What to Think of “Saint” John Paul II in light of Assisi 1986


St. John Paul II


A reader, in consequence to reading my last article on Assisi 1986, made the following comment to me (see italic below), and I responded in four points further below.

“I get that Honorius was a heretic, and was still the Pope, and that doesn’t break Catholicism. But Honorious was also condemned as a heretic. What if he had been canonized as a saint instead? What would you make of that?

John Paul II was *manifestly* heterodox by the standards of Pre Vatican II Catholicism. Pius X and Pius XI would have totally considered him a modernist for interfaith worship. You can’t for a second convince me that isn’t the case.

And yet, Francis has *canonized him as a saint*. And not just him, but John XXIII and Paul VI as well.

The ‘trads way out’ here seems to be, in essence, ‘Well, but canonizations aren’t infallible, or even if they are, they only mean a person is in heaven and a person can do all kinds of horrible things and still be in heaven.’  Yet Pius XI taught that saints are ‘an example for every class and profession.’

How has the ordinary magisterium not basically rubber stamped error at this point, by canonizing all the popes of Post Vatican II?” Continue reading

The “Spirit of Assisi” Must Be Burned


Pagan converts burning their Magic books as a result of St. Paul’s preaching in Ephesus

Many Catholics have been distraught by the radical departure from the basic and elementary message of the Catholic faith which, for 2,000 years, has always presented itself as the single Truth by which mankind will find salvation. Why is it that one of the globe’s most popular Catholic evangelists, Bishop Robert Barron, can go live on television and openly promote the idea that if a practicing Jewish non-believer in Christ, Ben Shapiro, were to simply follow his conscience, albeit under the auspices of God’s grace in Christ, he can escape the judgment of God and be saved in the last Day? Why is it that, when given the chance to clarify  this (click here, Q&A begin @ minute 28:00), he shows no remorse for it, but rather persists in defending himself regardless of his promotion of indifferentism? Of course, Bishop Barron attempts to get this mess within the orange cones of Catholic orthodoxy by suggesting that the 2nd Vatican Council spoke to the possibility of attaining to salvation outside the confines of the Catholic Church and her physical sacraments. I’ve already written extensively (see here, here, and here) on why Barron’s public presentation still comes far from faithfully communicating the teaching of the Church even with the grant of said exceptional possibility. Continue reading

Penal Substitution in the Church Fathers


Here are voices from both the East and West over the course of the 4th to 7th centuries. In my opinion, it is clear that the Fathers believed that the penal consequence of our sin, namely,  the curse of death, was visited by God upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ our God had no sin of his own, and yet he faces the penal consequences of having sinned. This does not entail the straw man which posits the Father got emotionally disturbed and poured out His holy and undiluted fury upon the Son, but it does mean more than merely a positive righteousness which merited salvation. There is also the matter of satisfying divine justice by allowing Christ to pay off the debt of death precisely by dying. Continue reading

Massa Damnata Test of Orthodoxy: Can You Say That Many Will Perish?


Day of the Lord Icon

Ever since the 20th century, the Catholic Church’s Ecumenical movement has effected a massively different outlook on the scene of the world. From the 19th century backwards, Catholics believed that non-Catholics, and especially non-Christians, had no sure hope of attaining eternal life in Jesus Christ. Oh yes, I realize that Pope Pius IX speaks to the exceptional possibility of salvation outside the visible bounds of the Catholic Church (i.e. invincible ignorance and perfect contrition/charity under the auspices of God’s grace), but for the most part, if you were not a Catholic, your soul was in great danger of hell fire if you did not repent and enter into the Church through the holy bath of Baptism. Certainly, from the 17th century backwards, there was an even stronger sense that all who are without the Church and die in their sins will be damned. And yet, today we have Catholic scholars, high clergyman, and theologians professing to hold that, in the end, all men will be saved. Oh yes, they make sure they do not assert so blatantly that this is a certain fact of revelation, but a reasonable hope. Continue reading

Seeds of Liturgical Utilitarianism

An excellent piece deserving of attention from Traditional Catholics.


“One can see the same utilitarian and instrumentalizing trend in the development of the “private Mass” in the late first-millennium West. This reduced, if not in essence then certainly in appearances, the inherently communal liturgy into the priest-monk’s tool for daily personal sanctification and edification……Another seed is the gradual abandonment of the choral obligation of the Office (which in many places, according to Fr. Robert Taft, also implied a canonical obligation for laity [!] to attend!), in favor of private individual recitation. If we concede that a priest settled comfortably into an armchair by the fire silently mouthing the words of a Breviary by himself qualifies as “liturgy,” and are completely comfortable with setting the canonical bar there, should we really be that surprised at the prevailing utilitarianism of both clergy and laity when it comes to liturgy in general? There is also the medieval multiplication of stipend-Masses for the private intentions of the stipend-givers, a well-oiled machinery of sacramental efficacy if there was one…..”

Tom's Digest

Peter Kwasniewski’s newest post on New Liturgical Movement struck a chord with me when he discussed the relationship between the Mass and the Divine Office:

[T]he Divine Office . . . is pure verbal incense, burned up in the presence of the Lord, and for His sake. This is not to say that we do not benefit from it; quite the contrary. St. Thomas Aquinas says plainly enough that since we cannot improve God by our worship, any benefits must accrue to us. But the benefit consists in the very doing of it, not in something other than the doing of it. Perhaps this is why the Office has fallen on such hard times: for pragmatic, utilitarian, materialistic people such as we modern Westerners are — even, at times, in spite of our best intentions — the Office fails to “deliver the goods.” Where’s the thing we get at the…

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Sebastian Franck: A Consistent Protestant


Sebastian Franck

Sebastian Franck was born on January 20th, 1499. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest but in 1525 converted over to the Reformed Protestants and became a Gospel preacher. However, as time went on, he even left the Reformed movement and sympathized mostly with the Anabaptist sects, while never formally joining them. He agreed with the Anabaptists that the authentic external Church of the Apostles disappeared in its accommodation to the State during the era of Emperor Constantine, but could not agree with their attempts to re-establish external sacraments at all (not even Baptism). As a result of the collapse of the Apostolic Church in the early years, God has now resorted to sanctifying human beings purely by a spiritual means, particularly faith, repentance, self-denial, and perseverance. This could be achieved with or without organized religion, and since organized religion had gone defunct, it was God dealing directly with human beings that counted by his day. Continue reading