the 2,000 year old Magisterium.

The Church teaches that there is no hope of salvation apart from Christ and those who reject His bride reject Him. In no way does it follow, however, that some must of necessity then be damned to Hell as we know the heart of no man at the moment of his death. Again, we can put no limits on God’s mercy and every man, even in his final moment, may repent, accept Christ, and be saved.
 Well, there it is. Fr. Barron references Rob Bell and his universal salvation theology, but then goes on to say that the position of Von Balthasar (and, in fact, his own position) is much different in that it simply "hopes" for everyone's salvation. This is a false hope. It is no different than declaring all are saved. They are two fruits of the same tree with roots of naivity, ignorance, confusion and pride.

Why is it that an MSNBC host can recognize this is a "changing of the gospel," but Fr. Robert Barron - rector of the seminary at Mundelein and popular Catholic American figure - cannot??

Mr. Bashir quotes, "you're amending the gospel, the Christian message, so that it's palatable to contemporary people who find, for example, the idea of hell and heaven very difficult to stomach...it's much easier to swallow."

He gets it, and yet this sounds eerily similar to the declared "aggiornamento" of the Second Vatican Council...the reconciling of the modern times with the doctrines and dogmas of the Church.

Many men have died cursing God with their final breath. The verse “every knee shall bend” does not mean all suddenly repent at the judgment throne and then being forgiven. No way. If we die in the state of ONE mortal sin, we are damned. We can look to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises for this. There is a profound meditation on the following:
- Lucifer, the greatest and most favored of the angels, was cast down for ONE single declaration of rebellion (mortal sin).
- Adam and Eve (and all of mankind), humans being God's most favored creation, were condemned to death for ONE sin of disobedience and pride (mortal sin).
- Many humans, since Redemption was offered, have been damned for just ONE mortal sin having died outside of a state of sanctifying grace.

We really should get out of the practice of shooting those closest to us. As Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea notes, “The exasperating thing about Voris’ consistent method is that he targets, not heretics or enemies of the Faith, but innocent people, disobedient to no precept of Holy Church, and dissenting from no doctrine of Holy Church, and then maliciously smears them with the suggestion (and in this case the flat declaration), that they are believing, living (and in Barron’s case) teaching error.”
Mr. Shea has it completely backwards. It is the post-conciliar Church who invites Jews, Muslims, pagans, heretics and schismatics to have universal prayer ceremonies but “excommunicates” those trying to preserve the universal and eternal priesthood and the Mass of All-Time.

However, those who teach error, as has been dutifully charged to us countless times in the past, MUST be refuted! Why? Because they run the risk of causing souls to be damned! We are sheep, and a bad shepherd will take souls straight into the pit! (quote Pius X for that one, and with respect to ignorance not being an excuse).

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum
"There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition"
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." - Dante Alighieri
Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session XIII, 1551, Ch. VIII
"It is not enough to declare the truth unless errors be exposed and repudiated..."
 1 Timothy 6:20
Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.
Haydock 1859 --- "Oppositions of knowledge falsely so called". St. Chrysostom understands in particular the errors of the Gnostics, so called from the same Greek word, who were the successors of Simon Magus. But they perhaps not having the name when St. Paul wrote, we may rather understand heretics in general, who all pretend to an uncommon knowledge in Scriptures, when they follow their own private judgment, and so fall from the faith. 
 Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #9
"Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions...diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed."
Pope Pius XII, Menti Nostrae - Thoughts for the Clergy of the World (1950)
Let your apostolic zeal shine with benign charity. If it be necessary -- and it is everyone's duty -- to fight error and repel vice, the soul of the priest must be ever open to compassion. Error must be fought with all our might, but the brother who errs must be loved intensely and brought to salvation...he who to please men would gloss over their evil inclinations or be indulgent about their incorrect ways of thinking or acting, thereby prejudicing Christian teaching and integrity of morals, would be betraying his ministry.

This is why it is very much in Mr. Voris' responsibility to combat what Fr. Barron is putting out on such a broad scale. It is highly dangerous, to be likened to unstable C4 in the hands of people not properly being told to stop dinking around and misbehaving. IT IS OUR DUTY TO FIGHT ERROR AND REPEL VICE...NOT TO ENCOURAGE INDIFFERENTISM BY SUGGESTING THERE IS GOOD HOPE ALL ARE SAVED!!

We may find the hope of an empty Hell foolish in its improbability or even impossible in light of our own understanding of scripture or private revelation like Fatima. 
Just when I thought it couldn't get any more cliché he pulls out the "private revelation" card about Fatima. I hate to say it, but Mr. O is demonstrating a really poorly formed argument and is putting the regurgitation of the post-conciliar EWTN media on full display.
I could go into great detail about why Fatima cannot just be considered another "Private Revelation," but a number of other priests (YES, other PRIESTS...so of the same level as Fr. Barron) and theologians have already sufficiently explained why it cannot be viewed as such.

 Also, two audiosermons:
Bottom line is that, based on the Miracle of the Sun alone, to suggest we do not have to adhere to the message of Our Lady at Fatima is no less than to despise God, as Sister Lucy put it. If we do not believe it was Our Lady (which would be what we are declaring by not following the message) is to suggest it must be purely diabolical, which is in fact what has been repeatedly declared by Rome about Medjugorje...and yet so many of the "Church of Nice" continue to espouse it in spite of Pope Emeritus Benedict's ban under pain of mortal sin to anyone who goes on a pilgrimage there.
Okay, sorry...a bit off track there, but worth pointing out the difference.
Such hope [in universal salvation], however, in no way contradicts our Catholic belief, nor does it detract from the Truth. In fact, such hope in salvation and trust in God’s mercy seems invaluable to the salvation of many. 
No. This is false hope. There is no source to support the belief that we ought to have good hope that many are saved. None. Sacred Scripture, at the risk of being accuses as so many times in the past of being my own interpreter or Sola Scriptura, says explicitly the opposite. And this is a subject Fr. Barron has also been refuted on in the past by the likes of Ralph Martin, among others...if you want to turn to a not-so-infallible post-conciliar author (rather than infallible Popes).

Why are we striking at the heel of the Church when we should be striking at the head of actual heresies?

Good question! Why isn’t the Church condemning heresies anymore? Again, it was made abundantly clear by Pope John XXIII that the goal of the Second Vatican Council (and, sadly, the subsequent 50 years) was NOT to declare error, refute heresy, or condemn actions. It was to "leave aside, for the moment, those elements in which we differ" so that we can all just "come together."

Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964, #109
We readily accept the principle of stressing what we all have in common rather than what divides us.
So where all the "ancient" Popes said we must fight error, the last 5 tell us we must ignore it and just focus on what we have in common.

Can anyone provide me a link to something remotely authoritative or declarative by the Church in the last 50 years condemning anything? Heck, we are getting ready to have a 500 year CELEBRATION of the largest Satanic victory in the last 2,000 years! (If you don't agree, watch this video).

Here is info on this abominable celebration:

We must stop trying to “defend” our faith against fellow faithful Catholics and instead turn our energy towards real dangers. Our world keeps them in ample supply without us having to resort to condemning the “naivety” of Catholics next door.
What are these real dangers? He doesn't list any...and if nobody goes to hell, or at least we have good hope all are saved, why do we need to do anything?

We know that there are people in Hell. Judas is definitely in Hell. No doubt. He hung himself after betraying our Lord, the ultimate "sin against the Holy Ghost."

The man on the cross next to our Lord who did NOT repent is in Hell.

These two we can definitively declare are in Hell with or without ex cathedra backing.

We can also safely assume other prominent evil men of history to be in hell:
- Nero
- Hitler
- Stalin
- Mao

Do we really want to have "good hope" that these men, who showed no sign of repentance AT ALL, are in Heaven or Purgatory?? I'm surprised the anti-defamation league hasn't gone after for Fr. Barron for suggesting Hitler might not be in Hell!

I plan in the near future to do another article more specifically on the terrors of Hell. I will probably cross-reference some of the below, but for now...I will present it in a basic list format and leave it at that.

Sr. Josefa Menendez from THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE (Our Lady told her that our Lord would show her and allow her to suffer the torments of hell that she might make it known)
- One of these damned souls cried out, “This is my torture…that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left of me but hatred and despair.”
- Some yell because of the burning of their hands. Perhaps they were thieves, for they say, “Where is our loot now? Cursed hands…” Others curse their tongues, their eyes…whatever was the occasion of their sin…
- “I saw many worldly people fall into hell, and no words can render their horrible and terrifying cries: ‘Damned forever…I deceived myself; I am lost…I am here forever.’”
- “I saw a vast number of people fall into the fiery pit…they seemed to be worldlings and a demon cried vociferously: ‘The world is ripe for me…I know that the best way to get hold of souls is to rouse their desire for enjoyment..this sort of thing assures victory for me!’”
- “One devil to another said: ‘We’ll have to be very careful not to be found out, for we might easily be discovered.’ Another devil answered: ‘Insinuate yourselves by inducing carelessness in them…but keep in the background, so that you are not found out…by degrees they will become callous, and you will be able to incline them to evil.’”

St. Teresa of Avila – Her Vision of Hell
- While I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that I had seemingly been put in hell. I understood tha the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins…What I felt cannot be exaggerated, nor can it be understood…I was left terrified and still am now in writing about this almost six years later…I recall no time of trials or suffering in which it doesn’t seem to me that everything that can be suffered here on earth is nothing; so I think in a way we complain without reason.
- I marvel how after having often read books in which the pains of hell were somewhat explained I didn’t fear them or take them for what they were. (NOTE: This is exactly what is going on today; nobody talks about hell…no more FOUR LAST THINGS).
- From this experience also flow the great impulses to help souls and the extraordinary pain that is caused me by the many that are condemned (especially the Lutherans…). (NOTE: AGAIN...GETTING READY TO CELEBRATE 500 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!?)
- If here on earth knowing that finally life will end and that it has its limit, we are still moved to so much compassion, I don’t know how we can resist in regard to the other endless life when we see how the devil brings so many souls each day with himself to hell. This awareness makes me desire that in a matter so important we don’t grow satisfied with anything less than doing all we can on our part.
- When I think about [my former self], how I wasn’t inclined to criticize or speak evil of anyone, nor does it seem to me I could have ever wished evil on anyone…neither was I covetous, nor do I ever recall being envious…Yet, in spite of all this, I see the place the devils had already prepared for me. (BEING A ‘GOOD PERSON’ NOT ENOUGH! VIGILATE ET ORATE!)
Our Lady at Apparitions
- Fatima (via Sister Lucy May 22,1958 to Fr. Agostino Fuentes): “The Holy Virgin is very sad because no one pays any attention to her message of 1917. Neither the good nor the bad have paid any attention to it…God is about to punish the world and He will do it in a terrible way. The Heavenly chastisement is imminent…The devil knows that religious and priests who neglect their very high vocation drag many souls down to hell.”
- Fatima (via Sister Lucy May 22,1958 to Fr. Agostino Fuentes): “We have two very efficacious means at our disposal: prayer and sacrifice. The devil is doing everything he can to distract us and to take away our taste for prayer. Either we will save ourselves, or we will be damned. The Blessed Virgin told me that if we do not listen to her and continue in our offenses, we will no longer be pardoned.”

Saint Quotes
- “He who prays is certainly saved. He who prays not is certainly damned.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori (The Necessity and Power of Prayer, Chapter 1, Conclusion) >> This can even be found in the NEW Catechism #2744
- St. Frances of Rome had a vision of Hell which was granted to her showing ladies she had known who had been damned for: guilty desires (though not put into act), immodest dress (though fashionable to the world), dancing (though it was considered inoffensive to the world).
- St. Gregory the Great: “The just man who is truly concerned about his eternal salvation will from time to time think of the future Judge. He will meditate before death overtakes him upon the account he will have to give of his life…Hence, the just are ever in fear of the awful judgments of God, for they are conscious that all [their] secret sins will be brought to judgment, as St. Paul says…” (THE FOUR LAST THINGS, Fr. Martin von Cochem, 1899)
- “Don’t you know that we must be alert on the road to salvation?  Only the fervent succeed in reaching it, never the tepid or those who sleep!” – St. Padre Pio
- St. Padre Pio was once asked what he thought of people who did not believe in hell. He wisely replied: “They will very well believe in hell when they get there.”
- “Dear God!  If all were aware of your severity as well as of your tenderness, what creature would be so foolish as to dare to offend you?” – St. Padre Pio
- St. John Bosco on his trip to / visions of hell
- 'Poor Judas! Above seventeen hundred years have elapsed since he has been in Hell, and his Hell is still only beginning.' (St. Alphonsus Liguori)
- 'It is of faith that Heaven exists for the good and Hell for the wicked. Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God.' (St. Anthony Mary Claret) >> Worth noting that the author does not seem to grasp the gravity of hell; explain the Ignatian exercises and the meditation of one sin that damned the angels, one that damned humanity, etc.
- St. Alphonsus said that we have a finite number of sins we can commit before God will end our lives
- 'The souls of the just, although in the goodness of their nature they feel compassion. yet after they have been united to the righteousness of their Author, are constrained by such great uprightness as not to be moved with compassion towards the reprobate.' – St. Gregory (No mercy or compassion for the wicked once dead)
- 'We have been taught that only they may aim at immortality who have lived a holy and virtuous life near to God. We believe that they who live wickedly and do not repent will be punished in everlasting fire.' (St. Justin Martyr)
- 'The road to hell is open for the wicked. Once they enter into it, they will never come up again. They will be without glory or bliss and will be filled with misery and everlasting reproach... the damned will feel the pains of hell in an everlasting death because they did not will to enjoy the benefit of my death and passion and did not will to follow my will while they lived in the world.' (Jesus speaking to St. Bridget of Sweden)

Bible Quotes
- But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die…Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin. (Ezekiel 18:21,30)
- Say to them: As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: and why will you die, O house of Israel?... Yea, if I shall say to the just that he shall surely live, and he, trusting in his justice, commit iniquity: all his justices shall be forgotten, and in his iniquity, which he hath committed, in the same shall he die. (Ezekiel 33:11,13)
- And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have made their land waste and desolate, for all their abominations which they have committed…And when that which was foretold shall come to pass, (for behold it is coming,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. (Ezekiel 33:28,33) 
- Note in relation to the above from LaSalette:“If my people do not wish to submit themselves, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my son. God will strike in an unprecedented way. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His wrath upon them, and none one will be able to escape from so many combined afflictions. The leaders, the guides of the people of God have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has bedimmed their intelligence.”
- Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36) / Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak. (Matthew 26:41)
- And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28, Lk 12:5)
- Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

Click to Enlarge to See Quote

~ Pax et Bonum ~


  1. When did you graduate from Aquinas? Because clearly you were not exposed to any of the current full-time Theology (or Catholic Studies) faculty.

    1. Pax et Bonum Paul,

      I graduated in 2007. To my knowledge, most if not all of the same theology faculty is still there? But again I must reiterate that I am not singling out any single person. The "Kumbaya Theology" I am referring to can, however, be found in groups like Koinonia, which I believe is still going on? As well as the other interfaith praise and worship (so-called) events which link together Aquinas, Calvin, Cornerstone, GVSU (regardless of creed), etc. I believe these groups to be fruitless and frivolous as they try, for fear of being accused of being polemic or rude, to just put aside differences and proclaim that we all "worship the one true God."

      That is, as such, essentially the same premise as Freemasonry...a position repeatedly and loudly condemned over the last three centuries.

      Could you provide more detail/insight into your comment as to why you posted that? Where you think my misunderstanding is?

      God Bless

    2. Tyler,

      First, I want to apologize for the antagonistic tone of my initial comment. I reacted to your comments about my alma mater like a son reacts to such comments about his mother. I came to Aquinas in 2008 and graduated in 2012.

      Second, I would like to ask for you to please define what exactly you mean by "Kumbaya Theology"? If you are referring to the same Koinonia group that I am (the one that meets at St. Thomas parish?), then you broad and demeaning characterization of that group is unfounded. Please address specific theological problems.

      Third, please clarify what you mean by insinuating that Protectants do not “worship the one true God”? The Church recognizes these groups of believers as “Christian Communities.” If they are Christian, if they baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit then they do indeed worship the one true God along with Catholics.

      In all honesty, I’m trying to restrain my antagonism – your comments sparked some real zeal. To make such generalized and demeaning claims about groups of genuine and orthodox Catholics is, quite frankly, shameful. We are called to support our bothers, not to cause division within the Body of Christ.



    3. Pax et Bonum Paul,

      Your defense of our shared Alma Mater is understood. I wish I could have the same zeal to defend the school, but since it contributed to me losing my faith for those years rather than strengthening it, I cannot.

      When I say Kumbaya Theology, I am referring to the mentality that we should "all just get along." In a nut shell, those "COEXIST" bumper stickers. It is a theological/philosophical/sociological attitude that, I believe, is rooted in kindness...but a kindness that lacks proper Catechetical education to understand that this is not true Catholicism.

      For more information, I would encourage you to read my response comments at the bottom of this page to Christian.

      With respect to Koinonia, my experience with the group was just as such. Highly "interfaith/ecumenical" with an aversion to the tough discussions, though certainly not closed off to desiring the conversion of others. It's simply a slippery slope that Pope Pius XII said leads to religious indifferentism, which I firmly believe is plaguing the entire world at present (and especially pluralistic countries like the US, Canada, Europe...).

    4. In response to your final comment, you have misunderstood or twisted my words. I did not say that Protestants do not worship the one true God. I said I condemn the notion that we should simply put aside all other differences BECAUSE we all worship the one true God (as if this is enough and nothing else matters).

      As Catholics, we must adhere to every single dogma and doctrine of the faith, or we fall into heresy. I am sure you know this. It's not a "pick and choose create-your-own-religion/denomination."

      It's all or nothing.

      So with that, all Protestant denominations and schismatic sects, whether they only disagree on only a few issues (Eastern Orthodox) or many issues (Southern Baptist, Evangelical, etc.)...they are outside of the bosom of the Church and, as such, outside of the Ark of Salvation.

      I am excited to see that your zeal has triggered. This means you are thinking and hopefully praying about this exchange (pray for me, I need it!).

      It is indeed true that, as St. Paul wrote, we are called to "comfort one another; and edify one another." (1 Thess 5:11). But what else does he say if we keep reading?

      "12 We beseech you, brethren, to know them who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you:
      13 That you esteem them more abundantly in charity, for their work's sake. Have peace with them.
      14 And we beseech you, brethren, rebuke the unquiet, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men."

      Called to adhere to the words of those "over us in the Lord" and to take note when they admonish us. This certainly speaks of the Church hierarchy and the Magisterium, wouldn't you agree? And yet, with that being said, it speaks to the eternal Magisterium and not just that which is presently in office. This is how we understand our faith...unchanging until the end of time.

      Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896, #9
      It is then undoubtedly the office of the church to guard Christian doctrine and to propagate it in its integrity and purity.
      Origen writes: "As often as the heretics allege the possession of the canonical scriptures, to which all Christians give unanimous assent, they seem to say: `Behold the word of truth is in the houses.' But we should believe them not and abandon not the primary and ecclesiastical tradition. We should believe not otherwise than has been handed down by the tradition of the Church of God"

      So, if we hear someone in authority over us tell us something we know to be clearly false, not of our own fallible understanding but due to proper use of our God-given reason, we are called to reject it and oppose it.
      For St. Paul wrote (and repeated):
      8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
      9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.

      Please understand that everything I have written and tried to explain is rooted in the purest fraternal charity, striving (though imperfectly) to follow the instruction of St. Paul to the Colossians:
      "Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God."

      I would like to extend to you the same offer I gave to Christian to have you join me at my house for dinner.
      This vis-à-vis exchange I believe could be much more fruitful than high-risk misunderstanding through comment board interaction.

      God Bless,

    5. Tyler,

      I agree, dinner or coffee would be good. And sorry for the misunderstanding about that last point. You are correct, worshiping the same God does not make everything "a-okay" for Protestant denominations.

      However, I would like to come back to your criticism of Koinonia. I understand your concern and, because I did not participate in that group until a couple years after you graduated, I cannot speak to your personal experience. However, I do bid you to please tread carefully. Because what Koinonia is, and has been since I have participated on-and-off for the past 3-4 years, is a group of Catholic adults who meet on a weekly basis to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary before studying various Encyclicals, Saints, Feast days, etc. as a community. Thus your public generalizing (and subsequent criticism) of this group as "Kumbaya" and on the slippery slope to indifferentism may well be nothing short of slander.

      This was also the reason for my reaction to your initial comments about Aquinas College. You said, "There has been a systemic indoctrination of the "Church of Nice" mentality being propagated most assuredly at Aquinas College." Whether you realize it or not, you are spreading false information and damaging the reputation of this school. While I cannot speak to your experience, I can speak to mine and to the current state of the college, and your statements are at best misleading, and at worst straight-up fiction. There are many people (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and administration) who are working hard and risking their careers to make Aquinas authentically Catholic and ignorant statements like this undermine their efforts and further scandalize the school.

      If you have a problem with something name the problem and name the instance (be specific!), but don't bring down the communities that holy women and men have worked so hard to build. The Body of Christ has no more need of divisions.

    6. Paul,

      I am happy to hear about all that is now going on at Koinonia. What encyclicals have you been studying? One of the challenges I have run into time and time again is that most of our confreres were only reading encyclicals from the last 50 years. Any time one tries to bring up something prior to Vatican II, they refuse to go there.

      A priest was even so bold as to ask, "Do you want to be a part of the pre-conciliar Church or the post-conciliar Church?"

      Frightening question...

      With respect to Aquinas, I understand that Dr. Pineiro (I believe) is, with a panel of others, conducting an investigation into how well the school is living up to its Dominican Tradition.
      This investigation in itself is both encouraging and yet telling.

      I actually began writing a long, in-depth letter to President Olivarez but eventually abandoned it finding it to be far too time consuming for what will be, sadly I fear, of no benefit.

    7. Problems with Aquinas:
      - A good share of the faculty is not Catholic AND is allowed to an does push liberal agendas down the throats of students
      - Students do not need to be Catholic, and a good share are not or at least are not practicing Catholics.
      - Campus Ministry is highly sentimental/charismatic and ripe with Liturgical abuse. When I was there, they were using leavened bread during mass, changing the words of the liturgy to be gender neutral (for our good and the good of all "God's" Church instead of "His" Chuch). When it came time to say "peace," it was a zoo with people racing up and down the stairs, hugging, kissing, giggling, etc.
      - LGBT agenda was readily allowed to be promoted on campus with clubs. It wasn't a matter of loving them and reaching out to them, they were embraced and encouraged to persist in homosexual lifestyles. A few couples even lived together in the dorms, and "noises" could be heard from rooms.
      - Co-ed dorm buildings, packed with frequent and regular fornication.
      - The Marywood nuns are regularly preaching and performing acts of heresy and sacrilege. They have "earth masses," burying the Sacred Species in the earth or allowing lesbian couples to bring up the gifts...or the nuns to hold up the chalice or even host during the consecration. They grumble about the excessive power and role of men in the Church and resent this.
      - At least some of the foreign studies programs make no consideration of ensuring there will be ample/sufficient Catholic life/nourishment at the destinations during semesters abroad.
      - In Humanities, we read: Chaucer, Voltaire, Frankenstein...we read nothing of any authentically Catholic voice except Dante. In this vein, the ideals of the French Revolution and "free thinkers" are zealously encouraged. "One must cultivate his garden," as Candide finishes.
      - All of the norms of the world with respect to college life are met or attempted to be met at Aquinas, regardless of moral ramification: free-for-all cafeterias where one can gorge himself gluttonously on every time of food, dances (you can go to my post here: http://tylernethercott.blogspot.com/2013/05/tango-in-1914-immorality-of-new.html), binge drinking largely permitted (low repercussion) and even encouraged at the Homecoming beer tents.
      - No dress code: women are allowed to parade around in next to nothing, lay out in bikinis, workout in sports bras and spandex, etc.

      I could literally go on, and on, and on. St. John Vianney would have died of horror and sorrow if he had been assigned as the Curé d'Aquinas.

      As to the Church of Nice, the Kumbaya Theology, the entire promotion was almost purely humanitarian at Aquinas. There was a lot of wonderful promotion of work with Degagé, school cleanups, etc...but again, those "tough conversations" I keep referring to which literally make or break whether someone will be saved or damned are just completely omitted.

      Everyone only wants to talk about love, joy, mercy (all WONDERFUL!), but never sin, death, judgment, hell.

      In a nutshell, if you have ever listened to Patrick Coffin as the host of Catholic Answers, that's what I'm talking about.
      Everyone is "brother" and "Amen, brother."

      Well, everyone, that is, except for those nasty schismatic and heretical "Rad-Trads."

      I hope that is specific?

      email me at tyler_nethercott@yahoo.com

      I would indeed like to hear more about your experience at Aquinas and, if things have changed, than prayers of thanksgiving on my part are indeed in order because my prayers of petition have been answered.

      But I continually read the Aquinas magazine that comes to my house, drive through the campus, and occasionally attend events, and from all I have seen...it is still the same.

  2. This is quite the novel. My apologies, but I can't consider it a high enough priority right now to respond equally in-depth. However, considering how much effort you must have put into your response you certainly warrant a reply so, instead, I'd like to offer just a few of my reflections to your post. I hope that will suffice for now.

    First, to reiterate my perspective on Hell: I believe that the likelihood that all are saved is so minuscule as to be a "statistical impossibility" so to speak and, yet, I hesitate to state positively that I in fact KNOW that any human soul has been damned to Hell for two reasons. First, because I in fact do not feel confident that I know any such thing and, therefore, to state that I know what I in fact doubt (no matter how minuscule that doubt) defies my reason. Second, I am hesitant to place any limits on God's mercy. I don't consider this a false hope or an over-emphasis on mercy because I do not believe that God's mercy and justice are in any way contradictory and because the Church itself seems to encourage such hope. Consider Fatima, which I do believe to be genuine revelation even if I am not demanded to believe it by the Church, in which the Blessed Mother requests us to pray for Jesus to "lead all souls to Heaven."

    I'm glad you touch on the balance of justice and mercy as a proper understanding of both is essential to understanding Heaven and Hell. My concern with Voris is that he focuses on what he perceives as God's justice at the neglect of God's mercy, so much so that he misunderstands both. The Church makes it very clear that Hell is quite real and a danger to all. Simultaneously, it encourages us to hope and pray for everyone's salvation. This is the response that God's justice and mercy together demand of us. Justice, that every man receives his due, and mercy, that we may be forgiven, work hand-in-hand and to neglect one is to misunderstand both. I'm not concerned that Voris believes, without a doubt, that there are people in Hell, that is a reasonable conclusion even if its one I approach cautiously. What disturbs me is his rejection of the demands of charity and God's infinite mercy that we hope and pray for everyone's salvation and his subsequent rejection of those who do hope and pray for it.

    1. - With respect to being hesitant to declare that we KNOW any human soul has been damned, please consider again item #17 from the Syllabus of Errors which I listed in my post. You can read the encyclical Quanto Conficiamur for more detail. It is a very good encyclical, and I highly recommend it. Those errors condemned by Pius IX were just as such: condemned. Meaning that they are not open for discussion, and that to state anything opposite to what he has been outlined is condemned. I once had a friend tell me that we can't place any weight on encyclicals because they are not infallible and are always open for discussion later on. This notion has been repeatedly condemned. Take Pope Pius XII for example:
      Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #16, 20
      Things that have been composed through common effort by Catholic teachers over the course of the centuries to bring about some understanding of dogma are certainly not based on any such weak foundation...it is not astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the Ecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.
      Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent...But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians

      In addition, if you turn to Luke 23 to see where Jesus shows mercy to the "good thief," He gives us no such indication to the man next to Him who was cursing and blaspheming Him.
      Furthermore, if countless saints, popes, etc. have in fact declared people (both general and specific) to be in Hell, I do feel very confident in echoing their same words.
      Like I quoted, St. Alphonsus says that Judas is in Hell.
      St. Teresa of Avila said she saw souls falling into Hell like snowflakes.
      And St. Leonard of Port Maurice said much, much more than both of them even...

      - With respect to Our Lady's words at Fatima and "lead all souls to Heaven," the entire reason that we need to pray that prayer is because we are praying for mercy for the many who are on the path to damnation. Please reconsider the words I posted from Sr. Lucy:
      "The devil knows that religious and priests who neglect their very high vocation drag many souls down to hell."
      "Either we will save ourselves [by prayer and penance], or we will be damned."

    2. - Have you ever read the book "The Curé d'Ars" by Abbé François Trochu? I would highly, HIGHLY recommend you read it. I know one woman who was, by her own admission. living a lukewarm Catholic life (one worthy of being vomited out, as Sacred Scripture says), and then she read this biography of St. John Vianney and it made her say to herself: "This stuff sounds insane. I have never heard anything like this before. It sounds far too harsh. And yet, this man is a saint...and a great one at that. So either he's wrong, or I'm wrong." And then she changed her life.
      - With respect to Voris and your belief that he lacks charity, we must understand and agree upon what charity actually is...Charity is "to desire the good of another." In fact, we may understand that to read in more common language "the best for another." The good being the supreme good, which is the salvation of his or her soul.
      If we can agree on that definition, which I feel is safe to assume you find satisfactory/correct, then we must move on to this discussion of Heaven and Hell. That is where this fundamental disagreement is coming in. You have made it clear that you personally (as Fr. Barron believes personally) that there is good hope for all to be saved. I understand this hope, on a personal level. It is indeed rooted in charity: that of neighbor (wanting to see nobody damned) and of God (wanting to see nobody committing mortal sin and so offending God as to provoke his just wrath).
      But I must call out two things from the above:
      a.) You mentioned this...there is no room for personal belief when it comes to the teachings of the Catholic Church. To disagree with the Church is to declare one's self a Protestant. We must give assent to each and every doctrine and dogma of the Catholic faith, or else we are a heretic (by definition). So the part of Fr. Barron's video where he says "what do I think? Well I think..." is borderline appalling. He lists the opinions (so-called) of Augustine and Aquinas (whom he labels his hero) but then goes on to contradict them. Why? Because he finds it too dark. So, as if it isn't clear enough (in my opinion), one might ask: "who do I believe??"
      When in doubt, as St. Vincent de Lerins said, we always trust the historical position of the Church...not vain novelty (even if it seems more palatable to us).

      "For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...Who changed the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:22,25)
      "That your faith might not stand on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:5)

      b.) In spite of your own position that there is good hope for all, I would ask that you flip your position and visit the possibility that there is NOT good hope that all are saved...that there is, in fact, the likelihood that most are damned (as I have outlined by so many sources in my post). IF you can see that position and imagine that to be true, do you understand why Michael Voris, like so many others, is attacking with such voracity this position that there is good hope of the opposite?
      Just ask yourself the following:
      If you are a grave sinner, and you have suddenly a moment of grace which jars your conscience to realize you may be in jeopardy of the "loss of heaven and the pains of hell," which statement is more likely - from the lips of a priest - to prompt you to "go and sin no more" :
      a.) "There is good reason to hope that all are saved."
      b.) "If you do no amend your life and stop persisting in sin, you will be damned."


      Please consider the above.

    3. I'm familiar with Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors. He's condemning the notion that we can be saved without accepting Christ, or that we can have good hope that such salvation without Christ is possible. I agree of course but that does not touch directly on the issue of, "is it possible that all can accept Christ and be saved?"

      Also, you keep using the phrase "good hope" and suggest that in all likelihood this is not the case and some are most certainly damned. I already stated as much. I've already repeatedly stated that I believe that such universal salvation is, in a manner of speaking, so rare in probability as to be "statistically impossible", which hardly constitutes "good hope." However, I still contend that there is some hope that it is at least possible and pray for everyone's salvation.

  3. Another comment, I find it strange that you base your argument so heavily on Church tradition and authority and yet so easily dismiss the last fifty years of Church history almost as if it were illicit. You warn that we must take prominent figures in Church history like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas very seriously and I agree. However, by the same reasoning I take the last five popes very seriously as well, as holy men chosen by God to lead the Church who are far wiser than I am. Why do you mourn the Church's emphasis on finding common ground? Furthermore, why do you misrepresent the Church by falsely representing its stance as "ignoring" error and "just focusing" on what we have in common? There is a difference between stressing what I'm sure was perceived as a necessary emphasis on common ground and totally neglecting any and all defense against error. Recent popes, including Pope Francis, have condemned modern heresies like relativism and individualism tirelessly. Relativism and individualism, by the way, are two ideologies that I would consider "real dangers" to the faith, not the well-intentioned Catholic down the street. If they are well-intentioned in their faith, which I believe Catholics like Fr. Barron are, they will conform themselves to the Truth should they find themselves in error. It does not require that we draw a line in the sand and do battle against the elusive "Church of Nice" (a cryptic slur which any person serious about evangelization should avoid).

    Anyway, those are my initial thoughts in response to your post. Its late so I'll stop there and call it a night. If you have anything else you would like to add feel free to visit our blog.

    1. "I find it strange that you base your argument so heavily on Church tradition and authority and yet so easily dismiss the last fifty years of Church history almost as if it were illicit."
      - The best explanation of why I put a heavy emphasis on those prior to the Second Vatican Council is due to the fact that I believe much of what those after the Council said and did does not match that which was said before. I do not believe in the "hermeneutic of continuity," I believe there was and is a very real hermeneutic of rupture.

      The quote at the end best says it: "We submit ourselves and are willing to accept all that which is conformity of our Catholic faith, such as has been taught by her for two thousand years, but we refuse all that which is opposed to it."

    2. With respect to Pope Francis, there is a lot I could say but will leave you to review what John Vennari has already outlined:

      You may also like to read my penultimate post:

      As well as another in which I show what Archbishop Sheen would have said to Pope Francis:

    3. Why do you mourn the Church's emphasis on finding common ground? Furthermore, why do you misrepresent the Church by falsely representing its stance as "ignoring" error and "just focusing" on what we have in common? There is a difference between stressing what I'm sure was perceived as a necessary emphasis on common ground and totally neglecting any and all defense against error.

      - The reason why I mourn the Church's [over]emphasis on what we have in common is due to the following:
      a.) This practice (albeit pastoral) was previously condemned under the labels of modernism, eirinism, liberalism, freemasonry, false unity, etc.
      b.) Because I do believe that the Church is ignoring very relevant errors. I believe that one mortal sin damns a soul for all eternity. I believe that very few are in the "hoped for" invincible ignorance. Very, very few. And I believe not of my own "dark/pessimistic" stance but because this is what the Church has always said and preached. I believe, for example, that Jews and Muslims and pagans and yes, even Protestants, must convert to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church prior to their death to have "good hope" to be saved. I do not rule out the possibility of salvation under the divine ruling of invincible ignorance, but I believe that we not just ought to but in fact must try to convert others to Catholicism. This is precisely what John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have all said they have no intent of doing. They simply want to have "dialogue" to come to a "better mutual understanding" for "mutual enrichment." I do not believe that Buddhism has anything to offer Catholicism to enrich it. Catholicism is perfect and from God, and God has revealed nothing to Buddhists which has not already been properly revealed to Holy Mother Church.


    4. c.) I believe in the following quotes:

      Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, 1442
      ...Christians, with all discord between them banished, should come together in the same purity of faith.

      Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1928, #10
      The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it... whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.

      Nicene Creed
      We believe in ONE, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

      Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #11
      ...danger is perceived...concealed beneath the mask of virtue...There are many who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an "eirenism"according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma....

      Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session XIII, 1551, Ch. VIII
      it is not enough to declare the truth unless errors be exposed and repudiated, it has seemed good to the holy council to subjoin these canons, so that, the Catholic doctrine being already known, all may understand also what are the heresies which they ought to guard against and avoid.

      Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896, #9
      …for the preservation of unity…St. Paul [says]...souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: "One Lord, one faith," and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: "that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only-"but until we all meet in the unity of faith...unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ"

      Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #18
      Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church - CONDEMNED

      Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, 1943, #22
      It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit

      Fr. Denis Fahey
      The world must conform to our Divine Lord; not He to it.

      Matthew 12:30
      He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.
      1 John 2:22
      Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son.
      2 John 1:10
      If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you...
      1 Corinthians 1:10,13
      "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment…Is Christ divided?"

      All of those quotes say nothing about trying to just find common ground while disregarding what separates us. I can understand finding commonality to open conversation, but the end goal of that conversation must be conversion, not only "peaceful coexistence."

  4. You believe that John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis all have/had no intention of converting souls to Christ? All I can suggest is that you read more of all of them as they have all made tremendous efforts evident in their work to bring souls to God as well as condemning modernism, liberalism etc.

    1. One of the marks of a Modernist is to say something Orthodox one minute and then to contradict it (whether in word or deed) the next.
      This was outlined by Pope St. Pius X.

      I can assure you that I have read a LOT by all of the above three.
      I have also read a lot by their predecessors, which I recommend to all those who assert there is no contradiction.

      I do indeed believe they had no intent to convert because they said as much:

      Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964, #79
      If, in our desire to respect a man's freedom and dignity, his conversion to the true faith is not the immediate object of our dialogue with him, we nevertheless try to help him and to dispose him for a fuller sharing of ideas and convictions.

      Pope Paul VI, Nostra Aetate, 1965, #1
      In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.

      Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990 #29
      The Church's relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: "Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man." Excluding any mistaken interpretation, the interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that "every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart."
      (Do I need to explain how many things are wrong with this? Pope Leo XIII called respect for other religions a mark of freemasonry and in direct service of Satan...).

      Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #17
      The Church's task is described as though it had to proceed in two directions: on the one hand promoting such "values of the kingdom" as peace, justice, freedom, brotherhood, etc., while on the other hand fostering dialogue between peoples, cultures and religions, so that through a mutual enrichment they might help the world to be renewed and to journey ever closer toward the kingdom.
      (Nothing about conversion, only "mutual enrichment.")

      The controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on formulas. The Lord's Spirit permits us to understand better today that the divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to misunderstandings.
      (Read the history of the Assyrian schism...it was not due to misunderstanding, it was due to numerous very real and concrete differences).

      Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990 #1-2
      The missionary thrust…is the inspiration behind ecumenism: "that they may all be one...so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17:21)...communion between the churches has led to a lively exchange of spiritual benefits and gifts...churches are more willing to meet with the members of other Christian churches and other religions, and to enter into dialogue and cooperation with them...missionary activity is a matter for all Christians.
      (He is encouraging Protestants not to convert but rather for Catholics to join with Protestants in some kind of global missionary effort...).

    2. However, as I mentioned...they sometimes contradict themselves, because John Paul II did say the following:
      Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990 #46
      The proclamation of the Word of God has Christian conversion as its aim: a complete and sincere adherence to Christ and his Gospel through faith. Conversion is a gift of God, a work of the Blessed Trinity. It is the Spirit who opens people's hearts...Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple...

      But you will note that the definition of conversion does NOT mention anything about conversion to the Catholic Church. We see this mark of ambiguity or lack of explicitness throughout that encyclical and others. He says it is the Spirit who opens people's hearts, but he says also that he believes the Spirit mysteriously dwells in every man's heart, a direct contradiction to the receipt of the Holy Ghost at Baptism and disregarding that the Holy Ghost can only dwell in those in a state of sanctifying grace.

      Jerzy Kluger, Pope John Paul II's childhood Jewish friend, admitted that "Karol" never once tried to convert him or told him he needed to convert.

      He said repeatedly he had no intent to convert Jews, Eastern Orthodox, and many others...

      Even Fr. Dwight Longnecker said he had a hard time converting from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism because he was told by countless Catholic priests and even bishops to "stay put and be a vessel of dialogue."

      Keep probing deeper. If you believe what Pope Benedict said, you should at least believe in the "media hijacking" of the Council. A big part of this has been the "conditioned" (brainwashed) opinions of many Catholics about what has been said and done in the last 50 years.

      I hope you can read all of this with an open heart...

    3. I meant to leave the following comment here but I did it through my e-mail and I don't see it. In case you didn't get it, here it is:

      Am I right in concluding that you consider dialogue and mutual enrichment to be mutually exclusive with conversion? That is the impression I am left with when you say that Pope John Paul II contradicts himself by encouraging mutual enrichment, dialogue, and ecumenicism while simultaneously promoting Christian conversion. I disagree. I believe, especially given the nature of the modern world, that such ecumenicism aids conversion and, for many, is even necessary if they are ever to accept Christ and the Catholic Church. The truth is that such outreach has brought many people into the Church and is that not ultimately the goal? Our object must be conversion and salvation, to which I'm sure you agree. Is it possible that focusing on common ground can be as powerful of a tool, perhaps even more so in today's world, as condemnation of error in bringing people to Christ? I can find no objection in myself to that.

    4. Christian
      Thank you for your important question. I hope I can do justice to it.
      However, before I begin, I did want to ask for one clarification. As I was driving home from work yesterday, I wondered if we might be partially at a misunderstanding based on a subtle but significant difference between two possible understandings of the phrase “there is good reason to hope that all are saved.”
      Meaning 1: We ought to hope that all are saved. In other words, as it is God’s will/desire that all would be saved, we too ought to hope that all will be saved. This is our chief mission as missionaries of the faith. We want to do everything possible to bring others to the truth so that they will be saved and not damned. If this is what you mean by the phrase, then I am in 100% agreement.
      Meaning 2: There is good hope that all are saved. Meaning that it is probable that all are saved, or at least possible that all are saved. Or even that it is possible that most are saved. If this is what you mean, then I disagree 100%, and this understanding of the phrase is what I based my blog post on. I believe this notion has been more than sufficient. This is also the understanding that Fr. Barron is clearly explaining in his YouTube video.
      I just wanted to point out those two possible understandings to get clarification.

    5. As for your other question, there are few things I’d like to point out:
      1.) As I stated, I do not believe in “mutual enrichment” as a fruit of dialogue with other religious leaders. The reason why I say this is due to the fact that other world religions have nothing new to offer Catholicism. Catholicism is divinely revealed to man by God, all other religions and/or sects are from man. This does not mean I think there are not shared aspects, nor that I mean that Catholicism and other religions are mutually exclusive. It means Catholics already have all that they need to achieve salvation. So it has everything to do with the word “mutual.” I base this on, among other things, the following:

      Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #5
      “Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human reason – CONDEMNED”

      Pope Pius XII, On the Ecumenical Movement, 1949, #II
      “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 from outside.”

    6. 2.) The apparent contradiction rather comes from the fact that so many near and dear to Pope John Paul II stated both during his life and posthumous that he never tried to convert them. He never stated to them that unless they come to the “laver of regeneration,” they will be damned. This is, indeed, the infallible teaching of the Church known commonly as “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.”

      Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, 1442
      "It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives."

      Have you heard any of the last 5 Popes talk about this?
      I read this to some friends about a year ago, and they said that doesn't sound Catholic to them at all...because they have never heard anything of the sort.

    7. 3.) In response to the notion that we need to change our methods of evangelization to conform to the modern world, I will say that one cannot deny the Church has “slightly” altered her pastoral methods throughout the ages to best evangelize to the given times. This can be pointed out with things like the advent of the printing press to utilize more mass printing of useful texts/spiritual reading, or for the increased efforts to have catechism classes starting in the 19th century as the general working class in many countries became more literate and more educated. However, the Church has never sought to turn to a kind of “New Evangelization” by the means of what ecumenism has today become (not just interfaith dialogue but also interfaith worship aka communication in sacris). Have you read the encyclical Mortalium Animos by Pius XI or “On the Ecumenical Movement” by Pius XII? They literally condemn exactly what the Church has been promoting over the last 50 years. Doesn’t that trouble you? That not just those two Popes, but countless before them, CONDEMNED interfaith worship and dialogue on the foundation of ignoring differences with an ANATHEMA attached to that concept, and now the last 5 Popes have praised that kind of activity? It truly horrifies and confounds me.
      Consider the following:

      Pope Pius XII, On the Ecumenical Movement, 1949, #IV- #1 / V
      “That communicatio in sacris (aka praying with other faiths/partaking in other worship ceremonies) be entirely avoided…”

      Pope Pius XII, On the Ecumenical Movement, 1949, #II
      “They shall also be on guard lest, on the false pretext that more attention should be paid to the points on which we agree than to those on which we differ, a dangerous indifferentism be encouraged…”

      Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1928, #2,7-8
      “...[some] hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. FOR WHICH REASON CONVENTIONS, MEETINGS AND ADDRESSES ARE FREQUENTLY ARRANGED BY THESE PERSONS, AT WHICH A LARGE NUMBER OF LISTENERS ARE PRESENT, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly SUCH ATTEMPTS CAN NOWISE BE APPROVED BY CATHOLICS, FOUNDED AS THEY ARE ON THAT FALSE OPINION WHICH CONSIDERS ALL RELIGIONS TO BE MORE OR LESS GOOD AND PRAISEWORTHY, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. NOT ONLY ARE THOSE WHO HOLD THIS OPINION IN ERROR AND DECEIVED, BUT ALSO IN DISTORTING THE IDEA OF TRUE RELIGION THEY REJECT IT, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is ALTOGETHER ABANDONING THE DIVINELY REVEALED RELIGION.

      …OTHERS AGAIN, EVEN GO SO FAR AS TO WISH THE PONTIFF HIMSELF TO PRESIDE OVER THEIR MOTLEY, SO TO SAY, ASSEMBLIES...This being so, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE APOSTOLIC SEE CANNOT ON ANY TERMS TAKE PART IN THEIR ASSEMBLIES, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise?”

      This last quote by Pius XI could not be more explicit in condemning what has now taken place multiple times at the “Assisi Peace Gatherings” (so-called), begun in 1986 by Pope John Paul II.

    8. I believe the perfect assessment of interaction with non-Catholics was outlined by Pius IX:
      Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, 1863, #9
      "God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth..."

      I must candidly express that I too, for some time, thought that the best means of conversion was to find "common ground" and not to "stir the pot."
      I now know this to, unfortunately, be entirely false and very deceptive. The reason why is again rooted in the difficulty of being saved. Salvation is not easy, it is very hard and requires that we "work it out with fear and trembling."

      St. Paul told us to "be not conformed to this world," for "the whole world is seated in wickedness."

      When we are in doubt about something, the surest point of recourse is always to the life of Jesus Christ. What was His "pastoral approach?"

      It was to speak the truth. It was the only thing He could do, for He "came to do the will of the Father."

      He said to the Pharisees, "Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil...if I say the truth, you believe me not.
      Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God."

      This is exactly what St. Paul was saying when he wrote, "the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined."

      I am not saying that we ought to beat the dead horse when it comes to speaking the truth. Exactly the opposite. I am advocating that "whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: go forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet."

      We know from reading the Gospels that our Lord was a man of few words, but profoundly wise words.
      This is is found, among other places, in Ecclesiasticus:
      "A good understanding will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom."
      Also translated as "a truly wise man will be silent for a time, and when he speaks many will declare his wisdom."

      We must learn to think like God, and this can only be done by grace which comes from a willingness to die to self and give all over to God and His will.

      Our Lord told us to "take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you."

      So why are we trying to turn to human wisdom which tells us to just try to peaceably coexist when, as Carl pointed out on your blog comments, He came "to bring not peace but the sword?"

    9. Finally, just some other papal quotes for your consideration:

      Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session XIII, 1551, Ch. VIII
      “It is not enough to declare the truth unless errors be exposed and repudiated, it has seemed good to the holy council to subjoin these canons, so that, the Catholic doctrine being already known, all may understand also what are the heresies which they ought to guard against and avoid.”

      Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, 1435. Session 22
      “Oath of the Pope: I will firmly believe and hold the catholic faith, according to the tradition of the apostles, of general councils and of other holy fathers...and to defend and preach it to the point of death and the shedding of my blood...I promise also to labour faithfully for the defence of the catholic faith, the extirpation of heresies and errors, the reform of morals and the peace of the Christian people.”

      Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 1907, #17
      “Gregory IX., addressed to some theologians of his time: "Some among you, inflated like bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the sense of the heavenly pages . . .to the philosophical teaching of the rationals, not for the profit of their hearer but to make a show of science . . . these, seduced by strange and eccentric doctrines, make the head of the tail and force the queen to serve the servant."

      Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #80
      “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization – CONDEMNED”

      Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, 1435. Session 22
      “The main reason, among other pious aims, why this holy synod assembled was to preserve the truth of the catholic faith and to eradicate errors and heresies.”

      All this being said, and in true fraternal charity and the footsteps of our Lord, I would be honored and pleased to have you as a guest to my home for dinner sometime to discuss this at greater length. I shall extend the same to Paul (whom I assume you know?).
      One thing I will not deny is that there is a zealous community of young adults in Grand Rapids truly desirous of doing the will of God and propagating the Catholic faith.

      I will agree that we would be much better served working together than at odds, but first we need to discuss some grave differences in a great number of areas...

      God Bless

    10. So you are saying that because divine revelation is perfect that the Catholic Church is perfect?

    11. That depends on what you mean when you say “the Catholic Church.” Are you talking about the divine institution which is infallible and lacking in nothing? Then yes, that is exactly what I mean.

      Are you talking about the composite of sinners striving for sanctity until their dying breath? Then no, that is not what I mean.

      The institution – the Bride of Christ – is perfect because Christ promised it would be perfect (this is the very nature of the infallibility of the Church in matters of faith and morals). She cannot be enriched by any other false religion, sect, or philosophical school.

      The members are imperfect, hence the need for the sacraments.

      Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #5 (quoting Qui Pluribus)
      “Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human reason – CONDEMNED”

      Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, 1846, #7
      7. “It is with no less deceit, venerable brothers, that other ENEMIES OF DIVINE REVELATION, with reckless and sacrilegious effrontery, WANT TO IMPORT THE DOCTRINE OF HUMAN PROGRESS INTO THE CATHOLIC RELIGION. They extol it with the highest praise, AS IF RELIGION ITSELF WERE NOT OF GOD but the work of men, or a philosophical discovery which can be perfected by human means… RELIGION ITSELF ACQUIRES ALL ITS POWER FROM THE AUTHORITY OF GOD WHO MADE THE REVELATION, AND THAT IT CAN NEVER BE ARRIVED AT OR PERFECTED BY HUMAN REASON.
      8. But how many wonderful and shining proofs are ready at hand to convince the human reason in the clearest way that the religion of Christ is divine and that "the whole principle of our doctrines has taken root from the Lord of the heavens above."

      Pope Pius XII, On the Ecumenical Movement, 1949, #II

      Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 4, #3
      If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

      Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 4, #14
      [the] meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.

      Pope Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, 1907, #54
      The dogmas, the sacraments, the hierarchy, as far as pertains both to the notion and to the reality, are nothing but interpretations and the evolution of Christian intelligence, which have increased and perfected the little germ latent in the Gospel. – Condemned

      Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 1907, #28
      Pius IX wrote: These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts...Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason.

    12. I agree that divine revelation is perfect and, therefore, the Catholic faith is perfect - if by that we mean those things we must believe as Catholics due to public revelation. However, I am confounded that you admit that the Church on earth, that is, the Church Militant, is not perfect and yet any kind of mutual enrichment is impossible and condemned. Catholic Doctrine cannot and will not change from inter-religious dialogue but the Church, made up of imperfect sinners, most certainly can benefit. The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio states as much.

      Pope Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos:

      "presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, inasmuch as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of his rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings, is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God."

      Pope Pius XI condemns the notion that there is no one true church and that all religion is more or less the same and equally good. In large part, this was in response to the Protestant movement for "Christian unity" in the form of a federation. Such a federation of differing Christians sects was viewed as the ideal.

      Contrary to falling under the condemnation of Pius XI, Unitatis Redintegratio, while encouraging ecumenism, dialogue, and mutual enrichment (of the Church Militant, not its doctrines), states that the goal and the ideal is for a world that is Catholic and explicitly states that the Catholic Church is the one true church:

      "For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone . . . that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic College alone, of which Peter is the head . . . that we believe the Lord entrusted all the benefits of the New Covenant in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ, into which all those who already in some way belong to the people of God ought to be fully incorporated."

      "The Church, then, God’s only flock, like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it, ministers the gospel of peace to all mankind, as it makes its pilgrim way in hope towards its goal, the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, with the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions."

      "little by little as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the unity of the one and only Church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, exists completely in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and which we hope will continue to increase until the end of time."

      While representing a significant change, the ecumenical mission of Vatican II does not commit the errors condemned by Pope Pius XI and in fact fully and openly embraces the very truths that those errors violate.

      More on the relationship between these two encyclicals here: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/is-ecumenism-a-heresy

    13. Are you familiar with what took place at Assisi in 1986? I would encourage you to read more about that and then tell me that it does not condemn what Pius XI wrote.
      There is no other word than "abomination" which adequately describes the interreligious worship ceremony which was allowed.

      There needs to be a fundamental truth established here, and that is that all other religions and sects, excluding the Catholic religion, come from the devil (by way of man).
      That includes Protestantism, by way of division, heresy, schism, etc.

      All are effectively rooted in that primal phrase, "Non serviam."

      Especially when dealing with non-Christian religions, pagan, Muslim, etc...their worship is literally diabolical.

      I could give a discourse on why Muslims do NOT worship the one true God (as Vatican II claims they do), but you can read more about the problems of dialogue with Muslims here:

      1 Cor 10:20
      "But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils."

      It is with such sadness that we know that our Holy Father stood by and watched Buddhists, Animists, Voodooists, etc. make sacrifices and incense offerings to their false god(s), all in the name of world peace.

      If we know that messing with a Ouijaa board is an effective way to let the devil into our lives, how much more to stand by as the Vicar of Christ and allow satanic offering right in front of the whole world?

      There's an old adage which has been confirmed by the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas, among others:
      "Actions speak louder than words."

      I will not claim that everything from Vatican II is of "rupture."
      In fact, a sizable portion of it is not.

      But what you should recognize is when those orthodox words written on paper are simply not being mirrored by the actions of those who wrote them.

      Now, beyond all of this, even assuming that this New Ecumenism/Evangelization were licit, what is the most basic litmus test our Lord gave us?

      "igitur ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos."
      "Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."


    14. This is where I have heard a lot of explanations/excuses for the rapid crumbling of the Church:
      - Denial that there is any crisis
      - Allegations that the Church is flourishing in the Third World (false; it is not the authentic Catholic faith that is flourishing...it is a hybrid synthesis of Hindu, Buddhism, and other Eastern Religions or even outright naturalism likened to Wicca).
      - The claim that "every Ecumenical Council in history takes at least 50 years to bear fruit." (there is no proof of this anywhere and, in fact, makes no sense given that this is the first "exclusively (and radically) pastoral" change in the history of the Church).

      If it isn't heresy, it's certainly not proving to be fruitful or prudent.

      You can find more about the real fruits of the last 50 years:
      - http://tylernethercott.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-results-are-in-fruits-assessed.html
      - http://tylernethercott.blogspot.com/2013/10/by-their-fruits-you-shall-know-them.html

      Countless things today which were in the past condemned as mortal sins are now just accepted as normal, not even venial sins!
      - Dancing
      - Detracting
      - Working on Sundays
      - Using Sunday as a day of recreation instead of a day of prayerful repose
      - Swearing God's name in vain (using the Holy Name of God casually, like "I swear to..." or "Oh good L***", etc...like St. John Vianney said, "IN REGARD TO SWEARING, however, it is not the same thing at all; here the lighter the matter, the greater the irreverence.")
      - Immodest dress and, conversely, coveting with the eyes (aka "guy talk")

      The world is going to Hell in a handbasket, literally. And where are our shepherds to warn us of such?
      Silent are many. Silenced are some as well...by their bishops, by their superiors, by the Pope himself.

      Like I said. There is not talk of sin any more. No talk of hell. No talk of anything that doesn't render milk and honey warm fuzzies.

      When Pope Pius IX assumed the papacy, he wrote as follows:
      "We have been raised to the supreme Pontificate. We did not purpose this nor expect it; indeed Our reaction is great disquietude and anxiety."

      Why? Because, as St. Pius X wrote at the time of his election, he knew he would be judged for the souls of all Catholics and of the whole world as the Supreme Shepherd on earth.

      With that being said, I think I can at least count on you to join me in a prayer to the Blessed Mother for our present Holy Father, Pope Francis.

      That he may follow the movements of grace most assuredly being offered to him for his mission as our pastor.

      Ave Maria...

  5. All other religions and sects, excluding the Catholic religion, come from the devil? Their worship is literally diabolical? Dancing is a mortal sin? I'm shocked: you sound like a fundamentalist Protestant. Nowhere in the Church do I see support for such absurd claims. One must merely turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find that, whatever you views might be, they most certainly are not Catholic:

  6. On non-Christian religions:

    "The Church and non-Christians
    839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

    The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

    840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

    841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

  7. 842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

    All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
    843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

    844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

    Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
    845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334"

    The message should be clear here. The Catholic Church is the one, true church because it alone possesses the fullness of the truth but she recognizes the goodness and truth in these religions as men are oriented to God. Furthermore, these religions prepare non-Christians to receive the Gospel and are given by God. The Church's stance is the exact opposite of yours: religion comes from God and not Satan. However, the catechism rightly continues, noting the deficiency of these religions and, in lacking the fullness of the truth, men possess a "disfigured" image of God and are prone to lies and despair. Am I to believe that Judaism came from the devil simply because it lacked the fullness of the truth and its members today in their religious behavior are subject to limits and errors? No, as the catechism states: they are "the first to hear the Word of God."

  8. "Popular piety

    1674 Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,180 etc.

    1675 These expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but do not replace it. They "should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them."181

    1676 Pastoral discernment is needed to sustain and support popular piety and, if necessary, to purify and correct the religious sense which underlies these devotions so that the faithful may advance in knowledge of the mystery of Christ.182 Their exercise is subject to the care and judgment of the bishops and to the general norms of the Church.

    At its core the piety of the people is a storehouse of values that offers answers of Christian wisdom to the great questions of life. The Catholic wisdom of the people is capable of fashioning a vital synthesis. . . . It creatively combines the divine and the human, Christ and Mary, spirit and body, communion and institution, person and community, faith and homeland, intelligence and emotion. This wisdom is a Christian humanism that radically affirms the dignity of every person as a child of God, establishes a basic fraternity, teaches people to encounter nature and understand work, provides reasons for joy and humor even in the midst of a very hard life. For the people this wisdom is also a principle of discernment and an evangelical instinct through which they spontaneously sense when the Gospel is served in the Church and when it is emptied of its content and stifled by other interests.181"

    Contrary to condemning it as a mortal sin, the catechism embraces dancing rightly ordered as an expression of piety.

  9. I hope you take my appeal to the Catechism of the Catholic Church seriously although in reading through your blog I notice you disregard its authority in certain instances as "flawed" and possessing "contradictions." I also notice you reject sensum fidelis (without which the vital importance of a hermeneutic of continuity makes little sense) and then of course there is your repeated opposition to the second vatican council and various popes.

    If you reject the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sensum fidelis, ecumenical councils, and popes exactly what authority is left within the church to appeal to? How do you expect me to take you seriously as a Catholic when you reject church teaching as it suits you? In repeatedly denying the magisterium you risk disobedience to the very church you are trying to defend. I don't question your sincerity in your defense of the faith but you are nonetheless gravely misled.

  10. to answer some of your specific questions:
    1.) All other religions and sects, excluding the Catholic religion, come from the devil? Their worship is literally diabolical?

    >> Yes. Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.” That is, without the TRUE faith which is Roman Catholicism.
    >> Do you believe that other religions come from God?? “Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor. 1:13). We believe in “ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM.” So, logically, any other faith comes from the devil (by way of man). Clinging to >>Judaism after the coming of the Messiah? From the devil for sure: “Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you do.” (John 8:43-44). And they do NOT worship the One True God because "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father." (1 John 2:23).
    >> Islam? Most certainly. Again, Galatians 1:8-9 “though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” An “angel of light” whom Muhammad claimed to be Gabriel came to him…but was actually Lucifer.
    >> Pagan religions? Definitely from the devil and worshiping the devil. “But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.” (1 Cor 10:20) As St. Paul said to the Athenians, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious. For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: To the unknown God." (Acts 17:22-23)
    >> Protestantism? Absolutely comes from the devil…it is the machinations of deceptive and pride filled men like Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, Henry VIII, etc. who all made the same declaration of NON SERVIAM (I will not serve) that Lucifer did at the time of the fall of the angels! I am not saying Protestants serve the devil. Far from it. But their worship, lacking as it does in unity to the ark of salvation and to the true faith, cannot – as Hebrews 11:6 says – be considered pleasing to God. Any action of the grace of God (actual grace) in their lives, and it does abound one might believe, is to guide them to the Catholic Church. It is an act of mercy.

  11. 2.) "Dancing is a mortal sin?"

    Answer: the kind of dancing done today? Without a doubt. One could accept Square Dancing or certain other modest types of dance, but that which promotes physical contact with members of the opposite sex which most certainly excites the passions is a sin which countless saints and popes fought against.

    Please read this sermon by St. John Vianney as to how dancing breaks all of the commandments of God:

    Also, did you read this post about dancing I referred you to earlier? I do not think you did, because you claim "nowhere in the Church do you see support for such claims."

    Well, my friend and brother in Christ, if you will take the time to read what I am sending you, you will see that it is EVERYWHERE and ABOUNDING in the Church of all-time.


    READ IT! And comment below that one if you find fault in it.

    "Look," says St. John Chrysostom, "at this worldly and flighty young woman, or rather at this flaming brand of diabolical fire who by her beauty and her flamboyant attire lights in the heart of that young man the fire of concupiscence. Do you not see them, one as much as the other, seeking to charm one another by their airs and graces and all sorts of tricks and wiles? Count up, unfortunate sinner, if you can, the number of your bad thoughts, of your evil desires and your sinful actions. Is it not there that you heard those airs that please the ears, that inflame and burn hearts and make of these assemblies furnaces of shamelessness?"

    St. Ephraim tells us that dancing is the perdition of girls and women, the blinding of men, the grief of angels, and the joy of the devils.

    St. Augustine tells us that those who go to dances truly renounce Jesus Christ in order to give themselves to the Devil. What a horrible thing that is! To drive out Jesus Christ after having received Him in your hearts! "Today," St. Ephraim says, "they unite themselves to Jesus Christ and tomorrow to the Devil."

    The Council of Aix-la-Chapelle forbids dancing, even at weddings. And St. Charles Borromeo, the Archbishop of Milan, says that three years of penance were given to someone who had danced and that if he went back to it, he was threatened with excommunication. If there were no harm in it, then were the Holy Fathers and the Church mistaken?

    Just a sample.

  12. Since you have not accepted my invitation to a more intimate venue as a guest in my home for dinner, I suppose we are forced to continue in this forum.
    One thing I do want clarification on is whether or not you actually read what I post or just skim it and then respond? Because you don’t seem to be reading, or at least not understanding, any of the citations that I am providing to you. I am not the one rejecting the Magisterium or Ecumenical Councils. I am the one attempting to bring you into a 2,000 year perspective rather than a 50 year perspective on the matter. I thought that I had made it clear by now that I believe there has been a significant and gravely detrimental hermeneutic of rupture since the Council, so as St. Paul instructed, we “prove everything, hold fast that which is good.” Yes, that even means what comes out in a Catechism or an encyclical of Second Vatican Council. Why? Because the Holy Father Pope John XXIII and his successors have declared that the Council was merely pastoral, not dogmatic. It did not attempt to define dogma or doctrine, especially not infallibly. You maybe know the famous quote from Pope John XXIII, “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible.”
    If you do not agree that we can and must subject such writings to an age old hermeneutic, then I would ask you to explain the meaning of Galatians 1:8-9 and to explain why Pope Benedict attempted (key word) to justify a hermeneutic of continuity during and especially at the end of his Pontificate.
    More on this problem of hermeneutic here: http://tylernethercott.blogspot.com/2013/10/pope-francis-hermeneutic-of-continuity.html
    So, what I am going to do below is show you exactly where what you are citing from the New Catechism is contradicted by past authoritative Church teaching.

    1. I think that before you assert that I have been gravely mistaken in matters, it would do you well to take the time to read even a few of the documents I have aforequoted so that you can begin to gain a fuller perspective on this fullness of truth.
      Of note before I get into anything else, a response to your question about the Sensus Fidelium. I believe in the infallibility and supreme authority of the Pope, the Vicar of Christ. I believe all authority comes from God (Rom 13:1), for good, bad or otherwise. As Exodus says, God raised up Pharaoh so that he could use him as an example to the nations.
      Part of the understanding of Papal Infallibility (only one aspect of one type) is that the Pope certainly speaks infallibly when he is merely reiterating that which has always been taught and understood in matters of faith and morals. So, if the Pope – for example – says that Christ physically resurrected from the dead, he is speaking infallibly. This, in the same vein, could then be said to be true for anybody merely repeating an infallible dogma of the faith.
      So, let us take a look at a quote from Lumen Gentium:
      “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One,(111) cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples' supernatural discernment in matters of faith when "from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful" (8*) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God.”
      Well, as is true (even admitted by Pope Benedict, among others) of the conciliar documents, this is beyond ambiguous and has, as such, been the topic of discussion for the last 50 years as to what it really means. Pope Benedict had to on a few occasions clarify what this means because those trying to promote liberal agendas by a claim to such Sensus Fidei which they understand to be likened to democracy/popular sovereignty.

    2. This is where the quote from Lumen Gentium is entirely wrong. Where it says “the entire body of the faithful…cannot err in matters of belief.”
      In fact, if we go back to the early years of the Church during the Arian crisis, we will see that it was only St. Athanasius and a few others who held to the true faith while the “whole world groaned and was astonished to find itself Arian.” (St. Jerome)
      The great majority of the laity, along with all but one of the bishops, and even down to the Pope himself were in error for a time. If we operate on a sense of popular consensus as is suggested by the above, then that means the minute a majority of the Bishops and Cardinals change their mind on something, they become ipso facto correct. This is obviously wrong.
      Sacred Scripture tells us that when Christ comes again, “shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).
      St. Paul also writes to the Thessalonians of the “Great Apostasy” which ties right into this passage above from Luke’s gospel, as well as to Romans 1 where St. Paul tells us God will “give them up to the desires of their heart” going on to detail the type of fornication (especially homosexual) drunkenness and surfeiting they will indulge in before He finally rains down His justice upon all. Look at society today, Christian. Can anyone argue that this is not the most evident in our times with all that is going on?
      I reject entirely the notion of Collegiality put forth since Vatican II. It is false and has already been condemned previously. I further reject the idea that the faithful hold any share as such in the infallibility of the Church. That charism rests with the Sovereign Pontiff. The Mystical Body is not infallible collectively, only its head is infallible because it is the head which communicates the rest correctly to the body. It is the body which carries out the truth. If, however, the Pope does err (when not attempting to speak infallibly) in matters of faith and morals, this can indeed happen due to the fallen nature of man. I am sure you are well aware of the distinction between infallible and impeccable.

  13. No, I have not read everything you've cited because 1) the sheer volume of material is enormous and 2) much of what I have read has proven irrelevant to the respective points you were trying to make. Instead, many of them involve equivocation and non sequitur. For example, you claim that Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please God" means Roman Catholicism at the exclusion of all other faiths when that is not at all evident from the text.

    Or when you interpret Pope Pius XII's condemnation of the denial of one true church to also condemn ecumenism, inter-faith dialogue and mutual enrichment.

    Or when you equate Sensus Fidelium to mean collegiality or majority rule. While the Arian Crisis most certainly demonstrates the fallibility of mere collegiality or majority rule it does not undermine Sensus Fidelium which requires the "ENTIRE body of the faithful" "from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful" to be in "UNIVERSAL agreement" according to the "WHOLE people's supernatural discernment". Really, how can you equate that kind of language with democracy?

    When so much of what I do read is built upon logical fallacies I have little interest in an in-depth read through of the overwhelming amount of material you present in its entirety or in continuing this conversation much further. Maybe its sloppy writing or I am seriously misunderstanding you but at this point in our conversation I've seen enough that I highly doubt it.

    When you respond, don't expect a reply from me, at least not for several weeks, as I am getting married shortly.

    1. "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet."

      It is your own decision not to read the words of the Holy Fathers throughout the ages, or of the great saints and doctors of the Church.
      If you wish to turn a blind eye due to the "volume of the material" or, more likely, because even the consideration of the fact that what I am trying to explain to you might be true would drastically challenge your life (and, most likely, your pending marriage), then it is your own tribunal to face when the time comes.

      I am not sure why you are opposed to reading the aforementioned sources as one cannot project that reading the Popes and saints could somehow be considered a waste of time (as you have suggested above).

      With respect to universal consent, have you even run into two priests in this diocese who agree on the answers to the same 5 questions, much less a UNIVERSAL agreement of the people to constitute some kind of infallible charism or oneness?

      I know you didn't read my post on the fruits of the last 50 years, so I will just stop there...but if you were to read that post, you would see that the entire Church is in chaotic and anarchistic ruin with respect to what the "People of God" believe or do not believe, practice or do not practice.

      I will promise that tonight I will pray in all fraternal charity and humility for your upcoming marriage, that God may bless it, that you will choose to be open to life (and not to obstruct it, neither by artificial nor "natural" means), and that your family may be blessed and bring forth many priests and/or religious if it be the will of Almighty God.

      Jesus performed a great number of miracles.
      He also spoke a great many things, and it was - for each person - one thing or another which they could not accept, and it wasn't long before "many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him."

      next thing we know, one is betraying him and hanging himself, the rest save one denying him and abandoning him, and the entire body of Jewish men and women shouting to crucify him.

      So let's pray for final perseverance for each other. For final sacraments and the blessing of a happy death, and maybe we can hash the rest of this out in eternity.

      God Bless.

      Vigilate et Orate.

    2. Just one final post.
      If you have time, and you don't need to respond to me, I hope you will take a listen to these two sermons (actually half and half of one sermon).



      Those two changed my life as a Catholic. You will hear a true Catholic priest and man of God speaking.

      God Bless

    3. "Hence, Venerable Brethren, springs that ridiculous proposition of the Modernists, that every religion, according to the different aspect under which it is viewed, must be considered as both natural and supernatural." - Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi #8

    4. I have been gracious in receiving your criticisms and have eagerly engaged in lengthy discussion. I have tried to do so entirely in a spirit of understanding and docility to God's truth. If I have not devoted myself fervently to your every word and citation it is because I had a busy work schedule, a pending marriage, and various other responsibilities demanding my attention. It has not been because I am avoiding the challenges our discussion presents - that I have engaged in it for so long and with sincerity should be evidence enough of this.

      I would ask that you refrain from such assumptions in the future so that you do not mistakenly falsely accuse me or anyone else again. If you cannot refrain from such presumptuous charges in the future then you can consider any further discussion between us closed.

      My family is trying to follow Christ's church on earth, and to the best of our abilities. I pray that any untruth in our minds be revealed to us and that we are granted the grace to admit our mistakes both in mind and in deed and accept God's truth always and without reservation. If we are living in error then I pray that it is because it is not yet the appointed time at which God will grant us the grace to see and amend our ways and not because we are actively rejecting His will which I do not believe we are doing, at least not consciously. Beyond that, I do not know what you could demand of us.

    5. As I said above, I am praying for you and for your fiancée as well as the future of your family.
      The entire reason I took the time to respond to your blog post was to hopefully plant a seed which will propel you in ever increasing vigor and zeal to seek the truth with sincerity as you have indicated above.

      May our Lady cover you in her mantle, and may Almighty God bring you and your loved ones to everlasting life.

      Pax Christi

      And when you find time, I really do recommend listening to the two sermon links I posted above and diving into some of what I have been quoting.

  14. "That our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may, errors being purged away, continue in its own perfect and spotless integrity, and that the Christian people may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Session 5, opening remarks on Original Sin)

    Still think my understanding of Hebrews 11:6 is wrong? It's not my understanding. It's the teaching of the Church.