Monday, November 30, 2009

How We Must Pray?

Please also read these articles:
Pray Well
Can non-Catholics pray to God?

From True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, by Louis de Montfort:

Louis de Montfort describes, very succinctly, the disposition of a pious Catholic:

"...These devotions are a wonderful help for souls seeking holiness provided they are performed in a worthy manner, that is:

(1) With the right intention of pleasing God alone, seeking union with Jesus, our last end, and giving edification to our neighbour.
(2) With attention, avoiding willful distractions.
(3) With devotion, avoiding haste and negligence.
(4) With decorum and respectful bodily posture."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Biblical origin of the Papacy

In addition to the testimony of the Early Church Fathers about the papal primacy, there are many texts that are frequently neglected by apologists that demonstrate the Biblical origin of the Papacy. To begin with, we will consider some Old Testament texts that prophesy/foreshadow the office of a Supreme Pastor and earthly High Priest of the New Covenant.  Also, we will be using quotations from the Douay Rheims Challoner translation (the KJV has been used previously to prove a crucial Catholic doctrine rejected by the Protestants, so there is no need to use it again here).

Osee (Hosea) 1:10-11: “And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, that is without measure, and shall not be numbered. And it shall be in the place where it shall be said to them: You are not my people: it shall be said to them: Ye are the sons of the living God. And the children of Juda, and the children of Israel shall be gathered together: and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall come up out of the land: for great is the day of Jezrahel.”

We know this is talking about the New Testament period when their will be a largely Gentile Church, since this is the very text that St. Paul quotes in Romans 9 about Gentiles being brought into the new covenant. See Rom. 9:24-27. Note however, that the verse following the one quoted by St. Paul also applies to the same group, who appoints for themselves "one head." Obviously the Church does not "appoint Jesus;" Jesus is the head of the Church by divine right, not by human appointment. However, the text mentions a head that will be appointed in the New Covenant era. Although we know that Christ appointed St. Peter as head of the Apostolic College, as even the Orthodox admit, this "election" also occurred in the early Church in subsequent ages. We have, for example, the testimony of the earliest Fathers, like St. Irenaeus of the 2nd century, who speaks of the Roman Bishop (successor to St. Peter) as follows:

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2: "But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition"

Scripture seems to promise in the book of Jeremias that in the New Covenant there will not be a ceasing of apostolic succession, that is to say, that to the end, there will always be some member or members of the Catholic hierarchy alive on the earth, in communion with and faithful to the Apostolic See. If this is a correct understanding of this passage from Scripture, the question becomes where are ye now, O ministers of the Lord?

Jeremias 33:17-22: "For thus saith the Lord: There shall not be cut off from David a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. Neither shall there be cut off from the priests and Levites a man before my face to offer holocausts, and to burn sacrifices, and to kill victims continually: And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias, saying: Thus saith the Lord: If my covenant with the day can be made void, and my covenant with the night, that there should not be day and night in their season: Also my covenant with David my servant may be made void, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne, and with the Levites and priests my ministers. As the stars of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea be measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites my ministers."

We know that this is referring to the New Covenant, because it specifically says this covenant can never be made void: the Old Covenant, however, was transitory, as the epistle to the Hebrews teaches. So what is being discussed here must be the eternal priesthood – the priesthood after the order of Melchisedech – that the Lord established at His first advent. Furthermore, this doesn’t mean that at every second of Church history there will be a pope, as there have always been periods of vacancy, such as when a pope dies. But although we know that applies to Christ in a typological sense, the point is that it can also be applied to the papacy as well.

"But wait," you say, "the Bible never says that New Testament ministers are to be called priests." This is not true; the Bible, in fact, teaches that very thing:

Isaias 61:5-6: “And strangers shall stand and shall feed your flocks: and the sons of strangers shall be your husbandmen, and the dressers of your vines.

But you shall be called the priests of the Lord: to you it shall be said: Ye ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and you shall pride yourselves in their glory.”

This is doubtless a prophecy of the New Covenant because that’s the only possible way there could ever be Gentile ministers as priests over God’s flock. It certainly could never occur in the Old Covenant. The strangers are Gentiles who will serve at God’s new Eucharistic altar in the Church. Furthermore, we have the similar prophecy of Malachias that many early Church Fathers use to prove the mass is a sacrifice:

Malachias 1:11: “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.”

This clean oblation is the offering of the Holy Eucharist that St. Paul clearly mentions:

Hebrews 13:10: “We (Christians) have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle (Jews).”

Christians, then, in the New Testament, continue to have an altar from which they eat. Only the Catholic Church has preserved this truth, unadulterated, from apostolic times: all the Protestant “reformers” tossed out the altar and replaced it with their simple "table" and "meal." This should tell you where you will find Christ – in the Catholic Mass, not in the dry, barren, lecture-brunch services of Protestantism.

Moving into the New Testament, consider the fact that Jesus specifically renames Simon Bar-Jona "Rock" in John 1:42 ("Kephas" means rock in Aramaic). This proves that it’s Peter himself that Jesus is referring to in St. Matthew 16:18-19. But there is an even better argument to prove this point. When Jesus is giving the keys to St. Peter, he is not ad-libbing. The idea of "keys" as a symbol of vice-regency is a principle that goes back to the Old Testament.

Isaias 22:20-25: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias, And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, divers kinds of vessels, every little vessel, from the vessels of cups even to every instrument of music. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the peg be removed, that was fastened in the sure place: and it shall be broken and shall fall: and that which hung thereon, shall perish, because the Lord hath spoken it.”

This is a foreshadowing of what God will do when He establishes His new Israel, the Church, firmly and unshakably on the Rock of the confession of St. Peter. Why else would he rename Simon "Rock"? But note that the principle of "keys" is specifically given to Eliakim as a symbol of his office as vice-regent, or key-holder over Israel, and it symbolizes his supreme authority. This is why we say the Pope has full jurisdiction over the Church.

At this time in Israel, a king was absent, so there was a vice-regent ruling in his place. Shebna, the previous vice-regent had been wicked, so God removed him and replaced him with Eliakim. Clearly this foreshadows what Jesus is doing in St. Matthew chapter sixteen because He is, as king, soon to ascend to His Father, and in his absence, He will appoint St. Peter as vice-regent of the new Israel. I will further prove this point as we move on.

In St. Luke 12 and St. Matthew 24, Jesus specifically explains to St. Peter and the Apostles that he (St. Peter) is the head of the household while the Master (Jesus) is away.

St. Luke 12:36-48: "And you [the Apostles] yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately.  Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, that he will gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not, the Son of man will come. And Peter said to him: Lord, dost thou speak this parable to us, or likewise to all? And the Lord said: Who is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family, to give them their measure of wheat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing. Verily I say to you, he will set him over all that he possesseth. But if that servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming; and shall begin to strike the menservants and maidservants, and to eat and to drink and be drunk: The lord of that servant will come in the day that he hopeth not, and at the hour that he knoweth not, and shall separate him, and shall appoint him his portion with unbelievers. And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more."

Note that Jesus says that the householder is over all that the Master possesses: clearly a single, earthly head ruling the entire Church. In any New Testament text that uses the "household" terminology, God’s "household" is consistently His Church. Furthermore, St. Matthew’s (24) text adds an important point to this parable:

St. Matthew 24:42-51: "Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come. But know this ye, that if the head of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come. Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family, to give them meat in season. Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.  But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming: And shall begin to strike his fellow servants, and shall eat and drink with drunkards: The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not, and at an hour that he knoweth not: And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew adds that the man appointed over the household, the vice-regent, the Vicar of Christ, as a pope is called, is said to feed the household in due season. Recall what Jesus said to St. Peter exclusively in the Gospel of John:

St. John 21:15-17: "When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep."

Certainly all the bishops have a duty to feed the sheep and lambs, and various liturgies, East and West use these texts in their readings to point to the office of the local bishop. But specifically, St. Peter is the one whom Jesus is saying is the head of the entire house, given the charge of feeding the sheep and lambs, the sheep being the other bishops, laymen being the lambs. There is no doubt that St. Peter and his successors are the earthly head appointed by Christ who gives the Church her “meat in season.”

At the first council of the Church, which was a model for all the Ecumenical Councils to follow, the debate over the necessity of circumcision for Gentile converts is settled – not by St. James’ decision, but by St. James’ quoting of St. Peter. At that point, the issue is settled.

Acts of the Apostles 15:7-16: "And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, in like manner as they also. And all the multitude held their peace; and they heard Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men, brethren, hear me. Simon [Peter] hath related how God first visited to take of the Gentiles a people to his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written: ‘After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and the ruins thereof I will rebuild, and I will set it up’…"

So, we see that St. Peter's definition quiets the debating and settles the issue. And yet outside the Catholic Church: in Eastern 'Orthodoxy' or Protestantism, or other denominations -  there is nothing but confusion, discord and schism, and no final court of appeal, no doctrinal rock, which gives meat in season. St. James quotes St. Peter and the debate ends. In like manner, the Roman Pontiff, as successor to St. Peter ratifies the Ecumenical Council, making it valid and binding.

And last of all, in every covenant era: Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and the New, God’s people are governed hierarchically with a single earthly head! If one really wants to be faithful to covenant theology, as many of you do, one would have to admit that in every era of God’s covenant, His people are ruled monarchically, as it were, and that this hierarchy of earthly authority was instituted by God Himself. Wasn’t God the head of the Church in the Noahic era? Yes, He was. Wasn’t He head of the Church in the Mosaic era? Of course! Did the fact that there was a single earthly High Priest take away from God’s lordship? Not in the least. We believe it was by God’s appointment that His people were so ruled. The New Testament continues that same, covenantal, monarchical structure, with the God-man Jesus Christ as supreme head and having an earthly minister.

Following that same train of thought, consider the fact that there was an earthly High Priest who, for the good of God’s people, was given full jurisdiction, if you will, over the Israelites to judge legal and theological matters (faith and morals). Consider Deuteronomy 17:8-13, where God commands tough legal/theological decisions to be made by the ordained priesthood, and especially the High Priest. God commands that those who will not hear His Pontiff are to be "excommunicated" from Israel by being stoned, in a kind of Inquisition, if you will.

Deuteronomy 17:8-13: "If thou perceive that there be among you a hard and doubtful matter in judgment between blood and blood, cause and cause, leprosy and leprosy: and thou see that the words of the judges within thy gates do vary: arise, and go up to the place, which the Lord thy God shall choose. And thou shalt come to the priests of the Levitical race, and to the judge, that shall be at that time: and thou shalt ask of them, and they shall shew thee the truth of the judgment. And thou shalt do whatsoever they shall say, that preside in the place, which the Lord shall choose, and what they shall teach thee, According to his law; and thou shalt follow their sentence: neither shalt thou decline to the right hand nor to the left hand. But he that will be proud, and refuse to obey the commandment of the priest, who ministereth at that time to the Lord thy God, and the decree of the judge, that man shall die, and thou shalt take away the evil from Israel: And all the people hearing it shall fear, that no one afterwards swell with pride."

Would God provide Israel, the divorced nation of the Old Covenant, with a practical good like this, and not provide something better for His New Testament Church, which is His very body–the mystery of all the ages manifested, as St. Paul calls it in Ephesians chapter three? No, Jesus says clearly that those who will not hear the Church are to be counted as heathens in St. Matthew chapter eighteen.

Such an indisputable authority was clearly prefigured in the canonical Old Testament book of Machabees, which is clearly divinely inspired Scripture:

Machabees 14:41-49: "And that the Jews, and their priests, had consented that he should be their prince, and high priest for ever, till there should arise a faithful prophet: And that he should be chief over them, and that he should have the charge of the sanctuary, and that he should appoint rulers over their works, and over the country, and over the armour, and over the strong holds. And that he should have care of the holy places: and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all the writings in the country should be made in his name: and that he should be clothed with purple, and gold: And that it should not be lawful for any of the people, or of the priests, to disannul any of these things, or to gainsay his words, or to call together an assembly in the country without him: or to be clothed with purple, or to wear a buckle of gold: And whosoever shall do otherwise, or shall make void any of these things shall be punished.

"And it pleased all the people to establish Simon, and to do according to these words. And Simon accepted thereof, and was well pleased to execute the office of the high priesthood, and to be captain, and prince of the nation of the Jews, and of the priests, and to be chief over all. And they commanded that this writing should be put in tables of brass, and that they should be set up within the compass of the sanctuary, in a conspicuous place: And that a copy thereof should be put in the treasury, that Simon and his sons may have it."

How fitting that his name is Simon!

If the Church was purely fallible and corrupt, as Protestants hold, how could Jesus expect us to submit our consciences to this kind of Church’s official rulings? No, the Church is not a divided, fallible, whoring, corruption, as Protestants think. The "Church is the pillar and ground of truth," as St. Paul says (1 Tim. 3:15). As the very pillar and ground of truth, she cannot be a fallible and corrupt prostitute. She is the body of Christ, His spotless bride (Ephesians 5:23) and the Pope is His Vicar, as the Fathers of the Church were wont to hold, and this remains so even in the face of the Church’s mocking counterfeit, the Vatican II sect and its heretic antipopes, who are NOT the Catholic Church, nor Catholic popes, but USURPERS.  This last sad fact means, however, that the Church, though she still exists in her members  (1 Corinthians 12:27) who believe and obey what she teaches and has taught throughout the ages, is currently without an earthly high priest, without one to settle the many disputes of our days according to right faith, thus fulfilling an ancient curse:

Amos 8:11: " Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will send forth a famine into the land: not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord."

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Dogma was always true, but not necessarily always a dogma

Please also read this:
Heresy was always false, but not necessarily always heresy

Lately, having had contact with many new people who are interested in the Catholic Faith, I have also been presented with new attacks on the Faith, which certainly call for an answer. There is nothing more insidious than when the Catholic Faith is attacked by those who would claim to love it and hol
d it more dearly than anything else, for who would suspect them of being wolves?

The deadly error I'm speaking of is this "Even though a dogma may have been defined in such and such a year, to believe contrary to it was ALWAYS heresy!"

If the ramifications of this statement have not yet hit you, then it means that you are not considering all the instances in Church history when a pope or bishop had held to a belief that would later be condemned by the solemn Magisterium. There are two famous instances that I will mention shortly, but first I want to point out where I believe some have erred. I believe that this error stems from a misunderstanding of a teaching of Pope Pius IX:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, #6, ex cathedra: "For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles."

Some have taken this teaching to mean that all the dogmas that have been defined as Divinely revealed over the course of the history of the Church have always been proposed as Divinely revealed, and that to believe in the contrary was always heresy. This is simply not what the pope has said though.

What his teaching means is that whenever the Church proposes something as Divinely revealed, it is because the doctrine is already contained either explicitly or implicitly in the Deposit of Faith, Scripture and Tradition. Or to put it another way:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 3, Chapter 3, #8, ex cathedra: "Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium."

In other words, it is not held as a dogma of divine and Catholic Faith unless the Church has proposed so by the Solemn Magisterium or in the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. Now let us consider this in reference to two historical cases:

First St. Cyprian's public belief in and practice of what later became a heresy:

We know since the Councils of Florence and Trent that it is a Divinely revealed dogma that heretics have always been able to baptize validly, if they used the correct matter, form and intention. But does that mean that it was always heresy to disbelieve this? No it does not mean that - there WAS a time when a person could lawfully believe that heretics could not baptize anyone at all, even though that proposition later was condemned under pain of anathema.

It is well documented that St. Cyprian believed that heretics' baptizing of people was invalid, and he was even admonished by Pope St. Stephen on the matter, but St. Cyprian refused to assent to the pope's admonition, and the pope left it alone. That's right Pope SAINT Stephen left the matter alone. Why? Because it was not yet defined by the solemn Magisterium that the baptism performed by heretics could be valid under the correct conditions and Pope St. Stephen evidently was not the man to declare this as a dogma.

People who hold the error mentioned above, however (that all dogmas were always dogmas), must necessarily reject St. Cyprian as a heretic, striking his name from the list of Church Fathers, and Pope St. Stephen as a favourer and supporter of heretics. But isn't it funny how centuries roll along, and NOBODY in authority in the Church has ever thought to do this? Surely if the error above were correct, someone like Pope St. Agatho, or Pope St. Gregory the Great would have thought to declare against these men? Or maybe they didn't know the dogma that heretics are able to baptize validly? If not, then they might have been heretics themselves, according to another pernicious error that seems to accompany the one mentioned above, which is that unless a person knows EVERY SINGLE DOGMA of the Catholic Faith, he is automatically headed for hell.

The other example from history is Pope John XXII, who in the middle ages taught a doctrine that would later be condemned by his successor, Benedict XII. But if he was a heretic, why was he never declared an antipope? Because it was not heresy to hold contrary to the doctrine that would be declared by Pope Benedict until AFTER the Church, by his decree, had proposed it as Divinely revealed. Does that mean that Pope John was right, or that the doctrine was not contained at least implicitly in the Deposit of Faith? NO! Benedict XII did not make up a NEW doctrine that was alien to the Church, but rather he clarified a point of revelation that had not yet received attention from the solemn Magisterium, since it only became a matter for controversy after the confusion that followed Pope John's erroneous public teachings on the matter (in which he specifically stated he was NOT intending to make a dogmatic definition, but was only proposing his personal theological opinion).

In short, a dogma of the Catholic Faith was always TRUE, but it was not always proposed by the Church as a Divinely revealed dogma. As St. Augustine said, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est" or "Rome has spoken, the case is closed". Until Rome closed the case, it was not a dogma. People who fall into the contrary error must reject saints, popes and Church Fathers in order to be consistent with their position, which shows that their error is schismatic and leads to hell.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Contra Bizzaro, Material Heresy

The position that Mike has taken, which I will be addressing in this article, along with many of his citations, is that every instance of ignorance of any dogma of the Catholic Faith whatsoever results in the instant separation of the person’s soul from the body of Christ. He does not allow for the reasonable and equitable position (held by Saints Thomas and Augustine as we will see) that if such a person has simply either not yet learned a deeper dogmatic issue or has come to the incorrect conclusion on such without any intention of opposing the Church, that he is not severed from Catholic unity and damned as a result of merely considering the mysteries of God and accidentally getting something wrong, without the will to oppose the Church.

Mike has ignored the fact that there are only certain mysteries of the Faith, which have been proposed as absolutely necessary to be known by all for salvation, and that there are many, many other dogmas, of which many people would never even have occasion to learn, let alone consider in their daily Catholic lives.

To give a basic example of Mike’s depraved position, he must state the following to be consistent:

“If any person simply does not know that the soul is the form of the body, or that heretics are able to baptize validly, or that priests are not the ordinary ministers of confirmation (etc., etc.), or that priests are NOT the minister of matrimony (that's right, Council of Florence, Session 8), or that the baptism of John was inferior to the Baptism of Christ, then such a person is automatically not Catholic and is on the road to hell.”

We will see that not only is this position alien to the Church, but that Mike fails to teach the Catholic Faith whole and undefiled according to his own standards.

I would also like to mention the following, since it relates directly to the issue: If a person is presented with what another believes to be the Catholic position on a specific dogmatic issue, and rejects it all the same, then he is to be viewed by the other as committing an objective offense against the Faith, and must prove his innocence. If he does not, then it is necessary to view the other as a heretic (if the one presenting is correct). But how might he prove his innocence?

1) By amending his position and professing the correct Catholic position. If he does so, and his material heresy was not contrary to the basic Christian Creed, then he never lost his Catholicity at all, which is the position explicitly held by St. Augustine.

2) By sufficiently defending his position and showing that his opinion, in fact, never was an actual offense against the Catholic Faith.

A person should be able to do one of these, and truly, if he cannot do one, he should consider himself BOUND to do the other. So whether or not a person has fallen into material heresy, the point is that as soon as he has reason to question his belief, it is incumbent upon him to learn what the correct position is and to profess it. Failure to do so in a timely manner renders what previously may have only been innocent ignorance into willful and culpable ignorance.

But does this mean that a person is not Catholic until he knows ALL the dogmas? That is an absurd proposition, and is contrary to Scripture and the practice of the Church. We find an example in Scripture of one of the Apostles instructing a convert in the basic truths of the Faith and then baptizing him.

Acts of the Apostles 8:30-38: "And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?

Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth.  In humility his judgment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth? And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water; and the eunuch said: See, here is water: what doth hinder me from being baptized? And Philip said: If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest.  And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him."
The eunuch professed the basic truths of Christianity and was baptized. Was he still not a Catholic? Did the Apostle baptize him unto damnation?

What about the practice of the Church, whereby men are baptized after receiving only basic Catechesis? Mike would have to say that because they are not being told ALL the dogmas that the Church is therefore baptizing them unto damnation and not salvation, but this is a ridiculous position. Take a look at the Council of Nicaea's second canon:

Council of Nicaea, Canon 2, AD 325: "Since, either through necessity or through the importunate demands of certain individuals, there have been many breaches of the church's canon, with the result that men who have recently come from a pagan life to the faith after a short catechumenate have been admitted at once to the spiritual washing, and at the same time as their baptism have been promoted to the episcopate or the presbyterate, it is agreed that it would be well for nothing of the kind to occur in the future. For a catechumen needs time and further probation after baptism, for the apostle's words are clear: "Not a recent convert, or he may be puffed up and fall into the condemnation and the snare of the devil".

So the ancient practice of the Church even back as far as the Council of Nicaea ALLOWED for persons to be baptized after a SHORT CATECHUMENATE, even if it looked with scorn upon such a person also immediately becoming a priest or bishop. Would such persons have known EVERY DOGMA of the Holy Catholic Faith? Certainly not. Hence the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Tertia Pars, Q. 71: The preparations that accompany Baptism, Article 1. Whether catechism should precede Baptism: "On the contrary, Rabanus says (De Instit. Cleric. i): "Before Baptism man should be prepared by catechism, in order that the catechumen may receive the rudiments of faith."

In order that the catechumen may receive what? The rudiments of faith, the necessary truths, namely the "Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled" as it was later defined in the Council of Florence when the Athanasian Creed was dogmatized.

We can even go farther back and show from the writings of Tertullian (while he was still in the Catholic Church) that this rule of Faith is what is held as necessary:

Tertullian, The Prescription Against the Heretics, Chapter XIII, somewhere around AD 200: “…there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen "in diverse manners" by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics."

So even as far back as Tertullian, the Rule of Faith was the same, though Tertullian worded it a little differently than the Apostles Creed, or the Athanasian Creed. It still contained all the articles proposed as absolutely necessary for salvation.

St. Thomas Aquinas also states that some men may explicitly believe more articles of faith than other men, and yet have the same faith:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 5, Article 4: "Now the object of faith may be considered in two ways: first, in respect of its formal aspect; secondly, in respect of the material object which is proposed to be believed. Now the formal object of faith is one and simple, namely the First Truth, as stated above. Hence in this respect there is no diversity of faith among believers, but it is specifically one in all, as stated above. But the things which are proposed as the matter of our belief are many and can be received more or less explicitly; and in this respect one man can believe explicitly more things than another, so that faith can can be greater in one man on account of its being more explicit [...]

"Reply to Objection 1. A man who obstinately disbelieves a thing that is of faith, has not the habit of faith, and yet he who does not explicitly believe all, while he is prepared to believe all, has that habit (faith). On this respect, one man has greater faith than another, on the part of the object, in so far as he believes more things, as stated above."

And how about the following Canon from the fourth century Synod of Laodicea?

Synod of Loadicea, Canon 46: "They who are to be baptized must learn the faith [Creed] by heart, and recite it to the bishop, or to the presbyters, on the fifth day of the week."

According to Mike's position, this canon does not represent an adequate preparation for the sacrament of baptism, since according to his position, a person who ONLY knows the Creed is not yet a Christian. If Mike's position were correct, such a person would have to not only recite the Creed in full, but also list off every dogma of the Catholic Faith.

By the way Mike, I noticed that the dogma that the baptism of John was inferior to that of Christ (Council of Trent's very first canon on Baptism!) is not present on your "authentically Catholic" website. You must be a heretic then, and a hypocrite if you claim to be teaching people all the dogmas of the Catholic Church. If they "just don't know" this dogma, according to your ridiculous position they are damned. Are you trying to help them go to hell?


Think about it: You have a catechumen, freshly baptized, but he has not yet received in depth instruction on the sacraments. Is he damned because of this? The Church damns people then Mike, because that is what happens. The Church has withheld the in depth instruction on the sacraments from the catechumens, professing that the grace bestowed in baptism is necessary in order to learn these deep mysteries.

St. Augustine, on the Catechising of the Uninstructed, Chapter 26: "At the conclusion of this address the person is to be asked whether he believes these things and earnestly desires to observe them. And on his replying to that effect then certainly he is to be solemnly signed and dealt with in accordance with the custom of the Church. On the subject of the sacrament, indeed, which he receives, it is first to be well impressed upon his notice that the signs of divine things are, it is true, things visible, but that the invisible things themselves are also honored in them, and that that species, which is then sanctified by the blessing, is therefore not to be regarded merely in the way in which it is regarded in any common use. And thereafter he ought to be told what is also signified by the form of words to which he has listened, and what in him is seasoned by that (spiritual grace) of which this material substance presents the emblem."

So Augustine prescribes that AFTER baptism there are more matters pertaining to the sacraments, matters which are Divinely revealed dogmas, that are to be told to the new convert. So, Mike, does that mean that Augustine is encouraging priests to baptize people into a corrupt or defiled faith? Or, again could it be that YOU are ADDING TO THE RULE OF FAITH, those dogmas which are not necessary to be known to all for salvation?

St.Thomas Aquinas, Summa, II/II, Q. 11, Article 1. Whether heresy is a species of unbelief: "I answer that, The word heresy as stated in the first objection denotes a choosing. Now choice as stated above (I-II, 13, 3) is about things directed to the end, the end being presupposed. Now, in matters of faith, the will assents to some truth, as to its proper good, as was shown above (Question 4, Article 3): wherefore that which is the chief truth, has the character of last end, while those which are secondary truths, have the character of being directed to the end...

Therefore heresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas."

St. Thomas identifies what types of beliefs are heretical, and he goes further to point out, agreeing with St. Augustine, a person is reckoned a heretic (one who has committed the SIN of heresy) once they are rebuked and reject the dogma.

Article 2. Whether heresy is properly about matters of faith: "On the contrary, Augustine says against the Manichees [Cf. De Civ. Dei xviii, 1]: "In Christ's Church, those are heretics, who hold mischievous and erroneous opinions, and when rebuked that they may think soundly and rightly, offer a stubborn resistance, and, refusing to mend their pernicious and deadly doctrines, persist in defending them." Now pernicious and deadly doctrines are none but those which are contrary to the dogmas of faith, whereby "the just man liveth" (Romans 1:17). Therefore heresy is about matters of faith, as about its proper matter."

Article 3. Whether heretics ought to be tolerated: "I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death."

St. Thomas states that heretics commit a sin, but it is no sin to contemplate God, and since God is so merciful that He demands nothing more than what nature can bear, He certainly does not expect that ALL those who contemplate Him will ALWAYS be able to intuitively know EVERY SINGLE DOGMA that has ever been revealed to the world, nor even to come to the correct conclusions on them all. Especially considering the fact that there have been many instances in the Holy Church where various Saints and Church Fathers disagreed on matters pertaining to the Faith, let alone those who have not the resources, training or teachers to guide them.

Jeremias 12:11: "With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart"

But according to Mike, the land is made desolate, and souls are cast into hell for doing just that: considering God in their hearts, contemplating Divine things, and occasionally making a mistake, even if it is without the intention of opposing the Church in which they place their fidelity, and without corrupting the basic Christian Creed, which is the requirement for baptism according to the practice of the Church.

Below you will find several examples of Mike Bizzaro’s latest attempt at distorting this rule of Faith, by making every single dogma a necessary dogma, essentially demanding that every human being must know every dogma, and that without the knowledge of each singular one, a person is automatically damned. His out of context quotations are in red, followed by my responses to him. I have responded to the citations he uses which most appear (on the surface) to lend some support to his schismatic position.
Against the "Material Heretic" Heresy ... Which falsely states: "If someone doesn't know he's a heretic he isn't one."

First of all Mike, a material heretic is a person who is outside the Church and who does not realize that what he is opposing is the true Faith of Jesus Christ. Surely if he knew this was the case, he would obviously not oppose it, but that fact does not save him. He is severed from the Church by his profession of a false so-called Christian religion or denomination and is in schism from the one true Divinely revealed Faith.

A Catholic who does not know all the dogmas of the Faith, or who accidentally comes to a heretical understanding on one (so long as it is not part of the rule of Faith, defined at the Council of Florence) is not a "material heretic", but a Catholic who materially believes a heresy.

Catholic writing in Saint Matthew 12:37 > "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Okay Mike, why is a person judged and condemned by his or her words? Scripture has the answer:

St. Matthew 15:16-20: “Are you also yet without understanding? Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.”

So Mike, the reason a person is condemned by his words is because they are a reflection of the impurity of his heart, but according to your schismatic position, whereby you refuse communion with Catholics who hold the Faith whole and inviolate and who recognize that not every mistaken belief automatically severs one from Catholic unity, people are judged by their words just for being wrong, even if they mean not to oppose the Church.

Introduction to the Material Heresy (Material Heretic) versus Formal Heresy (Formal Heretic) fraud
1. The false non-Catholic notion of "material heresy" is the identifying of someone as an innocent "material heretic" (and not simply a heretic headed for Hell) based on the notion that he is simply in error and so cannot be identified as a "formal heretic" (another fraudulant term). The devil's objective here is to make people think that "material heretics" are in a justified state and might be able to get to Heaven, because after all they are not "formal heretics".

Only those are justified Mike, who hold the Catholic rule of Faith which I have demonstrated above, and who are subject to the Roman Pontiff and are free from mortal sin. YOUR position is that to fall into any error at all against a dogma, even without evil will, and despite being free from mortal sin a person is necessarily severed from the Church.

It is material and not formal because the matter required for being a heretic is the mistaken belief in itself and the form necessary to render it formal is the will to oppose the Church. Certainly you are aware of the distinctions between matter and form in sacramental and moral theology Mike? How inconsistent it would be to ignore such distinctions in dogmatic theology.

2. The false teaching continues that it is only after the "material heretic" (or person in "material heresy") is informed that he is in error on the Catholic Faith - and if he rejects the admonition and correction - it is only then that he falls into "formal heresy" and only now is he culpable, blameworthy and subject to perdition (loss of his soul to Hell).

That is the teaching of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas as you have seen, and there is no dogmatic definition anywhere that contradicts them.

There is a complete absence of this modernist theory of "material" and "formal" heresy in the formal Catholic writings ... proving
that it is non-Catholic fiction, groundless, unfounded, totally without merit, and must be rejected to save your soul.

Mike, your reasoning in this matter is entirely flawed and your conclusion absurd. You are attaching yourself to buzzwords like “material heresy” and you are avoiding specifically addressing the issue at hand. In fact, your flawed argument is quite easily shown to be flawed by pointing out that Scripture does not contain the word Trinity ANYWHERE, nor the word Pope, nor the words Ecumenical Council, Dogma, the word indulgence only appears once, and not in any context that gives the Catholic Church a Scriptural basis for using the word the way she does… Would you like me to go on?

The point is that buzzwords in and of themselves are not as important as the meaning attached to them, and whether or not the meaning is tenable in relation to the Catholic Magisterium.

Catholic Citations that specifically refute the "material heresy" / "formal heresy" fabrications, which were proved above to be unfounded and groundless,  since these terms are found nowhere in the authentic Catholic sources (excepting the non-Catholic commentary that has crept into the Denzinger).
 These citations cover two different aspects of the "material heresy" / "formal heresy" fraud >

1. Some of these citations address the fact that the ignorant (unknowing) person is culpable for his crime of ignorance.
2. Others address the fact that the unknowing (ignorant) person is not in a justified state (headed for Hell), since he is automatically outside of the Catholic Church for his crime of not knowing.
This is your interpretation based on quite flawed reasoning, as well as complete IGNORANCE of the context of many of the citations which you blindly toss about. I will demonstrate this as we move along:
The Catholic Citations:
Dogmatic Athanasius Creed >
"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are not, by this Source of Dogma, in a justified state since they do not keep the faith whole and undefiled since "they just don't know". So they are not in a state where they can get to Heaven, to say otherwise is heresy.

Yes, Mike. You have quoted the Athanasian Creed. Does the Athanasian Creed consist of ALL the dogmas of the Catholic Faith? NO! It consists of those truths which are necessary to be know by all for salvation. Ignorance of any one dogma contained in this Creed, the basic Christian Creed is enough for one to number among the reprobate, whether this ignorance stems from obstinacy, sloth, or from “just not knowing”. You and I will agree on this, I am sure. But you take it too far; you become schismatic by trying to assert that EVERY SINGLE DOGMA is implied in this definition of “the Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled”, but this is simply not the case.

Pope Pius X, Acerbo Nimis, 15 April 1905, Paragraphs 2, 26 >
"And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: 'We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.' (...) These truths, indeed, far surpass the natural understanding of the people, yet must be known by all - the uneducated and the cultured - in order that they may arrive at eternal happiness."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" do not know the faith "which must be known" to be numbered among the elect. Falsely calling them "material heretics" and thus trying to remove their culpability for "not knowing" contributes to their eternal damnation. It goes without saying that those who employ the "material heretic" fiction to effect the loss of other souls are also losing their souls, unless they repent.

This quotation merely reiterates what I have said above. The burden of proof is still upon you to present a Catholic teaching, whereby EVERY DOGMA EVER is necessary to be known by all, not just to make blind assertions that fly in the face of Catholic theology.

Saint Augustine, Epistle to Sixtus, JUR vol.III:1454 >
"Those who keep their eyes shut cannot see. God made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without your willing it. Refusal to hear the truth leads to sin, and that sin itself is punishment for the preceding sin. Every sinner is inexcusable whether he knows it or not. For ignorance itself, in those who do not want to know, is without doubt a sin; and, in those unable to know, is the penalty of sin. In neither case, then, is there a just excuse, but in both cases there is a just condemnation."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are identified as culpable by Saint Augustine. Since they are culpable, those who falsely call these people "material heretics" (to eliminate their culpability) and thereby sinning themselves - and not talking like the Saints who have been confirmed by the Church as being in Heaven.

St. Augustine (Patrologia Latina 33, epistle 43, #160): “Those are by no means to be accounted heretics who do not defend their false and perverse opinions with pertinacious zeal, especially when their error is not the fruit of audacious presumption but has been communicated to them by seduced and lapsed parents, and when they are seeking the truth with cautious solicitude and ready to be corrected.”

Okay Mike, either Augustine is a heretic or he is a Catholic saint. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Do you reject this teaching because it is contrary to your schismatic position? Was Augustine a heretic for teaching this?

Council of Florence, Session 11, 4 February 1442, Ex-Cathedra >
"The Holy Roman Church ... condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" hold opposing views because "they just don't know" and the Council of Florence verifies the fact that they are outside of the Catholic Church.

Mike I have already admonished you on this one. I have very specifically mentioned that the necessary dogmas which must be believed by ALL for salvation and to be numbered among the elect is the doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ as contained in the Creed.
The quote you have wrenched out of context above teaches the EXACT SAME THING! Here it is in full:

Council of Florence, Session 11, 4 February 1442, Ex-Cathedra: “We, therefore, to whom the Lord gave the task of feeding Christ's sheep', had abbot Andrew carefully examined by some outstanding men of this sacred council on the articles of the faith, the sacraments of the church and certain other matters pertaining to salvation. At length, after an exposition of the catholic faith to the abbot, as far as this seemed to be necessary, and his humble acceptance of it, we have delivered in the name of the Lord in this solemn session, with the approval of this sacred ecumenical council of Florence, the following true and necessary doctrine.

First, then, the holy Roman church, founded on the words of our Lord and Saviour, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and holy Spirit; one in essence, three in persons; unbegotten Father, Son begotten from the Father, holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; the Father is not the Son or the holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the holy Spirit, the holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son; the Father is only the Father, the Son is only the Son, the holy Spirit is only the holy Spirit. The Father alone from his substance begot the Son; the Son alone is begotten of the Father alone; the holy Spirit alone proceeds at once from the Father and the Son. These three persons are one God not three gods, because there is one substance of the three, one essence, one nature, one Godhead, one immensity, one eternity, and everything is one where the difference of a relation does not prevent this. Because of this unity the Father is whole in the Son, whole in the holy Spirit; the Son is whole in the Father, whole in the holy Spirit; the holy Spirit is whole in the Father, whole in the Son. No one of them precedes another in eternity or excels in greatness or surpasses in power. The existence of the Son from the Father is certainly eternal and without beginning, and the procession of the holy Spirit from the Father and the Son is eternal and without beginning. Whatever the Father is or has, he has not from another but from himself and is principle without principle. Whatever the Son is or has, he has from the Father and is principle from principle. Whatever the holy Spirit is or has, he has from the Father together with the Son. But the Father and the Son are not two principles of the holy Spirit, but one principle, just as the Father and the Son and the holy Spirit are not three principles of creation but one principle. Therefore it condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the body of Christ, which is the church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views.”
Doesn’t it bother you that to enforce your schismatic view you have to take singular quotations and hide their full context? I mean, get serious man, you quoted the first part, and you quoted the last part but you completely skipped over everything in between! How much more dishonest can you make yourself look?

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854 >
"Hence, if anyone shall dare - which God forbid! - to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church ..."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics", who think otherwise as has been defined, because "they just don't know" are separated from the Catholic Church.

“Hence, if anyone shall DARE –“ Mike, do you think it is particularly DARING of someone to fall accidentally into an incorrect belief, a material heresy? This wording clearly shows that it is the DARE to oppose the Church, the willfulness of the sin which severs a man ipso facto from Catholic unity, “by his own judgment”, rather than adhering to the judgment of the Church. This obviously has nothing to do with a person who has never seen the decree and simply makes a mistake.

Pope St. Leo the Great, "Magno Munere," Epistle 82 to Emperor Marcian >
"The faith shall never vary in any age, for one is the faith which justifies the Just of all ages."

Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus >
"Therefore, it is necessary to receive these divine oracles integrally, in the same sense in which they have been kept (...) Remain firm and unshakably attached to this faith which, unless a man keep whole and entire, he shall undoubtedly be lost."

Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

"Therefore, it is necessary to receive…” One cannot reject what one has not received! One must receive WILLINGLY the truths of Faith, but unless he has been presented them, he cannot be charged with failure to receive it. Not everyone has the resources or ability to learn every single dogma of the Catholic religion, nor is it required of anyone. ALL MUST HOLD THE CREED whole and undefiled and refuse to oppose the Church, this has not changed.

St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitoria >
"Every possible care must be taken to hold fast to that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone. (...) It is therefore an indispensable obligation for all Catholics to adhere to the faith of the Fathers, to preserve it, to die for it and, on the other hand, to detest the profane novelties of profane men, to dread them, to harass them, and to attack them."

Note: Those who people falsely call "material heretics" - are not in a justified state because they do not hold the faith.

Consider your profane doctrine dreaded, harassed and attacked Mike.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, Paragraph 9, 29 June 1896 >
"But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith."

Note: Those people who are falsely called "material herestics" by being in a state of unbelief on some point of the truth, reject all faith - he cannot be in a justified state whereby he can get to Heaven (because he is in a fallen state).

Leo XIII was NEVER pope.  You can't use a quotation from spoken by such a man Mike. Besides, what is “dissent” Mike? Surely you know the answer, but here it is: Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to an idea (wikipedia). Did you catch that? “non-agreement” or “opposition”. A person must DISAGREE with what he knows the Church teaches on a deeper dogmatic issue in order to be severed from the Church.

Catholic writing in 2 Saint John 1:9 >
"Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" violate this scripture by not continuing in the doctrine because "they just don't know". They cannot continue in the doctrine if they sinfully "do not know" the doctrine.

As has been shown above, the doctrine of which he here speaks is the Catholic Rule of Faith, the necessary dogmas of the basic Christian Creed.

Catholic Dogma, Section V, God the Santifier, Dogma No. 14 >
"The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible."

Note: De Fide Dogma that those who are falsely called "material heretics" receive the graces efficacious to save their souls, but this grace is not irresistible so people freely remain in states where they "just don't know".

Mike you don’t even know what you are talking about. Grace that is called efficacious is the grace whereby a man is ultimately numbered among the elect in heaven, hence the word “EFFICACIOUS”, which means that it has succeeded in bringing about it effects. You are basing your schismatic theology on a complete lack of understanding the terms in use in the Catholic Faith.

The reason for the definition that free will exists along with efficacious grace is to refute the foolish Protestants, such as Calvinists, who claim that when a person is saved it was not by cooperating with grace, but that grace itself “forced” him to be saved.

Catholic Dogma, Section V, God the Santifier, Dogma No. 17 >
"The sinner can and must prepare himself by the help of actual grace for the reception of the grace by which he is justified."

Note: De Fide Dogma that the sinner, such as the people who are falsely called "material heretics" do receive the actual graces needed to move to the justified state but they chose to stay in the state where "they just don't know".

No, Mike this false conclusion of yours does not even follow. It is purely based on your INVENTION that every single dogma of the Catholic Faith is absolutely necessary to be known by all for salvation. You have NEVER provided one shred of evidence to support this, and the contrary is shown by the wording of the Magisterium, as well as by the practice and history of the Church.

Great examples are the continual admonitions given by popes before finally condemning people as heretics. Why did they do this, rather than simply condemning them outright? Because it had to be manifested that they were indeed opposing the Church, for this is the way in which one becomes a heretic: by willingly opposing the Church.

Pope Innocent II, Errors of Peter Abelard, No.10 >
"That whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered a sin, is hereby condemned as error."

Note: Those who are falsely called "material heretics" are in sin by that very fact, Innocent II states that they are culpable.

You are distorting the meaning of what he says once again to suit your own schismatic and damnable agenda. The pope clearly condemned the error that states that “whatever is done through ignorance must not be considered a sin”, but you have superimposed your own error which states that “EVERYTHING that is done in error must therefore be sin.” That is simply not tenable Mike, and it flies in the face of Scripture itself:

St. John 9:41: “Jesus said to them: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.”

What do you think he could possibly mean here Mike? You have to condemn this saying of the Lord Jesus Christ as heresy, you illogical evil man. Christ’s own words fully support the position that a person may fall into a material heresy and remain Catholic, so long as his accidental heretical belief was not opposed to the necessary truths of the Faith, and his WILL was not opposed to the authority of Holy Church.

But if he had SEEN what the Church teaches on some deeper dogmatic issue and still rejected it, he would have sin.

Finally, I propose one final argument from reason and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (which helps to refute not only Mike's position on material heresy, but also his belief, stated in an email and dealt with in detail in this article, that believing contrary to a dogmatic definition was heresy even for Catholics who lived prior to the date of the dogmatic definition!):

Pope Sixtus IV, Grave Nimis, 1483 (Denz. 735): "Although the Holy Roman Church solemnly celebrates the public feast of the conception of the immaculate Mary ever Virgin, and has ordained a special and proper office for this feast, some preachers of different orders, as we have heard, in their sermons to the people in public throughout different cities and lands have not been ashamed to affirm up to this time, and daily cease not to affirm, that all those who hold or assert that the same glorious and immaculate mother of God was conceived without the stain of original sin, sin mortally, or that they are heretical' who celebrate the office of this same immaculate conception, and that those who listen to the sermons of those who affirm that she was conceived without this sin, sin grievously. . .

"We reprove and condemn assertions of this kind as false and erroneous and far removed from the truth, and also by apostolic authority and the tenor of these present [letters] we condemn and disapprove on this point published books which contain it . . . [but these also we reprehend] who have dared to assert that those holding the contrary opinion, namely, that the glorious Virgin Mary was conceived with original sin are guilty of the crime of heresy and of mortal sin, since up to this time there has been no decision made by the Roman Church and the Apostolic See."

Okay Mike, this decree of Pope Sixtus was uttered a few centuries before the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined. While it remains true that a dogma (such as the Immaculate Conception) was always TRUE, it was not necessarily always proposed by the Church as a dogma.

But according to your perverse position, you would say not only that Pope Sixtus IV was wrong, but that he was encouraging the faithful to be in communion with heretics! But if you are logical and reasonable and VALUE YOUR SOUL, recognize and admit that you are in error in holding that every dogma was a dogma even before it was defined, and that Sixtus IV was correct in saying that people who believed contrary were not heretics, since the Church had never made a dogmatic definition in the matter.

If you can admit all of this, then the final piece of the puzzle is an argument from reason. Here it is: Does the Church proclaim dogmas to help SAVE souls or to DAMN souls?

If you answered the first one, then you must admit that a person can fall into material heresy and remain Catholic, so long as they are not aware of the specific teaching of the Church and so long as it is not a matter contained in the basic Christian creed (that rule of Faith defined at the Council of Florence as "this is the Catholic Faith..." and "the Catholic Faith, whole and undefiled...", and so long as his will is not opposed to the authority of the Church.

However, if you answered the second (that the Church proclaims dogmas to DAMN people), then you have to say that all those people who Sixtus IV said ARE NOT HERETICS, and therefore not guilty of the SIN of heresy, nevertheless became guilty of heresy OVERNIGHT, as soon as the dogma was defined and their opinions, which the night before were merely erroneous, have today become (MATERIALLY!) heretical.

But if you say this you are a schismatic, because you refuse communion with Catholics like myself who recognize and profess this truth (that one may believe in something heretical, but only materially), not out of a desire to favour heresy, or those who believe it, even materially, BUT BECAUSE IT IS THE CORRECT POSITION AND THE ONLY ONE REASONABLE AND CONSISTENT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S THEOLOGY AND MAGISTERIUM.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mike Bizzaro of Immaculata-one is a schismatic

Please also read:
Contra Bizzaro, Material Heresy
Contra Bizzaro, Material Heresy: Supplement
Replies to some lies (of Mike Bizzaro)

The following was a public response sent to Mike Bizzaro, whose website Immaculata-one teaches a false version of the Catholic Faith, one in which a person is a heretic for using the word "Jew" to describe the Old Testament Israelites (despite that Church approved Scripture versions in English use the term over and over), where any Catholic who falls into material heresy is ipso facto excommunicated, even if they have never seen the Church's teaching on the matter, and that anyone at all who holds an opinion which will later be condemned by the Church has heresy, or against a truth which has not yet been dogmatically defined by the Church is a heretic. This includes people such as St. Cyprian before baptism by heretics was defined as valid, or Pope John XXII before it was defined that souls go immediately to the Beatific Vision after death/Purgatory.

His teachings are illogical and demonstrate lack of reasonable and rational thinking. I have been in communication with him over the past several months, and it seemed as though he was a good willed soul seeking to promote the Truth. He had changed his position after being admonished on certain points, while others he left unanswered, and I assumed that he was either researching or praying further on the matter, but reading the email response I received after sending the message contained below (which read only: "Nice try jew" and that was in the subject line - there was no email body text), I have concluded that he is NOT interested in the Truth at all, or else he would at least venture to try to explain to me why he believes I am wrong.

I thank him for helping me to see that Benedict XV was a heretical antipope, but this in itself will not be of any use to him if he does not convert from his schism. Please be aware that I have not spoken to him in such a hard manner up until this email admonition:

Mike and Ms. DePalma, this is David. I am emailing you both to admonish you of the schism you are instigating against Catholic unity. I will respond to what you have said in your email, giving each position the response it demands, and by the way:

Please excuse what might, at first, look like harshness --> The reason for this: Heaven and Hell are forever.

And as it stands right now, you are definitely schismatic and on the road to hell. If I don’t here back from you this time, I am going to publicly denounce you and your website Immaculata-One, on my blog and on ‘Catholic” internet forums, in the hope that poor searching souls will not be dragged into your illogical schism against Catholic unity. Mike, I had realy hoped that I would be linking to your website to BRING people to the Faith, not warn them of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Mike’s last email said:

“All -

Please see attached two files.

I revised the abjuration, and didn't include any of the heresy from Dave such as the:

- "material heresy" heresy which is just the "ignorance saves" heresy in a different package
- Co-Redemptirx (sic) heresy
- "jews" are the people of the Old Testament heresy
- baptism of desire heresy

You can verify this is the case, and easily see the changes - in the file that has the words "blue markup". The original articles are in black and the changed articles are in blue, immediately following.

The file with "Rev 1" in the file name is the updated Abjuration ready for your use, print or e-mail to others.

You should block incoming e-mails from Dave and Franco.

thanks - Mike
Fortress of the just
Pray for us"

In another of Mike's emails:
“ The salvation or damnation of persons does not depend on the date/year when a Catholic doctrine is defined into a formal Dogma.”

Alright, one at a time, here we go (again):

"material heresy" heresy which is just the "ignorance saves" heresy in a different package"

No, Mike, it is not the “ignorance saves” heresy. Your position as a matter of fact is that ignorance of ANY dogma damns.

Are you telling me that a child in Catholic school in the 1700’s who doesn’t realize that the bread in the Eucharist becomes both the Body and the Blood of Christ is non-Catholic and going to hell, or a person who doesn’t realize that baptism administered by heretics is valid when done with the correct matter, form and intention? Or the person who believes Baptism may be received in desire as well as in water? Are you telling me that these people are non-Catholics, even if they willingly believe all the Church teaches, but simply have never seen these teachings? Mike these people, as long as they hold what has been defined as “The Catholic Faith, whole undefiled” are still Catholic, and can be saved.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, ex cathedra: “Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally. The catholic faith is this…” And the Athanasian Creed follows.

Where in this Creed does he say anything about the Eucharist? Or Baptism? It does not. Why? Because these are not “Necessary dogmas” they are not things that every human person must know for salvation. But those things in the Creed are such necessary dogmas, as indicated by the words at the end of it:

This is the catholic faith. Unless a person believes it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

Do you see?

This does not make it an allowable opinion that baptism is invalid when performed correctly by heretics, nor is it an allowable opinion to believe that baptism may be received in desire, nor is it an allowable opinion that the bread becomes only the body and not the Blood also. But a person MUST BE AWARE that their opinion in those matters (or any others not contained in the Creed) is in contradiction to the teachings of the Church in order to be guilty of the sin of heresy. The MATTER is present, which is the mistaken belief, but the FORM is not, which is the movement of the will against what the Church teaches.

“The salvation or damnation of persons does not depend on the date/year when a Catholic doctrine is defined into a formal Dogma.”

This error of yours is closely bound to the one above. According to this belief, anyone who has ever believed a proposition that would later be condemned by the Magisterium is a heretic even if the Magisterium will not speak on the matter for centuries to come.

Do you believe this? Do you also believe, then, that anyone who communes with such a person is also outside of the Church?

According to your schismatic position, then, which has NO PRECEDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, you have to say that St. Cyprian was a heretic, since he believed and taught everyone in his diocese that the baptism administered by heretics was always invalid (which has subsequently been condemned as heresy), and he continued to insist on converts being baptized, even if they already had been.

No Mike. He was not a heretic at all. Pope St. Stephen I admonished him on his belief, he did not change it, and yet he was never excommunicated, and was later canonized. So was Pope St. Stephen I ipso facto out of the Church for KNOWINGLY allowing a "heretical" Bishop to teach and practice his "heresy"?

Or do you pull your head out of your prideful behind and realize that YOU ARE WRONG, and that heresy is only a proposition which is contrary to a doctrine held by the Church as Divinely revealed?

If not, you have to reject every Saint or Church Father or Doctor who has ever taught baptism of desire or baptism of blood, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Alphonsus (who was most likely framed), St. Gregory Nanzianzus, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, etc. etc. Not to mention you have to reject Pope John XXII (22) as a heretic for teaching that the Blessed do not immediately go to heaven after death/Purgatory. I wonder why the Church has continued to recognize these men as Catholic?

“baptism of desire heresy”

You are a liar for saying I hold this heresy. I am a staunch defender of the dogma of the absolute necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism for salvation, as anybody who looks at my blog for more than 60 seconds will realize. Perhaps you included this in your list because of your schismatic false understand of material heresy and of exactly what constitutes heresy?

“Co-Redemptirx (sic) heresy”

Here again is proof that Mike refuses to allow reason to prevail over his irrationality and pride. He has rightly rejected the term "co-Redemptrix" as heretical, but he is in fact illogical in doing so, because he holds that Leo XIII was then a true pope (which is false, Leo XIII was NEVER pope), but completely ignores that the first time that the term "co-Redemptrix" was ever used and defined in the Church was by that very man. Why has Mike not rejected Leo XIII as a heretic if he's so convinced that the term itself is heretical. I had heretically defended the title, and was wrong to do so, and I no longer will defend it.  Please read the article "Blessed Virgin Mary, Co-Redeemer?", and my retractions.

""jews" are the people of the Old Testament heresy”

Okay Mike, you know that heresy is a contradiction to a doctrine that is held as Divinely revealed. So do tell me O illogical schismatic, why then you claim it to be a dogma that a person cannot call the Old Testament Israeiltes “Jews”? You are CORRECT that the jews of today DO NOT WORSHIP God, but satan - so why don't you use those words to express the point? You didn't, instead you went too far with it and came out on the other side as a schismatic for calling people heretics who refer to the Old Testament Israelites as Jews, which is WHAT THEY ARE CALLED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OVER A HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TIMES, let alone the rest of the Bible (hundreds more references to "Jew" and "Jews" always capitalized).

St. John Chapter 4:19-27: "The woman saith to him, Lord, I perceive that thou art a Prophet. Our fathers adored in this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore.

"JESUS saith to her, Woman believe me, that the hour shall come, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem adore the Father. You adore that you know not: we adore that which we know, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now it is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and verity. for the Father also seeketh such, to adore him. God is a spirit, and they that adore him, must adore in spirit and verity.

"The woman saith to him, I know that MESSIAS cometh, (which is called CHRIST): therefore when he cometh, he will show us all things.

"JESUS saith to her, I am he, that speak with thee. And incontinent his Disciples came: and they marveled."

I guess Scripture is wrong? I guess Christ was a heretic?

"You should block incoming e-mails from Dave and Franco."

Who taught you that if you can't answer the charges you should run away? Mike you are leading your own soul and that of Ms. DePalma and anyone who follows you to hell. Your humility is being tested. What you need to do now is TAKE DOWN YOUR SOUL DAMNING WEBSITE and FIX IT according to the correct Catholic positions. As I have shown you, if you want to refuse communion with Franco and I based on your positions, then to be consistent, you also need to refuse communion with St. Cyprian, Pope John XXII (22), Antipope Leo XIII, who you hold to be a pope, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Alphonsus, St. Gregory Nanzianus, and Jesus Christ. Who is left for you to commune with Mike?

“thanks - Mike
Fortress of the just
Pray for us”

I’m sure she is, and so am I. Repent and convert, O prideful man, while there is still time for those prayers to be efficacious.

Sincerely, David.

[Portions of the above have been modified from the original email to reflect our discovery of the heresies of Leo XIII, and some additional weblinks have been added as more research has been included in the blog, and a few typos have been corrected]

Contra Bizzaro, Material Heresy
Replies to some lies (of Mike Bizzaro)

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?