Wednesday, 1 April 2015

What's at Stake at the Synod? Everything!


We are not equal - God isn't a democrat - in just the same way as there is a hierarchy of ranks among the angels there is a hierarchy of human souls and their perfectibility - it's known as Predilection. God loves us all infinitely and calls us to fulfill our created perfectibility - but some are created to be more - to do more [remember the parable of the sower? 30, 60, a hundredfold?]

God loves them more because they are created to be more lovable because they have a vocation to be more... I know it doesn't sound fair but He's God: We're not - we have our place in His divine plan as either tiny cogs or hard-working pistons or massive power-wheels - whatever that position we were made for it - and can achieve perfection within it and be fulfilled with absolute joy and happiness in being everything we were called to be. God made us so we ultimately wouldn't ever wish to be anything but ourselves in our perfection in our part of His Divine plan [this is why envy - wanting to be another - is the greatest sin against oneself]

Finally on this point it must be noted that in regard to Predilection how we repent from and amend for our sins will also be variant - for some it will be easy and lengthy - for others it will be more grueling and intermittent.

Now, secondly we have to understand what the Holy Spirit is about - for most of us the Holy Spirit keeps us in existence, He inspires our intellects with truth, beauty and the notion of the good - which motivates our will to carry out this inspiration freely towards the good - this is what Love is. The Holy Spirit provides us with Sufficient Grace to never sin - He provides our intellects and consciences to be aware of the Good, the True and Beautiful - and we can conform to this and be truly free. Remember the only thing we are ever free to do is to do good - sin is always a denial of our freedom and actually traps us and makes us less free.

Alternatively, we can hoodwink ourselves into thinking happiness may be achieved through another route - a short-cut - an easy way - and hence we lie to ourselves and our God and our created reality and the rest of creation and we commit sin - and in the process we as temples of the Holy Spirit in whom we live, move and have our being - abuse and defy the Lord, the Giver of Life with our lies and sin. These are the only two things we can say we possess - every other thing comes from God, is worked by God and returns to God - every other thing is Grace of which we are unworthy but in which we we happy receivers can and should boast.

Normatively, the Holy Spirit works through Sufficient Grace, but there are times where through an extraordinary act of predelictive Love, the Holy Spirit acts upon us with what's known as efficient Grace - unstoppable, unpreventable grace which compels us towards an act.

There's an old Fulton Sheen story of a wayward alcoholic actress who accepts his invite to see the Church on the proviso he would not ask her to go to Confession - he kept the promise in his own way for as they were touring the Church he opened the confessional door and threw her inside.

Divine Providence decrees that God does this to some of us in extraordinary circumstances. God does not work against our wills - but instead He takes over with Efficient grace to ensure something happens. Think the Conversion of St Paul and other profound conversion stories. Think Miracles. Think the imposition of the knowledge of God upon the Prophets or all who lived and believed during the Incarnation or the appearance of the Sacred Heart or Our Lady. Think of the Promises of Christ regarding Papal Infallibility and the inability of the Gates of the Underworld to prevail against the Church. All this is Efficient Grace - unpreventable, unthwartable - it has nothing to do with the arbitrary, discretionary choices within human free will. God just does it!

Sometimes God uses efficient Grace upon us to actuate His will. Otherwise, it is sufficient grace where we are at the helm of our wills - the Holy Spirit inspires our intellects and carries out our wills - but we choose - we decide. The Holy Spirit does not treat us like puppets or cosmic chess pieces - He limits himself to inspiration of the intellect to motivate the will - we choose whether to conform to that will or not. Hence in matters of the Church the Holy Spirit may inspire - but the Pope and his Brother Bishops and clerics and religious act according to their own either conformed or refusenik wills. The Holy Spirit does not choose a Pope - Cardinals choose a Pope. The Holy Spirit does not appoint Bishops - The Pope does. The Holy Spirit does not gerrymander or rig Synod or Oecumenical council votes - The Pope and Bishops vote.

Now, there is only one real argument against the existence of God - all the others fall apart when rationally confronted with reality but one remains - one so confrontational that it compelled Ivan Karamazov to refuse to participate and return his invitation to belong to God's creation: The problem of Evil and there is only one rational response:

"How else can evil be allowed to exist, save for a greater good?"

God permits evil - He permits sin. Yes - nothing happens but what God wills - but there is a profound difference between what God wished [His Antecedent will] and what God permits [through which He will actuate a greater good] - i.e. His Consequent Will. God's antecedent will was for none to fall, for all to share Heaven in their created perfection with Him for eternity - for all to be saved. God's consequent will - because angels fell, because we fell, because we continue to sin and because ultimately some of us will not wish eternity with Him if the price means dying to our selfish vices - is axiomatically very different from God's original antecedent will.

Therefore when anything happens - we are absolutely forbidden from the presumption that what God's consequent will has permitted remotely conforms to that which His antecedent will desired.
Just because something happens - be it some remarkably fortuitous or ostensibly miraculous event or a revolution or a restoration or discovery or victory over an evil aggressor in war, or alternatively the horror of war and famine and personal tragedies or holocausts upon Jews, Chinese, Russians, the Unborn, our euthanised sick and unwanted, or the ravages of Spanish flu or AIDS or ebola we cannot attribute to God's antecedent will. In fact, we are absolutely prohibited from ever presuming it is part of God's antecedent will [eg Divine vindication/reward or Divine retribution]. It is merely the case that what happens is what God permits. Nor can we surmise His will from the ostensible benefits or the blatantly obvious ravages of what God permits. We are guaranteed that God's resolution of it all is assuredly a greater Good.

Now comes the big crunch question: What in the name of all sanity has any of this to do with the impending Synod on Marriage and the Family? It's about the proposed reception of Holy Communion for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics and active homosexuals, isn't it? That the ongoing mortal sin of adultery and fornication should not be a barrier from being one in communion with one's neighbours? By appealing to mercy and tolerance and the notion of integration and unity and even [ironically] appealing to the notion of solidarity that no-one is isolated or alienated or ostracised? That we all be one?

What has any of this to do with God's sufficient grace or the Holy Spirit not treating us like puppets or God's antecedent and consequent will? Well the answer is quite simple: It has EVERYTHING to do with it! Primarily you have to understand how the world has been contaminated in two ways over the past two centuries - and how this ideological contamination has infected the mind-frame of those within the modern Church.

The first is easily recognised and understood contamination is Evolutionism. This is not meant in the limited biological sense regarding certain developments within certain species, but universal development of everything - absolute ever-fulfilling progressivism summed up by "things can only get better" or rather the promise that "things only do get better"  This is a serious error. For further reading look at the writings of Teilhard de Chardin, Emile Mersch and Karl Rahner and a host of moderns to understand this notion of everything evolving to some ineffable ethereal omega point where we all become so like God we collectively usurp His role in some Buddhist nirvana of everything and nothing.

Secondly we have to get a bit philosophical - and although I'll skip the background of the whole metaphysical potency/act problem in presocratics through stoical pantheism and enlightenment naturalism and pantheism - [which Aristotle and Aquinas perfectly refuted and dealt with], we end up with the nightmare philosophy of Hegel which like a virus has infected every socio-cultural and political ideology of any wing and flavour - be it nazism or Stalinism, capitalism or revolutionary Marxism, libertarianism or totalitarianism.

Now I suppose yet again you're asking - what has Hegel to do with the Synod? Please bear with me for a few more minutes before I tell you. Hegel's philosophy is grounded in two main principles:

The Dialectic - This rests upon the premise that there is no actual truth or understanding of reality, that there cannot be as there is division and dissension and alienation. Therefore all is merely a movement towards a more truthful understanding through a position of compromise and unity between the extremes and tensions of all aspects of reality. In this paradigm, one takes two seemingly opposing positions and seeks the underlying truth within both to synthesise this thesis and antithesis into a higher thesis - which in turn is still imperfect and has opposition through an antithesis and must again be synthesised into a higher thesis into infinity as the process continues.

Now how can we be certain this process works and we won't be misguided or misdirected throughout this? Ah, but that's impossible because there is a 'universal spirit' within reality that seeks this unfolding, flourishing, unifying. coalescing synthesis of the dialectic. The principle at work here is that a spirit is leading ever onward and upward in all spheres of reality towards a universal holism - this spirit is known as The Geist. The Geist ensures the validity and integrity of the ideological system itself and its ultimate destiny in perfection. This, resting not on objective truth but something very tenuous can easily morph into something similar to all our 'utopianisms' of reichs, or a communist world-state, or universal randian liberty, or the integrationist wonderland of the multiculturalist or the feminist or the eco-warrior? We are enslaved to the machinations and functions of the Geist - we are part of a system which is inseparable from this unstoppable force leading humanity towards its inevitable destiny.

Now are you beginning to see where I'm coming from? The development of Doctrine? It being the will of the Holy Spirit ? In this world view, we are mere pawns and puppets of this Divine Will - this movement of this religious geist - the Holy Spirit - towards this evolving ever-re-flourishing progressive end.

In such a spiral,  or vortex, we are to seek an end to division and synthesise into uniformity and unity via a compromise dialectic which will placate and satisfy - where tolerance and 'mercy and charity' dwell - via acceptance of all and the elimination of alienation and ostracism. For we are all equal in the sight of God and none are loved more or less - and equality indicates sameness and uniformity and homogeneity where dissociating divisive factors like difference or independence or non-confomity are anathematised.

The Synod's proposed 'theology of mercy', the Kasperite position, is going to be grounded upon what I call "three great heresies and a lie". The first two heresies are going to be promoted at every opportunity in order to introduce a third with which the Church has been contaminated for centuries and which has manifested itself in three forms of a heresy against God's sufficient grace {Neo-Pelagianism/Molinism- then Jansenism- then Gradualism}. Rebel Bishops sought to impose at the Synod on the Family 35 years ago, but were halted in their tracks by Pope St John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio.

The first heresy is quite obvious:

That everything that happens within the Church conforms to the antecedent will of God - that God wished this for the Church from before creation - and that all movements of the Holy Spirit are manifestations of this Church progression - forward ever forward - we cannot go back - all is development and what God planned.

Of course, we have absolutely no idea whether it does or not. By such time, we will have dispensed with the holy doctrines and the integrity of the Church's discipline, which has been guided by the Holy Spirit. In truth, we are not open to the innermost mysteries of the Divine plan - but it would be the gravest presumption to not believe that the mass exodus out of the Church - that its secularisation and desacralisation - and its loss of the apologetic, its cultural identity and the falling away of so many are not merely what God permits in His consequent will - and were never part of His antecedent. But this naive ludicrous Hegelian optimism that it's all happened because it's what God always wished is a heresy.

The second heresy is simple. It is the idea that we are but pawns and puppets of the Holy Spirit in our wills - our Bishops and clerics and bodies of our reformist laity by their very existence and every thought, word and deed is all subsumed into the system by which the Holy Spirit moves them all towards the desired end. Of course this is a heresy - the Holy Spirit inspires our intellect - and we accept or reject and act accordingly - free will - our choice! We may do good and conform with the Holy Spirit's inspiration - but we can just as easily renege and defy and choose to sin.

Thus these two heresies will be promoted at every opportunity to lay the groundwork for the third. This is the heresy that you can guarantee through the major soundbites and buzzwords from the lips of all those who seek to change Catholic teaching via a perversion of its pastoral implementation by simply desiring it. This will be one of Lebensraum:

"We must allow the Holy Spirit space to reform the Church"

The third heresy is quite confusing, which is probably why during the last Extraordinary Synod there was almost universal ignorance of what the heresy entailed among Catholic journalists, commentators and media representatives who all spoke at great length while claiming great understanding about it, but every last one of them got it wrong.

In Familiaris Consortio Pope St John Paul II refers to the law of gradualism - an easily recognisable phenomenon - our gradual progression through the consequences of our sin after our repentance and absolution we are still weak , weary and scarred and that it will take us a while to gradually heal.

BUT Pope St John Paul II rejects absolutely the heresy known as the Principle of Gradualism.
 I could go into this heresy at great length and explain its intricacies and consequences and the way it destroys the very fabric of the notion of grace and God's love for us and the integrity of the human person, but all you really need to know about it is that quite simply it denies God's sufficient grace to immediately repent of all sin or sinfulness - and the sufficient grace to not sin again.

In other words, using this 'principle' God does not provide sinners with the grace which will prevent them from being able to stop sinning or to not start sinning again. The underlying great lie in it all is 'God doesn't love us enough to get us out of our mess" Therefore, in this heretical viewpoint, all sinners cannot be expected to stop sinning immediately - they must be treated with compassion and understanding to be weaned off from their sinfulness - go on a sin-controlled diet - enter into a sin-reduction spiritual fitness plan, like methadone as replacement for heroin. It cannot be expected for severe or long-term sinners to immediately stop their sins - it is simply 'not possible' for them.

In other words the underlying message of this heresy is that when it comes to repentance and turning away from sin - GOD COMMANDS THE IMPOSSIBLE. This is a diabolical lie. The lie is that God has not provided the sufficient grace - therefore they cannot do it.

Now you see this is where the heresy comes undone and, incidentally, many Church fathers, St Augustine & the Council of Trent absolutely repudiate and refute Gradualism.

The heresy is not going to be very palatable to the collective faithful when it comes to the conclusion that God commands the impossible from sinners. This heresy has its ultimate conclusion that:

We sin and can't stop: and it's God's fault.

Hence the Gradualists - of which Kasper and his cronies are mere successors - have to now insert a lie into the equation. It's irrational - yes it's mendacious - yes it is the actions of anti-intellectual scoundrels, but this is what the Gradualists do if a heresy gives you the principle you want but not the conclusion you desire. You simply change the conclusion.

In order to retain this "Principle of Gradualism" they have to twist the argument on its head. It is not that God commands the impossible. How could He? He's a merciful, tolerant, forgiving, ever-loving and always charitable and inclusive God? It's not God that's demanding the impossible from these poor sinners trapped in their sinful ways needing slow, pastoral assistance and reassurance to slowly reduce their sinfulness. It's not God who is lacking in Love and Mercy.


It is the Church which is cruel and uncharitable and merciless and intolerant with its hyper-proscriptive alientating legalism and Donatism - its judgmentalism upon the sinner [actually it's judging the sin but they're on a roll here]. It is the Church's heartless, calcified, rigorist legalism which is to blame and this is NOT WHAT GOD WANTS!

We are therefore not walking in God's ways. We are not living according to His Gospel and the values of His kingdom. We are standing in the way of His message of welcoming love which calls all sinners to Himself. Remember the ludicrous tag-line to the film "Love Story"? "Love means never having to say you're sorry". Well gradualism considers God's love means 'we have nothing to ever say sorry about'

In other words when Our Lord said, "If you love Me you will keep My commands" He never really meant we had to do it! That's Donatism - that's heartless legalism. Haven't both Donatism and legalism been recently condemned by our Bishops Conference and Pope Francis?

Do you see what's at stake now? Have a little think about the ramifications of a single gradualist principle being inserted in any moral adjudication on pastoral practice and praxis within Holy Mother Church - even to something as seemingly remote as using it to justify the slow reception of people still in mortal sin to reception of the sacraments. A single gradualist principle sets a moral precedent which may subsequently be applied to any and every aspect of Catholic moral teaching and its pastoral applications.

In other words the entirety of moral and pastoral theology - contaminated with the lethal virus that sin is something with which we have to deal with, to negotiate with, compromise with, excuse and slowly wean people off from and lead people away from, becomes a hellish nightmare of counter-productive self-contradicting heterodoxy, lie, fallacy and heresy-in-itself.

Catholic morality in one fell swoop would collapse and fall dead in the water - not merely ineffectual but directly counterproductive - but lethally destructive and toxic! Now, if you wish any further clarifications or explanations please ask in the combox - but I've already spent way too long writing and taken up far too much of your time.

God bless you all - but please pray long and hard for the upcoming Synod, pray the gradualists do not get a foothold, please read some of the Synod committees, especially the French and the English one led by Burke, as they trounce Gradualism underfoot. For if the Gradualists were to succeed? The price would be too high for us all....

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Support the 500 Priests

500 Priests have signed to say that they are in full accord with Jesus Christ our High Priest, the Eternal Word and will defend His Sacred Words, which will never pass away, on marriage.

 I encourage all Guild members and all Catholic bloggers and all readers of this blog to sign.

In support of our priests, our families, and our Church
You may have seen the recent letter from more than 450 priests in support of the Church’s teaching on marriage.
We would like to invite you to sign the letter below, to be sent to the press in support of them, and to encourage others to sign it.
To sign, please leave your name and your diocese in the comments box below, or if you prefer email them to me or to one of the coordinators:
Mark Lambert (
 Andrew Plasom-Scott (
The Letter:
Dear Sir,
We, the undersigned, wish to endorse and support the letter signed by over 450 priests in the recent edition of the Catholic Herald,
As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.
It is precisely for that reason that we believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels, with clarity and charity in a world that struggles to understand it.
For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death.
We pray, and expect, that our hierarchy will represent us, and the Church’s unwavering teaching, at the Synod this autumn.
Yours faithfully,

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Defend the Clergy, Defend the Church

I draw all Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma readers and members to the letter below signed by nearly 500 Catholic priests in England and Wales.

The letter defends and upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church which simply reiterate Christ's own teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

If the Church's teachings on human sexuality, marriage and the predispositions required in order to receive Holy Communion cannot be proclaimed publicly by priests without some kind of criticism from those set in authority over them, then it is doubtful that anyone, at all, can proclaim them.

I urge, therefore, all readers and Guild members to pray for the clergy, to pray for Cardinal Vincent Nichols and to sign this petition in support of the priests who have publicly made known their adherence to the timeless teachings of Christ's Church. The Laity are not in a position of great influence, but the Laity can pray for the clergy and make publicly known their support of those clergy who are standing up for Jesus Christ to be counted in public. The following is a statement made by Cardinal Nichols.

“Every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. It is my understanding that this has been taken up in every diocese, and that channels of communication have been established,” the statement said.

“The pastoral experience and concern of all priests in these matters are of great importance and are welcomed by the Bishops. Pope Francis has asked for a period of spiritual discernment. This dialogue, between a priest and his bishop, is not best conducted through the press.”

As many in the sidebar of this Guild blog have pointed out, His Eminence's statement on the letter to the Press is, unfortunately, riddled with inaccuracies. These are as follows.

Firstly, it is true that every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. This is a request that has come from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. It is also true that the Clergy Reflection from the Bishop's Conference infers in a subtle manner that those who are not open to the 'new vision' proposed by Cardinal Kasper, are similar to the Donatists condemned by St Augustine.

Thus, if this is a 'channel of communication' then it is a channel of communication which, from the outset, unfortunately labels clergy as potential heretics if they do not agree with the Kasper proposal and hold fast to the teachings of Christ and His Church. A respectful and open dialogue, that does not appear to be.

Secondly, Cardinal Vincent Nichols stresses the experience and concerns of priests are welcomed by the Bishops and that this dialogue, between priest and bishop is not best conducted through the press. Yet, nowhere, absolutely nowhere in the letter, is it even indicated that this letter to the Press forms part of the open dialogue between priests and their Bishops. It is a letter, signed by clergy, to the Press, making clear and public their adherence to the Church's Magisterium and the teaches which come from the Lord and His Apostles, guarded and defended by the Church for nearly 2000 years.

Thirdly, having neglected to observe that this letter was not a communication to the Bishops, but to the Press and all who may happen to read it, His Eminence decides to use a statement in the media to publicly rebuke priests who, far from rebuking Bishops or anyone in the Hierarchy, simply made known their support for the teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church.

Astonishingly, to the Laity, Cardinal Vincent Nichols once suggested that those who objected to the infamous Soho Masses should 'hold their tongues'. Even more astonishingly, to the Clergy, Cardinal Vincent Nichols now suggests that - despite their not addressing their concerns to the Bishops, but instead penning a letter to the Catholic and even non-Catholic public, to the faithful and unfaithful - these clergy should 'hold their pens'.

Priests do not require permission from their Bishop to do what every Bishop should be doing - teaching the Catholic Faith to all who wish to listen to it or read it. Their letter does not form a part of the 'ongoing dialogue' between priests and bishops. It is a letter to the Press and the public supporting Jesus's own teachings, which are the Church's own. This Guild speaks on behalf of no personalities in particular. It does not speak for priests or for bishops who are free and able to speak for themselves, but, more hopefully, for Christ. Like the many clergy who signed the letter to the Press, this blog merely seeks to defend, proclaim and to make known the truths of the Catholic Faith, to bring men and women to adore, serve and proclaim the One True God in His Holy Catholic Church. I urge all readers to pray for the Hierarchy and to pray for the clergy.

The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma is a coalition of Catholic bloggers. It is not our aim to use this blog as a vehicle to make personal those critical issues which within the Church are of general concern to us. However, at a time of grave crisis in the Church, a crisis of Faith eluded to frequently by Pope Benedict XVI, I believe I have support from this Guild when I say that no Catholic can simply look away and pretend not to see when Jesus Christ himself is placed on trial by the Church and His Truth becomes questioned by those who He has appointed as Shepherds over His flock. No lay Catholic can simply look away when those Shepherds attempt to - by either public or private means - smother the voices of those priests who believe in Jesus Christ's words, and repeat them for the Salvation of Souls, in honour of the God they serve and in Whose place they stand at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Pray for priests, pray for good and holy Bishops. Pray for the Pope. Pray for the Universal Church.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Excellent News from Wonderful Voice of the Family

Almost 500 priests in England and Wales support traditional marriage.

Much needed affirmation for all of us at this time...

Fr John Abberton, Fr Raymond Abuga MSP, Fr Benedict Bullem Abuo, Fr John Adikwu CM, Fr Richard Aladics, Fr Dominic Allain, Fr Hugh Allan OPraem, Monsignor John Allen, Fr Jim L Allen, Fr Blaise Amadi, Fr Moses Amune, Fr Thomas Amungwa, Fr David Annear, Fr Matt Anscombe, Fr Paul Antwi- Boasiako CSSP, Fr Gabriel Arnold OSB, Fr Thevakingsley Arulananthem OAR, Fr James Austin, Fr Francis Austin, Abbot Francis Baird OSB, Fr Gerard Balinnya, Fr John Barnes, Fr Kurt Barragan, Fr Lee Barrett, Fr Bernard Barrett, Fr Andrew Barrett, Fr Christopher Basden, Fr Jeremy Bath, Fr Antoine Baya OFM, Fr Michael Beattie SJ, Fr Miceal Beatty, Fr Lee Bennett, Fr Jerome Bertram CO, Fr Kazimierz Bidzinski, Fr Pawel Bielak, Fr Jonathan Bielawski, Fr Robert Billing, Fr Martin Birrell OSB, Fr Paul Blackburn, Fr Raymond Blake, Fr Terry Boyle, Fr Constant Botter SCJ, Fr Bede Rowe, Fr Bernard Boylan, Fr Cornelius Boyle, Fr Stephen Boyle, Fr James Bradley, Fr Jonathan Brandon, Fr Martin Breen, Fr John Brennan, Fr Neil Brett, Fr Charles Briggs, Fr Marcus Brisley, Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB, Fr Andrew Brown, Fr Stephen Brown, Fr Martin Budge, Fr Solomon Gidu Bulus, Fr Alan Burgess, Fr Paschal Burlinson OFMCap, Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Fr David Burns, Fr James Burns, Fr Peter Burns, Fr Gerard P Byrne, Fr John Cahill, Fr John Cairns, Fr Xavier Calduch, Fr Joe Calleja, Fr Victor Camilleri OFM, Fr Darren Carden, Fr Patrick Carroll, Fr Bernard Caszo MSFS, FrJohn Chandler, Abbot David Charlesworth OSB, Fr.William Charlton, Fr Neil Chatfield, Fr Gregory Chillman OSB, Fr David Chinnery, Fr Dominic Chukka, Fr Eddie Clare, Fr Basil Clark, Fr James Clark, Fr Peter Clarke, Fr Jose Claveria, Canon Joseph Clements, Fr Michael Clotheir OSB, Canon Matthew Coakley, Fr Anthony Cogliolo, Fr Christopher Colven, Fr Anthony Conlon, Fr Thomas Connolly, Fr Philip Conner, Fr Francis R Cookson, Fr John Cooper, Fr Robert Copsey SOLT, Fr John Corbyn, Fr Eamon Corduff, Fr Hugh Corrigan OAR, Fr James Cosker, Fr Francis Coveney, Fr Ross SJ Crichton, Fr Finton Crotty SSCC, Fr Edward Crouzet OSB, Fr C Crowther, Fr Michael Crumpton, Fr Anthony Cussen SMA, Fr Justin Daanaah, Fr James Daley MHM, Fr William Damah, Fr Michael D’Arcy-Walsh, Fr Jeremy Davies, Fr Philip de Freitas, Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Fr Timothy Dean, Fr Patrick Deegan, Fr Scott Deeley, Fr Richard Diala CM, Fr Paul Diaper, Fr Gary Dickson, Fr Charles Dilk CO, Fr Stephen Dingley, Fr Michael Docherty, Fr Charles Dornan, Fr Kevin Dow, Fr Jeffrey Downie, Fr Francis Doyle, Fr Marcin Drabik, Fr Gerry Drummond, Fr Tom Dubois, Fr John Duckett, Fr Richard Duffield CO, Fr Anthony Dukes, Fr Bruce Dutson, Fr Paul Dynan, Fr Philip Dyson, Fr James Earley, Fr Peter Edwards, Fr Robert Ehileme SMM, Fr Wilfrid Elkin, Fr Mark Elliot-Smith, Fr Joseph Etim, Fr Jude Eze, Fr Josaphat Ezenwa, Fr John Fairhurst SJ, Fr Ian Farrell, Fr Joseph Farrell, Fr Robert Farrell, Fr James Fasakin CSSp, Fr Prassad Fernando, Fr Christopher Findlay – Wilson, Fr Tim Finigan, Fr Kieran Fitzharris SVD, F. Gerald Flood, Fr John Fordham CO, Fr Andrew Forrest, Fr Thomas Forster, Fr Peter Fox, Fr William Fraser, Fr Patrick Gaffney CSSp, Fr Michael John Galbraith, Fr Andrew Gallagher, Fr Francis Gallagher, Fr Michael Gallagher, Fr Piotr Gardon SC, Fr John Gaul SCJ, Fr Guy de Gaynesford, Fr Vincent George CM, Fr Paul Gibbons, Fr Damien Gilhooley, Canon Leo Glancy, Fr Peter Glas, Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP, Fr Gonzalo Gonzales, Fr Maurice Gordon, Canon David Grant, Fr Brian Gray, Fr Andy Graydon, Fr Christopher Greaney, Fr John Greatbatch, Fr Julian Green, Fr Ian Grieves, Fr Nigel Griffin, Fr Philip J Griffin, Fr Tom Grufferty, Fr Jozef Gruszkiewicz, Fr Anton Guziel CO, Fr Bernard Hahesy, Fr Henryk Halman FDP, Fr John Hancock, Fr Neil Hannigan, Fr Francis Capener, Fr Stephen Hardaker, Fr Andrew Harding, Fr Benedict Hardy OSB, Fr David Hartley, Fr Raymond Hayne, Canon Brendan Healy, Fr Ian Hellyer, Fr John Hemer MHM, Fr Simon Henry, Fr Jonathan Hill, Fr Michael Ho-Huu-Nghia, Fr Marcus Holden, Fr Angelus Houle, Fr John Hunwicke, Fr Geoffrey Hurst, Fr David Hutton, Fr Patrick Hutton, Fr Raymond Hynes OFM, Fr Jude Iseorah SMM, Fr.Matthew Jakes, Fr Dylan James, Fr Slawomir Jedrych, Fr John Johnson, Fr Michael Jones, Fr Peter Jones, Fr Darryl Jordan, Fr Kevin Jordan, Fr Nicholas Kavanagh, Fr Brendan Kelly, Fr Daniel M Kelly, Fr John B Kelly, Fr Michael Kelly, Fr Peter Kelly, Fr Joseph Kendall, Fr Vincent Kennedy OFM, Fr John Kennedy, Fr Ian Ker, Fr Brendan Killeen, Fr Peter Kirkham, Monsignor David Kirkwood, Fr Krzysztof Kita, Fr Peter Knott SJ, Fr Vitalis Kondo, Fr Jaroslaw Konopko OFMCap, Fr Saji Matthew Koottakithayil MSFS, Fr Wojciech Kowalski SDS, Fr Douglas Lamb, Fr Michael Lang CO, Fr Julian Large CO, Fr John Laybourn, Fr Brian Leatherland, Fr.Paul Lester, Fr Nicholas Leviseur, Fr Jacob Lewis, Canon Michael Lewis, Fr Joseph Liang AA, Fr Gladstone Liddle, Fr Christopher Lindlar, Fr Denys Lloyd, Fr Laurie Locke, Canon Bernard Lordan, Fr Christopher Loughran, Fr Roy Lovatt, Fr Robbie Low, Fr Alexander Lucie Smith, Fr John Lungley, Canon Brendan MacCarthy, Canon John Angus MacDonald, Fr Stanislaus Maciuszek, Fr Hugh MacKenzie, Canon Peter Magee, Fr Brian O Mahony CSSP, Fr Kieran Mullarkey, Fr John Maloney, Fr Aleksander Marcharski, Fr Geoffrey Marlor, Fr Francis Marsden, Fr Bernard Marsh, Fr Terry Martin, Fr John Masshedar, Fr William Massie, Fr Michael Bateman, Fr Stephen Maughan, Fr Laurence Mayne, Fr Paul McAlinden, Fr James McAuley, Canon Anthony McBride, Monsignor Canon Kenneth McBride, Fr Ian McCarthy, Fr Derrick McCulloch, Fr John McCullough, Fr.David McDonald, Canon John McElroy, Fr John McFadden CSSP, Fr Terry McGarth MSFS, Fr Brian McGilloway, Fr Denis McGillycuddy, Fr Brendan McGuinness SDB, Fr Rupert McHardy CO, Canon Patrick McInally, Fr Bernard McInulty, Fr Michael McLaughlin, Fr William McMahon, Fr Martin McPake SVD, Fr Anthony Meredith SJ, Fr Stuart Meyer, Fr Nazarius Mgungwe, Fr Jan Milcz CSsR, Fr Philip Miller, Canon Paul Mitcheson, Fr Thomas Monaghan, Fr.Augustine Monaghan MHM, Monsignor Vaughan Morgan, Fr Richard Moroney, Fr Mark Morris, Fr Stephen Morrison OPraem, Fr Frederick Moss MHM, Fr Andrew Moss, Fr Deodat Msahala, Fr Clement M Mukuka, Fr Ted Mullen IC, Fr Ghislain B Mulumanzi, Fr John Mundackal, Fr Aidan Murray SDB, Monsignor Provost Cyril Murtagh, Fr Noel Bisibu N’Tungu, Fr Bijoy Chandra Nayak CMF, Fr James Neal, Fr Arthur Nearey, Fr Roger Nesbitt, Fr Peter Newsam, Fr Ponder Paulinus Ngilangwa SDS, Fr Guy Nicholls, Fr Aidan Nichols, Fr Julius Nkafu, Fr Peter Norris, Fr Bernardine Nsom, Canon Kevin O Connor, Fr Dominic O Conor, Fr Liam O Conor, Fr Patrick O Doherty, Fr Kevin O Donnell, Canon Vincent O Hara ODC, Fr Conleth O Hara CP, Fr Dominic O Hara, Fr Andrew O Sullivan, Fr Kevin O Toole, Fr Robert Ogbede CM, Fr Flavin Ohayerenwa CSSp, Fr Tobias Okoro, Fr Addison Opkeoh, Fr.Clement Orango MCCJ, Fr John Osman, Fr Arockia Mariadass Pagyasamy OCD, Fr Binu Palakapally IC, Fr David Palmer, Fr Fortunato Partisano, Fr John Pascoe, Fr Michael Patey, Fr Eoin Patten, Fr Sunny Paul, Fr Maurice Pearce, Fr Anthony Pellegrini, Fr Neil Peoples, Fr Leon Pereira OP, Fr David Phillips, Fr Terry Phipps, Fr.Andrew Pinsent, Fr Dawid Piot, Fr Anthony Plummer, Fr John Lawrence M. Polis FI, Fr Graham Preston, Fr James Preston, Fr Peter Preston SDS, Fr Robert Pytel, Fr Gerard Quinn, Fr Behruz Rafat, Fr N Ratu, Fr John Ravensdale, Fr David Rea, Monsignor Gordon Read, Monsignor Alex Rebello, Fr Charles Reddan SDS, Fr Alexander Redman, Fr Stephen Reynolds, Fr John Rice, Fr Graham Ricketts, Fr Jonathan Rollinson OSB, Fr George M Roth FI, Fr Andrew Rowlands, Canon Luiz Ruscillo, Fr Tadeusz Ruthowski, Fr Paschal Ryan, Fr Mario Sanderson, Fr John Saward, Fr Nicholas Schofield, Fr Alphege Stebbens OSB, Fr Francis Selman, Fr Jean Claude Selvini, Very Rev’d Fr Daniel Seward CO, Fr John Sharp, Fr Alexander Sherbrooke, Fr John Shewring, Fr Chris Silva, Fr William Simpson, Fr Bernard Sixtus, Fr Thomas Skeats OP, Fr Gerard Skinner, Fr John Smethurst, Fr Bernard Snelder MHM, Fr Pryemek Sobczak, Fr Edward Sopala, Fr Michael Spain OCD, Fr Roger Spencer, Fr.Simon Stamp, Fr Andrew Starkie, Fr Pawel Stebel, Fr Jeffrey Steel, Monsignor George Stokes, Fr Brian Storey, Monsignor Richard Stork, Fr Damian Sturdy OSB, Fr Shaun Swales, Fr Martin Sweeney MHM, Fr Mark Swires, Fr Roman Szczypa SDB, Fr Ryssard Taraszka, Fr Brian Taylor, Fr Christopher A Thomas, Fr Sean Thornton, Fr Matthew Thottathimyali, Fr Adrian Tomlinson, Fr Edward Tomlinson, Fr Dennis Touw, Fr Simon Treloar, Canon Harry Turner, Fr Andrew Undsworth, Fr John Vallomprayil SDS, Fr Edward van den Bergh CO, Fr Ian Vane, Fr Peter Vellacott, Fr Gregory Verissimo, Fr Mark Vickers, Fr Neil Vincent, Fr David Waller, Fr Gary Walsh, Fr John Walsh, Fr Joseph Walsh, Fr Patrick Walsh, Fr Victor Walter, Fr Edward Wanat SDS, Fr Peter Wareing CMF, Fr Ged Watkins, Fr Peter Wells, Fr Richard Whinder, Fr Henry Whisenant, Fr Joseph Whisstock, Fr.David J White, Fr Christopher Whitehouse, Fr William Wilby, Fr Bruno Witchalls, Fr Anthony Wood, Fr Jeffrey Woolnough, Fr William Wright OSB, Fr William R Young, Fr Lucjan Zaniewski OFMCap, Fr Richard Mary Zeng SDS, Fr Paul Zielinski, Fr Bartholomew Zubeveil CSSp

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

An Old Argument Which Is Needing Clarification

The long teaching of the Church is that the old covenant was abrogated and superseded by the New Testament, embodied in Christ Himself.

Pope Pius XII repeated what was said in the Council of Florence, that the covenant of the Jews had been abolished.

Here is Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, an infallble document, not an apostolic letter.

29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area - He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] - the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] "To such an extent, then," says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, "was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom." [35]
30. On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. "For it was through His triumph on the Cross," according to the teaching of the Angelic and Common Doctor, "that He won power and dominion over the gentiles";[38] by that same victory He increased the immense treasure of graces, which, as He reigns in glory in heaven, He lavishes continually on His mortal members; it was by His blood shed on the Cross that God's anger was averted and that all the heavenly gifts, especially the spiritual graces of the New and Eternal Testament, could then flow from the fountains of our Savior for the salvation of men, of the faithful above all; it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been untied to this Mystical Body through the waters of Baptism except by the salutary virtue of the Cross, by which they had been already brought under the complete sway of Christ.

More later...but one more thing.

In the new translation of the Novus Order, the covenant is referred to clearly...the prayer is for the Jews to accept the New Covenant of Christ.  The Pope Emeritus, through the insistence of the new translation, took the onus of condemnation off the people and emphasized the covenant needing to be accepted, the real covenant. Simple truth...

Let us pray also for the Jewish people, to whom the Lord our God spoke first, that he may grant them to advance in love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. (Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:) Almighty ever-living God, who bestowed your promises on Abraham and his descendants, hear graciously the prayers of your Church, that the people you first made your own may attain the fullness of redemption. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Friday, 13 March 2015

Catholic Blogger Joins the Guild

Good news! An Oxford-based Catholic blogger, Once I Was A Clever Boy, has joined The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

We welcome Once I Was A Clever Boy to the Guild. May Blessed Titus Brandsma intercede for us all as we endeavour as Catholic bloggers to evangelise using the internet, seeking to draw men and women closer to Christ in His Holy Church.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Repost as we are on the subject....

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

For Synod Members

I wish a few of those clerics at the Synod would re-read The Book of Tobit. (Tobias) as one of the main themes in this book is the sacredness of marriage.

The entire point of young Tobit having to overcome the demon Asmodeus, also known as Abaddon, the Destroyer, who is also the demon mentioned in Revelation and one of the demons worshiped by the Masons at high levels, as the demon of death, is that marriage is for growing holy and becoming holy together.

See the connections? A demon which is the destroyer, an enemy of the Church, one connected to lust, greed, power, and is also called Apollyon, the prince of hell and minister of death.

This demon, according to Hebrew and Catholic sources creates "havoc" or "chaos" on earth.

I hope you are seeing a pattern here.

Catholic scholars identify this demon in Job, Proverbs, as well as Revelation.

This demon is stalking and stomping about Rome at this very moment.

According to some scholars, Apollyon is called the Exterminans. (St. Jerome may have been the first to use this term--I am not sure; but Exterminans is in the Vulgate. This demon wants to destroy the Church.

If I could talk to one cardinal or bishop at the Synod, I would share this information, which is part of our tradition.

Sarah's first seven "husbands" were killed by Asmodeus because these men were marrying her out of lust and this demon could claim them, as he is lust in some traditions.

Tobit and Sarah had to implore God's grace, leave lust, dedicate themselves to a holy marriage, keeping God first.

Should not the Synod members remember this?

The Archangel Raphael, the Healer, who is Healing, as angels are what they do, delivered, through Tobit, the demon from Sarah's presence, enabling a happy, holy, fruitful marriage.

This must be a lesson for our times, in the face of all the aberrations surrounding marriage as seen in the discussions posted yesterday.

I wish they would all read and meditate on Tobit and the journey to holiness in marriage.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

This Blog is at the Centre of Real Catholic News in the Media

This blog is the center of real Catholic news and commentary, more so than the plethora of media outlets in Britain. None of the so-called Catholic newspapers or magazines or periodicals report what is on this blog. Read the full account of Cardinal Burke's Chester talk on 'Remaining in the Truth in Christ on Marriage' and the article below.

Orate Fratres: Cardinal Raymond Burke Visits the United Kingdom


Catholics who believe, uphold and who strive to live the Church's timeless teachings - followers of Jesus Christ - feel at once undervalued and overwhelmed by the direction the Church appears to be taking at the current time. As members of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, all Catholic bloggers who have joined made known their commitment to the Magisterium of the Church, the Church's infallible teachings. Little did we know when we established this online blogging community devoted to the New Evangelisation, that the Magisterium would come under such grave threats as it does in the current day from within.

Cardinal Burke talks on marriage at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Chester

Defender of the Faith at the Synod on the Family

It is no surprise therefore that so many Catholics who feel confused and pained by events in Rome during, for instance, the Synod on the Family last year, look forward with trepidation to the Synod's conclusions this year in October. Public and prominent critics of both the manipulation that took place at the Synod and of the ambiguous language contained within the Synod's chief documents look for members of the Hierarchy to speak clearly of Jesus Christ and His saving truth. There are a number who have spoken out publicly in defence of Christ's own teachings on marriage and the family, but they are not a great many.

Step forward, then, the man who emerged at the Synod as the leader of those voicing utmost concern at the concerning scenes that took place last year, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Cardinal Burke already had numerous enemies on the outside, and has made several enemies in high places in the Church, but to meet Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke you would never know that he was under any kind of strain. If this man has the weight of the crisis in the Church on his shoulders, he does not let that show. His charisma, if we can call it charisma, is quiet, prayerful, reflective but the difference between him and many of his brother bishops and cardinals appears like night and day. It was a great honour, as Chairman of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, to be present at a wonderful talk given by Cardinal Burke in Chester and to be present at a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the magnificent 'Dome of Home', Sts Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton.

Photograph copyright of Philip Chidell

"These aren't my own thoughts."

Most commentators saw the Cardinal's move from the highest court in the Vatican to a new titular role as Patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta as a 'demotion' at the hands of Pope Francis yet, for now, Cardinal Burke enjoys a certain freedom that makes his ability to travel and to give a trustworthy Shepherd's support to Catholics in a time of great confusion within the Church a source of great joy to those whose spirits feel decidedly crushed. His sidelining from the heart of Vatican life mirrors quite poignantly, quite perfectly the feelings of onlooking Catholics who feel their voice - the voice of fidelity to the Church's teachings - is neither welcomed nor adequately heard.

It is clear that Cardinal Burke, in a time described by Bishop Athansius Schneider as the 'fourth great crisis of the Church', has decided to stand resolutely for Jesus Christ and His Teachings in an age in which so many prelates in the Church are making moves that signal a move away from proclaiming the truth, under the mantra of 'mercy', making that truth harder and harder to hear and to discover afresh as if Catholic truth was a toxic substance harmful to the Church's children. It is clear, likewise, that this Cardinal will say what he believes must be said in defence of the truth about human sexuality, life and marriage, as well as the Sacraments, come what may.

While some prelates win popularity simply by virtue of their personality or their ability to work a crowd, Cardinal Raymond Burke has won a place in the heart of Catholics by radically different means. If you wanted to sum up Cardinal Raymond Burke's approach to the Faith, it could well be found in a response he gave after his talk in Chester in which he told someone who appeared critical of a 'closed-mindedness' about His Eminence's talk. His reply was, "these aren't my own thoughts". Indeed, Cardinal Burke's strength is in his ability to state the truth stated by Popes, Saints and Fathers of the Church without presenting his own personality and personal opinions. In these days, everyone in the Church has an opinion, but not everybody has a deep love for the truth.

Cardinal Burke offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Dome of Home

Shifting Sands

And it is the truth of Jesus Christ that is at the heart of Cardinal Burke's themes. It is the truth that the Cardinal, politely, but firmly, places as a lamp on a lampstand, rather than hidden away as so many prefer it. These are challenging doctrines, 'hard teachings' that place us on the narrow way, on welcoming every human life, being open to life, on the permanence, indissolubility and exclusivity of marriage, on the evils of abortion, artificial contraception, homosexual unions and divorce. These are matters which, when raised, bring certain condemnation from people now within but always without the Church, yet as the Cardinal said, "these are not my own thoughts". This is the truth of Christ our Lord. The Cardinal is refreshing because grace and truth are refreshing and always attractive. At at time when the ground beneath faithful Catholics feels like it is shifting on sand, the rock-like solidity and clarity of Cardinal Burke's doctrinal positions and clear, unambiguous statements, as well as courageous fidelity to the liturgical tradition of the Church have become a great consolation to clergy and laity alike. It is no wonder, then, that so many turned up to hear him speak, to meet him, to pray at Mass celebrated by him and to thank him.

Like the happy scenes that welcomed Bishop Athanasius Schneider during his visit to the United Kingdom, Cardinal Burke received great applause after his talk on 'remaining in the truth of Christ on marriage', a talk given at Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Chester. The talk centred on the essays within the book of the same name which has since become known for its causing such controversy among the Synod's organisers, that it was intercepted as mail when it was delivered to the bishops present at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014.

And like Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Raymond Burke has a fixed place in the heart of English Catholics not because he is a wonder-worker, nor because he promises a new era that helps us to feel more comfortable in our lukewarmness, nor because he promises a revolutionary attitude to doctrines. He isn't preaching a new doctrine. His popularity has grown among Catholics because he is brave, virtuous, polite, courteous, prayerful, exudes a certain warmth and quiet holiness, respects God and man and simply re-states, often in the words of others, that which has been said before. It cannot be said enough, nor too often, how much we Catholics need and appreciate that in these dire times.

Like the beacon of hope that is the Dome of Home that welcomed sea-farers back to the Wirral Peninsula from rough seas, Cardinal Raymond Burke shines the lamp of Catholic truth for those who are seeking the truth, at a time when that light seems to grow dimmer. No grand gestures, no kissing, no hugging, no spin, no PR, just a love for truth and a quiet holiness and great clarity of mind, yet, for these simple qualities, and to the Voice of the Family and the SPUC who made these wonderful talks possible, many Catholics today thank Almighty God. Do as Cardinal Burke asked me to do for him and keep him in your prayers.

More photographs, taken by and copyright of Philip Chidell, of Cardinal Raymond Burke's visit to New Brighton can be seen here.

Photographs of Solemn High Mass at St Augustine's Shrine in Ramsgate are here Read a priest's report of Ramsgate here.

Cardinal Burke's Chester talk can be read in full here.

A report on the SPUC Youth Conference, which was fully booked out can be read here.

A report on the meeting of Cardinal Burke with the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy can be read here

Monday, 9 March 2015


Photos of Cardinal Burke's Mass are available four parts in four posts.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Willing Blindness Part Five: Grace vs. Magical Thinking

Can I blame Walt Disney and Tinker Bell? Can I try and find a pattern as to why so many men and women in their 70s on down do not understand the theology of the sacraments? Talking with someone who has not been to Church in years and thinks she is saved because of that action clearly indicates a Catholic infected with "magical thinking". 

A person who has apostatized thinks he can "con" God by doing good works outside the life of the sacraments, indulges in magical thinking.

Magical thinking seems to be the most common problem I constantly meet with Catholics regarding Baptism, Confirmation and the Last Rites.

Serious problems exist because many Catholics do not understand that the sacraments bring responsibility and must be met with responsibility. People do not understand grace.

Magical thinking is indicated by people who think that baptism of infants whose parents are either atheists, a priest told me that many priests baptize infants of practicing atheists and a priest in Walsingham a few years ago baptized anyone's children without preparation of any kind), or non-practicing Catholics. This is against the Canons, but indicates a lack of understanding on the part of the priests and the parents. Why would atheists, who have no intention of raising their children Catholic, desire baptism? Why would fallen away Catholics seek baptism for their children, when there is no demand that they come back into the Church or take classes? Grace is given but not "kept" in a bottle. Unless the children are raised in grace, they will quickly fall into mortal sin, or habits of venial sin, which will lead to mortal sin.

Why do priests baptize infants and children of pagans, who will not raise their children in the Faith? I now know several priests in different dioceses who know the Canons and ignore these. Why? Is this taught in the seminaries? Are bishops aware that this goes on in their dioceses?

Baptism takes away Original Sin and gives sanctifying grace. It makes a child an adopted child of God, and a member of the Catholic Church. Grace is not pixie dust. 

Magical thinking states that baptism saves a person once and for all-the fundamental option. Magical thinking ignores the fact that grace is given freely by God, not earned, not kept under the circumstances of serious sin.

Magical thinking supposes the person stays in sanctifying grace without the sacraments or training to be a Catholic.

Magical thinking is protestant. The same magical thinking applies to Confirmation, when priests confirm young people who are not going to Mass on Sunday and are contracepting, clearly in mortal sin and not able to receive grace, which is only "receivable" if one is already in sanctifying grace.

Magical thinking wishes that people are saved without their free will being involved. Grace informs the intellect. Grace is given to us rational creatures so that we can choose the correct way to go spiritually, morally. 

Magical thinking denies free will. We choose God and good. We have a lifetime to do this. We must respond to grace and work for our salvation in fear and trembling, states St. Paul.

Sanctifying grace is not a permanent state, nor is it once and for all, as many Protestants believe. It can be lost and in the case of mortal sin. We are deprived of sanctifying grace by the sin of Adam and Eve, and we must, therefore, be baptized. But we can lose that state of grace and those who no longer go to Sunday Mass, or abort, or contracept, or are in irregular marriages, have not only removed themselves from sanctifying grace, but from the community of God, the Church.

Here is the CCC on this point and I put this in bold type"

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

Any idea less is magical thinking. Here is the CCC again.

The Baptism of infants
1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51
1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53

Faith and Baptism
1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!"
1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

As to the Last Rites...

Some people have been led to believe by some religious leaders, lay and priests, that people can be saved by certain prayers of others outside of the indulgences granted by the Vatican. Again, this is magical thinking. Faith allows us to pray for the dead and have Masses said for the dead. But, plenary indulgences are for the souls in purgatory, and may be prayed for those who have died outside the Church, but these indulgences are not prayers outside the merit of the entire Catholic Church. Quite the contrary. The Church passes the merit onto those people. Merit is gained by those Catholics who are in the state of grace.

We are called to evangelize, and to baptize, and no amount of magical thinking can substitute for spreading the Gospel.

Later, the types of graces....
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