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Friday, 31 March 2017

The Catholic Truth about Angels and their Works


Image result for angels




 Much is spoken on the topic of angels, but little in the way of true doctrine is understood. Many who call themselves Christians have drunk deeply from the well of New Age paganism. Since the Great Apostasy, people get their ideas from all the wrong places. New Agers teach that angels reside within us and are waiting for us to use them to tap our human potential, enhance creativity, provide psychological fulfillment, and spiritual self-enlightenment. Thus promoters of "angel contact" offer people what they want and need in troubled times: assurance, love, and guidance. It is a warped view of Guardian Angels. A couple of years ago, a gentleman at my Church told me about a time when he saw large bones he claimed belonged to beings conceived of angels and human females called the "Nephilim." There are some Protestant sects that actually believe this to be the case. It is based on a misunderstanding of Genesis 6:4. I didn't have time to discuss the issue with the gentleman that day (and I haven't seen him since). This post will give the Church's teaching on angels, and explain the so-called Nephilim.


Church Teaching on Angels

Except where expressly stated otherwise, the teaching of the Church is taken from the writings of theologians Ott and Pohle. 

1. In the beginning of time God created spiritual essences out of nothing. It is a dogma declared by the Fourth Lateran Council and the First Vatican Council that "simultaneously at the beginning of time He created from nothing both spiritual and corporeal creation, angelic and mundane." The creation of the angels is directly attested to in Colossians 1:16, "For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him." (Four of the angelic choirs are mentioned; Emphasis mine).


2. The number and hierarchy of the angels. There is no definitive teaching on how many angels exist, although it is certain they are very numerous. Apocalypse 5: 11, "I heard the voice of many angels...and the number of them was thousands of thousands." The so-called "orders" or "choirs" of angels are not an article of faith, but the theologians hold it to be a theologically certain truth. The theological schools have put them into three hierarchies with three choirs in each hierarchy. The supreme hierarchy has the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. The intermediate hierarchy is composed of the Dominations, Virtues, and Powers. The lowest hierarchy is made of the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. It is speculated that the difference in rank is due to the supreme hierarchy assisting at the Throne of God and getting their orders directly from Almighty God Himself. They then hand these orders down to the intermediate hierarchy which, in turn, hands them down to the lowest hierarchy, and the angels bring messages (when necessary) to men. The name angel means "messenger."

3.  The angels have an intellect superior to men and are endowed with free will. The angels were given a test, like humans, to earn the Beatific Vision. They were subjected to a probation which a number failed and became demons in Hell. The angels are vastly superior to humans, but cannot produce a true miracle which is something only God can do. The leader of the rebellious angels became known as "Satan" or "adversary" and it is conjectured that approximately one third of the angels followed his rebellion against God, Who created and condemned them to Hell. What was the test? We don't know for certain. Most theologians agree it was a sin of pride. Some theologians speculate that they did not want to serve God. Other theologians, most notably the great Suarez, teach that the sin of pride was in refusing to obey and worship God the Son when it was made known He would take on a human nature (Hypostatic Union).

4. Every human being has a Guardian Angel who should be venerated and invoked. There are four points on this:
Angels have a general guardianship over the human race. It is good and salutary to pray to them and venerate them. All humans, not just members of the One True Church are given a Guardian Angel upon conception. Theologians agree that even the Antichrist will have a Guardian Angel, but all his efforts to turn him from utter wickedness will be in vain because of the sheer perversity of his will.It is to be rejected that every person also has a demon to tempt him. It is impious to even think God, Who wills the salvation of all, would permit it. 
Guardian Angels ward off dangers of body and soul consonant with the Will of God.
They inspire good and salutary thoughts and covey our prayers to the Throne of God.
 They assist us at the hour of death and bear the souls of the elect to Heaven. 

The Nephilim

 Genesis 6: 2-4 reads, "The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to themselves wives of all which they chose. And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown." 

From this verse, comes the idea of a "race of supermen" half-angelic, and half-human. According to theologian Tanquerey, there are many errors concerning angels. Their very existence is denied by atheists, and some Protestants who claim that the angels in the Bible are either good inspirations sent by God, or men sent by God to enlighten others. On the other hand, Some of the Fathers and early theologians were in error regarding the nature of angels, thinking they were united to special bodies. They were led astray by either Platonic philosophy or the verse at hand which they misinterpreted. It is certain that angels are entirely spiritual. (See Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology (1:372)). Thus the angel Raphael says to Tobias, " I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men." From this we may infer that angels do not have a body but only an apparent body.

Since angels do not have bodies, how does the Church interpret the passage? According to theologian Haydock, "sons of God" refers to the godly line of Seth (from whom the Redeemer would come; see Genesis 4:26) who intermarried with the godless line of Cain. At that time, people were preserved by God for long lives; some more than 900 years. God would now shorten their lives to 120 years for them to repent before He would send the great deluge. As far as size is concerned, is it possible that men who lived so much longer, could also have been much bigger in stature? Think of Goliath. It is pagan, and illogical, to think spiritual substances can have carnal relations with humans producing "heroes" much like the pagan Greeks believed about Hercules. Christ said, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." (St. Matthew 22:30). 

Conclusion

 As with all things theological, we must always consult the teaching of the Church. Those who do not seek out the true doctrine as taught by the Church's theologians on any given issue will fall in error (at best) or into heresy (at worst). The danger becomes apparent in the case of angels. Modernists and atheists outright deny their existence. New Agers turn them into self-help gurus from within, and promote "contact" with them in what will become contact with demons. Others distort the Bible believing in pagan-like "demi-gods" (Nephilim) derived from the alleged union between angels and humans. Pray to your Guardian Angel and ask him to help you learn, and love, authentic Church teaching on any given subject.

Culled from Intriobo Ad Altare Dei


Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 31st March 2017

Saturday, 25 March 2017

‘Pope’ Francis and ‘Pope Emeritus’ Benedict XVI are now enemies! They cannot speak to each other!

Image result for francis and benedict




I hope you have duly noted the inverted comas on this topic? The inverted commas are there on the title ‘pope’ and ‘pope emeritus’ because the two men in question, Mr. Jorg Bergoglio and Josef Ratzinger are NOT Catholics and so can never be referred to as ‘popes’!

Ask yourself: Can a non-Catholic be pope?

The two men are agents of the Devil! The ONLY difference between the two is that Francis is not pretending. He is open to his calling which is to destroy millions of souls, sending them to hell!

Benedict XVI on the other hand is a great pretender! He and Francis want the same thing. But Benedict pretends that he is holy and is a conservative Catholic and many are actually deceived into thinking him so! For a refresher course of who Benedict XVI truly, read this article here and watch the video here

Now a rift has grown between the two evil men! Francis is a shipwreck moving so fast towards the actualizing the intensions of the Devil. Benedict XVI seems not to like this fast moving train which is heading to hell.


Benedict XVI prefers that the Train is moving very slowly towards hell but no one inside the train should know about this movement to hell!

John Paul II, the great apostate perfected mixing the two: he operated a fast moving train towards hell and at the same time operated another slow moving train within the fast moving one! Talk of the evil genius!

Anyway, the fact is that Francis does not talk to Benedict for any reason. The only time they talk is when Francis ORDERS Benedict XVI to some public function. The old man, Benedict, will appear with fake smile and Francis will reciprocate with another fake smile. After the event the two will retire and continue to loath each other.

This lack of verbal communication between these two scions of the Devil has been confirmed by a respected Vatican insider!

It has to be true for him to say such a thing in public. But the evil Vatican will now swing into action to do some damage control! It is likely they will dismiss this and call for some photo op between the two evil men.

Andreas Englisch is Germany’s most celebrated Vatican insider and “papal” biographer. He does not speak carelessly. He words are weighty! So, in a lecture given on March 16, 2017 in Limburg (the diocesan headquarters where Benedict appointee “Bishop” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was removed by Francis in 2014), Englisch made some explosive claims about the relationship between the “Pope” and the “Pope Emeritus”: The two men are at complete odds with each other and are no longer on speaking terms; Benedict XVI only makes a public appearance when Francis orders him to’. Englisch also said some interesting things about Benedict XVI’s resignation from his false papacy! There are interesting times for Novus Ordo religion people!

I suggest you buy more popcorn! More action coming from this grand false religion! Watch!

Here is how it was reported by Giuseppe Nardi, a journalist at the German periodical Katholisches, of Mar. 20, 2017. The translation was made by Novusordowatch.

Andreas Englisch: Pope Francis and Benedict are at complete odds with each other
Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI are reportedly in complete disagreement: “They do not speak a word with one another.” This is the startling message which Vaticanist Andreas Englisch presented on March 16 during a lecture in Limburg. For many years, Englisch was the Italy and Vatican correspondent for the [German] Axel Springer media conglomerate in Rome. With 30 years of experience in Rome, he is considered to be a renowned Vatican expert. At [Limburg’s] Josef Kohlmaier Hall Englisch told the inside story on the topic of “Francis – Fighter in the Vatican” [the title of his latest book], according to a March 18 report of the Nassauische Neue Post [newspaper]. The look behind the scenes at the Vatican which Englisch offered his audience was even more dramatic than the Nassauische Neue Post conveyed in its article.

“Francis and Benedict do not speak a word with each other”

It was not necessary for the journalist to hide his esteem for Francis, which is well-known already. Englisch knows how to fascinate his audience. Yes, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst has a new job at the Vatican, he said, at the “post office” — because under Pope Francis, that’s all there is for people who “put themselves above the doctrine of Jesus Christ and do not interact with the common faithful at eye level.” [These are] daring statements — by Englisch about the Pope and by the Pope about a brother bishop.

What Englisch didn’t say: Who is suited for nothing more than the “post office” is not so much determined by real or imagined “golden bathtubs” [which Tebartz-van Elst was rumored to have purchased before his removal] than by one’s ideas about the Church. The social component with its myth about commitment for the poor is always well received by a public audience, but it is not very meaningful in terms of the actual issue; rather, it makes matters more obscure.

What’s more explosive — because it’s of much greater significance in its extent — than the Limburg case is what Englisch said about the relationship between Francis and Benedict XVI: The current and the former Pope have completely logged heads, he claimed, [adding that] the two are no longer on speaking terms. And that [has been the case] not just since yesterday.

What does this mean? According to his own testimony, Benedict XVI only appears in public at Francis’ express request. What is displayed on these few occasions, then — if we follow Andreas Englisch — is simply [Benedict] putting up a good front, with an exchange of pleasantries. Englisch mentions the Limburg case as the reason for the rift, in which Benedict reportedly intervened to get Bishop Tebartz-van Elst to stay [in office as the bishop of Limburg]. That is one aspect at best. Limburg is certainly not the main reason for such a fundamental break in the relationship between two Popes.

Francis “knows what he wants” and does “what he wants”

The Rome correspondent described Francis as a strong personality. He “knows what he wants” and makes it known. Benedict, by contrast, is a “solid theologian”, but was a “weak leader”, Englisch said.

For decades, however, this sounded quite different when in the German media the talk was always about the “tough armored cardinal” [“harten Panzerkardinal“]. In order to push a certain narrative, it seems that at any given time more or less anything goes, back then as well as today.

In any case, Englisch says, Benedict allowed many others to make decisions, whereas Pope Francis does “whatever he wants”.
If we reflect on Englisch’s testimony, this would mean that Benedict XVI was publicly demoted to [the role of] a mere supernumerary who barely has anything in common with Francis, but whom Francis needs every so often for the sake of [good] appearance, and whom he deploys as needed. Against this background, Benedict’s absence for the most recent elevation of cardinals on November 19 appears of greater significance. Francis’ creation of cardinals belongs to those few events for which the current Pope calls his predecessor to appear in public.

Benedict XVI appeared at St. Peter’s Basilica for the elevation of cardinals in 2014 and 2015. For the third elevation, however, he was missing, whereupon Francis took the new cardinals and quickly drove them over to [see] Benedict at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery. Apparently [he did this] also in order to preventatively ward off the kind of conclusions which Englisch has now drawn. Francis apparently suspects a demonstrative act [on Benedict’s part] behind his no-show.

Pressure on Benedict XVI to resign

In any case, the timing does not suggest it was a courtesy visit, which is how the Vatican spun it; rather, it was highly explosive. Five days before the consistory the four cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner had made public their dubia (doubts) concerning the controversial post-synodal document Amoris laetitia, because Pope Francis had failed to give them an answer for two months. With the dubia, they squarely put themselves in Francis’ way, who has since been trying to ignore the issue, which has forced his closest collaborators and supporters to [engage in] sweat-inducing verbal acrobatics. Francis has prevailed with his [strategy of] silence, yet he emerges weakened from the conflict as a Pope who refuses to answer questions that concern central issues of faith and morals. The damage [this has caused to his] image has greatly overshadowed his pontificate.
What the Nassauische Neue Post did not report: According to Englisch, different ecclesiastical forces pressured Benedict XVI to resign.

This statement has explosive force. The circumstances which led to the papal resignation, in this form quite unique in Church history, have been feeding serious doubts since then. Exactly where is the line between legitimate influence and coercion? Benedict himself has assured [us] that he resigned freely. Until the contrary is proven, these words retain their validity. At the same time, aside from the legal aspect, there is a strange stalemate in the air. Even more so if one takes into consideration Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini’s all-out demand, [made] in June 2012, that Benedict XVI resign, and the role played by the secretive Saint Gallen group, founded by Martini, at the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

The fact is that Benedict XVI has left the stage, a stage that was afterwards occupied, like the staff of a military general, by [members of] Team Bergoglio of the clandestine Saint Gallen group, and which does not think of leaving it.

(Giuseppe Nardi, “Andreas Englisch: Papst Franziskus und Benedikt haben sich völlig zerstritten”, Katholisches, Mar. 20, 2017; our translation.)

Here you have read it! The problem is about how to administer this huge false religion that is sending millions to hell!

If you know anyone remaining in this false religion which is falsely calling itself the ‘Catholic Church’, it is time you pull that person out of that burning building, fast!


By Malachy Mary Igwilo, Feast Of the Annunciation, 25th March, 2017

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

'Pope' Francis asks you to go to hell by worshiping with the Anglicans!


 
Yes, Francis is firing on! He keeps presenting us with his evil and yet millions of normal people call him ‘Vicar of Christ’, ‘Holy Father’, ‘Pope’, ‘Holiness’, ‘Papa’ etc

This time around he has asked people to attend the abominable Anglican service! This same Anglican Service that is condemned by the Catholic church, the one true Church of Christ!

Of course, thinking people will know that the fact that Francis is asking that people can attend the Anglican service when there is no ‘mass’, shows again that the man is not a Catholic by any shred. If he were to be, he cannot be near the Anglicans, the religion of adultery!


No wonder he allowed the Anglicans to come over to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to desecrate it with their abominable prayer service!


Ofcourse we know that what Francis calls ‘Mass’ is not Mass at all. He is referring to the Novus Ordo abomination which millions think is Catholic. It is not. Find out why here

I am starting to ask my Novus Ordo friends when they will attend the Anglican service near them. Maybe they will go nest Sunday? Who knows?

This will not come as a shock to the deceived within the Novus Ordo structure since many of them already go to the many thousands of false religions that call themselves ‘Pentecostals’ and even ‘Christians’.

The Catholic Church is the one true Church and so no Catholic can participating in any false worship since it is both heretical and abominable. But Francis, the scion of the Devil says it is ‘richness’ to attend Anglican service!

Here is what he says exactly because you scream it is a lie:


And then, there is my experience. I was very friendly with the Anglicans at Buenos Aires, because the back of the parish of Merced was connected with the Anglican Cathedral. I was very friendly with Bishop Gregory Venables, very friendly. But there’s another experience: In the north of Argentina there are the Anglican missions with the aborigines, and the Anglican Bishop and the Catholic Bishop there work together and teach. And when people can’t go on Sunday to the Catholic celebration they go to the Anglican, and the Anglicans go to the Catholic, because they don’t want to spend Sunday without a celebration; and they work together. And here [at the Vatican], the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith knows this. And they engage in charity together. And the two Bishops are friends and the two communities are friends.
I think this is a richness [treasure] that our young Churches can bring to Europe and to the Churches that have a great tradition. And they give to us the solidity of a very, very well cared for and very thought out tradition. It’s true, — ecumenism in young Churches is easier. It’s true. But I believe that – and I return to the second question – ecumenism is perhaps more solid in theological research in a more mature Church, older in research, in the study of history, of Theology, of the Liturgy, as the Church in Europe is. And I think it would do us good, to both Churches: from here, from Europe to send some seminarians to have pastoral experience in the young Churches, so much is learned. We know [that] they come, from the young Churches, to study at Rome, at least the Catholics [do]. But to send them to see, to learn from the young Churches would be a great richness in the sense you said. Ecumenism is easier there, it’s easier, something that does not mean [it’s] more superficial, no, no, it’s not superficial. They don’t negotiate the faith and [their] identity. In the north of Argentina, an aborigine says to you: “I’m Anglican.” But the bishop is not here, the Pastor is not here, the Reverend is not here . . . “I want to praise God on Sunday and so I go to the Catholic Cathedral,” and vice versa. They are riches of the young Churches. I don’t know, this is what comes to me to say to you.

(“Pope’s Q & A at Anglican All Saints Church”, Zenit, Feb. 27, 2017; underlining added. Original Italian at Vatican web site here.)


There you have it. Nothing much to say! Francis is not a pope. He works tirelessly for the Devil and those that believe in him ar simply risking their souls!


In case you are still wondering what the Catholic Church teaches about such false religions as the Anglican ‘church’ and other Protestant/Pentecostal ‘Churches, you need to read this quote:

‘Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect upon the condition of the various religious societies, divided among themselves, and separated from the Catholic Church, which, from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has never ceased to exercise, by its lawful pastors, and still continues to exercise, the divine power committed to it by this same Lord; cannot fail to satisfy himself that neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity. For, whereas such societies are destitute of that living authority established by God, which especially teaches men what is of Faith, and what the rule of morals, and directs and guides them in all those things which pertain to eternal salvation, so they have continually varied in their doctrines, and this change and variation is ceaselessly going on among them. Every one must perfectly understand, and clearly and evidently see, that such a state of things is directly opposed to the nature of the Church instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ; for in that Church truth must always continue firm and ever inaccessible to all change, as a deposit given to that Church to be guarded in its integrity, for the guardianship of which the presence and aid of the Holy Ghost have been promised to the Church for ever. No one, moreover, can be ignorant that from these discordant doctrines and opinions social schisms have arisen, and that these again have given birth to sects and communions without number, which spread themselves continually, to the increasing injury of Christian and civil society’.

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes)




Also, you MUST note that assisting at the liturgical services of non-Catholics is a mortal sin and makes anyone who does so, suspect of heresy. This is clear from the Church’s Code of Canon Law (1917) and her moral theology:

It is not licit for the faithful by any manner to assist actively or to have a part in the sacred [rites] of non-Catholics.
Whoever in any manner willingly and knowingly helps in the promulgation of heresy, or who communicates in things divine [=assists at sacred rites] with heretics against the prescription of Canon 1258, is suspected of heresy.

It is unlawful for Catholics in any way to assist actively at or take part in the worship of non-Catholics (Canon 1258). Such assistance is intrinsically and gravely evil; for (a) if the worship is non-Catholic in its form (e.g., Mohammedan ablutions, the Jewish paschal meal, revivalistic “hitting the trail,” the right hand of fellowship, etc.), it expresses a belief in the false creed symbolized; (b) if the worship is Catholic in form, but is under the auspices of a non-Catholic body (e.g., Baptism as administered by a Protestant minister, or Mass as celebrated by a schismatical priest), it expresses either faith in a false religious body or rebellion against the true Church.
(Rev. John A. McHugh, O.P. & Rev. Charles J. Callan, O.P., Moral Theology: A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities, vol. I [New York, NY: Joseph F. Wagner, 1958], n. 964)



So do not say you don't know!



Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo 22nd March 2017, Feasrt of St. Isdore the Farmer

Monday, 20 March 2017

YES! Francis and his religion are in support of Divorce and Adultery!

Image result for bergoglio




JUST ABOUT anyone who claims to be a Catholic can tell you that the Church teaches that divorce and remarriage are forbidden.


He might even be able to tell you that the teaching is not just a “Church” law, but one that comes from Our Lord Himself: “Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

And he might even add that if you remarry while your first spouse is alive, you commit adultery.


Until now that is. For as was predicted last year, Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) is pressing forward with his program to dismantle Catholic teaching on giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried, one of the six key points of Bergoglio’s revolution


For some reason Bergoglio believes that implementing this change will lure hordes of disaffected nominal Catholics back to the emptied and emptying churches of Europe and South America.
Since the traditional teaching is so deeply rooted not only in Catholic dogmatic and moral teaching, but also (despite Vatican II) in the consciousness of many Catholics, it was necessary to engage in extensive preparation for such a seismic shift. The biggest step came recently with ‘Cardinal’ Walter Kasper’s keynote address to a meeting of all the cardinals in Rome on February 20-21, 2016 a gathering intended to prepare for the October Bishops’ Synod, which will have the family as its theme.

Bergoglio’s personal choice of Kasper as keynote speaker for this topic was considered very significant. The ‘cardinal’ has a reputation for being one of the more “liberal” modernists in the once-Sacred College.

The text of Kasper’s address to the cardinals was not supposed to be made public, but it was leaked to the Italian paper Il Foglio, which printed it in full. (It has yet to appear in English.) On February 21, at the end of the consistory, Bergoglio lavishly praised the speech:


Yesterday, … I read or rather re-read the work of Cardinal Kasper, and I would like to thank him because I found profound theology, and even serene thinking in theology. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what Saint Ignatius told us about, that sensus Ecclesiae, love for Mother Church. It did me good and an idea came to me — excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you — but the idea is that this is called “doing theology on one’s knees.” Thank you. Thank you.

Vatican commentator Sandro Magister says that Kaspar’s proposals represent nothing less than “a paradigm shift” on the issue — a complete change of context or perspective —  and that it enunciates the program that Bergoglio intends to implement.

So what is Bergoglio’s program for the question of giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried, and what are the problems with it?



I. Kasper’s “Serene Theology”

The speech begins with a lengthy introduction, followed by four sections on the family in the order of creation, the “structure of sin” in family life, the family in the Christian order of redemption and the family as “domestic church.” This consists of several thousand words of convoluted modernist piffle which few in the Novus Ordo church will bother to read.

The fifth section, however, contains the real point of the speech: to provide Bergoglio and the “left” of the post-Vatican II hierarchy with a theological fig leaf for giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried. Here is Kasper’s warm-up before he gets to the nitty-gritty of practical proposals:


The situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics poses a thorny problem.
We can’t just consider it from a sacramental and institutional perspective. We have to “change the paradigm” and consider it from the point of view of those who “suffer.”
Priests have to strive to reconcile the parties when marriages are in crisis. [Brilliant, Your Eminence! Brilliant!] They shouldn’t cease doing so “after the failure of a marriage.” [Wow!]


After the “bitter experience of the past” with a Catholic marriage that ended in divorce, civil marriage and the new “relationship” can seem “like a gift from heaven.”
What should the Church do? “[The Church] cannot propose a different or a contrary solution to the words of Jesus…. The indissolubility of sacramental marriage and the impossibility of a new marriage during the lifetime of the other partner is part of the tradition of the Church’s binding faith that cannot be abandoned or undone by appealing to a superficial understanding of cheapened mercy.”
But now in the modern age, we face a “new situation” [of course!]. While formerly church law imposed the penalties for bigamy on those civilly married, including excommunication, these are gone. They are now invited to participate in the life of the Church. “This is a new tone.”


Why not apply to their situation the same strategy Vatican II did with religious liberty and ecumenism? Sure, encyclicals and decrees of the Holy See “seemed to preclude other ways. Without violating the binding dogmatic tradition, the Council opened doors. We can ask ourselves: is it not perhaps possible that there could be further developments on the present question as well?”
Although he doesn’t say it, Kasper’s real aim is to allow the parties in the invalid second marriage to engage in marital relations with each other. Since the spouse from the first sacramental marriage is still alive, he must find a way to excuse them from adultery, either by claiming the first marriage didn’t really exist (was invalid) or by justifying adulterous marital relations on some other grounds. Kaspar proposes two possible solutions along these lines, both of which are “already mentioned in official documents.”



1. Let Parish Clergy Annul Marriages. This would, in effect, ditch the whole system of church marriage tribunals, and allow a member of the local clergy to decide whether or not a first marriage was valid.
“Some of the divorced and remarried are in conscience subjectively convinced that their irreparably broken previous marriage was never valid.” In many cases their local priest is also convinced of this.
Evaluating the validity of marriages was left to church tribunals, but this isn’t a matter of divine law and can be changed to a more “spiritual and pastoral” procedure.
Perhaps a priest with “spiritual and pastoral experience” designated by the bishop could decide the validity of the marriage.


This would be in line with Pope Francis’ January 24, 2014 speech to the Roman Rota (supreme marriage tribunal) in which he said “the juridical dimension and pastoral dimension [of resolving marriage cases] are not in opposition… Pastoral care and mercy are not opposed to justice, but they are so to speak the supreme justice, because behind each appeal they discern not only a case to be examined through the lens of general regulations but a human person who, as such, can never represent a case and always has a unique dignity.”
The different levels of higher appeal in the marriage tribunal system cannot effectively decide “the good and the bad of persons” on the basis of “paperwork… without knowing the person and his situation.”
The consequences of the foregoing we will discuss below. However, merely expanding the procedure for annulling marriages this way, the cardinal says, is not enough. “This would create the dangerous impression that the Church is proceeding in a dishonest manner in granting what in reality are divorces.” Hmm. With the divorced and remarried one could also therefore allow…


2. “Penitential” Second Marriages. Kaspar’s argument runs thus:
In 1994 and 2012, Ratzinger said that “that the divorced and remarried cannot receive sacramental communion but can receive spiritual communion.” This reflects “true openness.”
“But it also brings up a number of questions. In fact, someone who receives spiritual communion is one with Jesus Christ. [. . .] Why, then, can he not also receive sacramental communion?”
The answer was: Out of concern for “the sanctity of the sacrament.”
“The question that is posed in response is: is it not perhaps an exploitation of the person who is suffering and asking for help if we make him a sign and a warning for others? Are we going to let him die of hunger sacramentally in order that others may live?”
“The early Church gives us an indication that can serve as a means of escape from the dilemma.”


The basis is an article Joseph Ratzinger wrote in 1972: “In the individual local Churches there existed the customary law on the basis of which Christians who, although their first partner was still alive, were living in a second relationship, after a time of penance had available [. . .] not a second marriage, but rather through participation in communion a table of salvation. [. . .]”


This would be “the way of conversion.” It would apply to a divorced and remarried person who (1) repents of his failure in the first marriage, (2) “clarified its obligations,” (3) can’t avoid abandoning the civil marriage “without further harm,” (4) does his best to “live out the possibilities” of the second marriage, and (5) has the desire for the sacraments, after a “conversion” or “a period of time in a new direction.”
It would “not be a general solution.”


“Should we not take into account the fact that we will also lose the next generation and perhaps the one after it too? Our long-established practice, is it not showing itself to be counterproductive?”
The foregoing was the practice of “the early Church,” according to the studies of Cereti (1977) and Crouzel/Ratzinger (1972).
“There can be no doubt however about the fact that in the early Church, in many local Churches, by customary law there was, after a time of repentance, the practice of pastoral tolerance, of clemency and indulgence.”


This is proven by reference to the Council of Nicea (against the rigorism of Novatian), Origen, Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen.
“J. Ratzinger suggested that Basil’s position should be taken up again in a new way. It would seem to be an appropriate solution, one that is also at the basis of these reflections of mine…. In the changed current situation we can however recover the basic concepts and seek to realize them in the present, in the manner that is just and fair in the light of the Gospel.”
And for those who find Kasper’s proposals appalling and who still long for the days of the Rottweiler of Orthodoxy, let us note in passing here that the cardinal bases his arguments on the work of Ratzinger himself.

II. Analysis and Consequences

Even to many souls with only a limited understanding of the traditional Catholic doctrine on divorce and remarriage, Kasper ideas will seem extremely fishy: You’re “subjectively convinced” that your first Church marriage was invalid, and all you need is a priest’s say-so before marrying again? Spiritual communion is equivalent to sacramental communion? Receiving communion while still in an adulterous relationship is OK? The early Church permitted this?
But Kasper’s address will have enormous consequences, so we must look at it a bit more closely. And to aid us in our analysis, we are very fortunate to have Professor Roberto de Mattei’s extensive critique, also published in Il Foglio, and then promptly posted in an English translation on Rorate Caeli.



1. A Slap in the Face to the Virtuous and the Suffering. In my priestly life, I have known many men and women whose marriages in the Church ended in bitter conflict and civil divorce, but who despite tears, suffering and human loneliness, remained resolutely faithful to the vows they had pronounced before God, even though their spouses did not. They knew what their obligations were and made every effort to sanctify themselves in order to live up to God’s law. I have also known Catholic couples who contracted an invalid second marriage from which they could not depart due to children, old age or poverty, but who, in order to return to the sacraments, vowed before God to live henceforth as brother and sister. Kasper’s proposals are a slap in the face to souls like these who struggled mightily and long to observe the divine law whatever the cost, and who, unlike the cardinal and his master, Bergoglio, took God’s law seriously enough to suffer for it.



2. “Pastoral” Camouflage for Overthrowing Dogma. In a post late last year, we pointed out that in his public discourses Bergoglio repeatedly employs the term “pastoral,” a ’60s modernist code word. After discussing how the term was applied to bishops in the post-Vatican II era and after summing up Professor de Mattei’s analysis of how Francis uses it in his public pronouncements, we concluded that
The key to decoding what Bergoglio and other modernists like him mean by “pastoral” [is that] through actions, silence or dissimulation one seeks to undermine Catholic dogma and morality by changing men’s experience of them.
This is exactly the dynamic at work in Kaspar’s speech. He pays lip service to the traditional Catholic teaching, saying we cannot undo it by “appealing to a superficial understanding of cheapened mercy.” And guess what? He then proposes practices which offer exactly that — “cheap mercy” purchased at bargain basement prices without true repentance for sin and without a firm purpose of amendment. When it comes to the first, valid marriage, the dogmas of the unity and indissolubility of the marriage bond are ignored, because you are free to continue the adulterous marital relations of the second invalid marriage.
In practice, the dogmas no longer exist, because Bergoglio and Kasper have come up with a “pastoral” workaround that renders them moot. De Mattei latches onto the connection Kaspar makes between his proposals on marriage and Vatican II’s “opening of the doors.”
Opened the doors to what? To the systematic violation, on the level of praxis, of that dogmatic tradition where the words affirm it legally binding.


3. No Mention of Sin. “Cheap mercy” of the sort Kasper and Bergoglio envision, moreover, becomes possible because, as de Mattei says, “the word sin does not enter into Cardinal Kasper’s vocabulary and never appears in his report to the Consistory.” This is probably because anything more than a generic notion of sin (against the environment, against “the poor,” against “the immigrants,” etc., as opposed to particular sinful acts by an individual) is considered “negative” theology in the modernist system. Moreover, “Cardinal Kasper does not express even one word of condemnation on divorce and its disastrous consequences in western society.” This in turn allows him to use the weaselly expression…



4. “Failed Marriages.” Here, after reading Kaspar, one is left with the impression that impersonal objects called “marriages” are constantly floating around,  and that when they somehow undergo enough stress fractures from causes unknown, they fly apart on their own, damaging the husband and the wife who happen to be nearby. “Marriage failure” is something like getting cancer. Stuff happens, marriages explode, etc.
The notion constantly pops up in Bergoglian discourse. Here is Francis talking about marriage on Feb. 28, just a few days after the appalling Kasper speech:
When this love fails — because many times it fails — we must feel the pain of the failure and accompany those who have failed in their love. Not condemn them! Walk alongside them.

The love-fails/marriage-fails formulation intentionally sidesteps the issue of the moral responsibilities of the respective spouses in a marriage that breaks up. The husband fails, the wife fails, or they both fail. By this we mean that one or both do not live up to the moral responsibilities of their state of life, commit sins, and as a result, destroy a grace-filled union that is blessed by God. The husband, the wife or both, drink, fight, commit adultery, show contempt for the spouse, scandalize the children, pout, seek revenge, lie, abandon the other, take drugs, use porn, contracept, undermine the other’s authority, spend money recklessly, are miserly, talk endlessly at the other, refuse to communicate at all, disappear, control every aspect of the spouse’s life, show no interest in the spouse’s life, or intentionally wound the other. In any break-up, at least one of the spouses has not tried to overcome his sins and faults, and to live up to the duties of his vocation by cooperating with the graces of the sacrament he has received.
This is not to say that one or both spouses cannot repent of the habitual sins that ultimately led to their separation, and achieve sanctity thereafter. But Kasper’s formulation, abstracted from any clear notion of individual sin and moral responsibility for the divorce, conceals the reality that the illicit second relationship — far from being what Kasper calls “a gift from heaven” — is the consequence of sin in the first marriage.




5. Drive-Thru Annulments. The Church established an elaborate system of ecclesiastical tribunals and a whole body of procedural and substantive law to protect the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. It was difficult to obtain an annulment before Vatican II precisely because the grounds for declaring a marriage contract null were very few (e.g. force, grave fear, error) and the system was weighted against deception or self-serving claims by the parties. Even though annulments were granted on spurious grounds after Vatican II and handed out like candy, the fiction of a legal system that protected the sanctity of matrimony was at least maintained.
This fiction may disappear. Kasper says that since some of the divorced and remarried are “subjectively convinced” that their first marriage in the Church was invalid, and that the clergy involved in their care often agree with them, let a priest with “spiritual and pastoral [that word again!] experience” decide the issue. Maybe a confessor or the bishop’s vicar for the area.

This is the ’60s “internal forum” solution followed by modernist clergy of the era, but writ large and officially canonized.
Poof, no need for all those tribunals! Father Chuck can decide! And what do you think Fr. Chuck will decide if you walk into his office or confessional, say you were really immature when you got married, did not understand its “covenant” aspect, felt pressured because you were living together, didn’t really know what love was, just wanted to make mommy and daddy happy, and cry Fr. Chuck a river? Poor boy, poor girl, you didn’t really intend to get married, did you? I’m sure you’re in perfectly good conscience. And didn’t good Pope Francis say we should be merciful? So repent of that bad, old, first “failed marriage,” do penance for it (a decade of the Rosary if you remember how, or alms to Greenpeace if you don’t), feel free henceforth to approach extraordinary minister Ms. Gauleiter for the Eucharist, and now go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
If this procedure were allowed, says Professor de Mattei, “it is easy to imagine how the annulment of marriages would spread, introducing de facto Catholic divorce, if not by law, and incurring devastating damage to the human good.”


6. An Invitation to Derision and Scandal. As for the foregoing proposal, as we noted above, even Kaspar himself says it “would create the dangerous impression that the Church is proceeding in a dishonest manner in granting what in reality are divorces.” The impression of dishonesty? The impression of divorce? It would create the REALITY of both.
Any Protestant, any non-believer, who had an ounce of sense would say that the Catholic Church has changed its teaching and now permits divorce and second marriages. To dress the procedure up as an “annulment” — as if a real marriage never existed in the first place — is to invite mockery and accusations of utter dishonesty, even (according to a recent poll of Austrian and German Catholics) from people who would supposedly benefit from it:
But reforming and streamlining the church’s annulment process would not make a big difference in Germany, the bishops’ report said, because most remarried people do not regard their original unions as “null and void,” but rather as having failed. “They therefore frequently consider an annulment procedure” — which declares that an apparent marriage was null from the start —”to be dishonest.”



7. Make It a Six-Pack? The change would also be a source of scandal in countries where polygamy is rife, as even some African bishops recently said. Those who join the Church must choose one wife and leave the rest. If the Church can permit Westerners in developed countries to engage in serial polygamy, why not allow Africans to engage in simultaneous polygamy? And once you set aside the principle of indissolubility of marriage through the praxis of Kasper’s new “juridical and pastoral hermeneutic,” is there a limit to the number of marriages you can, in good conscience, declare “failed”? The one to Catherine of Aragon, say, then followed by another to Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Paar? No need to send anyone to the scaffold, Your Majesty! You don’t even have to bother Archbishop Tom, because his delegate, Father Chuck, can handle it all for you.


8. Fraudulent Appeals to the Fathers. Kasper, as we have seen, says that in the first centuries a “praxis” existed for some Christians by which they contracted a second relationship after “a period of penitence,” even if their first spouse was still alive. 
Professor de Mattei demonstrates, however, that this claim is entirely false.
Father George H. Joyce, in his historical-doctrinal study on Christian Marriage (1948) showed that during the first five centuries of the Christian era, no decree by a Council, nor any declaration by a Father of the Church, which sustains the possibility of dissolving the matrimonial bond, can be found.
In the second century, when Justin, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, mention the evangelical prohibition of divorce, they do not give any indication of exceptions. Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian are even more explicit. And Origen, even if he looks for some justification in the practices adopted by some bishops, specifies that this contradicts Scripture and the Tradition of the Church […] Two of the first Councils in the Church, Elvira (306) and Arles (314) repeat it clearly. In every part of the world, the Church regarded the dissolving of the marriage bond as impossible and divorce with the right to a second marriage was completely unknown.
De Mattei continues his argument, adding proof after proof from the Fathers to refute Kasper’s claim, and makes the damning statement:
The “canonical, penitential practice” that Cardinal Kasper proposes as a way out of the “dilemma” had the exact opposite significance in the first centuries to what he seems to attribute to it. It was not done to expiate the first marriage, but to repair the sin of the second one, contracted only under civil law, and obviously demanded repentance of this sin, and the abandonment of the pseudo-matrimonial condition.
Note well: The exact opposite.
Kasper even distorted the famous Patristic phrase about “the second plank after the shipwreck of sin” by applying it to the Eucharist instead of to Confession, as the canonist Thomas Peters pointed out.


9. The Horse Has Left the Stable. Naturally, those who in the post-Vatican II church still try to adhere to traditional Catholic doctrines hope that the October Bishops’ Synod and Francis himself will not officially endorse Kasper’s proposals. But endorsement or non-endorsement will make no difference in the practical order. As with artificial contraception issue in the ’60s, once you allow for widespread and well publicized debates over whether to retain a Catholic moral principle or not, temporize over resolving the issue, and link ignoring the principle to the feel-good bromides of modern secular discourse (tolerance, individual conscience, human values, no-fault marriage failure, accommodation to “reality,” etc.), the game is over. Those who reject the principle have already found their justifications for doing so.
And to boot, our beloved, media-anointed Holy Father has already said we must not have a pharisaical, old-fashioned, “casuistic” approach to moral issues, but “walk with” people, show “mercy,” be “pastoral,” and respect the supremacy of the individual conscience, even for atheists, who can also get to heaven. So why can’t I, with my second marriage “in good conscience”? Or my third, or fourth, for that matter?

10. The First Step towards More. In his devastating critique of the Kaspar address, published on March 1, Professor de Mattei warned:

Once the legitimacy of second-marriage cohabitation is admitted, one cannot see why pre-matrimonial cohabitation, if it is stable and sincere, should not be permitted. 
Well, it doesn’t take much time in the Bergoglio pontificate to be proved a prophet. Sure enough, only three days later, we encounter an article entitled “Church teaching must change on sexual morality, says German bishop.” According to an account of an interview published in National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of 
Trier, stated:

Declaring a second marriage after a divorce a perpetual mortal sin, and under no circumstances allowing remarried divorced people ever to receive the Sacraments, was not helpful… “We bishops will have to make suggestions here. We must strengthen people’s sense of responsibility and then respect their decisions of conscience.”
It was also no longer tenable to declare that every kind of cohabitation before marriage was a grievous sin, and “the difference between natural and artificial birth control is somehow artificial.”


And speaking of contraception, we see in an interview with Bergoglio published the following day, the same duplicitous approach that Kasper, with his approval, took on the question of sacraments for the divorced and remarried. Bergolio pays lip service to the principle, and then hints that it can be ignored in practice on “pastoral grounds.”
The question is not that of changing the doctrine, but to go deep and to ensure that pastoral care takes into account situations and what is possible for people.
And how did modernist clergy in the ’60s ensure that “pastoral care” took into account “situations and what is possible for people”? As Bergoglio well knows, by either remaining silent when Catholics confessed using contraception or by telling them, “Follow your conscience.” Think it’s “possible” not to pop that birth control pill?
*    *    *
“Life is not all black and white, but is in fact full of little nuances,” Cardinal Kasper assured his listeners.

But the faithful Catholic knows that law of God is indeed black and white about those very principles that Kasper and his fan, Bergoglio, pay lip service to in theory but seek to overthrow in practice  — that marriage is indissoluble, that adultery is wrong, and that the unworthy reception of the Eucharist is sacrilege.


Where, though, is the outrage at this frontal attack on Catholic dogma? Apart from Professor de Mattei in Italy and the Rorate Caeli blog in the English-speaking world, there is nothing but silence from conservatives or traditionalists who are still part of the post-Vatican II church. Is there not even one Novus Ordo bishop who still retains enough of the moral law and enough courage to denounce Divorce Bergoglio Style with all the force he can muster?

After fifty years of Vatican II, apparently not. So the revolution presided over by Jorge Bergolio will increasingly gain momentum — motus in fine velocior, as Professor de Mattei predicts — causing everything that Catholics once regarded as solid to melt into air.

By Rev. Anthony Cekada
Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary