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Filtering by Tag: Catholic Faith

Buen Suceso Conferences Part II: The History of Sacrifice and the Purification

Vox Catholica

This is the second installment in a series of conferences by Fr. Adam Purdy on the significance and the meaning of the apparitions of Maria del Buen Suceso de la Purification to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador.

In this conference, Father Purdy walks us through a detailed history of sacrifice; from the first sacrifice after the fall of Adam, to the sacrifices of Noah, Abraham, Aaron & the Levites, and culminating in the sacrifice offered by the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple on the day of her Purification and the ultimate sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross.

This history is integral to truly understanding WHAT the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, it's relation to the priesthood and the religious life, and why it is important that Our Lady took the name Maria del Buen Suceso de la Purification when she appeared to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador.

Father Purdy also discusses in detail the 'Quasi-Priestly' role that Our Lady plays in the mystery of redemption, using the principles Saint Thomas Aquinas on analogy.

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...

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!

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).

Our Lady of Buen Suceso and the Crisis in the Catholic Church

James Austin

Father Adam Purdy of the Society of Saint Pius X, held a conference in Quito, Ecuador on January 30th, 2018. Father Purdy described in detail the Crisis of Faith in the Catholic Church, and the crisis in the social and political orders due to the absence of the Kingship of Christ, and His Grace in our Society.

Father dissects everything from Vatican II to the numerous priestly scandals plaguing the Church, to the recent assaults on the Sacrament of Matrimony through the lens of the apparitions of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, "Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification" in Quito, between 1594-1634.

Courtship: The Importance of Sacred Kindness

Allie Reis

Courtship is a very important subject for young Catholics, especially in the times in which we live. In a world where dating is “just for fun,” the idea of a serious courtship can seem confusing to us. Thus, we offer a series of articles on courtship, since it is such a vast subject to cover. It is also one that can be greatly misunderstood. On the one hand, we have young people being influenced by the world to date with a shallow attitude; on the other hand, we have the older generations not always taking seriously those in a courtship because of all the worldliness they see around them. But before going into different important aspects that should be kept in mind, what is a proper courtship?

According to traditional Church teaching, the best kind of courtship is when two Catholics, who are both of the age to get married, spend time together in a good and wholesome way in order to develop a strong relationship, and later to marry and have children for the greater glory of God and the salvation of their souls. It is a beautiful union that will strengthen the sanctity of the couple, and later on sanctify the children they raise together. It may seem to the young couple who hears this that this is a far too serious definition, and that they are not ready for such a commitment. But think of it this way: If we are not courting for marriage, we are setting ourselves up for sin and heartbreak. The world romanticizes dating in such a way that it catches our eye, and we forget the emptiness of it all. Let us then begin with a few reminders that will help us if we are in a courtship, and put our minds at peace.

The Importance of Taking Courtship Seriously

Too many times, I’ve seen a young couple courting and those around them seem not to take their relationship seriously. They’re young, they have young love, and the realities of life will hit them one day. If we are going to encourage the youth to have a fruitful courtship, this is not the way. Perhaps the couple enjoys laughing together and having good times. We should encourage prayer and good works, but also the lightheartedness that comes with the beginning stages of a relationship. For those courting, never lose that balance of spirituality and joy. On one side, you can forget the spiritual aspects of the relationship, and on the other you can get too caught up in worries and scrupulosity. Adulthood is not about being cold and overly serious, but rather growing in the spiritual life with joy and practicing virtue in our daily lives. If we are preparing for marriage, we must be mature in our decisions, but also be lighthearted and happy with those around us.

In The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis tells us, “Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in Heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things.” God created us to love Him directly, and also to love those around us for His sake. This is a very serious thing, but just because love is serious does not mean it has to be unfeeling. We should then pray to have this balance, in order to grow with the other person and give the good example all around us of a Catholic relationship. When you are young, people might not always take you seriously, but use these opportunities to grow in humility, maturity, and always with a peaceful and childlike disposition. There is a reason Our Blessed Lord loved the children He came across so much when He was on earth. He loves especially to be honored with simplicity, sincerity, and always with a smile.

Genuine Kindness and Wonder

In order for a courtship to be fruitful, we must realize what the vocation to marriage means for us. When we read up on vocations, we find material on nuns being brides of Christ, and priests having the sacred place of offering to God Himself the same Sacrifice He offered on earth, but material on marriage is oftentimes lacking. If we truly think about it, God has called us to offer everything we are to another person, in order to serve Him and fulfill His holy will. This is an incredible calling, since it involves true self-sacrifice. We must learn and pray for the grace to see God in the eyes of the one we love, which will help us treat the other with a sacred kindness and charity in everything we do. When we see Our Blessed Lord’s sacred Eyes in those of the one we hope to marry, it helps us to be more charitable, more patient, and teaches us how holy the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony really is. In the period of courtship, growth in all these virtues is especially important since they will be used regularly throughout married life, which will no doubt be difficult at times. However, if a relationship has grown under the guidance of God, it will be far easier and give everything a joyful light. If trials come our way, we can look into the eyes of our beloved and offer it all up for their benefit. Sorrow is then turned to joy, and God can actively make every trouble a greater good.

Seek Wise Counsel

One final point for this introductory article on courtship is that we should trust in the advice of others. For generations, couples have been getting together and learning all the ins and outs of a holy courtship and marriage. Young people can often struggle with listening and asking for advice, but this does not always have to be difficult. We should be open to learning from the older couples we know and trust, and ask them for advice and counsel. They have experienced the fullness of life, and though we want to be mature and independent, their help will always benefit us. In asking for help, we grow in humility as well as wisdom for the future. If we find that those around us are not giving holy or beneficial advice, we must seek out those couples who lift us up and challenge us to pursue holiness in our courtship.

May God watch over all those preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage, so that they can grow in sanctity and peace. God always wills true peace for our souls, especially when preparing for such a holy union. St. Catherine of Sienna is a great model to follow as she understood so well the sanctity of charity: “Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God.”

May all the Saints and Angels watch over the young, for they are extremely loved in the eyes of God, and can do great things for the Church.