Monday, July 17, 2017

ABORTION - TEACHINGS FROM THE CHURCH FATHERS

Abortion

The Didache

“The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

The Apocalypse of Peter

“And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).

Tertullian

“In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed” (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]).
“Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.
“There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] “the slayer of the infant,” which of course was alive. . . .
“[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive” (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).
“Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (ibid., 27).
“The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]” (ibid., 37).

Council of Ancyra

“Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees” (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).

Basil the Great

“Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not” (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).
“He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees” (ibid., canon 8).

John Chrysostom

“Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine” (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).

Jerome

“I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder” (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).

The Apostolic Constitutions

“Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed” (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).
http://www.churchfathers.org/category/morality-and-ethics/abortion/

Saturday, July 15, 2017

St. Paul and the normalizing of homosexuality

St. Paul and the normalizing of homosexuality

ChaputIMG 9615We have the joy and privilege to be a leaven for good in society.  That's an exhilarating vocation.  It means working for as much justice and virtue in human affairs as we can.  We have a special obligation to serve the weak and the poor, and to treat even those who hate us with love.
But while we're in the world and for the world, we're never finally of the world.  And we need to understand what that means.
Writing in the mid-first century to "all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints" — and despite the dangers and frustrations he himself faced — St. Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, for in it the righteousness of God is revealed ..." (Rom 1:7, 16-17).
Paul's Letter to the Romans became a key text of the New Testament.  The Church has always revered it as part of the inspired Word of God and incorporated it into her thought and practice.  The books of Scripture, even when they're morally demanding, are not shackles.  They're part of God's story of love for humanity.  They're guide rails that lead us to real dignity and salvation.

That's a good thing.  Much of human history — far too much — is a record of our species' capacity for self-harm.  The Word of God is an expression of his mercy.  It helps us to become the people of integrity God created us to be.  As Paul reminds us, we're "called to be saints."
Sometimes Scripture's lessons toward that end can be hard.  But God cannot lie.  His Word always speaks the truth.  And the truth, as Jesus tells us in the Gospel, makes us free.  This is why Christians must never be ashamed of God's Word — even when it's inconvenient.
In an age of sexual confusion and disorder, calls to chastity are not just unwelcome.  They're despised.  But that doesn't diminish the truth of the words Paul wrote, or their urgency for our own time.
Which brings us to the heart of my comments this week.
In Romans 1:21-27, speaking of the men and women of his time "who by their wickedness suppress the truth," Paul wrote:

"... for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools…. 

"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error."

If reading that passage makes us uneasy, it should.  Many of Paul's Roman listeners had the same response.  Jesus didn't come to affirm us in our sins and destructive behaviors — whatever they might be — but to redeem us.  Paul's message was as resented in some quarters then as it is now.  In an age of sexual confusion and disorder, calls to chastity are not just unwelcome.  They're despised.  But that doesn't diminish the truth of the words Paul wrote, or their urgency for our own time.

What we do with our bodies matters.  Sex is linked intimately to human identity and purpose.  If our lives have no higher meaning than what we invent for ourselves, then sex is just another kind of modeling clay.  We can shape it any way we please.  But if our lives do have a higher purpose — and as Christians, we find that purpose in the Word of God — then so does our sexuality.
Acting in ways that violate that purpose becomes a form of self-abuse; and not just self-abuse, but a source of confusion and suffering for the wider culture.  The fact that an individual's body might incline him or her to one sort of damaging sexual behavior, or to another very different sort, doesn't change this.
This can be a difficult teaching.  It's easy to see why so many people try to finesse or soften or ignore Paul's words.  In a culture of conflict, accommodation is always the least painful path.  But it leads nowhere.  It inspires no one.  "Fitting in" to a society of deeply dysfunctional sexuality results in the ruin that we see in so many other dying Christian communities.
In his recent book Building a Bridge (HarperOne), Father James Martin, S.J., calls the Church to a spirit of respect, compassion and sensitivity in dealing with persons with same-sex attraction.  This is good advice.  It makes obvious sense.  He asks the same spirit from persons in the LGBT community when dealing with the Church.  Father Martin is a man whose work I often admire.  Building a Bridge, though brief, is written with skill and good will.
"We cannot remain reluctant to speak about the beauty of the Church's teaching on sexuality and sexual identity for fear that it will appear 'unloving,' 'irrational,' or 'unreal.'  We need to love the world enough to speak about the Christian vision of sexual reality..."
But what the text regrettably lacks is an engagement with the substance of what divides faithful Christians from those who see no sin in active same-sex relationships.  The Church is not simply about unity — as valuable as that is — but about unity in God's love rooted in truth.
If the Letter to the Romans is true, then persons in unchaste relationships (whether homosexual or heterosexual) need conversion, not merely affirmation.  If the Letter to the Romans is false, then Christian teaching is not only wrong but a wicked lie.  Dealing with this frankly is the only way an honest discussion can be had.

And that honesty is what makes another recent book — Why I Don't Call Myself Gay by Daniel Mattson (Ignatius) — so extraordinarily moving and powerful.  As Cardinal Robert Sarah writes in the Foreword, Mattson's candor about his own homosexuality, his struggles and failures, and his gradual transformation in Jesus Christ "bears witness to the mercy and goodness of God, to the efficacy of his grace, and to the veracity of the teachings of his Church."
In the words of Daniel Mattson himself:
"We cannot remain reluctant to speak about the beauty of the Church's teaching on sexuality and sexual identity for fear that it will appear 'unloving,' 'irrational,' or 'unreal.'  We need to love the world enough to speak about the Christian vision of sexual reality, confident that God's creation of man as male and female is truly part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are called to proclaim to a lost and confused world.  
"We need to be a light for the world and speak passionately about the richness of the Church's understanding of human sexuality.  We can't place the Good News of the Church's teaching on human sexuality under a bushel any longer, for the world desperately needs the truth we have (p. 123)."
Spoken from experience.  Spoken from the heart.  No one could name the truth more clearly.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Satan seduces the soul, and how to stay protected

How Satan seduces the soul, and how to stay protected

“The devil’s greatest trick is making us think that he doesn’t exist.” These aren’t the words of a theologian, or even those of a saint: they were written by the French poet Charles Baudelaire. Satan’s silent but active presence is like an undetected cancer that, in a devious and unperceived way, corrupts a body and takes up residence in as many of its organs as possible through a lethal metastasis.

Fr. Paolo Morocutti knows this all too well. He is an exorcist of the Diocese of Palestrina, one of Rome’s suburbicarian dioceses [six of Rome’s suffragan dioceses, with bishops who are cardinals and a special historical status – translator’s note]. He is also a member of the AIE (International Association of Exorcists, abbreviated from its name in Italian), and the teacher of various courses for exorcists.

Many people would perhaps like to meet an exorcist so they could learn more about the devil. Here is some of what we learned when we sat down with Fr. Morocutti.

Some theologians are of the opinion that biblical exorcisms—including those performed by Jesus—were simply healings of illnesses which, at that time, were considered spiritual influences. What do you think about this subject?

Actually, this question was resolved long ago. Above all, it’s a matter of intellectual honesty. Careful biblical exegesis, and serious theology, recognize clearly the difference in the Gospels between the way that Christ deals with people who are sick and the way he deals with people who are possessed. He uses two totally different approaches.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains a clear teaching on this subject, and no good Catholic can leave it aside. Finally, I would like to refer to the teachings of the saints, who, with their life of union with Christ, lived within the Church, have done nothing but confirm the Magisterium clearly and unequivocally.

Some people would eliminate the ministry of exorcists, because they consider it a usurpation of the work of psychologists. How would you respond to this?

I teach General Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and I understand the difference between the two disciplines quite clearly. According to Christian anthropology, human beings are always and everywhere to be understood from an integral and united perspective. The two disciplines are not, in fact, in competition; rather, they are closely connected. A spiritually disturbed person almost always needs qualified human support in order to interpret the situation and go forward peacefully. When the spirit is affected, the flesh is affected too, and vice versa. The problem arises when psychology, especially psychotherapy, builds its convictions on unlikely anthropological concepts, or on ones that are far from Christian humanism; in that case, dangerous—or at the very least, inconvenient—dichotomies can arise.

What are the criteria for discerning psychological cases from spiritual ones?

The wisdom of the Church, developed over thousands of years through the formation of liturgical books—which, among other things, forms part of the official Magisterium for us Catholics—lays out a procedure through which a priest who is an exorcist can recognize the work and presence of the evil one. I think it is useful to mention that, in the latest version of the rite, the exorcist is invited to make use of medical and psychological science in order to discern better. Besides that, the rite indicates as criteria for discerning: speaking unknown languages, knowing or revealing things that are hidden, and demonstrating strength disproportionate to the age and natural state of the subject. These are not absolute criteria; they are signs which, if identified within a general picture with attention to details, can greatly help an exorcist to discern. It is necessary to dedicate a lot of time to listening to the person and making an attentive analysis of the subject’s behavior and habits of life. It is important to focus more on his or her moral life than on the signs, although the latter can always be a great help.

What are the main channels through which demonic obsession or possession can come about?

The main channel is definitely sin—in particular, a state of grave sin, lived deliberately and without repentance: this condition generally exposes the soul to the action of the evil one.
That said, the main extraordinary channels of action of the evil one are: esotericism, sorcery, the more or less conscious following of philosophical practices inspired in oriental religions or, in any case, incompatible with a Christian anthropological view, and lastly, participation in an openly Satanic group.
Often, these realities are hidden behind apparently innocuous ideologies; we must be cautious. Satan seduces us with false beauty, making things that are contrary to God seem good and harmless.
Still, at the center of the process of discernment is always a person’s moral action. If a person acts with moral rectitude and remains in a state of grace, seeking the truth, it is unlikely that he or she will be the object of extraordinary action of the evil one—who will, in any case, continue to act in his ordinary way. Obviously, the lives of certain saints are an exception; in some cases, due to special permission from God, they even experience combat with the devil in a bloody way.

What positive things have you learned from exercising this ministry, that you can leave with us as a lesson and advice for our readers?

That the love of Jesus Christ for our souls is something serious, and that the soul should be protected in a state of grace as the most beautiful and sublime gift that God has given us. Today, the sense of sin is fading more and more, due to a profoundly mistaken understanding of mercy. In this ministry, I have come to understand clearly that the Eucharist celebrated and adored, regular reception of the sacrament of Confession, and filial love for Mary Most Holy, are the most reliable means for walking always in grace and truth and for always enjoying the sweet presence of Jesus in our souls.
https://aleteia.org/2017/07/12/how-satan-seduces-the-soul-and-how-to-stay-protected/
This article first appeared in Aleteia’s Italian edition; the complete interview with Fr. Paolo Morocutti is here (in Italian).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In God's Company 2: Featured article from July's Spirit of Medjugorje

In God's Company 2: Featured article from July's Spirit of Medjugorje:



Featured article from July's Spirit of Medjugorje

My Special Rosary from Medjugorje
By Joe Kohler
     Last fall, I received a special grace through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother that I feel I am supposed to share.
     I was in a motorcycle accident on October 10, 2016 at 2:00 in the afternoon. I was hit by a Jeep Patriot, thrown in the air, and my head struck and destroyed the windshield. My head hit the windshield so hard that I was knocked out and unconscious for about 30 minutes. I did receive a mild concussion along with two cracked ribs and three fractured lumbar vertebrae. The only visible evidence was a contusion on my lower back and multiple bruises.
     I was carrying my rosary that day. I always carry my very special rosary in my pocket. I have had it for over 10 years and it was a gift from Medjugorje. In addition, I also wear a Miraculous Medal and a Brown Scapular around my neck. I have a very strong devotion to Mary, our Blessed Mother.
     I do not remember anything about the accident, but I was told my full face helmet saved my life. When I first came home from the hospital two days after my accident, I began to realize the miraculous nature of what had happened to me. My arms and legs were not broken and I sustained no crippling injuries. Although I had intense pain, I was alive and I could think clearly and reflect on the whole event. The nurses in the trauma unit at the hospital told me that they had never seen anyone walk out of the hospital two days after a motorcycle accident. This comment enabled me to reflect more. I could have easily died. If you ever doubt the power of Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, ask me! My survival and lack of serious injuries were truly miraculous. I walked out of the hospital unassisted in less than 48 hours! I am thankful, and overwhelmed by the love, mercy, and goodness of God.
     As soon as I got home, I realized my special Medjugorje rosary was missing and I was depressed. My clothes had been cut off of me in the emergency room because they did not know if I was badly hurt. The rosary was in my pocket. I called the hospital immediately, and they told me they would look for it and call me back if they found it. This was Wednesday, October 12, 2016. They never called back. I began grieving for my rosary!
     The next day, October 13, 2016 was the 99th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima. Although I did not realize the significance of that day then, a woman who I had been seeing for a couple of months broke off the relationship with a text message that day. The hurt, and pain from my accident and the fact that I was home alone recovering from injuries was only compounded, and I was getting depressed. I now realize that Mary through Jesus was ending a relationship that was comforting and seemed significant to me. As Paul Harvey used to say, "The rest of the story" was about to unfold.
Joe's Rosary

Joe's Rosary
     On Sunday, October 16, 2016, I felt like washing some clothes. By this time, only six days after the accident, I had already mastered the stairs again in my home. Another miracle! I went to the laundry room downstairs, loaded the machine and went back upstairs. I had several loads to do. With the first load done, I went downstairs, opened the washing machine and to my utter amazement, there was my Medjugorje rosary lying on top of the spun clothes! As anyone knows, spun clothes cling to the sides of the washer. My rosary was lying in an open position, like you would see with a deceased person holding a rosary in a casket. It was clearly visible on top of all of my clothes. I did not have to separate my clothes to retrieve it.
     Tears welled up in my eyes! My thoughts were all over the place. I knew immediately that Mary through Jesus had saved my life on October 10, 2016. She also returned my rosary to me even after it was lost in the hospital's emergency room. I was immediately inspired that I was not to keep this miracle to myself, but to share it with others. Praise God and our Blessed Mother! Our God is an awesome God and HE can do the impossible!
     Today, I am back to work, and I am 100% recovered from my injuries. I have no physical limitations and I can do anything I did before my accident. I share this story because the blessings I have received for having gone to Medjugorje in June, 2016 are ongoing. I wake up every day and I am thankful for another day.
     I will close with these thoughts. If you have never been to Medjugorje, GO! It is a place of miracles, and not all of them happen while you are there. Go to Mass daily, if possible, and receive the Eucharist. Carry a blessed rosary with you at all times and pray it daily. Wear the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal around your neck. Go to Confession monthly. Live a life being thankful to God, and love others in your daily walk. Finally, listen to the monthly messages from Medjugorje and live them. Miracles can and will happen in your life when you have the eyes of faith. When you need Our Lady's protection the most, She will love and guide you to Jesus when you are in most need of His grace and mercy.
     Editor's note: Joe is a local dentist who lives in Erie, PA. His injuries did not impair his ability to practice dentistry. He shared his story with me back when it happened, and I had asked him to write it up when he had time. One morning, Joe told me he could not sleep, so he got up, wrote the story and emailed it to me. We realized while talking that the day he wrote and sent it was a Marian feast day – the Feast of the Visitation!

The Catholic Church and the New Left

The Church and the New Left

In common with many other countries, the Catholic Church in America today is closely intertwined with the major party on the left. In my religious congregation, for example, the U.S. Province is 60 to 80 percent Democrat. This is also the case in other religious orders and many whole dioceses. People caught up in this mixing of worlds have to flip back and forth between Catholic concepts and Democrat ideology as they go through the day. Unfortunately, many bishops do not show them anything better.

Catholicism was never meant to be a department of a political party, either party: “The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified in any way with the political community nor bound to any political system. She is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person.” (Vatican II)

As its name indicates, Catholicism deals in universals. The dictionary tells us that the word universal means “pertaining to the whole of something, occurring everywhere.” Catholicism holds the total and ultimate meaning for everyone everywhere.

The Church is the Body of Christ who really is the Way, the Truth and the Life – for everyone. For the New Left, however – the Left that we have seen in action over the past few years – this is not and cannot be true. The New Left holds that it holds the total meaning of the world for the world. There can be no legitimate rivals. This mindset comes from the radical wing of the Enlightenment, via various later developments, with its vicious hostility to Catholicism and its denial of the role of Christ.

Now, for example, from Divine Revelation, Catholicism teaches the universals of human nature. Thus, seeing an individual human being means seeing all of the possibilities of that human being. This is the exact opposite of working to kill a human being, born or unborn. Here we come to the foundation of the Left’s thinking. The Left is all about power over human beings – carefully disguised with the claim that it’s for their own good, of course.
Catholicism, on the other hand, is not about power, but simply about the truth. Although some Catholics have misused power over the centuries, for the rest (a very large number), the Catholic truth is Christ taken in the fullness of His presence as the Divine Word – and is its own reward.

For the Left, the reward is power for the Left’s elite core. Their constituent groups get various kinds of payoff.

Catholic thinking is only Catholic thinking when it sets out the universal aspects of man and nature, and our relation to God. So, as might be expected, there is a long tradition of social, legal, and political reflection.

Catholicism conceives of a nation as an entity with sovereignty, a legal structure and its just application, all concepts that the Left only uses when it is convenient.
Historically, the Left always has to leech on wealth and institutions that it did not create, and in the process, the Left elites become prosperous. These pre-existing resources provide power bases for the growth of the Left. Catholicism, on the other hand, is not parasitic. Real Catholicism provides vast services to millions and does not expect anything in return.

The Church knows too, for example, that there are objectively evil acts. The Left does not. Catholicism knows what marriage is. It knows what calumny and detraction are. Acting as if the Church does not know – the radical Enlightenment position as well as the current socialist position – means that God’s revelation in Judeo-Christian history did not happen. And does not matter.

Trying to shoehorn Leftist slogans into the Catholic doctrine and practice eats away at the value of the Church from the inside. When I think of much that has transpired in the Church in the past half-century and more, it reminds me of the Hagfish, which are known to devour their prey from the inside.

Yet one of the Catholic events of recent decades that the Left often celebrates takes a different view: “The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other. Both, under different titles, are devoted to the personal and social vocation of the same men.” (Vatican II)

The “different titles,” within the same human being, are the key. When a particular individual acts politically, he has only one source for knowing how things really are. That is the Church. If he acts according to two sets of contrary ideas, he is denying his integrity as a human being. You cannot serve two masters.
Lastly, in some general sense, the people in the pews know whether Father or Bishop is a leftist. They either go along with politicized religion that ends up as some kind of liberal Protestantism or they move on to some other religious community that actually believes and practices a faith that is not consumed by politics.

When segments of the Catholic hierarchy pass on the Faith in a form that is not quite right, or never really mention the inconvenient non-political side of the Faith, they are departing from the fullness and depth of Christ, from the presence among us that He promised until the end of the world.

The New Left does this to all of the institutions onto which it latches. It hollows them out and devours them. Remember the Hagfish!


© 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Which Jesus Do You Follow?


Saturday, July 8, 2017

High-ranking priest; Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, caught in cocaine-fueled gay orgy in Vatican apartment

High-ranking priest caught in cocaine-fueled gay orgy in Vatican apartment

Featured Image
Monsignor Luigi Capozzi (left) is secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio (center) who is a close collaborator with Pope Francis. 
Thu Jul 6, 2017 - 11:59 am EST

ROME, July 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- A high-ranking Vatican monsignor who is a secretary to one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators was arrested by Vatican police after they caught him hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in a building right next to St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, 49, was caught by Vatican gendarmerie in a raid some two months ago that took place in the former Palace of the Holy Office. 
While the top Vatican officials have been mute about the raid, Italian media broke the story last week after receiving inside information. 

Vatican police allegedly caught the monsignor, whom Italian media called an "ardent supporter of Pope Francis,” after tenants in the building complained repeatedly about constant comings and goings of visitors to the building during all hours of the night. The building is currently being used by various high-ranking churchmen, including prefects, presidents, and secretaries to the Roman Curia. 

Capozzi, who on his LinkedIn page calls himself an "expert in canon law and dogmatic theology,” managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped by the Italian police. 

Italian news service Il Fato Quotidiano wrote that the building’s separate entrance into Vatican City from outside the Vatican walls made it “perfect” for clandestine activity. 

“Its main entrance, in fact, opens out directly onto the piazza of the Holy Office that is already Italian territory and is outside of the control of the Swiss Guard and of the Gendarmerie. Anyone, by day and by night, can freely enter into the Vatican by this entry without undergoing any inspection and without, of course, being put on record. A perfect location to enjoy the privileges of extraterritoriality but without having to be subject either to the inspections of the Italian State or to those of Vatican City,” the news service wrote.

At the time of the arrest, Capozzi was allegedly so high on cocaine that he was hospitalized for detoxification for a short period in the Pius XI clinic in Rome. He is currently in an undisclosed convent in Italy undergoing a spiritual retreat, Italian media reported. 
“One thinks one is dreaming: in the most deplorable of ways, the Rome of today seems to have fallen lower than the Rome of the Borgias,” reported Riposte Catholique
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Msgr. Luigi Capozzi (far left) with Card. Coccopalmerio (far right) in an October, 2011 photo. 
Capozzi’s arrest comes on the verge of him being appointed a bishop on the recommendation of his superior Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the Vatican’s top canonical official.

Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts, is one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators and ardent supporters. 
Earlier this year, the Vatican's own publishing house released a book by the Cardinal with much fanfare that defended Francis’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia as allowing civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery as well as unmarried cohabiting Catholics living in fornication to receive Holy Communion. Coccopalmerio maintained that the book was his own personal reflection on the matter and carried no legislative weight. 

The Cardinal later defended his interpretation of Amoris, even though it contradicted perennial Catholic teaching, stating that what he wrote was no different from conversations he had had with the Pope on the subject. 
“I spoke with the Pope at other times about these questions, and we always thought the same,” he said. 

Coccopalmerio’s book was later praised by U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich, who, in a foreword to the English edition of the book, said that it “fully complies with traditional Church teaching on marriage but is also in conformity with accepted standards of a pastoral approach that is positive and constructive.”
The fact that it was Coccopalmerio’s trusted secretary who was behind the orgies makes the Cardinal’s past declarations on the “positive elements" of gay couples take on pressing significance.  

In a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora, the Cardinal said that while homosexual relationships are deemed “illicit” by the Church, Catholic leaders, such as himself, must “emphasize” the “positive realities” that he said are present in homosexual relationships. 

“If I meet a homosexual couple, I notice immediately that their relationship is illicit: the doctrine says this, which I reaffirm with absolute certainty. However, if I stop at the doctrine, I don’t look anymore at the persons. But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example ... then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them. It is to be objective and objectively recognize the positive of a certain relationship, of itself illicit,” he said at that time. 

When the interviewer noted that some attendees at the Synod on the Family were tending in such a direction towards homosexuals, Coccopalmerio agreed. He then immediately went on to criticize those who feared that “valuing the positive elements” of homosexual relationships would be “undermining” the Church’s doctrine on marriage and sexuality, saying such a conclusion was “problematic.” 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan highlighted in a talk given in Washinton D.C. last October the moral principle that "heresy" always goes hand-in-hand with an “unchaste life.” Where there is heresy, there is also sexual immorality, he said. 
Image
As of July 4, 2017, Capozzi is still listed as a staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts. 
Michael Hichborn, president of the U.S.-based Lepanto Institute, said he highly suspects Coccopalmerio knew of the orgies.
"Given the monitoring and whispering that goes on in the Vatican, it is unlikely to the point of absurdity that Cardinal Coccopalmerio was unaware of Msgr. Capozzi's disgusting activities. In fact, when we consider the 300-page document on the homosexual lobby that was handed to Pope Benedict XVI just before he resigned, the probability is that many who work in the Vatican were fully aware of what Capozzi was doing, and that such activities are taking place among other clergy as well,” he added.

The 79-year-old Cardinal is well beyond the age of retirement, set at 75. Despite this, Pope Francis has kept him at his post. This fact becomes all the more interesting given Pope Francis’ recent removal of the 69-year-old Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, from his post last week. Muller, unlike Coccopalmerio, has taken an orthodox stand from the beginning of Francis’ pontificate, opposing a liberal interpretation of Amoris Laetitia favored by Francis-supporters.

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Holy See Press Office for comment on a homosexual orgy happening inside a Vatican building by a high-ranking prelate, but received no reply.

Hichborn said that the homosexual orgy happening right next to St. Peter's reveals a “mass apostasy” that is currently happening within the Catholic Church at the highest levels. 

“The Vatican is now ground zero for a mass apostasy that is happening right now within the Catholic Church," he told LifeSiteNews.

It is interesting to note that despite Capozzi’s arrest months ago, he is still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts. 

Hichborn said that the Church’s enemies are now trying to destroy her from within. 
“We know for a fact that Communists and homosexuals were specifically recruited as far back as the 1920's to infiltrate seminaries. It was a concerted effort to destroy the Church from within. What we are seeing is the culmination of nearly 100 years worth of this effort playing itself out,” he said. 

Hichborn said that faithful Catholics must not abandon their Mother, the Church, in the face of such evil. 

"In times such as these, many will be deeply scandalized and tempted to leave the Church. But it is imperative for Catholics to remember that Holy Mother Church is completely blameless, despite the terrible things done by men who represent Her. What Capozzi was caught doing is absolutely vile, but his crime was as much against the Church he claims to serve as it was against the faithful who are affected by his actions,” he said. 

“But if we remember that our Faith had its beginnings in the Death of Our Lord, then we can look forward to the Glory which follows the Passion of His Mystical Bride, Holy Mother Church,” he added. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Conscience is our constant companion, leading us to Heaven or Hell

Conscience is our constant companion, leading us to Heaven or Hell

The moral theologian asked the seminarians: "These are really rather difficult questions — and who's to say what's right and what's wrong?" After an awkward silence, one seminarian responded: "I am!  It is my duty to say what is right and what is wrong.  I am a rational being, a recipient of grace, and heir to a moral code I am sworn to hand on.  And some day I will have to walk into a confessional, a pulpit or a class room, and I have to offer the souls there entrusted to my care something more than just a shrug of the shoulders.  So let's not give up so easily on knowing moral truth!"

Knowing moral truth, then judging and acting accordingly, is the work of conscience.  In the first two columns of this series (HERE and HERE) we looked at the misunderstanding and misuse of conscience.  In particular, we looked at how contemporary culture holds that an appeal to conscience is used as an excuse rather than as a guide.  ("I get to do whatever the hell I want — because conscience!") In other words, my conscience guarantees my morality, and no one else may say anything about it.
That's just wrong.  Yes, there is a subjective dimension to conscience (it's my conscience) and there's an objective dimension to conscience (my conscience must conform to universal moral law.) A conscience properly trained readily conforms its judgments (and the actions/inactions following from them) to the moral standards knowable by reason, as well as those revealed to the Church.
It's popular (and correct) to say that one must follow one's conscience.  Less well known (and likely to be much less popular) are the true functions of conscience, and the objective standards that conscience must look to in order to function properly.  Conscience is the interior guide to moral conduct.  It is an intellectual ability to make moral judgments.  It is a process of deductive reasoning, applying general principles to particular situations.  It is a practical conclusion, the final evaluative judgment about the moral quality of an act.

Natural law is the exterior guide to moral conduct.  It is the account of what must be good or evil because of who we are as humans, and who God is as our final goal and satisfaction.  It is expressed in principles that we can't deny (e.g., "Do good and avoid evil") or that we can't not know (e.g., "Murder is wrong"; "Care for your offspring").  One lacks moral maturity if one does not know these truths, or is unwilling to accept that one is obliged by these truths.

A Catholic conscience is not well formed if one does not know these truths, and a Catholic's character is deficient if there is not a desire to live according to these truths.
Our morally significant knowledge of God and man is completed by Christ's revelation to his Church.  This includes the Ten Commandments, the Precepts of the Church, and the Sins that Cry Out to Heaven
A Catholic conscience is not well formed if one does not know these truths, and a Catholic's character is deficient if there is not a desire to live according to these truths.

Let's pause for an objection: "But Father, if all this is so obvious, so very black-and-white, why is there so much moral disagreement in the world?" That's a good question — but it doesn't go far enough.  Yes, morality must include the "black-and-white" (i.e., some actions are always forbidden, some always required), otherwise there'd be no morality; and there is also legitimate moral gray — those points about which honorable people may disagree.

For example: 1) Do good and avoid evil; 2) Care for your offspring; 3) Provide for their education — these are moral truths that can't reasonably be argued against.  They're "black-and-white."  But, the question, "How shall we educate our children this year?" is a legitimately "gray" question, about which honorable people may disagree — there's no "one-size-fits-all" answer to that question.  One of your children may be best served by homeschooling, another by a Classical Academy, the other by the local parochial school.  You ought to know your situation and your children best, and no one may fault you for your judgments in this case — because the matter is legitimately gray, an occasion of honest moral disagreement.  If you failed to provide for the education of your children at all, you would rightly be held blameworthy, because that is a "black-and-white" moral matter, something that morally sound people can't not know.

Far from being the universal excuse for all behavior, conscience is our moral compass that must be harmonized by universal moral truths, reinforced by the virtuous love of God, self and neighbor, illumined by revelation and strengthened by grace.  Conscience is our constant companion, leading us to Heaven or Hell.  We have an absolute obligation, therefore, to ensure that our conscience, and that of our children, is properly formed.

When I write next, I will continue our discussion of conscience.  Until then, let's keep each other in prayer.
[You can hear Fr. McTeigue discuss this column
on "Morning Air" radio program, here. Ed.]


Commentary on the 4 Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance

Listers, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, there are sins that cry out to heaven. “The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are ‘sins that cry to heaven’: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.”1 Traditionally, these sins have been categorized as four distinct heinous acts: willful murder, the sin of Sodom, oppression of the poor, and defrauding laborers of their wages.

A selection of "Dante and Virgil in Hell," by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.A selection of “Dante and Virgil in Hell,” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

1. Willful Murder

And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered, I know not: am I my brother’ s keeper? And he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth. - Gen. 4:9-10
The murder of Abel stands as the paradigmatic example of “willful murder.”2 Note that Abel’s blood cried to God from the earth, hence the necessary phrasing for this sin to be included in this dire category. The boundaries of this sin are often questioned; for example, what of so-called justified killings in war? The Angelic Doctor’s catechesis on war is listed in the Summa Theologica under Charity and among those things contrary to Peace. In Article I, Whether it is always sinful to wage war?, St. Thomas Aquinas states:
First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them.
And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Romans 13:4): “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Psalm 81:4): “Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner”; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”
Drawing from the authority of St. Augustine, the Angelic Doctor makes a distinction between murder and justified killings in both capital punishment and war. Though this “realist” tradition is certainly a subject in and of itself, the takeaway is that Sacred Tradition has always maintained a distinction between the just and unjust taking of a human life.
A second point of emphasis under “willful murder” is that it encompasses abortion. Though abortion is often spoke of in the Church, it is not always thought of as a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance. Abortion is also not a new issue. The Early Church Fathers were quite clear on the subject.
You shall not kill the child by obtaining an abortion. Nor, again, shall you destroy him after he is born. St. Barnabas (“Epistle of St. Barnabas,” c. 70-100 A.D.)
You shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one who has been bornThe Didache [The Teaching Of The Twelve Apostles] (c. 80-140 A.D.)
While modernity claims the murder of the unborn is a “right,” it remains a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. Additional Early Church quotes may be found at The Early Church on Abortion: 8 Quotes Before AD 400.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin.The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin.

2. The Sin of Sodom

And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous. I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know. - Gen. 18:20-21
The “Sin of Sodom” is described as “carnal sin against nature, which is a voluntary shedding of the seed of nature, out of the due use of marriage, or lust with a different sex.”3 Given modernity’s substitution of God and Nature with the will of the individual as an autonomous moral universe, sodomy - more specifically active homosexuality, not orientation - has become part of the new post-Christian norm. Neither Divine Law nor Natural Law form an external guide for the modern man; thus, the only boundary of autonomous individual is the autonomy of another. The boundary for what is and is not moral appears to be consent. Consequently, moral dialogue has been flattened to mere platitudes, e.g., this isn’t hurting anyone, it’s my body and my choice, love is love. Many often comment on the modern West’s apparent lack of morality, but few comment on the fact the West has lost the vocabulary to even discuss on morality.4
A few distinctions. First, the issue of same-sex marriage is not a religious issue, it is a rational and philosophical one. Considerations of marriage as a natural institution, the moral import of natural law, and the harmony between unity and procreation in sex are all within the purview of the natural virtues and reason; however, as geology and astronomy may both tell us the Earth is round, so too can the two sciences of theology and philosophy tell us the same thing.5 For example, no one holds that the commandment thou shall not murder was unknown before God revealed it on Mt. Sinai. It was revelation confirming reason, a demonstration of the greater truth that grace perfects nature.
The discussion for this list is less about same-sex marriage and more about a proper interpretation of Scripture. It is a conversation about those who do see Sacred Scripture as a moral authority, but attempt to harmonize their modernist views on sexuality with the Holy Bible. Typically, this leads to “new” interpretations of Scriptures on homosexuality. These interpretations are often weak and out of context, but since they serve the end that people want people follow them. A tenuous intellectual argument will always serve as long as it achieves the end people desire, especially if that end is wrapped in autonomy and sexual gratification.
On the Interpretation of Hospitality Violations
Those who argue that Sodom and Gomorrah should be understood outside any homosexual context often submit that the divine judgment of those cities was due to violations of Ancient Near East hospitality laws. In The Sin of Sodom & Gomorrah is not about Hospitality, the good Msgr. Pope offers a strong rebuttal. In part:
First there is a text from Ezekiel:
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Now this is the text used most often by those who deny any homosexual context in the sin of Sodom. And, to be fair, it does add a dimension to the outcry God hears. There are clearly additional sins at work in the outcry: pride, excess or greed, and indifference to the poor and needy. But there are also mentioned here unspecified “abominations.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה (tō·w·’ê·ḇāh) which refers to any number of things God considers especially detestable, such as worshiping idols, immolating children, wrongful marriage and also homosexual acts. For example, Leviticus 18:22 uses the word in this context: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.6_ _
But of itself, this text from Ezekiel does remind us that widespread homosexuality is not the only sin of Sodom. And while the abomination mentioned here may not be specified exactly, there is another Scriptural text that does specify things more clearly for us. It is from the Letter of Jude:
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.(Jude 7-8)
And thus it is specified that the central sin of Sodom involved “sexual immorality (ἐκπορνεύσασαι) and perversion (ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας – literally having departed to strange or different flesh).” And this would comport with the description of widespread homosexual practice in Sodom wherein the practitioners of this sin are described in Genesis 19 as including, “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old.”
Hence we see that, while we should avoid seeing the sin of Sodom as only widespread homosexual acts (for what city has only one sin?), we cannot avoid that the Scriptures do teach that homosexual acts are central to the sins of Sodom which cry to heaven for vengeance, and for which God saw fit to bring a fiery end.
Genesis 19 speaks plainly of the sin, Ezekiel 16 broadens the description but retains the word “abomination,” and Jude 7 clearly attests to sexual perversion as being the central sin with which Sodom and Gomorrah were connected.
One of the takeaways from the good monsignor’s commentary is that sexual perversion is not the only sin of which Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty. Many allow themselves to be confused by arguments that attempt to replace the primary sin (sexual perversion in a homosexual context) with the secondary sins.7 And while the discussion here is not necessarily why homosexuality is a sin that cries to heaven, it should serve to clarify that it is impossible to read the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative outside a homosexual context. 

"The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision of society."
3. Oppression of the Poor

Now after a long time the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel groaning, cried out because of the works: and their cry went up unto God from the works. And he heard their groaning, and remembered the covenant which he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And the Lord looked upon the children of Israel, and he knew them. - Ex. 2:23
“If we don’t love the poor, and do all we can to improve their lot, we’re going to go to Hell.” - Archbishop Chaput
Catholic Social Teaching holds as one of its seven themes an “Option for the Poor and the Vulnerable.” The issues encompassed by this theme are traditionally: “social programs for the poor and downtrodden, care for orphans, care for widows, and creating a well-ordered society where the least of us is protected and given the ability to improve his own lot.”8 As biblical evidence of this theme, Catholic Charities USA lists several Holy Scriptures that demonstrate the Lord’s predilection toward the poor.9 In these selected verses, note how hostile the Lord is toward those who oppress the poor.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. Exodus 22:20-24
Happy those concerned for the lowly and poor; when misfortune strikes, the LORD delivers them. The LORD keeps and preserves them, makes them happy in the land, and does not betray them to their enemies. Psalm 41:1-3
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgment, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts. Zechariah 7:9-10
There is an undeniable connection between a Catholic’s treatment of the poor and their salvation. SPL has taken up this issue in detail in the list  The Poor and our Salvation: 5 Thoughts. The following is more biblical evidence of this connection:
Injure not the poor because they are poor, nor crush the needy at the gate; For the LORD will defend their cause, and will plunder the lives of those who plunder them. Proverbs 22:22-23
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Prov 14:31
Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. Prov 21:13
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. Prov 28:27
Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow. Then all the people shall say, Amen! Deuteronomy 27:19
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Prov 19:17
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Prov 29:7
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the LORD. Jeremiah 22:16
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. Exodus 22:20-24
The issue of our salvation and the poor cannot be described as an exclusively Old Testament issue either. While there are less verses, the potency of the verses is no less acute. The Lord’s predilection for the poor remains, and our treatment of the poor has a direct effect on our relationship with God.
Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.’ Acts 10:4
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
One of the clearest indications of a direct link between the poor and our salvation is found in the Gospel of St. Matthew 25. There Christ speaks to both the redeemed and the damned, and to the damned he states, “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” The matter is one of eternal importance as the passage concludes,  ”Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” The overwhelming biblical evidence of this sin that cries to heaven for vengeance seems to also assert that the exact opposite happens as well - our proper treatment of the poor cries up to heaven in thanksgiving.
Regardless of whether they are cries for vengeance or cries of thanksgiving, the cries will be heard on our day of judgment.

Chinese contract laborers on a sugar plantation in Hawaii. 19th Century. 4. Defrauding Laborers of their Wages

Behold the hire of the labourers, who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth: and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have feasted upon earth: and in riotousness you have nourished your hearts, in the day of slaughter. - James 5:4
Like oppressing the poor, this grave sin is also expressed in a positive manner as a theme of Catholic Social Teaching. Articulated as the “Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers,” the theme states, “The economy must serve the people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation.”10 Furthermore, “Workers, employers, and unions should not only advance their own interests, but also work together to advance economic justice and the well-being of all.”11 Turning again to Catholic Charities USA, the following verses are taken from their explanation of the dignity of work and the rights of workers.12
My son, rob not the poor man of his livelihood; force not the eyes of the needy to turn away. A hungry man grieve not, a needy man anger not; Do not exasperate the downtrodden; delay not to give to the needy. A beggar in distress do not reject; avert not your face from the poor. From the needy turn not your eyes, give no man reason to curse you; For if in the bitterness of his soul he curse you, his Creator will hear his prayer. Endear yourself to the assembly; before a ruler bow your head. Give a hearing to the poor man, and return his greeting with courtesy; Deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor; let not justice be repugnant to you. To the fatherless be as a father, and help their mother as a husband would; Thus will you be like a son to the Most High, and he will be more tender to you than a mother. Sirach 4:1-10
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good (both) for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life. 1Timothy 6:17-19
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance. Be patient, therefore, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:1-8
One of the greatest examples of Holy Mother Church standing up for a just economy is in its response to the Industrial Revolution in the West, more specifically in Pope Leo XIII’s famous Rerum Novarum. The encyclical is often touted as jump starting what is now commonly known as Catholic Social Teaching.

  1. Sins that Cry for Vengeance: CCC 1867 ↩︎
  2. All verses are taken from the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible Translation↩︎
  3. Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649, Q. 928 - Thank you to Taylor Marshal for posting this excerpt on his blog. Marshall makes the point that America has failed “four for four” on these sins that cry out to heaven. ↩︎
  4. Moral Vocabulary: When he was Archbishop of Denver, His Excellency Chaput gave a talk that incorporated the problem of the lost moral vocabulary. Repentance & Renewal, 2010↩︎
  5. Theology as a Science: For an introduction to understanding Sacred Doctrine as the Queen of the Sciences and how she orders those sciences, see Queen of the Sciences and Queen of the Sciences II↩︎
  6. SPL Note on Leviticus & Homosexuality: When Lev. 18:22 is cited as an undeniable condemnation of homosexuality in Scripture, it is often met with certain sophist rebuttals, e.g., Leviticus also outlaws shaving, tattoos, and eating pork. First note that these statements are an assertion, not an argument. The underlying argument that is needed on both sides is how one decides what is still valid law and what is not. In short, as Catholics we know that the OT is perfected in the NT and the NT is foreshadowed in the OT; thus, we see in Scripture Christ’s intent to perfect the law, not abolish it. Certain laws, however, demand a change in order to be perfected. For example, the OT law of circumcision was perfected in the Sacrament of Baptism. The Levitical laws on purity are a subject we see both St. Peter and St. Paul address. Homosexuality, on the other hand, was restated as a sin by St. Paul. In reverse, one could always ask those who use this argument against Leviticus what their hermeneutic for understanding the OT and NT is. It will, inevitably, be their own autonomous will. For more see Catholic Answers on the subject. ↩︎
  7. Further Commentary on the Hospitality View: In addition to Msgr. Pope’s article, Catholic Answers addresses it in their treatment of homosexuality in general and Fr. Longenecker comments on it in his article The Sin of Sodom. In related studies, the good Msgr. Pope has written about the wrath of God and several other articles on homosexuality (Biblical Teaching on Homosexuality, the “Lost Generation of the Church,” and a Pastor’s Attempt to Teaching the Bible on Homosexuality). Catholicism holds that the laws of the State are drawn from the laws of nature, and the laws of nature are distinct from the divine laws in Scripture. To understanding the relationship of laws and the context in which Catholicism advocates for the legal defense of natural marriage, see Think like a Catholic - 7 Questions on the Four Laws. A collection of Catholic documents on sexuality and the pastoral care of homosexually oriented person is found at 5 Catholic Documents on Family, Sex, and Homosexuality. Those who still question the traditional interpretation of the Church on homosexuality may reference Early Church: 12 Quotes on Homosexuality & Other Sexual Sins↩︎
  8. Catholic Charities USA: More Scriptures in support of the poor. ↩︎
  9. Id↩︎
  10. Catholic Charities USA: Holy Scriptures on the Dignity of Work. ↩︎