Summa Theologiae IIaIIae, 2, 5

Whether man is bound to believe anything explicitly?

Objection 1. It would seem that man is not bound to believe anything explicitly. For no man is bound to do what is not in his power. Now it is not in man’s power to believe a thing explicitly, for it is written (Romans 10:14-15): “How shall they believe Him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent?” Therefore man is not bound to believe anything explicitly.

Reply to Objection 1. If we understand those things alone to be in a man’s power, which we can do without the help of grace, then we are bound to do many things which we cannot do without the aid of healing grace, such as to love God and our neighbor, and likewise to believe the articles of faith. But with the help of grace we can do this, for this help “to whomsoever it is given from above it is mercifully given; and from whom it is withheld it is justly withheld, as a punishment of a previous, or at least of original, sin,” as Augustine states (De Corr. et Grat. v, vi [Cf. Ep. cxc; De Praed. Sanct. viii.]).

When therefore the choice of the chief priest is taken in hand, let him be preferred before all whom the unanimous consent of clergy and people demands, but if the votes chance to be divided between two persons, the judgment of the metropolitan should prefer him who is supported by the preponderance of votes and merits: only let no one be ordained against the express wishes of the place: lest a city should either despise or hate a bishop whom they did not choose, and lamentably fall away from religion because they have not been allowed to have whom they wished.

Suddenly, the whole chapel lit up with a supernatural light and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached the ceiling. In a clearer light, on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man with His body to the waist, on His chest a dove, equally luminous; and nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist of Christ on the cross, suspended in the air, could be seen a chalice and a large host, onto which some drops of blood were falling, which flowed from the face of the crucified One and from the wound in His breast. Running down over the host, these drops fell into the chalice.

Under the right arm of the cross was our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand. Under the left arm in large letters, was something like crystalline water which flowed over the altar, forming these words: “Grace and Mercy”

This is the account that Sr Lucia gave of her vision on June 13th, 1929, when she was also told that the time had come to consecrate Russia. I have been wondering why the words ‘grace and mercy’ are traced out on the left side in what appeared to her like water only. It has always struck me as a strange detail. No doubt water can signify purity, and there is also an obvious reference to Jn. 19:34. But since He won grace and mercy for mankind by shedding His blood, and since that grace and mercy is brought into our souls when this same precious blood is mystically offered in the Mass, one might have thought that the words would have been traced out in blood, not in water.

It is rather a bold hypothesis, but I wonder if there could be an allusion here to the new order of Mass that would be brought into the Church by Paul VI exactly 40 years later, in 1969. If it is true that this new order is deficient because it fails to be rooted in apostolic tradition in the way that a Eucharistic liturgy must, then it is not unreasonable to suppose that the offering of this liturgy does not bring down upon the Church the same abundance of grace and mercy as a Eucharistic liturgy which is so rooted; that it brings fewer graces and less mercy. Could one even say, a watery grace and mercy? This hypothesis would, at any rate, explain a great deal about the present state of the world, and the apostasy in Christendom.

‘This is worse than Mordor!’ said Sam. ‘Much worse in a way. It comes home to you, as they say; because it is home, and you remember it before it was all ruined.’

‘Yes, this is Mordor,’ said Frodo. ‘Just one of its works.’

Unless some enterprising army general turns up pretty soon, the Catholics in Ireland are going to have the experience of beings strangers in their own lands, as their brethren in England and Wales have done for so long. Many people have commented on the vote, and will comment. Of the things I have read, two in particular have struck me. The first is yesterday’s sermon from the Prior of Silverstream, of which this is a part:

Friday’s vote was not about abortion only; it was about  killing Ireland’s soul, about snuffing out all that made Ireland a beacon among the nations, about publicly renouncing all that, from the time that Saint Patrick kindled his blazing fire on the Hill of Slane, made this island home of ours a great welcoming Catholic hearth in a world grown cold and dark.

The other was from Joseph Shaw, who observes among other things: “we are living in an integralist society, […] just not a Catholic one.”

But seeing the pictures of young women singing in the streets, I was reminded most of all of John Lamont’s important and difficult paper, ‘Conscience, Freedom, Rights: Idols of the Enlightenment’. He argues that the doctrines of conscience, human freedom, and rights, in the form in which they have become dominant in the last few hundred years, coalesce to what may truly be called a religion, which has the self as its object of worship. This explains, he argues, why the Enlightenment ideology has proved so successful in winning converts, despite the failure of its promises.

Its success rests on the fact that the Enlightenment offers a religious goal, in the form of an ultimate authority and good to be sought; that making the self that goal has a powerful appeal to human nature in its fallen state; and that the depth of sin involved in choosing this goal produces an extreme form of bondage and spiritual blindness which is very hard to break.

This goal has presented itself in different guises – as communism, Nazism or consumerism – but the fundamental concept and its appeal remains the same. It is the driving force behind the vulgar and base consumerism and sexual depravity that characterizes modern society. Previous non-Christian societies would have found these practices shameful and embarrassing. This natural human reaction is overridden, and even made use of, by the Enlightenment religion. This religion gives these forms of decadence a deeper meaning, the meaning of adoration of the deified self. The natural guilt and shame they provoke are transmuted into a proclamation of the self, which by rejecting the moral law is declaring its total supremacy.

The deep and sincere belief in the human right to have an abortion gets its strength from being the ultimate expression of the Enlightenment religion. It supporters understand that abortion is the murder of an innocent child, although they may not publicly proclaim this fact, or even consciously admit it to themselves. It is precisely its status as murder of the most innocent that makes abortion the triumph of the deified self as the ultimate end.

  1. Catholicism alone shall be recognised as the true religion and putative laws solemnly condemned by spiritual power shall be ipso facto suspended and putative laws solemnly condemned by the highest authority in the Church ipso facto declared null and void. Citizenship shall be dependent upon baptism and the rights of citizenship upon communion with the Roman Pontiff.
  2. False monotheistic cult by the non-baptised shall be tolerated in private insofar as it does not in the abstract conflict with the natural law and in public insofar as it does not conflict with the common good.
  3. All Sundays and holy days of obligation shall be public holidays and commercial activity forbidden. The sale of meat on days of abstinence shall be forbidden.
  4. The civil courts shall have no direct jurisdiction over minors who are subject to the jurisdiction of their families unless those families forfeit that jurisdiction through actions intrinsically incompatible with the good of the child.
  5. No person shall be deprived of his life by public or private action from conception until natural death unless pursuant to a sentence of death pronounced after a criminal trial upon the verdict of a jury of his peers for crime which threatens the maintenance of the rule of law. All other homicide shall be punished by law under the severest penalties.
  6. No true marriage may be dissolved by any human power. The civil power has no jurisdiction over the marriage bond which is exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the spiritual power. Unnatural unions shall be punishable by criminal law.
  7. The lending of money at interest to individuals with unlimited recourse shall be punishable by criminal law. Only the income and not the assets of the citizenry may be taxed. Inheritance may not be taxed.
  8. The propagation of false accounts of Christian doctrine (as identified by the spiritual power) shall be forbidden and punishable by law. The testimony of persons refusing to take oaths in the name of God shall not be heard. The propagation of atheism or polytheism shall be forbidden and punishable by law.
  9. All forms of pornography shall be forbidden and punishable by law.
  10. Commercial advertisements outside of commercial premises in which the goods advertised are sold shall be forbidden and punishable by law.

augustus-pontifex-maximus“‘Upon the heads of the Beast are names of blasphemy’ for the ungodly say that their kings are gods after they are dead, and so to speak translated into heaven amongst the other gods, and even on earth they are called ‘Augustii’, which is a name of godhead, or so they hold.”

In an utterly amazing piece in the National Catholic Register Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk denounces Pope Francis’s response to the German Bishops’ intercommunion proposals and ends by observing that “the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture” and quoting the passage from the Catechism that describes the deception of the Antichrist at the end of time.

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.

I don’t know if the pope can be the Antichrist (or the false prophet). It might to be simpler just to accuse him of teaching heresy and get rid of him! If he is the Antichrist or the false prophet I don’t suppose he will be going anywhere soon. Saint Willibrord pray for him!