January 22, 2019: The Prophecy of Pedro Regis and Signs of the Times in New York

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Pedro Regis is a visionary from Brazil who enjoys the support of his Bishop, and has been receiving prophetic messages for many years now. Yesterday, something subtle but enormous changed in these messages. I will get to that in a moment.

Subscribers may have noticed I have been quite silent the last several months on this blog. The reason is that I have been putting the finishing touches on an enormous undertaking that I have been working on for the last several years. I will be announcing the undertaking within the next 2 or 3 months here on this blog, so stay tuned, and if you would like to be notified when it is ready, you can subscribe (with your email on the right hand side of this page).

But I come with a brief interruption of the silence to speak of a tragedy and a prophecy.

Eight years ago I was kneeling on the concrete floor just outside of the doors to the legislative chamber in the New York State Capitol, praying the Rosary with a friend in fervent supplication to God to avert the impending vote to re-define marriage. It was then that the following picture of us was snapped by a reporter; an image that in turn wound up being the headline image of the event throughout the world. I just pray that the mere sight of Rosary beads at least served as a seed sown in the minds of those reading these news stories, who may have been otherwise tempted to agree with the diabolical lie contained in the headline above the image.

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It was while praying the second sorrowful mystery that from the adjacent chamber there erupted a cacophony of cheers — superficially joyous and yet with an air of easily discernible demonic motivation — which indicated to us that this tragic bill had passed.

Yesterday, January 22, 2019,  I was again on my knees at the exact same spot, doing the same thing as this time, eight years later, legislators were preparing to vote on the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” more accurately referred to by pro-lifers as the Abortion Expansion Act. This obscene Act of “law” brings the abortion genocide to the superlative level; enshrining as a fundamental “right” in New York the act of brutally murdering a baby up to the very moment he is born (or leaving him to starve to death there on the table if he is successfully born despite the abortionist’s attempts to kill him while he is still in the womb), among other atrocities.

And this time as I knelt and prayed, I was again on the second sorrowful mystery — the scourging of Jesus at the pillar — when I heard the same cacophony I recall well from eight years ago. I knew that the bill had passed at that moment.

Although at that point just about all of the other demonstrators had left, I remained kneeling and finished the Rosary; first of all because I know the victory is all God’s and all apparent defeats are nothing but temporary things, but also to serve as a reminder to the legislators and staffers who soon began to filter out of the chamber of the fact that this horrendous bill did not change any facts. It did not change the fact — as the sign next to me affirmed — that unborn babies feel pain when they are savagely torn from limb to limb in their mother’s wombs. It did not change the fact that abortions destroy the women who obtain them even more than they destroy the babies upon whom they are performed. And it did not change the fact that anyone who voted for this bill — not to mention everyone who supports abortion — has destroyed his soul.

And not only did it not change the fact that the long-prophesied Chastisements are imminent; no, it just reaffirmed that and hastened the time of their arrival.

Now, this whole diabolical plot is primarily the work of the tyrannical Governor of my state, Andrew Cuomo. Governor Cuomo is the example par excellence of everything that is most evil in modern politics. He is, in the traditional sense of the term as understood by Plato, the quintessential tyrant (although he is far worse than anything Plato had ever imagined was possible). Not only is he a cheerleader for the moral demise of society and a chief promoter of the Culture of Death, but he has gained notoriety as one who legalizes and institutionalizes every vice  (marijuana, casino gambling, MMA fighting, and other things that New York used to outlaw), so that it can be promoted, taxed, and further line his coffers (he is very adept at quietly using government money to ensure his reelection). And he is so corrupt that the very same probe he himself started (ostensibly to root out corruption in Albany and place his name among the reformers) discovered that the corruption leads back to Cuomo himself. Conveniently, the probe suddenly was finished with its work before further exposing him.

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And, to cap it all off, Cuomo is a “Catholic,” knowing that this is a politically shrewd thing to be as an elected official in New York, thus he crucifies Our Lord anew every time he sacrilegiously receives Communion. To the left of this paragraph you will see a picture just taken of the Alfred E Smith building in Albany, which I can see from my dining room window, and which he had lit up pink last night to celebrate this victory of hell. Perhaps you recall the name, “Al Smith,” as the title of the notorious annual dinner held in New York City wherein Catholic clergy schmooze and joke with pro-abortion politicians like Cuomo and act like everything is hunky dory in an effort to acquire massive amounts of money and gain more worldly prestige (all for the sake of fundraising for a good cause, of course, as are most of the scandalous atrocities of the day). Both are named after the first Catholic governor of New York, Alfred Smith, who would be turning in his grave if he knew what had become of his name. 

But let us return to the prophecies of Pedro Regis.

Now, I do not want to succumb to that perennial temptation of those who watch the signs of the times and suppose that something is of universal and prophetic import merely because it is important in one’s own state or country. But on the other hand, it seems undeniable that there is something very prophetically noteworthy about what transpires in New York. As G.K. Chesterton said, in 1926:

The next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality…. The roots of the new heresy, God knows, are as deep as nature itself, whose flower is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and the pride of life. I say that the man who cannot see this cannot see the signs of the times; cannot see even the skysigns in the street that are the new sort of signs in heaven. The madness of tomorrow is not in Moscow but much more in Manhattan…

And, as Pope St. John Paul II said, New York is the “Capitol of the World.” A good argument could even be made that, what with its largest store of gold in history under the Federal Reserve Bank, and it being the financial center of the entire world, New York is at least one valid interpretation of the meaning of the Harlot of Revelation, for indeed, it is precisely by way of the “strings attached” to U.S. monetary aid that the cultural imperialism of the West has been so tragically successful, and has resulted in the spread of Godless modern Western culture’s perversion all throughout Africa, South America, and Asia. For it is by this aid that the “kings of the earth commit adultery with her.” (Revelation 17)  I refer you to Mark Mallett for a deeper analysis.

So I do not think it is a stretch to look at what transpires in New York as a bellwether of sorts. 

And the very same day all of this transpired (that is, yesterday, January 22nd, 2019, the 46th anniversary of Roe v Wade), Pedro received a message that reads in part:

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A friend of mine, a Catholic theologian I know personally and trust deeply, who has read thousands of pages worth of modern prophecies and private revelations, pointed out that something profound seems to have changed in this message with respect to his previous ones:

This seems to be the first time that this dire warning Pedro Regis has been receiving from Heaven for many years now about the blind leading the blind refers to the present tense.

(Update: My friend did not express certainty that this is definitely the first time of such usage, and I certainly do not know myself one way or the other. But whether or not that winds up being the case, what is clear and certain is that Our Lady’s tone in these locutions — as well as those all over the world — is getting increasingly urgent and dire, and it is imperative that we take note and respond accordingly.)

What happened in New York yesterday makes it abundantly clear — although it was already obvious — that, in accordance with this message to Pedro Regis, we are indeed living in a time worse than the Flood. And I wish that we could take the next line to refer only to blind worldly leaders like Cuomo. But that would entail burying my head in the sand. So many in the Church — not excluding those in the Vatican — are leading the flock like blind leading the blind; sending them into the great abyss in droves — telling them that their various sexual sins are actually just fine and that they needn’t repent of them, pretending that the Magisterium of Pope St. John Paul II (not to mention all of Church history) can be abrogated in favor of a diabolical “mercy” that only leads souls to hell.

Thankfully not all of our shepherds are blind leading the blind.

My Bishop’s seat of authority, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, is located directly adjacent to the Governor’s mansion. Both imposing and beautiful buildings, and their proximity symbolizes the great battle that is now unfolding between God and Satan.

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Google street view of the Governor’s Mansion and the Bishop’s Cathedral in Albany

Last Sunday, I was at this Cathedral for Mass. The priest gave a powerful sermon condemning the sinfulness of the modern Era — in same sex “marriage,” in gender theory, in abortion; and he even condemned the conspiracy of silence about these evils that permeates both society and the Church. Perhaps many in the Church are beginning to wake up. Perhaps more priests and Bishops are beginning to realize, in the wake of the purification prophesied by Pope Benedict XVI now unfolding through the abuse crisis, that worldly prestige is of no use, nor ought the church to pursue it; but that, instead, the Gospel in all its naked truth must be preached both in season and out of season, come what may.

My bishop wrote a personal, open letter to the Governor before he signed this bill. If more Bishops were willing to speak like this, the Era of Peace would have begun long ago.

I end this post, therefore, quoting excerpts from his letter and acknowledging that — despite the erroneous prognostications of the timeline of the unfolding of events offered by some in the last several years — we have hereby been reminded that, nevertheless, the current Era is about to end; its end will entail more suffering than has ever been seen in the history of the world, but this suffering will precede the dawn of the Glorious Era of Peace, also unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world. Even now, we see many glimpses of that dawn from on high breaking upon us. Even now, our duty is to participate in that dawn, by way of the mission (the same mission that has been the homepage of this website — www.dsdoconnor.com — for years now)

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Dear Governor Cuomo,

Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should “stand with Pope Francis,” your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. …
…Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner “un-pregnant” through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women. Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat. Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.

It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation.

I find myself wondering how it can be viewed as “progress” to have gone from a society working to make abortion “rare” to one that urges women to “shout your abortion” as some advocates of this bill boldly announce.

How is it progress to ignore the harm that this will do, not only to innocent infants, born and unborn, but to their mothers? Does the heartache of so many New York women who have been pained by their abortion decisions matter? Is anyone listening to them? How is it really “pro-choice” when a law, which claims to guarantee choice, moves to expand only one option for women?


You have already uttered harsh threats about the welcome you think pro-lifers are not entitled to in our state. Now you are demonstrating that you mean to write your warning into law. Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the State of New York?

Our young people especially, who have seen their sonograms and who follow the discoveries the sciences have made, know the lies and the despair that proponents of such dangerous and death-dealing legislation are promulgating, even if blindly or unwittingly.

Let’s not bequeath to our children a culture of death, but together build a more humane society for the lives of all of our fellow citizens.

Mr. Cuomo, do not build this Death Star.

Sincerely yours,

Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany

 

Will the Warning Occur in 2022 and the Triumph in 2026?

 

Now, none of this current crisis [in the Church] is even a little bit surprising to those who have been taking trustworthy private revelation seriously. And by trustworthy I mean trustworthy; I do not mean approved — all approved private revelation is trustworthy, but not all trustworthy private revelation is already fully approved (and every now approved private revelation was once unapproved, and only became approved due to courageous faithful willing to take it seriously despite its lack of approval). The problem is, incredibly few Catholics (including the “orthodox” ones) take trustworthy private revelation seriously: they’ve been told by career lay apologists, for decades now, that private revelation doesn’t matter; unless perhaps it’s already fully Vatican approved, in which case it matters perhaps a little bit, but still shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Indeed, what is transpiring now is scarcely a foreshock of what is soon coming — those who follow trustworthy private revelation know that, too. Neither this, nor what is soon to come is a mystery to them. Nor is what must be done a mystery to them (for a long time now, what must be done has been the homepage of this site for years now)

So, instead of more armchair commentary pointing out what everyone already knows, allow me to instead present you with some speculation wherein I consider what might constitute some of the details of what we do not yet know.

Introductory Note on Speculation

This post is pure speculation — educated speculation, I suppose — but speculation nevertheless. I certainly do not present my own prophecy here (I’ve never received so much as a locution from God, much less any apparition or prophecy), nor even do I label this a prediction, for even that would imply a degree of confidence that I do not necessarily have in these dates. I merely present these findings as they are, and leave it to you to decide what to make of them.

Many are, no doubt, understandably fed up with speculation. Considering how many expected Divine Intervention after or during the Year of Mercy, and/or during the Centennial of Fatima (/supposed end of a 100-year-reign of Satan), only to have events by and large continue as they long have, this post will likely inspire only the rolling of eyes in many.

Now above all, you must know yourself. And if you are one to be distracted from what is good and holy by speculation, then being rid of it is the right thing for you to do, and you should stop reading this post now.

But if — like myself and like many others — a healthy dose of speculation, rather than distracting you, instead truly inspires you to be more zealous for what is good and true (your own sanctification and the evangelization of the world), then it would be absurd to cast it aside as a “distraction.” What, pray tell, is such healthy speculation a distraction from? Worldly interests that receive no benefit from the consideration that their time is nearing an end? Indeed; let us hope it is a distraction from these.

In fact, the only purpose of speculation is to inspire a more vigorous pursuit of what we already know we ought to do. For we are all weak beings, incapable of doing well merely what the intellect dictates if we do not have more to move us forward. This is where inspiration comes in; so I present what follows in the spirit of hoping to provide some.

THE CONVERGENCE

Several powerful prophetic indications seem to be converging on these dates. They are:

  1. The 2022 Collision of Two Stars
  2. The Two-Thousandth Anniversary of Redemption
  3. The Prophecy of St. John Bosco

1. The 2022 Collision of Two Stars

Soon, the first stellar collision visible to the naked eye will be seen on earth. 

When the story broke at the beginning of last year, I was far from alone in immediately thinking of the Warning (or “Illumination of Conscience”) prophesied at Garabandal (See, for example, Ted Flynn’s article here). The seer, Conchita, specifically said, decades ago, that “The Warning would be like two stars colliding.”

For those new to this prophecy of a coming “Warning,” I recommend the works of Mark Mallett. You could start here, and here

As far as the Warning itself and this Collision itself is concerned, I simply recommend reading the links presented above. But I have one more observation to add.

More recently, it occurred to me that this would be extremely prophetically meaningful and symbolically profound if, although we are only going to be able to see (i.e. witness the full effects of) the stellar collision in 2022, it nevertheless occurred 2000 years ago, at the time of Our Lord’s Death and Resurrection. For indeed, everything we observe when we gaze upon the stars at night actually occurred many, many years ago, and the light of these events — due to their great distance from us — only reaches us long after their occurrence.

The symbolism obvious: the Illumination of Conscience (“The Warning”) will be the single greatest act of mercy in the history of creation. It will be as if what happened 2,000 years ago on the Cross came hurtling at us at light speed and whalloped the whole world with unprecedented grace. But how are we supposed to know when this star collision actually happened? Simple: everything we see happening in the night sky actually happened the same number of years ago as the objects themselves are distant from us, as measured in light years. However many light years away this binary star system is from us will also tell us how many years ago the collision (which we will soon see) actually happened. The result of this simple inquiry?

They estimate that the collision happened approximately 1,843 years ago. 

“Bummer,” you might be thinking, “the prophetic significance is lost.” Far from it, though! 1,843 years is a mere 157 years off. If this event truly did occur 2,000 years ago, then even a miniscule 8% error in the estimation would yield the 1,843 figure. The “Gaia” mission currently underway only hopes to be able to give 10% accuracy for these distances — and this is still a work in progress.

Suffice it to say, it is well within the accuracy of this stellar measurement to assert that, indeed, this collision may well have happened at the precise moment Jesus died on the Cross. 

Does this prove anything with certainty? Of course not. Am I saying this means that the Warning must indeed occur the moment we see this collision? Of course not. All I’m saying is — why not be spiritually prepared in case it does?

Now the prophetic consensus seems to hold that the world will — in the coming years — completely fall apart. A sort of “natural” chastisement; a consequence of our sins. Of course, one doesn’t need prophecy to acknowledge this; one only needs an ounce of honesty to realize what is soon coming, considering that diabolical nature of so much of the modern world. When this natural chastisement is at its worst (which will probably take another few years), God sends the Warning. After the warning, all the people of the world will be able to freely and clearly choose a side. The line in the sand will be drawn. The time of mercy is over. The Antichrist enters the scene to gather into himself all those who choose the dark side. Then, his three and a half year reign, spoken of in the Book of Revelation, follows — itself ended by the Three Days of Darkness (a Divine Chastisement sent directly from Heaven) spoken of in many prophecies.

And where does that bring us? To 2026

2. The Two-Thousandth Anniversary of Redemption

As I have quoted many times, Jesus revealed to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta:

Now this “Third Renewal” is nothing other than the Coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on Earth — so that it may reign here just as it reigns in heaven — in total fulfillment of the Fiat Voluntas Tua of the Our Father prayer. In a word: the Era of Peace. I have spoken about this in some detail here . For this I again recommend Mark Mallett’s blog.

Here, too, you might think again “bummer! We’ve got to wait until 2033 for the 2,000th anniversary of Redemption.”

Well, again — not so fast. It is not mere modern revisionist scholarship that claims that our calendar is likely off a few years, and Jesus was likely born several years before 0 A.D. — no less authority than Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich herself, one of the greatest mystics and visionaries in Church History, was shown precisely this. (Besides; even a broken clock is right twice a day — occasionally even modernist biblical “scholars” get something correct).  This holy woman specifically wrote that “Christ was born seven years and a portion of a year earlier than according to our reckoning.” (Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pages 126-127). If she is right — and I have no reason to doubt that she is — then Redemption itself actually occurred in the year 26 A.D. …

Which, in turn, means that the 2,000th anniversary of Redemption is the year 2026 AD. 

Did Jesus promise Luisa the Kingdom would Come precisely at the 2,000th year mark? No. But He did promise — repeatedly, and it is a guarantee — that it will be “about” that time. And it sure would be fitting if it turns out to be exact!

3. The Prophecy of St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco’s prophecy depicting the Church as a ship, steered by the Pope in the midst of a great storm, guided by two pillars — Mary, and the Eucharist — is often cited. But this prophecy of a time of chastisement is not his only one! He also prophesied the Era of Peace:

So much for the Era of Peace being the heresy of “Millenarianism”! John Bosco makes clear that indeed, on the earth, iniquity shall end, sin shall cease, and the Church (the “Bride”) shall be clothed in glory. This is, in other words, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Now, the “month of flowers” is generally agreed to be May. Today, a month in which two full moons shine is referred to colloquially as a “blue moon” month. The next blue moon May? You guessed it:

On the Feast of the Visitation (May 31) of the year 2026, two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers.

And, what Feast Day could be more fitting? On the Feast of what what Pope Benedict called “The First Eucharistic Procession,” wherein God Himself comes to visit His people, so too He comes spiritually to reign on Earth.

 

 

Now, the above three items are the biggest ones on my mind. But a couple more thoughts come regarding this timing:

4. These events are immediately following 40 years of messages at Medjugorje. Those who follow Medjugorje most closely have been long saying that they believe the apparitions will go on for 40 years, which brings us to 2021. When the apparitions end, the secrets given during the apparitions begin — secrets that pertain, no doubt, in large part to the End-of-the-Era Chastisements.

5. The Antichrist has no use coming on to the world stage until the infrastructure is fully in place for him to exert immediate, total, worldwide dominion. He must be capable of controlling everyone — especially by way of exerting dominion over all finance (the “Mark of the Beast” spoken of in the Book of Revelation). It seems to me that the technology he is waiting for is for a smartphone to be in the hands of every person on the face of this planet (they are almost cheap enough and solar power is almost easy enough to allow for this), along with the existence of a worldwide, high speed, wireless internet connection for each of these smartphones that are in the hands of all people (Google and other companies are working on this right now). We are not there yet of course, but it seems we probably will be in a few years (likely by 2022). When we do arrive there, rest assured that some sort of a chip will soon thereafter be required — in the right hand or the forehead — as a necessary “financial security measure” to correlate each phone with its proper owner. This measure, which will be orchestrated by the Antichrist himself, will in turn be in response to another orchestrated “global security breach,” the “only” feasible response to which will be such implanted microchip security measures. Furthermore, the implantation of this chip will also require some sort of a heretical, blasphemous, or sacrilegious oath (for God will not allow anyone to fall by the Mark of the Beast merely by innocently subscribing to a technological advancement). Again; this is all speculation.

A closing thought on timing:

As I began stating the dangers of speculation, I conclude stating why this particular speculation is so encouraging, which is largely the reason I publish it. If indeed 2022 is when the Chastisements really will hit, then this gives us just enough time to lose no hope in doing everything we can, fully expecting it to bear much fruit, in the remaining few years of society’s ordinary functioning that we may have. But it also points out that these events are not so far off that we oughtn’t consider them as imminent realities. Indeed, these dates shout loud and clear:

You still have some time — but only just enough. Only enough for you to begin this very day in getting to work on what God has put on your heart for the sanctification of your soul and the salvation of the whole world, but which you have long procrastinated. Do not any longer put off until tomorrow what you must do today.

 

The Prudent Atheist

Are you simply a prudent atheist?Family Sitting in Church Clipart

Do not answer “no” too quickly.

A prudent atheist would recognize the need for community at least for his mere psychological well being, and thus ensure he weekly attends (only in a nice suburb, of course) a gathering of reasonable individuals who all take some similar thing seriously. He understands the importance of a regard for symbolism in one’s life, and might even approach some “solemn” act, perhaps one he would even call a “sacrament,” with apparent devotion.

A prudent atheist would easily see that adultery, drunkenness, gluttony, crime, and similar behaviors, will quickly destroy a man, and therefore he will carefully rid his life of any such thing.

A prudent atheist, rather, would see that virtue will lead one to live a much more smooth and happy life, and the relatively small sacrifice of a few pleasures of the flesh pays off with far greater rewards, even in the short run. Thus he will indeed pursue virtue.

A prudent atheist wouldn’t use (or want his wife to use) contraception, either; knowing how damaging that is in its own right. Instead, he’d use NFP to ensure he only had 1.8 kids (or at least not enough to interfere with regular Disney World vacations).

A prudent atheist, knowing that structure to one’s days and “stepping back” from stressful concerns is truly its own reward, might even start and end his day with saying a “prayer” of some sort.

A prudent atheist would know that even mere emotional well-being requires some sense of satisfaction in one’s own rendering aid to others, thus he will occasionally lend a hand and give charitably — so long as it doesn’t hurt too much.

A prudent atheist — knowing that when we commit injustices we benefit from admitting this to others — might even regularly engage in some form of therapy (maybe even in a ceremonial fashion) in which he formally acknowledges such acts to another in secrecy.

A prudent atheist, if he be a family man, would recognize that this family of his is clearly the bedrock of his life, and thus he would take great care to provide well for his family, treat them well (so that they may treat him well), ensure his marriage is a happy one, read books on marriage and family (and perhaps even write them), and generally do a very solid job at being a “good husband and father.”

(Are, then, all priests and religious exempt from this examination? By no means.)

A prudent atheist who doesn’t feel particularly drawn to marriage anyway, or who is too fearful of the sacrifices that raising children entails, might even take a “vow” (which he of course won’t take too seriously in his heart, knowing he’ll abandon it in the future if the going gets tough) of celibacy — maybe even of “poverty” and obedience —  to gain him entrance to a comfortable way of life with a secure (even if modest) satisfaction of his material needs which entails little risk.

So, dear Christian, you say you truly believe that the very same God who created the entire Universe physically entered into it two thousand years ago, promised He will come again in glory soon to judge the living and the dead, and has invited you to hasten this Coming of His Kingdom. This is what you claim to believe.

Well, prove it.

And do not presume to have succeeded in thus proving by merely doing what even a prudent atheist would do.

 

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Gaudete et Exsultate – 12 Essential and New Teachings in Pope Francis’ Recent Exhortation

This week, Pope Francis promulgated a beautiful Apostolic Exhortation entitled Gaudete et Exsultate. In reading it, I was struck by 12 separate teachings; all of which are profound and in dire need of being heard today, and many if not most of which are actually — so it seems — brand new teachings in the Magisterium. Although they are not discordant with or in contradiction to any pre existing Magisterial teaching, nevertheless many of these 12 points are ones I have never seen taught in any formal Magisterial Document until now. This is a major and important development, which really changes things if we have eyes to see it. Let us therefore read and heed what the Holy Father is teaching us here! What previously was only good advice that could be refuted is now authoritative Church teaching which all Catholics can — and must — proceed with conviction in living by and promulgating.

There are many other beautiful teachings in this Exhortation that I am not including here; so I recommend reading the whole thing. I am merely presenting what I found particularly necessary or new.

Before diving in, I’d just like to first highlight that Pope Francis closes the first chapter of this Exhortation with an appeal to the very quote that was the topic of my post from last July – ‘The Only Tragedy‘, which I’d like to present again as dovetailing well with this Exhortation.

Images are from the Exhortation, typed text is mine:

1) Copying is Not Enough

Far too often I hear, in Catholic Circles, some inspired soul present to another more “experienced” Catholic what he sees as God calling him to. Immediately the latter responds with polite denigration, assuring him that this inspiration is actually not what St. _______ did, or Bl. ________ did, in a somewhat comparable situation.

How utterly tragic. God created you for a reason — that reason is not to be a mere copy of a Saint God already created! If that were so, God would merely have inspired another book to be written about that saint. You, instead, were created to be the very Incarnation of God’s own Will for your life — a plan both “unique and unrepeatable.” Of course there are certain themes found in all saints  and which must be found in our lives as well. But too many Catholics chase a false security by acting as if salvation — and even sanctification — is somehow guaranteed merely by copying every detail of some other holy person they discovered. And what a lie that is.

This is also the false-security-oriented mentality that disdains valid Private Revelations that aren’t identical to the Private Revelations that preceded them. Oh, how many times I have heard, for example, “but the Medjugorje visionaries didn’t do what the Fatima visionaries did, so Medjugorje must be a fraud!” What utter nonsense.

2)Holiness is Claiming the Life of Jesus as One’s Own

Nothing does this more beautifully and powerfully than Luisa’s revelations. Much of them consist in fusing ourselves with the Divine Will and appropriating for ourselves all that which Jesus did — in both His humanity and His Divinity — for the reordering of all creation in His Will.

3)Look for Signs

The common response of many so-called “learned” Catholics is to smile condescendingly when a simpler soul looks for signs from God in order to know and do His Will. “The theological teachings of the Church are enough; obey the Commandments, receive the Sacraments, remain a good Catholic, and all you need to consists in this alone,” they say. Thanks be to God we now have the Magisterium itself refuting such covert worldliness. The Magisterium, the Commandments, the Precepts, etc., are a solid ground to stand on and guardrails to prevent our careening off a cliff. They are not desks to hide under, which is what the “all you need is the Sacraments, everything else is distraction” crowd treats them as.

Later in the Exhortation, this same issue is treated in a slightly different context, when Pope Francis writes:

The nice, neat, clear norms aren’t enough. They are necessary, but not sufficient. Countless theologians, apologists, self-acclaimed theologians, and generally self-described “experienced” Catholics will insist that they are enough. That the norms are all you need. In so doing all they’ve done is revealed that they themselves have entirely missed the very fundamental purpose of the Catholic Religion: which is not knowledge of and adherence to a set of guidelines and principles: it is absolute and total commitment to a person, Jesus Christ, and a willing desire to totally conform to Him. This conformity will nevertheless vary from person to person, and therefore is fundamentally incapable of being entirely discovered by adherence to a set of principles that apply to everyone.

This all, of course, entails a risk. Worldly people see risk as the worst thing. They rightly protest: You may see a sign that is not there; you may even read a sign from the devil. You seek to discern what the Spirit Wills for you and you may fall into following your own ambition instead. Oh well. Proceed with your best discernment and understand that the risk is worth taking. The only other option is shutting off your ears to God’s voice, which is blasphemy. Pope Francis continues, assuring us:

Yes, your life is a revelation to the world. Let it be so. Do not stifle that revelation by supposing that what already has been revealed is enough. “Public Revelation,” i.e. the Deposit of Faith, indeed is already complete. But revelation is not over and done with so long as we remain pilgrims in this world.

4)Christ’s Kingdom is Going to Come on Earth, and Your Job is to Help Hasten that Happening

Contrary to the slanders published by certain desperate promoters of their own invented eschatological speculations, those who believe and seek to hasten the Coming of the Kingdom are not Millenarian Heretics: rather, they are merely those who realize that there is no other way to grow in holiness. Devote yourself entirely, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to hastening the Coming of the Kingdom. “Let the coming of the Kingdom be your only purpose in life” – approved revelation of Jesus to Elisabeth Kindlemann.

5)You Don’t Have it Figured Out. So Remain Open to What Great Things God still has in Store

God help them –but it is certain learned and “orthodox Catholics” who, consistently, are the greatest opponents of God’s greatest plans on earth. Just read the biographies of the greatest saints, and you’ll see this is true. Look especially at the life of St. Faustina and St. Padre Pio. They were silenced by these “good Catholics” who are convinced that they already have all the answers, so God of course, in their book, has no right to come up with some sort of a new and greater plan that transcends their own petty little strategies. So when this new and greater thing comes about, they see it as competition to their own apostolates, and they stop at nothing to try and shut them down. It is precisely these “good Catholics” who have decided that there cannot be such a thing as truly Living in God’s Will on this earth, so they now dedicate themselves to persecuting the followers of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. But that is only one example of, tragically, very many.

6)To Live in God is Even Greater than for Him to Live in Us

Now this is profound and groundbreaking, because it is almost verbatim a teaching from Jesus’ words to Luisa. He says, essentially, that Him living in the soul is good. He has long done so — in all humans, through actual grace; in the baptized, through sanctifying grace; and substantially in our very bodies, through the Eucharist. But now the time has come for an even greater sanctity; for us to Live in His Will.

7)The Devil is Real and We Pray for Deliverance from him, not Mere Abstract Evil,  in each Our Father

Many have long pointed out this weakness in the current translation of the Lord’s Prayer, but finally we have the Magisterium itself revealing it! Indeed, the petitions of the Our Father are the most important petitions we can make. And the final petition of this prayer really is asking God for protection against a literal person — one of an incomprehensible degree of malice toward us, with preternatural power to boot. Before this, Pope Francis points out the absurdity of chalking all the Bible’s references to demonic activity up to psychological disorder. Will the liberal “devil is only a symbol” Catholics listen?

8)You Need to Use Zealously Every Weapon in the Catholic Arsenal

In continuing to discuss the Devil, reminding us that he is no mere myth, Pope Francis proceeds to delineate methods of resisting him. If you were hoping to find in Francis a deliverance from all these “antiquated rituals and remnants of medieval Catholicism,” you have hoped utterly in vain. Pope Francis is demanding that we make full use of them; it is safe to assume that he would have readily prolonged this list if he felt it would not provide an unbalanced paragraph. So much for Protestantized Catholicism.

9)Be Very Worried if You Think You’re Safe Merely Because You Think You Aren’t Committing Mortal Sins

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16. How fitting that this Chapter and Verse mirrors the far more often quoted John 3:16, for so many who think only of the latter Biblical Quote choose to forget that lukewarmness is not an option. And oh, how many “experienced” Catholics have adopted an apparently mortal-sin-free life, only to allow every imaginable vice to dominate their conduct in ways that, although prevented from resulting in obvious grievous sin, nevertheless corrupt their souls to the core.

The fruits are obvious to everyone but themselves: They gossip, the constantly engage in idle chatter, they waste away their days on vanities, they indulge their taste buds all day long, they are constantly trying to impress the world with their Facebook stunts, they never perform works of mercy, they somehow never have time to pray, they think and speak only about their own amusements, they readily “veg” in front of worldly Television shows, they care only about their own family and friends and tiny little social circles, and the list goes on. And they actually deceive themselves into thinking their souls are fine and dandy just because their lives are free of obvious mortal sins and they go to Church on Sundays. And then they have the audacity to wonder why they have no peace in their hearts and their lives are full of discord. Pope Francis is striving here to rid the Church of this malignant and terminal, albeit hidden, cancer.

10)All Christians Should do an Examination of Conscience Every Day

Pope Francis, in this Exhortation and elsewhere, is very clear that we are all called to be saints but this does not mean restricting the freedom to choose our own spiritual regimen, nor does it mean we all must spend long hours every day in Church. Thus, in the “spirit of Pope Francis,” some have foolishly and wrongly decided this means they can be free spirits and abandon the treasury of devotions and prayers that the Church recommends to us. How foolish indeed! That completely contradicts what Francis has said here and elsewhere. For example, he has also asked all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day. Francis is not anyone’s ticket out of what the Church and the Saints have always asked of us. In fact, he is often even more insistent than his predecessors. Here, he points out that an Examination of Conscience is a necessary part of every Catholic’s daily prayer regimen. So too is the Rosary. So too is a morning offering. So too is sporadic prayer throughout the day. So too (in my opinion) is the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other things. Add all these things together and they do not sum up to an amount of time that anyone, even the busiest, is incapable of. For indeed, Pope Francis also here teaches:

11)You Need to Always be Open to the Comfortable Plan You’ve Crafted for Your Life Being Utterly Shattered by God’s Will

For many, religion fits nicely into their lives as a (statistically proven, even!) method of helping calm the nerves, give an anchor, make one nicer, give a community, and provide all sorts of other socially acceptable virtues. That is not religion any more than a mere roommate is a spouse. The truly religious person is open to anything that God’s Will brings — no matter how much it contradicts and overturns one’s own inclinations, desires, and plans. However, unless God’s Will is actually sincerely and zealously sought, this openness is nothing but an empty — and even deceitful — theory. We must not only pray often, and pray long, but pray sincerely — trying our best to discern, through our prayer, the Will of God for us instead of concocting imaginative fantasies about what we wish his Will was for us.

12)Notwithstanding Anything You May Think is to the Contrary, the Magisterium Must Always be Obeyed

With all his talk of freshness, openness to the spirit, repudiation of rigidity and and overemphasis on doctrine, etc., one may be tempted to suppose that Francis if finally giving us a free pass to contradict those “stuffy old Magisterial precepts” that “dared to restrict the Spirit blowing where it will”! Precepts contained in, for example, Familiaris Consortio, Humanae Vitae, Casti Connubi, Veritatis Splendor, and others like them.

Nonsense. And Pope Francis himself says that is nonsense. The Magisterium guards the Gospel; and both must be obeyed always, absolutely, and without reservation. Discernment is not and never will be your subtle entry way into contradicting the teachings of the Church, which can never and will never change.

Amoris Laetitia: The Razor-Thin Straight-and-Narrow Truth of the Matter

If you would never in a million years dream of entertaining the notion that one may knowingly and unrepentantly commit intrinsic grave evils, fully intending to continue committing them and open with this intent, with no desire whatsoever to even try to stop, and nevertheless validly be absolved and licitly be given holy Communion, then you needn’t bother reading any more of this post. For you are among the blessed few whose faith is simple and pure and irreproachable. You know that you can trust the Bible, you know that you can trust the Catechism, and you do not waste your time considering novelties that contradict the clear teachings contained in them.

But if, like most, you find yourself confused or inclined to believe that this notion may be legitimate, then you may wish to read on.

In this post, I will provide:

  1. A brief summary of the Amoris Laetitia conflict.
  2. Perhaps the only logically grounded discussion of the nature of Magisterium, authority, infallibility, etc., that one is likely to easily find.
  3. A description of where we now stand considering the most recent developments in the aforementioned conflict; especially the astounding flourishing of the heretical interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.
  4. An observation of the fact that — all judgments regarding the man himself aside (I am sure he is a holier and better Catholic than myself) — Stephen Walford has now demonstrated his teachings on the Faith to be a thoroughly rotten tree, as this tree has repeatedly produced thoroughly rotten fruit (and, as Our Lord says, “no good tree bears bad fruit,” Lk 6:43),  and thus it is now clear for all to see that his attacks on the Era of Peace, the Divine Will, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, etc., are just more rotten fruit proceeding from this same tree that now produces his attacks on Pope St. John Paul II’s Magisterium, the Dubia Cardinals, EWTN, Fr. Gerald Murray, etc. (For at this point, Mr. Walford’s “hateful screeds against canon lawyers, bishops, cardinals…” and his avowed methodology of using “pejorative adjectives to put down people he disagrees with” instead of actually engage in logical discussion with them has now been noted to the world on EWTN itself: (e.g. starting at 12 minutes in in this video) )
  5. Quick rebuttals of some of the more common objections against the orthodox interpretation of A.L.
  6. A more in-depth explanation of what may, and what may not, be modified out of a desire to be merciful in the Communion debate
  7. A word on time travel (it’s relevant)
  8. A footnote on mercy

Want an even more brief preview? Here it is:

At this point I know that some are thinking to themselves “Great; another clueless Pharisee.” If that describes your reaction then please, I implore you, before sending me hate mail, at least scroll to the very bottom and read the “Footnote on Mercy.”

Now, on to the post.

Firstly, I write this post because some have openly wondered — considering my last post in which I refuted Stephen Walford’s errors here (I will not be restating everything from that post, so if you’d like an explanation of why Amoris Laetitia is orthodox and why the heretical interpretation is incorrect, you may want to start by checking that post out)– what my thoughts are now that Walford has been given a 45 minute Papal Audience (which not even good Cardinals can get, despite publicly begging for them), and the Buenos Aires guidelines have appeared in the AAS (Acta Apostolica Sedis). Therefore, lest souls be lead astray by others saying “Oh, now that _____ has happened, Daniel must now believe _____,” I must write.

In fact, none of my stances have changed, and I continue to insist that Walford is espousing heresy.

Secondly, I write this post because my last one strongly promoted the Era of Peace; whereas attacking this promise given by Our Lady at Fatima is Mr. Walford’s second-favorite endeavor (it used to be his first, though he now prefers condoning adultery and attacking JPII, EWTN, etc.). From WordPress analytics I can see that many arrive at this blog by doing searches for Stephen Walford and for Divine Will topics, therefore I should be sure to address this intersection of several issues.

A little background for those wise enough to have hitherto avoided concerning themselves with these debates:

  1. Almost 2 years ago, Pope Francis promulgated the Apostolic Exhortation entitled Amoris Laetitia, which — though it has ambiguous statements that unfortunately can be interpreted in a heretical fashion (hence my support for the Dubia cardinals and my desire to see Pope Francis Magisterially clarify them) — is not heretical and does not say that one unrepentantly committing adultery may validly receive absolution and licitly receive Communion.
  2. Over the following 2 years, the Church bureaucracy (including many of its elements housed within the Vatican city state) began to favor the heretical interpretation (that there are indeed occasions where one may unrepentantly commit adultery and nevertheless receive absolution and Communion).
  3. Mr. Walford, perhaps inspired by a noble desire to defend the Pope against the latter’s more ignoble detractors, or perhaps inspired by seeing a great self-advancement opportunity (God shall judge that, not I), has been seeking to distinguish himself as one of the English speaking world’s foremost defenders and promoters of the heretical interpretation; primarily by his articles that for some reason are published on “La Stampa.”
  4. After a few of these aforementioned articles, Mr. Walford was granted a Papal Audience
  5. Most recently, the “Buenos Aires” guidelines (which were written by the Argentinian Bishops in order to direct their priests on how to apply Amoris Laetitia), were placed in the AAS along with a letter from Pope Francis saying that this is the proper interpretation of A.L. These Buenos Aires guidelines seem to endorse the heretical interpretation that Walford was espousing. Please note that the “AAS,” Acta Apostolica Sedis, is the name for the publication issued monthly by the Vatican to have a record of what is done in the Vatican. If something finds its way into this publication, it is commonly considered “an official act of the Holy See,” which a novice might think means “an official act of the Magisterium,” which is NOT the case. Read on for more.

It is point number 5 that above all needs to be addressed, and it brings to the fore the question: 

Meaningfully answering this question requires stepping back a few paces: stepping back from tossing Latin Magisterial document names back and forth, stepping back from Canon Law, stepping back from Papal Pronouncements, stepping back from tradition, and yes, even stepping back from theology. 

We must instead begin at the very beginning, and consider the reason behind our identity. Indeed, all of us are first “man” and only after are we “Catholic.” Therefore becoming and justifying the latter can only occur by way of methods proper to the former, lest we fallaciously beg the question. Similarly, only a complete fool would try to answer the question “Why believe what a Magisterial document says?” by responding “Because it is a Magisterial document. And Magisterial documents say we must obey Magisterial documents. Q.E.D.

By now I have been engaged in more discussions and read more articles on the nature of authority, infallibility, and Magisterium than I can count. Whether in a graduate theology course or merely perusing the blog of a lay apologist, the problem I have seen always the same: circular reasoning. They quote a Catechism, or a Council, or something else, to prove why a Catechism, or a Council, or something else, is trustworthy. An avalanche of terms are thereafter thrown into the mix in an attempt to cover up the argument’s weakness: “religious submission of intellect and will vs. certitude of faith. Ordinary vs Extraordinary Magisterium. Universal vs. Local. Encyclical vs. Exhortation vs. Letter vs. Constitution. Pastoral vs. Doctrinal vs Dogmatic. Development vs Rupture” On, and on, and on it goes.

This is intellectually bankrupt. Yes, those terms have their place, but they do not actually answer the question we must now ask.

So, why are we Catholic?

We are Catholic because God really exists, God really did become man, this God-man really did found a Church, and this God-man really did issue a very specific promise to this Church that He founded. All of these realities are perfectly evident and demonstrable without appealing to Catholic Church teaching (they are, rather, why we appeal to Catholic Church teaching).

For it is absolutely, categorically impossible for God to lie (even reason alone tells us He is all-good), or to be wrong about anything (even reason alone tells us He is all-knowing).

But Jesus said “You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. Therefore anything that would constitute, in any way, shape, or form, the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, is a true and absolute metaphysical impossibility by simple logic that anyone over the age of seven should be capable of. Any attempt to build the reliability of the Magisterium and our response to it on any ultimate foundation but this one is circular and doomed to failure.

But let us also consider what Jesus did not say to Peter. Many have already pointed out that He did not say that all of Peter’s opinions would be true (indeed, Peter himself did a good job refuting that notion with his own life). He certainly did not say that all Bishops would be good or would preach the truth (Judas did an even better job refuting that one). But he also did not say “You are Peter. And 1,876 years from now, a daily gazette will be formed in the Vatican, called the ‘Acta Apostolica Sedis.’ Every word found in that is bound in heaven.”

For a long time, I have had the entire Acta Apostolica Sedis on my computer. I often refer to it in theological research. I can certainly see how one who is unacquainted with it might fall into thinking that a Catholic should deem it an absolutely trustworthy source of Church teachings; with the mere fact that an assertion is found within it causing that claim to become completely trustworthy Magisterium. But that is not the case.

What, then, can we trust?

  • If the successors of the apostles (the Bishops) of the entire world get together and carefully discuss, for years, matters of the Faith, and vote on final versions of their agreed documents, and then these documents are promulgated to the whole Church or even the whole World by the successor of Peter himself (the Pope) — and if this end result were to teach error, then the gates of hell would certainly have prevailed against the Church. Therefore this can never happen. In other words, the teachings of Ecumenical Councils are certain (the most recent one being Vatican II)
    • If an essentially similar process (albeit with important distinctions) occurs and the product is not the documents of a council, but the production of a Universal Catechism, and this Catechism is promulgated by the Pope himself by way of an authortative Magisterial Document affirming its contents, then this Catechism teaching an error on faith or morals would also constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, and so too is impossible. Hence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is absolutely trustworthy.
  • If the visible head of the Church, the successor of Peter, the Pope Himself, were to clearly, officially, publicly teach an error on Faith or Morals, this too, I believe, would constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church. This is why I stand by every teaching of all of Pope Francis’ official Magisterium: Lumen Fidei, Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, and, yes, Amoris Laetitia. Indeed, the actual teachings contained within formal documents promulgated directly by the Vicar of Christ himself and issued to the Church, are absolutely trustworthy.


(Incidentally, it must be noted that the Catholic Church is the only institution on Earth with a built in self-destruct button. In a few moments, any Pope in history could have completely destroyed it by teaching ex-cathedra (infallibly) a teaching obviously contradictory to what has already been taught ex-cathedra. That would immediately reveal to the world the absence of the Divine Mandate that the Church claims — just as a “prophet” is revealed as anything but when his “prophecies” fail. And yet, it’s never happened. Despite being the most fragile institution in history, the Catholic Church is both the largest and the oldest. I sure hope that gives the skeptics — and all non-Catholics — great pause.)

 

What else, since it would not (or does not) constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, could happen (or has happened)?

  • If a heretical interpretation of one of the aforementioned items became very common, this would not constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church.
  • Nor would it so constitute this prevailing if the heretical interpretation was held by many (even most) Bishops.
  • Nor even if it were held by the Pope Himself, so long as he did not elevate this interpretation by way of a new Magisterial document clearly affirming it. (Needless to say, errors in off the cuff Papal remarks, interviews, personal letters, private letters, and even homilies, do not constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church).

Now, it is no trifle that the Buenos Aires guidelines, which seem to endorse the heretical interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, are now in the AAS along with a letter allegedly from Pope Francis endorsing them, and a rescript from Cardinal Parolin insisting that Pope Francis wants them decreed as “authentic Magisterium.” The fact remains, however, that Cardinal Parolin saying that the Holy Father said that something is authentic Magisterium does not make it authentic Magisterium; not even if his saying this makes its way into the official gazette of the Acts of the Vatican. No, the Holy Father himself has to issue something Magisterially for it to be authentic Magisterium. Up to the publication of this post, the only Magisterial proclamation that Pope Francis has made on this issue is Amoris Laetitia itself which, as many have already pointed out, is orthodox so long as it is interpreted correctly.

Do not accuse me of using subtle sophistry here to try and evade the Magisterium; that would only reveal how misguided you are. Any experienced lawyer could easily tell you that if the question “Is the Buenos Aires interpretation now Magisterium?” were put on the dock, all of the “evidence” currently used to try to answer that question “yes” would in fact be mere hearsay.   For all this “evidence” amounts to nothing more than someone who cannot issue Magisterium saying that the one who can issue Magisterium has done so. The fact — crystal clear and easy for anyone who wants the truth to see — is that he has not. 

But no, what we have here is no trifle. In fact, it is a downright crisis. Consequently:

I have had this blog for almost a decade; and most of that time I have spent imploring my readers to recognize that, for so many years, Our Lady has been warning us, in so many apparitions, that the Great Apostasy is coming. In many ways, it has been here for several decades. But it is clearly about to climax. And yet, the promises of Christ are irrevocable: the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church.

Yes, I repeat, what we see unfolding before our very eyes these days is precisely what we should have been expecting:

  • A situation wherein the Magisterium itself is heresy free, as promised by Christ, and as it always will be.
  • A situation wherein any Catholic of good will can easily see what this Magisterium says (just by Googling “Catechism of the Catholic Church” or “Amoris Laetitia”), and it will not be difficult for him to understand.
  • However, a situation in which most (including most priests and bishops) will reject this clear Magisterial teaching, accessible to anyone, for the sake of a heretical interpretation that has become fashionable; entering the very summits of where Divine Providence could possibly allow it to reach, but not one inch further (remember, again, that Pope Francis has not issued a new Magisterial Document affirming the Buenos Aires guidelines! Nor will he. Mark my words.)

Two more reasons, for those still undecided, why the truth of this matter is not in the least difficult to see:

Perhaps above all, we must remember that the promoters of the heretical interpretation deliberately ignore this one most poignant thing: namely, what has not happened. They rejoice every time a new document or phone call is leaked, or interview granted, indicating the Pope himself may have the heretical interpretation in mind as his own preference (which does not make it the Magisterium), and they certainly rejoice every time a new Bishop’s conference institutes the heretical interpretation. But they ignore the fact that the Pope has now had almost two years to actually Magisterially teach the heretical interpretation: and he has not once done so. With the flick of a wrist he could do so, and he has not. It takes a great ignorance — likely a willful one — for that to not speak volumes.

Tied for first place in what we must above all remember in this great trial is, again, a very simple fact that Walford et al deliberately ignore. Amoris Laetitia is an Apostolic Exhortation; a Magisterial document of identical weight to Familiaris Consortio, the act of the Magisterium by which Pope St. John Paul II taught, definitively, the very opposite of Walford’s teaching. The absence of even the most basic reason here is mind boggling. Walford et al. is readily contradicting the clear and explicit teaching contained in the body of an Apostolic Exhortation written by a canonized saint Pope just a short few decades ago for the sake of an ambiguous and incorrect interpretation of a footnote at the bottom of an Apostolic Exhortation written by the living Pope. My 3 year old son has a long way to go before he reaches the age of reason; but even he knows that a scale with a brick on the right side will not be budged by a feather being placed on the other.

I’ll even put this in a table so as to catch the eye of those merely skimming this article:

 

Walford himself does not deny the contradiction. He has already openly repudiated the right-hand column above, calling it “unrealistic.” And this is the basic approach now taken by all promoters of the heretical interpretation — namely, that what was once Magisterially taught can now be abrogated because it is “unrealistic.”

The hypocrisy is astonishing, but not surprising. It is precisely what Walford did, over and over again, in my debates with him on the Era of Peace. He would endlessly throw one errant interpretation of one paragraph of the Catechism in my face; always refusing to so much as acknowledge it when I demonstrated his interpretation was in error and when I would present to him countless Magisterial texts clearly affirming — in stark contradiction to his errant interpretation of one paragraph of another text — that there will in fact be an Era of Peace (“But there is a Cardinal who agrees with me!” he would shout). All, of course, to no effect. Just as even now, there is no use trying to convince Mr. Walford of the truth; which is why I have not bothered reaching out to him on this, but instead have only publicly responding to his own public errors.

A recap of why Walford’s teaching is heretical

Stephen Walford, joining with the Argentinian Bishops, the Maltese Bishops, many German Bishops, etc., is insisting that there are situations wherein Absolution may be validly bestowed upon, and Communion may be licitly given to, one who is unrepentant of adultery. This, of course, is not how he phrases his argument, but it is in fact what his argument consists in. I am not claiming that it is heresy to say that the divorced and remarried may be given Communion. That is a dangerous generalization and defenders of orthodoxy must avoid it. We already know that there are multiple situations in which the divorced and remarried may be licitly given Communion, for example:

  1. If their first marriage was annulled and their second is validated, or
  2. If they are striving to live as brother and sister

I understand and accept that Pope Francis is asking us to make changes, and he has every right to do so within the bounds of orthodoxy. Therefore, I am even willing to consider the following situations as cases in which the “divorced and remarried” may licitly be given communion: (Please do not say that I am promoting or defending giving Communion in the following situations. I am merely saying that I am open to considering these cases, as they are not manifestly heretical like the teaching of Walford et al is)

3. A couple living together could be incapable of getting an annulment for their previous marriages for some accidental reason not connected to the validity of the marriage itself, and perhaps both are morally convinced of the invalidity of their previous marriages. In this case, they are convinced that they are, in fact, not committing acts of adultery because they do believe that their current marriage is possible due to the invalidity of their first marriages and the fundamental possibility of two Christians exchanging vows and thus potentially efficaciously ministering the sacrament to each other (for the validity of a marriage, even between Catholics, does not absolutely and categorically depend upon its being made in a Church, by a priest, with the Church’s permission, etc. Those are ordinary requirements; but they do not constitute the matter of the Sacrament and therefore are not absolute). In this case, they at least have some grounds for hope that their current marriage is valid and thus their carnal union is not intrinsically adulterous.

4. A couple living together could be perfectly capable of getting their marriage validated but, due to the obstinacy of one spouse, this does not wind up happening. If the circumstances nevertheless make it apparent that an annulment would be possible if only the other spouse would cooperate, then the cooperative spouse could perhaps do whatever could be done and then proceed with a clear conscience in acts proper to marriage within that relationship.

Cardinal Müller speaks of possibility #3 in his introduction to Professor Buttiglione’s book. But Müller also says:

“For this reason, repentance and the intention to avoid future occasions of sin is necessary. Without this, sacramental forgiveness cannot be given. This is in any case the doctrine of the Church.” (emphasis added). In saying this, the good Cardinal is defending the perennial and infallible teaching of the Church against Buttiglione’s assertion, which is literally the complete opposite of what Müller is here saying.

Professor Buttiglione contorts Müller’s  words. He, Andrea Tornielli, and others, are claiming that Cardinal Müller has opened the door; thus it is now impossible to claim that their heretical interpretation is heretical. In fact, what Müller wrote has nothing to do with their heretical interpretation. Consider, for example, Cardinal Müller’s words above when you read the following quote from Tornielli’s interview of Buttiglione, wherein the latter blatantly, and deceitfully, attributes the heretical interpretation to a consequence of Cardinal Müller’s action: “…thanks to my book and Cardinal Müller’s preface, for the first-time critics have been forced to respond and cannot deny one point: there are mitigating circumstances in which a mortal sin (a sin that would otherwise be mortal) becomes a lighter sin, a venial sin. There are therefore some cases in which remarried divorcees can (through their confessor and after an adequate spiritual discernment) be considered in God’s grace and therefore deserving of receiving the sacraments. It seems a shocking novelty, but it is a doctrine entirely – I dare say hard-rock – traditional”

But Cardinal Müller says nothing about “mitigating factors” being what enables a divorced and remarried couple unrepentantly committing actual adultery to receive Communion. He says the complete opposite.

Rather, Müller makes it obvious that this enabling of licit reception of Communion is entirely based upon a hope — even if that hope is a long shot — that they are not committing adultery at all!

But this is child’s play compared to what Buttiglione does next. He blatantly lies about what Pope Saint John Paul II himself taught in Familiaris Consortio.

Here is what Pope St. John Paul II actually taught, Magisterially and authoritatively, in Familiaris Consortio (article 84; emphasis added):

Here is what Buttiglione says (emphasis added):

Here we have Buttiglione:

  1. Fallaciously asserting that JPII said this teaching was discipline, when in fact JPII’s reference to “practice” is implicitly, if not clearly, a reference to a doctrinal practice.
  2. Blatantly lying about how JPII was issuing his warning on scandal; asserting that this warning was the primary or sole reason for the teaching, when in fact it was merely a secondary consideration.
  3. Finishing it all off with another lie and calumny against JPII, pretending that JPII didn’t treat divorced-and-remarried “like other sinners.”

Although Buttiglione’s three errors here are clear enough for anyone to see, allow me to briefly explain each of them:

  1. JPII did not say he was issuing a disciplinary teaching. Far from it. Buttiglione is evidently assuming that by “practice,” JPII means “merely disciplinary.” But this is not so. The Church often uses the word “practice” to refer to discipline and often uses it to refer to doctrine. For example, the Catechism (1032) uses “practice” to refer to the Church praying for the dead, the necessity of which is anything but a mere changeable discipline. Article 1472 of the Catechism specifically refers to indulgence as both a “doctrine and a practice,” putting to rest any notion that something being a “practice” means that it cannot be doctrinal. Still later, the very matter of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick — namely, holy oil — is described as a “practice,” making it clear that even the most fundamental realities of the Faith, which the Church cannot touch, can be called “practices.”
    1. Besides that, it seems to me abundantly clear that JPII was issuing a doctrinal teaching here. First of all, he did not say “I,” rather he said “the Church,” which Popes often use when they wish to give even greater regard to a teaching. Secondly, JPII says that the Church is reaffirming the practice – implying strongly that this is a constant teaching (and no constant teaching can change). Thirdly, JPII said that the practice is based on Sacred Scripture, making it even clearer that this is an element of the Deposit of Faith, not merely a merely human and thus changeable tradition. Fourthly, he uses absolute language in issuing the teaching; saying, for example, that such people are “unable” to approach Communion (not merely that they “ought not” or “are not currently permitted to,” etc.)
  2. JPII did not say that the problem is “simply” (as Buttiglione says he said) scandal. JPII made it abundantly clear that scandal was an entirely separate problem; really, a merely additional concern beyond the primary one (which is simply the point I have been making this whole article). How on earth Buttiglione rationalized this blatant misrepresentation is beyond me. It is as if I told a babysitter “don’t let my son play with the silverware; he might electrocute himself by sticking it an outlet. There is another important reason for this: I don’t want my silverware lost,” and the babysitter decided that she’d merely replace the silverware, thus making the problem with it being lost less problematic, and thus allowed him to play with the silverware.
  3. Yes, Pope Francis is — rightly — saying that the divorced and remarried must be admitted to penance like all other sinners. But that is not what Buttiglione’s own argument is. Buttiglione is saying that adultery should now be considered as a special class of mortal sin that must be absolved even if there is no repentance for it! If this was treated “like all other sinners” are treated in the confessional, it would simply mean going by the clear teaching that the Church has always given and that JPII was merely reiterating. See the case study below.

So now we can see clearly that Buttiglione’s argument rests upon, 1) A Fallacy, 2) A Misrepresentation, and 3) A lie. No matter how much fluff he adds onto those three elements; all of which are necessary to his argument, the fact remains — a fact which no human with reason can deny — that a chain with three broken links is useless, no matter how many good links are added thereafter.

I must finish this section by adding how very odd — aggravating, really — it is that so many theologians are pretending that Catechesis 101 (dressed up with many of their own fancy words), which any catechized Catholic has always been aware of, all of a sudden changes everything. Any minimally educated Catholic already knows that there is a huge difference between committing a grave (potentially mortal) sin and being in a state of mortal sin; and that only God knows if a soul is in the latter from committing the former — for it rests upon full knowledge and consent, and that circumstances can mitigate culpability. Again: everybody already knew that. This is not profound, and it is not new. We did not all of a sudden wake up and realize that this is true thanks to the promulgation of Amoris Laetitia. It is not new, and it does not change anything about the nature of the Sacraments. 

That we now have countless Theologians, Bishops, Cardinals, etc., claiming that this Catechesis 101 which everyone already knew somehow now revolutionizes the Church and allows us to change her perennial and doctrinal teaching is nothing short of a Diabolical Dishonesty. 

Again, I am not necessarily advocating for giving Communion in cases 3 and 4 above. I am merely pointing out that, if they are truly cases wherein Communion may be licitly given, the grounds for thus giving Communion is not diminished responsibility for adultery: it is, rather, a (reasonable or unreasonable: I leave that up to more qualified minds than my own) hope that their union is not adulterous because perhaps their marriage may be valid. The “diminished responsibility” argument is radically inadequate here in serving as the sole or primary justification for giving Absolution and Communion. It can only serve as an auxiliary aid in choosing as merciful as possible a path within the confines of orthodoxy.

 The “La Stampa” writers are constantly engaged in a straw man campaign; expending all of their effort to try and convince their readers that, since there is a case wherein the “divorced and remarried” may licitly be given Communion (referring to the possibility of #3 or #4 above), it must not be heretical to thus interpret Amoris Laetitia. They deliberately ignore that they are comparing apples and oranges. The entire basis for #3 and #4 above is that the sexual activity of the couples may actually not be adulterous; NOT that the sexual activity is indeed adulterous — but only venially so, not mortally so.

 Diminished responsibility can:

  • Above all, make it possible (or even likely) that a soul committing grave sins is nevertheless in a State of Grace and therefore among the elect (are we too embarrassed to acknowledge that this is all about the Salvation of Souls? The Sacraments can be means to that or they can be obstacles to that: they are the latter if received unworthily)
  • Make options 3 or 4 above more worthy of consideration, wherein the possible validity of the existing marriage may be hoped for even if such a hope was scorned in earlier days
  • Make leaving the occasion of sin a less stringent requirement; or even be entirely dispensed. That is a disciplinary requirement. 
  • Make the risk of causing scandal a less serious concern; or, at least, less serious than getting the souls back to Communion. That, too, is a disciplinary requirement.

Rather, the most that mercy can possibly stretch this criteria is any case akin to the following:

One who is addicted to mortal sin may reasonably be supposed to be in a state of grace if he does not want to commit the sin and is at least in general striving to be freed from it, granted he tries to make an act of perfect contrition before receiving Communion. A confessor may indeed licitly advise receiving Communion in this case, but only because the penitent has at least the desire and intention of being free of the sin. But that desire is totally absent from what situations that Walford et al describe.

The quintessential case study under this banner was the one taught to our class by our Moral Theology professor (a highly regarded priest-theologian whose learnedness and orthodoxy no one would question) in seminary: a young man addicted to masturbation. A confessor may indeed absolve him and advise the reception of Communion, even if he thinks it is likely that this penitent will fall again into this grave sin. He may do so on precisely the grounds those now speak of in promoting the heretical interpretation of A.L. But this here is the proper application of these grounds:

  • the confessor understands that this young man will have an incredibly difficult time being freed of these chains,
  • the confessor understands that we live in an unprecedentedly corrupt society in which lust is incessantly foisted upon us, and
  • the confessor understands that the young man likely does not fully comprehend Catholic teaching on human sexuality and thus likely does not fully grasp the gravity of the offense in question.
  • Consequently, the Confessor may indeed absolve this penitent, “tolerating,” you could say, the fact that the sin will likely continue to occur.

 But the confessor may absolutely NOT absolve this penitent if the young man comes to him and says “I masturbate regularly. But I have absolutely no intent or desire to stop doing it. You have to absolve me, however, because the circumstances of the day means that my responsibility is diminished, and therefore I have a right to receive Absolution and Communion. I repeat: I have no intention to amend my life.”

Likewise, if one is in fact committing objective acts of adultery, and there is no hope that these acts are anything but actually adulterous, and if this person is absolutely without any intent or desire whatsoever to try to be rid of these sinful acts, then it is absolutely, categorically, metaphysically impossible to efficaciously absolve this “penitent” and licitly give him or her Communion. And this is precisely what Walford et al are advocating for by their rejection of Familiaris Consortio paragraph 84 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1650.

There we have it.

  1. “The Orthodox have valid sacraments, and they allow divorce and remarriage.”
    1. Yes, the Orthodox have valid sacraments, but their teachings are not Divinely protected from error as are those of the Catholic Church. The allowance of divorce and remarriage (even with its countless caveats that you can read about elsewhere) in Orthodox Churches  is just one of their several heresies (among their heresies regarding contraception, the Immaculate Conception, original sin, and the filioque)
  2. “Communion is already given to divorced and remarried Orthodox who come to Mass at Catholic Churches”
    1. If it is, it shouldn’t be. Canon 844 does indeed allow Communion in Catholic Churches to be given to members of Eastern Orthodox Churches, but it too requires that these recipients be properly disposed. Nowhere does the Magisterium allow for this proper disposition to mean something different for the Orthodox merely because they have different practices. When “proper disposition” is used in Canon Law it doesn’t mean “proper disposition as the subject views it,” it means “proper disposition as the Catholic Church teaches it in fact consists in.” For indeed, the definition of “proper disposition” does not somehow change for you merely because you belong to a schismatic Church (no, I do not think it is usually good to refer to the Orthodox as such; but in this case, I must be brutally blunt)
  3. “We need to meet people where they’re at. We need to live in the real world. We need to be realistic. We need to accompany. We need to focus on the concrete realities. We need to not be like the Pharisees. Etc. etc. etc.”
    1. Amen to all of that. But none of it is even a little bit capable of justifying the heretical interpretation
  4. “We need to take a merciful approach to this. Jesus was merciful.”
    1. Absolutely. See “Footnote on Mercy.” Hint: this, too, is radically inadequate in rationalizing heresy.
  5. “Who can and cannot be Absolved and receive Communion is a matter of discipline, not doctrine; therefore the Church and the Pope can change it.”
    1. No it isn’t. I see this statement repeated everywhere, but I have never once seen it justified. Where on earth does anyone get the idea that the necessity of repentance/contrition for valid absolution is a merely disciplinary requirement? That is the very matter of the Sacrament. The Church has precisely zero right and zero ability to nullify the matter of a Sacrament. Yes, of course, there are disciplinary teachings associated with the Sacraments: how long one must fast before receiving Communion, how often one must go to Confession, etc. But there are also doctrinal teachings associated with them: e.g. Consecration of the Eucharist can only be undertaken on bread. Matrimony must involve the exchange of vows of the spouses. Baptism must be done with water. The Church cannot possibly change these things. Likewise, the Church cannot change the fact that some form of contrition (even if imperfect) is required for Absolution (for it is, literally, the matter of this sacrament), and there is absolutely no contrition if the “penitent” has no intent or desire or plan to cease committing objective grave sins (and engaging in sexual acts with one to whom you are not married is dogmatically defined as an objective grave sin), therefore there is no matter for the sacrament to act upon, therefore the sacrament cannot work, no matter how much sophistical acrobatics are performed by local Bishop’s Conferences. Furthermore, that one must be properly disposed in order to receive the Eucharist is not merely disciplinary. Though disposition is neither the matter nor the form of the sacrament (hence I say that one improperly disposed illicitly receives the Eucharist, not invalidly), it is nevertheless a doctrinal requirement in approaching it; for it is merely a direct application of a Scriptural teaching (1 Corinthians 11:27). Even if you reject that (please don’t), the whole heretical interpretation argument still hinges upon the aforementioned impossible situation with Absolution, hence the whole argument completely falls on those grounds alone, at the very least.
  6. “Don’t you realize that we are living in incredibly difficult times? Don’t you realize how many marriages may be invalid? Don’t you realizes that this changes everything?”
    1. Yes, I absolutely realize this. And I am completely open to the suggestion that the annulment process should be streamlined, and that more cases could be considered as making an annulment possible (e.g. lack of faith and/or understanding of the sacrament of matrimony). As I said above, I am also not closed to the suggestion that there is a possibility of the couple themselves having a moral certainty of the invalidity of their previous marriages and thus the possibility of the validity of their current marriage even outside the usual canonical process. But all of that is a non-sequitur. The heretical interpretation — which this entire post is dedicated to refuting and which Walford, Buttiglione, Kasper, etc. endorse — does not merely say that: it says that even all that aside — even aside the possibility of the validity of the current marriage — the couple may engage in sexual acts that are objectively adulterous and which they know are objectively adulterous, with no intention or desire to try to stop committing them, but still be validly and licitly absolved and given Communion. That is the heresy.
  7. “You cannot know someone’s heart. There are many, many people who are doing something that may be objectively contravening God’s law but, due to circumstances of all sorts, are in fact in God’s friendship.”
    1. I agree fully with this as well. But the fact that we cannot know someone’s heart is precisely why Catholic doctrine is as it is on this issue. Yes, many people who commit acts that are objectively, intrinsically, and gravely sinful are, in fact, not in a state of mortal sin due to their mitigated culpability (“diminished responsibility”). This is not some fact that I begrudgingly accept. It is a fact I truly believe and am hopeful for the salvation of many on the basis of. But no man can look upon such a situation and decide for himself that culpability is sufficiently mitigated that a soul is in a state of grace despite committing objectively and intrinsically evil acts. Not a priest, not a Bishop, and not the Pope. I repeat: Penance, a Sacrament instituted by Christ, cannot have its matter or form abrogated by any authority in the Church. The matter of the Sacrament of Penance is the penitence of the penitent. Without that, absolution is categorically impossible just as consecrating a piece of iron is categorically impossible. But there is no penitence if the “penitent” is committing objectively, intrinsically evil acts and has absolutely no contrition for them, and fully intends to continue committing them without any desire or attempt to even try to stop.
  8. “You are taking a very unwise and imprudent stance on this, Daniel. Haven’t you been watching Catholic news? Don’t you see that you’re clearly on the losing side, and the vast majority have sided with what you call the ‘heretical’ interpretation?”
    1. Answer below…

That many if not most of those apologists, theologians, priests, bishops, and cardinals who have spoken on this matter have sided with the heretical interpretation matters about as much to me as about what my next door neighbor’s dog thinks about it. Truth is not determined by a majority vote. Truth is determined by Jesus Christ, who guides the Church through the Magisterium; not through these sneaky little maneuvers here and there so that Vaticanistas who waste away their days listening to Church-bureaucracy gossip are best suited to know it, love it, and follow it. No. It is the simple, faithful souls are those best disposed to know, love, and follow the Truth. That is, the souls who know they can trust the Bible and the Catechism.

How blind are we if we cannot see that Professor Seifert’s admonition is entirely valid if the heretical interpretation is the correct one?

If “diminished responsibility” all of a sudden becomes legitimate grounds for valid Absolution and admission to holy Communion, even when the sin in question is entirely grave and entirely without any form of repentance or desire to stop, then anything goes. The “slippery slope” argument is not being employed here; that is not necessarily a logically valid argument; for it states that movement in one direction necessarily means its continuation. But the reductio ad absurdum is a valid argument; and this is the one used here. In other words, if a given justification is required to grant a certain conclusion, then that conclusion cannot be admitted without also admitting whatever other conclusions that justification necessarily leads to. This, again, is basic logic that even a youth should be capable of.

If the “mitigated responsibility” argument applies to adultery, then we cannot arbitrarily decide that it stops there. It applies, rather, to everything. We no longer can say anything clearly about any sin with respect to Absolution and Holy Communion. Everyone must be absolved. Which of course means that no one will be confident in his absolution; and Confession’s entire purpose — namely, giving absolute confidence that one’s sins are truly forgiven so that one’s soul may be fully healed  — has disappeared. 

If the heretical interpretation is granted, then indeed the entirety of Catholic Moral Teaching necessarily collapses.

Enter Antichrist.

We of course see it already, thanks to the fact that indeed, the heretical interpretation is gaining so much ground that most in the Church are taking it for granted

  • We have Fr. James Martin openly promoting homosexuality with impunity wherever he pleases
  • We have Pontifical Academy for Life members insisting that circumstances may require Catholic couples to use artificial contraception
  • We have the German Church blessing active homosexual relationships
  • We have high ranking Bishops in major nations openly endorsing the legalization of gay marriage when this occurs in their homeland (see Australia)
  • We have a high ranking Vatican prelate having actual homoerotic murals painted in his Church
  • We have many high ranking Vatican prelates openly pushing for a reversal of Humanae Vitae
  • We have hitherto good Catholics walking out on their spouses who never would have dreamt of doing so before. Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed this multiple times in the past couple years.

This list could go on for a long time. 

Yes, heresy has been very fashionable for the past several decades. And, although it has invaded the Church for a long time, this invasion always looked radically different than it does now. It was reserved to places anyone would expect it: quietly in liberal seminaries, in liberal parishes, at Universities, etc. But now we see it openly and proudly in the Vatican itself, and in the highest levels of national Bishop’s conferences.

This never would have been able to happen before. It is happening now because of the flourishing of the heretical interpretation. 

But even all of that is relatively minor in relation to the far bigger point that many are missing.

If an Apostolic Exhortation (Familiaris Consortio) clearly issues a certain teaching, and if this teaching is then reissued in a Universal Catechism, which is itself promulgated by way of an Apostolic Constitution ensuring that its contents are a “sure norm” for teaching the Faith (Fidei Depositum IV), and if this given teaching can be — not merely modified in tone or approach — but completely and utterly contradicted in subsequent Magisterium…

In other words, if “______” in what is obviously the Magisterium then becomes “not ______” in later Magisterium,  then the gates of Hell have prevailed against the church. In other words:

 

… for she has officially taught something completely contradictory to what she has already officially taught. (The Church has not and never will collapse; the heretical interpretation is just that — a lie; as all heresy is)

Am I worried this might happen later, though? Of course not. I am completely certain that it never will.

So why am I bothering to even go to all of this effort to refute the heretical interpretation?

Because to simply sit back, knowing that God’s Will shall always prevail, and watch it happen, is the sin of Quietism. God expects us to participate in the fruition of His Will.

Furthermore, even though I know that this heretical interpretation will never enter the Magisterium, the heights in the Church and the media that it has already reached is likely even now causing the damnation of countless souls. A greater tragedy than this could not be imagined, hence my effort to do whatever I can (even if it is only one small part) to quell it.

A word of parting advice.

Please resist the urge to join a camp. There are, of course, two primary ones: the anti-Pope Francis camp and the pro-heresy camp. The former camp, even if they are right (they often aren’t), will be found on Judgment Day very guilty; for no son is excused for dishonoring his father, even if his father is a bad man (and Pope Francis is not a bad man). Rather, such a son will always be judged very harshly. The latter camp, caught up as it is with the spirit of this age, is more than willing to hold contradictory claims at the same time: making them not only unworthy of the name “Catholic,” but unworthy of the name “rational animal,” the definition of man, for it is primarily our reason that separates us from the beasts, and one rejects this by willingly accepting blatant contradictions.

You don’t need a camp. You have the Barque of Peter. Camps make life easier; sure. They don’t make it better.

Appendix on Time Travel and Stephen Walford

I would like to do Mr. Walford the service of assuming his good will, and assuming that his error arises not from malice but from confusion.

Proceeding from this premise, I believe I see where the error arises.

He recently did an interview for the Catholic Herald in which he confesses to being a “whovian.” I understand this is a term used by fanatical fans of the TV show “Dr. Who,” which I have never seen, but which I understand is a typical work of sci-fi time travel nonsense and absurdity.

In the past few years I have been unfortunate enough to watch two such movies that had this absurdity in them (I wouldn’t have watched them at all if I was forewarned!): Interstellar and Arrival. In both of these movies, there are cases where, due to “time travel,” the effect of a cause is itself the cause of that cause. In other words, they propose a self-caused cause; something that is not even possible for God Himself. (For He is the uncaused Cause, not the self-caused cause)

I am not at all surprised to see Walford is a “Dr Who” fanatic. He is already in the habit of re-tweeting Fr. Spadaro’s tweets and clearly is a big fan of his. (Fr. Spadaro is infamous for his assertion that, in theology, 2+2=5). In contradiction to this, it is essential for everyone; especially for any Catholic today who wishes to keep the Faith in the midst of the Great Apostasy:

 

 

The common thread here is that, frankly, these don’t care about the Truth. They care about results. They are philosophical and theological pragmatists, more than willing to accept and promote lies for the sake of their desired ends, and this is the same fundamental error by which they propose Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers.

But true mercy is never the result of lies. For a lie, too, is an intrinsic evil — though one that worldly people (including worldly Catholics — even “orthodox minded” worldly Catholics) always find ways to rationalize.

Now, I’m not going to begrudge anyone the enjoyment of a little absurdist fiction every now and then; perhaps even of the nonsensical “time travel” sort (though if asked, I would advise against even that; for art that we choose to expose ourselves to always forms our minds and souls, whether or not we recognize it, and we should only ever choose to listen to, watch, or read things that will help us become saints). But if Mr. Walford would go so far as to call himself a “Whovian,” then I can’t help but conclude that he heartily endorse the premise of this show, namely, that “time travel,” wherein the past can be changed (which St. Thomas Aquinas made clear is categorically impossible even for God — see Sum I, Q25, A4) is at least a theoretical possibility. In other words, “that which has happened” can also be “that which has not happened,” which means that “A” and “Not A” can both be held, which means that the Law of Noncontradiction is abolished, which, quite literally, means that anything goes. (I don’t think this is a stretch at all; Walford first went out of his way, in the above linked article, to describe the Papacy itself as a reflection of Dr. Who)

 This of course is very convenient for those who want to assert blatant contradictions, such as: 

  1. Church teaching cannot change, and Church teaching can change.
  2. You have to submit to this teaching because it’s Magisterium of Level A, but you have to reject this other teaching which is Magisterium of Level A
  3. Adultery is an intrinsic grave evil, but adultery is not an intrinsic grave evil
  4. A Sacramental Marriage is absolutely indissoluble, but a Sacramental Marriage is not absolutely indissoluble

And plenty of others, all of which are necessary to the heretical interpretation of A.L. that they promote.

As I mentioned in the summary at the very beginning of this post; none of this has anything to do with judging the man himself. I am not interested in publicly cataloguing Mr. Walford’s vices (I am sure I have more than he). I only bring up these very specific points because they are necessary in understanding the following:

  1. Stephen’s current attacks on Catholic doctrine fit into a pattern that he has been employing for years, and as such should surprise no one.
  2. Stephen has fundamental errors not only in his theological teachings, but in his very approach to theology, and as such he is not a reliable source on anything pertaining to theology, and those looking for professional help from him should probably stick to asking him for help with the piano.

Unfortunately the contradictions even in this Catholic Herald article do not end here. In it, he also brags of his devotion to JPII, ignoring that he blatantly contradicts JPII’s magisterium, publicly calling it, in one of his La Stampa articles, “unrealistic.” He also says he’s “never attacked anyone,” in trying to get more sympathy by claiming that the abuse he’s received has been unreal. As I and others know; he did nothing but attack, relentlessly, when engaged in a debate with us over the Era of Peace. I can scarcely recall dialoguing with someone more vitriolic, rude, and sarcastic than Stephen Walford. I would have gladly never mentioned this, were it not for the fact that he is now publicly promoting himself as some kind of a martyr who would never dream of engaging in that behavior himself. Mr. Walford was banned not once, but twice, on a forum for his terrible conduct in his debate with me and others!

Some are openly wondering where this “Walford” came from: “out of nowhere, it seems,” they say. Well, having known him for quite some time now, it makes total sense to me. He is the perfect man for the “job” he now has. For he is very used to appearing orthodox but actually persecuting orthodoxy. This is precisely what he does with the Era of Peace: he relentlessly attacks those who promote this fully orthodox belief — in line with countless Magisterial documents, believed by almost all of the Fathers of the Church, and promised by many books of Sacred Scripture, and absolutely promised by countless trustworthy private revelations — while himself promoting a lie: namely, an Eschatology of Despair, where this earth is doomed and there’s nothing we can do about it; where Our Lord’s prayer will prove in vain, in which He asked “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

And he is the perfect man for his current job, because this is exactly what he is doing now. With the superficial guise of orthodoxy (pretending to revere the Magisterium, JPII, Faustina, Benedict, etc.), he relentlessly persecutes the orthodox. Calling, for example, good Cardinals with valid concerns promoters of “satanic” abuse.  

Don’t be surprised to hear me say that I look forward to enjoying Mr. Walford’s company in Eternity, after he and I both have been purged of our many defects. For I do think that in his heart of hearts he is a sincere Catholic; albeit one being used powerfully now by the devil (likely unknowingly). But for now, I must take the strong strand that Our Lord was forced to once take with Peter, and tell Mr. Walford, publicly:

Get behind me, Satan.

For he is being used by Satan right now as, frankly, one of his most powerful tools on earth. Walford is convincing countless souls to reject orthodoxy (Familiaris Consortio), and to despair of Divine Intervention (the Era of Peace).

What a combination. Heresy and hopelessness.

May God change his heart, and may Catholics be wise enough to not listen to him until he does.

Footnote on Mercy

I wholeheartedly support what could even be called a veritable revolution of mercy. I remain an enthusiastic supporter of Pope Francis’ general mission (even if it is undeniably dotted with blunders) of making the Church  a field hospital for sinners; a true bastion of mercy for a hurting world. 

I absolutely recognize and agree that we must not treat the divorced and remarried like we did in the 1950s; for the world has changed and people simply do not understand today what was universally recognized then. I am all for loosening up our worries on risking causing scandal, and focusing more on ensuring we are doing everything possible to bring back the lost sheep. I am all for spending less time fretting about ensuring that everyone who is absolved be entirely rid of the occasions of sin; and instead getting them on the path of the Sacramental Life as soon as it is conceivably possible that they are ready

But we cannot engage in this mission by contradicting the Faith. Never, ever, ever, ever. And to simply throw the Sacraments at people who are not at all disposed or prepared is not only heretical, as I believe I have demonstrated in this post, but it is also an act of hatred against these very souls. For it entails a type of superstitious attitude about the Sacraments: supposing they are magical charms that transform their recipients even outside of and in contradiction to the free cooperation of the recipients. This is not the case. The sacraments require our disposition and cooperation. Pretending that this disposition and cooperation exists when it doesn’t is not an act of mercy or charity to anyone. 

If, even considering all of that, you are still not satisfied, then please don’t waste your time by lamenting “what about real mercy, Daniel? Don’t you know how hard these situations are?”

Where is the mercy for the abandoned spouse? The one who must live daily with the agony of knowing that her husband walked out of their perfectly valid marriage, had children with his new “wife,” and now wants the Church’s blessing on this? I regularly receive prayer requests from women in precisely this situation. Don’t suppose you know what “mercy” means just by looking at one affected party. Look at both.

Now, I am a miserable sinner worthy only of a thousand rebukes. But one rebuke no one could issue to me with a straight face is that I neglect the Divine Mercy. I will spare you the recitation of my “resume” in this regard, but feel free to peruse this site and my other sites if you need that demonstrated. We must indeed be absolutely dripping with mercy today, considering the state of the world, and we must remain very willing to be flexible where flexibility is possible. But we must never be willing to alter the Deposit of Faith; which is nothing but an absolutely diabolical false mercy, and exercising this false mercy is not a work of love, but a work of hatred.

Walford’s snide remarks “we must live in the real world,” “we must meet people where they’re at,” etc., in condoning heresy, will not work on me. I am fully aware of these facts. And these facts do not alter other facts.

Very Important Footnote on Opinion

I feel very confident that what I have asserted above regarding who may and may not licitly receive Communion is merely a reiteration of an unchangeable doctrine of the Church. However, I will not go so far as to say that I feel absolutely certain of it. So please, if in the future Pope Francis does clearly Magisterially teach that the divorced and remarried may licitly receive Communion even in contradiction to the teachings of JPII in Familiaris Consortio, don’t go declaring Pope Francis an anti-Pope. He is clearly the validly elected Pope, and that will not change until he dies or retires – period. However, I would say that I do feel rather certain that what I have asserted above regarding the validity of absolution is indeed a reiteration of a clear dogma of the Church. Absolution cannot occur if there is the deliberate intent to continue committing objective grave sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Tragedy

“There is only one tragedy, ultimately: not to have been a saint”

For many years that quote has been my email signature. There it stands, at the bottom of each message I’ve sent – whether to friend, family member, blog-reader, co-worker, boss, friend of the Faith, foe of the Faith, or anyone else – as a perennial reminder to them all, but above all to myself, of what should constitute the entirety of one’s deepest concern: sainthood.

I began writing this piece last year after having just attended the funeral of my cousin’s 4 year old son (and the year before, similar thoughts were on my mind as I will presently express, after I attended the funeral of the one year old son of another cousin of mine, which Steve Skojec wrote about here). I resumed work on it this summer, in the wake of joy turned to sorrow when the expectation of the birth of our own third child turned to the sorrow of God taking this child home to Himself after a brief time in the womb (thanks be to God, we have since been blessed again with the expectation of another child).

What is more sorrowful than the death of a child?

And yet, in the actual reality of what transpired, what is more glorious?

Without the slightest doubt, we know that this child entered into eternal bliss the very moment his soul left his body. And without the slightest doubt, we know that in the twinkling of an eye we shall be reunited with him forever if we too accept the salvation that is offered to us; an offer that is never rescinded so long as there is breath in our lungs.

So often we are assailed by temptations to dwell on regret. An opportunity for more money, recognition, worldly memories, possessions, security, travels, comfort, pleasure, or whatever other vanity, sails on by. Another year passes and so too, we lament, does one more notch in the likelihood of the realization of our dreams. A loved one dies and we lament what seems to be a lost future with him. Forgiven sins come to mind to haunt us and accuse us and tempt us to despair at their mere existence.

But all of that is nothing. Nothing.

Nothing is lost if, despite it all, one strives for sanctity. Then, truly, all is gain.

Therefore consider: What now robs you of the unbroken peace and joy to which you have a right as a Christian who trusts in Jesus and desires that His Will be done?

That there is suffering in your life? You have all eternity — which will scarcely have begun once countless trillions of centuries have passed — to enjoy permanent ecstatic joy and the absolute absence of any and all pain. You have a brief few moments before your death to suffer redemptively in union with Christ, grow from it, merit from it, contribute to the salvation and sanctification of souls with it. Far from a curse to lament over, it is a gift to rejoice at the bestowal of; for as St. Padre Pio said, “suffering is the one thing the angels envy us for.”

That you aren’t working your dream job and pursuing your dream career, like others you envy are, and like the daydreams you entertained previously consisted in? All those who work such jobs will, in the twinkling of an eye, find themselves old and decrepit, with the mere faint memory of their former professions proving radically incapable of giving even one ounce of joy. Go about the job and/or duties that God has called you to here and now with prayer and submission to the Divine Will, and you are achieving infinitely more than one who works the supposedly “perfect and best” job is.

That your marriage is not what you always dreamed it would be? Great and glorious as marriage is, that too is a passing thing, designed by God for the procreation and education of children, and it will no longer exist in eternity; which will be upon us in a flash. Don’t get me wrong: you should spare no expense in working towards making your marriage beautiful, peaceful, joyful, and above all holy. But ultimately the fulfillment of those goals is up to two people; yet when all is said and done, you answer only for yourself; therefore the deepest joy of your soul cannot ever depend upon another earthly creature – not even your spouse.

Or perhaps even that your life lacks the holy things that you wish it had? So long as it is not a slothful indifference to the pursuit of holy things, but rather the Will of God, that has deprived you of them, then even the absence of these things is no harm whatsoever to you. If your life’s circumstances prevent you from going on those great pilgrimages you envy your friends for, being a part of those wonderful Catholic groups and communities that others so seem to enjoy, attending those amazing Catholic events that you now only read of, or whatever else; this is nothing to lament. Heaven will infinitely surpass all of these essentially temporal blessings, and when you are there, not having had these temporal things will seem to you then as it now seems to you when you see a child missing one extra cookie during one day’s dessert. Remember that all treasures in Heaven are built up solely by the Will of God; and this Divine Will can be submitted to and lived in anywhere, by any one, at any instant.

So indeed, none of these thing are tragedies.

 

The only tragedy is to not become a saint — and to not help others become saints.

 

How, then, do we direct our lives so as to avoid The Only Tragedy? Thankfully it is easy.

Many things are hard: acquiring advanced degrees, making large sums of money, gaining recognition for ourselves, getting people to like us, securing our legacy, trying to guarantee our safety and security, acquiring and maintaining possessions, looking for promotions and new jobs, striving to order all things to our comfort and pleasure…. and oh how much we pour ourselves out in the pursuit of all of this vain garbage which seems so pressing and direly important now, and yet the next day is barely even a memory.

For on the Day of Judgement you won’t regret missing the extra $100,000 on your salary that you could have had — but you would regret foregoing the daily family Rosary in order to have more time to secure this salary. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret a few people disliking you or thinking you’re weird — but you would regret keeping your Faith hidden in order to ensure you blend in well with modern society. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret “missing out” on this or that questionable movie, book, TV show, or other entertainment that is popularly praised by your friends, neighbors, and coworkers — but you would regret the decay of the soul that you risk by exposing yourself to such garbage. On the Day of Judgment you won’t regret “missing out” on this or that college degree, sports tournament, worldly spotlight, honor or recognition that simply requires too much of you — but you would regret having spent a life waking up each morning with your primary motivation for getting out of bed being the pursuit of such utter vanity instead of the pursuit of eternal goals. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret not having lived in a beautiful remote paradise with hundreds of acres to yourself — but you would regret the thousands of Communions – every single one of which is incomprehensibly powerful – you could have made but didn’t due to your insistence upon living in a utopia on earth. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret having had health problems — but you would regret having spent your life expending all of your time and energy experimenting with the various health and diet fads that inundate us daily, instead of simply doing what is prudent for the sake of health and then accepting whatever suffering remains as the Will of God for your salvation and sanctification and that of the whole world. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret not having sent your children to the “best” schools and ensured that they have the “best” opportunities — but you would regret letting the world’s values seep into their minds and hearts. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret failing to ensure you and your family members can pursue every hobby, vacation, sport, etc., that the world insists you must engage in — but you would regret neglecting significant daily prayer time that you will need to forego to enable these interests.

In short, on the Day of Judgement, you will have precisely zero regret for all of these things you are now tempted to regret. You will only regret the times — and indeed, you will regret all such times — that you were not pursuing sanctity by refusing to strive to live in the Will of God: that same Will of God that is never more than one simple act of your own will — one simple Fiat — away from being the very essence and substance of your own life. And not only that, but helping an enormous amount of other souls avoid what is, truly, the only tragedy is so very easy: show them God’s love and they will be inspired to trust in it and themselves attain salvation; which is sainthood. I assure you it is that simple.

  • Show them God’s love by sacrificing the five extra seconds your day would “gain” by being in a hurried bustle at the store and, instead, treat the cashier as an actual human being made in God’s image. Look the person behind the counter at McDonald’s in the eye when you make your order and smile to brighten his day instead of pretending that you need to stare at the menu the entire time and rush out of the way the second you have finished paying.
  • Show them God’s love by talking to the beggar who asks you for money instead of lying, quickly saying you have none, and walking off
    • Though I had a recent spell of not being able to do my DWMoM walks, I still strive to live the Spirit of one. Just recently, I stumbled upon a beggar after Mass whom I had given a Rosary to the week before. He was proudly wearing this Rosary, thanked me again profusely for it, and told me “I never take it off.”
  • Show your family God’s love by daily ensuring that they recognize — by deeds, not words — that your primary concern is not that they fit nicely into your plans, not that they become what you want them to be, not that they merely ensure they aren’t a burden on you, but rather, ensure they recognize that your primary concern is to serve them: to will their well-being, salvation, and sanctification. But remember that in the family especially; what truly is love will not always be seen as true love by its recipients in the short term, but it will in the long term, which is what matters. Nevertheless remember as well that a love that is not tender, merciful, and compassionate, cannot be called love at all.
  • Show them God’s love not by pretending that giddiness and chattiness achieves anything — supposing that droning on about worldly topics is some sort of evangelization (it isn’t), or that exhibiting an obnoxious excess of joy will somehow magically attract people to Christ (it will only repel them) — rather, show God’s love by way of a deep and mature peace and joy that comes from the absence of fear, the presence of a constant spirit of prayer, and a certain awareness of the fact that nothing but God’s Will can happen.
  • Show them God’s love by refusing to do anything anonymously, semi anonymously, or covertly, that you wouldn’t do while looking the person in the eye — whether online comments, emails, letters, driving maneuvers, gossip, dealing with bureaucrats via phone, online, or behind a desk; or anything of the sort. Instead, show God’s love by, each and every time you hear someone detract or complain about another, being a sower of peace and helping to mend the discord instead of relishing the darkness and appreciating that venom is being directed toward someone else; falsely supposing that this somehow makes you look better.
  • Above all, show them God’s love by your life of prayer and sacrifice for their salvation and sanctification. This of course will garner you no praise on this side of the tomb — for it is entirely hidden — but as such, it is the most powerful and the most pleasing in the sight of God. Do this in the Divine Will and this love you show them will acquire the strength of God’s own infinite Love.

 

Show them God’s love and, in some way, make sure you give Him the credit He deserves for that love, which is entirely His own. Perhaps a visible crucifix worn around the neck; perhaps a Divine mercy image pin; perhaps by handing the person a divine mercy card, perhaps by simply saying “God bless you,” or perhaps simply by nothing more than the deed itself if the one to whom it is done already knows that your love for your brothers proceeds from your love of God, and is for His sake, and is because your brother bears His image. But if you do not in some way try to make sure that God receives the credit for this love (not you), then you risk your act of mercy being nothing other than a nice (but petty) “random act of kindness,” which may succeed in briefly and weakly lightening someone’s day, but will not build up treasures for that person in Heaven.

Do these things — little though they may be — without self-interest, without desire for praise or vain glory, without any carefully devised strategy for earthly gain charting their course — and the chorus of voices that will rise to your vindication on Judgment Day would easily drown out even all of hell shouting against you.

 

For a few years before this particular quote, my email signature had for a long time been another quote:

…the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations…. You have never talked to a mere mortal.

-C.S. Lewis

 

That is what is at stake.