Video Class: St Justin Martyr and Tatian the Heretic

Today is the feast day of the Saint Justin Martyr of Rome. Below is a sample lesson video from the New Saint Thomas Institute featuring a brief bio of Saint Justin Martyr, an analysis of his contribution to Catholic Theology and a brief intro to one of his students named Tatian who became a heretic. Saint Justin Martyr, pray for us!

Question: Do you have questions about Saint Justin Martyr? If so leave a comment. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Do you have fire in your soul?

Do you have fire in your soul? Are you “on fire”?

Fire transfers heat. Within the soul of Christ on the cross, He was full of fire. Fire of love. That divine fire burned in Him a million times hotter than a furnace or forest fire. Like the burning bush, He burned but never burned up for us, and He wanted to ignite that fire in our souls.

Sepulchre Fire

The fire was already burning furiously in the soul of Mary as she stood beneath the cross. Sparks and flickering flames were already in the souls of Saint John and the women with Mary.

That fire is personal. The fire is a Divine Person. The Holy Spirit.

Look into your chest and see if this Fire is burning with in you. Burning up sin and making your soul glow with warmth. Daily prayer is the oxygen that your soul needs. Stoke the fire with Scripture. Pour gasoline on it with the habitual grace of the sacraments.

This week, prayer every morning. Read Scripture every morning. Try to attend a daily Mass at least once.

Come Holy Spirit and kindle in us the Fire of Your Love.

A Blessed Pentecost to you and yours this coming Sunday,

Taylor Marshall

Receiving Sacraments in Mortal Sin – What Happens?

One of our Members of the New Saint Thomas Institute, Dr Ken Hare, (who appeared on this podcast with me) had an excellent question recently in the Forums of the New Saint Thomas Institute. This question came up on our studies regarding Holy Matrimony and obstacles to a valid marriage:

marriage rings

Tagging onto part of Helene’s question, with regard to the impediments of lack of openness to having children as well as lack of commitment to marital fidelity, what if one of those exists at the time of the original marriage, but thru conversion of heart ceases to exist at some point thereafter? Can an originally invalid marriage at that point become valid?

Answer:

A canonically invalid marriage can later become valid.

It’s like the example of confirmation from a previous lesson:

A 14 year old boy could validly receive the sacrament of Confirmation in a state of mortal sin. He would receive zero habitual grace upon reception of the sacrament because of the obstruction of mortal sin. However, if he were not making an explicit act of the will against receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, he would validly receive the sacrament (and the indelible character of Confirmation), but not the grace of the sacrament, nor the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If he stayed away from Christ and the Church for 30 years from that day but then one day he made a good confession, suddenly at that moment of absolution, his soul would be FLOODED not just with the grace of justification, but with all the graces of Confirmation that had been held in reserve until that moment. This is why people sometimes experience such a spiritual experience when they make a confession after a long time. They are receiving sacramental graces accrued from the past!

There is also radical sanation of Matrimony whereby a bishop can validate a previously invalid marriage. The previously lost graces of Holy Matrimony are restored to the couple. Some people like to use the analogy of a “sacramental time machine” but I don’t like that analogy.

With regard to “artificial contraception so as to avoid the conception of children” this is an impediment to valid sacramental marriage. However, the openness to life later on would demonstrate a valid marriage. The previous graces would come to rest. The couple would not need to perform the marriage liturgy again in order to have a valid marriage since the original form stands. If, however, they were Catholics married outside the Church (lacking form) then they would have to perform the marriage liturgy to have  valid marriage.

Interestingly enough, the sacrament of confession is always a “reactivating” of sacramental baptism. Confession or reconciliation is a sacrament in its own right, but it is restorative of the state of baptism. This is why baptism must always be received prior to confession. Sacramental absolution removes all guilt and eternal punishment, but temporal punishment can remain – hence the need for penance and indulgences even for those who have been to confession.

As with the Confirmation example above, the same could be true of Holy Orders. A man could receive Holy Order in a state of mortal sin. He would be validly ordained and could confect the sacraments. He would say a valid Mass. But the habitual grace of Holy Orders to assist him in ministry would be lacking in his soul. He would be a valid priest but for the sake of his salvation, not well-equipped. When he made a good confession, his soul would be justified an in that moment it would receive the habitual grace of Holy Orders.

It goes without saying that receiving sacraments (especially the Eucharist) in a state of mortal sin (except baptism) is always sacrilegious.

Please leave a question below if it’s still not clear.

Godspeed,

Taylor Marshall, PhD

Why Did Jesus Wash the Feet of the Apostles? Pope Francis, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine

Recently the Catholic Church has been wrestling with the significance of foot washing – the liturgical reenactment of Christ washing the feet of His Apostles on the night before He was betrayed.

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The Council of Elvira (Spain, AD 305) prohibited the washing of feet because heretical ideas were being associated with it: “The feet of the newly baptized are not to be washed by the priests or clerics” (Elvira 48). Saint Ambrose of Milan, against this rulings of the Council, considered foot washing to be “sacrament” of great importance. In Milan and other places, “foot washing” was a prelude to sacramental baptism.

The Albigensian heretics held foot washing in high esteem and assigned to it a theological importance without parallel in the orthodox Catholic Church. Up until the last century, Popes, Abbots, and Kings would wash the feet of the poor as a sign of humility and servant leadership. More on that later.

Foot Washing Enters the Mass in 1955

Up until 60 years ago, the custom of foot washing did not appear in the Roman Eucharistic liturgy. Until 1955, the Roman Missal included a rite of foot washing detached from the Mass. Pope Pius XII was the first Pope to have foot washing included in the Mass and it was stipulated that it would be the feet of men, presumably as a sign of the male-only priesthood.

Hence, foot washing is relatively new liturgical rite. 

In 2013, Pope Francis washed the feet of two women and non-Christians (Muslims) at a juvenile detention center in Rome 2013. Pope Francis revised the direction of the Roman Missal in 2016 to include men and women as a sign of inclusion.

Theology of Foot Washing? Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine:

I wrote a well-known book on Judaism and Catholicism that covers the liturgical and sacramental connections between the Old Testament and Catholic Christianity called The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity. It’s a popular text now in Catholic schools and seminaries. You can read reviews of it on amazon here.Crucified Rabbi Look InsideUnfortunately, I did not include a section on foot washing. So here goes:

Saint Jerome in his Epistle to Pope Damasus states that Christ washed His Apostles’ feet to prepare them for the preaching of the gospel, in fulfillment to the prophecy of Isaiah:

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, of them that bring good tidings.” (Isa. 52:7)

The Apostles were ordained as sacerdotal priests at the Last Supper and so the foot washing is to prepare them to carry the Gospel to foreign lands. It’s a commissioning rite to “preach the Gospel of peace.”

Saint Ambrose associates the foot washing to original sin and the Protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15 since it is with “the heel” that the Messiah and His followers will crush Satan’s head:

“Because Adam was tripped up by the devil and the venom was poured out over thy feet, therefore dost thou wash thy feet that in that part where the serpent ensnared thee there may be added the more abundant aid of sanctification, so that he be not able to trip thee up hereafter.” Saint Ambrose De Sacramentis3, 1)

Saint Augustine and Cyprian associate the washing of feet with the removal of venial sins. This is why Christ says: “He that has been washed needs not but to wash his feet, but is clean throughout.” The Apostles were already baptized. Peter asks for a second baptism (his head) but Christ refuses. The Apostles had already been baptized and their sins removed, however, the lower sins that trip us up also have to be remitted before receiving the Holy Eucharist. Hence, the foot washing was a liturgical penitential rite prior to the First Communion of the Apostles.

Is Right to Allow Women?

Prior to Francis, the men chosen to receive foot washing symbolized the 12 Apostles. As described above, foot washing seems to be a priestly rite preparing the Apostles to have the “beautiful feet” foretold by Isaiah. Since men alone can be Catholic priests, only men were chosen for the washing of feet.

One might argue, however, that Christ calls all men and women to proclaim the Gospel with beautiful feet. Proclaiming or sharing the Good News is not exclusively a sacerdotal action. Moreover, Saint Paul states that all Christians are called to crush Satan under their (beautiful) feet (Rom 16:19). The Coptic liturgy includes the act of the priest washing the feet of the entire congregation! So there is liturgical precedent for including women in the washing of the feet.

Is it Right to Allow Non-Christians?

What I cannot reconcile theologically is the act of washing the feet of non-baptized members of other religions, namely adherents of Islam, within the Eucharistic liturgy. Peter’s words and Christ’s response presume that the recipients are “washed already,” that is, baptized. Foot washing is an intra-baptized experience.

There is precedent for foot washing as a pre-baptismal rite (in the catechetical context of Easter baptisms), but it’s not clear that the Muslims receiving papal foot washing are preparing for baptism.

My personal belief is that foot washings should be returned to their pre-1955 status. Popes, Abbots, Kings, Presidents, parents, et al. can wash the feet of anyone they like as a sign of humility outside the Eucharistic liturgical rites of the Church.

If a Pope or King washes the feet of another outside of the liturgy, then it is simply a sign of humility. When it’s placed inside the context of Eucharistic liturgy, then we strain to attach a theological meaning to it…and that’s where we run into trouble.

If we want to show outward acts of “inclusion” to the non-baptized, we could give give them blessed bread or other gifts. Or we could wash their feet in contexts that aren’t sacramental. 

Question: I would love to hear your thoughts on foot washing. Please keep the comments respectful. No bashing of the Vicar of Christ on earth. He is our Holy Father. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Is Islam a Heresy or World Religion? Legos and Muhammad

Answer begins with an H

The politically incorrect article I wrote last week on a Thomistic response to the Islamic Refugee Crisis is approaching 100,000 views and 20,000 shares on Facebook and some 300 comments – many of which debate the “nature of Islam.”

I wanted to continue this discussion in a sequel article about the relationship of Islam with Christian theology. You’ll find this sequel in the post below:

The question is really about whether Islam is a “Christian heresy” or a whether Islam is a “world religion.”

The English word “heresy” derives from the Greek word αἵρεσις (hairesis) meaning “choice” or “a thing chosen.” (It’s the original “pro-choice” position.) Saint Paul uses the word in Titus 3:10 to describes “heretics” – those that pick and choose their own beliefs instead of following the beliefs taught by the Apostles:

  • heresy = I choose my own personal beliefs just as I choose my meal at Luby’s
  • orthodoxy = I receive the Apostolic beliefs passed down through papally ratified Councils, Scripture, and Tradition (orthos in Greek means “right or straight”; eg. orthodontics means “straight teeth” and orthodox means “straight belief.”

Heresy is not a slur or pejorative term. It simply describes a method of religion.

An Analogy from Legos

Let’s say you purchased the Lego edition of the Star Wars’ Death Star. It comes with a box full of plastic pieces and a paper set of instructions.

My 7 Point Wish List for a Catholic Synod of Family

An Earnest Challenge for Bishops and Priests

The 2 year Catholic Synod of the Family is over. Was it worth it?

I hate to say it, but the Synod of the Family was essentially a two year debate between bishops over:

  • Homosexuality. Can a “merciful church” make room for alternative lifestyles?
  • Communion for the Catholics who were sacramentally married in the Catholic Church, later civilly divorced, and then remarried new partners. Can a “merciful church” modify the teaching of the Catechism and Saint John Paul II and…wait for it…the Second Person of the Trinity (Mk 10:11).

synod of bishops

People are still debating the final document and trying to figure who “won.”

While dogma did not change, it was nevertheless a massive failure because it did not speak to the troops on the ground: That is, it did not speak to the families actually trying to live the mystery of Matrimony and family as described by Saint John Paul II and the Catechism.

So what might have been a better game plan for a “Synod on the Family”? How about this:

7 Point Wish List of what a Synod on the Family might have looked like:

  1. A special message from the Pope issued to mothers of children, thanking them for their physical and emotional sacrifices. Thanking these brave women for having resisted the feminist lies they hear every day on TV, Facebook (and in the grocery store from clerks) as they gracefully raise the future Christians and Saints of human civilization. These women have many babies, homeschool, squeeze budgets, and are criticized by clerks and even their own families. Our Catholic women were basically ignored by this Synod. Women are mentioned only 6 times in the Relatio. Motherhood only one time! Shame on the bishops for this.
  2. A special message from the Pope to fathers of children, thanking them for resisting the easy-sex hook-up culture and choosing the vocation of monogamy and fatherhood. Thanking them for their financial sacrifices and their fidelity toward their wives and children. Thanking them for mirroring Christ as a faithful Groom.
  3. The Pope formally granting a plenary indulgence (with usual conditions) to any couple on their wedding day and every annual anniversary to thank them for taking up the vocation of Holy Matrimony.
  4. A Mass to strengthen families. The synod’s request that there be a celebration on a certain date in every diocese of a special Mass offered by the bishops for mothers and fathers and their children. We don’t want to see our bishops as CEO’s within the hedge of the chancery. We desperately desire to see him as a father and shepherd laying his hands on our children and blessing them.
  5. Instead of having special meetings between the Pope and transgendered and homosexuals, have the Pope meet, bless, and honor married couples who have been married faithfully for over 50 years and hold them up as examples to the entire Catholic Church. Lots of photos. Lots of interviews. Let’s celebrate the heroes of Catholic Holy Matrimony from all cultures.
  6. An encouraging document from the Synod for families to be open to large families. Having large families is not “breeding like rabbits.” The Holy Trinity calls having large families “being fruitful,” and He thinks it’s a great thing. It would be nice to hear the Pope and bishops formally recognize the Catholic tradition of large families, and celebrate sacramental spouses that are trying to live it in a culture that is materialistic and anti-life.
  7. A strong “Culture of Life” message a la Saint John Paul II. We haven’t heart a good Culture of Life vs. Culture of Death rally in awhile. We watch our culture celebrate extramarital sex, pornography, homosexual rights, abortion, etc. daily on Facebook and the news outlets. We would love to have our own Church celebrate the counter-cultural vocation that we are trying to live out for Christ.
  8. [UPDATED EXTRA POINT 8: Recognize all the married couples suffering from infertility that remain faithful to the Church’s teachings on openness to life without resorting to immoral means of conceiving children, such as in vitro and rented wombs. – This point was recommended by Rebecca Christian after I published this post. Thank you, Rebecca.]
  9. [UPDATED EXTRA POINT 9: Address all the children who have been hurt through divorce, sexual confusion, and irregular marriages. There is a growing collection of young people who are scarred by divorce and they themselves are fearful to enter marriage after having watched their parents marriage break apart and after having lived in the fallout. The bishops need to publicly make a plan to “journey with them.” Divorce isn’t just “what about who can receive the Eucharist, but “what about our young people”? – This point was recommended by Sharon after I published this post. Thanks Sharon.]

Dear Bishops, these faithful growing families are your biggest assets. They are the ones teaching their children to pray for the bishop every night. They are the ones offering prayers, donations, volunteer time, and support.

These are the families that will give you the priests and religious that you so desperately need in the years to come. They are the ones that will fund your bishop’s appeal.

Synod

And yet we are mostly neglected by “the hierarchy.” The Church just spent millions of dollars on these two synods (airfare, housing, hotel, security) and to be honest, it was a big let down for those of us leading actually families.

We are “just laypeople” but would you please offer us some tangible encouragement – especially our wives who are viewed as pitiful pawns of an oppressive patriarchy?

We Need Clerical Coaches of Encouragement:

We are now a persecuted minority in the world, and we need some coaches on the sidelines slapping us on the back and shouting “Way to go team!” as we come off the field.

If you’re a priest or a bishop reading this, please consider becoming one of those encouraging coaches.

Personal story: When I was on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, I went to confession to a priest. Some of my sins related to the frustrations of running a large family. The priest gave me solid advice.

Before absolution, the priest said:

“Heh brother. On behalf of the entire Catholic Church, thanks for trying hard and having a large family. It’s not easy and you’re doing it. Thank you. It’s beautiful.”

And you know what, I just blew up into tears. Total face melt. I didn’t expect to have that kind of response. It was just so cool to hear. After that priest said that, I was ready to fight for the Catholic Church, my wife and kids, as the most zealous apostle. I had wind in my sails and I was given enough fuel to go another 10 years. I was charged up.

My appeal to bishops and priests: Be that kind of priest in the pulpit and within the confessional. You will have loyal lay people that march through Hell for you. And with the way things are going in the years to come, you’re gonna need it.

Just a layman,
Taylor Marshall

Do you know somebody who needs to read this? Please share it on Facebook by clicking here.

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Question: To all the other families out there: What do you think? Did the Synod fail you? How else do we encourage our struggling families? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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PHOTO: Margaret’s Latin Baptism

Thanks for praying for Margaret. She was born on Oct 22 (St John Paul II) and baptized on Oct 31 (Vigil of All Saints)!

Saint John Paul II issued a document asking parents to baptize infants quickly “within weeks of birth.” Learn more about Saint John Paul II on not delaying baptism by clicking here.

Here’s the “House of Marshall” after the Baptism (thanks to Paul Hunker for this photo):

Baptism of Margaret Marshall

L-R Marshall Family: Mary Claire, Elizabeth, Rose, Joy and Baby Margaret, Becket, Jude, Blaise, Taylor, Gabriel. Priest: Father Tom Longua

Margaret is officially a little saint – filled with the Holy Trinity and sanctifying grace. And check out this photo of Margaret 2 days after birth with this shadow of a cross on her forehead. Pretty cool. I don’t how this happened but it’s a good reminder that the baptized are marked with the sign of the cross:

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Thanks for praying for Margaret! She’s daddy’s little pearl.

If you’re a Member of the New Saint Thomas Institute, be sure to check out class on Baptism, Infants, and Thomas Aquinas on Limbo:

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And here’s a Youtube video Blaise’s baptism according to the 1962 Rite:

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Will Pope Allow Divorce and Remarriage for the Sake of Conscience?

Regarding the Conscience Kasperites™

The 2015 Roman Synod on the Family has come to a close and I’ve had a chance to review the document. As I stated back in July, the strategy of revisionist Kasperites (named after their proponent Cardinal Walter Kasper) in the Catholic Church will be to maintain official doctrine, but to change pastoral practice in the name of “mercy” so that the doctrine becomes de facto disregarded. We saw this play out during the Synod:

Cardinal Walter Kasper (age 82)

Cardinal Walter Kasper (age 82)

Thanks be to God, that the bishops at the Synod voted against the “Kasper Proposal.” If you need to catch up on what’s going down, you might read Father Z’s article on the Final Report Paragraphs 84-85. All the meat in this debate is found in those paragraphs.

UPDATED:

In 1993 Cardinal Kapser signed a pastoral letter which requested that divorced and civilly remarried German Catholics be able to receive the Eucharist under pastoral review. Then Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Saint John Paul II strongly disapproved. So this has been in the works for over 22 years!

At Synod of Bishops in 2014, Cardinal Kasper told reporters that since African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries have a “taboo” against homosexuality, “they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” When the quote become public, Kasper denied having made the comment. The reporter Edward Pentin later produced a recording of the conversation, which verified that the Cardinal had made such a statement.

What is “Conscience” and How It Matters in This Debate

The “Conscience Kasperites”™ will use the slogan “conscience is inviolable” to license laymen, priests, and bishops (and popes?) to allow Catholics to openly disagree with Catholic teaching. Recently, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago seems to serve as the American Apostle of “Conscience Kasperites”.

Archbishop Blase Cupich, age 66

Archbishop Blase Cupich, age 66

Archbishop Blase Cupich (pronounced SOO-Pitch) of Chicago (papal delegate to the Roman Synod on the Family) has said that civilly divorced and remarried Catholics should “come to a decision in good conscience” and that the Church should “help them move forward and to respect that.”

Thankfully, the Catholic Church didn’t allow King Henry VIII to “come to a decision in good conscience” and “respect that” with regard to his marriage(s). King Henry VIII, according to his own testimony, was 100% convinced that his union with Catherine of Aragon was not only null but contrary to God’s will. But the Catholic Church didn’t “help him move forward and respect that.” Schism followed but the Catholic Church stood firm for the teaching of Christ. It was the pastoral thing to do.

The Church and her bishops (and laity) don’t have magic goggles that allow them to inspect as to whether a person is living according to his or her conscience. Kasper and Cupich don’t know if a couple are living in accord with their conscience. This is why we Catholics have objective rules and tangible sacraments. Canon law and infallible magisterial teaching are the instruments of pastoral direction.

Father Z also spoke of the new doctrinal need for Catholics to get deep into the orthodox teaching on “conscience,” because the doctrine of conscience being advocated by the”Conscience Kasperites”™ is not the doctrine found in Saint John Paul II, nor in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Conscience is “con+scientia = “with knowledge”

Conscience is a word formed by two Latin words: con/cum (with) and scientia (knowledge). It is the judgment of reason by which we knowledgeably jude our moral actions. Here is what the Catechism says about conscience [with my comments in red]:

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act. [conscience judges certain concrete acts – not tendencies or lifestyles]

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope. [conscience is a pledge toward conversion]

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. [conscience must be well-formed] It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law [this is the part of the CCC that “Conscience Kasperites”™ reject] or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt. [“Conscience Kasperites”™ also dismiss this truth that having a bad conscience does NOT necessarily remove moral guilt]

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path [the Word of God, the Bible is our path – so a pastor or bishop should read the word of God to us in each of these moral dilemmas so that we can make a right and true judgment]. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.

What’s the take home here? A conscience is well formed “with knowledge” based on the Word of God, prayer, and truth faith.

It is literally impossible for a Catholic to read the appropriate passages in Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and conclude in their conscience:

  • committing a homosexual act today is morally good.
  • today I can vote to fund abortion with tax-payer funds and not be guilty of grave sin.
  • if I’m still in a sacramental marriage “till death do us part,” I can have sex tonight with someone besides my living spouse.
  • to masturbate at this moment is morally permissible.
  • I can exploit my workers and not pay them because my conscience doesn’t bother me. It must not be a sin.
  • I am aware that the Catholic Church calls contraception an “intrinsic evil,” but my conscience tells me it’s a good thing for my marriage and well-being.

Please hold fast to the authentic Catholic teaching of Saint John Paul II. The conscience is “man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.” Yet sanctuaries must be designed, decorated, and maintained.

Ignorance does mitigate guilt and can exclude it altogether. But pastorally, a shepherd (bishop or pastor) should feed his flock with the truth, and work to form their consciences with knowledge. 

Hard truth: If a parish is full of people with “badly formed consciences,” then what’s the proper pastoral response?

If my children grow up thinking that lying is okay or stealing little pieces of candy from the pharmacy is “no big deal” – then that’s my bad as a parent. I failed them as a father if they say, “When Dad saw us stealing candy at Walmart, he simply said: ‘Follow your conscience on the matter.'” But if they steal candy and know, “My father taught me not to do this, but I’m going to do it any way,” then I did my job and that’s their guilt.

Reverend and Spiritual Fathers, do your spiritual children know right from wrong? If you’ve been Pastor for 10 years and 90% of your congregation honestly thinks contraception is morally permissible, then you’ve failed them as a spiritual father. The deserve to be taught the Catholic truth in a careful, patient, and loving way. Caritas in veritate.

If a layman says, “Yes, Father, I understand that the Church teaches that [fill in the blank] is an intrinsic evil and/or disordered but for me in my conscience it’s good…so I’m going to keep doing it anyway, and I’ll keep coming to Holy Communion,” then that pastor should pray and work so as to correct the erroneous conscience. He cannot say “I’m glad that you’ve come to a decision in good conscience…and I want to help you move forward and I respect that.”

That’s not how father’s speak with children that they love.

What Can You Do – 3 Step Program?

Step 1: Read the section in the Catechism on Conscience in full. It will take you less than 2 minutes to read. Here it is: This is your homework (CCC 1776-1802).

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the way that Conscience Kasperites™ are using the word “conscience” to promote relativism. Relativists say, “What’s right for me may not be right for you.” Conscience Kasperites™ also affirm this teaching but they attempt to Christianize it by appealing to malformed consciences: “What’s right for your conscience may not line up with Church teaching, and that’s okay.”

Step 3: Pray and be joyful. Don’t be stressed out over this. The theological enemies of the Catholic Church always fade away. The truth of God abides forever. They will lose this battle. Their disagreement will only create a great movement of truth against it.

Question: Have you met Conscience Kasperites™? Are you ready? Do you think “conscience” is being abused? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Catholic Mass Lectionary Omits Anti-Homosexualism Verses from Romans 1

Why do Catholics in America support homosexuality proportionately more than the general population?

Two reasons: lack of authentic Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality…and the Church omitted one of the clearest Bible verses on homosexuality from the lectionary:

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One of the very unfortunate results of the New Lectionary is that verses that might be deemed offensive have been omitted from our liturgical celebrations. (I’ve written about how three “offensive” Psalms were removed from the Liturgy of the Hours after 1971 here.)

Verses against Homosexuality Omitted from Current Lectionary

An example of the silence of offensive passages is from the readings of last week, where the reading of Saint Paul against homosexuality (including female lesbianism) in Romans 1:26-32 is notably omitted from the cycle. Below are the readings for the 28th Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary 468 and 469):

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468
Reading 1 ROM 1:16-25

Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 469
Reading 1 ROM 2:1-11

So what’s missing? Romans 1:26-32 is clipped out. Yet this passage at the end of Romans 1 is the locus classicus for Paul’s theology against homosexual behavior and it also forms the cited passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for its teaching:

CCC Para. 2357. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law.”

In the footnotes in the CCC for this passage, you’ll find the citation for Romans 1:26-32. So if this passage is important for the Saint John Paul II’s Catechism, why is it skipped over in the Lectionary?

The Missing Romans 1:26-32

Here is the skipped passage in full:

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural [Paul calls lesbianism is “unnatural”], 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men [male homosexual acts are “shameless acts”] and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. [homosexual acts are an “error” with “due penalty”]

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve those who practice them. [those that approve of homosexual acts and any of the sins above deserve to die according to “God’s decree”]

This passage is inspired by the Holy Spirit – by the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. This is not a politically correct passage of the Bible, but it’s just as true as John 3:16. We may not read it at Mass, but we need to accept it as “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).

Why is it omitted from the cycle of Romans for the Catholic Mass?

Is there a bishop out there who will ask the Holy Father to have this verse included in the Mass readings of Roman Rite? In this time of crisis, we need a Saint John the Baptist who defends God’s teaching on human sexuality against the Herod’s that compromise God’s loving law.

Godspeed,
Taylor Marshall, PhD

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Question: Should the Catholic Church revise the Lectionary and include Romans 1:26-32 in the readings for Holy Mass? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Sample New Saint Thomas Institute Video from Dr. Taylor Marshall on “How to Explain Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality”:

Paul’s Three Encounters with Christ Jesus in Acts

The Acts of the Apostles record that Paul received three apparitions of the Lord Jesus Christ:

caravaggio_stpaul (1)1) Paul’s Vision on the Road to Damascus (described in Acts 9, 22, and 26). Paul is walking on the road to Damascus in order to arrest Christians in Damascus.

To read my theory that Saul/Paul had Herodian connections to accomplish this political task, click here.

A bright light surrounds Saul and he hears a voice claiming: “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Saul loses his sight but gains it again through the laying on of hands by Ananias who then baptizes Saul/Paul.

2) Paul’s Trance in the Temple (Acts 22:17-21). After his conversion, Paul returns to Jerusalem and while he is praying in the Temple, he enters into a trance. In Greek, the word for trance is ἐκστάσει {ecstasei} or “ecstasy.”

17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance {ἐκστάσει} 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get quickly out of Jerusalem, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in thee. 20 And when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I also was standing by and approving, and keeping the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Depart; for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

We learn something more about Saul here. Although he did not capture Christians in Damascus, he did previously and personally “imprison and and beat” Christians in Jerusalem – “in every synagogue.” Saul was the chief of Anti-Christian police in Jerusalem. Saul would have had to have authority from the High Priest and Herod Antipas to accomplish this.

3) Paul’s Vision in Prison (Acts 23:11). This is the big “Roman Catholic” passage that I stress in my book on Saint Paul as Roman and in my book on Rome as the Capital of Christianity. Here Jesus Christ connects the Apostolic ministry from Jerusalem…to Rome. Romanism is a mandate delivered to Paul from the resurrected mouth of Jesus Christ:

“The following night the Lord stood by him and said: Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.” (Acts 23:11)

Christ connects the Great Commission as a line drawn from Jerusalem to Rome. We see this in the thematic structure of the four Gospels (the Jerusalem/Pilate struggle) and also in the narrative structure of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts starts in Jerusalem and ends in Rome). The Book of Revelation, rightly interpreted is a vision about the unholy adultery between Whore of Babylon (Jerusalem) and the Beast (Rome).

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