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Ask Father Purdy: Why Do You Say Buen Suceso Instead Of Good Success?

Vox Catholica

Buen Suceso Miraculous Statue

Mariana de Jesus Torres y Berrichoa was born in 1563 of pious parents. When 13 years old, she entered the Royal Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Quito, Ecuador. With 12 other women, including her aunt, Mother Maria de Jesus Taboada, Mariana was the youngest of the founding mothers of this convent of Franciscan Conceptionists. In 1577, Mariana entered the novitiate and in 1579 she professed.

At a young age, Mariana was privileged to receive special favors from God. She received the first of many locutions at the age of seven. At her first communion she went into ecstasy, during which she was betrothed to the child Jesus. By nine years old, she began what is called prayer of quiet.[i] As a novice, her director considered himself unworthy to direct her. At her profession, she went into ecstasy, during which she was espoused to our Lord.

During the years of her life, she was guided by Our Lord and His Holy Mother in the spiritual life. Our Lord himself gave her various penances to perform and sufferings for her to offer. He also directed the topics of her silent prayer. By the end of her days she possessed an extraordinary degree of holiness.

Perhaps one of the most pertinent aspects of Mother Mariana’s life for us today – She was requested by Our Lord to be a victim soul, particularly for the crisis of the 20th century. These dialogues of Our Lord, as well as Our Lady, are the first given to the Church explaining Her condition during the 20th century. These dialogues are also the lengthiest and the clearest, describing particular elements of this crisis. Mother Mariana is requested to take an intimate role in the perseverance and preservation of the Church of this time by her state as victim.

In 1594, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Mother Mariana under the title of Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification. She commanded Mother Mariana to have a statue made according to the features of the apparition. Completed miraculously by the angels and St. Francis in 1611, this statue depicts the Mother of God with the Divine Infant in her left arm, with crozier and keys in her right hand. Shortly after completion, and as mandated by Our Lady, the statue was consecrated with sacred chrism, (as ritually done with bishops, abbots and abbesses) and she was installed as the Mother Abbess of the monastery. From this place, she promised to reside until the end of the world; from this place she would oversee and protect in a special manner all the affairs of the monastery.

With the fabrication of my image, not only you or my monastery do I look upon with favor, but also this nation and all the people in general through the centuries. This, my monastery, being a support, will be salvation for many souls, because I will draw them out of the abyss of sins in which they find themselves. God will be glorified in them. How many secret conversions there will be![ii]

This is the only monastery in the world in which the Mother of God has installed herself formally as Abbess. It is the only monastery in which she has promised to exercise a significant role. The monastery is affectionately known as the house of Our Lady.

The Value of Monastic Life

Monastic life, the life of the secluded consecrated soul, plays such an important role in the affairs of the men. This fact is surely undervalued or overlooked. There is a beautiful quotation taken from the Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Chautard:

No one in this world knows the reason for the conversion of pagans at the very ends of the earth, for the heroic endurance of Christians under persecution, for the heavenly joy of martyred missionaries. All this is bound up with the prayer of some humble, cloistered nun. Her fingers play upon the keyboard of divine forgiveness and of the eternal lights. Her silent and lonely soul presides over the salvation of souls and the conquests of the Church.[iii]

The Mother of God also stresses this same point when speaking to Mother Mariana.

Woe to the world if there were no Monasteries and Convents! Mortals do not understand their worth, for if they understood, they would spend their assets by multiplying them because in these is found the remedy to all physical and moral evils [iv]...no one on the face of the earth realizes whence comes the salvation of souls, the conversion of sinners, the dissipation of great scourges, the production and fertility of the fields, the end of pestilences, of wars, and of the good harmony among nations and all this comes from the prayers that rise from the monasteries and convents. [v]

Mother Mariana

Mother Mariana served as Abbess of the Monastery for seven terms. Mystical experiences are scattered through the life of this spouse of Christ. Admittedly, there is very little known of this saintly religious. Why have we never heard of her? Why is this the case?

In response to this, let us simply state: If the Mother of God wishes to keep something secret – She can do it! It has been 100 years since the apparitions of Fatima, and today we still speak of ‘the Third Secret’. This means there is still something hidden and unknown.

Upon signing the sworn testimony of the miraculous events of the completion of the Statue, Mother Mariana explained to the bishop why she would remain unknown.

This (document) and other precious treasures, my successors for fear of losing them, will hide in a cupboard here in my Convent during those public tumults of wars when this Colony tries to become a free republic, because they will not have the light to understand that nothing, nobody can do harm to my Convent. On the one hand, Your Excellency, this will be suitable because my life should come to light in the 20th century, and the rest when the Minors return, unless the humble do violence to heaven to find these (hidden documents and treasures) to guard as precious treasures in this my Convent; for without this intention, no human means will be sufficient to find them.

The bishop then asked: “Why does your Reverence say that your life will be written and will be known in the 20th century?” Mother Mariana replied to the bishop:

Because my person and name are inseparable from the Apparition of the Most Holy Virgin of Buen Suceso, and this should be known to certify the truth during those times of much decay of the faith. It is not convenient at the present time to reveal anything because of the inclination of the people to idolatry. [vi]

Victim for the 20th Century

What does it mean to be a victim? It is the offering of oneself for some supernatural motive, so that by their own merits and sacrifices they may contribute to the application of the merits of the redemption. By their offering, the victim lends to Christ a new humanity in which He can renew the mystery of redemption. In the Theology of Christian Perfection, Fr. Antonio Marin states:

The Lord is wont to accept this heroic offering, and He leads these victims to a terrifying martyrdom of body and soul. Only with the help of extraordinary graces can they support for any length of time the incredible sufferings and pains; they always terminate on the height of Calvary, totally transformed into Christ crucified.[vii]

Mother Mariana was very familiar with suffering. During an apparition of Jesus in agony, His Virgin Mother requested Mariana to be a victim for the 20th century.

Amidst the darkness of the church, I saw the main altar clearly, as if in full day, and while I was kneeling, the Tabernacle suddenly opened and I saw Christ of the form that was in Golgotha and the Most Holy Virgin, at His feet, St. John and St. Magdalene whose tears were falling like pearls.

The Holy Christ was without the wound on the side and He began to agonize...and she heard a voice, that of the Eternal Father saying, ‘these punishments are for the 20th century’. She saw three swords over the head of the Holy Christ; on each was written ‘I will punish heresy, blasphemy, and impurity’; then she learned all that was going to happen in that century. Directing her words to her, the Most Holy Virgin said, ‘My daughter, will you sacrifice yourself for this people?’ To which she replied, ‘My will is ready’. Immediately the swords withdrew from the Holy Christ and plunged into the heart of Mother Mariana, who fell dead from the violence of the pain. [viii]

This indeed was the occasion of the first death of Mother Mariana.

The Sufferings of Mother Mariana

At the profession of Mother Mariana, Jesus spoke to her:

“My spouse, I desire for you a life of immolation. Your life will be a continuous martyrdom.” With this Our Lord promised her a life of suffering. This indeed is the greatest sign of affection. With suffering, the victim is permitted to unite both body and soul to God. Within the soul, the acts of submission, humility, and obedience cause a profound union with Jesus on the cross who “humbled himself, becoming obedient, even to the death of the cross.” [ix] The interior movements of the soul are the very center of every sacrifice. Moreover, in body, those who suffer are permitted to share in exterior likeness to that of Christ. “He who does not take up his cross daily and follow me, is not worthy of me.” [x] Let us not believe for a moment that Jesus refers only to interior suffering.

Mariana would become intimate with Christ in His suffering.

Here, Our Lord made known to her all tribulations, temptations, and persecutions of all kinds that she was to suffer, preserving her only from the temptations against the virtue of purity. He told her that she will suffer terrible persecutions from creatures, even from the just and good. She learned of the spiritual desolations, the abandonment by God, and the absences of her Beloved, in short, the prolonged and cruel martyrdom of her life of crucified love. Humbled and with profound abjection, she responded to her Lover willingly and with gratitude, ‘I accept the sufferings like a precious gift that You give me. I offer myself to imitate your life, but as a miserable creature, even if my will is ready, I fear that my nature will waver, and I beg You to assist me with Your grace’. [xi] 

These sufferings certainly became true during the life of Mother Mariana. The voluntary penances and sufferings she inflicted upon herself were remarkable. These aside, the sufferings that Mariana experienced from without, those inflicted upon her by Our Lord himself, and what Divine Providence disposed her too suffer at the hands of others – herein lies the true martyrdom. To grow in holiness in these moments requires a complete conformity to the Divine Will – It is required that one willfully embrace those things that are opposed to one’s will. 

Mariana’s life was characterized with this willful and loving embrace to what inflicted the most suffering. Jesus thus sanctified His spouse by giving to her what was His lot. 

One example of this kind of suffering was a mystical intimate accompaniment with Jesus during His Passion. She was given to share in His sufferings and afflictions. This was both interior and exterior. Jesus would take from her all spiritual consolation and leave her abandoned, as He also was abandoned by His Father. For those who love more, this abandonment is much more acute. Exteriorly her body also was given to suffer, particularly by the stigmata. Aside from being noticed by fellow sisters on a couple occasions, these wounds were not visible but nonetheless perceived in her body.

You will spend only a few years in this land of tears [xii] during which you will accompany me in some of the principal parts of my dolorous Passion until you deliver your soul to My hands just as I delivered mine in the hands of My Eternal Father. Unite yourself to my Sorrowful Heart and in the company of my Most Holy Mother and yours, bear these tribulations and carry with courage and steadiness the cross that I put on your shoulders during these years. [xiii] 

Another significant suffering and cause of great humiliation was the persecution and imprisonment led by a rebellious faction of sisters. Usually at this point, one questions – imprisonment? Within the confines of the convent there was a certain austere quarter provided for those who were disobedient or for those who continually failed in their duties. This was similar to what is called solitary confinement. Mariana was imprisoned four times by the influence of the rebellious faction of sisters. The turmoil within the convent lasted almost 10 years. These things happened by false accusations against her. Nevertheless, Mariana offered this persecution in union with her Divine Spouse. 

A last example of Mariana’s suffering [xiv] was the request of Our Lord for her to suffer five years the pains of hell for the salvation of the most unjust of the rebellious sisters.

It is not your life, nor your health, not even the prison that I desire of you, my beloved Mariana, but the suffering of the pains of hell for the period of five consecutive years with the pain of loss that the soul of your poor sister would have suffered for all eternity. I designate to you five years in memory of the five main wounds of my afflicted humanity during my Passion. Understand - during all this time I will absent Myself from your material eyes and I will not give you the least consolation nor alleviate your sufferings, just as the soul of your poor sister would not have had in the dark prison of hell. It is certain that I will be with you interiorly, strengthening you, otherwise neither you nor any holy mortal would be able to tolerate such pains for one minute. Do you accept my request? [xv] 

After the good death of the rebellious sister, Mother Mariana embraced this punishment. She suffered the pain of loss and the pain of sense. There is no need of extra words to describe this suffering. 

The Miraculous Statue 

In her humility, Mother Mariana always considered herself unfit to direct her fellow sisters. Our Lady would provide the answer. 

…and at an indication of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael came before the throne of the Divine Majesty, prepared and ready for some sublime mission. I did not understand what God commanded them, but I saw their profound reverence. They then presented themselves before the throne of the Queen of Heaven. Recognizing her superior to them, Michael said: ‘Mary Most Holy, Daughter of the God the Father’; Raphael said: ‘Mary Most Holy, Mother of God the Son’; Gabriel said: ‘Mary Most Holy, Most Pure Spouse of the Holy Ghost’. Inviting the Angelic militia, they all sang together: Mary Most Holy, Temple and Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity. 

In an instant, with the speed of a bolt of lightning, appeared the August Trinity in the choir where the carved image was and They illuminated it with celestial radiance. At this moment appeared my Seraphic Father so beautiful, from his wounds celestial rays shot forth… (St. Francis) accompanied by the three archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, followed by the Angelic militia, approached the image made by Señor Francisco del Castillo and in an instant they worked on it again. I did not have the light to understand how this instantaneous work happened, but it looked as beautiful just as Your Excellency saw it. Right after, my Seraphic Father took off his white cord that he wore on his waist, girding with it the waist of the Most Holy Image saying lovingly and reverently: ‘My Lady, I entrust to your maternal love my sons and daughters of the three Orders which I founded and spread throughout the world. I entrust today and forever this my Convent founded under my care’. 

After the girding with the cord, my seraphic Father withdrew while the Image was completely illuminated as if it were in the middle of the sun. The Most Holy Trinity looked at it with pleasure, the Archangels sang Salve Sancta Parens and the Queen of Heaven in the middle of these joys, approached the Image and entered into it just like the rays of the sun penetrate beautiful crystals. At this moment, the sanctified Image took on life and sang the Magnificat. [xvi] 

Mother Mariana would often resort to Our Lady for advice, as well as courage and consolation in difficult matters. The miraculous statue would often speak with Mariana. 

The 20th Century 

There are two significant apparitions that deal at length with the topic of the 20th century. The first was on January 21, 1610. In this apparition, Our Lady of Buen Suceso gives details concerning the Sacraments during this grave period of crisis. This is of particular interest. We see these words being lived today! Imagine the horror this information would provoke during the age in which she lived! 

I make it known to you that at the end of the 19th century until a little after the half of the 20th century, in what is today the Colony and will then be Republic of Ecuador, the passions will overflow and there will be a total corruption of customs because of the almost total reign of Satan in the masonic sects which principally will strive to corrupt the childhood to maintain the general corruption! Woe to the children of this time! They will receive the sacrament of Baptism with difficulty; Confirmation will be the same; The sacrament of Penance only when they remain in Catholic schools, in which the devil will put all efforts to destroy them using authorized persons. 

The sacrament of Communion will be the same way. But, oh, how I regret to manifest to you that there will be many and great sacrileges, public and also secret, profaning the Holy Eucharist! How often during this period they, the enemies of Jesus Christ instigated by the devil, will rob the Consecrated Hosts in the cities, only to profane the Eucharistic species! My Most Holy Son will be seen fallen on the floor and trampled by filthy feet. 

…and in this my Convent, there will be faithful souls, fervent spouses and lovers who will make reparation with loving tenderness, suffering from seeing (Him)so hated by their ungrateful brethren, those sinners who will seem to have no human heart. The astute devil will attempt to impede this, putting ideas of despair in the imagination of my suffering daughters, to make them lose the merit. 

But in those times they will already know you and also the favors that I have dispensed to you. How I love the happy inhabitants of this sacred enclosure! This knowledge together with the love and cult to my sacred image, which I strictly order you today to have made as you see me. Put me upon the Abbess’s chair, so that from there I will govern and rule my daughters and sustain my convent against the fierce determination that Satan will have to destroy it, availing of good and bad men. 

By this time, in this poor country which will lack the Christian spirit, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction will be little respected. Many people will die not receiving it, because of the neglect of families, because of misconceived affection towards the sick, and also because of some who oppose the Catholic Church, instigated by the accursed devil, depriving the souls of many innumerable graces, consolations, and strength to make the big leap from time to eternity. Some will also die without receiving it by the just and secret punishments of God. 

The sacrament of Matrimony which represents the union of Christ with the Church will be attacked and profaned in the full extent of the word. The rule of Masonry will establish its laws to extinguish it, facilitating all to live immorally and propagating the procreation of illegitimate children; without the blessing of the Church, the Christian spirit will rapidly decline, extinguishing the precious light of the faith until it reaches an almost total and general corruption of customs. This, together with secular education, will be the reason for dwindling of priestly and religious vocations. 

The sacrament of Holy Orders will be mocked, oppressed, and despised because they (masonic sects) oppress and violate the Church of God, and God Himself in his priests. Then the devil will endeavor to persecute the ministers of Our Lord in all ways and will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their sublime vocation, making them degenerate into debauchery. Scandalizing the Christian people many times, they (the bad priests) will draw upon all the priests the hatred of the bad Christians and of the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

With this apparent triumph of Satan, they will draw immense sufferings on the good pastors of the Church, and on the great majority of good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who is prisoner in his Vatican will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God and his Lord begging for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the whole world, of whom he is king and father. 

Moreover, in these ill-fated times, there will be unrestrained lust which will captivate countless frivolous souls who will be lost for being the snare of sin for the others. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor any sense of shame in women. 

In this supreme necessity of the Church, he, who at the time should have spoken, will be silent. [xvii] 

On February 2, 1634 Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir in the middle of the night, as was her custom. She saw the sanctuary lamp go out leaving the main altar completely dark. She thought to go and rekindle the lamp, but when attempting to move, she was unable. Then Our Lady of Buen Suceso appeared and lit the Tabernacle lamp. The Blessed Virgin then spoke to Mother Mariana. 

Loss of Faith and Propagation of Heresies 

…the lamp that burns before the Prisoner of Love and that you saw extinguished has many meanings. The first is that at the end of the 19th century and will continue to a large part of the 20th century, various heresies will spread in these lands, then already a Free Republic. The precious light of the faith will be extinguished in the souls by the almost total corruption of customs; in this time there will be great physical and moral calamities, public and private. 

The small number of souls, in whom will be preserved hidden the treasure of the Faith and of the virtues, will suffer a cruel and unspeakable as well as prolonged martyrdom. Many of them will descend to the grave from the violence of the suffering and will be counted as martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the Church and for the Country. 

In order to be freed from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Most Holy Son will destine for this restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and much confidence in God. To put to test this Faith and confidence of the just, there will come moments in which everything will seem lost and paralyzed, and then will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration. 

An Era of Sensuality and Impurity 

The third reason why the lamp was extinguished is in these times there will be an atmosphere filled with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy ocean will flow through the streets and squares and public places with an appalling liberty so that there will be almost no virgin souls in the world. 

The delicate flower of virginity, like a flower that is timid and threatened with complete destruction, will shine far, taking refuge in the cloisters. It will find suitable land to grow, develop, and live, its fragrance being the delight of my Most Holy Son and the lightning rod that holds back the Divine wrath, without which, it would be necessary to rain fire from heaven to purify these lands. 

The Corruption of Innocence 

The fourth reason why the lamp was extinguished is that the sect, having seized all social classes, will have so much subtlety to introduce itself into domestic households that, ruining childhood, the devil will glory in preying the exquisite delicacy of the hearts of the children. 

In those ill-fated times, childlike innocence will barely be found. In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, which will be a true calamity. 

The religious communities will remain to sustain the Church and to work with valiant and selfless determination in the salvation of souls. It is because at this time the regular observance will shine in the communities; there will be holy ministers of the altar, hidden and beautiful souls in whom my Most Holy Son and I will take delight, with the exquisite flowers and fruits of heroic sanctity. Against these ministers, impiety will wage a cruel war and fill them with vituperations, calumnies, and vexations to impede the fulfillment of their ministry; but they, like most firm columns, will remain steadfast, confronting everything with the spirit of humility and sacrifice, with which they will be clothed, in virtue of the infinite merits of my Most Holy Son who loves them like the most delicate fibers of His Most Holy and Tender Heart. 

Crisis in the Clergy 

In those times, in the secular clergy there will be much to desire because the priests will neglect their sacred duty. Losing the divine compass, they will stray from the path charted by God in the priestly ministry, becoming fond of money and striving to obtain it to excess; and since this Church will suffer the dark night of the lack of a Prelate and father who watches over with paternal love, with gentleness, strength, sound judgment, and prudence, many of them will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger. 

Pray insistently, clamor without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart, asking our Celestial Father that for the love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son, for this Precious Blood poured out with so much generosity, and for the profound bitterness and sorrows of His bitter passion and death, that he be compassionate to his ministers and put an end as soon as possible to these so ill-fated times, sending to this Church the Prelate who must restore the spirit of Her priests. 

…With divine gentleness, he will guide the consecrated souls to the divine service in the cloisters without making heavy to them the yoke of our Lord. 

To have the prelate and father soon, they (those consecrated souls) will counterbalance the tepidity of all the souls consecrated to God in the priestly and religious state. This is the precise cause of the accursed Satan taking possession of these lands, who will obtain it all by means of so many foreign faithless people, which like a black cloud will obscure the clear sky of the then republic consecrated to the Most Sacred Heart of My Divine Son. 

Introduced by these faithless people are all the vices; because of them are all types of chastisements – among them pestilence, famine, and conflicts among themselves and other nations – losing a considerable number of souls so dear to Jesus and me because of apostasy. 

To dissipate these black clouds which prevent the possession of the clear day of liberty of the Church, there will be a formidable and frightful war in which blood of their own and strangers, of secular and regular priests, and also of religious will flow. This night will be most horrible because to mankind, evil will seem to be triumphant. 

Then is the coming of my hour, when I, in an amazing way, will dethrone the proud Satan, crushing him under my feet and chaining him in the infernal abyss, finally freeing the Church and country from his cruel tyranny. 

Indifference to the Oppressed Church 

The fifth motive why the lamp was extinguished is for that negligence of the persons who, possessing great wealth, will see with indifference the Church oppressed, virtue persecuted, the evil triumphant, without piously using their riches in the destruction of evil and the restoration of the faith. It is also for the indifference of the people in allowing that, little by little, the Name of God is erased, adhering to the spirit of evil, delivering themselves with liberty to the vices and passions. [xviii]

Hope 

Since I need courageous souls in all times to save My Church and the prevaricating world, that is to say, (the) souls for whom I suffered so much these unheard of sorrows - and since so many are lost, I desire that that you, as a good spouse, assist me. [xix] 

Mother Mariana offered her life as a pleasing sacrifice for the Church of the 20th century. Our Lord alone knows what she has merited by her cooperation and sacrifice. It is not unreasonable to assert that she is connected with the perseverance of the Church during this time. Perhaps the work of tradition and the preservation of the Church is also due to her sacrifice? Perhaps the person and work of Archbishop Lefebvre was instigated and birthed through her? God knows! 

There is yet another good reflection to make. Our Lady told Mariana:

Calamitous times will befall our Convent in the 20th century for having neglected the formation of the religious in the novitiate. We from heaven will watch over our beloved Convent so that this will not come to an end. There will also be during this time, souls very hidden who in the secrecy of their prayer and holy life will lament the moral and material state of the Convent and their prayers and penances will be the support of the agonizing Community during this time. You, for your part, do violence to God so that this distressing period will be cut short for our young ones (the novices). [xx] Our Lord also told Mariana: I love this Convent because it is the foundation and property of My Immaculate Mother and mine. I also love it because you have lived in it; I will see you living here in all the centuries and in ill-fated times, I will sustain it. [xxi] 

These themes are repeated on other occasions – the preservation of the convent; the presence of at least one or two hidden saintly religious; the predilection of this convent by Christ and His Holy Mother. This repetition must have a reason; it is clear this convent has a significant role to play. 

Moreover, the title of Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification is linked to the 20th century. In an apparition of Our Lady, she told Mariana:

...these beautiful tunics are also for the secular and regular priests and lay people of both sexes, who, loving my Most Holy Son and myself with simple and upright hearts, love this Convent of our predilection. Ignoring criticism and ridicule, they work for its preservation and strive in propagating my devotion under the consoling invocation of Buen Suceso de la Purification which will be, in the almost total corruption of the twentieth century, the support and safeguard of the faith. 

The devotion to Our Lady under this title will mark the beginning of her time, the time of restoration and triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Maybe the work of Tradition, those religious communities who will sustain the Church, is to spark this devotion? If so, let us help! 


Sources:

i This is a type of mystical contemplation in which the soul experiences an intimate awareness of God’s presence and fills the soul and body with an ineffable sweetness. 

ii Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Primero. Cap. 30. Independent translation. 

iii Chautard; The Soul of the Apostolate 

iv Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Segundo. Cap. 5. 

v Idem 

vi Idem. Tomo Primero, Cap. 33. 

vii Marin, Antonio Royo; The Theology of Christian Perfection 

viii Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Primero, Cap. 10. 

ix Phil. 2:8 

x Mt. 10:38  

xi Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Primero, Cap. 6. 

xii The year was 1619. Mariana died in 1634. 

xiii Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Segundo, Cap. 1. 

xiv There are 750 pages of details concerning many events, sufferings, trials, etc. I list only a few which have particular importance as they someone define the others. 

xv Pereira, Manuel Sousa; Vida Admirable de la Rda. Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres. Tomo Primero, Cap.25 

xvi Idem. Tomo Primero, Cap. 33 

xvii Idem. Tomo Primero, Cap. 29 

xviii Idem. Tomo Segundo, Cap. 8 

xix Idem. Tomo Segundo, Cap. 1 

xx Idem. Tomo Segundo, Cap. 1 

xxi Idem. Tomo Segundo, Cap. 2  

Buen Suceso Pilgrimage: Questions and Answers

Vox Catholica

Some weeks ago there was a video produced about the crisis in the church in connection with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Quito, Ecuador. The video concluded with the encouragement to attend the pilgrimage in Quito beginning January 24. A follow up video was put together on the logistics of the pilgrimage. Below are also the links advertising the pilgrimage on sspx.org. Please take the time to read the brochure as it does contain all the information necessary for making this trip.

Wishing all of you a prayer filled month of the Holy Rosary.

In Christ,
Fr. Adam Purdy

Fr. Marc Vernoy: A Crisis of Fatherhood

Vox Catholica

On August 29th, Fr. Marc Vernoy wrote an open letter to the priests and Bishops in the state of Florida. In this video Father Vernoy discusses why he wrote the letter, and explains why he believes a crisis in Fatherhood is one of the key reasons the Catholic Church and society at large is suffering so terribly today. Below is the transcript of our short interview.


I finished a letter that I sent to the Floridian priests after all the scandals, especially in the United States, regarding the abuse crisis. I finished this letter on August 29th, the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, who offered his life for the sanctity of marriage, family, society. And the crisis is attacking the sanctity of the Church. It’s absolutely terrible.

This letter was sent… I received several answers, especially from bishops. Very positive answers. Bishops from Florida. Priests also. I had conversations on the phone. I had contact via email. I think it was quite fruitful, and I hope it helps many priests, because this letter… I had to write it. There was no option in my heart.

I think many priests today are suffering in their hearts. Bleeding. It’s bleeding. We suffer deeply for all these victims. Children, but also young adults and even adults. Victims of homosexual predators. We suffer for Holy Mother the Church. She is devastated. Her beauty, her dignity is attacked. Deeply attacked. We suffer for all you faithful priests, who are also victims of this terrible crisis. We suffer for all these many scandalized souls. Faithful, who are in doubt, or people who are on their journey to the Catholic Church, and their journey to the Mystical Body of Christ, who stopped their journey because of all these scandals. Our heart is bleeding.

It’s bleeding also because many have lost hope, because they have no more vision. Many have lost peace, because of this great confusion. We are living in evil times, and in evil times there is always a grace to take. A great grace. Our Lord Jesus Christ has prepared a great grace for all of us. Absolutely all of us. A grace of enlightenment that will guide us to holiness. But, we need to know first, we need to know the very deep reasons of all these scandals. The very deep reasons of today’s disaster. And the real cause is in the crisis of fatherhood. The vanishing of father hood. Especially since the 60s. It affected the whole society. It affected the whole Catholic Church, especially in the western world. It affected our families. It’s affecting our business. Its affecting everything. Fathers disappeared.

A lot of men, they don’t want to have any responsibility. Then, they give up their fatherhood, and giving up their fatherhood they also give up their masculinity. It’s just a consequence of not willing to be a father… of not fulfilling your own identity, your own being.

The crisis in the Church then is a crisis of fatherhood, and we know all the consequences today. We have this abuse crisis, we have this crisis of the spreading of homosexuality with is a consequence of the absence of the father. We have as a consequence also… we have lost any kind of trust, any kind of confidence. Everything is falling apart and there is no more unity in the body, because the head is not accountable.

The answer to the crisis, I gave in the letter some directions, but I think the very deep thing is really to be a father. A real father, with a fatherly heart. A paternal heart. We need to practice a loving authority. We need to give to our people, to our children the vision. The big picture that God wants us to give to all people. And this will give hope. This will give peace and joy, and the Church will recover. And we will work hard, and faithfully, and with great hope for the reformation, the needed reformation, of our church. You can still read this letter on our website: www.sspxflorida.com and also if you have any questions we are available and you can contact us via email.

Fr. Marc Vernoy: An Open Letter To My Brother Priests

Vox Catholica

On the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, August 29th, 2018, Fr. Marc Vernoy, Prior of St. Thomas More Church in Sanford, Florida wrote a letter to his brother priests in Florida. This letter is wide ranging in scope, and deals with the current crisis in the Catholic Church, and what priests can do to fight back against the overwhelming wave of corruption that is consuming God's Holy Church.

Father's suggested remedies (attending the Mass, praying our daily Rosary, adoration and contemplation, and sincere prayers to the Mother of God) are all things we can also do as lay Catholics to beg God for an end to the crisis, and a restoration of our Holy Mother Church. 

Please share this video (especially to priests who aren't in a Traditional order), and subscribe to the YouTube channel. This will be a great help to continue building this new apostolate.


Dear Brother Priest,

Greetings in the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary. My name is Marc Vernoy, I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X on June 29, 1995. After having been sent to Asia, Europe and Africa. I was assigned in Sanford, Florida, eight years ago to establish our Priory.

We are “a priestly society of common life without vows, after the example of the Societies of Foreign Missions.”[1] Our “purpose is the priesthood and all that pertains to it and nothing but what concerns it; i.e., the priesthood as Our Lord Jesus Christ willed it when He said, “Do this for a commemoration of me.”[2]

Before founding our Society, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre led the largest Catholic missionary congregation, the Holy Ghost Fathers and was the Apostolic Delegate for West Africa. His experience showed him the necessity of a real common life to preserve and strengthen our priestly life against the challenges and dangers of modern life in this world.

As our Lord suffered His terrible Passion, so His Mystical Body, holy Mother the Church is atrociously suffering today through so many victims, children and young adults and in her immaculate and divine dignity. Some of her beloved sons, consecrated in the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, have appallingly betrayed her and have sorely defiled their persons with horrible crimes. Their unnatural depravation is so evil that Holy Scripture[3] places it among the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. In their sacrilegious abuses, they crucify the whole Church, they desecrate their holy Unction and even give up their fatherhood and their human dignity, as there is no dignity anymore when you depart so sinfully from God, our Creator and Redeemer.

As poor sinners, we all know that human nature is weak and wounded, always ready to fall into sin. Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ is alerting us, “watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”[4]. He constantly admonishes us against the perils of the world, whose Prince is Satan[5], and has no positive or “optimistic attitude” towards them. “The world does hate me, because I denounce it for its evil doings.”[6] “If you belonged to the world, the world would know you for its own and love you; it is because you do not belong to the world, because I have singled you out from the midst of the world, that the world hates you.”[7] “Have you never been told that the world’s friendship means enmity with God, and the man who would have the world for his friend makes himself God’s enemy?”[8]

However, after the Second Vatican Council and through the liturgical reform as well, these evangelical exhortations have been silenced in the Church. In the General Audience of July 3, 1974, Pope Paul VI explained this change as follows: “We have certainly heard of the severity of the saints for the evils of the world. Many are still familiar with the books of asceticism, which have a generally negative judgment on earthly corruption. But it is also certain that we live in a different spiritual climate, being invited, especially by the recent council, to take an optimistic look at the modern world, its values, its conquests.”[9] He then continues his speech praising modern materialism, comfort and technology and gave this advice: “We must maintain a line of demarcation between Christian life and secular life. Between the spiritual and the temporal there cannot exist this communion - or rather this confusion - of interests and ways of life that the old unitary conception of Christianity made easier and more habitual.”[10]

We Catholics, faithful to the Word of our Lord and to the holy Tradition of His Church have always been aware of the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal worlds, but not a separation, “a line of demarcation”, as we believe in the social Kingship of the Son of God. We are for a communion coming from subsidiarity, but certainly not for any confusion. We want divine Love to be known in this world, to spread and to be loved.

These words of Paul VI along with many others regarding a new “spiritual” attitude towards the “world” are very disturbing and confusing, as they frankly depart from divine doctrine and from the constant teaching and practice of the Catholic Church. The absence of God the Father in any society is at the root of all evils we may witness today. How could Paul VI open the gates of the Church to the fetid and evil spirit of the world, promoting a liberal and godless attitude with the world? This invitation has unfortunately been observed in what was called the aggiornamento of our Church. The holy Father, instead promoting the salvific influence of the Church in our world and caring for the spiritual good of his flock, exposed both to the sinful contamination of the world for their own ruin. At the first rank of this contamination have been the consecrated persons. 120,000 priests left the priesthood for the world and its corruption and many who stayed in their position have greatly suffered. Also, the changes in the liturgy contributed to a confusion regarding the identity of the Priest and even to a desecration of Priesthood. Every day of our life we need to be reminded about our sacred identity and divine vocation.

Paul VI concluded the Second Vatican Council with these words: “Indeed, an immense love for men profoundly permeated it. Human needs examined and considered in detail... have absorbed the attention of our Synod. You worshipers of humanity (cultores humanitatis) who renounce transcendental truths ought to pay tribute to the Council for at least this and acknowledge our new Humanism. For we also, and we more than anyone, are worshipers of man.”[11]

This new horizontal attitude, worldly and man-centered, forgetting the primal and preliminary vertical attitude towards God Almighty altered completely the meaning of Christian life and had enormous effects on Catholic doctrine and liturgy.

Nevertheless, the Apostle admonished the Romans regarding this very attitude leading to all perversions and abuses. “For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man... Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, that prompts them to disgraceful acts. They are versed in every kind of injustice, knavery, impurity, avarice, and ill-will; spiteful, murderous, contentious, deceitful, depraved, backbiters, slanderers, God’s enemies; insolent, haughty, vainglorious; inventive in wickedness, disobedient to their parents; without prudence, without honor, without love, without loyalty, without pity. Yet, with the just decree of God before their minds, they never grasped the truth that those who so live are deserving of death; not only those who commit such acts, but they also that consent to them that do them.”[12]

Let us keep in mind that Saint Paul is not targeting only abusers, but also those who cover for and promote this kind of behavior. As a consequence, it is quite clear that this new “optimistic look at the modern world” deprives the flock from any spiritual protection and abandon them to pride, idolatry, adultery, egotism, narcissism, “selfism”, blindness, contraception and abortion, addiction, practical atheism, abuse of power, irresponsibility, revolutionary feminism, social chaos, homosexuality and many other evils that we do better not to name.

In a society as large as the Church, there is a force of inertia that can still give the illusion of its strength, and cohesion for a certain time after a serious and disabling event. The Church is partially unplugged for half a century, as God did not fully abandon her. Confused and without a clear supernatural goal, her human side simply continued to roll thanks to the strength it had accumulated until those years and thanks to an intense and overwhelming emphasis on administration. Many societies deprived of fatherhood, a loving authority that gives a vision, have forgotten the “why” of their lives to focus on the “how” of their organization.

Today, we are witnessing the result of a disconnection with God the Father, the batteries are very low and the spectacle of the fall in shameful convulsions is lamentable. While Pope Paul VI approved and promoted the disconnection, some Roman Pontiffs tried to fix things, especially the moral life with cosmetic measures, which are worthless, as the only effective medicine, which is in the truth of our Faith in the Word of God and in His mystical Body. Very few in the Catholic Church are those who really believe in this article of Faith that She in union with Her Head Who is Christ, is the only One Who provides the necessary means of salvation to human beings[13].

The true Church and chaste celibacy cannot be the cause of today’s scandals. The crime comes from a carelessness for spiritual good, from an invasive anti-Catholic subculture and from the absence of true Shepherds and Fathers. The new collegial way of governing the Church deprived the Fathers of their full authority, responsibility and accountability and finally of their paternal heart.

The Second Vatican Council and its consequences were supposed to revivify the Church with a reformation, but it obviously favored a dreadful deformation. Never has a true Catholic reformation ever been liberal and confusing in its teaching, lax and permissive in its practice, as it clearly was in the last Council.

We know that a fish rots from the head, but we also know that the good outcome always comes from Peter and we must pray for the Pope. “Thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”[14]

However, in his Letter to the People of God[15], Pope Francis unfortunately avoids the deep causes of so many heartbreaking scandals. Three key words are missing: “homosexual”, “bishop” and “sacrilege”. We do not hear Peter warning us and taking any concrete measure against the liberal and homosexual subculture, corrupting from the highest prelates to the simple assistant priest. We know for years that many in the hierarchy are covering up for and even promoting this evil subculture, liberal in its theory and confusing and perverting in its latest practical consequences. We unfortunately know today that Peter is apparently tainted with this subcultural influence[16]. In the Letter to the People of God Pope Francis gives no concrete direction. Being accountable and responsible for whatever happens under their authority to the flock, Pope Francis is not asking his brother bishops to investigate, to inquire, to thoroughly and canonically visit their diocese. Where is the sense of Fatherhood? Though, “no man can serve two masters![17] and we expect our Holy Father to set a clear example, as the Vicar of our Lord and to act as a true Father in order to confirm His Brothers under the authority our only Master, Christ our Lord.

Background checks are a cosmetic measure. We need the help of God the Father, we need to beg the Holy Ghost for the grace to keep the Faith, the grace to persevere in His Charity and Love, the grace to be led by His Hope and to live in His Peace. This requires remaining in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. The very minimum we must do is to pray faithfully our Breviary, our Rosary, to reserve a quiet time of contemplation, another to savor Holy Scripture, to entertain a deep love for the sacrament of Penance and its frequent use and finally a supreme devotion for the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the summit of our lives and reminds us who we are. We must also ask for prayers. Traditionally, first Thursdays are dedicated to pray for priests, at masses, adoration, holy hour, etc. Our brother priests need our presence and comfort to avoid the curse of loneliness that affects many, which is a deadly danger and for some a foretaste of Hell. “Woe to him that is alone, for when he falls, he has none to lift him up.”[18]

We, first sons of our Immaculate Blessed Lady, need to ask her intercession to live a holy and chaste life. It is a gift that we must daily beg through prayer, fasting, corporal penance and ascetic life. “They that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.”[19] Our Lord warns us, “unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish”[20]. The first move of a worldly life is to abandon the ascetic life and the splendid and radiating virtue of chastity. The gift of this delicate virtue is a fruit of our constant understanding, renewal and love of our consecration.

We have been set apart and we shall not take back what we have sacrificed and given to God Almighty. The holy sacrifice of the Mass is at the core of our fidelity and a necessity to continue to grow in the dedication of our own “fiat”. “Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.”[21] Our identity is a divine gift and we must have a vivid sense of it to live it wholly.

We, priests of our Lord Jesus Christ are expected to preach fully, courageously and without any ambiguity the mysteries of God and all the means He gives us to live these mysteries.

The doctrine regarding sin and the last ends are extremely efficient. “Sin is the one and only evil in the world. We mortals are accustomed to regard the sufferings and contradictions of this life as evils, whereas they are graces in reality; since, far from separating us from God, they bring us nearer to Him. Through sin man becomes worthless in God’s sight; through sin, he, who is made of nothing, returns to his original nothingness. St. John Chrysostom says: ‘Many consider eternal damnation to be the greatest of all evils; but for my part, I always assert that to offend Jesus Christ is a far greater evil’. Sin is a greater evil than the annihilation of the world, nay, of a million worlds, with their countless inhabitants. Sin is the only real disgrace.”[22]

We, priests and sinners, united with the Passion and Crucifixion of our Redeemer, alter Christus, must fulfil our duty of reparation and expiation for the sin of the world, the sin of our fallen brothers and set a good example for this purpose. In these troubled and confused times, we have the great duty to remind ourselves and the faithful about the evil of the practice of homosexuality and seriously fight against its unnatural contamination.

We pray to Mary Immaculate, who prophesized this crisis at Akita, Fatima, La Salette, Quito, etc. We pray to her for the Church and for you my dear brother priest, who are expected, after our necessary and certainly sorrowful purification, to be a key instrument in the absolutely needed conversion and reformation to return to the Love of Christ.


Sources:

[1] F.S.S.P.X Statutes (I:1) “approved by a decree of the Bishop of Fribourg, November 1, 1970, and praised in a letter from the Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, dated February 18, 1971”.

[2] Idem (II:1)

[3] Gn 18:20-21

[4] Mk 14:38

[5] Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ap 12:9; etc.

[6] Jn 7:7

[7] Jn 15:19

[8] Js 4:4

[9] https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1974/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19740703.html

[10] Idem

[11] Paul VI, Homily of the closing Mass of the Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965, from the original Latin version: http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/la/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_epilogo-concilio.html

[12] Rm 1:22-32

[13] Salus extra ecclesiam non est, St Cyprian Ep 4:4; Ep 73:21,2. Extraordinary Magisterium: Innocent III, 4th Lateran Council. Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam. Eugene IV, Cantate Domino. All Popes taught this dogma, especially from Leo XII to Pius XII.

[14] Mt 16:18-19

[15] http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2018/documents/papa-francesco_20180820_lettera-popolo-didio.html

[16] https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifesite/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL_VERSION_-_G-2.pdf : TESTIMONY by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana Apostolic Nuncio.

[17] Mt 6:24

[18] Eccles 4:10

[19] Gal 5:24-25

[20] Lk 13:3

[21] 1Tim 4:14-16

[22] The Catechism explained, Spirago, III Sin 2:3

Twitter: The New Arbiter of Orthodoxy in the Catholic Church

James Austin

The Catholic Church has been in a Crisis for some time now. Ever since Vatican II and the new doctrine of “Collegiality” the Church has been split into two factions: Conservative and Progressive. While this dialectical mode of policy making has been common within the world of politics for hundreds of years, it is truly Revolutionary within the Church.

Vatican II

No longer does the practice and teaching of the Church stem from the unchanging and immutable Deposit of Faith. It has been replaced by the Hegelian dialectic of Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis. By the de-throning of Christ the King and the elevating of the “consensus of Bishops” as a teaching authority, the Papacy has effectively lost it’s ability to govern the Church as a sovereign Monarch would govern his nation.

To further the confusion, according to Vatican II, progress comes about through the contemplation of the Faith by believers “who ponder these things in their hearts,” and then demand changes of the pastors and bishops of the Church, effectively inverting the hierarchy of Church governance away from those ministers ordained by God to Teach, Sanctify and Govern.

With this mindset from Vatican II, and the current mindset of the 2018 Synod on the Youth, some have said that this is an opportunity for the laity to make it known to the sacred pastors of the Church that we want Tradition back and to do away with the novelties of Modernism and heterodoxy. But there is a serious problem with this.

In the modern age, the public square has moved away from the Real World, and into the Digital World of Facebook, Twitter, Google and other Big Tech companies. With this has come the serious prospect of the loss of our voice on these platforms, under the guise of “Hate Speech.”

I regret to relate here that I have become a victim of this kind of censorship, a Digital Martyr if you will, and I have only been Tweeting for less than a week.

Father James Martin S.J.

The hammer came down on @TheVoxCatholica, after two tweets were sent to the Progressive Homosexualist priest Father James Martin S.J. who is actively leading souls to hell and attempting to completely up-root the Churches affirmation of Natural Law with regard to Marriage and human sexuality.

The trouble started after Archbishop Chaput warned the church about using terms like “LGBT” in their official paperwork. This clearly sent father Martin over the edge and prompted this Tweet:

In response to this ABSURDITY, I Tweeted the following to Father Martin:

 
James Martin Tweet 1
James Martin Tweet 2
 

Because of these Tweets, Father Martin promptly “blocked” me from viewing his Twitter feed:

Within minutes of being Blocked by Father Martin, Twitter appointed it’s self the moral arbiter of Orthodoxy within the Catholic Church has decided that my Tweets violated Twitter TOS for “Hateful Conduct.” Now, dear fellow faithful Catholics, what is truly hateful? A Catholic asking a priest to stop leading souls to hell by teaching error and heterodoxy, or a Catholic priest sending people to hell by confirming them in their belief that it is ok to commit “Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance?”

Hateful Conduct

I appealed my temporary suspension with Twitter with the following letter:

I have been accused of violating the “hateful conduct” clause of the Twitter TOS for content that does not legitimately meet this criteria. I simply quote Tweeted one Tweet, and Tweeted at a public figure who is a priest in the Catholic Church and is actively promoting sin and heterodoxy which is dangerous to the eternal souls of Christians everywhere. I did not disparage Fr. Martin based on his sexuality, race etc., and as a Catholic it is my right to criticize things harmful to the faithful under the code of Canon law Section 212. By suspending my account, especially during the 2018 Synod on the Youth, Twitter is interfering in the internal affairs of the Catholic Religion. If father Martin wants to block me, that’s fine - but the views expressed by me in these tweets is the basic orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church and I hope you reinstate my account as soon as possible.

Of course, Twitter did not respond to my appeal, and I was forced to delete my “hateful” Tweets to reinstate my account.

What does this mean? Well, If Pope Francis comes out with a Relatio that is as deficient of Catholic Theology as the Instrumentum Laboris for the 2018 Synod, it's going to be game over for us, at least on the internet. Twitter and other Big Tech firms will be able to suspend accounts, for calling out priests and bishops who are leading souls to hell. This isn't about bigotry or "hate speech." This is about the salvation of souls. Twitter and BigTech could decide to prevent “Catholic Twitter” from speaking the truth, discouraging sin, and letting the leaders of the Church know what we need as faithful Catholics…

The Vox Catholica is not the only Twitter account under fire for “Hate Speech.” Nick Donnelly, a Deacon in England has also been suspended and reported for similar sentiments.

With BigTech and the Fake News Media promoting Sin that Cries to Heaven for Vengeance, as soon as it looks like the Catholic Church has "officially" changed it's stance on the subject, anyone caught protesting this will be labelled and silenced, not only on the internet, but also by groups like the SPLC and other ACTUAL hate groups. We will all become Brian McCall. We will all be at risk of losing our Livelihoods, our reputation etc.

And to complicate the problem even more, what if America adopted some sort of Social Credit program like China? God Forbid the day, when in order to qualify for Tax Exemption, it will be necessary to not just tolerate the terrible sin and perversion of sodomy, but promote it and "celebrate" that sin inside of our Churches… Or else.

Kyrie Eleison...

#HimToo: Brian McCall & Brett Kavanaugh - Baseless Accusations Destroy Lives

James Austin

Over the past year, we have seen an increase in the practice of Doxxing, De-Platforming, Social Media suspensions, firings and forced resignations, at the behest of violent Marxists, Leftists, Feminists, and all other stripes of anti-Christian zombies with little more than an allegation, in an effort to advance an agenda of social degeneration, progressivism, un-fettered immigration and homosexualism.

 Controversial Radio Host Alex Jones

Controversial Radio Host Alex Jones

It wasn’t until the Alex Jones case, wherein the inflammatory radio host was de-platformed overnight by Apple, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Periscope etc., that people started to take notice of the looming danger of politicized censorship.

Jones, of course, was not the first to be de-platformed. The first serious de-platforming took place when a prominent neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer, ran by the infamous Andrew Anglin, was taken down after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, due to the neglect of the Charlottesville Police Department. Shortly thereafter, there was a purge of “right-wing,” “nazi,” “white supremacists” (aka. mostly run of the mill conservatives) from the internet, and a serious pursuit to identify and persecute participants with taxpayer dollars by PBS and the liberal website Pro-Publica. These efforts have led to firings, students being kicked out of schools, de-platforming and recently 4 men being arrested for their involvement in the Virginia rally-turned-riot.

All these cases of censorship, doxxing, and de-platforming came about at the mere accusation of those ever present buzzwords in our current society of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, nazism, fascism, white supremacism, bigotry or whatever else is in style that particular week. Some of the accusations may have been true, some may have been false, but either way, this set the precedent for two notable cases that we are seeing un-fold before our eyes this week.

Those would be the cases of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and the former Associate Dean at the Oklahoma University Law Department, Brian McCall.

 Dr. Brian McCall

Dr. Brian McCall

While these two cases of McCall and Kavanaugh are at face value seemingly un-related, there is a deep vein of misandry and hatred of Truth and Justice lurking just below the surface that will become apparent.

The big story here is the case of Dr. Brian McCall. A noted scholar, lawyer, professor, associate dean, and acclaimed Catholic journalist and speaker, Dr. McCall is the last person anyone in the Traditionalist world would have expected to be attacked, ridiculed, slandered and ultimately forced to resign from his job, but those who hate truth will stop at nothing to remove anything and anyone which lays bare their own nakedness and degeneracy.

The First Story

On September 9th, a Oklahoma University Journalism School student named Drew Hutchinson published an article titled “Endowed OU law professor found connected to anti-Semitic publication.” The article went on to defame Dr. McCall’s good name and ultimately take away his livelihood by conjecture, insinuation and defamation by implication.

One claim by Drew Hutchinson in the article stated:

McCall contributed to TradCatKnight Radio, a traditionalist Catholic podcast, on July 15. David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was a guest on the same episode and made derogatory remarks about Jews.


This claim is demonstrably false. While it is true that both Brian McCall and David Duke were both invited as guests on TradCatKnight radio, they were featured on totally different podcast episodes.

TCKRadio

While I’m absolutely NOT a David Duke apologist, the idea that Brian McCall is some sort of a KKK bigot because he was invited to speak on a podcast that also featured Duke, is absurd. (Pro-Tip: David Duke is absolute kryptonite and effectively ruins anything he becomes associated with. Period. The man could donate money to an orphanage for poor African-American children, and within a week that orphanage would be shut down. Believe me.)

McCall and Duke spoke about completely different topics, and it is frankly a mystery to me why a protestant like Duke would be invited on a purportedly Catholic podcast that deals primarily with visions, prophecy and end-times predictions.

The article admits:

McCall made no anti-Semitic remarks but instead spoke about aspects of traditionalist Catholic beliefs.

But due to this guilt by association, implication and accusation, McCall is never-the-less branded an Anti-Semite by the young journalist wannabee as well as the thoroughly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center.

In another instance of guilt by association, Drew Hutchinson tries to make the claim that the brilliant Catholic Apologist, John Vennari (RIP), was some sort of a raging Anti-Semite who peddled in “really crazy conspiracies about Jews.” The only evidence for the claim was a passing mention of a book published by John Vennari, most likely the recently re-published “Permanant Instruction of the Alta Vendita,” an outline of how an Italian Lodge of Freemasons planned on infiltrating and subverting the Church, and a reference to how Mr. Vennari had said Judaism is a "part of the Kingdom of Satan."

Both of these accusations came with absolutely no footnotes, links, supporting documentation or anything substantiating the claim that John Vennari or Dr. Brian McCall were actually prejudiced towards Jews because they were born Jewish. Furthermore, Judaism, as traditionally spoken about by the Catholic Church, references a theological system of behavior and/or a religion that rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God, something which as a belief system, or a behavior is willfully chosen and adhered to by the group in question, unlike something like race. At the rate we are going, the Bible will soon be condemned as Anti-Semitic hate speech.

In the article, McCall protested numerous times his innocence of these unsubstantiated claims of bigotry and prejudice, much like Brett Kavanaugh, and absolutely nobody gave McCall a fair hearing.

Liberals Take A Second Pass

In a follow up article on September 30th, titled “OU law professor, associate dean expresses homophobic, sexist views in 2014 book,” Hutchinson groundlessly blasted Dr. McCall for his totally valid and deeply-held religious beliefs, which are supposedly protected by the 1st Amendment, and accused him of sexism and homophobia.

Frankly the article speaks for it’s self, and Dr. McCall’s book (which you should go buy right now) “To Build the City of God: Living as Catholics in a Secular Age” outlines incredibly poignant issues for the Catholic living in the “current year.”

The issues addressed were women’s modesty, a Man’s authority over his home, union of Church and State, arguments for Traditional marriage based on the Natural Law, as well as many other topics that are frankly benign to Traditional Catholics. What I find interesting is that the vitriol and hatred for Traditional life is so intense in modern academia, Hutchinson only needed to basically state the basic teaching of the Church (not McCall’s) to whip up a frenzy over the fact that this kind of a “backwards thinking, white privileged, misogynistic, homophobic man” was an Associate Dean of the Oklahoma University School of Law.

Troubled Fake News Wannabee

Drew Hutchinson - Journalism Student @OU

So who exactly is this Drew Hutchinson girl, that effectively forced Dr. McCall to remove himself from his highly lauded career as Associate Dean of the School of Law at OU?

According to her website, Miss. Hutchinson has a history of “mental health” issues, “emotional instability,” anxiety problems, suffers from feelings of loneliness (no doubt due to her recent “terrible breakup”), lives with “turbulence and restlessness,” seeks “power,” and “loves to be in charge.” She even stated that her own mother had concerns over her mental health, and would have enrolled her in “Clown College” to make her happy. (Just in case she tries to delete this article, it is archived here.)

While, I’ve seen first hand how devastating a mental illness can be, and wish no ill towards those suffering from such diseases, young Miss. Hutchinson seems to be suffering from pathologies that come from the adherence to modern Feminism, Leftist Ideology and possibly even Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Miss. Hutchinson is clearly using Dr. McCall as her scapegoat and whipping post for her own rebellion and personal problems. For a social justice warrior, who seems to frequently lament the in-justice of the “gender-gap” in STEM fields, she has committed one of the gravest of all injustices: the bearing of false witness against one’s neighbor. And to add insult to injury, without thinking about the women and girls dependent on Dr. McCalls income from the University, she recklessly put their well being in danger. Clearly an act of oppression of women.

The Kavanaugh Connection

As we have seen, Dr. McCall has been groundlessly accused of the modern litany of sins against Social Justice, with absolutely no proof, which has now cost this courageous man his job as Associate Dean at the University of Oklahoma. This mirrors, in a way, the national drama we have seen playing out with the un-just and unfounded accusations of sexual impropriety directed at Brett Kavanaugh.

 Nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh

Nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh, an honorable (albeit liberal) man with a long history of upstanding service towards his country, a man who with the grace of God could put an end to the daily Holocaust of innocent babies murdered at the hands of abortionists, reflects a certain amount of God’s Justice towards the hordes of disgusting, disgruntled, pink-hat wearing, perpetually outraged, Marxist-Feminazi-God-Hating-Liberals. This group of filth absolutely cannot risk anyone standing up for anything good and holy in our nations supreme court, and have concocted an ever-changing, un-corroborated, thoroughly discredited story about how Judge Kavanaugh drugged and gang-raped women in High-School and College and has some how gone un-detected at the highest levels of government for the past 35 years.

These accusations are losing steam, as Liberals and Democrats scramble to block this man’s appointment, but at Oaklahoma University, in an effort to rally support for the leftist’s agenda to perpetuate abortion and sex without consequences, our young “journalist” Drew Hutchinson breathlessly live-Tweeted The Gender + Equality Center’s “Take Back the Night event to take a stand against sexual violence,” an event clearly geared at discrediting the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

Clearly for “journalists” like Drew Hutchinson, feelings matter more than evidence and the truth.

Please say a prayer for young Miss. Hutchinson, as well as the un-justly attacked Dr. Brian McCall, and don’t forget that any one of us could be next!

abortion rights

Update 10/4/18 10:38 PM:

Since Publication of this article Drew Huchinson has revised her April 21st article “Benefits of Switching Majors” sourced above. In the original blog entry, Drew includes indecent photos of herself, reproduced in this blog, as well as several paragraphs referencing relationship problems and “mental health” issues. It is not my intent to poke fun at or persecute individuals suffering from such problems at all. That being said, Miss. Huchinson quietly revised her article, deleting several paragraphs quoted in this article, most likely in an effort to frame me as someone intent on smearing young college students with a political ideology I disagree with. This is far from the truth.

Luckily, I archived her old un-edited post before I published this article. You can view her original blog entry by clicking here. You can view her newly “revised” blog entry by clicking here. By comparing these articles one can see clearly that Miss. Huchinson is trying to hide the truth and maybe regrets her honesty. I do feel sorry for her, and seriously urge you to pray for her, and all souls in need of conversion.

What Miss. Huchinson did with her “journalistic endeavor” was more akin to radical activism, not journalism. Had she interviewed Dr. McCall, his students, his co-workers et. al. I’m sure she would have found that his personal religious beliefs did not prejudice or affect the behavior of Dr. McCall in the workplace, as the statement on the situation from Dean Harroz clearly stated.


The Truth About The Crisis In The Catholic Church

Vox Catholica

The crisis in the Catholic Church has been getting worse and worse by the day for about the last 100 years. In this video, Father Adam Purdy dissects some of the recent scandalous headlines about what has been coming to light in the Catholic Church, how that relates to the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification in Quito, Ecuador, and shares with us what we can do about it!

Please share this video, and God Bless You!

Auriesville Pilgrimage Recap: Pictures, Sermons, and District Superior's Comments on Crisis

James Austin

The weekend of September 7-9 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the Society of Saint Pius X's pilgrimage to Auriesville, NY, to the site of the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs. It was in Auriesville that three of the eight North American Martyrs, St. René Goupil, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. John de Lalande were martyred, and where St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born and grew up. Around 500 faithful came from the Northeast area to honor the martyrs of Auriesville through this event.    

The pilgrimage began on Friday night with Mass, a campfire, and sung Compline. On Saturday morning pilgrims gathered for a pep talk and a blessing by Fr. Richard Boyle before beginning the ten-mile walk. A life-size statue of our Lady of Fatima, carried by the men and boys of Christ the King parish in Ridgefield, CT, accompanied the faithful on this year’s pilgrimage. The statue was preceded by the boys of Blessed Virgin Mary Academy in Warners, NY, who led the pilgrimage with a large wooden cross. Following the statue came the girls of the academy, who livened the spirit of the pilgrimage by singing chants and hymns along the way.

The midday talk, given by Fr. Steven Soos, highlighted the 25th anniversary of the SSPX's pilgrimage, touched on the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and the crisis unfolding in the Catholic Church.

Upon reaching the shrine, the triumphant but weary pilgrims consummated the pilgrimage with a procession and a solemn high Mass in the shrine. There, the SSPX District Superior of the United States, Fr. Jurgen Wegner, preached about the lessons we can draw from the past and how to apply it to the troubled time in which we live.

Notably, Fr. Wegner made his first public statement on the now unfolding Cardinal McCarrick scandal as well as the Pennsylvania Attorney General's report. Fr. Wegner Stated:

...What can we learn in this troubled period of the church, after this report of the grand jury? After this scandal of Cardinal McCarrick, which reveal sins, weaknesses, in Christian souls, in priests, in bishops, in cardinals... Which are scandalous! Which every Christian has to condemn. But we have to make sure that it will not happen, again. That it will not happen in our circles."

While many left after the Te Deum marking the end of Mass to make the long drive home, others chose to camp overnight in order to attend  the Sunday Mass which officially closed the pilgrimage.

Check out the Photos of this year's pilgrimage below!

SSPX Ordinations 2018 - Bishop Tissier Sermon & Photo Gallery

Vox Catholica

On Friday, June 22nd, 2018, the Catholic Church welcomed 7 new priests, ordained by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of the Society of Saint Pius at their new Seminary in Dillwyn, Virginia.

Those seven new priests are:

  • Fr. Thomas Buschmann
  • Fr. Samuel Fabula
  • Fr. John Graziano
  • Fr. Michael Sheahan
  • Fr. Thomas Tamm
  • Fr. Nicolas McManus
  • Fr. Thomas O’Hart

Below are photographs of their ordination, as well as photos from the first masses of Fr. Sheahan, Fr. Fabula and Father O'Hart. 

Sunday Sermon: Corpus Christi and The Real Presence

Vox Catholica

In this Sunday sermon, Father Robinson discusses the decline of Ireland (in regards to the recent vote to legalize abortion), and since the Feast of Corpus Christi fell on a weekday, the solemnity of this feast was transferred to the following Sunday. Father discusses the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and it's transformative effect on our lives, if we co-operate with God's grace.

Sunday Sermon: Motherhood In God - Mother's Day 2018

Vox Catholica

In this sermon, Father Robinson discusses Motherhood, in relation to our Divine Mother, and the parents duty to properly raise and educate their children.

In 1994 the Swiss carried out a survey to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. They found that the religious practice of the father of the family determines the future church attendance or non-attendance of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33% of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41% will end up attending irregularly. Only a 1/4 of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3% of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59% will become irregulars. 38% will be lost. If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2% of children will become regular worshippers, and 37% will attend irregularly. Over 60% of their children will be lost completely to the church.

What is most startling is when the father is regular but the mother irregular the percentage of children becoming regular goes up from 33% to 38%! When the father is regular but the mother non-practicing their children's regular attendance goes up further still, to 44%!

Catholic Catechism: On Ignorance And Sin

Vox Catholica

Article 1. Whether ignorance can be a cause of sin?

Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance cannot be a cause of sin: because a non-being is not the cause of anything. Now ignorance is a non-being, since it is a privation of knowledge. Therefore ignorance is not a cause of sin.

Objection 2. Further, causes of sin should be reckoned in respect of sin being a "turning to" something, as was stated above (I-II:75:1). Now ignorance seems to savor of "turning away" from something. Therefore it should not be reckoned a cause of sin.

Objection 3. Further, every sin is seated in the will. Now the will does not turn to that which is not known, because its object is the good apprehended. Therefore ignorancecannot be a cause of sin.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. lxvii) "that some sin through ignorance."

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Phys. viii, 27) a moving cause is twofold, direct and indirect. A direct cause is one that moves by its own power, as the generator is the moving cause of heavy and light things. An indirect cause, is either one that removes an impediment, or the removal itself of an impediment: and it is in this way that ignorance can be the cause of a sinfulact; because it is a privation of knowledge perfecting the reason that forbids the act of sin, in so far as it directs human acts.

Now we must observe that the reason directs human acts in accordance with a twofold knowledge, universal and particular: because in conferring about what is to be done, it employs a syllogism, the conclusion of which is an act of judgment, or of choice, or an operation. Now actions are about singulars: wherefore the conclusion of a practical syllogism is a singular proposition. But a singular proposition does not follow from a universal proposition, except through the medium of a particular proposition: thus a man is restrained from an act of parricide, by the knowledge that it is wrong to kill one's father, and that this man is his father. Hence ignorance about either of these two propositions, viz. of the universal principle which is a rule of reason, or of the particular circumstance, could cause an act of parricide. Hence it is clear that not every kind of ignorance is the cause of a sin, but that alone which removes the knowledge which would prevent the sinful act. Consequently if a man's will be so disposed that he would not be restrained from the act of parricide, even though he recognized his father, his ignorance about his father is not the cause of his committing the sin, but is concomitant with the sin: wherefore such a man sins, not "through ignorance" but "in ignorance," as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 1).

Reply to Objection 1. Non-being cannot be the direct cause of anything: but it can be an accidental cause, as being the removal of an impediment.

Reply to Objection 2. As knowledge, which is removed by ignorance, regards sin as turning towards something, so too, ignoranceof this respect of a sin is the cause of that sin, as removing its impediment.

Reply to Objection 3. The will cannot turn to that which is absolutely unknown: but if something be known in one respect, and unknown in another, the will can will it. It is thus that ignorance is the cause of sin: for instance, when a man knows that what he is killing is a man, but not that it is his own father; or when one knows that a certain act is pleasurable, but not that it is a sin.

Article 2. Whether ignorance is a sin?

Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance is not a sin. For sin is "a word, deed or desire contrary to God's law," as stated above (I-II:71:5). Now ignorance does not denote an act, either internal or external. Therefore ignorance is not a sin.

Objection 2. Further, sin is more directly opposed to grace than to knowledge. Now privation of grace is not a sin, but a punishment resulting from sin. Therefore ignorance which is privation of knowledge is not a sin.

Objection 3. Further, if ignorance is a sin, this can only be in so far as it is voluntary. But if ignorance is a sin, through being voluntary, it seems that the sin will consist in the act itself of the will, rather than in the ignorance. Therefore the ignorance will not be a sin, but rather a result of sin.

Objection 4. Further, every sin is taken away by repentance, nor does any sin, except only original sin, pass as to guilt, yet remain in act. Now ignorance is not removed by repentance, but remains in act, all its guilt being removed by repentance. Therefore ignorance is not a sin, unless perchance it be original sin.

Objection 5. Further, if ignorance be a sin, then a man will be sinning, as long as he remains in ignorance. But ignorance is continual in the one who is ignorant. Therefore a person in ignorance would be continually sinning, which is clearly false, else ignorance would be a most grievous sin. Therefore ignorance is not a sin.

On the contrary, Nothing but sin deserves punishment. But ignorance deserves punishment, according to 1 Corinthians 14:38: "If any man know not, he shall not be known." Therefore ignorance is a sin.

I answer that, Ignorance differs from nescience, in that nescience denotes mere absence of knowledge; wherefore whoever lacks knowledge about anything, can be said to be nescient about it: in which sense Dionysius puts nescience in the angels (Coel. Hier. vii). On the other hand, ignorance denotes privation of knowledge, i.e. lack of knowledge of those things that one has a naturalaptitude to know. Some of these we are under an obligation to know, those, to wit, without the knowledge of which we are unable to accomplish a due act rightly. Wherefore all are bound in common to know the articles of faith, and the universal principles of right, and each individual is bound to know matters regarding his duty or state. Meanwhile there are other things which a man may have a natural aptitude to know, yet he is not bound to know them, such as the geometrical theorems, and contingent particulars, except in some individual case. Now it is evident that whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission. Wherefore through negligence, ignorance of what one is bound to know, is a sin; whereas it is not imputed as a sin to man, if he fails to know what he is unable to know. Consequently ignorance of such like things is called "invincible," because it cannot be overcome by study. For this reason such like ignorance, not being voluntary, since it is not in our power to be rid of it, is not a sin: wherefore it is evident that no invincible ignorance is a sin. On the other hand, vincible ignorance is a sin, if it be about matters one is bound to know; but not, if it be about things one is not bound to know.

Reply to Objection 1. As stated above (I-II:71:6 ad 1), when we say that sin is a "word, deed or desire," we include the opposite negations, by reason of which omissions have the character of sin; so that negligence, in as much as ignorance is a sin, is comprised in the above definition of sin; in so far as one omits to say what one ought, or to do what one ought, or to desire what one ought, in order to acquire the knowledge which we ought to have.

Reply to Objection 2. Although privation of grace is not a sin in itself, yet by reason of negligence in preparing oneself for grace, it may have the character of sin, even as ignorance; nevertheless even here there is a difference, since man can acquire knowledgeby his acts, whereas grace is not acquired by acts, but by God's favor.

Reply to Objection 3. Just as in a sin of transgression, the sin consists not only in the act of the will, but also in the act willed, which is commanded by the will; so in a sin of omission not only the act of the will is a sin, but also the omission, in so far as it is in some way voluntary; and accordingly, the neglect to know, or even lack of consideration is a sin.

Reply to Objection 4. Although when the guilt has passed away through repentance, the ignorance remains, according as it is a privation of knowledge, nevertheless the negligence does not remain, by reason of which the ignorance is said to be a sin.

Reply to Objection 5. Just as in other sins of omissionman sins actually only at the time at which the affirmative precept is binding, so is it with the sin of ignorance. For the ignorant man sins actually indeed, not continually, but only at the time for acquiring the knowledge that he ought to have.

Article 3. Whether ignorance excuses from sin altogether?

Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance excuses from sin altogether. For as Augustine says (Retract. i, 9), every sin is voluntary. Now ignorance causes involuntariness, as stated above (I-II:6:8). Therefore ignorance excuses from sin altogether.

Objection 2. Further, that which is done beside the intention, is done accidentally. Now the intention cannot be about what is unknown. Therefore what a man does through ignorance is accidental in human acts. But what is accidental does not give the species. Therefore nothing that is done through ignorance in human acts, should be deemed sinful or virtuous.

Objection 3. Further, man is the subject of virtue and sin, inasmuch as he is partaker of reason. Now ignorance excludes knowledge which perfects the reason. Therefore ignorance excuses from sin altogether.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. iii, 18) that "some things done through ignorance are rightly reproved." Now those things alone are rightly reproved which are sins. Therefore some things done through ignorance are sins. Therefore ignorance does not altogether excuse from sin.

I answer that, Ignorance, by its very nature, renders the act which it causes involuntary. Now it has already been stated (Articles 1 and 2) that ignorance is said to cause the act which the contrary knowledge would have prevented; so that this act, if knowledgewere to hand, would be contrary to the will, which is the meaning of the word involuntary. If, however, the knowledge, which is removed by ignorance, would not have prevented the act, on account of the inclination of the will thereto, the lack of this knowledge does not make that man unwilling, but not willing, as stated in Ethic. iii, 1: and such like ignorance which is not the cause of the sinful act, as already stated, since it does not make the act to be involuntary, does not excuse from sin. The same applies to any ignorance that does not cause, but follows or accompanies the sinful act.

On the other hand, ignorance which is the cause of the act, since it makes it to be involuntary, of its very nature excuses from sin, because voluntariness is essential to sin. But it may fail to excuse altogether from sin, and this for two reasons. First, on the part of the thing itself which is not known. For ignorance excuses from sin, in so far as something is not known to be a sin. Now it may happen that a person ignores some circumstance of a sin, the knowledge of which circumstance would prevent him from sinning, whether it belong to the substance of the sin, or not; and nevertheless his knowledge is sufficient for him to be aware that the act is sinful; for instance, if a man strike someone, knowing that it is a man (which suffices for it to be sinful) and yet be ignorant of the fact that it is his father, (which is a circumstance constituting another species of sin); or, suppose that he is unaware that this manwill defend himself and strike him back, and that if he had known this, he would not have struck him (which does not affect the sinfulness of the act). Wherefore, though this man sins through ignorance, yet he is not altogether excused, because, not withstanding, he has knowledge of the sin. Secondly, this may happen on the part of the ignorance itself, because, to wit, this ignorance is voluntary, either directly, as when a man wishes of set purpose to be ignorant of certain things that he may sin the more freely; or indirectly, as when a man, through stress of work or other occupations, neglects to acquire the knowledge which would restrain him from sin. For such like negligence renders the ignorance itself voluntary and sinful, provided it be about matters one is bound and able to know. Consequently this ignorance does not altogether excuse from sin. If, however, the ignorance be such as to be entirely involuntary, either through being invincible, or through being of matters one is not bound to know, then such like ignorance excuses from sin altogether.

Reply to Objection 1. Not every ignorance causes involuntariness, as stated above (I-II:6:8). Hence not every ignorance excuses from sin altogether.

Reply to Objection 2. So far as voluntariness remains in the ignorant person, the intention of sin remains in him: so that, in this respect, his sin is not accidental.

Reply to Objection 3. If the ignorance be such as to exclude the use of reason entirely, it excuses from sin altogether, as is the case with madmen and imbeciles: but such is not always the ignorance that causes the sin; and so it does not always excuse from sin altogether.

Article 4. Whether ignorance diminishes a sin?

Objection 1. It would seem that ignorance does not diminish a sin. For that which is common to all sins does not diminish sin. Now ignorance is common to all sins, for the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 1) that "every evil man is ignorant." Therefore ignorance does not diminish sin.

Objection 2. Further, one sin added to another makes a greater sin. But ignorance is itself a sin, as stated above (Article 2). Therefore it does not diminish a sin.

Objection 3. Further, the same thing does not both aggravate and diminish sin. Now ignorance aggravates sin; for Ambrosecommenting on Romans 2:4, "Knowest thou not that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?" says: "Thy sin is most grievous if thou knowest not." Therefore ignorance does not diminish sin.

Objection 4. Further, if any kind of ignorance diminishes a sin, this would seem to be chiefly the case as regards the ignorancewhich removes the use of reason altogether. Now this kind of ignorance does not diminish sin, but increases it: for the Philosophersays (Ethic. iii, 5) that the "punishment is doubled for a drunken man." Therefore ignorance does not diminish sin.

On the contrary, Whatever is a reason for sin to be forgiven, diminishes sin. Now such is ignorance, as is clear from 1 Timothy 1:13: "I obtained . . . mercy . . . because I did it ignorantly." Therefore ignorance diminishes or alleviates sin.

I answer that, Since every sin is voluntaryignorance can diminish sin, in so far as it diminishes its voluntariness; and if it does not render it less voluntary, it nowise alleviates the sin. Now it is evident that the ignorance which excuses from sin altogether (through making it altogether involuntary) does not diminish a sin, but does away with it altogether. On the other hand, ignorancewhich is not the cause of the sin being committed, but is concomitant with it, neither diminishes nor increases the sin.

Therefore sin cannot be alleviated by any ignorance, but only by such as is a cause of the sin being committed, and yet does not excuse from the sin altogether. Now it happens sometimes that such like ignorance is directly and essentially voluntary, as when a man is purposely ignorant that he may sin more freely, and ignorance of this kind seems rather to make the act more voluntary and more sinful, since it is through the will's intention to sin that he is willing to bear the hurt of ignorance, for the sake of freedom in sinning. Sometimes, however, the ignorance which is the cause of a sin being committed, is not directly voluntary, but indirectly or accidentally, as when a man is unwilling to work hard at his studies, the result being that he is ignorant, or as when a man willfully drinks too much wine, the result being that he becomes drunk and indiscreet, and this ignorance diminishes voluntariness and consequently alleviates the sin. For when a thing is not known to be a sin, the will cannot be said to consent to the sin directly, but only accidentally; wherefore, in that case there is less contempt, and therefore less sin.

Reply to Objection 1. The ignorance whereby "every evil man is ignorant," is not the cause of sin being committed, but something resulting from that cause, viz. of the passion or habit inclining to sin.

Reply to Objection 2. One sin is added to another makes more sins, but it does not always make a sin greater, since, perchance, the two sins do not coincide, but are separate. It may happen, if the first diminishes the second, that the two together have not the same gravity as one of them alone would have; thus murder is a more grievous sin if committed by a man when sober, than if committed by a man when drunk, although in the latter case there are two sins: because drunkenness diminishes the sinfulness of the resulting sin more than its own gravity implies.

Reply to Objection 3. The words of Ambrose may be understood as referring to simply affected ignorance; or they may have reference to a species of the sin of ingratitude, the highest degree of which is that man even ignores the benefits he has received; or again, they may be an allusion to the ignorance of unbelief, which undermines the foundation of the spiritual edifice.

Reply to Objection 4. The drunken man deserves a "double punishment" for the two sins which he commits, viz. drunkenness, and the sin which results from his drunkenness: and yet drunkenness, on account of the ignorance connected therewith, diminishes the resulting sin, and more, perhaps, than the gravity of the drunkenness implies, as stated above (Reply to Objection 2). It might also be said that the words quoted refer to an ordinance of the legislator named Pittacus, who ordered drunkards to be more severely punished if they assaulted anyone; having an eye, not to the indulgence which the drunkard might claim, but to expediency, since more harm is done by the drunk than by the sober, as the Philosopher observes (Polit. ii).

Catholic Catechism: On The Causes Of Sin

Vox Catholica

In this lesson, Father addresses Question 75 of the Summa Theologica, on the causes of Sin.

•Does sin have a cause?
•Does it have an internal cause?
•Does it have an external cause?
•Is one sin the cause of another?

Article 1. Whether sin has a cause?

Objection 1. It would seem that sin has no cause. For sin has the nature of evil, as stated above (I-II:71:6). But evil has no cause, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore sin has no cause.

Objection 2. Further, a cause is that from which something follows of necessity. Now that which is of necessity, seems to be no sin, for every sin is voluntary. Therefore sinhas no cause.

Objection 3. Further, if sin has a cause, this cause is either good or evil. It is not a good, because good produces nothing but good, for "a good tree cannot bring forth evilfruit" (Matthew 7:18). Likewise neither can evil be the cause of sin, because the evil of punishment is a sequel to sin, and the evil of guilt is the same as sin. Therefore sin has no cause.

On the contrary, Whatever is done has a cause, for, according to Job 5:6, "nothing upon earth is done without a cause." But sin is something done; since it a "word, deed, or desire contrary to the law of God." Therefore sin has a cause.

I answer that, A sin is an inordinate act. Accordingly, so far as it is an act, it can have a direct cause, even as any other act; but, so far as it is inordinate, it has a cause, in the same way as a negation or privation can have a cause. Now two causes may be assigned to a negation: in the first place, absence of the cause of affirmation; i.e. the negation of the cause itself, is the cause of the negation in itself; since the result of the removing the cause is the removal of the effect: thus the absence of the sun is the cause of darkness. In the second place, the cause of an affirmation, of which a negation is a sequel, is the accidental cause of the resulting negation: thus fire by causing heat in virtue of its principal tendency, consequently causes a privation of cold. The first of these suffices to cause a simple negation. But, since the inordinateness of sin and of every evil is not a simple negation, but the privation of that which something ought naturally to have, such an inordinateness must needs have an accidental efficient cause. For that which naturally is and ought to be in a thing, is never lacking except on account of some impeding cause. And accordingly we are wont to say that evil, which consists in a certain privation, has a deficient cause, or an accidental efficient cause. Now every accidental cause is reducible to the direct cause. Since then sin, on the part of its inordinateness, has an accidental efficient cause, and on the part of the act, a direct efficient cause, it follows that the inordinateness of sin is a result of the cause of the act. Accordingly then, the will lacking the direction of the rule of reason and of the Divine law, and intent on some mutable goodcausesthe act of sin directly, and the inordinateness of the act, indirectly, and beside the intention: for the lack of order in the act results from the lack of direction in the will.

Reply to Objection 1. Sin signifies not only the privation of good, which privation is its inordinateness, but also the act which is the subject of that privation, which has the nature of evil: and how this evil has a cause, has been explained.

Reply to Objection 2. If this definition is to be verified in all cases, it must be understood as applying to a cause which is sufficient and not impeded. For it happens that a thing is the sufficient cause of something else, and that the effect does not follow of necessity, on account of some supervening impediment: else it would follow that all things happen of necessity, as is proved in Metaph. vi, text. 5. Accordingly, though sin has a cause, it does not follow that this is a necessary cause, since its effect can be impeded.

Reply to Objection 3. As stated above, the will in failing to apply the rule of reason or of the Divine law, is the cause of sin. Now the fact of not applying the rule of reason or of the Divine law, has not in itself the nature of evil, whether of punishment or of guilt, before it is applied to the act. Wherefore accordingly, evil is not the cause of the first sin, but some good lacking some other good.

Article 2. Whether sin has an internal cause?

Objection 1. It would seem that sin has no internal cause. For that which is within a thing is always in it. If therefore sin had an internal causeman would always be sinning, since given the cause, the effect follows.

Objection 2. Further, a thing is not its own cause. But the internal movements of a man are sins. Therefore they are not the causeof sin.

Objection 3. Further, whatever is within man is either natural or voluntary. Now that which is natural cannot be the cause of sin, for sin is contrary to nature, as Damascene states (De Fide Orth. ii, 3; iv, 21); while that which is voluntary, if it be inordinate, is already a sin. Therefore nothing intrinsic can be the cause of the first sin.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Duabus Anim. x, 10,11; Retract. i, 9) that "the will is the cause of sin."

I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), the direct cause of sin must be considered on the part of the act. Now we may distinguish a twofold internal cause of human acts, one remote, the other proximate. The proximate internal cause of the human act is the reason and will, in respect of which man has a free-will; while the remote cause is the apprehension of the sensitive part, and also the sensitive appetite. For just as it is due to the judgment of reason, that the will is moved to something in accord with reason, so it is due to an apprehension of the senses that the sensitive appetite is inclined to something; which inclination sometimes influences the will and reason, as we shall explain further on (I-II:77:1. Accordingly a double interior cause of sin may be assigned; one proximate, on the part of the reason and will; and the other remote, on the part of the imagination or sensitive appetite.

But since we have said above (Article 1, Reply to Objection 3) that the cause of sin is some apparent good as motive, yet lacking the due motive, viz. the rule of reason or the Divine law, this motive which is an apparent good, appertains to the apprehension of the senses and to the appetite; while the lack of the due rule appertains to the reason, whose nature it is to consider this rule; and the completeness of the voluntary sinful act appertains to the will, so that the act of the will, given the conditions we have just mentioned, is already a sin.

Reply to Objection 1. That which is within a thing as its natural power, is always in it: but that which is within it, as the internal act of the appetitive or apprehensive power, is not always in it. Now the power of the will is the potential cause of sin, but is made actual by the preceding movements, both of the sensitive part, in the first place, and afterwards, of the reason. For it is because a thing is proposed as appetible to the senses, and because the appetite is inclined, that the reason sometimes fails to consider the due rule, so that the will produces the act of sin. Since therefore the movements that precede it are not always actual, neither is man always actually sinning.

Reply to Objection 2. It is not true that all the internal acts belong to the substance of sin, for this consists principally in the act of the will; but some precede and some follow the sin itself.

Reply to Objection 3. That which causes sin, as a power produces its act, is natural; and again, the movement of the sensitive part, from which sin follows, is natural sometimes, as, for instance, when anyone sins through appetite for food. Yet sin results in being unnatural from the very fact that the natural rule fails, which man, in accord with his nature, ought to observe.

Article 3. Whether sin has an external cause?

Objection 1. It would seem that sin has no external cause. For sin is a voluntary act. Now voluntary acts belong to principles that are within us, so that they have no external cause. Therefore sin has no external cause.

Objection 2. Further, as nature is an internal principle, so is the will. Now in natural things sin can be due to no other than an internal cause; for instance, the birth of a monster is due to the corruption of some internal principle. Therefore in the moral order, sin can arise from no other than an internal cause. Therefore it has no external cause.

Objection 3. Further, if the cause is multiplied, the effect is multiplied. Now the more numerous and weighty the external inducements to sin are, the less is a man's inordinate act imputed to him as a sin. Therefore nothing external is a cause of sin.

On the contrary, It is written (Numbers 21:16): "Are not these they, that deceived the children of Israel by the counsel of Balaam, and made you transgress against the Lord by the sin of Phogor?" Therefore something external can be a cause of sin.

I answer that, As stated above (Article 2), the internal cause of sin is both the will, as completing the sinful act, and the reason, as lacking the due rule, and the appetite, as inclining to sin. Accordingly something external might be a cause of sin in three ways, either by moving the will itself immediately, or by moving the reason, or by moving the sensitive appetite. Now, as stated above (I-II:9:6I-II:10:4), none can move the will inwardly save God alone, who cannot be a cause of sin, as we shall prove further on (I-II:79:1. Hence it follows that nothing external can be a cause of sin, except by moving the reason, as a man or devil by enticing to sin; or by moving the sensitive appetite, as certain external sensibles move it. Yet neither does external enticement move the reason, of necessity, in matters of action, nor do things proposed externally, of necessity move the sensitive appetite, except perhaps it be disposed thereto in a certain way; and even the sensitive appetite does not, of necessity, move the reason and will. Therefore something external can be a cause moving to sin, but not so as to be a sufficient cause thereof: and the will alone is the sufficient completive cause of sin being accomplished.

Reply to Objection 1. From the very fact that the external motive causes of sin do not lead to sin sufficiently and necessarily, it follows that it remains in our power to sin or not to sin.

Reply to Objection 2. The fact that sin has an internal cause does not prevent its having an external cause; for nothing external is a cause of sin, except through the medium of the internal cause, as stated.

Reply to Objection 3. If the external causes inclining to sin be multiplied, the sinful acts are multiplied, because they incline to the sinful act in both greater numbers and greater frequency. Nevertheless the character of guilt is lessened, since this depends on the act being voluntary and in our power.

Article 4. Whether one sin is a cause of another?

Objection 1. It would seem that one sin cannot be the cause of another. For there are four kinds of cause, none of which will fit in with one sin causing another. Because the end has the character of good; which is inconsistent with sin, which has the character of evil. In like manner neither can a sin be an efficient cause, since "evil is not an efficient cause, but is weak and powerless," as Dionysius declares (Div. Nom. iv). The material and formal cause seems to have no place except in natural bodies, which are composed of matter and form. Therefore sin cannot have either a material or a formal cause.

Objection 2. Further, "to produce its like belongs to a perfect thing," as stated in Meteor. iv, 2 [Cf. De Anima ii.]. But sin is essentially something imperfect. Therefore one sin cannot be a cause of another.

Objection 3. Further, if one sin is the cause of a second sin, in the same way, yet another sin will be the cause of the first, and thus we go on indefinitely, which is absurd. Therefore one sin is not the cause of another.

On the contrary, Gregory says on Ezechiel (Hom. xi): "A sin is not quickly blotted out by repentance, is both a sin and a cause of sin."

I answer that, Forasmuch as a sin has a cause on the part of the act of sin, it is possible for one sin to be the cause of another, in the same way as one human act is the cause of another. Hence it happens that one sin may be the cause of another in respect of the four kinds of causes. First, after the manner of an efficient or moving cause, both directly and indirectly. Indirectly, as that which removes an impediment is called an indirect cause of movement: for when man, by one sinful act, loses grace, or charity, or shame, or anything else that withdraws him from sin, he thereby falls into another sin, so that the first sin is the accidental cause of the second. Directly, as when, by one sinful act, man is disposed to commit more readily another like act: because acts causedispositions and habits inclining to like acts. Secondly, after the manner of a material cause, one sin is the cause of another, by preparing its matter: thus covetousness prepares the matter for strife, which is often about the wealth a man has amassed together. Thirdly, after the manner of a final cause, one sin causes another, in so far as a man commits one sin for the sake of another which is his end; as when a man is guilty of simony for the end of ambition, or fornication for the purpose of theft. And since the end gives the form to moral matters, as stated above (I-II:1:3Question 18, Articles 4 and 6), it follows that one sin is also the formal cause of another: because in the act of fornication committed for the purpose of theft, the former is material while the latter is formal.

Reply to Objection 1. Sin, in so far as it is inordinate, has the character of evil; but, in so far as it is an act, it has some good, at least apparent, for its end: so that, as an act, but not as being inordinate, it can be the cause, both final and efficient, of another sin. A sin has matter, not "of which" but "about which" it is: and it has its form from its end. Consequently one sin can be the causeof another, in respect of the four kinds of cause, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 2. Sin is something imperfect on account of its moral imperfection on the part of its inordinateness. Nevertheless, as an act it can have natural perfection: and thus it can be the cause of another sin.

Reply to Objection 3. Not every cause of one sin is another sin; so there is no need to go on indefinitely: for one may come to one sin which is not caused by another sin.