Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Second Sunday in Lent, Reminiscere

The following is not from a Missal, but is taken from a book by Fr. Leonard Goffine.

Sacraments from Undeclared Heretics - Debate Analysis

Please also read:
Re: “Sacraments from Undeclared Heretics” Debate – The Important Quotes
The Dimond Brothers and their Soul Damning Errors
Heretics will drag you to Hell, "Imposing" or Not
Feast Day of St. Hermenegild

Catholic Marrying Heretics: Forbidden and Condemned

The following article serves to examine and refute claims made by Peter Dimond, which he purports to be a pretense for communicating in the sacraments with heretics.  But after listening to the debate, I can say with equal certainty as before that his arguments are nothing more than the classic distortions, by which the Dimonds habitually deceive their followers.

Furthermore, anyone who has thoroughly absorbed the weight of the Church's teachings on the absence of salvation among heretics and schismatics and those in communion with them will not have been deceived by the distortions offered by the Dimonds.

But first, I will publish an email exchange between Peter Dimond and myself.  It is completely unaltered.  Here is the exchange:

To Dave:

Would you be an interested in a recorded telephone concerning our position on receiving sacraments, etc?

The only condition is that you would not give out your website, you would go by David or David L., and you would address me as Peter if you called me anything.  What do you say?

Also, the debate should be confined primarily to that issue, and not venture into your other views (Leo XIII, etc.), although separate debates on those issues is not out of the question.  We would like to try to confine debates to specific topics.  Perhaps Frank is interested, if you aren't?

Bro. Peter Dimond

A recorded telephone conversation is fine.  I am not interested in formal structures, but a reasonable conversation between men. Surely you will be patient enough to wait for me to prepare my schedule, considering we cannot reasonably foresee the length of the discussion?  It may have to be near the end of Lent, or perhaps after Easter.

I accept no conditions and I make no promises in regard to what I will or will not say, saving only that I will not resort to vulgarity, emotionalism or unseemly speech.  If you feel the need to cut out portions of the conversation once you have your copy thereof, I cannot stop you.

I will call you Peter, because as a man, you have the right to go by whatever name you choose.


May God grant you great graces this lent, unto embracing all the true Catholic positions.


While I appreciate the fact that you are able to discuss my proposal for a debate in more mature fashion, it's obvious that you do not accept the offer to debate that specific topic.

You said:

>>>I accept no conditions>>>>

You don't agree to not give out your website, and you don't agree to debate and stick to that specific topic.  Not giving out your website was a  very reasonable proposal (along with the few others), especially when we consider that (among other things) you took and plagiarized our article on the Apocalypse.  You even removed our names.

I can understand why you don't want to stick to the precise topic proposed.  False positions are more easily hidden when careful examination of the specific issues involved is avoided.  However, I can only extend the offer and I did so.

Bro. Peter Dimond

Nonsense.  The Catholic Faith is the sum of all its parts, thus it would be foolhardy and irresponsible for anyone to premeditatedly confine the subject matter, when ancillary topics may have an important bearing on the main topic.  I have no problem focusing on the topic of your heretical and sacrilegious position concerning the sacraments.  But to say "Oh I promise I won't say anything else," is absurd, when truths and principles of religion drawn from other aspects of the Faith can always serve to reinforce any one particular truth.

I have said I will have a discussion with you, but I suspect you fear mention being made of the MANY instances of your own self contradiction, hence your withdrawal.  Correct me if I'm wrong, by accepting my reasonable terms.  In fact, perhaps I will publicly state my terms for all to see and you may respond as you see fit.  But I will await your private response first.



P.S.  I probably write less than 40% of my articles (I edit 100% of them).  Why?  Because I, like you and every other theologian, saint, scientist, mechanic, engineer, inventor, etc., must stand in (sic - I meant to type "on") the shoulders of geniuses in order to know anything.  If you guys were Catholic, I would just link to your site.  But you are heretics, so sending people to you is like sending lambs to the slaughter. But when you tell some truth, it should not die with you, just because you are liars, but can be presented without the attachment to your errors.

But I find it incredibly telling that you always come back to "our material", "our material", "our material", as though you have some kind of copyright on the truth.  I have my doubts as to whether you have not done the same you are accusing me of anyway. Patrick Pollock comes to mind.  Maybe I'm wrong.  It doesn't matter anyway, it is not an accusation, but an expression of my doubts.

You have made it clear that you will not debate a precise topic.  That's how debates are done, but you can't do that because each time your position is carefully analyzed on any of these topics, it is blown apart.  That's what would happen in a debate, and why you didn't accept such an offer.  You missed your chance anyway, since another radical schismatic accepted the offer to debate the issue and we did so.  It has been covered, and the errors you and others espouse were exposed. 

So, if you post a comment about this matter, be honest and make it clear that 1) I challenged you (not the other way around) and 2) you refused to accept a debate about a topic.  You would only accept some kind of open-ended discussion about your views in general that might touch on the topic, and you accepted no conditions.  That's ridiculous.  People aren't interested in your views in general, and your refusal to debate a topic proves that you cannot hold up to careful scrutiny.  (The fact that your ridiculous views don't hold up under careful scrutiny is clear to anyone who carefully examines your outrageously false assertions and errors on Leo XIII's alleged heresies.) 

As an example, I recently debated someone on Pope Honorius.  While I have other theological disagreements with the individual I debated, we stuck to the topic and didn't get into his various views because it was a debate about a topic.  There was no need to debate all of Michael Creighton's various beliefs.  In fact, if we had veered off into a discussion about our other disagreements then the debate would have been two or perhaps three or even four times as long.  You also refused to not give out your website, so it's a moot point.

As far as my alleged self-contradictions, there are none.  You don't know what you are talking about.  Your views are absurd, and your position and egregious errors were (further) completely exposed in the debate I just engaged in.  There's really nothing else to say on the matter except for this:

You were just as "confident" in your false views when you rejected the sedevacantist position and defended the New Mass.  That was after you had been a sedevacantist and saw all the evidence of the antipopes' heresies.  You were just as "confident" then as you are now.  We also have an e-mail from you to another in which you vehemently asserted that the Council of Trent's text definitely teaches baptism of desire; and now you assert just the opposite.  That's not new information you came across, but looking at the exact same quote you vehemently asserted one thing and now (just as confidently) the opposite.  You have no conviction, and you believe in nothing.

Bro. Peter Dimond

No, I have not made it clear at all that I will not debate a precise topic.  I WILL debate a precise topic.  Now it is clear.

But hat (sic - I meant to type "what") is clear to me is that you are making use of an escape clause in your original email in order to avoid a recorded discussion with me.

Now, rather than respond to the remainder of your distortions, I will merely go to your last email and highlight all of the creative embellishments that you have made (see the highlighting above), wherein you have put words into my mouth which I never actually conveyed to you, but you have instead taken whatever meaning you want to from my words, however incorrect such a supposed meaning may be.  Truly your use of creative licence does not restrict itself to what you call the Catholic Faith.

The remainder of your email, especially where you attack me for sins that I have repented of years ago now, appears as nothing more than hubris to make you feel superior, as though you never found yourself confused and sinful, or as though you never changed a position, or as though you are, were and have always been always right.

Please send me the link to your debate.


Peter was answering my emails well within twenty-four hours or less, but the above email has not been answered.  At the time of this article's publishing, the lapse was going on two days.  He neither replied, nor sent me a link to the debate.

Update, May 22nd: He never answered at all.

Sacraments from Undeclared Heretics

First things first:  We need to do away with any and all arguments that come from the 1917 'Code of Canon Law', since this code was not even promulgated by a true pope, but by the heretical and schismatical antipope Benedict XV.  For this reason, no argument from the 1917 'Code of Canon Law' brought forth by either Peter or Eli need be considered.

Next, we need to establish a few basic principles of moral and sacramental theology, in order to view this debate with Catholic eyes.

First, just to illustrate the difference between power or ability (can), permission or lawfulness (may) and prudence (should), consider the following sentences:

I can eat healthy for dinner.
I may eat healthy for dinner.
I should eat healthy for dinner.

I can eat cake for dinner.
I may eat cake for dinner.
I should NOT eat cake for dinner.

I can eat people for dinner.
I may NOT eat people for dinner.
I should NOT eat people for dinner.

A heretic, so long as his ordination is valid, can effect the sacraments if he uses the correct matter and form of the Church and intends to do what the Church does.  A heretic sins by making use of that power.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 38, Art. 2: "When a bishop who has fallen into heresy is reconciled he is not reconsecrated. Therefore he did not lose the power which he had of conferring Orders [...] Hence others say that they confer the sacraments validly, but do not confer grace with them, not that the sacraments are lacking in efficacy, but on account of the sins of those who receive the sacraments from such persons despite the prohibition of the Church. This is the third and the true opinion."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 38, Art. 2, Obj. 1: "The effect of absolution is nothing else but the forgiveness of sins which results from grace, and consequently a heretic cannot absolve, as neither can he confer grace in the sacraments."

A heretic priest can effect the sacraments.
A heretic priest may NOT effect the sacraments.
A heretic priest should NOT effect the sacraments.

A layman can ask the sacraments from heretics.
A layman may NOT ask the sacraments from heretics.
A layman should NOT ask the sacraments from heretics.

The sole case in which one may ever receive a sacrament from a heretic is Baptism (since it is necessary for salvation), and this ONLY in cases of grave necessity.

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, ex cathedra: "But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity — namely Father, Son and holy Spirit — and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the Church."

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, ex cathedra: "But in case of necessity not only a priest or a deacon, but even a lay man or a woman, even a pagan and a heretic, can baptize provided he or she uses the form of the church and intends to do what the Church does."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Tertia Pars, Q. 82, Art. 7, Reply to Obj 2: "Baptism alone is allowed to be conferred by heretics, and schismatics, because they can lawfully baptize in case of necessity; but in no case can they lawfully consecrate the Eucharist, or confer the other sacraments."

For more in depth discussion and proofs concerning all these statements, please begin at the article: On the Validity of Sacraments.

Analysis of the Debate Between the Heretics
Peter Dimond of MHFM and Markus Eli(as) Talani of Prophecy Film

Overview of Their Positions

He states that as long as a heretic (or schismatic) clergyman is 1) undeclared as such by the lawful authority of the Church, 2) uses a traditional liturgy, 3) is either subtle enough or secretive enough, or 4) deceptively perverts canon laws to support his heresy or schism, then one may lawfully attend his masses and receive sacraments from him - even if you know for certain that he is a heretic (or schismatic).

The logical conclusion of this position, as we will see, is that the Church's prohibition of communing with heretics is not absolute, and that we may ask a man to commit a mortal sin in order to benefit ourselves.

He believes that if one knows that a clergyman is a heretic, it is forbidden to ask the sacraments from him.  This is the true position (sadly Eli failed miserably to refute Dimond's lies, and is heretical and schismatic on other issues).

This is not an exhaustive analysis of everything that was said in the debate, as much of the interaction between the two men was either frivolous, negligible or repetitive.  However, the main points brought up by Peter have been presented and refuted.

Dimond Lies about The Council of Constantinople
Around 6:00 in the debate

Peter Dimond tries to argue that the Council of Constantinople's canon 6 gives credence to his sacrilegious position of receiving sacraments from undeclared heretics and schismatics.

Constantinople, Canon 6: "There are many who are bent on confusing and overturning the good order of the Church and so fabricate, out of hatred and a wish to slander, certain accusations against orthodox bishops in charge of churches. Their intention is none other than to blacken priests' reputations and to stir up trouble among peace-loving laity."

This context for the canon is important.  Remember it.  The canon continues.

"[...] But if the charge brought against the bishop is of an ecclesiastical kind, then the characters of those making it should be examined, in the first place to stop heretics bringing charges against orthodox bishops in matters of an ecclesiastical kind. (We define "heretics" as those who have been previously banned from the church and also those later anathematised by ourselves: and in addition those who claim to confess a faith that is sound, but who have seceded and hold assemblies in rivalry with the bishops who are in communion with us.)"

So Dimond completely omitted the bolded portion of the canon, which says nothing at all about formal excommunication.  Already we can deduce that Peter was gambling on Eli's ignorance of this Catholic quotation in order to build up his sacrilegious position.

It is also worth noting that self professed Catholics who adhere to the heretical antipopes fit the definition of heretics given above, par excellence, in that they "claim to confess a faith that is sound" and "hold assemblies in rivalry with the bishops who are in communion with" the true Pontiffs.  For example, did Benedict XVI himself not say that Vatican II was a "counter-syllabus", that is to say a RIVALRY against the salutary condemnations given against modern errors by Pope Pius IX?  Yes he did.  Publicly and openly.

The canon continues:

"In the second place, persons previously condemned and expelled from the Church for whatever reason, or those excommunicated either from the clerical or lay rank, are not to be permitted to accuse a bishop until they have first purged their own crime."

Most importantly, the context of this canon is disciplinary and has to do with preventing heretics from accusing bishops.  It has nothing to do with the reception of sacraments, and Dimond is grasping at straws.  However, this is an example of how the Dimonds 'win' their debates.  They present portions of quotations to their opponents, which superficially sound like they support their argument, but when taken in context, either do not support it at all, or even contradict it.

The rest of the canon:

"Similarly, those who are already accused are not permitted to accuse a bishop or other clerics until they have proved their own innocence of the crimes with which they are charged. But if persons who are neither heretics nor excommunicates, nor such as have been previously condemned or accused of some transgression or other, claim that they have some ecclesiastical charge to make against the bishop, the sacred synod commands that such persons should first lay the accusations before all the bishops of the province and prove before them the crimes committed by the bishop in the case. "

This Council is not describing heretics for any other purpose but to denote the types of people who are to be prevented from bringing charges against a bishop.  It has nothing to do with who you can pray with or receive the sacraments from.  It is a disciplinary matter dealing with accusations against Bishops.

Dimond resorts to the false "Imposing or not/Declaration" argument
Around 9:30 in the debate

Peter said that you can acknowledge someone as a heretic without a declaration, but he thinks there is no obligation to avoid them without a declaration.  He argues that canons such as Ad Evitanda Scandala, from Pope Martin V at the Council of Constance means that a heretic, who one knows to be a heretic, may nevertheless be communed with if he has not been declared against, so long as he can "conceal" or "excuse" his heresy in law.  

Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Ad Evitanda Scandala, 1418: "To avoid scandals... no one henceforth shall be bound to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration or reception of the sacraments... save the case of someone of whom it shall be known so notoriously that he has incurred the sentence passed by the canon for laying sacrilegious hands upon a cleric that the fact cannot be concealed by any tergiversation nor excused by any legal defence. For we will abstinence from communion with such a one, in accordance with the canonical sanctions, even though he be not denounced."

Note: Tergiversation is the act of practicing evasion or of being deliberately ambiguous.  So if the heretic conceals is heresy by tergiversation, then he has made statements that hide the fact that he is a heretic.  Such a heretic would not be publicly heretical, since public heresy is not concealed at all, is it?  Otherwise it would be private, secret heresy.

But Peter goes on to elaborate on this decree, giving it his own (false) interpretation, in which he says that such notoriety that it cannot be concealed or excused in any way is the ONLY case in which one must avoid HERETICS.  Now first of all, the decree does not specifically state heretics, but only those excommunicated, and as you may know from listening to the debate , there are other causes for which one may be excommunicated than heresy alone, such as by disobeying discipline or committing scandalous public mortal sin.

Peter says that only those heretics that are "out front and open" about their heresy must be avoided.  Then he says a good example would be the Eastern "Orthodox".  Well the fact is that any sect that teaches heresy in their public literature, or publicly claims communion with the antipopes would qualify as "out front and open."

Peter says there is a distinction between heretics who are under Benedict XVI and the Eastern "Orthodox", as though the Vatican II religion is somehow any less blasphemous than the Eastern "Orthodox".  The fact is that the Vatican II religion is (if it were possible) MORE blasphemous!  I have not yet heard of an "Orthodox" teaching that they share the same God with Muslims, have you?

So Peter's argument that there is a difference in the level of "up front and openness" about their heresy or communion with heresy fails dramatically.

When Peter said "conceal their heresy in law, and it renders them less notorious", he perverted the words of the decree Ad Evitanda Scandala, which said: "save the case of someone of whom it shall be known so notoriously that he has incurred the sentence passed by the canon for laying sacrilegious hands upon a cleric that the fact cannot be concealed by any tergiversation nor excused by any legal defence"

Now think about the decree.  What does it say?  It says that there is no obligation to avoid such people if they cannot be pinned to the crime for which they would excommunicated [especially that of striking a cleric] because they are cleverly evasive and therefore successfully conceal the fact so that you cannot even know it, OR if their action was excusable in law, not "concealed in law" as Dimond perverts it.

How can one be excused from excommunication for striking a cleric?  Let's ask St. Thomas Aquinas:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 60, Art. 1, Obj 3: "Now if the husband strike a cleric whom he found with his wife he is not excommunicated. [...] This does not prove that it is lawful simply, but that it is lawful as regards immunity from a particular kind of punishment, since excommunication is also a kind of punishment."

So again, Ad Evitanda Scandala is referring to a LEGITIMATE legal defence, not some false argument like "I can't judge the pope", or "Vatican I requires perpetual successors".  Peter KNOWS that both of these are false arguments and do not constitute excuses in law, but he throws them out for our consideration anyway, as though the Church was granting licence to commune with criminals who pervert the laws and doctrine of the Church.

Arius and the Arians claimed that they had an "excuse in law" to believe and teach that Jesus Christ was not God.  So is it lawful to commune with them, because they pervert and distort the decrees to suit their heresy?  No.  The law NEVER permits heresy.  Period.  Therefore Arius does not have a legitimate legal defense for his ravings, and so a canon like Ad Evitanda Scandala has NO RELATION to communing with someone like Arius and the Arians (public and knowable heretics and schismatics) in the sacraments.

Dimond obstinately holds to his error on the Fourth Lateran Council;
"Struck with the sword of anathema"
Around 20:00 in the debate, and again around 55:00

He starts by quoting the Council saying: "Let such persons be avoided by all until they make adequate satisfaction", in an attempt to argue that the obligation to avoid is only enjoined upon those who have been individually declared against by name.  He says that the term "struck with the sword of anathema" means a formal declaration, which is true, but he then takes the matter further by saying that the declaration must be applied to the individuals themselves, before the precept of avoidance takes hold.

But this is contrary to decrees of the Church.  For starters, the Fourth Lateran Council decree he is referring to begins in the following manner: "We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy raising itself up against this holy, orthodox and Catholic Faith which we have expounded above. We condemn all heretics, whatever names they may go under."

Two things ought to be noted here.  The first is that this solemn condemnation ex cathedra is directed at "all heretics, whatever names they go under".  In other words it includes both formally, individually condemned heretics and heretics that have never been proceeded against by law, and who may not even be yet known to the Church. Secondly, this is as formal a declaration as you can ever ask for.  It is not a condemnation of a specific individual, but is indeed a formal declaration against "every heresy" and "all heretics".  By this decree (and many others), not to mention by Divine Law, they have ALL been struck with the sword of anathema.

For further proof of this, we quote the authority of the Church yet again:

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, ex cathedra: "The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy. What reply can such people make to the Apostle when he writes: As for someone who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned"

In the above quote it is obvious that the obligation to avoid heretics has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the heretic has been formally condemned, but ALL heretics must be avoided, and the pope refers this directly to the authority of the Apostle.  Again, note that pope Vigilius explicitly states "even though he has not been formally condemned" and then reiterates the Apostles teaching to avoid such a person: "have nothing more to do with him".  One could not ask for a more explicit teaching which so clearly refutes the Dimonds' heretical and schismatical madness.

This also serves to refute Dimond's trivial argument about Pope Leo X and Fifth Lateran Council, in which he argued that the use of the word fore meant "to be about to be" declared against. Sure, maybe the individual heretics are about to be declared against formally, but as Pope Innocent III formally declared: "We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy raising itself up against this holy, orthodox and Catholic Faith which we have expounded above. We condemn all heretics, whatever names they may go under"; and Pope Vigilius authoritatively stated: "The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual... after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him".

ALL heretics have been struck with the sword of anathema.  As soon as you know they are heretics (by admonishing once or twice), you must avoid them.  And do not think that you can avoid the responsibility of admonishing, in the hope that your (wilfull) ignorance of their obstinate heresy will get you off the hook.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologic, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 10, Art. 7: "[I]t is necessary to dispute in public about the faith, provided there be those who are equal and adapted to the task of confuting errors; since in this way simple people are strengthened in the faith, and unbelievers are deprived of the opportunity to deceive, while if those who ought to withstand the perverters of the truth of faith were silent, this would tend to strengthen error. Hence Gregory says (Pastor. ii, 4): "Even as a thoughtless speech gives rise to error, so does an indiscreet silence leave those in error who might have been instructed.""

Pope Innocent IV, First Council of Lyons, AD 1245: "[T]o be unwilling to disquiet evildoers is none other than to encourage them, and... he who fails to oppose a manifest crime is not without a touch of secret complicity..."

Does the Church use the term "heretic" differently at different times?
Around 25:00 in the debate

Peter Dimond's position is that "heretic" has two different sense, one in its dogmatic decrees and another in its ecclesiastical decrees.  He claims that in dogmatic decrees it refers to all heretics, but in ecclesiastical sentences only to those who are declared against.

This is partly true, in that ecclesiastical sentences do not grant the licence to act legally against someone who is an undeclared heretic, and for good reason:  The faithful would then be tempted to take the law into their own hands and drive out heretics, who may yet be converted (or other Catholics with whom they have a quarrel, in which case they could say "Well he's a heretic!").  So ecclesiastical sentences do not permit heretics to be acted against temporally unless they have been marked by the Church.

But to extend this and say that one may pray or commune with heretics who are undeclared is gratuitous folly.

Peter's argument is that Leo X, in Exsurge Domine, condemned Martin Luther, a heretic whom he had previously tolerated, and that for some reason this supports his notion that one may partake in sacraments with heretics.

But this is complete nonsense.  It is not the declaration of the Church which condemns a man who is heretical, but it is the Divine sentence of anathema, as noted above in the Second Council of Constantinople.  Toleration of errors (that is a period of time of inaction on behalf of the Church's authority) does not equate to a licence for the faithful to partake of the errors or to commune with the heretics, but is only a grace period for the heretic to amend before he is temporally acted against.

Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine: "As far as Martin himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors?"

At this point, the pope decided to act against Martin Luther so that the full temporal force of Christendom would be brought to bear upon him, whereas prior to this, the pope hoped that (even though Luther was already a heretic) he might gain the conversion of his one-time son, and now spiritual rebel.

Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine"Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation"

But this does not mean that the faithful would have been permitted to commune with Luther before this.  Such an implication would mean that men are permitted to expose themselves to damnation.

No, if men knew on their own that he was a heretic, they would be bound to denounce and avoid Martin Luther, or anyone else that they knew to be a heretic.  In fact, here is a proposition that was condemned, which supports this assertion:

Pope Alexander VII, Decrees of Sept. 24, 1665: "Although it is evidently established by you that Peter is a heretic, you are not bound to denounce [him], if you cannot prove it." - CONDEMNED

Ironic that the name Peter was used!

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople: "If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinarius Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their heretical books, and also all other heretics who have already been condemned and anathematized by the holy, catholic and apostolic church and by the four holy synods which have already been mentioned, and also all those who have thought or now think in the same way as the aforesaid heretics and who persist in their error even to death: let him be anathema."

Mixed Marriages

Only very briefly, Dimond brought up the Sacrament of Matrimony, mixed marriages to be exact, as an example of "permission" by the Church to commune sacramentally with heresy. I will simply quote an article on mixed marriages, and then make one brief comment.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Mixed Marriage: "Technically, mixed marriages are those between Catholics and non-Catholics, when the latter have been baptized in some Christian sect. The term is also frequently employed to designate unions between Catholics and infidels. From the very beginning of its existence the Church of Christ has been opposed to such unions.

"[...] As regards marriage with an infidel, the early Church did not consider such unions invalid, especially when a person had been converted to the faith after such marriage. It was hoped that the converted wife or husband would be the means of bringing the other party to the knowledge of the true faith, or at least safeguarding the Catholic upbringing of the children of the union. 

"[...] By degrees, however, the objection to a marriage between a Catholic and an infidel grew stronger as the necessity for such unions decreased, and so in the course of time, more by custom than by positive enactment, the impediment of disparitas cultus making such marriages null and void began to have force."

"[...] Marriages, however, between Catholics and heretics were not subject to the same impediment. They were held as valid, though illicit if a dispensation mixtæ religionis had not been obtained. The opposition of the Church to such unions is, however very ancient, and early councils, legislated against marriages of this character.

"[...] As to a mixed marriage contracted before a non-Catholic minister, Pope Pius IX issued an instruction, 17 Feb., 1864. He declared that in places where the heretical preacher occupied the position of a civil magistrate and the laws of the country required marriages to be entered into before him in order that certain legal effects may follow, it is permitted to the Catholic party to appear before him either before or after the marriage has taken place in presence of the parish priest. If, however, the heretical minister is held to be discharging a religious duty in such witnessing of a marriage, then it is unlawful for a Catholic to renew consent before him as this would be a communion in sacred things and an implicit yielding to heresy."

Just as a catechumen would have been permitted to join parts of the Mass, on account of his placing himself in subjection to the Church (by which fact he is agreeing to be subject to the rites of the true religion and the true God), the mixed marriage was only ever permitted when the non-Catholic spouse pledged complete spiritual subjection to the Church in all things relating to the marriage, namely agreeing to raise the children Catholic, to let them attend Catholic school, Catholic worship, and promised to keep silent about any heresy.  In other words, mixed-marriages, when allowed by the Church, were NOT communion with heresy (since heresy was given no voice or freedom whatsoever), but a complete subjugation of the heretical spouse to the Catholic spouse in all matters of religion, insofar as the contract of marriage was concerned.

Please also read:
Summo Iugiter Studio
Quas Vestro
Magnae Nobis

You would have to reject Pius X and XI...
Around 36:30 in the debate

This interesting statement on behalf of Peter Dimond is based on Eli's false understanding of schism. Peter, unfortunately, did not present a correct understanding of it either. But Eli actually makes a good point, starting at 39:00. However, the argument was missing the point that a pope, being the head of the religion, cannot be in schism merely for professing communion with a heretic (so long as he does not explicitly state: I agree with the following views of this man), since, as the head of the religion, he is not claiming subjection to a false religious head.

So if antipope Pius X claimed subjection to antipope Leo XIII (which he did), then he is schismatic on this account, whereas he could never be called schismatic for professing communion with such and such a heretical bishop any more than Pope Leo X could have been called schismatic for delaying in excommunicating Martin Luther.

But Peter and Elias were arguing about a supposed principle, in which schism would work its way up, rather than down. This does not work. Schism begins with a superior, otherwise a person would have to argue that any time a person assisted at a Mass and a heretic sat somewhere in the church the Catholics at the Mass have committed schism. Or the priest has committed schism if he did not stop the Mass and expel the heretic.

If a clergyman is heretical, and his adherents, who profess to be Catholic, remain in communion with him, that is when they are in schism. But here again, the only way that they are actually guilty of the sin is if they can and ought to know that their religious superior is heretical. But since we cannot read hearts, we must obey the admonishment of Pope Pius IX:

Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: "Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains 'we shall see God as He is' (1 John 3.2), we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is "one God, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4.5); it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

So, while Pius X and Pius XI were indeed schismatic (and heretical), it is not for the reasons mentioned by Peter and Elias, but for their subjection to Leo XIII, who was a manifest heretic before ever being "elected", and was thus never pope.

Dimond lies about St. Thomas
Around 50:30 in the debate

Peter Dimond brings up St. Thomas and cites a select few isolated excerpts, from Supplemental Part, Question 38.  But this very part of the Summa refutes his own position!

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 38, Art. 2, Obj. 1: "The effect of absolution is nothing else but the forgiveness of sins which results from grace, and consequently a heretic cannot absolve, as neither can he confer grace in the sacraments."

Truly, one has to ask the question:  WHY would anyone want to go to heretics if they are incapable of conferring grace?

Graves Ac Diuturnae
Around 1:05:00 in the debate

Eli brings up an encyclical of Pope Pius IX, entitled Graves Ac Diuturnae, and quotes it at Peter.

Eli, quoting Pius IX: "You should remind them to beware of these treacherous enemies of the flock of Christ and their poisoned foods. They should totally shun their religious celebrations, their buildings, and their chairs of pestilence which they have with impunity established to transmit the sacred teachings. They should totally shun their writings and all contact with them [you, of course, deny this]. They should not have any dealings or meetings with usurping priests and apostates from the faith who dare to exercise the duties of an ecclesiastical minister without possessing a legitimate mission or any jurisdiction. They should avoid them as strangers and thieves who come only to steal, slay, and destroy. For the Church's children should consider the proper action to preserve the most precious treasure of faith, without which it is impossible to please God..."

But Peter's response was incredible!

He actually said: "That's a quote I found by the way!" (1:05:25 in the debate)  He continues: "And that's important to mention because once we posted it and I spent the time to research and find it, then it appears on whatever twenty, twelve different rogue sites and they quote it against me - wrongly. It's just ridiculous.  But he's talking about the "Old Catholics", okay.  The "Old Catholics" are notorious in law, because they're being declared to be avoided by this declaration, and they're notorious in fact, because they openly, without concealment, reject Vatican I."

First we recall the beginning of the Fourth Lateran Council: "We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy raising itself up against this holy, orthodox and Catholic Faith which we have expounded above. We condemn all heretics, whatever names they may go under."

Then we see that this gives notoriety in law to any heretic at all who can be known as a heretic, who is open about his heresy and does not try to conceal it, whether he has been declared against individually or not.  And again, any heretics who publicly spout their heresy, for example in their public literature, on websites, in pamphlets available at Mass, even their sermons (which are often recorded and transmitted through various media, including the internet), MUST BE AVOIDED.

Remember, Dimond perverts the statement "excused in law" into "concealed in law", and argues that a person who is heretical may somehow be communed with, so long as he can come up with some perverted but false argument from canon law or the decrees of the Church.  Remember, the term used in the Council was excused in law, which means only one thing: exactly what it says, that is, a LEGITIMATE excuse in law, which a heretical proposition or teaching NEVER has.

One May NEVER Commit Evil That Good May Come

Romans 3:7-8: "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, unto his glory, why am I also yet judged as a sinner? And not rather (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil, that there may come good? whose damnation is just."

St. Augustine, To Consentius, Against Lying: "Let us do evil that good may come? A thing which you see how the Apostle detests."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, Q. 84, Art. 4, Obj. 5: "That a man commit a sin with a good intention, seems to point to ignorance, in so far as he knows not that evil should not be done that good may come of it."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 64, Art. 5, Obj. 3: "Again it is not lawful for anyone to take his own life for fear he should consent to sin, because "evil must not be done that good may come" (Romans 3:8) or that evil may be avoided especially if the evil be of small account and an uncertain event, for it is uncertain whether one will at some future time consent to a sin, since God is able to deliver man from sin under any temptation whatever."

Now those who believe that it is permissible to ask the sacraments from a heretic, are evidently blind to this Catholic truth, because most assuredly, they are asking another man to sin mortally.  It is a sin for any heretic to perform any sacrament, other than Baptism, and this only in cases of necessity.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Tertia Pars, Q. 82, Art. 7, Reply to Obj 2: "Baptism alone is allowed to be conferred by heretics, and schismatics, because they can lawfully baptize in case of necessity; but in no case can they lawfully consecrate the Eucharist, or confer the other sacraments."

"No case" means not even when asked by a layman who cannot find a non-heretical priest.  That means that even when asked by such, the heretic would still be committing sin by doing so.  And surely most readers are familiar with the following quotation from the Ecumenical Council of Lyons:

Pope Innocent IV, First Council of Lyons, AD 1245: "[T]o be unwilling to disquiet evildoers is none other than to encourage them, and... he who fails to oppose a manifest crime is not without a touch of secret complicity..."

Now how does a person avoid the culpability described by Pope Innocent if he goes to a heretic and asks for the sacraments?  Answer:  He does not avoid culpability at all.  If he truly opposed the manifest crime of a heretic performing the sacraments, he most certainly would not receive them at his hands, let alone ask him for absolution, which, as we have seen, he is INCAPABLE of bestowing.

Consider Dimond's position when expressed more simply:

Peter Dimond's position on notoriety and the (alleged lack of) necessity to avoid undeclared heretics is this:  The more subtle and sneaky the heretics, the more permissible it is to go to them and ask them to commit the mortal sin of effecting the sacraments.

I answer him and all those who follow him in this perverse compromise against sound Faith: Do you or can you know the priest is a heretic?!  THEN GET AWAY FROM HIM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND YOUR OWN SOUL, ARE YOU STUPID OR CRAZY!?  You are in schismatic communion with heresy and ASKING to be even more greatly deceived and damned!"

Final note:  I fell for the Dimonds' lie once too (before I started this blog).  I was stupid.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

The Dimonds have evidently read this article, and have put together a liar's retort. I have addressed their falsehoods here.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God

Please also read:
Conspiracies of the Jews

This article is a reiteration and expansion on the one entitled: Be Subject to Higher Powers, Render to Caesar, in which the exposition of St. John Chrysostom on Romans 13 was put forth for consideration.  Herein, we will find St. Thomas Aquinas further expounding upon and supporting what St. John Chrysostom has said concerning "higher powers".

Romans 13:1:Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.

Those who would say that this means that all civil governments in the world must be obeyed in all things fail to understand the teaching of St. Paul to the Romans, whose context is clearly shown forth in the verses which follow.

Romans 13:2-5: “Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.”

It is clear that the purpose of the power ordained of God is the promotion of the common good and the thwarting of evil.

But when a person who holds a public office should use the power that he has received contrary to the common good, then there is no longer a duty of conscience to obey them and the “laws” they institute for their own personal gain or for the persecution of men, but rather we may indeed resist them, since they are now acting contrary to their ordination, that is, they are acting as a terror to the good work, but not to the evil.  Yes we may lawfully resist such powers, nor will we purchase damnation by doing so.

If that seems like a shock, then let us consider the following:  Satan is described as a higher power.

Ephesians 2:2-3:And you, when you were dead in your offences, and sins, wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief:”

Ephesians 6:12: "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places."

But we must resist Satan.

Ephesians 6:13: "Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect."

St. James 4:7:Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you”

Why, then, should an earthly power be treated any differently?  Again, when God has revealed the purpose of the higher powers, and St. Paul tells us that it is to act as a terror not to the good work, but to the evil, then it is clear that no power is ordained of God that is a terror to the good work.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 69, Art. 4: "Wherefore even as it is lawful to resist robbers, so is it lawful, in a like case, to resist wicked princes"

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 92, Art. 1: "For if the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on true good, which is the common good regulated according to Divine justice, it follows that the effect of the law is to make men good simply.  If, however, the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on that which is not simply good, but useful or pleasurable to himself, or in opposition to Divine justice; then the law does not make men good simply, but in respect to that particular government. In this way good is found even in things that are bad of themselves: thus a man is called a good robber, because he works in a way that is adapted to his end.

Hence St. Paul's teaching to the Romans has nothing to do with obedience to arbitrary or unjust government, but to government which deliberately effects its Divinely ordained purpose:  To make men good and to punish evildoers.  The government that has this in view and acts accordingly ought to be obeyed as justice demands, but the unjust may be resisted.

We know that this is the right way to understand St. Paul, in that he gives the faithful an example of an unjust ruler whom he himself resisted:

2nd Corinthians 11:23-33: "At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me.  And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands."

And God Himself has intervened, by the agency of angels, when rulers were acting as a terror to the good:

Acts of the Apostles 12:1-11: "And at the same time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him.

"And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out, he followed him, and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the angel departed from him.

"And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."

While it is true that all power comes from God, it does not follow that every exercise of that power is ordained of God.  Ordination means actively instituted or established for a set purpose.  Since we reject the Calvinistic heresy that proposes that God ordains men to commit sins, or that God actively created evil, then we know also that no power that is evil and persecutes the good is positively ordained of God.  Satan was created and ordained by God for good, but became evil by his own malice, thus forsaking his ordination.  It is for this reason that St. James tells us we must resist him, although by creation he is a prince, an angel and a higher power.

It is a firmly rooted and established principle, even as far back as the Old Testament, that earthly powers are ordained of God for a set purpose:

3 Kings 10:9: "Blessed be the Lord thy God, whom thou hast pleased, and who hath set thee upon the throne of Israel, because the Lord hath loved Israel for ever, and hath appointed thee king, to do judgment and justice."

There it is simply and perfectly in line with the teaching of St. Paul.  The king (earthly power) is ordained not to steal your property or redistribute wealth, not to take away men's God given natural rights, not to bully, oppress, persecute or tyrannize, but to do judgment and justice.

The First Recorded Divine Institution of Government was REPRESENTATIVE Government

Deuteronomy 1:13-17: "Let me have from among you wise and understanding men, and such whose conversation is approved among your tribes, that I may appoint them your rulers.

Note the words of Moses: "approved among your tribes".  That is to say that the tribes approved and authorized the rulers who were then given power and authority - in other words  it appears from this passage that the power of governing the people is subject and subservient to the approval of the same people, for the common good.

But how can we recognize whether a power is ordained of God, or whether it is an unlawful tyranny?

Seven Biblical Characteristics of Ordained Governance

1.  Protect the Innocent 

4 Kings 24:3-4: "And this came by the word of the Lord against Juda, to remove them from before him for all the sins of Manasses which he did. And for the innocent blood that he shed, filling Jerusalem with innocent blood: and therefore the Lord would not be appeased."

Manasses, which means "he that causes to forget", caused the Israelites to forget God, and shed much innocent blood, hence it is clear from the above verse that in this he was NOT a power ordained of God, acting in many ways contrary to His laws.

In laying down the laws for judges, the Lord gave the following:

Exodus 23:7: "Thou shalt fly lying. The innocent and just person thou shalt not put to death: because I abhor the wicked."

2. Protect the Freedom and Rights of the People

Our God given natural rights are clearly enunciated among the Ten Commandments, and summed up by Jesus in the following verse from St. Matthew's Gospel.

St. Matthew 7:12: " All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets."

God is an impartial lawmaker, and makes no distinction in these commandments between people of different gender, class or nationality.  If a person shares human nature in common with any other, then he has the right not to be violated, period.

Proverbs 22:2: "The rich and poor have met one another: the Lord is the maker of them both."

Pope Pius IX, Nostis et Nobiscum, #20: "[I]t is likewise a mark of the natural, and so of the immutable, condition of human affairs that even among those who are not in higher authority, some surpass others in different endowments of mind or body or in riches and such external goods; therefore it can never be lawful under any pretext of liberty or equality to usurp or injure in any way the good or rights of other men. Divine precepts on this subject are clear and can be found throughout the holy scriptures. They forbid us strictly even to desire the goods of other men, much less seize them."

3. Provide Justice, Judgment and Equity

Jeremias 22:2-3: "Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Juda, that sittest upon the throne of David: thou and thy servants, and thy people, who enter in by these gates. Thus saith the Lord: Execute judgement and justice, and deliver him that is oppressed out of the hand of the oppressor: and afflict not the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, nor oppress them unjustly: and shed not innocent blood in this place"

4. Give fair trials to all who are accused
And do not sentence those who have no accuser

Deuteronomy 19:16-20: "If a lying witness stand against a man, accusing him of transgression, Both of them, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord in the sight of the priests and the judges that shall be in those days. And when after most diligent inquisition, they shall find that the false witness hath told a lie against his brother: They shall render to him as he meant to do to his brother, and thou shalt take away the evil out of the midst of thee: That others hearing may fear, and may not dare to do such things."

"St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 67, Art. 3: "Objection 1. It would seem that a judge may pass sentence on a man who is not accused. For human justice is derived from Divine justice. Now God judges the sinner even though there be no accuser. Therefore it seems that a man may pass sentence of condemnation on a man even though there be no accuser.

"On the contrary, Ambrose in his commentary on 1 Corinthians 5:2, expounding the Apostle's sentence on the fornicator, says that "a judge should not condemn without an accuser, since our Lord did not banish Judas, who was a thief, yet was not accused."

"I answer that, A judge is an interpreter of justice. Wherefore, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 4), "men have recourse to a judge as to one who is the personification of justice." Now, as stated above (Question 58, Article 2), justice is not between a man and himself but between one man and another. Hence a judge must needs judge between two parties, which is the case when one is the prosecutor, and the other the defendant. Therefore in criminal cases the judge cannot sentence a man unless the latter has an accuser, according to Acts 25:16: "It is not the custom of the Romans to condemn any man, before that he who is accused have his accusers present, and have liberty to make his answer, to clear himself of the crimes" of which he is accused."

5. Provide Expeditious Due Process of Law

Deuteronomy 25:1-2: "If there be a controversy between men, and they call upon the judges: they shall give the prize of justice to him whom they perceive to be just: and him whom they find to be wicked, they shall condemn of wickedness. And if they see that the offender be worthy of stripes: they shall lay him down, and shall cause him to be beaten before them. According to the measure of the sin shall the measure also of the stripes be..."

A government that deprives individuals of their rights without due process of law is a government devoid of justice.  All men's rights are to be respected and cannot be removed by any other man.  When lawful government provides a just and fair hearing or trial, however, it is competent to determine whether or not a man has forfeited his rights through crime.  Only then may the State lawfully remove a man's freedom/property/life, as the severity of his crime dictates.  It is nevertheless the prerogative of the State to exercise mercy if it will, although this mercy may not be exercised in such a manner as to put others in danger (e.g. letting a hardened murderer or rapist go free).

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 69, Art. 3: "Now when a judge oppresses anyone unjustly, in this respect he departs from the order of the higher authority, whereby he is obliged to judge justly. Hence it is lawful for a man who is oppressed unjustly, to have recourse to the authority of the higher power, by appealing either before or after sentence has been pronounced. And since it is to be presumed that there is no rectitude where true faith is lacking, it is unlawful for a Catholic to appeal to an unbelieving judge, according to Decretals II, qu. vi, can. Catholicus: "The Catholic who appeals to the decision of a judge of another faith shall be excommunicated, whether his case be just or unjust." Hence the Apostle also rebuked those who went to law before unbelievers (1 Corinthians 6:6)."

6. Punish evildoers

Genesis 9:6: "Whosoever shall shed man's blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God."

If a man has purchased goods or services worth an ounce of silver, then naturally he pays with an ounce of silver or something of equal value.  But if a criminal steals, then the criminal forfeits his natural right to whatever may already be in his possession of equal value - in addition to the value that the lawful authorities determine is sufficient compensation for the hardships the criminal has imposed upon the victim (or his family, nation, etc.).

Likewise, if a man murders his brother, then he has forfeited his natural right to what he possess of equal value to his brother's life, namely he has forfeited his own life.  As such, the State that opts to exercise capital punishment does not murder, but quite simply provides justice, which by definition is the rendering of what is due.  Simply put and in accordance with Scripture, the man who sheds  another's blood, owes his own blood.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 69, Art. 4: "Objection 1. It would seem that a man who is condemned to death may lawfully defend himself if he can. For it is always lawful to do that to which nature inclines us, as being of natural right, so to speak. Now, to resist corruption is an inclination of nature not only in men and animals but also in things devoid of sense. Therefore if he can do so, the accused, after condemnation, may lawfully resist being put to death."

"On the contrary, The Apostle says (Romans 13:2): "He that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation." Now a condemned man, by defending himself, resists the power in the point of its being ordained by God "for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of the good" (1 Peter 2:14). Therefore he sins in defending himself.

"I answer that, A man may be condemned to death in two ways. First justly, and then it is not lawful for the condemned to defend himself, because it is lawful for the judge to combat his resistance by force, so that on his part the fight is unjust, and consequently without any doubt he sins.

"Secondly a man is condemned unjustly: and such a sentence is like the violence of robbers, according to Ezechiel 22:21, "Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey to shed blood." Wherefore even as it is lawful to resist robbers, so is it lawful, in a like case, to resist wicked princes; except perhaps in order to avoid scandal, whence some grave disturbance might be feared to arise."

7. Protect State Borders

Acts of the Apostles 17:26: "And hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation."

Just as the State must provide judgment and justice within its borders, it must likewise secure its borders against unjust foreign attack.

Rulers have the power and responsibility to keep a nation prosperous by wisely attending to its borders, in matters of commerce as well as security.  When States offer greater protection and rights to aliens or criminals than to the people lawfully living and working within and supporting the State through honest enterprise, then it is reasonable to recognize that there is a subversive element in government acting unjustly, contrary to the common good and to the demise of well ordered prosperity.

Subjection to Government is a Debt Owed for Service Rendered

Does all this mean that we can ignore everything that is decreed by a sinful ruler?  God forbid!  Every man has sin, and so if the answer to this question were in the affirmative, then there would be anarchy.  But whenever a ruler would propose to bind us in some way contrary to the laws of God, then it is abundantly clear that we do not owe him obedience in such a case.

In the very same passage where St. Paul entreats every soul to be subject unto the higher powers, he clearly established that they are ordained of God when they act in accordance with the natural law principles of rulers upholding the common good and punishing evildoers.  He says so quite explicitly:

Romans 13:6-7: "For therefore also you pay tribute. For they are the ministers of God, serving unto this purpose. Render therefore to all men their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom honour."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 25, Art. 1: "[W]e fear a man, or love him on account of what he has of God; as when we fear the secular power by reason of its exercising the ministry of God for the punishment of evildoers, and love it for its justice: such like fear of man is not distinct from fear of God, as neither is such like love."

Do we owe Satan any dues?  Obviously not.  Is he a higher power?  Well he has more power than us mortals, that's for sure.  Is he ordained of God?  Not since he turned his power to oppression, persecution and tyranny, otherwise, we would still owe him the same dues, the same fear, the same custom and the same honour that we owe, for example, to St. Michael the Archangel, or that we owe to other saints and angels in Heaven.

Why then would it be any different concerning the powers of the earth, than it is with those of the air?

It is when "serving unto this purpose", that is the purpose of upholding the common good and punishing evil, that they are rightly called "ministers of God" to whom we ought to be subject "for conscience' sake".  We give them this subjection as it is due to them, a debt we owe them in return for their just exercise of office, for protecting us from evil and promoting the common good.  When they become the evildoers themselves, transgressing the law, oppressing the poor, murdering the innocent, robbing their fellow man and spurning justice, then it is quite manifest that they are NOT ordained of God, but have rejected His very word and the very purpose for God's ordination of a civil power.  In short, they have rejected the duty imposed upon them by the Natural Law.

1 Kings 15:23: "Forasmuch therefore as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king."

Our Rights not trumped by any Government

What you and I do not have the right to do against others individually, the government does not have the right to do against us, neither individually, nor collectively, neither through deceit nor through coercion, and it is always just as lawful to resist an evil and unjust government as it is to resist any other evil and unjust aggressor.  Remember, the government is made up of men, whose rights do not trump yours.

Romans 2:11: "For there is no respect of persons with God."

Acts of the Apostles 5:29: "We ought to obey God, rather than men."

Yet in blatant violation of God's law, the modern state, often under threats of economic bullying from its elite banker creditors, extorts an excess of property from its citizens in the form of exorbitant taxation and socialism, conscripts its citizens to fight illegitimate wars, and employs coercion to guarantee its own bloated bureaucracy. The modern state is really nothing more than a legalized tyranny, which has developed a habit of forcing its wishes on the people and even on other nations. This is the cause of the majority of wars, though this cause has been dressed up to appeal to certain ideologies,  e.g. "defending human rights," "preventing ethnic cleansing," and so on.

Stalin's justification for his totalitarian perversion was high-sounding: "We must free the world's workers from capitalistic exploitation."  Stalin was a monster at the head of legalized tyranny.

The recent American wars against Iraq and Serbia are not materially different from and Stalin's invasion of Hungary. Both employed the power of coercion to impose their will on another nation. Both Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic may have been dictators who routinely deprived their citizens of life, liberty, and property, as all tyrannies tend to do, but the American bombing missions did not solve this problem.  They instead deprived many more people of life, liberty, and property, and they do not restrict this behaviour to their conquests overseas.

Presently, Nearly EVERY World Power Fits the Definition of a Tyranny

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Prima Secundae Pars, Q. 92. Art. 1: "A tyrannical law, through not being according to reason, is not a law, absolutely speaking, but rather a perversion of law [...] Since then every man is a part of the state, it is impossible that a man be good, unless he be well proportionate to the common good: nor can the whole be well consistent unless its parts be proportionate to it. Consequently the common good of the state cannot flourish, unless the citizens be virtuous, at least those whose business it is to govern."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Prima Secundae Pars, Q. 105. Art. 1: "Objection 5. Further, as a kingdom is the best form of government, so is tyranny the most corrupt. But when the Lord appointed the king, He established a tyrannical law; for it is written (1 Samuel 8:11): "This will be the right of the king, that shall reign over you: He will take your sons," etc. Therefore the Law made unfitting provision with regard to the institution of rulers.

"Reply to Objection 5. That right was not given to the king by Divine institution: rather was it foretold that kings would usurp that right, by framing unjust laws, and by degenerating into tyrants who preyed on their subjects. This is clear from the context that follows: "And you shall be his slaves [Douay: 'servants']": which is significative of tyranny, since a tyrant rules is subjects as though they were his slaves. Hence Samuel spoke these words to deter them from asking for a king; since the narrative continues: "But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 42, Art. 2: "A tyrannical government is not just, because it is directed, not to the common good, but to the private good of the ruler, as the Philosopher states (Polit. iii, 5; Ethic. viii, 10). Consequently there is no sedition in disturbing a government of this kind, unless indeed the tyrant's rule be disturbed so inordinately, that his subjects suffer greater harm from the consequent disturbance than from the tyrant's government. Indeed it is the tyrant rather that is guilty of sedition, since he encourages discord and sedition among his subjects, that he may lord over them more securely; for this is tyranny, being conducive to the private good of the ruler, and to the injury of the multitude."

 In Conclusion

Dear reader, it is for you to discern how this applies in your own relationship with those who claim government over you.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 67, Art. 1: "Objection 1. It would seem that a man can justly judge one who is not subject to his jurisdiction.

"I answer that, A judge's sentence is like a particular law regarding some particular fact. Wherefore just as a general law should have coercive power, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. x, 9), so too the sentence of a judge should have coercive power, whereby either party is compelled to comply with the judge's sentence; else the judgment would be of no effect. Now coercive power is not exercised in human affairs, save by those who hold public authority: and those who have this authority are accounted the superiors of those over whom they preside whether by ordinary or by delegated authority. Hence it is evident that no man can judge others than his subjects and this in virtue either of delegated or of ordinary authority."

Note: there is a difference between this kind of judgment that St. Thomas is referring to, that is juridical judgment, and epistemological judgment or discernment.  Not just any man can make a legal pronunciation or impose penalties, but all men have the right to make value judgments and to judge between truth and falsehood.

So be subject to the higher powers who have a lawful right to govern and who enforce the true law, knowing that you may resist only those acts and statutes which are contrary to justice, and those which have no jurisdiction over you.  Do this with the utmost of prudence and solicitude, and never forget that God is the highest power, to whom you must always be subject; His ways are always just.

Deuteronomy 32:4: " The works of God are perfect, and all his ways are judgments: God is faithful and without any iniquity, he is just and right."

Romans 8:28: "And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints."

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?