Archive for June, 2018

Former chief strategist to President Trump, Stephen Bannon, is betting on Bitcoin. Much like Donald Trump threw a wrench into the status quo of politics, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can throw a wrench into how conventional banking and entire industries function.

In a New York Times article by Jeremy W. Peters and Nathaniel Popper, Bannon admits that he has a “good stake” in Bitcoin and has had private meetings with hedge fund managers, crypto investors, and those behind ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

bannon betting on bitcoinSome key words and quotes throughout the article would win some friends in the cryptocurrency realm…

Steve Bannon said “It’s disruptive populism…It takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.”

“It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency,”

He acknowledged that central banks “debase your currency” and make citizens “slaves to debt.” And recycled the famous  “Control of the currency…is control of everything.”

Betting on Bitcoin is Betting on Free Speech

As the article mentions, many who identify as alt-right or nationalist have been restricted by PayPal and Apple Pay. Others have seen their sites smeared and their applications blocked from being listed on Google Play.

These groups have relied on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies to get funding and donations.

One social media platform (of which I have invested a small amount), is even in the process of launching an SEC compliant ICO.

The article also mentions coins being created tied to national wealth, like a marble based coin by Italy. Bannon’s connection with Brock Pierce (who has a highly questionable past) who was also involved with EOS at a point, and their involvement in the rapidly growing world of gaming.

When speaking of those who are behind the cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects, the article ends with a quote, “These guys are visionaries.”


The entire market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies combined is still less than 300 billion! It is not too late to get in. You can follow some of my trades on Trading ViewYou can check out RealLifeTrading to learn how to trade cryptos yourself. You can follow this site for occasional info. Or you can follow others who are even more involved than I. Feel free to reach out for any questions…



from Novus Ordo Watch

“Judge not according to the appearance…” (Jn 7:24)

Why Eastern Orthodoxy is Not the True Religion:
A Brief Overview

Beautiful externals belie the essence of this false religion:
The “Orthodox” are not orthodox — good intentions notwithstanding

The main objective of Novus Ordo Watch is to allow, first and foremost, those people who unhappily find themselves in the Novus Ordo Sect (Vatican II Church) to come to understand that the religion they are adhering to is not, contrary to what is generally supposed, the Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ in 33 AD but in fact a Modernist-Masonic counterfeit that God has permitted to eclipse the true Catholic Church for a time before Christ returns: “Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity” (2 Thess 2:10-11). Filled with “false apostles [who] are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13), this pseudo-Catholic church is part of the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess 2:7) that has existed in the New Covenant from the beginning (cf. Mt 2:13,16; Jn 5:18), and that God will permit, for a time, to appear to prevail, just as our Lord appeared to have been defeated in His Sacred Passion, only to rise again gloriously on Easter Sunday. Thus Jesus Christ proved that what had appeared to be His ultimate defeat was in fact an integral part of His ultimate Victory, and in perfect accordance with His Divine Will (see Jn 10:18; Lk 24:25-26).

The apparent triumph of the mystery of iniquity over the Catholic Church at the end of time is part of the Deposit of Faith Christ handed on to the Apostles:

The prophecies of the Apocalypse [book of Revelation] show that Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind; he will set up a church of Satan in opposition to the Church of Christ. Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of Pope; and there will be imitations of the Sacraments of the Church. There will also be lying wonders in imitation of the miracles wrought in the Church.

(Rev. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise [St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1927], p. 119; italics given.)

So great would this deception, this assault on the Faith, be at the end of time that only the elect would escape the seduction, and solely by the grace of God: “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect” (Mt 24:24). Hence Christ warned that only very few would still have the true Faith when He returns to judge the living and the dead: “But ah, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith left on the earth?” (Lk 18:8; Knox translation).

For those who are interested in exploring this topic in greater depth, we recommend the following:

All our work at Novus Ordo Watch is thus adapted to a primary target audience of people who are already convinced of the truth of the Roman Catholic religion in principle but are unwittingly in grave error about the so-called Novus Ordo Church that has emerged since roughly 1958. For this reason, we do not typically engage in apologetics directed at those who do not claim to be Catholics. This is not to suggest that such people are not in need of conversion or are of no concern to us; it is simply a matter of focusing our apostolate on one particular area of concern because, resources being limited, we cannot do everything.

There are many pre-Vatican II apologetics materials out there for those who knowingly reject Catholicism, notably the excellent Radio Replies series (disregard vol. 5, called Questions People Ask, which was published in 1972), Mgr. Joseph C. Fenton’s Laying the Foundation (formerly entitled We Stand with Christ), Fr. Sylvester Berry’s The Church of Christ, Cardinal James Gibbons’ The Faith of Our Fathers, St. Francis de Sales’ The Catholic Controversy, Fr. John O’Brien’s The Faith of Millions(only the pre-Vatican II editions, of course), Fr. Francis Doyle’s Defense of the Catholic Church, Canon John Bagshawe’s Credentials of the Catholic Church, David Goldstein’s What Say You?, and many others. People who are looking for apologetics information to help souls convert to Catholicism may wish to turn to these resources.

In this current post, however, we will make a bit of an exception and address the religion typically known collectively as Eastern Orthodoxy (including Russian Orthodoxy, Greek Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, etc., but not to be confused with the Eastern Catholic churches).

The reason for this exception is that, worn out from the intense spiritual battle, a number of people — especially recent converts — are struggling in their Catholic Faith and are being tempted to turn to Eastern Orthodoxy, which presents itself as an appealing alternative. Tired of having to worry about which church to attend, which sacraments they ought to consider valid or invalid, what to tell their children and where to send them to school, whether they have a valid marriage annulment or not; doctrinal confusion to no end, doubts about this or that putative Pope being true or false; fear of excommunication and/or schism, annoying Feeneyites undermining trust in the true Church, and so forth. In their confusion and struggle, people may easily be tempted to ask themselves: Maybe we should give Orthodoxy a try? Isn’t it almost the same as Catholicism anyway? Add to that a shrug, a sigh, and an exasperated “whatever!”, and the “almost the same” quickly becomes “good enough”.

Most Latin-rite Catholics know little about Eastern Orthodoxy, and this can contribute to making Orthodoxy appear as a refreshing escape from all the madness we Catholics must work through. Reminiscent of the tree with the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Orthodoxy tempts the weak in Faith with its beautiful externals: “And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold” (Gen 3:6).

We live in an age where many good-willed people — wittingly or unwittingly — make judgments based on emotion rather than on reason. Many people nowadays tend to feel rather than to think, and so when they see impressive photographs of beautiful Orthodox ceremonies, they are quickly swayed: the solemn processions, the gorgeous vestments, the incense pouring forth from thuribles in abundance, the overall awe-inspiring atmosphere! Could something that worships God so reverently and beautifully be so wrong?

The short answer is: Yes, it could; and it has been many times throughout Church history, including during the Anglican schism. Moral theologian Fr. Thomas Slater, S.J., explains how one sins by worshipping God in a manner contrary to His Will:

…[T]he sin of superstition may be committed by worshipping the true God in the wrong way or by worshipping false gods….

1. God may be wrongly worshipped either by false worship or by superfluous worship being paid him. Worship of God is false when its meaning is not in accordance with fact, or when the falsehood is in the person who performs the act of worship, as when a layman performs the duties of a priest, or when someone tries to gain credence for false miracles or false relics….

2. Anything in the worship of God which does not tend to his honour and glory, or which is against the ordinances and practice of the Church, to whom the regulation of religious worship exclusively belongs, is superfluous worship and superstition. This sin is committed by attributing an infallible effect to a fixed number of prayers or acts of piety, or to the mere material wearing of the scapulars or medals, or by unwarrantably acting against the rubrics while saying Mass or administering the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church.

(Rev. Thomas Slater, A Manual of Moral Theology, Vol. 1, 5th ed. [1925], p. 140; underlining added.)

We find examples of this in Sacred Scripture. For example: In his divinely-inspired epistle, St. Jude the Apostle warns of those who “have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core” (Jude 11). The “contradiction of Core” is described in Numbers 16:1-40, where Core (also known as Korah) rebelled against the authority and leadership of Moses and Aaron. Core offered incense to God without and against proper authorization. Beautiful and reverent though it may have been in terms of outward ceremony, God was very angry at this outrage, and divine punishment came swiftly: “And they went down alive into hell the ground closing upon them, and they perished from among the people” (Num 16:33).

In his excellent scriptural commentary on this incident, the 19th-century Fr. George Leo Haydock notes:

The crime of these men, which was punished in so remarkable a manner, was that of schism, and of rebellion against the authority established by God in the Church; and their pretending to the priesthood without being lawfully called and sent: the same is the case of all modern sectaries. (Challoner) — Let them dread a similar punishment; not only the authors of such wicked pretensions, but those also who consent to them, Romans i. 32. For we find that Core and all his adherents were buried in hell; (ver. 33,) and those likewise who complained that their punishment was too severe, fell victims to the raging fire, ver. 49. With what earnestness ought we not, therefore, to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints!(Jude 3.) For if those be so severely punished who rise up in opposition to lawful superiors, either in church or state, what swift destruction do they not bring upon their own heads who deny God, who bought them, and make him a liar, by calling in question his most sacred truths? (2 Peter ii. 1.) (Haydock) — Core and his companions impugned not the law directly, but resisted Moses and Aaron. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, ep. ad Magnes.) They believed in the same God; yet, because they took upon themselves to sacrifice, they were forthwith punished by God, and their unlawful sacrifices could do them no service. (St. Cyprian, ep. i. 6.) Thus we are warned to keep in the true Church, and to obey those who are set over us; and never, for any temporal consideration whatever, to encourage, by our presence, the sermons or meetings of heretics, or of schismatics, lest we perish with them, ver. 26. (Worthington)….

(Haydock Commentary on Numbers 16:2; italics given.)

Below we are making available Fr. Benedict Hughes’ succinct summary of the case against the so-called Eastern Orthodox religion, which he recently published in The Reign of Mary magazine. It is by no means meant to be an in-depth refutation; it is merely to provide an overview, a general outline and summary, of the history and errors of Orthodoxy.

Those who are interested in more thorough apologetics against Orthodoxy may wish to consult the following additional sources:

As a general observation, we may simply point out that of course the same arguments and proofs that refuted Eastern Orthodoxy before the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 still do so today. And why shouldn’t they? What was true then regarding the errors of Orthodoxy must still be true today. If Orthodoxy was disproved before Angelo Roncalli usurped the Papal Throne, why should it suddenly be able to rehabilitate itself? The facts regarding the Orthodox Churches haven’t changed.

But now, on to Fr. Benedict’s article, which we are publishing with the kind permission of the author.

THE EASTERN ORTHODOX SCHISM: Why the Schismatic Orthodox Churches Are Not Truly Orthodox

by Rev. Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI

Many Catholics are bewildered by the crisis in the Church today. Did not Christ found His church upon the Rock, upon Peter? They know what the catechism teaches about the papacy. They have studied the teachings of theologians and Vatican Council I regarding the authority and infallibility of the successors of Saint Peter. Yet, looking to the Vatican today, they cannot dispute the evident heresy that is being promulgated in the name of Catholicism.

Various Protestant preachers, members of denominations that have long considered the popes to be the “Antichrist” predicted by the Apocalypse, gleefully point out these inconsistencies as proof that they have been right all along. They throw the scandals of Francis and his Vatican II predecessors in the face of Catholics, saying that this certainly cannot be true Christianity. You have been deceived, they claim, into believing that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ.

Disillusioned, many cradle Catholics don’t know what to think. They know that Protestantism is wrong. Based on their Catholic upbringing, they easily recognize the errors of Martin Luther and his fellow Protestant “reformers.” But, on the other hand, how can they explain the contradictions posed by the juxtaposition of traditional Catholic teaching with the teachings of Vatican II? In a search for answers, not a few have opted for the claims of the Orthodox.

Now just who are the Orthodox? Under this heading I include not only the large Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches, but also the smaller national churches of the East that follow the basic ideas of these larger churches. This article has for its purpose an explanation of what the Orthodox churches teach and how Catholics must regard their claim of being authentic Christianity. First, let us look at the origins of the Orthodox churches.

The History of the Orthodox Schism

Let us begin with an examination of the meaning of the word orthodox. Simply put, the word means dogmatically correct. The opposite of orthodoxy is heterodoxy, which means heresy. So an orthodox Christian is one who adheres to the correct doctrines revealed by Christ. Interestingly, the “Orthodox” are actually not so orthodox after all, as we shall point out. In other words, they have hijacked a term for their position, just as Luther hijacked the term “reformation,” when his movement was anything but a true reform. While we must question the claim of the Orthodox to having a monopoly on true Christianity, we will nevertheless, for the purpose of this article, use that term to denote all those groups who are in agreement with the basic tenets that led the Christian Church in Constantinople to break from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054 AD.

In order to understand the causes that led to the rupture between Constantinople and Rome, let us first take a brief look at the origins of the city of Constantinople. Constantine became emperor in 312, after his defeat of Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge. Eventually, he became sole ruler of the Roman Empire, and in order to unite its eastern and western parts, he decided to move his residence to the east. The ancient Greek city of Byzantion (or Byzantium), which had been founded on the European side of the Bosphorus in the 7th century before Christ, was chosen as the sight of the new capital. Since the city had been razed to the ground by Emperor Septimius Severus in 196, it required a complete rebuilding, a project which took 6 years. Finally, the completed city was dedicated in 330 and renamed Constantinople.

After the Barbarian invasions of the western part of the Roman Empire, Constantinople achieved greater prominence. Yet members of Christ’s Church always knew that the Pope in Rome was the successor of Saint Peter, and recourse was always made to the Roman pontiffs in time of doctrinal questions. In fact, the East became a hotbed of heresy. Various Catholic (and truly orthodox) bishops of Constantinople were persecuted or exiled for opposing the various heresies, perhaps the most famous of them being Saint John Chrysostom. And while the Orthodox claim that their church represents authentic Christianity, Constantinople became the center of nearly all the early heresies to afflict the Church, such as those of Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, Inconoclasm, etc.

Although doctrinal issues—especially the Filioque controversy, which shall be discussed below—cannot be underestimated, it would be a mistake to believe that they were the sole reason for the schism of 1054. Some of the other causes were the gradual estrangement of East and West, given the difference in language and rite, and the geographical distance between Rome and Constantinople. But more importantly, there was the resentment by many in the East to the prominence of Rome in authority. They reasoned that the Faith had begun in the East (in the Holy Land) and from there spread westward, and that the early councils of the Church were in the East. Moreover, there were the great Eastern doctors of the Church. (Yet it remains a fact that the bishops of the East had always recognized the preeminence of the successor of Saint Peter in authority, especially when deciding doctrinal disputes.) To summarize, resentment—caused by pride—eventually led to the schism.

Catholics recognize the fact that Saint Peter was made the indubitable head of the apostles by Christ. There are a good number of references to this preeminence of Saint Peter in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles, which we will not take the time to enumerate here. Saint Peter, upon leaving Jerusalem as the Church began to grow and spread, first set up his seat of authority in Antioch. Recognizing, however, that Rome was the center of the Empire at that time, he wisely moved his seat of authority to Rome. His successors in the bishopric of Rome have always been recognized as the vicars of Christ—as having the authority of Peter. Many quotations could be given of the Eastern writers of the early centuries acknowledging this fact.

Although there had been some earlier schisms, the first great schism was that of 867. Ignatius, the rightful patriarch of Constantinople, had reigned as its bishop for eleven years. In 857, however, he was compelled to refuse Communion to a man guilty of open incest—a man who happened to be a government official. In response, the government of the city, anxious to defend one of their own, claimed to depose Ignatius and install a man named Photius as the new patriarch. Naturally, the pope (Nicholas I) defended the good bishop Ignatius against this unjust usurpation of his authority, a fact that did not sit well with either Photius or the government officials. As a result, they refused to submit to the authority of the pope. Fortunately, a council restored Ignatius to his rightful see two years later, with the other patriarchs of the East declaring that they had accepted the pope’s decision from the start. The schism was healed, but it had sown the seeds of rebellion.

Sadly, this first major schism was followed two centuries later by a lasting schism. The protagonist this time was the patriarch Michael Caerularius, who began an open rebellion against the pope in 1053. It would be hard to find reasons to explain the vicious attitude of this man toward Rome and the pope, unless one realizes that resentment had been building for a long time—a resentment that started centuries before and later was greatly fomented by Photius—a resentment that finally boiled over. Caerularius shut the Latin churches at Constantinople, hurled a string of wild accusations against the pope, struck the pope’s name from his diptychs, “excommunicated” the papal legates, and showed in other ways that he wanted a schism. This time, however, all the other Eastern patriarchs took the side of Caerularius against the pope. The schism could not be healed. Although there were later attempts (at the Council of Lyons in 1274 and the Council of Florence in 1439) to heal the schism, these were not lasting. That schism has persisted to this day.

Finally, in 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, and its position as a principal city of Christendom was gone forever.

The Filioque Controversy

If you have studied the Eastern Schism, you have likely learned that a major accusation of the Eastern Orthodox against the Catholic Church revolves around the Filioque controversy. This is a Latin word from the Nicene Creed which means “and from the Son.” It occurs in the latter part of the creed when we profess our faith that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and from the Son. The Orthodox believe that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father, and they claim that the Catholic Church added this word later to the creed. So what is the story here?

The Council of Nicaea, the first general council of the Church, was called by the emperor Constantine to resolve the contention of the Arian heresy. The council convened in the eastern city of Nicaea to decide the issue, and after condemning Arius as a heretic and defining the true doctrine that Jesus is divine, it issued its famous creed in 325. Later, the Council of Constantinople in 381 added two articles, so it is sometimes called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. But since this creed describes the Holy Ghost as “the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and Who spoke through the prophets,” the phrase was later added “and the Son” immediately after the underlined words.

This final addition was made in the sixth century to counteract the belief of some that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father, and not also from the Son. After this final addition had been made, no one complained until Photius conveniently used its insertion as an argument to support his schism. To this day, the Orthodox deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and from the Son, asserting that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from the Father.

But what do the Scriptures say? Saint Paul in several places indicates this procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son. He says the Holy Ghost is “the Spirit of the Son” (Galatians, 4:6), the “Spirit of Christ” (Romans, 8:9), the “Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians, 1:19). Again, according to Sacred Scripture, the Son sends the Holy Ghost (Luke, 24:49; John, 15:26, 16:7, and 20:22; Acts, 2:33; and Titus, 3:6). Of all these references, however, I will quote just one, which clearly indicates this doctrine. It is found in the discourse of Our Lord to His apostles at the Last Supper. Saint John narrates the words of Jesus:

Cum autem venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me—When however the Paraclete shall come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me” (John 15:26). “Whom I will send you from the Father…” clearly indicates to an honest person that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.

But Jesus did not leave His followers in doubt as to the meaning of Sacred Scripture, for we have the consistent teaching of His Church on this subject. It can also be demonstrated that many Greek Fathers, such as Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, and Saint Cyril of Alexandria, among others, taught this doctrine. Rather, the accusation that the addition of Filioque to the Creed was heretical, was an argument used by Photius and Caerularius to bolster their case against the pope and Rome.

More than a Schism

The sin of schism is the refusal to submit to the lawful authority of the Church. Usually, however, every schism includes at least some heretical ideas. And indeed this is the case with the Eastern Schism. Not only do the Orthodox reject the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, they also reject papal authority and papal infallibility. To them, the pope is the bishop of Rome and can only be entitled to a distinction of honor—a sort of first among equals—at best. But the successor of Saint Peter has authority over the entire church and all its members. For Jesus said to Peter “feed My lambs” (the faithful); “feed My sheep” (the bishops). He also said to Peter: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Luke, 22:32). Saint Peter is always given first place in any list of the apostles in Scripture and was always acknowledged by the other apostles to be their head. For he is the rock, upon which Christ built His church.

Moreover, since they reject papal infallibility, the Orthodox also reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary—because this truth was solemnly defined by Pope Pius IX. But what is particularly curious among their heresies is that they allow divorce and remarriage. One would think, after the clear words of Our Lord (“What God has joined together, let not man put asunder”) that the permanence and indissolubility of marriage would be a “no-brainer” for a true Christian. And we are not speaking here of marriages that were clearly null and void, due to an impediment, but rather of marriages that are acknowledged to have been valid. In this heresy of theirs, the Orthodox can perhaps find some common ground with Francis, after his infamous Amoris Laetitia!

These are the primary heresies taught by the Orthodox. Quite obviously, they do not deserve to use the term “orthodox,” since they promote heretical notions along with their schism. We must pray that the blindness that afflicts them be removed, and that they humbly submit to the one Church founded by Christ.

In Conclusion…

Let us return to our original question: Could the Orthodox Church be the true church after all? Considering the evident heresies emanating from Rome over the past 50 years, might the claim of the Catholic Church to be the true church of Christ be mistaken? Such is the reasoning toward which some disillusioned Catholic have been gravitating. I know personally of at least one case where a Roman Catholic converted to the Greek Orthodox Church, and of others who are being tossed with doubts along these lines.

For readers of this magazine, however, this question does not present a dilemma. We know that the papacy was founded by Christ and that the true popes have always preserved the faith pure and undefiled. The Roman See has never subscribed to any heresy, but rather has been the pillar and ground of truth for the faithful. We can read a consistent line of truly orthodox teaching in the writings of all the popes from Saint Peter up to and including Pope Pius XII. The problem, then, is that these modern “popes” are not truly popes at all. They cannot be, else Christ’s promise has failed. The Eastern Orthodox churches, as we have seen, are not only schismatic but also heretical. They do not represent the glorious history of the great Eastern fathers and doctors of the Church, but are rather different churches.

Truly, we are in unprecedented times… times which try men’s faith. Yet if we remain firmly attached to the teachings of the popes before Vatican II, we are compelled to reject the modern impostors who have lived in the Vatican wearing white cassocks. As a great Eastern doctor of the Church (Saint Athanasius) would have phrased it: “They may have the buildings; they may use the names (“catholic” or “pope”); but they are not true successors of Saint Peter.” Let us hold firmly to that faith and reject the claims—whether of the Eastern Orthodox or anyone else—who would seek to draw us away from the church that Jesus Christ established to lead us to heaven.

This article appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of The Reign of Mary (vol. 49, no. 167), pp. 4-6, and is reprinted here with the permission of Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI. To subscribe to The Reign of Mary quarterly, please click here.

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June 8th, 2018 by Vigilo

by Bishop Sanborn

First, let me explain what Pelagianism is.

It is a fifth century heresy concocted by an English priest, Pelagius, which held to the denial of original sin and to the idea that we can go to heaven for being merely naturally good. He denied the necessity of actual grace in order to maintain a good moral life, and to avoid hell. Actual grace was merely a help, but not a necessity. Needless to say, this heresy was condemned.

Bergoglio has consistently accused Catholic traditionalists of being Pelagians. It is because Catholics — and the traditionalists are the only true Catholics — regard it as necessary for salvation to perform meritorious acts, that is, good works which are accomplished in the state of sanctifying grace, with the ultimate purpose  of pleasing Almighty God. They also require adherence to the dogmas of the Catholic Faith as necessary for salvation, since the supernatural virtue of faith requires this adherence. There is no sanctification without the virtue of faith.

“Faith” for Bergoglio, however, is merely an interior feeling about a relationship with God, and has nothing to do with dogma. He detests traditionalists for this adherence to dogmas.

In a recent document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate, Bergoglio again severely attacks traditionalists on these grounds. He does not mention them by name, but it is clear that he means those who are resisting his reforms. He accuses them of being Pelagians.

Then, on April 15th, Bergoglio, while visiting a parish in Rome, called up to himself a young boy, Emanuele, who was crying because his atheist father had died. The boy asks Bergoglio if his atheist father could go to heaven. Here is Bergoglio’s answer to the boy:

“Maybe we could cry like Emanuele when we have pain in our heart. He cries for his father who died and has had the courage to do it in front of us because there is love in his heart – he underlines – his father was an atheist but he had his four children baptized, he was a good man. It’s nice that a son says his dad was “good.” If that man was able to make children like that, he was a good man, God is proud of your father. God has a father’s heart, your dad was a good man, he’s in heaven with him, I’m sure. God has a father’s heart and before an unbelieving father who was able to baptize his children, would God be able to abandon him? God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier to be a believer and to have children baptized than to be a non-believer and to have their children baptized. Pray to your dad [thereby saying he is in heaven], talk to your dad. This is the answer.”

There is no more pure example of Pelagianism than what Bergoglio said to this boy. For there is no sanctification without the virtue of faith. We are not rewarded with heaven for being naturally good, but for being supernaturally good, that is, by corresponding to graces we receive from God for the positing of good acts done in the state of sanctifying grace. To say that one goes to heaven for being merely naturally good is the very essence of the heresy of Pelagianism.

This is not to say that the good works of atheists are evil works, or that they merit damnation. They are truly good works. By being atheists, however, they commit the habitual mortal sin of infidelity, and by that posit an obstacle to any supernatural act which must be based on the supernatural love of God. Saint Pius X called love of God without faith a monstrous error.

I have often said that Bergoglio’s statements are nearly always characterized by three marks: heresy, ignorance, and stupidity. This is not merely a snarky quip. There is a consistent line in this man’s thoughts and actions which betray the presence of these problems.

The man has repeatedly demonstrated the spirit of heresy, a complete disregard for the teachings of the Catholic Church. He has furthermore indicated consistently an ignorance of many subjects, in this case the very nature of Pelagianism. Stupidity always makes its mark as well, for to style traditionalists as Pelagians is so grossly asinine and ludicrous that it beggars description. Call traditionalists what you want, but they are not Pelagians.

Association with Invalidly Married

June 1st, 2018 by Vigilo

In modern times, we are confronted with many difficult situations. We must live on this world and in this time, yet we must also live according to God’s law. One of the many confrontations, a symptom of modernism, are the amount of marriages that have ended in ‘divorce’, with the attempt of a ‘remarriage’. As Jesus Christ personally condemned this as sinful, how are we to deal with a situation that is all too prevalent?

Before continuing, maybe a refresher would be of use to explain just how sinful is a divorce and ‘remarriage.’ In Luke 16:18, Jesus Christ said: “Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.” In Exodus 20:14 we plainly read “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Sacred Scripture is very clear on this matter and you can see that by reading Jeremias 5:7 Ecclesiasticus 23:33 Matthew 19:9 to list a few. Again, this is NOT the opinion of this author on how we SHOULD have association with invalidly married persons. This is the TRUTH of Christ and the Church on how we MUST treat association with invalidly married persons.

So now that we know what adultery is, and that it is sinful….What is the appropriate Association with Invalidly Married?

For some guidance on the matter, below is Father Connell’s Answers to Questions (AER, 1948, Vol cxviii, p. 306)

Association with Invalidly Married

Question: What should be the practice of Catholics in the matter of association with persons who have been divorced and have attempted another marriage? Nowadays, it is not unusual for Catholics, especially those who are well-to-do and move in more “exclusive” circles, to associate as freely with such persons as with those who are properly married. Some Catholics do not hesitate to attend the remarriage of a divorced friend in the presence of a civil magistrate or a non-Catholic clergyman. Catholic parents are sometimes faced with the problem as to whether they may or should attend the marriage of their daughter to a divorced man outside the Church. What norms can be proposed to Catholics to guide them in situations of this kind?


Answer: The questioner has brought has brought up one of the most difficult problems in modern American life. Persons who have been divorced and “remarried ” are now numbered by the hundreds of thousands in our country. They are found in all classes of society; they represent all religious denominations, including even some who call themselves Catholics. Association with such persons cannot be entirely avoided. They live in the same apartment houses as Catholics, they are found among the tradespeople and professional men and public officials with whom the faithful transact business, they are their fellow workers in shop and office, they are their employers or their employees. To avoid all contact with such unfortunate persons nowadays we should have to bury ourselves in a desert.
The chief moral problem centered about association with those who have attempted remarriage after divorce (whom we shall call simply “divorced persons” hereafter) is the scandal which such association may cause. The scandal consists principally in the fact that by freely associating with such persons Catholics are likely to give the impression that they regard the conjugal life of the couples in question as perfectly lawful, or as only slightly culpable. Other persons who are contemplating divorce may in consequence be more inclined toward severing their marriage tie. The couple themselves may be encouraged in their efforts to persuade themselves that their union is a genuine marriage. Those who are not well instructed in Catholic doctrine may be led to believe that the Catholic Church is mitigating its teaching on divorce, and that it will be only a matter of time before the Church will fully conform to the standards of the modern world.
It would be impossible to lay down rules for the guidance of Catholics that would adequately cover every possible case. But the following general norms, we believe, will be helpful:

Business Relations and Pleasure

Purely business relations with divorced persons are ordinarily permissible. To trade in a store whose owner is a divorced man, to consult a lawyer or a doctor enmeshed in a similar marital entanglement, to attend a ball game when several of the players are divorced men – such activities would be allowed to Catholics, even though only their own personal utility or convenience or pleasure is thereby promoted. Under this heading would come those meetings which appear to be of a social nature, though actually business is involved, such as the visit of the junior member of a firm, aspiring to advancement, to the home of the senior member who happens to be divorced. Similarly, to attend a motion picture whose star actor has been divorced and remarried three times would not be forbidden, provided the picture is not itself objectionable. In saying that these things are permissible we do not intend to deny that it would be more commendable in some instances for Catholics to abstain even from such associations with those whose marital status is opposed to God’s law. For example, it might be a healthy move if Catholics banded together to boycott motion pictures which feature actors and actresses who flaunt even the fundamental canons of decency in their private lives.

Social Relations

Purely social relations with a couple, one (or each) of whom is known to have a previous spouse still living should be avoided by Catholics or at least reduced to the minimum. When Catholics are as friendly with such couples as they are with decent people, properly married, they manifest little regard for the attitude of their Church towards those who so gravely violate the divine law. For the Church declares such persons ipso facto infamous (Can. 2356). And it is difficult to excuse Catholics from the grave sin of scandal if they frequently attend parties and dinners at the homes of such persons, or perhaps even spend a few days with them from time to time, and reciprocate by an invitation to their own home. The strange fact is that these same Catholics would emphatically decline an invitation to a social function in a household of which the master is openly living in concubinage without having had any marriage ceremony. Yet, according to Catholic belief, the man who has divorced his lawful wife and attempted remarriage as actually in the same situation. The mere fact that he and his partner with through the marriage service before a minister or justice of the peace does not alter the fact that, as the Catholic Church views the matter, they are living openly in adulterous union. Why then, should not Catholics realize the incongruity of giving this couple the same respect and courtesy that are given to a man and a woman living in honorable wedlock? At most, a very rare exchange of visits might be permitted, when some special occasion calls for it. But when Catholics associate frequently and regularly with divorced persons for merely social reasons, I would consider them guilty objectively of grave sin; if they do so only occasionally without any justifying reason, it would seem to be a venial sin. The case is not changed substantially by the fact that the couple are non-Catholics and are apparently convinced that their marriage is valid; though of course, when they are Catholics the danger of giving scandal by association with them is greater.
More leniency could be exercised when the association involves only one of the parties— for example, when a group of men invite a divorced fellow-worker to accompany them on a fishing party. Again, Catholics would not be guilty of scandal if they attended a social function in the home of a friend to which a divorced person and his present partner were also invited. But this should not happen very frequently. In other words, Catholics should not become regular members of a social group in which divorced persons are fully acceptable.

Attendance and Reception

Apart from most unusual circumstances, a Catholic would not be permitted to be present at the attempted remarriage of a divorced person (nor, a fortiori, to act as bridesmaid, best man, etc.), knowing full well that such a union is invalid in the sight of God. Such attendance would ordinarily be gravely scandalous. Speaking of an analogous case, the attempted marriage of a Catholic before a non-Catholic minister, Davis says: “Assistance at a mixed marriage in a Protestant church would not be tolerated, since this would be co-operation in violating a serious church law that forbids mixed marriages without dispensation, and such a marriage would now be invalid” (Moral and Pastoral Theology [New York, 1938], I, 286).

Parents or near relatives of a Catholic involved in such an unfortunate union might argue that by attending the “marriage” they can retain the good will of the erring one and thus have a better chance of later inducing him to turn away from the sinful cohabitation. But, even if there is such a probability, it would not seem sufficient reason to outweigh the grave scandal that would almost certainly ensue. Moreover, there would usually be just as much probability that a severe attitude on the part of the parents or relatives will open the eyes of the misguided Catholic.
After a marriage of this kind has occurred the parents may – and even should – show the sinner that their love and sympathy are bestowed on him in full measure, but that they are unchanged in their condemnation of his evil conduct. It would be permissible to invite him to visit them; but visits from the couple together should be definitely disapproved, or at most allowed only rarely. On the occasion of a large gathering – for example, when the parents are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary or when a son of the family is offering his first Mass – a difficult problem is presented, but I believe that Catholic principles require in such an event that the couple should not be invited. At most, the one who is a member of the family could be asked to come.

Perhaps to some Catholics these norms may appear too strict. It must be admitted that they are not in accord with the customs of the day, which regard the marriage bond so lightly. But, in view of the scandal that is undoubtedly caused by the apparent recognition of a union that is a grave violation of God’s law, it seems that priests should guide the faithful according to the principles that have here been set down. There are times when pastoral prudence will suggest that individuals be left in good faith; but that does not justify priests in failing to give general instructions concerning a problem which occurs so frequently and which so vitally affects the sacredness of the sacrament of Matrimony.


Though it may not be easy, let us take the guidance from Father Connell, and the grace from God, and live according to our Faith.



“The end of Roman Catholicism”

June 1st, 2018 by Vigilo

by Bishop Sanborn

recent article appeared on the site entitled Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven) which is operated by Sandro Magister, a well-known figure in the Novus Ordo conservative world. The article is written by a certain Roberto Pertici, professor of contemporary history at the University of Bergamo in Italy.

Pertici starts out with this statement, as bold as it is true:

“At this point in the pontificate of Francis, I believe it can be reasonably maintained that this marks the twilight of that imposing historical reality which can be defined as ‘Roman Catholicism.’ ”

The article makes many interesting points, and provides a good analysis of how Bergoglio is systematically dismantling Roman Catholicism. I recommend that you go to this site and read the article. It is entitled “Bergoglio’s Reform was Written Before. By Martin Luther.” How appropriate.

Pertici seems to be an outsider to the Catholic Faith, at least from the way he writes. I think, though, that this makes his testimony all the more weighty, since he is not bogged down by some of the prejudices that affect the Novus Ordo conservative.

The greatest insight which he has, I believe, is that Bergoglio is the first of the Vatican II “popes” to be truly implementing Vatican II. Bergoglio said this very thing just after his election. I think that the author is right in saying that the previous Vatican II popes saw problems in the total implementation of the principles of the Council, for fear of a lack of continuity.

While Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI were radical modernists, they understood that at least the appearance of continuity with the past was essential to the success of the Council. They had enough Catholic theology in them to know that an obvious breach of doctrinal, disciplinary, or liturgical continuity would mean the ultimate death of the Council historically. For this reason they were inconsistent Modernists. While John Paul II, for example, was an ecumenical maniac, he nonetheless here and there urged some Catholic doctrine, and condemned some deviations from the Faith. Benedict XVI perceived the problem of lack of continuity, which prompted his 2005 speech to the Curia which warned against a “hermeneutic of rupture” regarding the Council. He also tried to eliminate a sense of liturgical rupture by saying, falsely and insanely, that the traditional Mass had never been suppressed, and that the traditional Mass and the New Mass were really one Roman Rite. In 2007, he permitted the traditional rite to be celebrated. Yet at the same time, true to his Modernist pedigree, he permitted the use of birth control devices, which is actually an equally radical departure from Catholic morality as what Bergoglio’s Amoris Lætitia proposes. Nor did he back up from all the outrageous statements which he made as a theologian and as the head of the Congregation for Divine Faith, notably that the Jews still had a valid covenant with God, apart from the New Testament. This is heresy.

Benedict also reinstated some of the traditional pomp of the papacy, which makes Novus Ordo conservatives salivate, and overlook the radical nature of his Modernism. All of the pre-Bergoglio “popes” of Vatican II, however, understood the necessity to spoon-feed the Modernist changes to the people, lest the changes seem too abrupt, which in turn would risk a schism. Bergoglio has no care of schism, and repudiates the slow approach of his predecessors.

Pertici’s point, that pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism is coming to an end, is exactly on the mark. It survives only in a handful of people around the world, who reject the poison of Vatican II.