The Catholic Church and Abortion

Bloggers noteThe point of this blog isn’t to debate Prop 1 in CA (abortion) but to point out the shifting “stance” of the Catholic Church in regard to abortion that I have witnessed firsthand.

It should be a surprise to none of our readers, I am a Knight of Columbus (men’s group sanctioned by the Catholic Church) so I have a front row seat to the goings on and beliefs coming from leadership.  One thing that upset me was slightly after the confirmation of Amy Comey Barret to the Supreme Court, I witnessed a sea change in tone at my church and in the media.  Let me lay it out.

The media no longer made this a GOP vs Democrat issue, it became organized religion aka the Catholic Church vs everyone else.  I use the term “Catholic Church” because most view the Pope as the world’s strongest leader when it comes to organized religion. He is definitely the most recognizable.  Notice how the judges were being grouped by “Catholic vs the others”?  Barrett was criticized as being Catholic, and heavily religious.  This has begun a narrative that in my opinion led to the church changing its tone toward abortion. 

I was also in receipt of 2 emails from supreme one telling me as a leader to tell my fellow Knights how to vote.  Odd. If you are in a Catholic men’s group, you should know what you are joining, oh well.  Followed by a separate email in essence saying you are a Catholic gentleman, vote this way.  Yikes! Talk about bad messaging.

I am involved in a welcoming ceremony for the Knights here in California.  One of the lines I always listened for is “Regarding abortion, we do not recognize it, and cry out it is a mortal sin!”  “This goes for support of all politicians legalizing it as well.  Interestingly enough the ceremony was changed last year, and those lines are gone.  Furthermore, abortion is no longer even mentioned.  Gone.  When I asked, I was told this is how it is, and not following exactly means you are expelled from the order.  Pretty harsh!

In addition, it used to be if you were a Knight, you could not be a “Mason” as the Free Masons support abortion access, this was dropped as well.  Something, something, membership dropping, something, something.

Then I came church a week or so ago, and the following left me speechless.  During the homily or sermon depending on your viewpoint, our head priest wanted to address the congregation about Prop 1.  I figured he would address it, likely saying the Bishop says this… etc.  Nope he pawned it off to his deacon, a deacon in our church is not a priest but ordained kind of like minister in some ways.  Our deacon punted, he basically said the bishop’s remarks are in the bulletin (basically a program) and they moved on.  After Mass I looked in the vestibule (gathering area outside the main church) and the anti-abortion pamphlets were gone.  Just to re-cap Father passed the baton, deacon punted, and the congregation was likely confused. 

To make matters worse, I was told the Spanish Mass got a different variety of homily, there’s was more fire and brimstone about abortion being bad.  This leads to one obvious conclusion, it’s about butts in the seats and money on the collection plate (donation plate). 

Also leads to another question.

Is the Catholic Church picking and choosing who gets their message based on the crowd?  I say yes.  Why would you avoid the issue at the Masses with white/more affluent/progressive types, yet go all in at the Spanish Mass occupied by more traditional types?  I believe it’s just a matter of which audience they want to hear the message.  The earlier Masses are sparsely filled and tend to be far more democratic in their viewpoints, so tell them check out the program.  The more traditional crowd?  Hit them with the red meat and let them chew on it.

There has been a massive sea change in this country and make no mistake, its Catholics Vs Everyone on CA’s ballot in November.  I expect 70% to vote in favor of making abortion legal permanently.  I cannot hide my disappointment in the church or the Knights for turning their back on these issues.  Just like the GOP does out here, when they start winning on an issue they immediately run for cover, scared and afraid.

Oh, and like William’s church, my church plays the same music, “They will know we are Christians by our love” and we play “all are welcome in this place” I guess all are welcome.  Who cares about beliefs…like you know, the Bible says.  Ouch.

Jake

Editor’s Note: The first email never even said how to vote or came out against Prop 1, it had this milquetoast admonition. “As you may be aware, the California Bishops have made a recommendation on Proposition 1 …” Two days later, a more substantive  email was sent. The resources contained in it are actually very good. The Bible warns us “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 On this issue, the Church definitely falls under that condemnation.

A Church at War with Its Members

Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

1 Corinthians 1:12–13

Even if you don’t recognize all the names in the above passage, you get the idea that when people divide into factions that they exclude others and treat the one they like with more deference, respect, or courtesy. Conversely, those that disagree with them are vilified, dehumanized, and shunned.

A storm has been brewing for several years in the church that I have been attending. Actually, three storms or waves of controversy. Things finally hit the boiling point during the last two weeks. People have been taking “sides” and going after each other on social media and other platforms.

Instead of coming clean about what transpired, the church has told its members that its none of their business. They are maintaining that “it’s a personnel matter” and thus they have no intention to tell anyone what happened or apologizing to those that quit their jobs because of the crappy way they ignored the “personnel matters”. Yep, plural issues; more about them in a minute.

Folks, personnel matters are not in the Bible. We are given a command on how to deal with dissention in churches by Jesus himself.

 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18: 15 – 17

These folks think they are a “Bible Church?” That’s laughable. I guess the Good Book doesn’t apply to them, it’s just a tool to whack everyone else.

On the other hand, this group was supportive of the leadership’s willingness to fold like a cheap suit when the governor said they were non-essential, I guess they’d rather please Caesar than their Savior. On this point they’re a consistent lot anyway.

Lastly people forced to experience these situations don’t act based on reason but are governed by emotion.

Now that I’ve given you an idea of what’s happening, let’s get to the why. From this point on, hip waders are recommended because the crap is going to hit the fan.

Folks this is literally a three-ring circus.

In ring number one is the school administrator that didn’t pay the teacher’s money which was withheld from their pay checks to the appropriate government agency. If memory serves, this agency is the guys that are currently hiring 87,000 agents willing to use deadly force against taxpayers. Her attitude was no worries. When the school was notified of the oversight, this genius just threw the notices (plural) in the trash so nobody would see them. This went on for the better part of two years before she was busted for being stupid. Oh, she was not the treasurer, so I don’t see why she saw fit to interfere. After tens of thousands in penalties, interest, and principle were paid, she was fired. (Makes you wonder what else wasn’t reported about her conduct.)

A certain segment of the congregation thinks she was shafted and treated unfairly. They maintain she was innocent. This is based upon the idea that she is a nice lady so she couldn’t have done it. Another group thinks she is lucky not to be serving time in government custody.

In ring number two are both the ordained ministers on the payroll. They needed to hire an outside mediator to help them reconcile “issues.” Being this happened during Covid, makes me wonder. You’d think the degree of ankle grabbing done by the church staff might not have been as unified and harmonious as it appeared. The only thing worse than the wholesale surrender of worship and church authority to Gavin Newsom was the Scripture twisting done from the pulpit to try to rationalize obeying the government when they ordered the church shut down.

Heresy is not too strong a term for the sermon allegedly based on Romans 13 that was put forth to justify capitulation to the whims of the State. It was as masterful as any scary cult stuff you get warned to avoid. The Scripture twisting from the pulpit was remarkable in its boldness and deceit. Rarely have I seen Holy Writ so grossly manipulated from the misapplication of “The Word.” The pastor verbally contorted the Bible in the same fashion as a clown stretches balloons into grotesque animals or a corner vendor shapes his dough into pretzels. Before long, the epistle written by the Apostle to the Gentiles is placed firmly upside down and its contents are proclaimed to mean the exact opposite of the plain context and historical background of the text.

In ring number three is the main event, the hostile workplace issue that dragged on for almost three years. Word is that employees of the church filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing because the church board failed to act after repeated complaints. I was told, gosh shucks, the board is volunteers so we shouldn’t expect them to act on such complaints. Such matters are way out of their league.

Finally, enough pressure was applied that the church had to hire a labor attorney to investigate the issues. In the course of conducting the investigation, much of the church board had to recuse themselves for conflicts of interest because they were either related to participants in the controversy or material witnesses to said violations.

The findings of said investigation are embargoed but the recommendations that the attorney made were reportedly adopted unanimously by the same governing body that had failed to act for so many years. What those recommendations are has not been disclosed either. They are embargoed too. In fact, everything having to do with it is embargoed. Curiously, following this vote, the Senior Pastor announced his resignation with two weeks’ notice.

What’s that saying about where there’s smoke …

Oh, due to the resignation of the Senior Pastor, the mediation mentioned in #2—which went on for about seven months—is null.

Some board members claim no causality between the findings of the investigation in number 3 and the pastor’s resignation. Considering that the Senior Pastor is the one that was accused by a multitude of people as the one fostering the hostile workplace stuff, that is laughable. The number of people to jump ship under his leadership is remarkable. The only way to know what the relationship between his resignation and the investigation is if the investigation findings are released.

Following their unanimous vote, the board thought it best to send their minions to various church events to calm the sheep that might be considering jumping ship. Their approach reminds me of my Navy days when we were on the Alaska Cruise. The captain came on the ship’s intercom one afternoon and said, “I can’t tell you what we’re doing out here but you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work”.

Hint to my blog readers and members of the board, don’t send a known weasel out to try to calm the sensibilities of the masses. Having a person of such dubious character saying “anything you might wish to know is none of your business” can hardly be regarded as a competent strategy. The board’s position is trust us; we know what’s good for you. Wasn’t that Gavin’s line on closing churches during Covid?

When asked about the Matthew quote above, we are told the Bible doesn’t apply in the internal working of the church. Only state law matters. (If you think this sounds like the same rabbit hole that we just went down with Covid, I would wholeheartedly agree.)

Oh, we were also told that to make anything public would be to expose the church to litigation. Better to cover up the offenses. Again, opposite of biblical teaching. Oh, ditto for any type of apology to those that suffered under an unrepentant task master that created the alleged hostile work environment.

Folks, I’m not even on Facebook and the stuff that I know that was posted there is highly corrosive.

I could get into the tall weeds on this topic but why? I think you get the picture. It’s beyond ugly, it’s downright toxic. Irrecoverably so.

In the midst of all this, it did get even weirder. The spokesmen of the board are scared to death about the membership suffering or the weekly offering declining more. People have left the church over this—more on that in a minute. The sermon hymn last Sunday was “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love”.

Seriously?

The message from the church board is you have no right to know what happened. Its none of your business. But trust us. Stay here and we can go forward together just don’t expect us to do that healing stuff. Oh, and keep tossing money in the collection.

Lost in all this is that Biblical stuff about restitution and reconciliation.

This is a labor law, personnel matter, and you have no right to know even though you are the ones paying their salaries.

Based on my experience, this is how this will playout. A group of people will definitely leave over this mess. People act emotionally not intellectually to such things. Then in about six months, another group will exit. These are the ones that stayed to see if things will get better and they didn’t meet expectations.

Oh, we were told amidst a tidal wave of weasel words that the pastor didn’t have to resign. Folks, this ain’t his first rodeo. He left to save face. Better to retreat and live to fight another day.

Lastly after getting run out on a rail, the disgraced pastor got a going away party sponsored by the church and held on church property. My wife and I went out of curiosity. The number of people that didn’t show up was illustrative as well.

My attitude is that we’re leaving shortly for Idaho so in many ways we don’t have a dog in this hunt. I’m not emotional about the office mismanagement as much as the failure of the pastors to lead during Covid. The pastor needed to go because he lacked a spine to do the right thing. The fact that it’s not his reflex to trust Scripture speaks volumes to me.

Lastly, on the spineless comment, this pastor would occasionally say something right from the pulpit and the very next Sunday he would begin the service with an apology because a few people got offended by his comment the previous week. He would then retract what he said, ask for forgiveness, and promise not to do it again.

Again, where’s the Bible? Jesus said his words would be an offense. Many quit following Jesus because people disagreed with him or didn’t understand his words. At one point he even asked his disciples if they would leave too.

A church that can’t follow the Bible when it might have a cost is not worth defending. It needs to be vomited out. I’m thinking really hard if my money will continue to go there or elsewhere during my remaining time in Elk Grove.

This church has problems because the pastoral sermons stay in the shallow end of the theological pool and don’t give the meat of the Word to their members. So, when times get tough, we get to watch everyone play the baby game because they’ve never matured from the church’s teaching; or lack thereof. “Safe” sermons are worthless ones and sadly way to frequently given.

Just as I was preparing to post this blog, I get an email from the board. Guess the board meeting a couple days ago was not poorly attended like days gone by. Anyway, they sent out a communique tonight. I will redact a few names but let you have a feel for what was sent.

In October of 2021, the Church Council received complaints of hostile work environment from Church staff against a Pastor …  In April of 2022, the Church Council retained an attorney … to conduct an internal investigation into those complaints as well as allegations of inappropriate behavior.

… the attorney, worked with a sub-committee appointed by Church Council to establish the parameters of the investigation.  The purpose of the investigation was to dismiss or substantiate the hostile work environment allegations.  The scope of the investigation involved gathering information from the complainants, the pastoral staff and members of the Church Council.  (attorney’s) scope was limited to conducting unbiased interviews, gathering information/fact finding, creating a report and recommendations, and presenting this information to the Church Council appointed sub-committee.

Following an extensive investigation, it was determined this Pastor’s conduct did not rise to the level of unlawful hostile work environment under California or federal law.  The investigator did conclude, however, that there was inappropriate conduct.

The sub-committee and Mr. (attorney) recommended a corrective action plan to address the inappropriate conduct and prevent it in the future.  Some of the recommendations, by law, are prohibited from being disclosed.

I’ll keep following this situation in case it warrants another post.

California Versus America in Three Photos

Folks, I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks. Mostly we’ve been taking Really Right Junior to tour various colleges so he can decide where to apply. I drove about 5,000 miles during that period.

Oh, cheapest gas price was $4.09 a gallon in Texas. Highest was on the California/Arizona border which was about $7.45 on the CA side of the line and $4.65 on the other.

While driving from Longview Texas to Fayetteville, Arkansas we had to make a bathroom stop. We chose the Dairy Queen. Some DQ franchises in Texas have chocolate soft serve ice cream and momma loves her ice cream.

Anyway I saw something I have never seen before in California. I feel that it illustrates what’s right with Texas and simultaneously what’s wrong with California. I felt compelled to photograph it for the blog. Let me know your thoughts.

Planted in the flower bed was a cross with the words “Jesus is Lord”. I thought that was unusual for a fast food place.

When coming out of the bathroom, I saw this on the counter where customers pick up their orders. Yep, that’s a Bible and an assortment of pens and highlighters. The sign says, “Highlight your Favorite Scripture”.

I was impressed. Yes, In ‘n Out Burger has Bible references printed on their wrappers and Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays but wow that’s nothing compared to this.

The Catholic Church is in Shambles

As a member of the Knights of Columbus at my local church, I am privy to information other regular church goers are not.  I know people on the finance team, parish council, etc.  It’s a humble brag but I will tell you the Catholic Church (aka who the Pope leads) is failing badly.  Allow me to lay out my reasoning.

  1.  Dropping finances.  Prior to and during Covid we were told our church had over 1 million dollars in the bank.  Finance chair and resident boot licker Michael Jones even bragged from the ambo about the church getting a PPP loan, aka the forgivable government loan to keep operations going.  Yep, we are not a mom-and-pop shop, we are a church with 5 Masses on weekends and a collection of roughly 11k a week pre-Covid, yet we needed that money.  Just last week Michael Jones the patron Saint of Fiction told me of how the finances are hurting as the collection is way down.  No kidding?  You mean people are told they can watch from home and it still counts?  Why return?
  2. Uncomfortable environment to worship.  Our Priest refuses to turn the lights on in either the vestibule or main church until Mass starts, not a second before.  Ditto for shutting the lights off.  He refuses to run the AC in the summer, or heat in the winter.  I had to find a new parish as I do not like wearing my winter coat to service just to stay warm.  In the summer I don’t like the idea of wearing a t-shirt just to not sweat profusely.  We do all this to save a couple bucks a month at my church. 
  3. Attendance is declining.  Covid did the church no favors, and the subsequent vaccines and masking isn’t seeming to help.  We are losing younger folks to more popular “Christian venues” that play rock music and the like.  Trust me, go to a Catholic church and you can count the number of folks between 18-35 on one hand.  The older folks?  We are losing them to the graveyard.  We bring in about 7 new members each year, however we lose several times that number.  Some may not like praying in the dark/cold/heat. 
  4. Too many folks have a “protect the shield” mentality.  My father falls into this category; they will do/say anything to appease the priest and the church as a whole.  Why don’t you come to Mass anymore?  You better be there!  It’s time to return!  This after the church refused to allow anyone inside for almost 2 years.
  5. A litmus test for the parishioners.  This will be expanded upon further in a different blog.  Jorge Rodriguez, a miserable blow-hard, who rarely attends Mass but wants to quiz people on where certain objects in the church are.  When he attends, which is about as often as a total eclipse of the sun, he will ask folks upon exiting “do you know where the Alpha and Omega are?”  Totally unnecessary and it runs people off.  But he gets his jollies off doing it, and no one seems to care.

In closing, the church is struggling because they lost their way.  They appeased the elected left-wing political types and doomsayers by shutting everything down.  They told folks watch at home and people adjusted as such.  Now they won’t return.  Or they do not want to freeze/overheat.  Or be lied to about finances.  The collection is down to around 9k a week from 11k pre-covid.  Most Masses are not close to being full, or even close to the attendance pre-covid.  I have a feeling most/a lot of parishioners never returned/died or found a new church to attend like myself.  We have no money yet we are spending 500k to re-do the patio area and add a covering.  You cannot make this up!

Jake the Snake

Editor’s notes:

What is it with priests that don’t want to run the A/C in church? At my wedding many years ago, on a 100 degree plus day, the priest wouldn’t turn on the A/C at all. We had guests who were over 90 years old in attendance and no A/C. Oh, another bit of trivia while I’m at it, this was the only wedding ever held in the church building in the 18 years or so that this church existed, and you couldn’t run the A/C for two lousy hours.

Secondly, Jake is Really Right. The church we go to now is experiencing much of the same stuff he mentioned, lower finances and attendance, and a newly minted building fund for a new parking lot at a time when the collection plate is light. Allowing yourself to be called nonessential and shutting down was a stupid, self-inflicted move that most churches did to themselves. Many will die a slow and painful death because of this stupid compromise with people that hate you and have no use or respect for God.

Hell Hath No Fury

One of the best lines in the movie Gladiator is at the beginning when Russel Crow, playing General Maximus, is about to release the full might of his Roman troops on a bunch of barbarians. “At my signal, unleash hell.”

Today, a bishop in the Catholic Church, did something similar. He pronounced that he was excommunicating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As a result of this pronouncement, she is now banned from Holy Communion. I will get into this more in a minute but let’s look this news story. First the pronouncement of the bishop.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion.

Cordileone has written to the California Democrat, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass, and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself.

“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others.  Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,'” he says in the letter.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is unambiguous on the question of abortion, both in procuring one and assisting in the practice: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the catechism says. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

“Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” it says, before calling abortion and infanticide “abominable crimes.”

It also declares that “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”

San Francisco archbishop bars Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion due to abortion support
Bishop Cordileone

So, there you have it, Nancy Pelosi, and by extension, anyone claiming to be a Christian that participates in or promotes abortion, has violated God’s Law and helped commit “abominable crimes” and such a person is to be excommunicated.

Folks, this is a really big deal. Nancy has been declared an impenitent sinner and in the eyes of the Church, she has literally been turned over to Satan.

Excommunication is the Church’s most severe penalty imposed for particularly grave sins.  Through baptism, a person is incorporated into the body of the Church through which there is a “communication” of spiritual goods.  By committing a particularly grave sin and engaging in activities which cause grave scandal and fracture the body of the Church, that communication ceases, and the person is deprived of receiving the sacraments and other privileges.

The practice of excommunication arose in the early Church.  In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul castigated that community for tolerating the practice of incest–  “a man living with his father’s wife” (I Corinthians 5:1).  He admonished the Corinthians for not removing the offender from their midst.  St. Paul said, “I hand him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (5:5).  St. Paul further warned against associating with anyone who bears the title “brother” (indicating being a believer and part of the Church) but who is immoral, covetous, an idolater, an abusive person, a drunkard, or a thief.  He then closed the passage by quoting from the Torah, “Expel the wicked man from your midst” (Deuteronomy 6:13).

What is excommunication?

Did you get that in the above paragraph? “I hand him over to Satan …”

Part of excommunication is that no one that identifies themselves as a Christian is to associate with her. Nancy is cutoff from God, and any fellowship with other Christians. She is to be shunned.

“Shun the unbeliever.”

An excommunicated person also cannot be received into a public association of the Christian faithful.

To allow Nancy to claim to be a Christian in good standing is wrong. By allowing her to remain in the Church she is leading others into error. This must end.

A bishop may directly impose the penalty of excommunication, but only for the most serious offenses and after giving due warning (#1318).  Following the same rationale of the early Church, this severe penalty intends to correct the individual and to foster better church discipline (#1317).  As the shepherd of his diocese, a bishop must protect both the souls of the faithful from the infection of error and sin, and of those who are jeopardizing their salvation.

Excommunication is a warning that Nancy Pelosi is going straight to hell unless she genuinely repents.

We must keep in mind that the purpose of excommunication is to shock the sinner into repentance and conversion.  Excommunication is a powerful way of making a person realize his immortal soul is in jeopardy.  Excommunication does not “lock the door” of the Church to the person forever, but hopes to bring the person back into communion with the whole Church.  Moreover, this penalty awakens all of the faithful to the severity of these sins and deters them from the commission of these sins.  This line of thought is highlighted in the Catechism when it speaks of the automatic excommunication for abortion:  “The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.  Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society”

Oh, one little nugget in the Fox News story to add some context, Bishop Cordileone sent the warning letter to Speaker Pelosi BEFORE the draft of the Supreme Court decision was leaked to the public.

Cordileone says in his letter that he wrote to her on April 7, informing her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He says that since that time, she has not done so.

San Francisco archbishop bars Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion due to abortion support

The Bishop sent his letter April 7th and the Draft of the Supreme Court decision was published by Politico May 2, 2022.

Ok, get in Nancy’s shoes for a second. Your spiritual shepherd has told you that you need to repent for your sin of promoting, encouraging, and funding abortion, a grave moral sin, and then the nine in black robes agree with your bishop. What should you do?

Repent or double-down on your sin?

Let’s see what happened.

Nancy encourages the mob to get even with her fellow Catholics on the Court and makes sure anyone on her side of the aisle has their home address to insure maximum impact of these protests. Oh, by the way this is enabling a violation of Federal law which says judge’s homes are off limits.

She also doubles-down on trying to overturn the Court’s decision before its even announced.

Then she triples-down by trying to fast-track a law to make abortion legal for all nine months of the pregnancy in all 50-states.

Meanwhile other Catholic politicians in her Party are trying to protect abortion as it is under Roe and take it even further by making euthanasia legal from conception thru at least the first year of life.

Given all this, can any reasonable person think that the Bishop had any option but to throw her out? Nope.

Nancy is hellbent on killing and killing and more killing. She is the very definition of unrepentant.

Hey Bishop, who’s got your back?

We here at the blog are grateful that the Bishop did this; however, the Catholic Church has many weasels in it and it remains to be seen if the Church has his back in a good way or like Brutus did for Julius Caesar.

When the Boughs Break

When I was kid, I recall many clergy saying from the pulpit that if we didn’t repent that God was going to judge us. A few argued that it was already too late, and we were under God’s judgment. 45 years later, what do you think?

To anybody willing to look at the evidence for more than a few seconds, clearly, we are well down the road of that judgment. To me the irony is that the clergy are silent on the subject that a nation can ever sin enough to be held to account. For that matter, ditto for individual actions. Steve Taylor’s question again appears in my writings, “Whatever happened to sin?”

As a different proof, look at the hostility toward churches, especially in states ruled by Democrats. Folks when strip clubs have more rights than your church, people should be alarmed. Strip clubs essential, churches non-essential anyone? However, for the most part the reaction of so-called Christian leaders was a collective yawn. In fact, as I’ve pointed out before, when Pope Fauci or Newsom or whoever is the socialist leader in your area claiming Lordship over the flocks of Jesus Christ told churches to quit meeting, almost to a man, all the clergy capitulated.

Another topic that I have commented on in the past is the amount of young people forsaking the faith of their fathers and falling headlong into the abyss of Satan. At least Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of soup, today’s young people forsake their birthright for nothing; for them their faith has no value. In their world, slavery is freedom.

On days like today, when I celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, I call things like the above to my remembrance. I wasn’t going to blog at all today on this or any other subject but when I read today’s installment of Days of Praise then I felt the need to share it with my readers. Before I continue, I need to explain what Days of Praise is.

Days of Praise is a daily devotional from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). ICR was originally based in the San Diego area, but like so much else in California, it moved to Texas. Days of Praise is a daily dive into a topic of theology or faith delivered right to your email box. The one today was a real zinger.

July 4, 2021

When the Boughs Break

When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favor.” (Isaiah 27:11)

Like a mighty tree towering over the forest, God raises up a mighty nation from time to time, with a great leader, to accomplish some purpose in the divine plan. He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).

But when that nation and its leaders become proud, and its people become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, it becomes like a tree whose branches wither and whose core becomes riddled with insect-caused decay. Finally, the boughs break, the kingdom will fall, and down will come that nation, its leaders and all!

That happened even to God’s chosen nation, Israel, though only for a time, since God’s promises cannot fail. One after another, the mighty nations that God used to chastise His wayward people—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Rome, etc.—have in turn been judged for their own rebellion against the God who “made them” and “formed them.” God has warned that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

Is that about to happen to our beloved USA as well? The signs of self-seeking power and pride among our leaders and moral decay and spiritual rebellion among our people are widespread and growing worse. Our prayer should be that of the ancient prophet. “O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years,…in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2). “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6). HMM

Since we’re on the topic of judgment, I need to refer you to Deuteronomy Chapter 28. Start with verse 15 and keep reading.

One of God’s judgments is drought.

And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (v 23 & 24).

Please note that the cause is not climate change or global warming but the immoral behavior of evil men.

Oh, cable TV and 90-Day Guy are there too:

The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. (v 28 & 29).

This explains Covid-19 better than Dr. Fauci can.

Oh, once you’ve read about all the plagues in this chapter, I have a sobering article about how the Covid vaccine is going to bite you in the butt in about 15 years. This article goes right along with both topics. Don’t get the vaccine. More on why in a future post. However, if you think you can inject an experimental serum derived from the corpses of freshly murdered children into your body without moral, ethical, or physical repercussions then it’s already too late for you.

Churches slowly circle the drain

How many times have you heard the phrase “separation of powers” or “separation of church and state” or “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof?”  If you haven’t heard it before, maybe study up on the laws and rules of this country they didn’t teach you in public school.  In short, it means the church is a separate body, not to be governed by any state or government entity. 

Occasionally, the Church and State enter into conflicts. An example of this would be in Houston, a few years ago, the mayor and council demanded to sign-off in advance on any sermon at weekly services to make sure it is worthy; this was struck down. The church often talks a great game, then Covid-19 hit, and they let all Hell break-out.

In particular, the Catholic Church has been bleeding members for quite some time; basically, in a given year, about 30 members would join the Catholic faith at our church.  On average, we lost at least that many due to death in an average month.  The numbers do not add up.  When the shutdowns started, the church (via the bishop, the controlling entity for the Diocese) said it was ok simply watching Mass on TV or the Internet or listening on the radio, and not participating in the Eucharist (Holy Communion) was ok.  Even though the Catholic faith says you must participate in the Eucharist weekly, the church bowed to the State. 

Virtual Church: Where the church takes the union out of Communion

While the church did eventually open up outdoor services, it was very limited, and sparsely attended.  We started a live stream, but again folks didn’t attend.  The church made it comfy for folks to watch Mass in their pajamas while sipping coffee.  A few weeks turned into months, which turned into a year plus now.  While churches have re-opened, it was to smaller crowds; 100 folks max.  They made it easy to opt out as the bishop continued the “you don’t have to attend in person, it still counts” decree. 

My point here is a habit is formed over time, and it takes discipline to really form a habit.  You have to hold yourself accountable.  In the case of the church, folks broke habit.  After missing for a couple weeks, it became months, then a year plus.  These folks are not likely to return.  This is similar to a workout regime at the gym. It takes a while to form a habit, but it can be broken, and once broken, it’s hard to get started again.  It’s easy for folks to wake up and turn on the TV. Lord knows, as Americans, we consume enough of that already!

Sunday worship at home

  A new habit has been formed, and not a good one for the local parish. 

Speaking of the local parishes, let me again use my parish as an example.  We have 5 masses each weekend, and weekly collection (AKA the offering) ran about $17K a week prior to Covid.  Now it runs about 5K, and I feel that is drastically overstated.  Our priest gave a long diatribe about how we are required to give 10% of our annual income to the church.  Keep in mind, I have never heard that amount before, and in the Catholic faith, the word “tithing” was always used to describe the Mormon religion, one the Catholics view as a cult.  Our priest used his entire sermon to speak about money and finances, lacking any self-awareness that the church shut down for about a year. During that time, many folks hearing his words were out of work or otherwise adversely impacted.  

My father remarked that he was surprised that most of the congregation “regulars” at the early Mass had yet to return, speculating they may not have been vaccinated yet.  While this thinking is all well and good, the demographics at that Mass are almost exclusively 70 plus in age.  These folks have had about 6 months of time to get the shot, and by now, its likely most have received it; however, they just aren’t going to attend service anymore.  Think about it, the excuse was “the church is closed” “I will return when I get the shot,” now it’s, “I will return when the numbers go down.” These folks ain’t coming back in large numbers.

The church bent over for the Governor and the state government.  It, like any other organization, showed its true colors. They talk a good game, but …  The consequence of their action is that most watch EWTN or some other form of online church and have no intention of returning.  They are spinless and they showed it.  The folks holding out hope for a mass return to the church will be vastly disappointed, its hollow words as far as I am concerned.  Nowadays, there is no separation of Church and State and the bishop here proved it to be true.  Now the church is concerned about money…yeah that’s rich.

Jake the Snake

Conservatives Ruin Easter

I have yet to meet anyone that demands that I celebrate Christmas on December 25th because it is the exact date when Jesus was born. The important thing is that Jesus was born on earth to become one of us. Celebrating his birth on a specific date in December or January (if you are an Orthodox Christian) is not a measure of piety or Christian orthodoxy. Contrast that with what you are about to read about Easter and Passover. It seems like some Protestant groups are always looking for ways to unchurch the rest of us. As you read this, I hope you keep this in mind…

If you thought we only swat Liberals on this blog, you’d be wrong. What follows is the result of an Easter weekend post on World Net Daily (WND) by the editor’s wife, Elizabeth. Before I get into this, let me just disclose that in the last days of the Sacramento Union that I knew Joe Farah and briefly worked for the Union. I even had an Op-Ed published in the paper. When the Union shutdown, Farah left the area and moved north—to Oregon I think—and started WND.

I will be commenting on three different articles, the first of which is: Constantine’s shocking letter on Passover dating and the Jews

Claim, First Schism in the church

Elizabeth Farah starts her video with the claim that the topic that she wished to discuss (keeping Passover v Easter) was the first major schism of the Church. This is demonstrably false; the first schism was over Judaizes. Did Gentiles first need to become Jews and then Christians? Was circumcision, etc. necessary? In the 15th chapter of the Book of Acts, this issue necessitated the first church council in Jerusalem. Judaizes were a constant problem in the First Century Church.

“Keep the Passover of Jesus”

“The fact that most of ecclesia or churches of God kept Passover. It is important to remember. Rome’s will was to eradicate Passover and replace it with Easter; despite Jesus’ command to keep the feast and do this in remembrance of me.” Elizabeth Farah timestamp 8:10-33

“By the way, this is a biblical command not a custom.” Farah 17:31-35

Speaking of keeping the 14th day of the first month, “That was the Lord’s Command.” Farah 18:30-32

Farah is offended that Constantine wanted the Church to “separate themselves from the customs of the Jews”.

Farah thinks that we need to bless Israel (the Jewish people); however; the New Testament makes it plain that the Church is Israel. Or to paraphrase David Chilton, God divorced Israel for infidelity and took to himself a new bride, a new people, the Church. The Church is the new Israel.

Farah repeatedly tries to repudiate the Church Council of Nicaea by calling it a minority, which also undermines the legitimacy of the Creed. I find this very problematic and arguably just as intellectually lazy as parts of Constantine’s reasoning for adopting Easter. Constantine could have advocated regularizing fragmented practices of worship without dumping on the Jews but he didn’t.

At the end of her presentation, Farah also tries some bait and switch tactics to buttress her argument. She ignores that the Council was unanimous in its support of adopting Easter as a Christian feast and tries to flip it that Constantine is claiming that his will on the matter is God’s will. This is wrong. Anybody that has any experience with Churches making important decisions knows that a unanimous vote is understood as a group finding God’s will on the matter. In his letter, Constantine is simply repeating the declaration of the Council and using the vote to call for normalizing the practice throughout the Empire.

Farah is not the only person that you can find on the Internet promoting this understanding of Passover and Easter.

Many of the arguments on this topic seem rooted in strange interpretations of Scripture tied to the idea of the Regulative Principle of Scriptural interpretation. This idea is often invoked when people look at the Bible’s ideas of things like proper worship and moral behavior. Basically, the Regulative Principle of Scriptural interpretation is if it’s in the Bible we do it and if not, then we don’t. Some Protestant groups go further and say if it’s not specifically in the New Testament them we don’t follow it.

If you take this belief literally (especially limiting yourself to the New Testament), you can get some strange and theologically pretzel-like beliefs. For example, bestiality in only prohibited in the Old Testament but is not mentioned—let alone prohibited—in the New. Musical instruments are often mentioned as part of worship in the Old Testament but the New is silent on this topic, so what is the correct practice? This idea, especially when trying to divide the Bible against itself, results in crazy stuff.

You can see this belief being applied in the next article and when it is, in parts it’s gut splittingly funny.

The Apostle Paul confirms he maintained the customary observance of Passover, as was given to him by Christ Himself, when he said, “For I received of the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed [not Easter Sunday!] took bread” (1 Corinthians 11:23).

HOW WAS PASSOVER REPLACED BY EASTER… AND WHO DID IT?

Ok, here is a twisted understanding of the Lord’s Supper. Yes, the first time Jesus celebrated it was on Passover, but the early church did this celebration every week, and not on the Sabbath to boot. The practice of the early church was to meet on the first day of the week—a regular workday for their society—and meet in the evening for a feast. In the Corinthians passage cited above, Paul was scolding them for abuses in how they were doing it. Some were eating too much and other were starving. At the conclusion of the feast, they would then celebrate Communion, Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, or whatever your group wants to call it. Contrary to the claim above, this was not a once-a-year activity. It was weekly.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

1 Corinthians 11:26

Emperor Constantine – Saint or Villain

The absolute proof that Christians shouldn’t celebrate Easter is this next quote:

It is important we remember: Jesus Christ never kept an Easter in His life! Unequivocally, it is undeniable that Easter has no Biblical connection, foundation, or authority on the name of Jesus Christ that requires observance and/or recognition by any who claim Christ as their Savior.

Yep, Jesus never celebrated his own Resurrection while he was alive on earth and thus, we shouldn’t either. This, folks is the Regulative Principle of Scriptural interpretation in action. Just because Jesus rose on the first day of the week and the early church met on that day to worship has no bearing on the issue. Oh, while he was alive, Jesus worshipped on the Sabbath not the first day of the week. Remember when I said the Regulative Principle can tie you up in intellectual pretzels?

Later the author comments on the results of the Council of Nicaea:

It was now made “official”: Easter Sunday, the day after the first full moon, after the spring equinox, became the day to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. This was a serious and critical shift of theology. Critical, because it not only changed the day of the observance, but changed the focus, the meaning of the observance. It now became an observance and celebration of His resurrection, contrary to the Biblical admonition of remembering His death!

The author now claims that Christians celebrating the Resurrection is contrary to biblical admonition. So dear author, why were they meeting on the first day of the week for worship if celebrating the resurrection of our Lord is wrong? I don’t know about your church, but my preference is to celebrate a meal with Christ every time we worship not once a year. Christians celebrate both Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Trying say we can only pick only one is the unbiblical position. This is the logical fallacy of the false dilemma.

Lest you think I exaggerate read on:

Notice what Paul says, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death [not His resurrection] till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). There is a purposeful point of significance our Lord placed exclusively on Passover concerning His death. It’s very fundamental, but crucial to understand; Passover was intended to distinctly address the impeccable fact that it was by Jesus Christ’s sacrificed life and shed blood that we have access to eternal life. Unfortunately, merging His death and resurrection into one holy day, as Easter describes, blurs the deep profound meaning of both these events by taking away the emphasis that each so richly deserves.

This guy again opens his mouth and removed all doubt about how foolish his argument is. Most of the Christian Church celebrates both Good Friday and Easter. We do not merge “His death and resurrection into one holy day, as Easter describes…”  This is the logical fallacy of the strawman.

The reality is that many churches have Holy Week services on almost every day of that week. Starting with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, a Saturday Easter vigil, and Easter (or Resurrection) Sunday.

If you want to read yet another article on the subject, try this one.

Constantine’s Easter Controversy with the Quartodecimen

This article is written by a group claiming to be neither Christian nor Jewish. They call themselves the Natsarim. It has a lot of information and claims not only all the stuff that you read already about the Passover but claims that the modern Jewish way of reckoning the Passover is wrong as well; talk about a pox on both your houses! This article also quotes the full letter by Constantine.

All three articles seem to agree that abandoning a lunar calendar for a solar one was a bad idea and dumping a Passover celebration in favor of Easter was even worse. In Constantine’s letter, it is clear that the Jewish people were not generally liked by Christians in the West.

Comments

I could go deeper into this subject, but I think this post is long enough as it is so I’m going to wrap it up with some Scriptures that illustrate that the articles mentioned above are cherry picking arguments that can’t stand up before the biblical record. Farah and her fellow travelers will find the New Testament is not in agreement with their claims.

Regarding days is a matter of personal liberty

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Colossians 2:16

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Romans 14: 5 & 6

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Galatians 4:9-11

Christ our Passover

For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I Corinthians 5:7b-8

Clearly these verses use Passover imagery, but to trying to limit their application to one day a year is a misreading of the text and wrenching them out of context. Paul is contrasting the way that people live, not discussing a literal Passover celebration.

The Bible makes it clear that Christ was both the Lamb sacrificed for us and also the High Priest. He died once for all and is seated at the righthand of the Father. We remember his words each time we gather together to eat the Lord’s Supper not just once per year.

Jesus raised on first day of the week

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Matthew 28:1

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Mark 16:2

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mark 16:9

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:1

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

John 20:1

Jesus appeared to the disciples on the first day

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

John 20:19

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Acts 20:7

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

1 Corinthians 16:2

Conclusion

The actual date of Jesus’ birth, baptism, death, or resurrection or other event in his life is secondary to the reality that it happened. Creating a false dilemma over celebrating the Passover or his Resurrection is trivial. The truth is many Christians celebrate both events in his life and more. Saying that we shouldn’t celebrate his resurrection because Jesus didn’t is a stupid claim.

Clearly Jesus worshipped on the Sabbath, but his followers worshipped on the first day of the week. Were his Apostles incapable of following his example?

If following Jewish law and custom was so darn important then why did the disciples decide that Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised, keep the sabbath, or follow the dietary laws?

The truth is that Passover was a shadow and a type of symbol of the work that Jesus completed on the cross. He is our Passover Lamb. His was a sacrifice once and for all. He is our High Priest. He is seated at the righthand of the Father making intercession for us. We come to him not on the basis of keeping rules or festivals but by way of his blood shed in our place.

Whenever we gather in worship, we should gather around his table as he instructed.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

I Corinthians 11:23-26

In the early church, remembering his death was a weekly occurrence not an annual one.

Jews and Gentiles all come to the Father thru Jesus Christ or not at all.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6.

It is a myth in certain Protestant sects that Jews have special treatment and need not bow the knee to King Jesus to go to Heaven. Such ideas are sentimental crap and damnable heresy.

Efforts to unchurch the rest of us for using the wrong calendar or celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, are efforts not spent spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Reaction to Op-Ed Demanding Virgin Mary be Proclaimed Co-Redemptrix

Disclaimer: Folks I try to be as ecumenical as possible —as long as we can agree on the Historic Creeds—but sometimes you just gotta chime-in. I was once a Roman Catholic but became a Protestant during my teenaged years. In my experience, nothing divides otherwise orthodox Christians as much as the doctrines surrounding Mary. Truthfully, I think this divide concerning Mary is a bigger obstacle to reuniting the Western Church than the Papacy! Oh, I’ve been working on this post for several days, that fact that it’s going live on Good Friday is not by design.

In Roman theology, beliefs about Mary have continued to evolve over the years.

Per Rome:

  • Mary lived a sinless life,
  • Mary was a perpetual virgin,
  • She ascended into Heaven,
  • She is Queen of Heaven,
  • She and various saints are routinely prayed to,
  • And now she is being further elevated to Co-Redemptrix.

Mary in the Roman Church

Here is more info on Mary from Roman Catholic sources.

The Catholic Church relies heavily on sacred tradition, as passed down from the apostles, and manifested in the teaching authority of the Church. The assumption of Mary is one doctrine of the Church that has emerged from apostolic tradition, rather than directly from scripture. It is not officially declared whether or not Mary underwent human death.   However, what the Church does officially pronounce is that after the course of her earthly life, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven by the power of God. The Church’s belief that Mary’s soul was perfectly sinless gives us confidence that she went directly to God. At the same time, her body was not subject to corruption, as our human bodies typically are.

What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary

The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what “immaculate” means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.

Immaculate Conception and Assumption

In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.

The doctrine of the Assumption says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven, just as Enoch, Elijah, and perhaps others had been before her. Some people think Catholics believe Mary “ascended” into heaven. That’s not correct. Christ, by his own power, ascended into heaven. Mary was assumed or taken up into heaven by God. She didn’t do it under her own power.

The Church has never formally defined whether she died or not, and the integrity of the doctrine of the Assumption would not be impaired if she did not in fact die, but the almost universal consensus is that she did die.

Mary’s body has been glorified in heaven and she has been given an important role near her Son as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary is entitled “queen” because she is the Mother of Jesus, who is truly a King of kings. With the queenship Mary has been given by her Son, Mary offers abiding mercy and compassion, interceding for all of God’s children. In the book of Revelation 12:1, Mary’s status as queen is reflected, “and a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” The feast of Mary’s queenship is celebrated on August 22nd of each year.

What the Catholic Church Teaches About Mary

Catholic Op-Ed Rebuking the Pope

The Op-Ed that I wish to comment on finds me somewhat on the same side as the Pope; a position that puts me at odds with the author of this article, published on Life Site News.

The quotations below are from Why I find Pope Francis’s contempt for the title of Co-Redemptrix so offensive.

It is a sad state of affairs in the Church when a simple child of God, devoted to Our Lady, hears words shocking to pious ears coming from the Vicar of Christ himself and feels the need to cry out in protest, from the depths of a heart consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, in order to defend Our Lady’s honor, against anyone — even the Holy Father — who would appear, through apparently casual and careless remarks, to very nearly deny Her the just veneration due to Her as Mother of God who participated, through her Compassion, in Her Son’s salvific mission from His Conception to Calvary. However, such is the sorry state of Holy Mother Church today.

…Pope Francis had qualified the idea of Mary being given the title of Co-Redemptrix as being mere “foolishness”.

[the Pope] has reiterated his hostility to this title: “The mother who covers everyone under her mantle as a mother, Jesus entrusted us to her as a mother, not as a goddess, not as a co-redemptrix, as a mother.”

Part of the rebuttal to the Pope put forward by the author reads as follows:

Indeed, this theologian [Father Frederick William Faber] explains beautifully in what sense Our Lady cooperated with our Lord in the redemption of the world by showing the necessary link between the Divine Maternity and Our Lady’s Coredemption, and so between Mary as Mother of God and as Co-Redemptrix:

Her free consent was necessary to the Incarnation … She gave Him the pure blood, out of which the Holy Ghost fashioned His Flesh and bone and Blood. She bore Him in her womb for nine months, feeding Him with her own substance. Of her was He born, and to her He owed all those maternal offices which, according to common laws, were necessary for the preservation of His inestimable life. She exercised over Him the plenitude of parental jurisdiction. She consented to His Passion; and if she could not in reality have withheld her consent, because it was already involved in her original consent to the Incarnation, nevertheless she did not in fact withhold it, and so He went to Calvary as her free-will offering to the Father … the cooperation of the Divine Maternity was indispensable. Without it our Lord would not have been born when and as He was; He would not have had that Body to suffer in … It was through the free will and blissful consent of Mary that they flowed as God would have them flow. Bethlehem, and Nazareth, and Calvary, came out of her consent, a consent which God did in no wise constrain.”

A few paragraphs later, the author put forward this to buttress his thesis.

The martyr-saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe links the promise of a Co-Redemptrix at the dawn of time with Her essential role in the triumph of the end times: “From the moment of the Fall, God promised a Redeemer and a Co-Redemptrix, saying ‘I will place enmities between thee and the Woman, and thy seed and her Seed: She shall crush thy head.’” And, quoting Pope Leo XIII, Saint Maximilian calls for prayers to Our Mother to hasten the solemn dogmatic proclamation of Our Lady’s role as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces: “We have recourse to the Immaculata and we are instruments in Her hands, because She distributes all the graces of conversion and sanctification to the inhabitants of this valley of tears … Every grace passes through Her hands from the Sweetest Heart of the pure Jesus to us … In his encyclical on the Rosary (September 22, 1891), Pope Leo XIII says: ‘It can be affirmed in all truth that according to the divine will nothing of the immense treasury of grace can be communicated to us except through Mary.’ Let us pray, therefore, that our Holy Mother may expedite the solemn proclamation of this Her privilege, so that all humanity may run to Her feet with complete trust, since today we are in great need of Her protection.”

Mary as Co-Redemptrix

For Protestants readers, the above is mind-blowingly heretical. This is a good example why some Protestants have no place in their theology for Church Tradition. I think Tradition in the Church has a place but when it becomes more important than the Scriptures then it’s out of balance.

I’d like to point-out a few problems with the arguments being advanced about Mary; however, my intent is not to scorch the earth as I do so. I think Protestants tend to totally discount the role of Mary while the Roman Catholics err in the opposite direction.

I’ve tried to get my head around this Co-redemptix idea, and it seems to hinge on a rather novel concept, Jesus died with Mary’s consent and permission. Thus, Mary was an active participate in the passion of her son.

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-1965), in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) of November 21, 1964, painted this picture of Our Blessed Lady’s collaboration with the Almighty, which included her heroic surrender to Christ’s ignominious death.

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her.”

Deacon Miravalle spells out precisely what Mary did next to her dying Son.

Mary uniquely participated in the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary and in the acquisition of the graces of Redemption for humanity (theologically referred to as “objective redemption”). Mary offered her Son and her maternal rights in relation to her Son to the Heavenly Father in perfect obedience to God’s will and in atonement for the sins of the world. Mary’s offering of her own Son on Calvary, along with her own motherly compassion, rights and suffering, offered in union with her Son for the salvation of the human family, merited more graces than any other created person. As Pope Pius XII confirmed in his encyclical On the Mystical Body, Mary “offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father, together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and her motherly love, like a New Eve for all children of Adam.”

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
“Well, I guess you could call it Hail Mary. You throw it up and pray” Roger Staubach 1975

My Brief Rebuttal

Folks Mary observed the life of her son and pondered these things in her heart (Luke 2:19) but the claims above are nowhere found in the Bible.

The suffering of Jesus was twofold, the physical pain and the spiritual pain. The beating, torture, and humiliation of Jesus are better understood than the spiritual pain of bearing the cup of God’s wrath for the sins of the world; this was clearly the difficult part of his crucifixion. (Matthew 26:39) God the Father turned his back on the Son—sin separates—when Jesus became sin for us. This is why Jesus, while on the cross said, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

All four Gospels are silent to the idea that Mary “collaborated” in the sacrifice of Christ or “lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her.” There is zero biblical evidence affirming the claim of “Mary’s offering of her own Son on Calvary”.

The gospels say that “…the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Jesus gave his life not Mary.

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” (John 10:17)

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

The idea that Jesus needed Mary’s consent, cooperation, or permission to be sacrificed is anathema to Holy Scripture.

Claims that “Mary ‘offered Him on Golgotha…’” are without any biblical foundation.

Roman Catholicism attributes to Mary things which are solely those titles belonging to Jesus.

Throughout the last two decades, there has been an increasing interest in three words used to honor Our Blessed Mother and describe her role in our regard: Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?

Jesus is our redeemer not Mary.

A redeemer pays a ransom or atones for another.

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:6)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus is our Mediator.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (I Timothy 2:5)

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15)

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24)

Jesus is our Advocate.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (I John 2:1)

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Conclusion

Biblically there is no warrant to claim that Mary is Redeemer, Mediator, or Advocate. All three titles are clearly those of Christ Jesus. Thus, there is no biblical basis for us to pray that Mary intercedes on our behalf before God. Only Jesus can rightfully be prayed to. Only He makes intercession on our behalf with the Father. John reminded believers that “…if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 John 2:1)

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)

Brief as this blog post may be, I think I have pointed-out that the Roman Catholic beliefs about Mary are as much or more problematic to Protestants than maybe even the Papacy. That I’m agreeing with the Pope-especially this one—about anything is THE definition of “irony”. Heck, if you give this a few more centuries then Mary might be inducted as the fourth person of the Holy Trinity. From an orthodox Protestant viewpoint, that seems to be the trajectory of Marian theology.

On Racism and Cancelling Charles Darwin

After I posted my brief response to the Wired Op-Ed, I started going thru some old mail when I came across an article on the subject of racism. It posed an interesting question, why does cancel culture never consider cancelling Charles Darwin? While Darwin didn’t create racism, he is singlehandedly responsible for advancing the scientific basis that some races are more fit than others. His beliefs have been the basis of eugenics and genocide for tyrants all over the world. Millions have perished and millions more have been subjugated because of the impact of Darwin’s racist ideas. Yet, Darwin is given a free pass.

The following is printed in Answers, a publication of Answers in Genesis. The article that is quoted below is Should We Cancel Darwin by Mark Looy.

Modern views about human origins are built on a toxic error. Unless these opinions change, racism will keep raising its ugly head. Any serious desire to solve racism must inspire the question, “What about the influence of Charles Darwin’s racist views? Should they be banned (or ‘canceled,’ in popular jargon) from the culture?

In a sequel to the better-known On the Origin of Species, Darwin’s The Descent of Man argued that humans, having descended from apelike creatures, were continuing to evolve and produce various races. Darwin posited that some races were more developed than others. Throughout Descent, Darwin labeled different people groups other than his European race as “low” and “degraded,” including Africans. Darwin argued that the “highest races and the lowest savages” clearly differed in their “moral disposition” (Darwin, 445).1 These “savages,” he further claimed, possessed “insufficient” powers of reasoning (Darwin, 489). At the end of Descent, Darwin declared he would prefer to be descended from a “little monkey” or an “old baboon” as opposed to an Indian “savage” from South America (Darwin, 919).

Darwin’s racism and belief in white supremacy were an outgrowth of his ideas regarding natural selection (a view popularized later by others as “survival of the fittest”). Accordingly, he excused aggressive colonial imperialism with the comment, “The civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world” (Darwin, 521). Although he may not have explicitly endorsed such imperialism, Darwin saw the elimination of nonwhite races as the natural result of white Europeans, who “stand at the summit of civilisation” (Darwin, 507), being the superior race.

Such reasoning, even before Darwin laid it out, was essentially the same rationale used by European, Muslim, and American slave traders, who viewed the Africans as less than human and deserving of enslavement.

If they were consistent, cancel-culture advocates would ban Darwin from society. But most won’t touch him, for he is like a prophet for their worldview. Even if they condemn racism, they blindly still want to commemorate Darwin. From him, they have a supposed scientific justification for rejecting the Creator and living as they please with regards to abortion, sex, and so on.

Answers in Genesis proclaims that there is only one race of men. Toward the end of his article, Looy writes:

The Bible’s history is crucial to a true understanding of “race.” God’s Word reveals that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve. At the tower of Babel, God separated the rebellious people by both geography and language. The population broke up into sub-groups, and as people married within their own group, certain genetic features (like skin shade and eye shape) became more prominent. Some people groups ended up with light skin and others with dark skin. All people today are actually shades of brown, depending on the amount of melanin, the main pigment, in our skin (and some other minor factors). There are no truly black or white people.

Funny how, no matter how you look at the Scriptural position, it really is about the content of your character and not the color of your skin.