Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Merry Christmas 2010! God bless you and your loved ones. Christ is born! Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ. Dear readers, pray for me, a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

On the day of 25 December

In the countless ages that have passed since the beginning of the world when God created Heaven and earth and formed man in His own image and likeness; also in the very many ages since the Most High placed an arc in the clouds following the flood, the sign of the Covenant and of peace; since the migration of Abraham, our father in faith, from Ur of the Chaldeans in the twenty-first century; since the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt under the leadership of Moses in the thirteenth century; since the anointing of David as king around the year one thousand; in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophet Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiade; in the seven hundred fifty-second year since the foundation of the City [of Rome]; in the forty-second year of the emperor Octavian Caesar Augustus, when the whole world lay at rest in peace, Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world through His most merciful coming, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since His conception, was born in Bethlehem of Judea having become man from the Virgin Mary: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. -- USCCB website

Friday, December 17, 2010

What the Catholic Church Does for Women (Intro)

For my Church in Controversy final, due today. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

"But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy everyone that asks you a reason of that hope which is in you" [1 Pt 3:15].

What the Catholic Church Does for Women
1. What does history indicate? Is the Catholic Church woman’s best friend or her terrible foe? The answer depends on whose standards we follow. Those of us who are called—I do not presume we are also chosen (cf. Mt 22:14)—understand by faith that "we ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Which God? The triune God (1 Jn 5:7), "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Ex 3:6). Christ our God (Titus 2:13), Who founded the Church upon St. Peter (Mt 16:18-19) and "purchased [it] with His own Blood" (Jn 20:28), told His disciples, "if [a man] will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican" (Mt 18:17). We must "obey [our] prelates and be subject to them" (Heb 13:17), since "he that hears [them] hears [Christ], and he that despises [them] despises Christ" (Lk 10:16). Therefore our standards of what is good for the dignity and flourishing of women shall be those taught by the magisterium of "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

False Ecumenism

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One of the members of the ByzCath forums said to me concerning my response on veneration of post-schism Orthodox saints,
In spite of Dr. Ludwig Ott, I think you will find on this Forum precious little sympathy (and absolutely none from me personally) for the idea that the Orthodox are schismatics or that it is impossible for the Orthodox to achieve sainthood or that the Orthodox Church is a less certain path to salvation than is the Catholic Church.
Why become Catholic instead of Orthodox, then? Dogmatic differences simply do not matter in this nonsensical worldview! Let us, following the canon law of the Church, call a spade a spade. CIC 751 (1983): "Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; ... schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." Orthodox Christians who consciously reject Catholic dogmas (papal primacy, Filioque, etc.) and shun communion with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of Rome are objectively guilty of formal heresy and formal schism and cannot be saved if they die in these dispositions. This is necessary to confess in light of Pope Eugene IV of Rome (1431-1447) on 2/4/1440, Bull "Cantate Domino" at 17th Ecumenical Council (of Florence) [D714].
Ecumenism does not mean denying the dogma of no salvation outside the Church just because that might hurt someone's feelings! It is heresy to deny that Orthodox Christians must become Catholic or explicitly desire to become Catholic in order to be saved. Another forum member said, in defense of my post, that "the position espoused by Raphael does reflect the beliefs of many pious and well-intentioned Catholics." However, it is the dogmatic position of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the members of which are in communion with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of Rome, not just a theologumenon of many Catholic faithful! That is precisely why I cited dogmatic statements that are found in Denzinger, with which the Vatican II statements that some ByzCath members harp on are in perfect continuity! Some of the items cited in Denzinger are even to be found in footnotes of the Vatican II decrees.

A moderator said, "while we believe that the visible outlines of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church subsist in the Catholic Church there are others who can make the same claim and we are not to deny their claim." Yes we are (with charity, of course)! That is why in n. 56 of the Declaration Dominus Iesus: On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, says,
The interpretation of those who would derive from the formula subsistit in the thesis that the one Church of Christ could subsist also in non-Catholic Churches and ecclesial communities is therefore contrary to the authentic meaning of Lumen gentium. "The Council instead chose the word subsistit precisely to clarify that there exists only one 'subsistence' of the true Church, while outside her visible structure there only exist elementa Ecclesiae, which — being elements of that same Church — tend and lead toward the Catholic Church" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Notification on the Book "Church: Charism and Power" by Father Leonardo Boff: AAS 77 [1985], 756-762).
Here is what I posted:
The issue [re:veneration of post-schism Orthodox saints] is the doubt as to whether many of these men on the calendars were Catholic, since, as Dr. Ludwig Ott says, the proposition "Membership of the Church is necessary for all men for salvation" is De fide (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 1957 edition, p. 310), that is, necessary to believe with divine and Catholic faith under pain of automatic excommunication (CIC 751; 1364 §1). If someone were to knowingly and deliberately refuse to become Catholic before death, he would die a formal schismatic who is not a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church either "in re" or even "in voto" via explicit desire. If the Church is able to come to a moral certainty (not necessarily a scientific certainty) that the person in question died a fully incorporated member of the Catholic Church (CCC 837) or died desiring to become Catholic (even after a long period of anti-Catholicism), she can approve veneration of such saints.

For more info on this dogma of the Church, consult the following magisterial pronouncements:
*Pope Pelagius II of Rome (579-590) in 585, Letter 4 "Dilectionis vestrae" to the schismatic bishops of Istria in PL 72:710D-715B [D247]
*Pope Innocent III of Rome (1198-1216) on 12/18/1208, Profession of Faith Prescribed for Durand of Osca and his Waldensian Companions, from the letter "Fitts exemplo" to the Archbishop of Terraco [D423]
*Twelfth Ecumenical Council (Lateran IV in 1215 under Pope Innocent III), Definition directed against the Albigensians and other heretics [D430]
*Pope Boniface VIII of Rome (1294-1303) on 11/18/1302, Bull "Unam Sanctam" [D468-469]
*Pope Clement VI of Rome (1342-1352) on 9/20/1351, Letter "Super quibusdam" to the Consolator, the Armenian Catholicos Mekhitar I of Cilicia (1341-1355) [D570B]
*Pope Eugene IV of Rome (1431-1447) on 2/4/1440, Bull "Cantate Domino" at 17th Ecumenical Council (of Florence) [D714]
*18th Ecumenical Council (of Trent, 1545-1563) under Pope Paul III of Rome (1534-1549) on 1/13/1547, Decree of Justification chapters 4-5, 8, 14 [D796-797, 801, 807]
*Pope Benedict XIV of Rome (1740-1758) on 3/16/1743, Profession of Faith prescribed for the Maronites [D1473]
*Bl. Pope Pius IX of Rome (1846-1878) on 12/9/1854, Allocution "Singulari Quadem" [D1647-1648]
*Idem. on 8/10/1863, Encyclical Letter "Quanto conficiamur moerore" to the bishops of Italy [D1677-1678]
*Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1878-1903) on 6/29/1896, Encyclical letter "Satis cognitum" [D1955]
*Ven. Pope Pius XII of Rome (1939-1958) on 6/29/1943, Encyclical letter "Mystici Corporis Christi" 22, 56-57 [D2286, 2288]


My dear readers, pray for us sinners, especially the wretched author of this blog!

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

The solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, truly full of grace and blessed among women, preserved at very first moment of her conception from the stain of original sin through the foreseen appearance and saving death of the Son of God by a singular privilege of God, which was solemnly defined on this very day by Pope Pius IX as a fixed dogma handed down in truth from ancient times. -- USCCB website

Holy Immaculate Mary, Thrice-Blessed Ever-Virgin Mother of God, pray for us wretches!!!

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.