Gloria Olivae

To promote the messages of Pope Benedict XVI and harness small monastic Benedictine communities in his and the service of the Church.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The 'Pascal wager.'

1. "He could be right."
     We have been posting on two important topics; first, on Faith and, secondly, on the visible signs of the Catholic Church. The proper disposition for both is the humility to say: 'I could be wrong.' And our reward for our humility is the gift of knowledge that will make us say; 'he could be right.' If we are fortunate we can go higher to the supernatural level and say; ''Everything Christ said could be right; like divorce is evil. That is Faith.

2. To have the  proper disposition for Faith is identical to having the proper disposition to acquire the visible signs of the true Church. To have Faith and have the visible signs of the true Church occur at the same time. We begin with natural Faith wherein we say; 'he could be right.' And rise up to supernatural Faith wherein we say 'God is right because He said it.'

3. The Book of Esdras reminds us of the need for humility to acquire knowledge and wisdom. Humility comes first. Then it is followed by the gift of knowledge where we believe our neighbors, then  the gift of wisdom where  the vast panorama of Divine  Revelation unfolds before us making us admit with certainty that 'God is always right in all.'  So we do not modify or change what God had commanded about marriage. 

4. Believing what our neighbor said is an act of the reasoning made by the intellect. Because we are often wrong, what 'we have just heard' could be true because by the same reasoning we had minimized it from being false. The humble disposition is based on the fact that due to original sin we are more often wrong than right and that our neighbor could be right. The humility of knowing our state and the knowledge of knowing that our neighbor could be right  go together as preparations for an Act of Faith. I could be wrong and God's preacher could be right is the right preparation for the Act of  Faith. Then the listener rises up to the reasoning that the God of the preacher could be right all along; Faith becomes supernatural.

5. Today, the crisis of Faith and the absence of the Nicene visible signs of the true Church is due to Catholics not having these two disposition. Not in that there is no Catholic Church; there will always be. The reason why many so-called Catholics have no Faith and why most parishes and dioceses have no visible signs of the true Church is because we are not using our reason.

6. St. Thomas of  Aquinas and reason.
     St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Aquinas did much in focusing the need for right reasoning to help man acquire the proper disposition for  Faith by using Plato and  Aristotle's philosophy at the service of theology. 
     These days they can still be used. But if we would like to use a more modern thinker Blaise Pascal comes to mind. He is the echo of St. Thomas.

7. Blaise Pascal.
     We hear of Pascal during high school days as the author of the law on liquids and pressure that ushered in the age of hydraulics. Most, however, do not know he, also, invented the first computer. Even less known fact is that he was a 'gentleman hermit.' These were professional laymen who lived like the first hermits of the Catholic Church. Living that life they acquired the knowledge and wisdom of hermits. 
     As a gentleman hermit, he fought the heresies of his times, especially the laxism of the Jesuits who, unable to answer his arguments used foul tactics, like political power,  to silence him.
     Though a mere layman, he surpassed the men of the Church in defending the Faith. 
     We recall his popular 'Pascal wager.' He was arguing with an atheist who did not believe in God and the after life. Pascal argued in favor of the existence of God and the judgment after death. And we can imagine how the arguing was going when Pascal said a short phrase that shut up the atheist. 'What if I am right? What if I am right that there is a God and He will judge you after death. You can believe whatever you like. But what if I was right. What would be the consequences to your soul? If the Atheist reasoned well and saw that Pascal could be more right then he, he should agree that Pascall could be right and act accordingly by living a holy life. If he reaches this point we say he is a wise man. 
     That is a question that can shut up all arguments. The possibility that I am right; especially if the possibility is greater because of sound facts and greater reasoning. This is a question that does not have to be answered. It is treasured in one's heart where it is further answered. It is a question that triggers contemplation and knowledge of the unknown. It is the proper disposition for the Act of Faith and the acquisition of the visible signs of true Catholicity. 
     Today, people do not have the humility to admit that they could  be wrong; thus do not have the wisdom to admit that the other could be right. Even babes could be right. Pride prevents us from saying; 'he could be right,' thus preventing us from believing and from entering the Catholic Church. That is why we do not see the visible signs of the true Church in churches. 

8. We must always check if what we hear is right or wrong. Most of what we hear are within our capability to check. It is when what we hear is hard to believe that we should be cautious and say; 'he could be wrong but he, also, could be right.' What would be the consequences if 'he was right.'

9. What did he say?  "We could have an anti-pope." Nooooo!
     This statement had been receiving flak from all sides. As if it was impossible. How could it be if we have had more than 40 in the history of the Catholic Church. How could it be when Christ, Himself, prophesied about it; when Good Friday was filled with priests who were anti-Christ; when St. Paul and St. John mentioned it in their Epistle; when saints like St. Hildegard and St. Francis warned us of him,...etc. Isn't it probable that 'he could be right?'
     Our inability to be humble and say 'he could be right' is the same reason that is preventing us from having Faith and having the visible signs of the true Church. St. Bellarmine 'could be right,' No Faith, no visible signs; no signs, no bishop nor Pope. 
     See the consequence if Pascal's atheist was wrong and Pascal was right. That could mean his eternal damnation. And that is what we all are facing unless we humble ourselves and say; 'he could be right,' whoever said we could have an anti-pope. The issue is not whether the statement 'we have an anti-pope' is right or wrong. The issue is; do you believe you can be wrong and that the statement the other fellow said, that 'we have an anti-pope' is right. 
To follow an anti-pope means everything we believe in are heresies, everything we do is immoral, and consequently we will end up in hell. An anti-pope is never an instrument of God. He is an instrument of somebody else. 

10. Here, we are not making a categorical statement because 'we could be wrong.' What we are just saying is the wiser thing.....that 'the opposite statement could be right.' If we are wrong, good for us all. If we are right.......

Friday, October 09, 2015

WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? 'Obey God and not man.'

1.  28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
     There are five Sundays left before the end of the Liturgical Year. The year ends with Christ the King which reminds us of the General Judgment all men must undergo. 
     Holy Mother the Church is teaching us the way of salvation throughout the entire Liturgical Year. As expected the demands on what we must do to have eternal life is at first taught in an easy way like feeding a baby with milk. And then it progresses to be more difficult like teaching a child to eat meat.
     We see how the teachings of Christ progressed gradually from easy to more difficult as He taught the young man who asked Him; 'What must I do to have eternal life.' 

2. The two stages to attain eternal life.
     Christ clearly gave the young man two things to do. The first was an easy thing to do. The second was impossible to do without the grace of God.
     The first was natural to all men so all men can obey them using only human efforts. The second was supernatural; men cannot do them with mere human efforts. God's grace is needed to be able to obey them.

     The young man had to obey the first, easy, natural commands of God before he can obey the second, more difficult, supernatural commands of Christ. We can describe the first as Old Testament commands and the second as New Testament commands.
3. First, Christ tells him to obey the easy commands of God as found in the Old Testament. And Christ enumerates them to him to make sure he got them right. 'You know the commands, right? But let Me refresh your memory. You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; do not steal......etc.
     And the young man answered in a way that will stun us today. He said; 'Teacher, I have kept all these since my childhood.' Because the young man had obeyed God rather than men (and that has been the definition of Love of God who said; 'If you love Me, keep My commandments) Christ could not help but look at him and love him. But that was the easy commands  God give to beginners. And it is not enough to merit eternal life. 

4. Second, Christ tells him to obey His more difficult commands as found in the New Testament. Christ said; 'There is one thing more.' Those Old Testament commands are not enough. One thing more that you must do. 
     Christ said 'one thing more.' But He enumerates two things; go home sell all your things and give it to the poor; then come and follow Me. We know these commands more as; deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. Christ did not enumerate the three because He just wanted to emphasize the first only. 
     Having heard that the young man had obeyed the commands of God in the Old Testament, like 'Thou shall not kill; thou shall not commit adultery, etc' ...and satisfied that the young man had obeyed all the O. T. commands without neglecting any one.....Christ emphasized; 'There is one thing more you must do. Go and sell what you have and give to the poor. After that come and follow Me.

5. Analysis.
     We cannot follow the commands of Christ in the New Testament unless we have obeyed ALL of God's commands in the Old Testament. And add to that there is need for grace to be able to obey the commands of Christ in the N.T.
     Then Christ told the young man 'the one more thing' he must do; 'Go and sell what you have and give to the poor.' That really looks tough. Today, nobody will do that for any reason; even for the salvation of their souls. So the apostles said; 'Then who can be saved?' And Christ answers; 'Yes, nobody can be saved unless he is helped by the grace of God. A grace that God will only give to the humble who have obeyed all the commands of God in the Old Testament. Obedience to the commands of God makes the soul humble, which is the First Beatitude of the New Testament. To this first Beatitude Christ attached the words; 'for yours is the kingdom of heaven.' There, the steps on how to have eternal life is clear and complete. 

     Note. Nobody who kills another through family planning or abortion will ever 'go, sell all they have and give it to the poor. Nobody who abandons his wife to marry another will ever 'go, sell all they have and give it to the poor.'
     St. Augustine wrote; 'he who cannot give up sinful things will not be able to give up lawful things. Abortion and divorce are sinful things. If you cannot give these up you will never give up lawful things like 'what you have and give it to the poor.' Anyone who cannot give up the sins enumerated in the 10 commandments will not be able to give up the first lawful thing required to have eternal life, i.e. 'go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor.'
     What Pope Francis and some bishops are doing in allowing divorce, family planning, liturgical abuses and other disobedience to the commands of Christ, is to make the vast number of Catholics totally incapable to obey the first command of the New Testament which is to 'Go home, sell all your things and give it to the poor.'      Actually you should also obey the next two commands; 'take up your cross and follow Me.' But for most, obedience to this first is enough. This is shown at the end of the Gospel where Christ praised Peter, saying; 'there is no one who has given up home, brothers or sister, mother or father, children or property for me and for the Gospel who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as many homes, brothers, and sister, mothers, children and property and persecution besides and in the age to come, everlasting life.'  Well, Christ had to complete what He wanted to say.  

6, Unbelievable!!!
    How many believe that the first requirement to have eternal life in the New Testament is to 'go and sell what you have and give it to the poor?' After working so hard for all the things you have. Nobody, I am sure. Well, there you are. The state of the Catholic Church. We have no Faith. We do not believe we have to do those things. Even religious who make vows do not obey this command as specifically described at the end of the Gospel. So even religious will not have eternal life? If they don't obey the command in exactly the way it was commanded, they won't have eternal life. The words of Christ are very clear. 

     The Pope and the Church are showing so much abnormal concern for the poor.  The command above  is the simple solution. If a portion of Catholics 'go and sell what they have and give it to the poor,' it will be sufficient to solve poverty around the world. But everybody is barking at the wrong tree. When the fault is in the Pope and hierarchy for not preaching the message of Christ as it should be.

     Look at the double jeopardy. Pope Francis and the church preach about helping the poor and then gives the wrong way to do it. Then, they tell everybody to practice family planning and divorce their wives thus preventing them in 'going and selling what they have.' What a mess! By encouraging Catholics to sin through family planning and divorce, they are making Catholics incapable of 'going and selling all that they have.' and help the poor. And they are guilty of preventing souls from entering into the New Testament and have eternal life. 

     All who are disobeying and teaching others to disobey the commands of God in the Old Testament, like murder, abortion, family planning, divorce, adultery, etc are not going to have eternal life and will be dragging everybody else away from having eternal life. 
     We have been writing about the visible signs of the true Church; four of which are found in the Nicene Creed. 15 are found in the writings of St. Robert Bellarmine. What is the first thing we must do to begin to have the visible signs of the true Church?  'Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor.' Or the more complete statement of Christ, Himself; 'give up your home, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children and property for My sake and for the Gospel. You will surely have eternal life.  And 'hundreds' of the same in this age.....and persecution even from a Pope. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


1. Newsweek dared asked the question.
      But could not give the answer because they stayed in the level of pure journalism. Greater depth is needed to answer that question. Even most Catholic priests, bishops and even theologians cannot answer that question. Much more so the laymen.
     But it is a question that can be answered because God, Himself, enabled all men to answer it because that is the only way all men can know which is the true Church, which he is obliged to enter under pain of condemnation.

2. Is Pope Francis a Catholic?
     All men can know if Pope Francis is a Catholic. But first they should know if they, themselves, are Catholics.  They must have a basis for analyzing themselves and others. 
     When God established His religion and His Church, He knew that in the future the devil will make thousands of his own sects to confuse men and cause their damnation. It was imperative then that God placed visible signs by which His religion and Church can be recognized by all men since salvation will depend on one's being inside that Church.
     Since the Church of God is essentially spiritual in nature, the visible signs are essentially spiritual in nature but God made it visible for man's sake. So all men can see these signs with their intellects. And they can, also, see if others have these signs or not. Thus mankind can enter the true Church and avoid the false church.
     With the same knowledge man can see if other people, like their loved ones, have the signs or that seeing that they do not have the signs they can be evangelized to possess the signs. And if others have the signs we can ask for their help to teach us how to acquire those signs.
     Not only can we know if we have the visible signs, we can, also, know if our parish priests, bishops and Pope have them. And Charity obliges us to find this out for reasons just mentioned.  Because anyone who does not have these signs will be damned.

3. Who is a Catholic?
     In the Catholic Church, there is one and only one way by which a Catholic can be recognized. By the four visible signs mentioned in the Nicene Creed which we recite every Sunday Mass. 'I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. There is no other way by which a Catholic can be recognized.
     Accusations on who is Catholic and who is not is ripe all over. But the basis for the accusation is mostly erroneous which shows many people are ignorant on 'who is a Catholic.' The Lefebrevs and Oriental Orthodox are often described as non-Catholic or schismatic but further analysis shows that they have more visible signs of the true Church than the Vatican. So what do we make out of that? Who should transfer? Should the Oriental Orthodox enter the Roman Church or vice versa? See, the importance of resolving this question!

4. The four visible signs made easy.
     The only way to know if someone is a Catholic is through the four visible signs mentioned in the Nicene Creed. But these signs are partly spiritual in nature and, therefore, quite difficult to understand and apply on oneself or on others. That is why, though these signs are found in Divine Revelation, i.e. the Bible, hardly any bible reading Christian can apply them on himself or on others. Even Catholics are ignorant of them.
     So, many Fathers and Doctors of the Church explained and expanded the original four visible signs in a way easier to understand. St. Augustine and St. Vincent of Lerins tried. But St. Robert Bellarmine seems to have done the best job of simplifying the original four visible signs. He expanded them into fifteen 'notes' found in his work 'In controversiis.'

5. The great panic.
     Of course, there are many ways of knowing who is a true Catholic. The other ways are too spiritual or supernatural and beyond everybody's ability to know. Like the criteria for canonization. The four visible signs were precisely made by God for general consumption and the only signs everybody is capable of knowing. If a person has them this is more than enough to make him a candidate for canonization. So individuals, like you and me, can know for certain if Pope John Paul II is a saint simply by knowing if he has the four visible signs in their perfection.
     St. Robert Bellarmine's work was so simple and clear that it was easy for everybody to find out if they or others were Catholic. Translated into English only recently, about 3 or 4 months ago only, the Catholic world went into a panic to realize that almost everyone, layman, priests, bishops, cardinals, etc.... were not Catholics.  The mentioned work did not say how to become a Catholic. Bellarmine discussed it in his other ascetical works like 'The Art of Dying Well.'

6. The gradual appearances of the visible signs.
     The visible signs will not appear all at the same time in one sitting.  Each sign develops overlapping one other. The Church begins by learning all apostolic doctrine (the 4th sign). When all have learned the apostolic doctrine they become One (1st sign). When they have put into practice all the apostolic doctrine in unity they grow in Holiness (2nd sign). And when all kinds of peoples around the world are able to become holy in exactly the same way they become Catholic (the 3rd sign).
     The signs are more evident if they are found in a community, thus the Catholic Church is supposed to be a community. The last two Bishop's Synod in the Vatican, as a community, did not show one single sign of Catholicity. And it is the same in the ongoing Synod.
     Though the community does not show the four visible signs like the recent Synod, which is a community made of Bishops and Cardinals who are expected to have all the four signs, individual bishops and cardinals can show a few of the visible signs. Like one or two visible signs which shows that they should be having the other signs soon.
      When an individual has the signs, the probability is great that the community where he from has all the four visible signs. When a parish priest or diocesan bishop does not have any of the signs, it is certain that the whole parish or diocese does not have the four visible signs. In short, it is not Catholic.

7. St. Robert Bellarmine's era.
     St. Robert Bellarmine lived during bad times. His era and place was filled with Protestants aside from ancient pagans. This  placed him in a situation where he knew both signs; the signs of the true Church and the signs of a false church.
     The Catholics of his time were so confused because of the many heresies. St. Bellarmine wrote his treatise to rectify the confusion of the  Catholics by clearly describing what are the signs of the true Church. Side by side with the true signs he enumerated the signs of the heretical church specially the Protestant churches.  So in Bellarmine's work one can clearly see  if he is Catholic or Protestant.
     Since St. Bellarmine enumerated 15 signs the reader can be more certain if he is Catholic or Protestant.

8. So, is Pope Francis Catholic?
     Pope Francis does not have a single sign among the 15 signs described by St. Robert Bellarmine. And he has most of the signs of being a Protestant as described by the same saint. 

     He is not alone. Many of the laymen, priests, bishops and cardinals, also, do not have all the 15 signs. Some may have 3 or 4 signs but it is rare to see a Catholic with all the 15 signs. Those with 3 or 4 signs will surely eventually have the rest of the signs. But a Catholic with all the 15 signs or the four visible signs mentioned in the Nicene Creed is a rarity. 

     The most important thing is: do I have all the signs of true Catholicity? That is more important than asking if Pope Francis is Catholic. Don't you think so? Then shout abroad; 'All yea, all yea. Check if you are Catholic or not. St. Robert Bellarmine's 'In controversiis' is already translated in English and available in bookstores ,,,,,,abroad??

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The ' 'Divorce' of Pope Francis and the Gospel of the 27th Sunday.

1. Two kinds of listeners.
     Two kinds of people listened to Christ. One kind listened to Him in order to learn the truth. These are the true disciples. The other, the Pharisees, in order to trap Jesus to say something condemnable. Both approached Christ. And the Pharisees asked their trap question wherein either answer could condemn Jesus.

2. The Catholic teaching on divorce. 
     'Is it permissible for a husband to divorce his wife?' If Christ said 'yes' they would refute Him with 'at the beginning of creation....etc.' And if Christ said 'no,' then they would refute Him with 'Moses permitted divorce and the writing of a decree of divorce.'
     Christ did not answer right away and, then, gave His answer; neither God nor Moses allowed divorce. So neither should Pope Francis or anybody for that matter.  

3. The first answer; 'at the beginning of creation.....' Christ's gave His answer that eschatologically showed God's future plan for His Church. Let us look and explain each line. 
     Firstly, God created Adam to His own image and likeness, thus giving him a mind and a will. The mind to enable Adam to believe in Him. And the will to enable Adam to love Him. There, we have a human being capable of becoming a member of the Church. Though Adam could love God, which is the first commandment of God, he could not love his neighbor, the second commandment of God because there was no neighbor. 
     Secondly, so God created another person like unto Adam who he can love because as Genesis noted Adam could not love his neighbor by loving the giraffe. So, now we have two persons that could make up the Church but who are not yet members of the Church. 
     Thirdly, so Adam and Eve are now capable of being one mind and heart thus making up the Church since two or three are needed to make up the Church. 
     Fourthly, but since it is better to have three members of the Church rather than two, God made the other a Woman so she can give birth and produce new members for the Church. There. We have all the elements needed to make up the Church in Paradise. But up to this point there is no Church yet because Adam and Eve, though they have minds and wills, those faculties are not one, yet. They had their own mind and their own hearts. 
     Fifthly. so God gave them a command that both of them can know and both of them can obey. Their knowing and obeying this command will make them one mind and one heart. Their knowing and obeying that command of God is what will make them the Catholic Church in Paradise.
     Sixth, in order to enable them to provide new members for this intended Church, God make Eve a woman capable of giving birth to new persons with minds and wills that can know and obey the Will of God. 
     This is how God did things at the beginning, Christ said. Everything was prepared for the creation and continuation of the Catholic Church. But things did not go well in Paradise. Satan tempted Adam and Eve to chose their own mind and will rather than God's. They sinned and that was called 'original sin'.
4. Adam and Eve were stubborn. And their children followed suit. These were the ones Moses was going to lead. The descendants of Adam and Eve stubbornly choosing to sin rather than obey God's original plan for the first family in Paradise. Because of their stubbornness the Church could not be established during the entire Old Testament. The Chosen People were constantly disobedient. And one among their favorite act of disobedience was against the 6th and 9th commandment of God. They often desired their neighbor's wives and committed adultery with them. 
     To sin against the 6th and 9th commandment, some husbands would murder their wives to be able to marry another wife. I guess Moses could foresee Henry VIII. So Moses made a provision mentioned by the Pharisees; 'Moses permitted divorce and the writing of a decree of divorce.' Did Moses go against God's command that husband should not divorce their wives? No. Moses tried to obey God but knew his incapacity to impose God's law. So he thought of a delaying tactic. 

5. If he delayed the divorce long enough both parties might just change their mind and call it off. It was a good move. This will be adapted, also, in the New Testament. So Moses employed a scribe to write the decree of divorce after which the couple could divorce. Except that during those time it took a long time to write a decree. Well, you had to import the paper and pen from abroad; you have to write the decree in Babylonian script, etc.....So it could really take years before a decree of divorce could be written down. In the meanwhile, the scribe is instructed to discourage the couple from divorcing. In most cases it worked. 
     But a few could really be so hard headed in their desire to marry their neighbor's wife and the real wife could really be in danger of being murdered. So Moses would give them the writ of divorce. Moses thinking was; if this guy is bent on committing a mortal sin by murdering his wife, he might as well commit the mortal sin of divorcing his wife and committing adultery. Either way he would go to hell. The writ of divorce did not mean the husband can now go to heaven. So, the two 'Motu propios' of Pope Francis will allow you to divorce your wife and marry another; but it will still bring you to hell because that is still the mortal sin of adultery. 

6. Now, let us see the two 'Motu Propios'  in the light of today's Gospel lesson on 'divorce.' Let us return to 'At the beginning God created them male and female.' We shall see that Pope Francis' 'Motu propios' go against every thing in the Gospel. 

     St. Paul states that the husband personifies Christ and the wife personifies the Church; 'Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church.' So firstly, the husband, like Christ, should know the commandments of God. And the husband, like Christ, should obey the commandments of God. Otherwise he would not be like Christ and we cannot continue our comparison. 
     Then as St. Paul states; the husband should love the wife as Christ love the Church. So the husband should now teach his wife the commands of God and encourage his wife to obey the commands of Christ did to His Church. Husbands who love their wives as Christ love the Church do not divorce their wives. Imagine Christ divorcing His Church!!!

7. The two 'Motu Propios' is an encouragement for both husbands and wives not to learn the commands of God, i.e. not to have Faith. And is encouragement for both not to obey the commands of God, i.e. not to love God and neighbor (Charity.)
     This in turn will make it impossible for both husband and wive to be one heart and one mind; i.e. impossible for them to enter the Catholic Church. 
     And lastly, it will make it impossible for them to have children that will go to heaven. The Gospel states; it will prevent children to come unto Him. By going against how God did things at the beginning, it will be the end of the Catholic Church. 

8. Annulment for unconsummated marriage. Did the Catholic Church annul unconsummated marriages? Never!! Like in the time of Moses this was allowed because of your stubbornness. Even if your marriage is annulled because it is unconsummated you will still go to hell because of your stubbornness. Did you ever think that there was no marriage between Joseph and Mary just because their marriage was unconsummated? The Church recognizes Joseph as the husband of Mary. So they were more married than most consummated marriages. The great scandal in the Catholic Church is that there are so many marriages with several children and they are annulled!  This divorce had never disappeared because of original sin. Today, the Vatican simple made it 'easy, fast and free of charge.'  Big help....for hell. 
     If 'coveting your neighbor's wife is a sin; if 'just looking at a woman and lusting after her is a much more divorcing your wife and marrying another? 

9. The situation today is very bad. And most bishop might really have a harder time than Moses. But at least don't make divorce easy, fast and free. Be wise enough to use delaying tactics lest we become accomplishes to the crime and pay the same price.

10. Many questions; Popes are supposed to lead us to heaven. How come the direction we see is leading us to hell? Popes are supposed to be infallible in matters of dogma and morals. How come there is so many mistakes both in dogmas and in morals. 
     What kind of listeners are we? The ones who wish to learn? Or the one to trap the Truth? With so many questions to answer, at least stick to the essentials; Scripture has it; obey God and not man. St. Paul said 'if an Angel gives you another Gospel, let him be anathema. Don't obey.' Well, the 'Motu propio' was written just by a man. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015


1. In a transcript of Pope Francis' interview from Cuba to the U.S. he was quoted saying; a cardinal friend of mine told me that a very concerned woman, very Catholic, went to him. ....and asked him if it was true that in the Bible, they spoke of an anti-christ....and also in the Apocalypse......and then if it was true that there is an anti-pope who is the anti-christ......because I'm sure that Pope Francis is the anti-pope, she said. ....because he doesn't wear red shoes.  Then Pope Francis proceeded to claim that he is preaching the social doctrine of the Church. 

     Now, that was a big bundle of knotted facts. The lady concerned seems to have read much....much more than Pope Francis and his Cardinal friend. But her knowledge were all mixed up; or is this due to the poor automatic Google translation.  Let us first unknot all her ideas and then explained it to her one by one. Let us begin with Pope Francis' statement that he is preaching the social doctrine of the Church.  

2. The news showed the Pope saying Mass with a huge picture of Che Guevara as a back drop. This was in Cuba on his way to the U.S. And he had been castigating Western Capitalism while being soft on Communism. He said he was just proposing the social teachings of the Catholic Church. The way he explained it, however, it was not the teaching of the Church. The teaching of the Catholic Church is to Evangelize Capitalism so it would help the poor. Where else can you get the help to give the poor except from the rich capitalist nations. The defect is not on the wealth of the capitalist nor on the poverty of the poor. The defect is that the poor are not humble enough to deserve the help and the rich capitalist are not Charitable enough to share. It is a spiritual problem, not a  problem of economics. A minuscule portion of the wealth of capitalist is more than enough to uplift the poor of the whole world. 
     Pope Francis missed what was spiritually wrong and missed the supernatural solution because he remained totally in the natural, economic level. Or as the news noted; 'he waved in politics.'  His solution was not the social doctrine of the Church. It was too human. So much for the teachings on economics.   

 3. Connected to this is his analysis and solution to the sudden immigration of refugees to Europe; it is neither the Catholic analysis nor solution. The Catholic analysis and solution are so sound and effective that they have worked very well for the last 2000 years. Today there has been no given analysis nor suggested solution to this present problem. Just a panic reaction camouflaged with  public relation gestures akin to the 'be warm, be  fed and enjoy  yourselves at the expense of the host country'  that is courting disaster. The solution is to help them while making them stay in their own nations. This has all its benefits besides being the cheapest.  So much for his teachings on immigration. 

     His analysis of the problem in marriage and his solution are also not the Catholic doctrine;  therefore both are wrong. The problem in most marriages is the inability of both parties to have Faith and consequently, Charity. The problem is in the spiritual life of both husband and wife. There is nothing wrong with the marriage. Pope Francis is correcting the marriage where nothing is wrong and not the defect in the spiritual lives of the parties involved. So Pope Francis' 'Catholic divorce' solution in his recent two 'Motu Propio' is completely missing the point aside from being against the commands of God and the teachings of the Catholic Church.  So much for his teachings on marriage.

     He preached the abolition of capital punishment giving the impression that that is Catholic doctrine. It is not. Capital punishment is part of Catholic doctrine and the examples of Catherine of Sienna and St. Therese of Lisieux showing them not stopping the execution of criminals but in aiding them to repentance before their execution. Capital punishment is a very good reason to motivate a criminal to repentance as shown by Trappists working in death row. Emotionally it is disturbing; spiritually it is most useful. Would you rather they continue living in sin with the great chance of dying unrepentant?
    That is enough for Catholic doctrines in general. 

 4.The anti-christ and anti-pope. Let us go to the devout Catholic woman's next question. Is the anti-christ and anti-pope found in the Bible? Yes, it is specially found in the letter of St. John where the anti-christ is described as one who came from us but do not belong to us. The anti-christ is more vividly described in St. Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians. And both anti-christ and anti-pope is described in the two beasts of the Apocalypse. 
     Both the anti-christ and anti-pope go against the teachings of Christ and consequently, also, against the teachings of  the Popes. To go against one is to go against the other. Both are instruments of the devil for the destruction of the Church. Their temptation is to make man disobey the commands of God.
     The word anti-christ came earlier, in the Old Testament as a descendant of Dan.  The word anti-pope came later around the year 600. The first anti-pope was a saint, St. Hippolitus, but he resigned and subjected himself to the true Pope, Pontian. 

     Later on, the word anti-christ was used only for laymen who persecuted the Catholic church, like Nero, Domitian, etc. While the word anti-pope was used only for Bishops who pretended to be Popes; we had more than 40 of them, the last one was Felix around 1400. You are right, good Lady, they are usually the same but there was a split in their image in that one was a layman, while the other was usually a bishop.

5. Then the concerned, but very Catholic woman got her points of clarification more confused. She described the anti-christ and the anti-pope as two different persons and, then the two becomes one person. Actually she got it right. For sometime the two will be two different persons but later on they will become one person.
     This is an ancient image known in the Catholic Church.....the grand meeting between the anti-christ and the anti-pope. Most Catholics in good standing know about this. Saints, prophets and theologians know about this. It was popularized by Robert Hugh Benson in his apocalyptic nobel 'The Lord of the World,' which Pope Francis had read and commented on in a homily. 

     This grand meeting, like everything connected to the last four things in Catholic theology are of no interest for most Catholics. We call it eschatology. And proof of this lack of interest is that though all priests are supposed to give an eschatological aspect of the Gospel in their homilies, nobody does it. No wonder neither the Pope nor his cardinal friend could comment in the said interview.
     Robert Benson, son of an Anglican bishop who converted to Catholicism and famed author in the 1900, believed that no Catholic was interested in eschatology. So he wrote Catholic eschatology in the form of a Nobel. And it worked. It was well read even by Pope Francis. 
     Benson described this age, year 2000, in detail. And described two personalities; a layman who was intent to rule the world in the name of peace and to destroy the Catholic religion in the name of truth. This man will rule Democratic America, would dictate on Europe and dominate the rest of the world; except temporarily the East. Benson was actually describing him as the anti-christ. 
     Then he described an apostate priest, tired of the old fashion religion, and heading a new liberal religion co- founded by the anti-christ with this priest as the chief liturgist.  His name was Francis. 
     At a very specific time in Church history, these two personalities would meet to plan the final destruction of the Catholic Church. Catholics who know their Faith know this meeting and have been waiting for this to occur. Benson knew this and wrote about it because most Catholics were forgetting it. It is surprising the concerned Catholic woman knew this. yet the Pope and his cardinal bishop friend did not know it. 
     And the woman mentioned this because of the coming visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. For her it is the fulfillment of this biblical prophecy; the meeting between the layman anti-christ and the bishop anti-pope.  The woman suspected Pope Francis to be an anti-pope, so her question. Since both are going against the teachings of Christ and against the teachings of the previous Popes, like on abortion, divorce , same sex marriage,  one world religion and climate change.....the two descriptions fitted them both.  

6. Then the devout catholic woman joins the two; the anti-pope who is the anti-christ becomes one person.  How will that happen. Well, if the layman president steps down in office, then the anti-pope will be alone.  Still an anti-pope, he becomes also an anti-Christ because they have the same goal; the destruction of the Catholic Church.

7. The red shoes, the apartment, the tiara, the King Burger, etc......can be put aside and returned in their proper context when all the essentials, like the theology of grace, the theological virtues, predestination, Divine Providence, etc........ had been put together.   


Friday, September 25, 2015

26th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. Who is against Me?

1. The Apostles underwent complete training.
     Today's Gospel is the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are 6 Sundays before the Feast of Christ the King, the end of the Liturgical Year.
     The whole liturgical year is the way Holy Mother the Church explains the entire Plan of Salvation to the Catholic Church. A true Catholic must know the entire teachings of the Catholic Church as laid down during one entire liturgical Year. He must know, first, the 'Plan of Salvation' in general. This is required for salvation. Then he can go deeper into the truths depending on his response to grace. St. Thomas of Aquinas had gone deeper into the truths. Many of us will only be required to know the entire general plan. But it must be the complete and entire 'Plan of Salvation' in obedience to  the Apostolic Commission of Christ to His apostles at the end of the Gospel of St. Matthew.
     Christ,  Himself, showed us how to go about learning the Faith. The first step in learning the Faith  is taught to us during Advent. It consists in living 30 years of hidden life mastering prayer, fasting and good works. This is commonly referred to as the 'life of repentance.'
     The apostles had learned this during the Old Testament specially under St. John the Baptist. Their training was continued when Christ begun to call them one by one; starting with Peter and Andrew, James and John. That part of the training was the beginning of the Evangelical Counsels wherein they had to leave all things. That was the beginning of Faith. Faith would still be perfected during Passion Week. It will grow into Hope during Easter and rise to Charity during Pentecost.
     Of course, the training in the three theological virtues overlapped.

2. Today, the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, St. John will still be  committing mistakes. He was not yet perfect in Faith, Hope and Charity. After all John was being described in Chapter IX only. His Faith will still be perfected in Chapter XV in the Gospel of Mark. So we see him committing some small mistakes now. Let us, first see what happened that time. Then let us see that same event as eschatologically happening today. The coincidences which are the fulfillment of prophecies are acts of Divine Providence.

3. The Gospel saw John committing a mistake.
     John saw a man using the name of Christ to expel demons. He tried to stop him because the man did not belong to the apostolic community. There are two things here; first, John saw a man expelling demons using the name of Christ. And secondly, the man did not belong to the apostolic community.
     Christ tells John that the first, in which the man was expelling demons and using the name of Christ is all right. While the second, in which he did not belong to the apostolic community was not all right.
     Christ explains why the first was all right; because he who expels demons in the name of Christ is doing good and is, therefore, not against Christ and the Christian community. Because he is not against Christ and the community he is, in fact, for Christ and the community. He is a true Christian. But because he is not yet  part of the Christian community he has a defect. The defect is not so bad. Since he is expelling demons and have Faith in the name of Christ he will eventually be part of the Christian community.
     Christ continues to enumerate those who are not against Him and the community and, therefore, are for Him and for the community. 'Those who give you a drink of water because you belong to Christ.'

     Christ described those who do good works but are not yet members of the true Christian community as 'simple believers.' They have Faith but not yet big enough to make them enter the Church.
4. Those who are against Christ and the Christian community.
     Then Christ described those who are against Him and the Community; 'as those who lead astray one of these simple believers.' Those with mature Faith cannot be led astray. But simple believers can still be easily led astray and, thus, lose their souls. Christ reserves the greatest threat for them; 'it would be better for you to have a great millstone fastened around your neck and be plunged into the sea.' Those against Christ and the Christian communities are those who causes those with simple Faith to commit sin and lose their simple Faith. This is the sin of scandal that is highly condemned by Christ; 'woe to you who cause scandals.' Scandal is an act, word or omission that causes others to sin. This is direct scandal and a very grievous sin. There is, also, indirect scandal like immodest dress which is not meant to cause sin but merely to be fashionable.  This can indirectly cause others to sin.
     This sin is so serious Christ said; 'if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your foot causes you to sin cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin tear it out. It is a clear command to cut oneself away from all causes of scandal. In short, if anybody causes you to sin, cut all contact and relationship with such a person, St. Thomas of Aquinas writes in his commentary to the text.

5. Now, let us see who are against Christ and against the true Christian Community and, therefore, are not for Christ. These are those who cause simple believers to lose their weak Faith through sin. Today who are these?
     The one who wrote the two Motu Propio allowing divorce in the Catholic Church thus going against the Catholic Doctrine on the indissolubility of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Because they are going against the command of Christ and causing couples of weak Faith to lose their Faith,  therefore, they are not for Christ. The Motu Propio will kill whatever little Faith there is in married couples.
     The bishops who have sole power to grant this unlawful Catholic divorce will, themselves, will cause the lose of what ever simple Faith others have  by causing scandal and causing married couples to commit sin.
     The committee that will be appointed by the bishops who will recommend the destruction of the inviolable bond of marriage will likewise be guilty of scandal thus causing the weak of Faith to commit sin.
     The whole world that will agree to the Catholic divorce will be guilty of scandal by consent in the sin of divorce.
     And the priest who will officiate in the new adulterous wedding will be part of the sin of scandal together with the maids of honor, sponsors, ring bearer and flower girls. All are cooperator in this horrible sin of helping others commit sin..

6. What should be the reaction of true believers.
     Christ said; 'cut them off.' By associating with them you will be contaminated. So we must avoid the author of the Motu Proprio, our bishops, our parish priest and all our friends and neighbors. Well, Christ clearly said; cut off all contact with them. Its practically being a hermit. Pope Benedict, after all was right when he said that the Church today will be a monastery of hermits.

7. What should the author of the two Motu Propio and his followers do?
     Christ's command was very clear. All of them should look for a mill stone for themselves, tie it around their neck and jump into the sea. Because that would be much better than for them to face God in His judgment seat and hear their worse punishment.

8. These Gospels are very disturbing.
     Yes, if we apply the above Gospel today to our present era, almost every body will go to hell from the top man to the ring bearer and flower girl. The new Vatican bureaucracy is right. This is disturbing. It would be more comfortable for us all if we get rid of this old Catholic religion and start a new one called the Church of Compassion and Mercy where every day we can lead astray simple believers .......and then live together our eternity at the bottom of hell for being guilty of the sin of scandal. Ahhh. Christ said scandals will surely come. But let it not come from you.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How to build the Church.

1. A visible Church.
     God instituted a very visible Church precisely so that all men can know her and be able to enter her. But God also created men free to enter His Church or not. And as Ronald Knox noted, mankind have had the great misfortune of entering always the wrong Church due to his fallen nature.
     Man's fallen nature is such that even most Catholics seems to be entering the wrong Church even though the Four clear visible signs of the true Church is recited by every Catholic every Sunday Mass; one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
     These four visible signs, recited in the Nicene Creed ,had been explained and expanded by many Fathers of the Church but today the more popular work going around is the new English translation of 'de notis ecclesiae' by St. Robert Bellarmine, Jesuit saint and doctor of the Church. Here, St. Robert expanded the four visible signs into 15 signs adding a few more but still taken from Divine Revelation.

2. The visible signs.
     As long as the church is the true Church of Christ, the four visible signs will surely be visible. All of them. Not just one or two but all of them. Though it can happen that a developing church would gradually have one or two signs until it grows into maturity wherein all the signs become visible. It will only be the true Church of Christ when all the signs are visibly present; either the four classical signs or the 15 expanded marks according to St. Bellarmine.
     The problem is this. After mastering the visible signs of the true Church of Christ, if we look for it around we won't find it.  They are not in the local Diocese and parishes. The signs are not in Catholic congregations and communities. They are not in ecclesial communities and Catholic schools. And they cannot be found in individual cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns or layman.
     Occasionally we can find one or two visible signs in a person or in a community but not all the four signs.....or the 15 signs.

3. What can we do?
     Just exactly what the first apostles did when nobody was yet a Catholic during their times.....go and establish a church. How do you go about it? In the last posts, we showed that the Fathers of the Church, like St. John Chrysostom, stated that Christ used to present His teachings in a coded way. So that while the true seeker are able by the grace of God to break the code, the mere curious will not be able to do so. So we re-arranged the list of commands in the 24th Sunday Gospel and showed how the entire Gospel simply described the three important steps on how to seek God.  All the rest of the commands were simply explanation of the three important steps.
     The four visible signs of the true Church as enumerated in the Nicene Creed are also mixed up so that the mere curious would not know which to develop first and which is second.
     The Nicene Creed enumerates four visible signs; One, holy, Catholic and Apostolic.  Now, let's pretend that I am going to establish the true Church of Christ. Where do I begin? Not with 'One' nor 'Catholic.'  I will begin with 'Apostolic.'

4. Apostolic.
     Since Christ trained a bunch of apostles as the first members of His Church, to make the story short, then I must try to learn from them how this Church looks like and how I can enter this Church. And I will make it a point not to deviate from their teachings. Since their teachings are found as part of Divine Revelation in Sacred Scriptures, then I must have  a Bible that expresses as close as possible their teachings. Maybe the Douay-Rheims version will be fine.
     After mastering and prayerfully studying the teachings of the Apostles I am now prepared to teach a small group 'what' the Apostles taught in Scriptures. But how can that 'what' be put into practice? How can the teachings of the Apostles be put into practice. Fortunately, while the first apostles were teaching the first Christian communities how to put into practice their teachings, there were holy people who wrote down their oral teachings. These are called the apostolic Fathers. These were the followers of the Apostles, like St. Polycarp.
     So, not only can I teach my small group what were the teachings of the first Apostles. I can, also, teach them how those teaching were put into practice as written down by the Fathers of the Church.
I must make sure that my small group have the intellectual knowledge of 'what' are the teachings of the Apostles and 'how' to put them into practice. All the members of my small group should know these two things. And there must be no deviation from this knowledge.
     This being so, my small group is 'apostolic,' but not yet one, holy and catholic. How long should it take me to make my small group 'apostolic?' As long as the hidden life of Christ; around 30 years if we are as good as Christ. But more if we are not as good. The 30 years hidden life of Christ is a figure of this effort.
     For the small group to be 'apostolic' much is expected from the teacher or evangelizer. St. Thomas of Aquinas wrote; 'he has to have a perfect knowledge of Christ's teachings.' While the small group are required to be good disciples and good listeners.
     A church can have the visible sign of 'apostolicity' in different degrees;  but without the other three signs  she is not yet the true Church of Christ.

5. Holy.
     With 'apostolicity' the members of the small group must, first, 'know' what are the commands of Christ and secondly. 'how to observe' the commandments of Christ as taught by the apostles. If and when they know 'all' the commands of Christ and have observed them (as required by the Apostolic Commission), then we say that the small group has 'holiness.' This is equivalent to saying that they have the theological virtue of Faith and can merit for the group eternal life in heaven.
     Making the members of the small group 'holy' is a work of God, not by men, not by priest nor even the Pope. Now, having Faith and 'holiness', the Holy Spirit can unite the several souls in the small group and make them one heart and one mind. Thus the next visible sign is 'One.'
6. One.
    An evangelizer like me can help in the first visible sign, 'apostolicity.' Humans cannot help in the second visible sign; 'Holy.' Only Christ can help here. And only the Holy Spirit can help in the third visible sign, 'One.'  Each member of the small group have 'apostolicity'  and personal holiness. But for each of the members of the small group to be united together into a living Church is a work of the Holy Spirit.
     Note that the second visible sign we described above, 'holiness' is defined in ecclesiology  as 'union of a soul with the Body of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. While the third visible signs we mentioned above, 'one' is defined in ecclesiology as union with the soul of the Church, God the Holy Spirit.
     At this point the small group has completely entered the Catholic Church. They are perfect Catholics. And being so, anywhere each member of the small group go, whether in Zambis, Paraguay, New Orleans, Papua or Philippines. they are all united to one another in Faith, Hope and Charity. They still make up one Church though scattered over the whole world. And their being Apostolic, Holy and One.......makes them 'Catholic' in that they are all over the world though they remain One.

7. See how easy it is to establish the true Church of Christ. It is just a matter of developing those four visible signs mentioned in the Nicene Creed in each person of any community. The role of an evangelizer is simply to help develop in them the visible sign of 'apostolicity.' Then God takes over and does the rest; namely, One, Holy and Catholic.

8. So I return to my question. How come priests, bishops, cardinals and the present Pope do not have the four visible signs as mentioned in the Creed. Nor do they have the expanded 15 signs according to St. Robert Bellarmine. How come the Benedictines where I stayed for more than 40 years, the Jesuits where I studied for more than 10 years and the Dominicans where I studied for a year do not have these visible signs.  How come all Catholic organizations for laymen who came for retreats do not have these signs. How come prominent catholic parishes and catholic dioceses do not have these signs. How come the Bishops' Synod and Bishop's conferences do not have these signs even in their newsletters. How come all Catholic schools that were under me as head of the Commission on Catechetics did not have these signs.  And they get peeved if anyone rightfully demands from them these credentials of Catholicity which they should be automatically be exhibiting to the whole world.

9. Even the impressive and brilliant writers on religious topics in the internet shows great knowledge of their Catholic religion but cannot show the four visible signs of Catholicity. Of course, it can be that I am just dumb. Or as often the case, they have one of the visible signs but none of the rest.
     As mentioned above, the visible sign of 'apostolicity' is a good sign but alone it cannot be a sign of the true Church. But 'holiness' alone is a true visible sign of one's membership in the true Church of Christ. He who has 'holiness' will surely have 'oneness' and 'Catholicity.'

10. I wish to return to an existing reality.
     I cannot find neither the four visible signs of the true Church nor the 15 marks of the Church enumerated by St. Robert Bellarmine in our priests, bishops and cardinals. I cannot even find those signs in Pope Francis.
     These are visible signs. They can be seen by all men if they have it. That has been the teaching of the Catholic Church all these years. How come they cannot show these visible signs? Maybe, they are not Catholic?

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