Memo To Howard Hubbard:
Public Scandal Is Never A Private Matter
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Most of the "bishops" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism are completely bereft of the Catholic Faith. Many of them lack even a rudimentary understanding of the horror of personal sin. Most of these apostates do not meditate on the unspeakable torture that our sins imposed upon Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death, which is why some of them publicly recoiled at the graphically accurate depiction of those sufferings in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. At least some of these conciliar "bishops" are so immersed in a culture that is hospitable to perverse sins committed in violation of the binding precepts of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments that they have created a false conception of God as One Who is so merciful and so "compassionate" that sinners do not have to quit their sins in order to saved, that no one who "loves" another can truly be guilty of any serious sin as long as his "fundamental option" is said to be "for God."
Even though the conciliar Vatican condemned the false theology of the so-called "fundamental option" as early as 1975, variations of this falsehood abound in the conciliar structures, resulting in a subjectivist view of sin and its ugliness in the sight of God, to say nothing of completely eviscerating any comprehension of the social effects of supposedly "private" sins upon the whole framework of a well-ordered society. It is simply "good enough" for those engaged in objectively sinful actions to have a ":right intention" and/or to be so shaped by the prevailing relativist ethos of their times that what appears in the objective order to be sinful is actually not something for which they can be held accountable by others in this passing, mortal vale of tears or that they will be accountable before Christ the King, their Divine Judge, at the moment of their Particular Judgments.
This subjectivist view of morality, which is a recrudescence of the moral relativism of the Sophists of Athens in the Fifth Century before Our Lord that was given a "rebirth" by the humanism of certain phases of the Renaissance and gained great traction following Martin Luther's revolution against the Divine Plan that Our Lord instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church, is on full display currently as efforts are being made to defend the egregious "gay-friendly" conciliar "bishop" of Albany, New York, Howard Hubbard, after he received criticism from a lay "conservative" canon lawyer for staging the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service for the Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Mark Cuomo, and his live-in paramour, Sandra Lee, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, New York, on Sunday, January 2, 2011, the day after the pro-abortion son of the former Governor of the State of New York, the pro-abortion Mario Matthew Cuomo, and permitting them both to receive what purports to be Holy Communion at that abominable service:
ALBANY -- Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard says it is "unfair and imprudent" to conclude that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, shouldn't receive communion simply because they're living together.
was responding to opinions expressed by Catholic canon law expert
Edward Peters, who last month on his blog stated that the couple was
engaging in what church law defines as "public concubinage" by sharing
Lee's Westchester County home.
Peters wrote last month about Hubbard's warm welcome to the couple at Mass at Albany's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Jan. 2, the day after Cuomo's inauguration. He claimed that Hubbard had committed a "dereliction of pastoral duty."
Without referring to Peters, Hubbard responded Wednesday by telling any critics to, in effect, mind their own business.
are norms of the church governing the sacraments, which Catholics are
expected to observe," Hubbard wrote in a brief statement. "However, it
is unfair and imprudent to make a pastoral judgment about a particular
situation without knowing all the facts.
"As a matter of pastoral
practice we would not comment publicly on anything which should be
addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a
private citizen," Hubbard wrote in conclusion.
John Dwyer, a former Jesuit who taught theology at St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry, said Hubbard's statement was "the perfect response, really solid."
who lives outside of Tannersville in the Catskills, said modern
religious thought has come to the conclusion that communion should be
denied only to those living in mortal sin -- a state that requires "a
serious, grievous matter," sufficient reflection by the sinner, and the
"full consent" of his will.
"Cuomo comes from a day and age when
living with your girlfriend isn't a serious, grievous matter ... or
something that's seen as a serious violation of God's will," Dwyer said.
who teaches at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary, serves as a
consultant to the highest Vatican court, the Apostolic Signatura. His
opinions were picked up by a conservative news service and reported
around the state on Wednesday.
The back and forth over Cuomo's
good standing as a Catholic is the latest in a long series of conflicts
between church and state. Numerous Catholic politicians who support
abortion rights -- including Vice President Joe Biden and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy -- have been criticized for receiving communion despite their advocacy
for a practice viewed as anathema by the Vatican. Indeed, Peters'
initial blog post on Cuomo's appearance at Hubbard's Mass noted the
governor's pro-choice stance as an additional affront to church law.
After an appearance Wednesday morning on Long Island, Cuomo commented on the matter in a style similar to Hubbard's.
"My religion is a private matter," he told reporters, "and it's not something I discuss in the political arena." (Bishop: None of your business.)
Expected to observe? Did God entitle His Commandments "The Ten Expectations to Observe"?
How does coming "from a day and age when living with your girlfriend isn't a serious, grievous matter ... or something that's seen as a serious violation of God's will" change the objectively evil nature of the sin of natural vice outside of marriage or change the offense given to the Most Blessed Trinity or the harm done to the souls of Andrew Mark Cuomo or Sandra Lee or to their children?
My friends, conciliarism is a different religion than Catholicism. Do you think that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is going to "correct" Howard Hubbard? How can a man who offends God regularly by esteeming the symbols of false religions and praising places of false worship as "sacred" going to "correct" the likes of Howard Hubbard, who is one of those old-line conciliar revolutionaries who believes that his Marxist conception of "social justice" can be pursued by the likes of pro-aborts such as Regolatore Cuomo il primo arrogante (Governor Cuomo the Arrogant the First) and
Regolatore Cuomo il secondo arrogante (Governor Cuomo the Arrogant the Second) because they are committed to "economic justice" for the "poor" and the "marginalized."
Ratzinger/Benedict is not going to "correct" Howard Hubbard any more than he has corrected Robert Zollitsch, the conciliar "archbishop" of Freiburg and Breisgau, for having denied quite publicly six hundred eighty-five days ago that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins. The false "pontiff" has no sense of the horror of the sins of apostasy which he himself commits and tolerates, if not suborns, in others.
How can any "conservative" in the conciliar structures believe at this late date that a conciliar "pope" is going to take action against a "bishop" for distributing what purports to be Holy Communion to a pro-abortion Catholic who is living in sin with a woman who is not his wife when no action has been taken against pro-abortion Catholic politicians because they support chemical and surgical baby-killing? Have people taken leave of their senses? Have they lost all memory of the accolades accorded the late United States Senator Edward Moore Kennedy, who gave plenty of public scandal during his life, upon his death on August 25, 2009? (Yes, please do review the following articles in case you have taken leave of your Catholic senses:
Another Victim of Americanism; Behold The Free Rein Given to Error; Behold The Free Rein Given to Error; Unfortunate Enough to Be A Baby; Unfortunate Enough to Be A Baby; Beacon of Social Justice?; Spotlight On The Ordinary; What's Good For Teddy Is Good For Benny; Sean O'Malley: Coward and Hypocrite: More Rationalizations and Distortions.)
Why in the world are people being agitated to participate in futile exercises such as invoking the meaningless provisions of the conciliar "code of canon law," which is replete with its own problems (see two articles on the 1983 "code of canon law from the "resist but recognize" movement: 1983 Code of Canon Law and ARCHBISHOP LEFEBVRE ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW)? It's over, ladies and gentleman. The counterfeit church of conciliarism is not the Catholic Church.
Although it is certainly true that there were true Catholic bishops in the past who served as enablers of immoral civil potentates, seeking to curry favor with these potentates and/or to save their own perquisites and privileges, not one of these episcopal enablers of regal vice publicly minimized the horror of personal sins. Moreover, it was the case in France under the corrupt regime of the morally decadent King Louis XV that the bishops demanded the dying king to make a public abjuration of his grave personal sins and notoriously scandalous behavior before he could receive the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and thus to die as a Catholic in good standing on May 10, 1774. Ah, the very people who would blanche at being reminded that Pope Saint Pius V ordered clergy caught in unnatural vice to be handed over to the civil authorities to be put to death as any lay person would be for the sin of Sodom (see Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Meet Pope Saint Pius V) believe that it is not necessary for anyone "converting" into the conciliar structures to abjure their past errors. Why should they believe that those who are engaged in objectively sinful situations that are very public and notorious and serve as incentive for others to sin with impunity should be penalized or required to make a public abjuration of the scandal that they have given?
Conciliarism is simply not Catholicism. Conciliar "bishop" after conciliar "bishop" has enabled pro-aborts of the "right" and "left" to live in "good standing" despite their public support for and/or participation in grave sins, having no regard for how the scandals given by the men they enable encourage others to live lives of sin in their own right and to protect it under cover of civil law and promote it wantonly in every single aspect of what passes for popular culture.
Public scandal is never a private matter. True Successors of the Apostles are charged to take the immortal welfare of souls seriously lest their imperil their own salvation in the process. No one can take refuge today in the self-serving rationalization that men such as Andrew Mark Cuomo do not "know" what they teaching of the Catholic Church is on matters relating to the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Commandments. They know. They do not care. The time for "persuasion" has long since passed. It is the duty of shepherds to correct the flock when they fall into error and sin.
True pope after true pope have taught us that this is the case. Here is but one example:
The bishop should not fear since the anointing of the Holy Spirit has
strengthened him: the shepherd should not be afraid since the prince of
pastors has taught him by his own example to despise life itself for the
safety of his flock: the cowardice and depression of the hireling
should not dwell in a bishop's heart. Our great predecessor Gregory, in
instructing the heads of the churches, said with his usual excellence: "Often
imprudent guides in their fear of losing human favor are afraid to
speak the right freely. As the word of truth has it, they guard their
flock not with a shepherd's zeal but as hirelings do, since they flee
when the wolf approaches by hiding themselves in silence.... A shepherd fearing to speak the right is simply a man retreating by keeping silent. (Pope Pius VI, Inscrutabile, December 25, 1775.)
Please be so kind as to send this on along to Howard Hubbard, who will not reach the conciliar church's mandatory retirement age of seventy-five until October 31, 2013, having been appointed at the age of thirty-eight in early-1977 by the man referred to by one of my former friends in the conciliar presbyterate as "Paolo il Malato," who appointed one lavender-friendly "bishop" after another during his fifteen years of revolutionary activity as a false "pontiff." And while you're at it, could you please send Howard Hubbard the sermon by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori appended below that deals with the giving of scandal? Saint Alphonsus de Liguori was a Catholic. Howard Hubbard is not. (For a brief vignette of the time on Saturday, May 7, 1983, that I appeared as a speaker on the same program with Howard Hubbard, please see Appendix B below.)
The conciliarists live in an "alternative universe" that is indeed bereft of Catholicism. As I have written in the past, the hubris of many conciliar "bishops" in the face of grievous public scandal would have them re-write the history of salvation as follows:
Perhaps Nathan should have engaged David in "dialogue" rather than telling him that he had to repent and to pay a price, the death of his own son, for his moral crimes.
Perhaps Saint John the Baptist should have given Herod and Herodias a "kiss of peace" at Ground Zero rather than to be so "judgmental" about the lives they were leading.
Perhaps Saint Stanislaus should have kept his mouth shut as his brother, King Boleslaus lived immorally and treated his subjects with great cruelty.
Perhaps Saint Thomas a Becket should have "gone along" with King Henry II, thus surrendering the rights of the Church to a civil potentate.
Perhaps Saints John Fisher and Thomas More and the Blessed Edmond Campion and the other saints and blesseds of the Protestant Revolt in England during the eras of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I (and thereafter) should have made their peace with the Anglican Church, just as Ratzinger/Benedict is doing at present in siding with his fellow non-bishop, Rowan Williams (the Anglican "archbishop" of Canterbury), against a group of Anglo-Catholics who are upset with the apostate policies of Thomas Cranmer's successors.
Perhaps James Gibbons and Richard Cushing and Francis Spellman were right to enable American presidents and potentates.
Perhaps the popes of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries were wrong in their reading of the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church concerning Church-State relations.
You see, my friends, conciliarism, which has made its accommodation to the principles of 1776 and 1787 and 1789, deals with modern civil potentates in most, although not all, instances, in exactly the opposite way of the great saints of the Catholic Church, taking its cue from the likes of the Americanist bishops who paved the way for conciliarism prior to the "Second" Vatican Council.
In the midst of all of this, of course, we must have recourse to Our Lady, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary and of total consecration to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, mindful of the fact that many of have much for which to make reparation by means of the scandals we have given to others by means of words and deeds as we desire to take upon ourselves voluntary penances as we approach the season of penance that is Lent.
Do not live in fear or bewilderment. The chastisements of the present moment will pass. The final victory belongs to Christ the King through the Immaculate Heart of Mary our Queen. In this we must never doubt.
Consider these words spoken to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Christ the King, Himself:
"I will reign in spite of all who oppose Me." (quoted in: The Right Reverend Emile Bougaud. The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers in 1990, p. 361.)
May we never stand in opposition to the Social Reign of Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen!
Vivat Christus Rex!
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.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori on Scandal
Sunday Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter
THE wolves that catch and scatter the sheep of Jesus Christ are the authors of scandal, who, not content with their own destruction, labour to destroy others. But the Lord says: ”Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." (Matt, xviii. 7.) Woe to him who gives scandal, and causes others to lose the grace of God. Origen says, that “a person who impels another to sin, sins more grievously than the other." If, brethren, there be any among you who has given scandal, I will endeavour this day to convince him of the evil he has done, that he may bewail it and guard against it for the future. I will show, in the first point, the great displeasure which the sin of scandal gives to God; and, in the second, the great punishment which God threatens to inflict on the authors of scandal.
First Point. On the great displeasure which the sin of scandal gives to God.
1. It is, in the first place, necessary to explain what is meant by scandal. Behold how St. Thomas defines it: “Scandal is a word or act which gives occasion to the ruin of one's neighbour." (2 ii., q. 45, art. 1.) Scandal, then, is a word or act by which you are to your neighbour the cause or occasion of losing his soul. It may be direct or indirect. It is direct, when you directly tempt or induce another to commit sin. It is indirect, when, although you foresee that sinful words or actions will be the cause of sin to another, you do not abstain from them. But, scandal, whether it be direct or indirect, if it be in a matter of great moment, is always a mortal sin.
2. Let us now see the great displeasure which the destruction of a neighbour’s soul gives to God. To understand it, we must consider how dear every soul is to God. Ho has created the souls of all men to his own image. “Let us make man to our image and likeness." (Gen. i. 26.) Other creatures God has made by a fiat by an act of his will; but the soul of man he has created by his own breath. "And the Lord breathed into his face the breath of life." (Gen. ii. 7.) The soul of your neighbour God has loved for eternity. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." (Jer. xxxi. 3.) He has, moreover, created every soul to be a queen in Paradise, and to be a partner in his glory. “That by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature." (2 Peter i. 4.) In heaven he will make the souls of the saints partakers of his own joy. ”Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matt. xxv. 21. To them he shall give himself as their reward. “I am thy reward exceeding great." (Gen. xv. 1.)
3. But nothing can show the value which God sets on the souls of men more clearly than what the Incarnate Word has done for their redemption from sin and hell. ”If," says St. Eucharius, ”you do not believe your Creator, ask your Redeemer, how precious you are." Speaking of the care which we ought to have of our brethren, St. Ambrose says: ”The great value of the salvation of a brother is known from the death of Christ." We judge of the value of everything by the price paid for it by an intelligent purchaser. Now, Jesus Christ has, according to the Apostle, purchased the souls of men with his own blood. ”You are bought with a great price." (1 Cor. vi. 20.) We can, then, say, that the soul is of as much value as the blood of a God. Such, indeed, is the language of St. Hilary”Tam copioso munere redemptio agitur, ut homo Deum valere videatur." Hence, the Saviour tells us, that whatsoever good or evil we do to the least of his brethren, we do to himself. ”So long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me." (Matt. xxv. 40.)
4. From all this we may infer how great is the displeasure given to God by scandalizing a brother, and destroying his soul. It is enough to say, that they who give scandal rob God of a child, and murder a soul, for whose salvation he has spent his blood and his life. Hence, St. Leo calls the authors of scandals murderers. "Quisquis scandalizat, mortem infert animæ proximi." They are the most impious of murderers; because they kill not the body, but the soul of a brother, and rob Jesus Christ of all his tears, of his sorrows, and of all that he has done and suffered to gain that soul. Hence the Apostle says: "Now, when you sin thus against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ." (1 Cor. viii. 12.) They who scandalize a brother, sin against Christ; because, as St. Ambrose says, they deprive him of a soul for which he has spent so many years, and submitted to so many toils and labours. It is related, that B. Albertus Magnus spent thirty years in making a head, which resembled the human head, and uttered words: and that St. Thomas, fearing that it was done by the agency of the devil, took the head and broke it. B. Albertus complained of the act of St. Thomas, saying: "You have broken on me the work of thirty years." I do not assert that this is true; but it is certain that, when Jesus Christ sees a soul destroyed by scandal, he can reprove the author of it, and say to him: Wicked wretch, what have you done? You have deprived me of this soul, for which I have laboured thirty-three years.
5. We read in the Scriptures, that the sons of Jacob, after having sold their brother Joseph to certain merchants, told his father that wild beasts had devoured him. ”Fera pessima devoravit eum." (Gen. xxxvii. 20.) To convince their father of the truth of what they said, they dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood of a goat, and presented it to him, saying: "See whether this be thy son‟s coat or not”(v. 32). In reply, the afflicted father said with tears: ”It is my son‟s coat: an evil wild beast hath eaten him”(v. 33). Thus, we may imagine that, when a soul is brought into sin by scandal, the devils present to God the garment of that soul dipped in the blood of the Immaculate Lamb, Jesus Christ that is, the grace lost by that scandalized soul, which Jesus Christ had purchased with his blood and that they say to the Lord: “See whether this be thy son's coat or not." If God were capable of shedding tears, he would weep more bitterly than Jacob did, at the sight of that lost soul his murdered child and would say: ”It is my son's coat: an evil wild beast hath eaten him." The Lord will go in search of this wild beast, saying: "Where is the beast? where is the beast that has devoured my child ?" When he finds the wild beast, what shall he do with him?
6. "I will," says the Lord by his prophet Osee, "meet them as a bear that is robbed of her whelps." (Osee xiii. 8.) When the bear comes to her den, and finds not her whelps, she goes about the wood in search of the person who took them away. When she discovers the person, oh! with what fury does she rush upon him! It is thus the Lord shall rush upon the authors of scandal, who have robbed him of his children. Those who have given scandal, will say: My neighbour is already damned; how can I repair the evil that has been done? The Lord shall answer: Since you have been the cause of his perdition, you must pay me for the loss of his soul. "I will require his blood at thy hands." (Ezec. iii. 20.) It is written in Deuteronomy, "Thou shalt not pity him, but shalt require life for life" (xix. 21). You have destroyed a soul; you must suffer the loss of your own. Let us pass to the second point.
Second Point. The great punishment which God threatens to those who give scandal.
7. ”Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." (Matt, xviii. 7.) If the displeasure given to God by scandal be great, the chastisement which awaits the authors of it must be frightful. Behold how Jesus Christ speaks of this chastisement: ”But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matt, xviii. 6.) If a malefactor dies on the scaffold, he excites the compassion of the spectators, who, at least, pray for him, if they cannot deliver him from death. But, were he cast into the depths of the sea, there should be no one present to pity his fate. A certain author says, that Jesus Christ threatens the person who scandalizes a brother with this sort of punishment, to signify that he is so hateful to the angels and saints, that they do not wish to recommend to God the man who has brought a soul to perdition. "He is declared unworthy not only to be assisted, but even to be seen." (Mansi. cap. iii. num. 4.)
8. St. John Chrysostom says, that scandal is so abominable in the eyes of God, that though he overlooks very grievous sins, he cannot allow the sin of scandal to pass without condign punishment. "Tam Deo horribile est scandalum, ut peccata graviora dissimulet non autem peccata ubi frater scandalizatur." God himself says the same by the prophet Ezechiel: "Every man of the house of Israel, if he ... set up the stumbling block of his iniquity ... I will make him an example and a proverb, and will cut him off from the midst of my people." (Ezec. xiv. 7, 8.) And, in reality, scandal is one of the sins which we find in the sacred Scriptures punished by God with the greatest rigour. Of Heli, because he did not correct his sons, who gave scandal by stealing the flesh offered in sacrifice (for parents give scandal, not only by giving bad example, but also by not correcting their children as they ought), the Lord said: "Behold, I do a thing in Israel: and whosoever shall hear it, both his ears shall tingle." (1 Kings, iii. 11.) And speaking of the scandal given by the sons of Heli, the inspired writer says: "Wherefore the sin of the young men was exceeding great before the Lord." (Ibid. ii. 17.) What was this sin exceeding great? It was, says St. Gregory, in explaining this passage, drawing others to sin. "Quia ad pecandum alios pertrahebant." Why was Jeroboam chastised? Because he scandalized the people: he”hath sinned, and made Israel sin." (3 Kings, xiv. 16.) In the family of Achab, all the members of which were the enemies of God, Jezabel was the most severely chastised. She was thrown down from a window, and devoured by dogs, so that nothing remained but her”skull, and the feet, and the extremities of her hands." And why was she so severely punished? Because "she set Achab on to every evil."
9. For the sin of scandal hell was created. "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." (Gen. i.1.) But, when did he create hell? It was then Lucifer began to seduce the angels into rebellion against God. Lest he should continue to pervert those who remained faithful to God, he was banished from heaven immediately after his sin. Hence Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees, who, by their bad example, scandalized the people, that they were children of the devil, who was from the beginning, a murderer of souls. ”You are of your father, the devil: he was a murderer from the beginning." (John viii. 44.) And when St. Peter gave scandal to Jesus Christ, by suggesting to him not to allow his life to be taken away by the Jews, and thus endeavouring to prevent the accomplishment of redemption, the Redeemer called him a devil. ”Go behind me, Satan; thou art a scandal to me." (Matt. xvi. 23.) And, in reality, what other office do the authors of scandal perform, than that of a minister of the devil? If he were not assisted by such impious ministers, he certainly would not succeed in gaining so many souls. A scandalous companion does more injury than a hundred devils.
10. On the words of Ezechias, "Behold, in peace is my bitterness most bitter" (Isa. xxxviii. 17), St. Bernard, in the name of the Church, says: “Peace from pagans, peace from heretics, but no peace from children." At present the Church is not persecuted by idolaters, or by heretics, but she is persecuted by scandalous Christians, who are her own children. In catching birds, we employ decoys, that is, certain birds that are blinded, and tied in such manner that they cannot fly away. It is thus the devil acts. “When," says St. Ephrem, "a soul has been taken, she becomes a snare to deceive others." After having made a young man fall into sin, the enemy first blinds him as his own slave, and then makes him his decoy to deceive others; and to draw them into the net of sin, he not only impels, but even forces him to deceive others. “The enemy," says St. Leo, ”has many whom he compels to deceive others." (Serm. de Nativ.)
11. Miserable wretches! the authors of scandal must suffer in hell the punishment of all the sins they have made others commit. Cesarius relates (1. 2, c. vi.) that, after the death of a certain person who had given scandal, a holy man witnessed his judgment and condemnation, and saw that, at his arrival at the gate of hell, all the souls whom he had scandalized came to meet him, and said to him: Come, accursed wretch, and atone for all the sins which you have made us commit. They then rushed in upon him, and like so many wild beasts, began to tear him in pieces. St. Bernard says, that, in speaking of other sinners, the Scriptures hold out hopes of amendment and pardon; but they speak of those who give scandal as persons separated from God, of whose salvation there is very little hope. ”Lo quitur tanquam a Deo separati, unde hisce nulla spes vitæ esse poterit."
12. Behold, then, the miserable state of those who give scandal by their bad example, who utter immodest words before their companions, in the presence of young females, and even of innocent children, who, in consequence of hearing those words, commit a thousand sins. Considering how the angel-guardians of those little ones weep at seeing them in the state of sin, and how they call for vengeance from God against the sacrilegious tongues that have scandalized them. A great chastisement awaits all who ridicule those who practise virtue. For many, through fear of the contempt and ridicule of others, abandon virtue, and give themselves up to a wicked life. What shall be the punishment of those who bring messages to induce others to sin? or of those who boast of their own wicked actions? God! instead of weeping and repenting for having offended the Lord, they rejoice and glory in their iniquities! Some advise others to commit sin; others induce them to it; and some, worse than
the devils, teach others how to sin. What shall we say of fathers and mothers, who, though it is in their power to prevent the sins of their children, allow them to associate with bad companions, or to frequent certain dangerous houses, and permit their daughters to hold conversations with young men? Oh! with what scourges shall we see such persons chastised on the day of judgment!
13. Perhaps some father of a family among you will say: Then, I am lost because I have given scandal? Is there no hope of salvation for me? No: I will not say that you are past hope the mercy of God is great. He has promised pardon to all who repent. But, if you wish to save your soul, you must repair the scandal you have given. "Let him," says Eusebius Emmissenus, “who has destroyed himself by the destruction of many, redeem himself by the edification of many." (Hom. x. ad Mon.) You have lost your soul, and have destroyed the souls of many by your scandals. You are now bound to repair the evil. As you have hitherto drawn others to sin, so you are bound to draw them to virtue by words of edification, by good example, by avoiding sinful occasions, by frequenting the sacraments, by going often to the church to pray, and by attending sermons. And from this day forward avoid, as you would death, every act and word which could scandalize others. "Let their own ruin," says St. Cyprian, ”suffice for those who have fallen." (Lib. 1, epis. iii.) And St. Thomas of Villanova says: "Let your own sins be sufficient for you." What evil has Jesus Christ done to you that it is not enough for you to have offended him yourselves, but you wish to make others offend him? This is an excess of cruelty.
14. Be careful, then, never again to give the smallest scandal. And if you wish to save your soul, avoid as much as possible those who give scandal. These incarnate devils shall be damned; but, if you do not avoid them, you will bring yourself to perdition. “Woe to the world because of scandals," says the Lord (Matt. xviii. 7), that is, many are lost because they do not fly from occasions of scandal. But you may say: Such a person is my friend; I am under obligations to him; I expect many favours from him. But Jesus Christ says: ”If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. It is better for thee, having one eye, to enter into life, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." (Matt, xviii. 9.) Although a certain person was your right eye, you must withdraw for ever from her; it is better for you to lose an eye and save your soul, than to preserve it and be cast into hell. (Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year by St Alphonsus Liguori: Second Sunday after Easter; to listen an eloquent recording of this sermon by a much hated and caricatured personage, please see "Save Thy Soul" archive of the Traditional Catholic Sermons website, finding this sermon of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori under the listing for the Second Sunday after Easter.)
The First Annual Brooklyn Catholic Charities Congress, May 7, 1983
Among the large number of people who were once friends of mine but who have, within the Providence of God, of course, withdrawn their friendship over the years, is the man who was responsible in the summer of 1972 for directing me to pursue my doctorate in political science. The professor, who was once a very close friend and to whom I will always be grateful for his excellence as a classroom instructor and for the years of friendship that he saw fit to give, said, "You seem to have a flair for college teaching. Why don't you consider getting a Master's degree and a law degree at the same time. Lawyers are a dime a dozen. There are many law school graduates today selling encyclopedias door-to-door." Well, I wound I taking his advice entirely, eschewing admissions to several law schools, including Saint John's, Baylor and Notre Dame, to pursue the doctorate.
It was at the recommendation of this professor in 1983, by then a colleague of mine, that I replaced him as a speaker at something called the "First Annual Brooklyn Catholic Charities Congress" on Saturday, May 7, 1983. Among the other speakers were none other than the conciliar "bishop" of Albany, Howard Hubbard, who spoke on the necessity of "economic justice." It was a pure exercise in naturalism of the false opposite of the "left" from beginning to end. Another speaker was a Sister Amada Miller of the Archdiocese of Detroit, the home of the insidious revolutionary cell named "Call to Action" that was the brainchild of the Modernist named John Cardinal Dearden, who said that poor people needed to be given more material goods to make them happy. (No, I am not making this up! I was there. I heard this with my own thirty-one and one-half year-old ears.)
I began my own address by noting that the singularly most important issue of genuine social
justice, to which the "congress" was supposedly dedicated, namely, restoring legal protection to all preborn children without any
exception whatsoever, was not on their agenda. "I find this very curious," I told those in the audience. Two elderly Sisters,
dressed in their traditional habits, applauded furiously. Everyone else
in the audience sat on their hands, including an auxiliary "bishop" of
the Diocese of Brooklyn, Joseph Sullivan, whose bald head turned beat
red as I noted and denounced the meeting's naturalistic, liberal agenda.
(Sullivan was a confidante and supporter of former United States
Representative Geraldine Ferraro Zaccaro and former Governor of the
State of New York Mario Matthew Cuomo.)
I was not invited back to speak at the "Second Annual Brooklyn Catholic Charities" Congress in 1984. Was it something that I said?