Was St. Augustine a Heretic?


St. Augustine

Constantine: You write, There is no official infallible commentary on the scriptures. That’s what I thought. So you are just doing what every Protestant does and relying on your own private interpretation. Therefore, I would ask you to acknowledge that fact and stop making your inaccurate accusations against us.

Are you calling St. Augustine a “rebel and a heretic”? Augustine certainly did oppose the bishop of Rome on several occasions but that did not make him a heretic! In fact, if you continue to call him one, you are in violation of your own sect, which call him a “Doctor” of the church. The fact is, as I said earlier, there is no primacy in Rome and there has never been.

BFHU: I am not using my own interpretation of Scriptures. Despite the fact that we don’t have an official infallible commentary we do have the writings of the early Christians who were taught by some of the apostles themselves. What I write here is not my own but the teaching of the apostles as handed on to other “faithful men able to teach.” That has been one of my favorite things about being Catholic. I don’t have to read the Bible and figure it out for myself. My own ego is not bound up in my interpretation of Scripture like that of a Protestant Bible student’s. It is so freeing to trust learned Christians and His apostles who have studied Scripture for 2000 years.

I did not say Augustine was a rebel and heretic. I did not say that disagreement with the pope and bishops equals heresy. It does not. St. Jerome also disagreed with many things. But once the pope and bishops made an official decree on a doctrinal subject these humble and faithful men submitted to the Vicar of Christ. Unlike Luther and Calvin, etc.

After a teaching on faith and/or morals is proclaimed officially THEN to disagree and teach others becomes heresy. Private disagreement should become a matter of prayer and request for understanding to align with Christ’s Church. We have many heretics in the Church today who vote for and/ or advocate for abortion, gay marriage, contraception, priestesses etc.

Dogmatic Rejection of Dogma; Creeds of creedlessness



Rebloggged from Insight Scoop

This dogmatic denunciation of dogma sponsored by a disorganized religious organization

A not-so-friendly Friends minister admits what it really means when people repeat the mindless, empty, and logic-challenged refrain: “I’m not into organized religion”:

I have a “notion” that Anne Rice isn’t “going it alone,” but that she has had it with institutions that have replaced the Real Spirit of Christ with trappings of power and privilege and the heavy yoke of a creedalism that burdens one generation with the often discredited truth of previous ones. And if she is anything like the many students with whom I work and learn – who would describe themselves as deeply spiritual but not religious in the conventional sense – then she is in good company. Let’s just hope they don’t join together, form a “Church,” and develop a dogma that, itself, will one day run counter to the fresh springs of the Spirit of Christ.

Interpretation: We really dislike the Catholic Church.

Glad we cleared that up.

He also says:

Nonconformist and radical reform traditions such as Friends have sought in their beginnings to bypass the accretions of the ages and return to “basic Christianity,” the faith of the first disciples – what some would call “Gospel Christianity.” The trouble is, the Christian scriptures themselves, describing the nature of that earliest form of the faith, are already products of the development of a “Church,” of a set of dogmas and practices that developed in the decades after Jesus walked the earth. Quakers have historically sought to address this problem by appealing to the “Spirit of Christ” directly. Without creed, an ordained clergy, or a ritual other than centered, expectant waiting on the Spirit of Christ in worship, Friends appeal to their Inward Teacher, the Real Presence within, to Jesus Christ in all offices of prophet, priest, redeemer, saviour, and Lord.

So…the “non-organized religion” (so to speak) of Quakerism (1) has a “tradition,” (2) possesses a set of dogmas and doctrines especially aimed at denouncing dogmas and doctrines, (3) touts a historical lineage of thought and teaching, and (4) holds to a creedless creed outlining adherence to belief in “the Spirit of Christ” and an “appeal to their Inward Teacher, the Real Presence within…”

Glad we cleared that up.

Bishop of Orlando, Florida: Mass of Reparation


bishop_wenski

Mass of Reparation – May 2009

Today’s Mass is offered in reparation for the sins and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world today. We do this at the initiative of Notre-Dame alumni here in Central Florida who, like many other Catholics across the country, are confused and upset that their alma mater would grant an honorary doctorate to President Obama despite his rather extremist views on abortion. In granting this honorary degree, Notre-Dame chose to defy the Bishops of the United States who have said that “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The hurt felt by many throughout the United States is real, for Notre-Dame’s actions, despite its protests to the contrary, seem to suggest that it wishes “to justify positions that contradict the faith and teachings of the church; to do so, as Pope Benedict reminded Catholic educators in Washington, DC last year “would obstruct or even betray the university’s identity and mission.” At the very least, Notre-Dame’s actions suggest that, unlike a beauty queen from California, it lacks the courage of its convictions.

However, our purpose here this evening is not to rail against the insensitivity or thoughtlessness exhibited by Notre-Dame’s president and board. As I told a reporter who asked me last week, why I am celebrating a Mass of Reparation, “I am a bishop; and so I am not going to send upset Catholics to storm Notre-Dame with pitchforks, I am going to tell them to pray.”

You can read the rest of his homily HERE–>Bishop Wenski

Heresy of Americanism Alive and Well at Norte Dame


Excerpted from:

Our Sunday Visitor April 1, 2009

For people whose view of history extends beyond last week, the furor over Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to be its commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree is simply the latest chapter in an old heresy by the name of “Americanism.”

Notre Dame is a model institution — flagship of the Americanism in U.S. Catholicism — and with the uproar over our avidly pro-abortion president, the university’s special status has come home to roost…”

Pope Leo XIII in 1899 condemned a heresy he called Americanism as a “reprehensible” error. He had in mind a set of attitudes and practices intended to adjust Catholic belief and behavior (or in some cases just sweep them aside) to suit contemporary secular standards in unacceptable ways. The existence of such views, Leo said, “raises a suspicion that there are those among you who envision and desire a Catholic Church in America other than that which is in all the rest of the world.”

To read the entire encyclical click —>

Concerning New Opinions, Virtue, Nature And
Grace, With Regard To Americanism
Pope Leo XIII
Encyclical promulgated on January 22, 1899.

What were these “attitudes and practices intended to adjust Catholic belief and behavior (or in some cases just sweep them aside) to suit contemporary secular standards in unacceptable ways”?

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE TENETS OF THE HERESY OF AMERICANISM?

Each heretical tenet below is an exact quote from Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical.

1) In order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions.

2) That it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them.

3) The silence which purposely leads to the omission or neglect of teaching some of the principles of Christian doctrine,

4) that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity.

5) The confounding of license with liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world,

6) First, all external guidance is set aside for those souls who are striving after Christian perfection as being superfluous or indeed, not useful in any sense—the contention being that the Holy Spirit pours richer and more abundant graces than formerly upon the souls of the faithful, so that without human intervention He teaches and guides them by some hidden instinct of His own.

7 Those who are fond of novelty giving an unwarranted importance to the natural virtues, as though they better responded to the customs and necessities of the times and that having these as his outfit man becomes more ready to act and more strenuous in action.

8) This over-esteem of natural virtue finds a method of expression in assuming to divide all virtues in active and passive, and it is alleged that whereas passive virtues found better place in past times, our age is to be characterized by the active.

9) That some Christian virtues be adapted to certain times and different ones for other times.

10) A contempt of the religious life

11) They say religious vows are alien to the spirit of our times, in that they limit the bounds of human liberty; that they are more suitable to weak than ›o strong minds; that so far from making for human perfection and the good of human organization, they are hurtful to both;

12) It is stated that the way and method hitherto in use among Catholics for bringing back those who have fallen away from the Church should be left aside and another one
chosen.

If the doctrines listed above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.

But the true church is one, as by unity of doctrine, so by unity of government, and she is catholic also. Since God has placed the center and foundation of unity in the chair of Blessed Peter, she is rightly called the Roman Church, for “where Peter is, there is the church.” Wherefore, if anybody wishes to be considered a real Catholic, he ought to be able to say from his heart the selfsame words which St. Jerome addressed to Pope Damasus:

“I, acknowledging no other leader than Christ, am bound in fellowship with Your Holiness; that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that the church was built upon him as its rock, and that whosoever gathereth not with you, scattereth.”

Chief Justice of the Church’s Supreme Court: Archbishop Burke on Pro Abortion Politicians



Transcript of Archbishop Burke’s Interview with Randall Terry on Canon Law 915

Canon Law 915:
Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Pewsitter.com

Archbishop Burke, Prefect, Apostolic Signatura

March 25, 2009 – Washington, DC – Following is the transcript of Randall Terry’s interview with His Excellency, Archbishop Burke, Prefect, Apostolic Signatura on March 2, regarding Canon 915 and the withholding of communion from Catholic politicians that support abortion. The actual video footage of this interview was shown earlier today at a press conference at the National Press Club, in Washington DC. More information can be found at http://www.humbleplea.com

Mr. Terry: Your Excellency, it’s a delight to be with you. Thank you so much.

Archbishop Raymond Burke: Pleased to have you come, and to visit with you.

Mr. Terry: For the umpteenth time, I and the others are asking, under Canon 915 [This is the key canon which people might do well to memorize.] what should or should not be done?

Archbishop Burke: The Canon is completely clear, [This from one of the Church’s finest canonists and the “chief justice” of the Church’s “supreme court”.] it is not subject in my judgment to any other interpretations. When someone is publicly and obstinately in grave sin we may not administer Holy Communion to the person. And that, basically, for two reasons: [1] number one, to prevent the person himself or herself from committing a sacrilege, and [2] secondly, to protect the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist. In other words, to approach, to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, when one insists on remaining in grave sin, is such a violation of the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, so that Communion must not be given to people who are publicly, obstinately, in grave sin.

Mr. Terry: And so does that apply to politicians of any party that are saying: “Yes, it’s okay to abort children” –to kill children?


Archbishop Burke:
Yes, for someone who in any way contributes in an active way to the murder of innocent defenseless infants in the womb—children in the womb—from the very inception of human life, this is the greatest of sins. And such a person, until he or she has reformed his or her life, should not approach to receive Holy Communion.


Mr. Terry:
And if they do approach, the person who is administering Holy Communion should say, “No.”?

Archbishop Burke: Right. [!] In fact, the Canon puts the burden upon the minister of Holy Communion whether it’s the ordinary minister which would be a bishop, a priest, a deacon—or an extraordinary minister—it doesn’t make any difference. [Get that? “the burden upon the minister”, not merely on the person in question.] It says they’re not to be admitted to receive Holy Communion. Normally speaking, in my experience, when I have spoken with, for instance, Catholic politicians who have insisted on supporting pro-abortion legislation and told them they should not approach any more to receive Holy Communion, in my experience they don’t. Now, where Bishops have not applied the Canon, often times it’s said that this will cause some kind of disorder at the time of distribution of Holy Communion. That’s not verified. It’s not using Holy Communion to make a statement at all, it’s simply respecting this most sacred gift we have – namely, the Body and Blood of Christ—which can only be received when one has repented of his sins. And I would also make the point—and I believe that it is true that on the contrary – those public figures—Catholics—who are consistently promoting pro-abortion legislation and policies—use reception of Holy Communion to try to justify what they are doing; in other words, to present themselves as devout Catholics, when in fact they are sinning against the most fundamental teaching of the moral law. [Thou shall not murder.]


Mr. Terry:
When the election was approaching, Bishop Martino said he would not serve Communion to Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden. There were a handful of other bishops who made similar statements, for which the laity and the faithful were rejoicing.

But the deafening silence from so many other Bishops—and also the bishops who stepped up such as in Washington D.C., Virginia, others …Massachusetts…[and] said that we will serve communion—was so painful for us. What word of encouragement would you give, first to the laity on our struggle to bring orthodoxy back, and then to your brother bishops and priests?

Archbishop Burke: I think simply to say: reflect upon this norm of the Church’s discipline—Canon 915—which is one of the most important canons to safeguard the greatest treasure that we have in this life, namely, the communion that we have with our Lord Jesus Christ, and His true body and His true blood; and to, in every way work so that also public witness is given to the sacredness of the Holy Eucharist. And so I would encourage the faithful when they are scandalized by the giving of Holy Communion to persons are publicly and obstinately in sin, that they go to their pastors, whether it’s their parish priest or to their bishop, to insist that this scandal stop. [Get that? When people are scandalized, they ought to express themselves.] Because, it is weakening the faith of everyone. It’s giving the impression that it must be morally correct to support procured abortion, in at least in some circumstances, if not also generally. So they need to insist that their parish priest and the bishops, and for the rest…to my brother bishops and brother priests…simply to say: the service of the Church in the world today has to begin first and foremost with the protection of the life of those who are the most defenseless and the most innocent, namely the unborn, and certainly has to extend also to those who are gravely ill, or burdened with serious illness, who have special needs; and also now more and more their lives are being threatened by a culture of death which sadly has infected our nation. So I would just urge my brother bishops and my brother priests to see as the most fundamental witness and service which they can give in leading also the faithful in their pastoral care is the apostolate of the respect for human life.

Mr. Terry: The election of Obama sent shock waves around the world concerning the right to life of babies because of his commitment to pursue FOCA, to try to force hospitals – Catholic hospitals – into giving the morning after pill, other things – [the repeal of the] Mexico City policy. From your vantage point here in the Vatican, what kind of fruit around the world is this poison that’s percolating in America producing?

Archbishop Burke: There is no question, and I certainly see it here, living now here in Europe, and Italy, and also with the kind of communication within all of Europe that Barack Obama—President Obama—is a charismatic figure. And there was a great deal of—especially through the media—a great deal of publicity and so forth regarding the “hope,” the word that he used so much, that he offered—not only for the United States— and for the world. And so you can be certain that the whole world, and especially the English speaking world—which let us recall, is a great part of the world—is following very carefully and attentively what this man is doing—this world leader—which he is. And therefore, it becomes more incumbent upon us then ever, also in our responsibility for the scandal and the harm being done, not only in our own nation which is in itself— which we think about 50 million since the Roe v. Wade decision, 50 million unborn infants murdered—but also to consider the effect that our nation is having on the whole world in this culture of death. [Hear that UND?]

America has the call to lead—to use its influence in the way that will give glory to God and will serve the common good in its most essential element: and that is by turning around this culture of death, and especially protecting the right to life of the unborn. So our responsibility is even greater than just for our own nation – which is in itself such a weighty matter. But we have to see how this is also having, adding a tremendous influence in the English speaking world, but also in the whole world, because of the charismatic nature of our present President. But in any case, no matter who is the President of the United States, here is a world leader with a tremendous capacity to promote the common good, but at the same time sadly, who could—by promoting and implementing anti-life legislation measures—could be an agent of death.


Mr. Terry:
If I was a Catholic in another country, I would be watching the news unfold in America hearing the silence of so many Catholics, the debate over communion, and it might have the effect of me just saying, “Well, we have abortion here, they’ve got it there, let’s just all learn to live with it and go on about our business.”


Archbishop Burke:
Well, I think this is precisely the effect that it has had. The communications today are instantaneous. [Perhaps the Holy See’s communications services should be placed under his aegis… sigh…] The whole world knows that a very high percentage of Catholics in fact voted for this very anti-life candidate and so they watch this very carefully, and what the world needs to see now is a strong witness on the part of all Catholics and we can’t be content with the fact that some 55% – or whatever it is – who for whatever reason, supported this anti-life program. They have to see now that Catholics in the United States are alive and faithful and that they are going to work to protect human life, and above all, to let the President of the United States know that this is the number one issue.

Mr. Terry: There are many Catholics who believed that to vote for Obama – knowing his promises to extend child-killing even further – that to knowingly vote for him under those circumstances was a type of cooperation with moral evil. It was cooperating with evil. Do you concur with that and if so, why?

Archbishop Burke: Well, the fact of the matter is, it is a form of cooperation, because by voting we put a person in office. And people say, “What does my vote matter?” Well, your vote is either a vote to put someone in office who will do what is right and just, or someone who won’t. And so if you, knowing that abortion is a grave crime against human life – is the killing of an innocent, defenseless human life – and you vote for the candidate who says that he intends to make that more available – that practice of infanticide – you bear a responsibility. That is, you have cooperated in the election of this person into office, there’s no question about it.

Mr. Terry: Archbishop, thank you for your time. Do you have any closing comments or exhortations?

Archbishop Burke: President Obama uses this word “hope” in a way that for us is very disturbing. We need to have hope, the hope that is founded in Jesus Christ, alive for us in the Church; Jesus Christ who gave His life for everyone without exception, and with a particular love for the suffering and for those who are the most defenseless. And so we have to be filled with hope and give ourselves more than ever to His work, to His mission of protecting human life, and so I ask God to bless you very much in what you are doing to advance the cause of life.

Mr. Terry: Thank you, Your Excellency; long life to you.

Comments in Parenthesis by Fr. Z of What Does the Prayer Really Say?
God Bless Archbishop Burke.

And this at the National Press Club!

Orthodox Rabbi Weighs in On SSPX Brouhaha


Left Wing of the Catholic Church Destroying the Faith Says

Orthodox Rabbi Yehuda Levin

By Hilary White, Rome correspondent Wednesday February 11, 2009 ROME, February 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) –

The dissident, leftist movement in the Catholic Church over the last forty years has severely undermined the teaching of the Catholic Church on the moral teachings on life and family, a prominent US Orthodox rabbi told LifeSiteNews.com. Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the head of a group of 800 Orthodox rabbis in the US and Canada, also dismissed the accusations that the Holy See had not sufficiently distanced itself from the comments made by Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) on the Holocaust.

“I support this move” to reconcile the traditionalist faction in the Church, he said, “because I understand the big picture, which is that the Catholic Church has a problem. There is a strong left wing of the Church that is doing immeasurable harm to the faith.”

Rabbi Levin said that he understands “perfectly” why the reconciliation is vital to the fight against abortion and the homosexualist movement “I understand that it is very important to fill the pews of the Catholic Church not with cultural Catholics and left-wingers who are helping to destroy the Catholic Church and corrupt the values of the Catholic Church.” This corruption, he said, “has a trickle-down effect to every single religious community in the world.”

“What’s the Pope doing? He’s trying to bring the traditionalists back in because they have a lot of very important things to contribute the commonweal of Catholicism. “Now, if in the process, he inadvertently includes someone who is prominent in the traditionalist movement who happens to say very strange things about the Holocaust, is that a reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater and start to condemn Pope Benedict? Absolutely not.”

During a visit to Rome at the end of January, Rabbi Levin told LifeSiteNews.com that he believes the media furore over the lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X is a red herring. He called “ridiculous” the accusations that in doing so Pope Benedict VXI or the Catholic Church are anti-Semitic and described as “very strong” the statements distancing the Holy See and the Pope from Williamson’s comments.

Rabbi Levin was in Rome holding meetings with high level Vatican officials to propose what he called a “new stream of thinking” for the Church’s inter-religious dialogue, one based on commonly held moral teachings, particularly on the right to life and the sanctity of natural marriage. “The most important issue,” he said, is the work the Church is doing “to save babies from abortion, and save children’s minds, and young people’s minds, helping them to know right and wrong on the life and family issues.” “That’s where ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue has to go.”

Although numbers are difficult to determine, it is estimated that the Society of St. Pius X has over a million followers worldwide. The traditionalist movement in the Catholic Church is noted for doctrinal orthodoxy and enthusiasm not only for old-fashioned devotional practices, but for the Church’s moral teachings and opposition to post-modern secularist sexual mores. Liberals in the Church, particularly in Europe, have bitterly opposed all overtures to the SSPX and other traditionalists, particularly the Pope’s recent permission to revive the traditional Latin Mass.

The Vatican announced in early January that, as part of ongoing efforts to reconcile the breakaway group, the 1988 decree of excommunication against the Society had been rescinded. Later that month, a Swedish television station aired an interview, recorded in November 2008, in which Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four leaders of the Society, said that he did not believe that six million Jews were killed in the Nazi death camps during World War II.

At that time, the media erupted with protests and accusations that the Catholic Church, and especially Pope Benedict XVI, are anti-Semitic. Rabbi Levin particularly defended Pope Benedict, saying he is the genius behind the moves of the late Pope John Paul II to reconcile the Church with the Jewish community. “Anyone who understands and follows Vatican history knows that in the last three decades, one of the moral and intellectual underpinnings of the papacy of Pope John Paul II, was Cardinal Ratzinger.

“And therefore, a lot of the things that Pope John Paul did vis-à-vis the Holocaust, he [Benedict] might have done himself, whether it was visiting Auschwitz or visiting and speaking in the synagogues or asking forgiveness. A lot of this had direct input from Cardinal Ratzinger. Whoever doesn’t understand this doesn’t realise that this man, Pope Benedict XVI, has a decades-long track record of anti-Nazism and sympathy for the Jews.”

Heresy & Heretics



Q. What is a heresy?
A. Unlike apostasy, which is the complete rejection of the Catholic Faith, heresy is a partial rejection of the Catholic Faith.
Any baptized person who refuses to believe one or more of the of the truths revealed by God and taught by the Catholic Church is technically a heretic. These Truths would be the dogmas of the Faith like the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception, Infallibility of the Pope, Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, etc. One can no more be slightly heretical than they could be slightly dead.

The root of the word means to pick and/or choose. Meaning some things are chosen others are not, thus, the heretic does not accept all that the Church teaches but chooses to believe what is agreeable to their own way of thinking and reject other aspects of the faith that are uncomfortable or unappealing.

It should be noted that in the sin of heresy, as in every other sin, we have to distinguish between material sin and formal sin. If a person does something which is wrong, objectively-but a wrong of which he is unaware through no fault of his own is-then we say that the person has sinned materially but not formally. In his wrong action there is no personal guilt.

A Catholic who would reject a truth of the faith, who would decide, for example that he didn’t want to believe in hell, would be guilty of the sin of heresy, both materially an formally. A Protestant, however, sincerely believing teachings of the church in which he was raised and with no opportunity for knowing otherwise, would be a material heretic only; he would not be formally guilty of the sin of heresy. This is why the anathemas issued by the Council of Trent, against the various protestant heresies, are applicable to the Catholics who willfully and knowingly leave the Catholic Faith and embrace Protestantism. The anathemas are not applicable to Protestants who innocently and sincerely believe what their denomination teaches.