Sunday, May 26, 2013

When Jesus Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through me" is he also pointing us toward an insight concerning the Holy Trinity and our progress in the Christian life and vocation?
Here's my reasoning. The Way can, by anaology, be understood as the physical aspect of our being. It's the walk we walk. It's the life we lead. It's the body we have. It's the actions we do. It's the deeds we decide on. It's the body.

The Truth can, by analogy, be understood as the mental or intellectual aspect of our being. It's the doctrine we believe. It's the philosophy we follow. It's the analysis we understand. It's the thought, the concept, the decision and the dogma. It's the head.
The Life can, by analogy, be understood as the spiritual, intuitive, relational, emotional aspect of our being. It's the relationships we have. It's the emotions we feel. It's the intuitions we have. It's the life that we live. It's the compassion we feel and the love that we love. It's the heart.
These three aspects, Body, Mind and Spirit make us, in an analogous sense, into little trinities. However, also in us, because of the effects of sin, those three are at war. They are discordant. They are not in harmony. The end of the Christian journey is to be fulfilled and completed, whole and in balance, to be 'self actualized', as properly understood. To become that we were intended to be. 

In other words-to be saints. Saints have these three aspects of body, mind and spirit in perfectly graced balance. They have responded to God by offering their human freedom, by saying yes to God's continued offer of grace, they have been completed, perfected in Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
So, if these three aspects of Body, Mind and Spirit are meant to be one, when Jesus says he is Way, Truth and Life he is also saying that he is fulfillment of the Body, the Mind and the Spirit. He completes the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of who we are. Life in Christ is therefore life that is completed physically, mentally and spiritually. In Him we come to wholeness. In Him all that is lacking in body, mind and spirit is completed, purified, fulfilled and made One.
The Church teaches us that what one person of the Holy Trinity does, all do. So, for example, when God spoke the world into existence he did so through the Divine Word (who was in time incarnate as the Son) and through the indwelling and overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, at the incarnation God the Father, who begat the Son eternally, overshadows the Virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit so that the Son is enfleshed. Likewise here, the Son speaks of being the Way, the Truth and the Life and so indicates that he IS the physical aspect, the mental aspect and the Spiritual aspect of Man, and therefore One Unity. Blessed Trinity.
And this is where the Holy Trinity comes in. Jesus prays in John 17 that we might be "one as he and the Father are one." That if I am Body, Mind and Spirit-a little trinity, then I am called to be three in one and one in three, total unity and total trinity. This is what I aim to become in Christ and by his grace and through his church, for through his church I am given three aspects of my redemption and sanctification. I have sacraments which minister to the Body and Doctrine which ministers to the Mind, and Grace-the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which redeems my Spirit.
The Holy Trinity is therefore, not some abstruse doctrine, but a living and vital concept that renews me from within and is hidden, but revealed, within the simple gospel teaching that Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 by denzio

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

(Vatican Radio) “To suffer with patience and to overcome external and internal oppression with love.” That was the prayer of Pope Francis today at the Domus Sanctae Martae during Mass on the feast of Mary Help of Christians.
In his homily, Pope Francis requested two graces: “To endure with patience and to overcome with love.” These are “graces proper to a Christian.” “To suffer with patience,” he notes, “is not easy.” “It is not easy, whether the difficulties come from without, or are problems within the heart, the soul, internal problems.” But to suffer, he explained, is not simply to “bear with a difficulty.”:
“To suffer is to take the difficulty and to carry it with strength, so that the difficulty does not drag us down. To carry it with strength: this is a Christian virtue. Saint Paul says several times: Suffer [endure]. This means do not let ourselves be overcome by difficulties. This means that the Christian has the strength not to give up, to carry difficulties with strength. Carry them, but carry them with strength. It is not easy, because discouragement comes, and one has the urge to give up and say, ‘Well, come on, we’ll do what we can but no more.’ But no, it is a grace to suffer. In difficulties, we must ask for [this grace], in difficulty.”

The other grace the Pope asks for is “to overcome with love”:
“There are many ways to win, but the grace that we request today is the grace of victory with love, through love. And this is not easy. When we have external enemies that make us suffer so much: it is not easy, to win with love. There is the desire to take revenge, to turn another against him ... Love: the meekness that Jesus taught us. And that is the victory! The Apostle John tells us in the first Reading: ‘This is our victory, our faith.’ Our faith is precisely this: believing in Jesus who taught us love and taught us to love everyone. And the proof that we are in love is when we pray for our enemies.”

To pray for enemies, for those who make us suffer, the Pope continued, “is not easy.” But we are “defeated Christians” if we do not forgive enemies, and if we do not pray for them. And “we find so many sad, discouraged Christians,” he exclaimed, because “they did not have this grace of enduring with patience and overcoming with love”:
“Therefore, we ask Our Lady to give us the grace to endure with patience and overcome with love. How many people – so many old men and women - have taken this path! And it is beautiful to see them: they have that beautiful countenance, that serene happiness. They do not say much, but have a patient heart, a heart filled with love. They know what forgiveness of enemies is, they know what it is to pray for enemies. So many Christians are like that!”

The Mass was attended by employees of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications led by the president of the dicastery, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli. And, on the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and a group of priests, religious, seminarians and lay people from China also attended the ceremony. At the end of the prayers of the faithful, the Pope prayed: “For the noble Chinese people: May the Lord bless them and Our Lady keep them.” The Mass concluded with a hymn to the Virgin Mary in Chinese.

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

He refers to him continually. He combats him without respite. He does not believe him to be a myth, but a real person, the most insidious enemy of the Church
by Sandro Magister

In the preaching of Pope Francis, there is one subject that returns with surprising frequency: the devil.

It is a frequency on a par with that with which the same subject recurs in the New Testament. But in spite of this, the surprise remains. If for no other reason than that with his continual references to the devil, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio parts ways with the current preaching in the Church, which is silent about the devil or reduces him to a metaphor.

In fact, the minimization of the devil is so widespread that it casts its shadow over the very words of the pope. Public opinion, both Catholic and secular, has so far met this insistence of his on the devil with indifference, or at the most with indulgent curiosity.

One thing, however, is certain. For pope Bergoglio, the devil is not a myth, but a real person. In one of his morning homilies in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, he said that not only is there a hatred of the world for Jesus and the Church, but that behind this spirit of the world is “the prince of this world”:

"With his death and resurrection, Jesus has ransomed us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the hatred is this: we are saved and that prince of the world, who does not want us to be saved, hates us and gives rise to the persecution that from the earliest times of Jesus continues until today."

One must react to the devil - the pope says - as did Jesus, who “replied with the word of God. With the prince of this world one cannot dialogue. Dialogue is necessary among us, it is necessary for peace, it is an attitude that we must have among ourselves in order to hear each other, to understand each other. And it must always be maintained. Dialogue is born from charity, from love. But with that prince one cannot dialogue; one can only respond with the word of God that defends us.”

In speaking of the devil, Francis demonstrates that he has very clearly in mind his biblical and theological foundations.

And precisely for a fresh understanding of these foundations, "L'Osservatore Romano" of May 4 published an article by the theologian Inos Biffi that reviews the presence and role of the devil in the Old and New Testament, both in that which is revealed and manifest and in that which still belongs to a “hidden panorama” and in a definitive manner to the “inscrutable ways" of God.

The article is reproduced below, and concludes with a criticism of the current ideology that “trivializes” the person of the devil.

The ideology against which Bergoglio wants to call everyone back to reality.


by Inos Biffi

After the appearance of man, the work of the sixth day of creation, there is felt the presence of something mysterious and disquieting, that of the serpent. That which he undertakes with regard to the progenitors and sets out to obtain from them is astonishing and disturbing: he intends to plant within them suspicion about God; that is, to persuade them that the prohibitions that he has established arise from jealousy, from fear of being equaled by them. The serpent embodies, precisely at the beginning of the world and its history, the presence of an envious being: "Through the envy of the devil death entered the world” (Wisdom 2:24).

In the New Testament there are frequent references to that serpent. Jesus refers to him declaring that the devil is “a murderer from the beginning”; in him "there is no truth”; “when he speaks falsehood, he speaks from what is his own, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). And again Jesus calls him “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 16:11).

Paul affirms that "with his cunning the serpent seduced Eve" (2 Corinthians 11:3): and he refers to those who become lost "following Satan" (1 Timothy 5:14). The same apostle speaks of the worldly way of life by which one follows "the prince of the powers of the air, that spirit who works in rebellious men" (Ephesians 2:2); he makes mention of the “snares of the devil” and of our battle “against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).

The first letter of Peter names the “enemy,” “the devil,” or “the accuser,” who “like a roaring lion goes prowling around seeking whom he may devour” (5:8). And in the letters of John is recalled “the antichrist” who must come (1 John 2:18); the “liar” who denies that Jesus is the Christ; the “antichrist” who “denies the Father and the Son” (2:22). In Revelation it is written: “A great war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon fought together with his angels, but he did not prevail and there was no place for them in heaven. And the great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one who is called devil and Satan and who seduces all of the inhabited earth, was thrown to earth and together with him his angels” (12:7-9).


Between these texts and the exegesis of Jesus on the devil, murder and liar from the beginning, the agreement is perfect: this is a matter of a being hostile to God, whose Word he aims to throw into confusion, and at the same time hostile to man, whom he intends to seduce and induce to rebel against the divine plan. He is the evil one. In particular, the exegetical agreement concerns the one for whom the devil reserves his aversion, Jesus Christ.

This creates an antithesis between two royalties: that of Jesus and that of the prince of this world. The devil cannot tolerate Jesus Christ and seeks in every way to disrupt the divine plan conceived concerning him. As in the desert.

But Jesus proclaims himself victor over this prince: “The prince of this world is coming,” he says, “against me he can do nothing" (John 14:30); specifically, it is at the arrival of the hour of Jesus, that of his being lifted up on the cross and at the right hand of the Father, that that prince is struck down: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world will be cast down." With the pouring out of the Spirit by the glorified Lord, that prince meets his condemnation (John 16:11). Paul in particular remarks upon the lordship of the Risen One: in him the Father “has freed us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and “has deprived of their strength the principalities and powers," and "has made them a public spectacle, triumphing over them in Christ" (2:15).

The Christian has become a sharer in the lordship of Jesus over the devil: “when we were dead through our faults, he brought us back to life with Christ. With him he also raised us and made us sit in heaven, in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).

Although definitively defeated by the Lord, the devil still tries to ensnare and bring down redeemed man. Peter spoke of his roaring and of his unspent will to harm; Paul urges the taking up of the shield of faith, in order to quench the “fiery arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). And Jesus himself had taught his followers to pray by asking the Father to deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 5:13).


The multiple exegeses on the serpent that appears at the beginning lead us to a few considerations.

The first is on the “history" consummated and decided before the creation of man, and consisting in the outbreak of the “great war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7), or rather in an agreement or rebellion that took place in the angelic world: not a generic agreement or rebellion, but aimed at the concrete and internal divine plan, which in personal terms is Jesus Christ.

The prideful unacceptance of the rebel angels has as its object Jesus, “preeminent over all things," and therefore preeminent over them as well. This explains why the life of Jesus was never hindered by the presence and machinations of the devil; and on the contrary - from the announcement of his birth until the ascension - was accompanied, served, and consoled by the presence of the angels, who rejoice in him and with him are victors over the great dragon and his satellites, cast out of heaven and thrown down, as Revelation states. Jesus himself affirmed that he had seen “Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:18) and spoke of the “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

We have spoken of the history that precedes the visible one of man: that which we know is what emerges as from a hidden panorama, which exceeds and eludes us and which now we can only presume and intuit.


The second consideration concerns the stunning power of Satan: this is so strong and tenacious that only the power of the Son of God can defeat and overcome it; moreover, the power of the Son of God nailed to the cross, and therefore in a condition of extreme human weakness, which paradoxically becomes, without strain, absolute power. The devil is able to draw in everything and everyone, but before Jesus he becomes completely yielding. The crucified and risen one re-creates a victorious humanity, removed from the perverse influence of the evil one. The attraction of the devil is replaced by the attraction of Christ, who declares: “When I am raised up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Only by sharing in the vigor of the slain and glorified Christ are we able to resist the flattery of the serpent from the beginning.

There could still remain one question: without a doubt the fall of angel and of man depends solely on the free will of the creature; not only that, but the forgiveness of man was included in the merciful love of the Father, who predestined his Son Jesus to be the redeemer; but why does the concrete order chosen by God include that fall and therefore the reality of sin? To this we are not able to reply: it belongs to the “thought of the Lord,” to his unfathomable judgments” and to his “inscrutable ways” (Romans 11:32-34).


A third consideration is to manifest surprise in the face of the absence in preaching and catechesis of the truth concerning the devil. Not to speak of those theologians who, on the one hand, applaud the fact that Vatican II declared Scripture to be the “soul of sacred theology” (Dei Verbum, 24), and, on the other, do not hesitate - if not to decide on his nonexistence (as they do for the angels) - in any case to overlook as marginal a fact that is so clear and widely attested to in Scripture itself as is that concerning the devil, maintaining him to be the personification of an obscure and primordial idea of evil, now demystified and unacceptable.

Such a conception is a masterpiece of ideology, and above all is equivalent to trivializing the very work of Christ and his redemption.

This is why those references to the devil which we find in the discourses of Pope Francis seem to us anything but secondary.

Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fr. Scott Carroll of the Diocese of Toledo.
 Father Scott R. Carroll, ordained a priest of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, on May 8, died of cancer two days later after battling the disease for some time.

Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo ordained the transitional deacon a priest at his parents' home with immediate family members present. He was named associate pastor of his home parish, St. Joseph in Maumee, a Toledo suburb.

The ordination Mass was concelebrated by the priests of St. Joseph parish, Frs. Keith Stripe and Kishore Kottana, and by the diocesan vocations director, Monsignor Charles Singler.
Bishop Blair has asked that all the faithful of the Toledo diocese continue to remember Fr. Carroll in their prayers.

Fr. Carroll was due to be ordained with his classmates on June 22, but “it became clear this week that an earlier ordination might be prudent,” the diocesan vocations office said.
Born in 1966 to Robert and the late Patricia Carroll, the priest is the step-son of Connie Carroll, and is also survived by his brothers Patrick and Tim.

He studied education at the University of Toledo and went on to get a master's in history there as well. He also attained a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Dayton and taught middle school social studies before entering seminary.

Before finishing his studies at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana, Fr. Carroll had attended Holy Spirit Seminary. He did summer ministry at St. Paul in Norwalk and at his home parish, and did a pastoral year at St. Paul.

In addition to teaching and history, Fr. Carroll was interested in 4-H and sports.
He wrote on Toledo's vocations website that “I consider the vocation of priesthood to be both the most demanding and rewarding thing that God could ever call me to do. It is my duty to find out if this is what is meant for me, to represent Jesus by teaching, learning and just being there for people.”

Shortly after the ordination, his classmate Mike Keucher of the Indianapolis archdiocese, said on his blog, “The Long Journey Into Light,” that Fr. Carroll “is one of the most humble, gentle folks here.”
He noted that Fr. Carroll was graced to die just after having finished saying Mass.
“When it was over, he fell asleep and died shortly thereafter,” Keucher wrote.

Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

The first actions of the new pope reviewed in the light of his autobiography. The reasons for his silence on issues that most set the Church against worldly powers: birth, death, family, religious freedom
by Sandro Magister
Outside of Argentina, very little had been published about Jorge Mario Bergoglio before his election as pope.

But now the translations of his writings, speeches, interviews are multiplying rapidly. And they are helping to make less surprising the actions of Pope Francis.

The following are some of these “surprises" small and large, which however no longer appear as such in the light of his autobiography, published in 2010 in Argentina in the book-length interview by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti, entitled "El Jesuita," now on sale in other countries as well, including Italy.


It is true, Pope Francis loves to listen to music but does not sing, neither during solemn Masses nor in imparting the blessing. It is said that the Jesuits “non rubricant nec cantant," meaning that they do not love ceremonies or singing. But the explanation is simpler than that.

At the age of 21 he came down with a severe case of pneumonia and “three cysts were removed along with the upper portion of his right lung. That experience left him with a pulmonary deficiency that, while not influencing him significantly, makes him feel his own human limitation.”

Therefore he does not sing simply because he does not have sufficient breath to do so, as can also be intuited from how he speaks, with short breaths and in a subdued voice. In any case he has confessed: “I am completely tone deaf.”


In effect he speaks Italian well. And he also understands the Piedmontese dialect of his family of origin. But “as far as the other languages are concerned,” he admits in his autobiography, “I must say that I used to speak them but do not speak them, because of lack of practice. I used to speak French fairly well, and I got along in German. What has always caused the most problems for me has been English, especially the phonetics.”

The fact remains that, in refusing to speak in languages other than Italian, Bergoglio seems to have decided to sacrifice - in public - even his mother tongue, Spanish.

On Easter he even declined to give the greetings in 65 languages unfailingly recited by his predecessor pontiffs.


At the Vatican he has had to take a secretary out of necessity, the Maltese Alfred Xuereb, formerly the second assistant to Benedict XVI. In Buenos Aires he also had a secretary, but he managed all of his own appointments, marking them out for himself in a pocket-sized organizer, which, he said, “it would be a true disaster to lose.”

He had a desk, “small but very well organized.” And his schedule was also organized: five hours of sleep at night, lights out at 11 pm, out of bed at 4 am “with no need for an alarm clock,” after lunch “a forty-minute nap.” He knows how to cook. He likes to listen to music and read, especially the classics of literature. He gets the news from the newspaper. He has never used the internet, not even for e-mail.


This has been noted about him. Bergoglio prefers for himself the simple title of “bishop of Rome,” and is silent about his power as head of the universal Church, in spite of the fact that this power has been confirmed very forcefully by Vatican Council II.

His autobiography states:

"When a pope or a teacher must say 'I am in charge here,' or 'I am the superior here,' it is because he has already lost authority and is seeking to attribute it to himself with words. Saying that one has the staff of command implies that one no longer has it. Having the staff of command does not mean giving orders and imposing, but serving.”

That is, it seems that Bergoglio does not want to proclaim but to exercise his supreme power as successor of Peter.


He also said in his autobiographical interview:

"I confess that in general, through the fault of my temperament, the first solution that comes to my mind is the wrong one. Because of this I have learned to distrust my first reaction. Once I am more tranquil, after I have passed through the crucible of solitude, I draw near to that which I must do. But no one can save me from the solitude of decisions. One can ask for advice but, in the end, one must decide alone.”

In practical action, it is in short to be expected that with Francis the decisional primacy of the pope will not be undermined, not even with a future more collegial body of Church governance.


In effect, in the discourses and homilies from the beginning of his pontificate, Bergoglio has so far avoided touching upon the questions that see the Church most set against worldly powers.

In the discourse to the diplomatic corps he remained silent about the threats to religious freedom, just as in his other statements he has avoided any reference to the critical areas of birth, death, the family.

But in his autobiographical interview, Bergoglio recalls that Benedict XVI also decided to remain silent on one occasion:

"When Benedict XVI went to Spain in 2006, everyone thought that he would criticize the government of Rodriguez Zapatero because of its divergences with the Catholic Church on various issues. Someone even asked him if he had addressed the issue of homosexual marriage with the Spanish authorities. But the pope said no, he had only spoken about positive things and the rest would come later. He wanted to suggest that first of all one must emphasize the positive things, those that unite us, and not the negative ones that serve only to divide. The priority must be given to the encounter among persons, to making the journey together. In this way, afterward it will be easier to tackle the differences."

In another passage of the interview, Bergoglio criticizes those homilies “which should be 'kerygmatic' but end up speaking about everything that has a connection with sex. This can be done, this cannot be done. This is wrong, this is not. And so we end up forgetting the treasure of Jesus alive, the treasure of the Holy Spirit present in our hearts, the treasure of a project of Christian life that has many implications that go much further than mere sexual questions. We overlook a very rich catechesis, with the mysteries of the faith, the creed, and we end up concentrating on whether or not to participate in a demonstration against a draft law in favor of the use of condoms.”

And again:

"I am sincerely convinced that, at the present time, the fundamental choice that the Church must make is not that of diminishing or taking away precepts, of making this or that easier, but of going into the street in search of the people, of knowing persons by name. And not only because going to proclaim the Gospel is its mission, but because if it does not do so it harms itself. It is obvious that if one goes into the street it can also happen that one has an accident, but I prefer a thousand times over an accident-ridden Church to a sick Church."

Posted on Saturday, May 11, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Friday, May 10, 2013

His popularity is to a large extent due to the artfulness with which he speaks. Everything is forgiven him, even when he says things that if said by others would be hammered with criticism. But the first protests are beginning to appear

A stir has been made, in the media by the critical remark that Pope Francis reserved for the IOR, the Institute for Works of Religion, the controversial Vatican “bank,” in the homily for his morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Wednesday, April 24:

"When the Church wants to throw its weight around and sets up organizations, and sets up offices and becomes a bit bureaucratic, the Church loses its principal substance and runs the risk of turning itself into an NGO. And the Church is not an NGO. It is a love story. . . But there are those guys at the IOR. . . Excuse me, eh?. . . Everything is necessary, the offices are necessary. . . okay, fine! But they are necessary up to a certain point: as an aid to this love story. But when the organization takes the top spot, love steps down and the Church, poor thing, becomes an NGO. And this is not the way.”

Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio delivers these morning homilies completely off-the-cuff. And the passage reproduced above is the literal transcription provided a few hours afterward by Vatican Radio.

But that same day, in reporting on the same homily in another way, "L'Osservatore Romano" left out the aside: “But there are those guys at the IOR. . . Excuse me, eh?”

This disparity between the radio and the newspaper of the Holy See is an indication of the uncertainty that still reigns at the Vatican on what kind of media treatment to give the weekday homilies of the pope, the ones that he delivers at the 7 a.m. Mass, in the chapel of the residence where he is living.

To these Masses are admitted a selection of the public, different each morning. And among those present on April 24 a fair number were employees of the IOR.

These homilies of the pope are recorded in their entirety. But they do not undergo the procedure for his official discourses, when it comes to the parts improvised off-the-cuff.

That is, they are not transcribed from the audio recording, cleaned up in thought and expression, then submitted to the pope and finally made public in the approved text.

The complete texts of the weekday homilies of pope Bergoglio remain secret. Only two partial summaries of it are provided, by Vatican Radio and by "L'Osservatore Romano," redacted independently of one another and therefore with a greater or lesser extent of word-for-word citations.

It is not known whether this practice - aimed both at safeguarding the pope's freedom of speech and at defending it from the risks of improvisation - will be maintained or modified.

The fact is that what becomes known of these semipublic homilies is by now an important part of the oratory typical of Pope Francis.


It is a concise, simple, conversational oratory, tethered to words or images of immediate communicative impact.

For example:

- the image of “God spray,” used by Pope Francis on April 18 to warn against the idea of an impersonal God “that is a bit everywhere but one does not know what it may be”;

- or the image of “babysitter Church,” used on April 17 to stigmatize a Church that only “takes care of children to put them to sleep,” instead of acting as a mother with her children;

- or the formula “satellite Christians,” used on April 22 to brand those Christians who allow their conduct to be dictated by “common sense” and by “worldly prudence,” instead of by Jesus.

Stefania Falasca, an old friend of Bergoglio - who telephoned her on the evening of his election - asked him after one morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae: "Father, but how do these expressions come to you?”

“A simple smile was his reply.” In Falasca's judgment, the use of such expressions on the part of the pope “in literary terms is called 'pastiche,' which is precisely the juxtaposition of words of different levels or different registers with expressive effect. The 'pastiche' style is today a typical feature of communication on the web and of postmodern language. This is therefore a matter of linguistic associations unprecedented in the history of the Petrine magisterium.”

In an April 23 editorial in the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, "Avvenire," Falasca compared the oratory of Pope Francis to the "sermo humilis" theorized by St. Augustine.

Pope Bergoglio is also introducing this style into his official homilies and discourses. For example, in the homily for the Chrism Mass of Holy Thursday, in St. Peter's Basilica, he made a very striking exhortation to the pastors of the Church, bishops and priests, to take on “the odor of the sheep.”

Another typical feature of his preaching is interacting with the crowd, getting it to respond in chorus. He did so for the first time and repeatedly at the “Regina Coeli" of Sunday, April 21, for example when he said: “Thank you very much for the greeting, but you should also greet Jesus. Yell 'Jesus' loud!" And the cry of "Jesus" in fact went up from St. Peter's Square.


The popularity of Pope Francis is due to a large extent this style of preaching and to the easy, widespread success of the concepts on which he insists the most - mercy, forgiveness, the poor, the “peripheries” - seen reflected in his actions and in his own person.

It is a popularity that acts as a screen for the other more inconvenient things that he does not neglect to say - for example, his frequent references to the devil - and that if said by others would unleash criticism, while for him they are forgiven.

In effect, the media have so far covered up with indulgent silence not only the references of the current pope to the devil, but also a whole series of other pronouncements on points of doctrine as controversial as they are essential.

On April 12, for example, speaking to the pontifical biblical commission, Pope Francis reiterated that “the interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures cannot be solely an individual scholarly effort, but must always be compared with, inserted within, and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church.” And therefore “this entails the insufficiency of any interpretation that is subjective or simply limited to an analysis incapable of accommodating within itself that overarching sense which over the course of the centuries has constituted the tradition of the whole people of God.”

This salvo of the pope against the forms of exegesis prevalent also in the Catholic camp went practically unnoticed, amid the general silence of the media.

On April 19, in his morning homily, he lashed out against the “great ideologists” who want to interpret Jesus in a purely human vein. He called them “intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness. And of beauty we will not speak, because they do not understand anything.”

In this case as well, silence.

On April 22, in another morning homily, he said forcefully that Jesus is “the only gate” for entering into the Kingdom of God and “all the other paths are deceptive, they are not true, they are false.”

With this he therefore reiterated that indispensable truth of the Catholic faith which recognizes in Jesus Christ the only savior of all. But when in August of 2000 John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published precisely on this the declaration “Dominus Iesus," they were bitterly contested from inside and outside of the Church. While now that Pope Francis has said the same thing, everybody quiet.

On April 23, the feast of St. George, in the homily of the Mass with the cardinals in the Pauline Chapel, he said that “the Christian identity is a belonging to the Church, because to find Jesus outside of the Church is not possible.”

And this time as well, silence. And yet the thesis according to which “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus," which he has reaffirmed, is almost always a herald of polemics. . .


This benevolence of the media toward Pope Francis is one of the features that characterize the beginning of this pontificate.

The gentleness with which he is able to speak even the most uncomfortable truths facilitates this benevolence. But it is easy to predict that sooner or later it will cool down and give way to a reappearance of criticism.

The first warning came after pope Bergoglio, on April 15, confirmed the strict approach of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith in dealing with the case of the sisters of the United States represented by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The protests that were immediately raised by these sisters and by the “liberal” currents of Catholicism, not only American, resounded as the beginning of the breaking of a spell.

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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You send forth your light from your doors

Upon me where I lay at thy door steps

Drunk and shivering from my nights of prostitution on the brothel floors

Thy soothing light has become more pleasant than my corrupt eye accepts

Is that you that I see?

My ring I lost to those lords who tore my wedding garments

My veil I lifted before their faces

I dreamt of Shiloh at night knee deep in my ailment

But the first light found me standing at the brothel, back to my former ways

Given naught but a lift and a cuddle for settlement

Is that you that I see?

Searing through the veil of darkness where you laid shrouded

Wielding thy power that quickens all things and me

Touching deep to my soul’s center where I lay grounded

Is that you that I see in my heart? Oh King of Heaven, earth and sea

Thy hand will pull her from her cell

Squeezes, spitting, grimaces, all bitter the pill. Yes but remade in his house

Quick response; one touch at the sound of the bell

Will she remain in the home of her spouse?

A prostitute, yes a dead one, living is another one within, signed with His Seal.

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Because, he says, unrepentant public sinners could slip in among the faithful, and he does not want to back up their hypocrisy. The case of Catholic politicians who support abortion

There is one particular in the Masses celebrated by Pope Francis that raises questions that have so far gone unanswered.

At the moment of communion, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not administer it himself, but allows others to give the consecrated host to the faithful. He sits down and waits for the distribution of the sacrament to be completed.

The exceptions are very few. At solemn Masses the pope, before sitting down, gives communion to those assisting him at the altar. And at the Mass last Holy Thursday, at the juvenile detention facility of Casal del Marmo, he wanted to give communion himself to the young detainees who approached to receive it.

Bergoglio has given no explicit explanation of this behavior since becoming pope.

But there is one page in a book he published in 2010 that allows one to infer the motives at the origin of this practice.

The book is a collection of conversations with the rabbi of Buenos Aires, Abraham Skorka.

At the end of the chapter dedicated prayer, the then-archbishop Bergoglio says:

"David had been an adulterer and had ordered a murder, and nonetheless we venerate him as a saint because he had the courage to say: 'I have sinned.' He humbled himself before God. One can commit enormous mistakes, but one can also acknowledge them, change one's life and make reparation for what one has done. It is true that among parishioners there are persons who have killed not only intellectually or physically but indirectly, with improper management of capital, paying unjust wages. There are members of charitable organizations who do not pay their employees what they deserve, or make them work off the books. [. . .] With some of them we know their whole résumé, we know that they pass themselves off as Catholics but practice indecent behaviors of which they do not repent. For this reason, on some occasions I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it, because I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo. One may also deny communion to a known sinner who has not repented, but it is very difficult to prove these things. Receiving communion means receiving the body of the Lord, with the awareness of forming a community. But if a man, rather than uniting the people of God, has devastated the lives of many persons, he cannot receive communion, it would be a total contradiction. Such cases of spiritual hypocrisy present themselves in many who take refuge in the Church and do not live according to the justice that God preaches. And they do not demonstrate repentance. This is what we commonly call leading a double life.”

As can be noted, Bergoglio explained in 2010 his abstaining from giving communion personally with a very practical reason: "I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo."

As an experienced pastor and a good Jesuit, he knew that among those who receive communion there could be unrepentant public sinners who nonetheless professed themselves to be Catholics. He knew that at that point it would be difficult to deny them the sacrament. And he knew the public effects that that communion could have, if received from the hands of the archbishop of the Argentine capital.

One could infer that Bergoglio may sense the same danger as pope, indeed even more so. And for this reason he would be adopting the same prudential conduct: “I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it.”

The public sins that Bergoglio gave as examples in his conversation with the rabbi are the oppression of the poor and the withholding of just wages from the worker. Two sins traditionally listed among the four that “cry out to heaven for vengeance.”

But the reasoning is the same that in recent years has been applied by other bishops to another sin: public support for pro-abortion laws on the part of politicians who profess themselves to be Catholic.

This latter controversy has had its epicenter in the United States.

In 2004, then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, sent to the episcopal conference of the United States a note with the “general principles” on the question.

The episcopal conference decided to “apply” on a case-by-case basis the principles recalled by Ratzinger, leaving it up to the "individual bishops to make prudent pastoral judgments in [their] own circumstance.”

From Rome, Cardinal Ratzinger accepted this solution and called it “in harmony” with the general principles of his note.

In reality, the bishops of the United States are not unanimous. Some of them, including among the conservatives, like cardinals Francis George and Patrick O'Malley, are reluctant to “make the Eucharist a political battleground.” Others are more intransigent. When the Catholic Joe Biden was chosen as vice-presidential running mate by Barack Obama, the archbishop of Denver at the time, Charles J. Chaput, now in Philadelphia, said that Biden's support for the so-called “right” to abortion was a grave public fault and “I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for communion."

The fact remains that last March 19, at the Mass for the inauguration of the pontificate of Francis, vice-president Biden and the leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, she too a pro-abortion Catholic, were part of the official delegation of the United States.

And both received communion. But not from the hands of pope Bergoglio, who was seated behind the altar.

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Following the Arab spring, with dictatorships falling away in much of the Arab world, waves of sectarian violence have targeted Christian populations. Millions of the Christian faithful in largely Muslim lands are being uprooted and displaced, under misinterpretation of Islamic law to "drive away the infidels."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it's increasing year by year," the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said. In our lifetime alone "Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt."

It appears that Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces were liberated from dictators. The church attack in Baghdad in 2010, in which nearly 60 Christian worshippers died, is only the beginning.

Iraq's Christian population was at least one million in 2003. Today, fewer than 400,000 remain the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading. 

The same pattern has come to Syria, after the U.S. has shown its support for the jihad on Syria's secular president Bashar al-Assad. Regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings.

The last Christian in the Syrian city of Homs, in October of last year -- which previously had a Christian population of some 80,000, was murdered. 

"We left because they were trying to kill us. because we were Christians . Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house," a teenage girl said. 

Things are just as dire in  Egypt, where some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their homeland. In September of last year, the Sinai's small Christian community was attacked and evicted by Al Qaeda linked Muslims. 

Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are part of the Arab world. But even in "black" African and "white" European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.

After a 2012 Islamic coup in Mali, as many as 200,000 Christians fled. According to reports, "the church in Mali faces being eradicated," especially in the north "where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out . there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives." At least one pastor was beheaded.

"To anyone following the plight of Christians under Islamic persecution, none of this is surprising," author Raymond Ibrahim writes. "As I document in my new book, 'Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians,' all around the Islamic world-in nations that do not share the same race, language, culture, or economics, in nations that share only Islam-Christians are being persecuted into extinction. Such is the true face of extremist Islamic resurgence," he says.

© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.

Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 by denzio

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Monday, May 06, 2013

* This is an answer to our post in our facebook page.

The very great sin of man after the original fall is to impose what should had been according to his desire, to a selected few to that extent, and not what had been desired by all from the beginning of the great teaching.

Written by Bob Stanley 
January 2,, 2012 

Galatians 4:16

However, through His Church, we know that canonized saints are in Heaven. That is about all that we truly know who is there now. For the rest of us, the guidelines for attaining eternal salvation are in Holy Scripture, and there are many of them. I have dealt with these guidelines in great detail in many other pages in this Catholic Treasure Chest siteFrom these guidelines we can extrapolate a plethora of foods for thought. These thoughts will probably stay with us until the day we die.

Are only Catholics admitted into Heaven? From what I have gleaned so far, I would say the short answer to the question is a resounding NO!

Here is where common sense and our GOD given reasoning powers begin, based on what we know from Holy Scripture. For sake of brevity, I will classify all non-Catholic Christians as Protestants and so, in my opinion, we have five major camps of humanity,
(1) Catholic

(2) Protestant
(3) non-Christian religions, which are so widely varying in their beliefs and practices, that I can speak for them only briefly,
(4) and there are those who have never even heard of GOD,
(5) and of course Atheists who deny the existence of GOD.

1. Do all Catholics go to Heaven?I would say no, as there are many who call themselves catholic but really are not Catholic at all in the true sense. Some do not partake of the seven sacraments. Some do not obey the ten commandments, such as their failure to  attend Mass on Sundays and holy days, for one example. "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my  absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phillipians 2:12

2. Can any Protestants be admitted into Heaven?I would say yes, but for most, through no fault of their own, they do not have the full deposit of faith as laid out in the Bible. They have some truth but not the full truth as taught by the only Church that Jesus Christ founded. This group, probably unknowing, is in some way connected to the Catholic Church through Baptism, which is a plus for them.
They could attain Heaven but it seems to me that it will be more difficult for them since they are wanting in so many of GOD given graces.
Seven sources of GOD's graces are plainly listed in Holy Scripture and good Catholics strive for all seven, the sacraments. 
Most Protestants only have two sacraments and even they could be questionable depending upon who issues them.

Common sense tells me that the more sacraments an individual receives, the better the chance that he or she will attain eternal salvation.
I would have reservations for those who persecute the only Church which Jesus Christ founded since they are really persecuting Him (Acts 9:3-5) since His Church is His body and He is its head. The hardest thing to open is a closed mind, so they should open their minds  to a quest in search of the truth. Romans 2:5-8 would give me trepidation if I were guilty of its message therein.

3. Can any members of non-Christian religions attain Heaven?I would say probably yes, but I have great reservations for those violent ones who forcibly impose their religion on others.

4. Can those who have never even heard of GOD go to Heaven?I would say they could if they followed the laws written into all human hearts by GOD. See Romans 2:11-15.

5. Can Atheists attain eternal salvation?Please read Matthew 10:33 and then decide for yourself.

There are those who wanted to show the way of salvation and some wanted their own version of the way, as a result there are so many ways that lead to confusion. However, there was a Great One, followed by all since the beginning of the great teaching, treasured Universally and not exclusively.

What "No Salvation Outside the Church" Means

Jim Blackburn,

One of the most misunderstood teachings of the Catholic Church is this one:
"Outside the Church there is no salvation" (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus).
Those trying to grasp the meaning of this teaching often struggle with its formulations by various Church Fathers and Church Councils down through history. Of course, to understand an isolated formulation ofany Church teaching, one must study the historical context within which it was written: why it was written, what was going on in the Church at the time, who the intended audience was, and so on. One must discover how the magisterium (teaching office) of the Church understands its own teaching. If someone fails to do this and chooses, rather, to simply treat a particular formulation as a stand-alone teaching, he runs the risk of seriously misunderstanding it.
In recent times, the Church has recognized that its teaching about the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation has been widely misunderstood, so it has "re-formulated" this teaching in a positive way. Here is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church begins to address this topic: "How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Reformulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body" (CCC 846).
In keeping with the Church’s current spirit of ecumenism, this positive reformulation comes across less harshly than previous negative formulations. Even so, it remains quite controversial. So, let’s see how this new formulation squares with Scripture.

Jesus, the Way

The first part of the reformulated teaching—"all salvation comes from Christ the Head"—is quite easy for all Christians, even non-Catholics, to understand and embrace. It echoes Jesus’ own words recorded by John: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6). So, Christians unanimously agree on this first part. But is this all that needs to be said about how one may be saved? The Catholic Church has historically recognized the importance of explaining further the means through which salvation is offered through Christ.
When speaking of salvation, Jesus offered more details than just his words quoted above. For example, consider these three verses:
  • He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
  • [U]nless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
  • [H]e who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)
Notice that in these three verses Jesus associated salvation with baptism, confession, and the Eucharist, respectively. Catholics recognize that these sacraments are administered through the Church. In fact, in the case of the latter two, a validly ordained priest isnecessary for their administration, so the sacrament of ordination must also be associated with salvation. A primary role of the Catholic Church in conjunction with salvation is becoming quite clear.
This brings us to the second part of the Catechism’s formulation of the doctrine being considered: ". . . through the Church which is his Body."

With Him or Against Him

Since the sacraments are the ordinary means through which Christ offers the grace necessary for salvation, and the Catholic Church that Christ established is the ordinary minister of those sacraments, it is appropriate to state that salvation comes through the Church.
This is not unlike the situation that existed prior to the establishment of the Catholic Church. Even before it was fully revealed that he was the Messiah, Jesus himself taught that "salvation is from the Jews" (Jn 4:22). He pointed the woman of Samaria to the body of believers existing at that time, through which salvation would be offered to all mankind: the Jews.
In a similar fashion, now that the Messiah has established his Church, Jesus might say, "salvation is from the Catholics"!
Recognizing this, we can see why the Church, especially during times of mass exodus (such as has happened in times when heresies have run rampant), has been even more forceful in the way it has taught this doctrine. Instead of simply pointing out how God offers salvation from Christ, through the Church, the Church has warned that there is no salvation apart from Christ, outside his Church.
Since Jesus established the Catholic Church as necessary for salvation, those who knowingly and willingly reject him or his Church cannot be saved. We see this in Jesus’ teaching: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Mt 12:30). Also: "[I]f he [a sinning brother] refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" (Mt 18:17). Paul warned similarly: "As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned" (Ti 3:10-11).
Having said all this, we must recognize that this doctrine is not as far reaching as some imagine it to be. People will sometimes ask, "Does this means non-Catholics are going to hell?" Not necessarily.

Invincibly Ignorant

The Church recognizes that God does not condemn those who are innocently ignorant of the truth about his offer of salvation. Regarding the doctrine in question, the Catechism of the Catholic Church(quoting Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, 16) states:
This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)
Vatican II document Gaudium Et Spesteaches similarly on the possibility of salvation:
All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery. (22)
This teaching is consistent with Jesus’ own teaching about those who innocently reject him: "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin" (Jn 15:22).
But once a person comes to know the truth, he must embrace it or he will be culpable of rejecting it. We see this in Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains" (Jn 9:41). Paul taught likewise concerning the Gentiles:
When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:14-16)
Notice Paul’s carefully chosen words: "their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them." Paul did not say that those who are innocently ignorant of the truth will be saved; he simply keeps open the possibility of it.
Similarly, he wrote: "[I]s God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith" (Rom 3:29-30).

Necessary for Salvation

As we have seen, God introduced salvation to the world through his chosen people, the Jews. God’s revelation to the Jews found its fulfillment in Christ, the Messiah, who established the Catholic Church. The grace necessary for salvation continues to come from Christ, through his Church. Those who innocently do not know and embrace this might still attain salvation but those who knowingly and willingly choose to reject it, reject salvation on God’s terms.
The Catechism (once again quoting Lumen Gentium) summarizes all this as follows:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)

As Catholics, we are all called to
Be glad that you are inside the Catholic Church since when you are thirsty you always long for a full glass of water and not half-empty. 
There is no amount of explanation to those who would not believe and there is no amount of belief to those who would not care to ask.

Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 by denzio

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So many false charges are made against the Catholic Church by people who refuse to go to the source of Catholic teaching, to find out what the Church really teaches. They instead prefer to propagate the lie they are taught by others of the same mind set. If you wanted to buy a Ford, would you go to a Chevy dealer to find the "truth" about Fords? No, you go to the source, the ones who built the Ford. In the same way you will not learn the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches from a non-Catholic source. So if you have not bothered to go to the source for Catholic teaching, then why do you continue to perpetuate the lie? By doing so, you gamble with your eternal salvation.

Here are some of the false charges made against the Catholic Church, and the replies of truth to those charges:
*The Catholic Church is not the Church which Jesus Christ founded.
Okay, then please give me the name of the Church which He did found, since it must still be here, as He did promise that His Church would last forever, did He not? Matthew 28:20. Did Jesus lie?
Also, since every Church on earth was founded by a person with a name, please name the person who did found the Catholic Church if it was not Jesus Christ? Oh, and please do not forget to include the genuine historical document(s) to back up what you say.

*There is no "proof" that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church.
To the contrary, here are 140 reasons why it is the Catholic Church which He founded and none other. Now you give me just one reason to "prove" that it is your church which He founded and not the Catholic Church?

*The Catholic Church apostatized soon after the last Apostle died, so the Catholic Church of today is not the same Church which Jesus Christ founded.
Please give me the date of this monumental historical event? Show me your genuine historical documents which "prove" what you charge? Of the thousands of genuine historical documents of every century going all the way back to the first century, and which are available for anyone to research, why is there no mention of this so-called earth shaking "great Apostasy" anywhere to be found? Don't you think that a falling away of the Church which Jesus Christ founded would "rock the universe", so to speak, and be the cause of a great chastisement from GOD after what His Son went through in His passion? Look at what happened to the Jews for their disobedience.
Jesus did promise the Holy Spirit would be with, and teach His Church forever in John 14:16-17.
Are you calling Jesus Christ a liar for His promises of perpetuity for His Church?
See 1John 5:10. 

*Well it was not any specific date, but was a gradual process over time.
Okay, but that still implies that it did happen at some time, so give me the date, and your genuine historical documents. List for me the "gradual" apostasies of which you refer and the dates of their supposed happenings?
What is the teaching of the Catholic Church on the Holy Trinity? Is that apostasy?
Does the Church teach that Jesus Christ is GOD? Does the Church......well, I could ask you about what the Church teaches regarding a hundred subjects.
Instead of my listing all of the subjects on which the Church teaches, it would be much easier if you would just please tell me the subjects of your charges of apostasy by the Catholic Church, and the dates of each?

*The Eucharist is "obviously" only a symbol.
Please show me the "obvious" Scriptural verses which say that it is only a symbol after you have read and studied the two links in this section?

*The Bible alone is our sole authority. We do not need the Catholic Church.
Oh? What did Jesus Christ found, a teaching Church, or a book? Since the Gospels are the heart of the New Testament, please show me the verse(s) where He commanded anyone to write them?
Please show me where the Bible says that it alone is the sole authority?

*The Catholic Church is always coming up with "new doctrine". I refuse to believe anything if I cannot find it in the Bible.
Oh? Please give me a list of this "new" doctrine of what you speak? Also please give me the verse which you use to "prove" that everything worth believing is in the Bible?

*GOD did not need Mary.
Oh? Did GOD tell you that He did not need her? Or did some human person in your sect tell you? Are you a modern day prophet?
Is your remark that, "GOD did not need Mary", in the Bible? Are you a Sola Scriptura believer?
If so, then you must find that in the Bible for any other SS follower to believe it, right? Show me the verse as 'proof' of what you say?
Well, to the contrary, explain Luke 1:26-38 to me? Why did GOD send the angel Gabriel to her to tell her of the great gift she was about to receive if He did not need her?

*Catholics "worship" Mary.
I have been a Catholic all of my life and I have never heard the Church tell its people that we must worship Mary. For that charge to be true, then please provide the genuine Catholic Church document which states that Catholics are to worship Mary? Did you ever think to go to the source for the answer to this one?

*Mary could not have been immaculately conceived.

Oh? Are you saying that GOD could not have done this?
Did not Jesus say this?
"But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.""
Matthew 19:26
Didn't Adam and Eve, and Jesus Christ come into the world without sin? Then please explain to me, why the Mother of GOD could not?

*Mary gave birth to the human nature of Jesus only.
Mothers do not give birth to natures alone, but to persons who possess a nature. Mary gave birth to the complete person. Now, is Jesus Christ a divine person, or is he a human person?
He could not be both, as that would make Him to be two persons.

*Mary could not be the Mother of GOD.
Well, because you made this statement, you now have only two options. Either Jesus Christ is not GOD, or He had another mother other than Mary. Which option will you choose?

*Mary had "other children".
Show me where Holy Scripture says that, after you have read the link? Suppose you were the brother or sister of GOD. Wouldn't there be a mountain of material written about you and your lives? Isn't it possible that the meaning of words then, are not the same as they are today, especially after they have been translated from language to language? You see, something is always added or lost in a language translation. To prove this, I gave you an example in the 3rd sentence, 'you and your lives'. Do you see it? The word 'you' in English can be singular or plural, but in Greek, different words are used for 'you', sou (singular) and humeis (plural). I do explain the importance of this particular translation problem in greater detail here.
So do not fall into the "brothers-brethren" trap by using today's English meaning only.
Read the link for much more.

*Mary could not have been assumed into Heaven.
Oh? Why not? Were you there? Is this yet something else that GOD could not do?

*It does not matter which church a person belongs to.
To the contrary, it does matter a great deal. Do you wish to gamble with your eternal salvation?
There is only one true Church, the one which Jesus Christ founded.
I would suggest that you read Psalms 127:1.

Now, since everyone has read Psalms 127:1, I wish to ask all non-Catholics who make these false charges against the only Church which Jesus Christ founded, to please show me the verse(s) in Holy Scripture which give authority for any person to found another church other than that one of Matthew 16:18? Notice that Jesus did say "Church", and not churches in that verse.

For those who make false charges against the Catholic Church without bothering to go to the source to see if the charges are true or not, please read this quote from Saint Irenaeus which was written in 180 A.D.


1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arose a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?"
Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 4, Par 1, 180 A.D.. Jurgens 213
*Added by myself and not in the original St. Irenaeus text.

STOP!!! Right here and take a deep breath before proceeding, for your eternal salvation may be at risk!
For proof of this, now read on.
"This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
1Timothy 2:3-4
It is the will of GOD that we all must come to the truth. No one can come to the truth who has a closed mind, or is prejudiced, or has preconceived ideas. The only way anyone can find the truth is to go to the source with an open mind, and discover it for themselves.
"...but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury."
Romans 2:8
"Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions,factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Galatians 5:19-21
"Factious"? The dictionary says, "Factious: (1) relating to internal dissension. (2) Promoting internal dissension." Doesn't this sound like the mindset of the reformers? The Reformation certainly did lead to the "thousands of factions"* which we have in Protestantism today.
The word "factions" leads us to yet another verse,
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing; and there be no dissensions among you, but that you be perfectly united in 
one mind and in one judgment."
1Corinthians 1:10
For all of those who refuse to come to the truth, they will be met with the wrath of GOD.
*There were 33,820 factions of Protestantism as of April 2001, World Christian Encyclopedia, a Protestant publication. This publication can be purchased from
"The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
2Thessalonians 2:9-12
For those who do not believe the truth, ALL will be condemned.

What does all of this mean? Let us summarize:
1. We are all bound to search for the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4
2. Those who refuse to search for the truth will be met with the wrath of GOD. Romans 2:8
3. Those who refuse to accept the truth, will be condemned. 2Thessalonians 2:9-12
4. He who has refused to acknowledge the truth in life will be forced to confront it in death. Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 21:27
5. Now who does all of this fit? It certainly does fit all of those who perpetuate false charges against the only Church which Jesus Christ founded, and who continue to do so, by refusing to go to the source for the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches.
6. These are not my rules or ideas. They are the teaching of GOD through Holy Scripture.

"Have I then become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16

Written by Bob Stanley, February 15, 2002
Updated September 19, 2002
Updated March 22, 2008

Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 by denzio

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