Happy Vesakh--No, I Mean, Happy Diwali--Wait, Wait, Wait, Is it Ramadan Time Now?--Oops, Let's Try Again, Ah, Yes, Happy High Holy Days, Right?
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Just imagine Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict at work in his office in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It's just twenty-three days before representatives of a a cacophony of "world religions" will meet in different rooms in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy, to pray and offer incense and other false rites to the devils that they adore. The poor "pope" has already said that the upcoming "World Day of Prayer for Peace" is not an exercise of syncretism or religious indifference as each religion's leaders are gathering by themselves and that none will "pray" together with him or the others. No, the false "pontiff" wants to foster "respect" and "tolerance" as the means by which peoples of different "faiths" can "coexist" so as to live together in "solidarity" and thus effect "peace."
He's a busy man, of course. He's got to authorize his lieutenants to put out "Happy Vesakh" and "Happy Diwali" messages. He's even authorized a lieutenant of Jean-Louis "Cardinal" Tauran, the president of the "Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue" whose job it is to keep the Buddhists and Hindus and other infidels as happy as they can be in their false religions, to send "Happy Ramadan" wishes to the Mohammedans in August of this year:
On the occasion of Ramadan, the month of Muslim fasting, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue, Monsignor Pier Luigi Celata, has sent a
message to the Muslim world, expressing his wishes: “To our Muslim
brothers, we would like, above all, to express our spiritual closeness;
we hope that whatever your hearts, faithful as they are to God, desire
for you and all other humans, such as greater attention to the poor and
the marginalised, greater solidarity, respect for the lives of others
and peace, may come true.”
In a speech on Vatican Radio, the Archbishop said
“Christians in particular, are called, during this period, to show
consideration to other humans, to every man and woman, enabled by Jesus,
who died and rose again for everyone. As such, they naturally expect
that the new institutional structures that are to be established in
certain Countries, will represent a genuine respect for the dignity
of each individual and their basic rights, and above all, the concrete
right to the practice of religious freedom. (The Vatican sends Ramadan greetings to the Muslim world.)
And it was Jean-Louis Tauran himself who sent a "happy end of Ramadan" message to Mohammedans on August 19, 2011:
Dear Muslim friends,
1. The end of the month of Ramadan offers the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue a welcome occasion for sending you our most cordial wishes, hoping that the efforts you have so generously made during this month
will bring all the desired spiritual fruits.
2. This year, we have thought to give priority to the theme of the spiritual
dimension of the human person. This concerns a reality which Christians and Muslims consider to be of prime importance, faced as we are with the challenges of materialism and secularisation. The relationship that every human person has with the transcendent is not a moment in history, but is part of
human nature. We do not believe in fate; we are convinced – moreover it is our
experience – that God guides us on our path!
3. Christians and Muslims, beyond their differences, recognise the dignity of the human person endowed with both rights and duties. They think that intelligence and freedom are indeed gifts which must impel believers to
recognise these values which are shared because they rest on the same human nature.
4. This is why the transmission of such human and moral values to the younger generations constitutes a common concern. It is our duty to help them discover that there is both good and evil, that conscience is a sanctuary to be respected, and that cultivating the spiritual dimension makes us more responsible, more supportive, more available for the common good.
5. Christians and Muslims are too often witnesses to the violation of the
sacred, of the mistrust of which those who call themselves believers are the target. We cannot but denounce all forms of fanaticism and intimidation, the prejudices and the polemics, as well as the discrimination of which, at times, believers are the object both in the social and political life as well as in the mass media.
6. We are spiritually very close to you, dear Friends, asking God to give you renewed spiritual energy and we send you our very best wishes for peace and happiness. (PHONY-BALONEY PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE.)
Spiritual energy? This is beyond apostasy. This is madness. This is insanity.
The Catholic Church, of course, does not foster "respect" for false religions or "toleration" for their false beliefs. The most that she can do is to tolerate the existence of such false religions as she seeks to eradicate them over the course of time as she trusts in Divine Providence by planting the seeds for the conversion of their adherents by a firm and unequivocal proclamation of the truths of the Holy Faith. One true pope after another has denounced this "respect" and "toleration" as it is the stuff of the naturalism of Judeo-Masonry and the condemned errors of The Sillon:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God. (Pope Leo XIII, Custodi di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892.)
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young
Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a
work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them
than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all
the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of
their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest?
Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less
dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit
of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for
all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all
the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that
they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are
we to think of an association in which all religions and even
Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For
the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim
their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do
they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism,
and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to
think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his
Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who,
“dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it
serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever
they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New
Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main
objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking
the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary
and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral
and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social
emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism". . . .
We wish to draw your attention, Venerable Brethren, to this distortion of the
Gospel and to the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man,
prevailing within the Sillon and elsewhere. As soon as the social question is
being approached, it is the fashion in some quarters to first put aside the
divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His unlimited clemency, His
compassion for all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of
our neighbor and to the brotherhood of men. True, Jesus has loved us with an
immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered
around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual
charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of
this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the
condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine,
that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance
of Peter and his successors. Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to
those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere
they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to
convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort
them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy
of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill
in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the
duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of
good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners
of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones,
against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens
without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He
reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the
beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an
offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society
the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by
His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is
possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the
Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's
personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social
teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from
an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
What does this matter the master of conciliar deconstruction, a man who can simply declare those things about Catholic doctrine have become "obsolete" because truth can never be expressed adequately at any one point in time, thus needing further adjustments and modifications? Nothing. Nothing at all:
On these feast days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot , it is my
pleasure to express the most cordial and sincere greetings to you,
Doctor Riccardo Di Segno, and to the entire Jewish community of Rome,
with the hope that these feast days will bring many blessings from the
Eternal One and be a source of infinite grace. May we all feel an
increasing desire to promote justice and peace in a world that has such
need of authentic witnesses of the truth. May God, in his goodness,
protect the Jewish community and allow us to deepen the friendship
between us, both in Rome and throughout the world." (Benedict sends Rosh Hashanah greetings to Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.)
Blessing from "Eternal One"? A source of "infinite grace"? How the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Blessed Trinity, send His "blessings" upon a dead religion and its false holidays? How such such a holiday be a "source of infinite grace"? All right, all right. Let's go to the videotape (is Warner Wolf still alive?--let me check--yes, Warner Wolf is still alive, turning seventy-four next month). Yes, let's go to the evidence to demonstrate the apostasy here, starting with Pope Saint Pius X, proceeding onward to Pope Pius XII and concluding with Saint John Chrysostom:
POPE: We are unable to
favor this movement [of Zionism]. We cannot prevent the Jews from going
to Jerusalem—but we could never sanction it. The ground of Jerusalem, if
it were not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus
Christ. As the head of the Church I cannot answer you otherwise. The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people.
HERZL: [The conflict
between Rome and Jerusalem, represented by the one and the other of us,
was once again under way. At the outset I tried to be conciliatory. I
said my little piece. . . . It didn’t greatly impress him. Jerusalem was
not to be placed in Jewish hands.] And its present status, Holy Father?
POPE: I know, it is disagreeable to see the Turks in possession of our
Holy Places. We simply have to put up with it. But to sanction the
Jewish wish to occupy these sites, that we cannot do.
HERZL: [I said that we based our movement solely on the sufferings of the Jews, and wished to put aside all religious issues].
POPE: Yes, but we, but I as the head of the Catholic Church, cannot do this. One of two things will likely happen. Either the Jews will retain their ancient faith and continue to await
the Messiah whom we believe has already appeared—in which case they are
denying the divinity of Jesus and we cannot assist them. Or else they
will go there with no religion whatever, and then we can have nothing at
all to do with them. The Jewish faith was the foundation of our own,
but it has been superceded by the teachings of Christ, and we cannot
admit that it still enjoys any validity. The Jews who should have been
the first to acknowledge Jesus Christ have not done so to this day.
HERZL: [It was on the tip of my tongue to remark, “It happens in every
family: no one believes in his own relative.” But, instead, I said:]
Terror and persecution were not precisely the best means for converting
the Jews. [His reply had an element of grandeur in its simplicity:]
POPE: Our Lord came without power. He came in peace. He persecuted no
one. He was abandoned even by his apostles. It was only later that he
attained stature. It took three centuries for the Church to evolve. The
Jews therefore had plenty of time in which to accept his divinity
without duress or pressure. But they chose not to do so, and they have
not done it yet.
HERZL: But, Holy
Father, the Jews are in a terrible plight. I do not know if Your
Holiness is aware of the full extent of their tragedy. We need a land
for these harried people.
POPE: Must it be Jerusalem?
HERZL: We are not asking for Jerusalem, but for Palestine—for only the secular land.
POPE: We cannot be in favor of it.
[Editor Lowenthal interjects here] Here unrelenting replacement
theology is plainly upheld as the norm of the Roman Catholic Church.
Further, this confession, along with the whole tone of the Pope in his
meeting with Herzl, indicates the perpetuation of a doctrinal emphasis
that has resulted in centuries of degrading behavior toward the Jews.
However, this response has the “grandeur” of total avoidance of that
which Herzl had intimated, namely that the abusive reputation of Roman
Catholicism toward the Jews was unlikely to foster conversion. Further,
if, “It took three centuries for the Church to evolve,” it was that very
same period of time that it took for the Church to consolidate and
launch its thrust of anti-Semitism through the following centuries.
HERZL: Does Your Holiness know the situation of the Jews?
POPE: Yes, from my days in Mantua, where there are Jews. I have always
been in friendly relations with Jews. Only the other evening two Jews
were here to see me. There are other bonds than those of religion:
social intercourse, for example, and philanthropy. Such bonds we do not
refuse to maintain with the Jews. Indeed we also pray for them, that
their spirit see the light. This very day the Church is celebrating the
feast of an unbeliever who became converted in a miraculous manner—on
the road to Damascus. And so if you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we will be ready with churches and priests to baptize all of you. (Marvin Lowenthal, The Diaries of Theodore Herzl.)
28.That He completed His work on the gibbet of the
Cross is the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers who assert that the
Church was born from the side of our Savior on the Cross like a new Eve,
mother of all the living. 
"And it is now," says the great St. Ambrose, speaking of the pierced
side of Christ, "that it is built, it is now that it is formed, it is
now that is .... molded, it is now that it is created . . . Now it is
that arises a spiritual house, a holy priesthood."  One who reverently examines this venerable teaching will easily discover the reasons on which it is based.
29.And first of all, by the death of our
Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been
abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries,
enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole
world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine
Savior was preaching in a restricted area -- He was not sent but to the
sheep that were lost of the house of Israel  -the Law and the Gospel were together in force;  but on the gibbet of his death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees,  fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross,  establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. 
"To such an extent, then," says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the
Cross of our Lord, "was there effected a transfer from the Law to the
Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one
Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the
innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently
from top to bottom." 
30. On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death,  in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; 
and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that
our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head in His Church.
"For it was through His triumph on the Cross," according to the teaching
of the Angelic and Common Doctor, "that He won power and dominion over
the gentiles"; 
by that same victory He increased the immense treasure of graces,
which, as He reigns in glory in heaven, He lavishes continually on His
mortal members it was by His blood shed on the Cross that God's anger
was averted and that all the heavenly gifts, especially the spiritual
graces of the New and Eternal Testament, could then flow from the
fountains of our Savior for the salvation of men, of the faithful above
all; it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into
possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical
Body; for they would not have been united to this Mystical Body. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943.)
Let that be your judgment about the
synagogue, too. For they brought the books of Moses and the prophets
along with them into the synagogue, not to honor them but to outrage
them with dishonor. When they say that Moses and the prophets knew not
Christ and said nothing about his coming, what greater outrage could
they do to those holy men than to accuse them of failing to recognize
their Master, than to say that those saintly prophets are partners of
their impiety? And so it is that we must hate both them and
their synagogue all the more because of their offensive treatment of
those holy men." (Saint John Chrysostom, Fourth Century, A.D., Saint John Chrysostom: Eight Homilies Against the Jews.)
Many, I know, respect the Jews and think
that their present way of life is a venerable one. This is why I hasten
to uproot and tear out this deadly opinion. I said that the synagogue is
no better than a theater and I bring forward a prophet as my witness.
Surely the Jews are not more deserving of belief than their prophets.
"You had a harlot's brow; you became shameless before all". Where a
harlot has set herself up, that place is a brothel. But the synagogue is
not only a brothel and a theater; it also is a den of robbers and a
lodging for wild beasts. Jeremiah said: "Your house has become
for me the den of a hyena". He does not simply say "of wild beast", but
"of a filthy wild beast", and again: "I have abandoned my house, I have
cast off my inheritance". But when God forsakes a people, what
hope of salvation is left? When God forsakes a place, that place becomes
the dwelling of demons.
(2) But at any rate the Jews say that they,
too, adore God. God forbid that I say that. No Jew adores God! Who says
so? The Son of God says so. For he said: "If you were to know my
Father, you would also know me. But you neither know me nor do you know
my Father". Could I produce a witness more trustworthy than the Son of
(3) If, then, the Jews fail to know the Father, if
they crucified the Son, if they thrust off the help of the Spirit, who
should not make bold to declare plainly that the synagogue is a dwelling
of demons? God is not worshipped there. Heaven forbid! From now
on it remains a place of idolatry. But still some people pay it honor
as a holy place. (Saint John Chrysostom: Eight Homilies Against the Jews)
You've got the idea, right? No? Well, it is this: conciliarism is not Catholicism.
The conciliarists make short work of Spiritual Works of Mercy, proving themselves to be cruel agents of the adversary by reaffirming adherents of false religions in practices and beliefs that cannot save their immortal souls and, objectively speaking, offend God and thus do harm to both personal and social order. To love others is to will their good, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of their immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Alas, it is easy to make short work of the truths of the Faith when one can simply wave his hand and proclaim as "obsolete" the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church and/or attempt to claim with a straight face that a rupture with that teaching is simply a "continuity" according to a "different" understanding.
This is what Kurt "Cardinal" Koch, who has lent to his own voice to "ecumenism is not syncretism," attempted to assert recently when he, as Ratzinger/Benedict on countless other occasions, attempted to claim that the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service represented no "rupture" with the Missal of Pope Saint Pius V:
The Cardinals says, the Tridentine Mass had been celebrated for
centuries. Today we have a baleful situation that people often try to
contrast the two forms of Rites: one pre-Vatican-II rite and the new
rite after Vat. II, one has to choose either this or that. This kind of
view reflects the mentality of a rupture from the Tradition. We must
apply the Hermeneutic of Continuity of the Holy Father, and see the two
forms of Rite as complementary and enriching to each other. If we
contrast these two forms of Rite and think we must chose either one of
them, we will be in a very difficult situation. The Council didn’t make a
new Church, it intended only a renewed Church, the same Church as the
Church before Vat. II. Thus, it is very important for today, that these
two forms of ONE RITE are not seen as oppositions, but instead
as an mutual enrichment to each other, like the Holy Father wrote in his
“Summorum Pontificum. Cardinal Koch is asked whether he will celebrate
in the Tridentine Rite, he says that he has never celebrated in this
rite as he was ordained in 1980. (Notes reporting on Koch's comments in on various topics.)
Rupture, you say, "Cardinal" Koch? Well, that's what your boss has been saying now for the last four years since he issued Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007. It's now what's he said before, however:
What happened after the Council was something
else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came
fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it--as in a manufacturing process--with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification,
and thanks to his incredibly rich knowledge, indefatigably taught us
about the living fullness of a true liturgy. As a man who knew and loved
history, he showed us the multiple forms and paths of liturgical
development; as a man who looked at history form the inside, he saw in
this development and its fruit the intangible reflection of the eternal
liturgy, that which is not the object of our action but which can
continue marvelously to mature and blossom if we unite ourselves
intimately with its mystery. (Joseph "Cardinal: Ratzinger, Preface to
the French language edition of Monsignor Klaus Gamber's The Reform of the Roman Liturgy.)
The prohibition of the missal that was now
decreed, a missal that had known continuous growth over the centuries,
starting with the sacramentaries of the ancient Church, introduced a
breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be
tragic. It was reasonable and right of the Council to order a
revision of the missal such as had often taken place before and which
this time had to be more thorough than before, above all because of the introduction of the vernacular.
But more than this now happened: the old
building was demolished, and another was built, to be sure largely using
materials from the previous one and even using the old building plans.
There is no doubt that this new missal in many respects brought with it
a real improvement and enrichment; but setting it as a new construction
over against what had grown historically, forbidding the results of
this historical growth. thereby makes the liturgy appear to be no longer
living development but the produce of erudite work and juridical
authority; this has caused an enormous harm. For then the
impression had to emerge that liturgy is something "made", not something
given in advance but something lying without our own power of decision. (Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger, Milestones.)
No rupture? Just consider the words of the men who helped to launch and then to draft the liturgical revolution represented by the Novus Ordo service:
We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the
Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block
for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants." (Annibale
Bugnini, L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965.)
Let it be candidly said: the Roman Rite which we
have known hitherto no longer exists. It is destroyed. (Father Joseph
Gelineau, an associate of Annibale Bugnini on the Consilium, quoted and
footnoted in the work of a John Mole, who believed that the Mass of the
Roman Rite had been "truncated," not destroyed. Assault on the Roman Rite)
Certainly we will preserve the basic elements, the
bread, the wine, but all else will be changed according to local
tradition: words, gestures, colors, vestments, chants, architecture,
decor. The problem of liturgical reform is immense. (Archbishop Karol
Wojtyla, 1965, quoted and footnoted in Assault on the Roman Rite.
This quote has also been noted on this site in the past, having been
provided me by a reader who had access to the 1980 French book in which
the quote is found.)
But what could the decision of Paul
possibly be [about permitting Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's request for
the continued offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition]? Two days
earlier Jean Guitton had suggested to allow the Mass of St. Pius V in
France. Pope Paul had replied: "That? Never!. . . That Mass of St. Pius V
like the one sees at Econe has become the symbol for the condemnation
of the Council. I will in no wise accept the Council being condemned by a
symbol. If an exception were made, the whole Council would be
questioned, and consequently the Apostolic authority of the Council."
(Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, 2004, p. 493.)
No rupture? Perhaps someone can try applying the "hermeneutic of continuity" to Ratzinger/Benedict's own writings.
The "no rupture" argument is not being made by the conciliates with respect to their support for the complete abolition of the death penalty, which is simply part of the Natural Law. That is, duly constituted civil authority may, after the exhausting of the levers of justice and as a matter of justice without vindictiveness, impose the death penalty on a heinous malefactor who has forfeited his life by committing a crime for which he must pay with his life. This is neither cruel or vindictive. It is a matter of simple justice, admitting that men may argue as to whether it is prudent or proper to impose the death penalty on a particular person or for a particular crime. The death penalty itself, however, is part of the Natural Law and one may no sooner deny this than he could deny the existence of Three Persons in the Divine Godhead. Truth is. It exists. Truth does not depend upon human acceptance for its binding force or validity.
The conciliarists are not in this instance necessarily denying that the death penalty cannot be applied in "grave circumstances," only that it must not be applied so as to persevere the "dignity" of the "human person" and to emphasize "forgiveness" over "vengeance." Here is how the argument is being portrayed:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's position on capital punishment has evolved considerably over the centuries.
And as a result, "it is not a message that is immediately understood --
that there is no room for supporting the death penalty in today's
world," said a Vatican's expert on capital punishment and arms control.
Because the church has only in the past few decades begun closing the
window -- if not shutting it completely -- on the permissibility of the
death penalty, people who give just a partial reading of the church's
teachings may still think the death penalty is acceptable today, said
Tommaso Di Ruzza, desk officer at the Pontifical Council for Justice and
St. Thomas Aquinas equated a dangerous criminal to an infected limb
thereby making it "praiseworthy and healthful" to kill the criminal in
order to spare the spread of infection and safeguard the common good.
However, over the centuries, justice has evolved from being the smiting
arm of revenge toward a striving for reform and restoration, much like
today's medical science, where amputation is no longer the only recourse
for curing an infection.
Modern-day popes have reflected that change in attitude.
As far back as the 19th and early 20th centuries theologians pondered
the seeming paradox between the Fifth Commandment, "You shall not kill,"
and the church's dark history of condoning state-held executions to
deal with heresy and other threats and crimes.
Pope Paul VI took concrete action in distancing the church from this
form of punishment, first by formally banning the use of the death
penalty in Vatican City State, although no one had been executed under
the authority of the Vatican's temporal governance since 1870.
Pope Paul also spoke publicly against planned executions and called for
clemency for death-row inmates. Pope John Paul II also would punctuate
his Angelus and general audience talks with impassioned appeals to spare
the life of a prisoner on the verge of execution.
It was the Polish pope who "earnestly hoped and prayed" for a global
moratorium on the use of capital punishment and the abolition of the
death penalty worldwide.
Pope Benedict, too, continues to send appeals for clemency in
high-profile cases via telegrams either through a country's bishops or
nuncio, and he has praised a U.N. resolution calling upon states to
institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
The 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church recognized "as well-founded
the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors
by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not
excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty." At the same
time, it said, "bloodless means" that could protect human life should be
used when possible.
The "extreme gravity" loophole was tightened with changes made in 1997,
which reflected the pope's 1995 encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae." It
specifies that the use of the death penalty is allowed only when the
identity and responsibility of the condemned is certain and if capital
punishment "is the only possible way of effectively defending human
lives against the unjust aggressor."
However, given the resources and possibilities available to governments
today for restraining criminals, "cases of the absolute necessity of the
suppression of the offender 'are very rare, if not practically
nonexistent,'" it says.
Pope Benedict, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had a major role in
drafting the 1992 Catechism and, especially, its 1997 revised passages.
When he told journalists about the changes in 1997, he said while the
principles do not absolutely exclude capital punishment, they do give
"very severe or limited criteria for its moral use."
"It seems to me it would be very difficult to meet the conditions today," he had said.
When a journalist said the majority of Catholics in the United States
favor use of the death penalty, Cardinal Ratzinger said, "While it is
important to know the thoughts of the faithful, doctrine is not made
according to statistics, but according to objective criteria taking into
account progress made in the church's thought on the issue."
Di Ruzza said the divergence of many Catholics in the United States from
the church's current position is a sign that "the universal church must
also accompany the particular churches a little bit" and help guide
them on this "journey of purification," which is more a process of
"maturity rather than a revolution or change in tradition."
Without reading Popes John Paul and Benedict's clear condemnations of
the death penalty, the catechism will "unfortunately have the risk of
being ambiguous or taken out of context," he said.
The church upholds the inherent dignity of all human beings, even the
most sin-filled, and believes in hope, conversion and mercy, he said.
There is always room for conversion, he said, and forgiveness does not
mean being naive about the real evil the human being is capable of
The death penalty does not solve much; a victim still feels loss and crime is not deterred, he said.
Communities must strive to promote the common good, and it's dubious "that you can kill someone for the good of all," he said.
"The beauty of forgiveness must also be truly discovered; it's this that saves us," said Di Ruzza.
Otherwise, "by killing the just or the unjust without understanding that
they have dignity, we will find ourselves after 2,000 years in the same
courtyard shouting, 'Kill him!,' like they did with Jesus."
"God forgave us. He did not call us to death. Jesus let us overcome death" so as to more fully embrace life, he said. (Dead wrong: Catholics must no longer support capital punishment.)
This is just naturalistic balderdash and poppycock.
The death penalty has nothing to do with "forgiveness." Indeed, nothing serves as more of an incentive to a hardened sinner to make a good, integral confession that the prospect of imminent death.
The death penalty has nothing to do with the "vengeance" or "vindictiveness." It has do with justice.
Our Lord did not end bodily death nor did He eliminate the death penalty or preach against it. He made it possible for us to overcome the eternal death of the soul if we persevere in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church until the point of our dying breaths.
The Catholic Church has invariably taught that it is the right and the duty of the civil state, duly constituted, to impose the death penalty upon heinous malefactors after they have been adjudged guilty of crimes for which they have forfeited their lives. Contrast, for example, the false teaching of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II with the true teaching of Pope Saint Pius V:
Through the celebration of this World Day of the Sick, may the Gospel of
life and love resound loudly, especially in the Americas, where more
than half the world’s Catholics live. On the continents of North and
South America, as elsewhere in the world, «a model of society appears to
be emerging in which the powerful predominate, setting aside and even
eliminating the powerless: I am thinking here of unborn children,
helpless victims of abortion; the elderly and incurable ill, subjected
at times to euthanasia; and the many other people relegated to the
margins of society by consumerism and materialism. Nor can I
fail to mention the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty . . . This
model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is
therefore in opposition to the Gospel message (Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia In America, 63). (Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, XI World Day of the Sick, 2003).
That horrible crime, on account of which
corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine
condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind,
impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.
Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517]
issued this decree: "Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice
against nature . . . be removed from the clerical order or forced to do
penance in a monastery" (chap. 4, X, V, 31). So that the contagion of
such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking
advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so
as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious
crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we
determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the
secular authority, which enforces civil law.
Therefore, wishing to pursue with the greatest rigor that which we
have decreed since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that
any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who
commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived
of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical
benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge,
let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to
death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have
sunk into this abyss. (Pope Saint Pius V, Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568)
Mind you, I am not suggesting the revival of
this penalty in a world where it would not be understood and where the
offender would be made a "martyr" for the cause of perversity, only
pointing out the fact that the Catholic Church teaches that there are
circumstances justifying the use of the death penalty, admitting that
its application in concrete circumstances is a matter of due discretion
for the civil authorities to determine. The Catholic Church can never
deny as a matter of principle that the death penalty is any way a
violation of the moral law whatsoever. It is not. Such is the difference
yet again between Catholicism and conciliarism.
Consider also the consistent teaching of our true popes on the issue of capital punishment:
It must be remembered that power was granted by God [to the
magistrates], and to avenge crime by the sword was permitted. He who
carries out this vengeance is God’s minister (Rm 13:1-4). Why should we
condemn a practice that all hold to be permitted by God? We uphold,
therefore, what has been observed until now, in order not to alter the
discipline and so that we may not appear to act contrary to God’s
(Pope Innocent I, Epist. 6, C. 3. 8, ad Exsuperium, Episcopum Tolosanum,
20 February 405, PL 20,495)
The secular power can without mortal sin carry out a sentence of death,
provided it proceeds in imposing the penalty not from hatred but with
judgment, not carelessly but with due solicitude. (Innocent III, DS 795/425)
Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the
individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to
depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt,
after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.
(Pius XII, Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology
of the Nervous System, 14 September 1952, XIV, 328.)
The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates
because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and
protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment
[Thy shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act
of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster
human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of
the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have
taken innocent lives.
In the Psalms we find a vindication of
this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the
land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps. 101:8).
(Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4) (see Innocent I, Innocent III, Pius XII & Catechism of Council of Trent on the Death Penalty.)
It should be pointed out that Pope Innocent III was the great and true reformer of the Catholic Church at a time of clerical corruption and the spread of the Albigensian heresy. It was Pope Innocent III who gave permission to both Saint Francis of Assisi, who sought to convert the Muslims and hated error and heresy (see today's republished article, From Riches to Lady Poverty to Eternal Treasures), and to Saint Dominic de Guzman for the establishment of their respective religious communities that would do much to build up the Church Militant on earth.
Additionally, Pope Pius XI, condemning the complete sovereignty of man over his body to "plan" a family (see Forty-Three Years After Humanae Vitae, Always Trying To Find A Way and Planting Seeds of Revolutionary Change), noted that the civil state has no power of the bodies of their subjects "where no crime has taken place and there is no cause present for grave punishment," meaning that the state does indeed have the right to impose the death penalty upon criminal malefactors:
70. Public magistrates have no direct power over the bodies of their
subjects; therefore, where no crime has taken place and there is no cause
present for grave punishment, they can never directly harm, or tamper with the
integrity of the body, either for the reasons of eugenics or for any other
reason. St. Thomas teaches this when inquiring whether human judges for the sake
of preventing future evils can inflict punishment, he admits that the power
indeed exists as regards certain other forms of evil, but justly and properly
denies it as regards the maiming of the body. "No one who is guiltless may be
punished by a human tribunal either by flogging to death, or mutilation, or by
71. Furthermore, Christian doctrine establishes, and the light of human
reason makes it most clear, that private individuals have no other power over
the members of their bodies than that which pertains to their natural ends; and
they are not free to destroy or mutilate their members, or in any other way
render themselves unfit for their natural functions, except when no other
provision can be made for the good of the whole body. (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930.)
It is late. I have a beagle to walk and, much more importantly, I have night prayers to offer before I get to sleep and then arise for Holy Mass in a few hours. Enough of this after a long day writing a chapter in m book. Those who want to see that conciliarism is not Catholicism will do so. Others will attempt to bang their heads against the wall the rubber room of conciliarism, a place where opposites can be true and falsehoods must be accepted because they are asserted as being true. Madness.
Let us continue to pray as many well-prayed Rosaries as possible during this month of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, remembering also to invoke and to follow the example of the Seraphic Saint Francis of Assisi. The triumph belongs to the Immaculate Heart of Mary when Our Lady's Fatima Message is fulfilled. We need to make much reparation for our own sins in the meantime as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying fervently for the conversion of all those who are outside the maternal bosom of Holy Mother Church, including the conciliarists themselves.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints