Escaping Pain

Escaping Pain

Aleteia is running a priestly advice piece on suicide, and predictably it does everything humanly possible to make killing oneself seem anything but damnable.  It even presents a picture of a woman who seems to be submerged, as if drowning.  If only suicide were drowning!

A writer asks Fr. Mike Schmitz if those who commit suicide ‘automatically’ go to Hell.  Who asks questions like this?  Does anyone believe that Hell is automatic?  Isn’t Christ our judge? Mercy is always possible for those who can truly repent but reiterating that incessantly undermines Church teaching. We have our Church to show us what we should expect, and what not to presume.

Catholics must take an absolute stand against every form of suicide. Suicide is “contrary to the love of God.” It is truly evil. Now, please understand me here. In saying that suicide is evil, I am not saying that the person who commits suicide is necessarily evil. But anyone can choose to do evil actions. There are some actions which are evil in and of themselves, regardless of motivation or circumstance. Of these, suicide is one.

Suicide is always bad, but people…people are not bad, OK.  This confusing modern mantra makes Catholics think they’re all going to Heaven.  People can be called bad when they are vicious, meaning they have acquired many vices.  That’s what a bad person is.  Everyone is redeemable, but some can truly be called bad until the point when they are not.

And for these people who are never really bad and who commit suicide, there are all kinds of extenuating circumstances.

If a person freely chose to kill himself, fully knowing that he was saying “no” to God, and he died unrepentant, all signs point to eternal separation from God. But here’s the deal: we don’t know a lot of that information. I don’t know if his will was truly free (the person may have suffered from “grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture”…these can lessen their responsibility (cf. CCC 2282). I also don’t know the person’s degree of knowledge; did he know that he was not simply “escaping pain,” but was in fact choosing something contrary to God’s love? And lastly, none of us have any way of knowing if the person repented before death. There is an ancient saying in the Church, “We don’t know what happened between the bridge and the water.” This indicates that you and I have no clue if the person we love regretted the decision and turned back to God at the last minute. There are stories of many people who survived attempted suicides, who found themselves praying that God didn’t let them die even after they jumped, or swallowed the pills, or used other means.

Why is the bar so, so low today?  Committing suicide is absolutely one of the worst things a person can do and honestly, when did psychology ever begin to be a factor in someone’s culpability?  Didn’t they just invent it?

Another mitigation is this lack of knowledge.  People who kill themselves don’t really know it’s bad today, and people don’t know what marriage is either, and they don’t know all the sexual sins are wrong any more, and on and on.  Why do we even teach anyone the Faith?  If we left them all blissfully ignorant they could sin miserably their whole lives and then sail into Heaven!  You don’t even have to be part of the Church so long as you’re nice.

It’s like we’ve developed a new doctrine of excuses.  Can we really expect to get to Heaven with a pocketful of explanations? No. but we can surely go to Hell preaching laxity, presumption, and hyper-mercy.


They call me Communist because I'm all about social action!

They call me Communist because I’m all about social action!

FrancisChurch may seem like a completely new kind of Catholicism, but it’s not new.  The more you learn about it, the more you can see it’s all been done before.  In Kerknet Google Translation we read: before new ‘martyr’ Oscar Romero has even been beatified yet another ‘saint of the people’ has emerged from the Pope’s Latin America; home of  the poor, the poor, the poor and the oppressed….oh and the marginalized.

Mgr. Fernando Antônio Saburido OSB, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife (Brazil), Rome has asked for permission to his archdiocese the beatification process for Dom Helder Camara, the legendary “bishop of the poor”, to boot. Rome investigating the case. So wrote the French newspaper La Croix ‘Monday.

Can you imagine if our Lord in His day went around bleating continuously about the poor and their evil oppressors?  Instead of dying on a cross he might have lived to be ninety like our new FrancisChurch saint.

Dom Helder Camara (1909-1999), the symbol of liberation theology in Latin America, the firm took on the poor. In 1964 he became Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, in one of the poorest regions of Brazil. He left the Archbishop’s palace and went to live in a slum.

No Pope should live in the Pope’s house and no archbishop in the archbishop’s house!  What do you think I am, an archbishop?  I’m not one of those evil elitist Church-people you know.  The poor are at the center of MY Gospel.

Dom Helder Camara founded a seminary where the formation of the priest candidates in social action was as important as the theological formation.

Let me see.  Theology is about God, Truth, and the Catholic Faith. Social Action is about radical agitation, envy, guerilla  war, and Communist thuggery.  He’s right!  They are equally important!

He opposed the then military dictatorship in his country when the military him as ‘communist’ and ‘demagogue’ labeled. “When I give food to the poor, they say I’m a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they say I’m a communist, “said Dom Helder Camara then.

Wait a minute, that’s the Pope’s line, yes?  Communism stole the Catholic flag.  It’s just Christianity.  All I do is love the poor and people call me a Communist. I thought Pope Francis made that up?

Is there a slight chance that people called Oscar Romero, Dom Helder Camara, and Pope Francis Communists because they act like Communists, not because they love the poor?  Is it possible to love the poor without raving against the unjust system like a Communist? Can people who are neither poor themselves nor socialists actually love the poor?

No. It’s not possible.  In that 1970’s Latin American world of Pope Francis there was either the Church of the Poor or the greedy enablers of the repressive murderous ‘military dictatorship’ (many of whom respected the rule of law and were actually faithful Catholics).

In 1979, Pope John Paul II brought openly tribute to Dom Helder Camara, during his visit to Brazil, but in 1985 appointed Msgr. José Cardoso Sobrinho as his successor. And that immediately made a tabula rasa of everything Dom Helder Camara had built.

Once again John Paul II turns out to be one of them.  He must have been in the pocket of the U.S. money-machine backing all the Latin American oppressors.  Thank goodness the Church is finally free from their influence and we can go back to moving forward, ever forward even more toward the people!

The only issue here is that Camara can’t be a ‘martyr’ because he wasn’t shot.  Get ready for Dom Helder’s miracle.


Take that jar and raffle it!

Something for the raffle

The Palm Sunday Gospel, the story of Jesus’ Passion, begins with the a clear example of the difference between the true Church and the kind of thing that lurks around today.

When he was in Bethany reclining at table
in the house of Simon the leper,
a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil,
costly genuine spikenard.
She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.
There were some who were indignant.
“Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages
and the money given to the poor.”
They were infuriated with her.
Jesus said, “Let her alone.
Why do you make trouble for her?
She has done a good thing for me.
The poor you will always have with you,
and whenever you wish you can do good to them,
but you will not always have me.
She has done what she could.
She has anticipated anointing my body for burial.
Amen, I say to you,
wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world,
what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Although this passage doesn’t mention him, the other Gospels indicate Judas was of the opinion that the perfume should have been sold off and given to the poor.  He thought it wrong to honor Our Lord in this way.

Judas was jealous.  He was embarrassed by the woman and he thought this an ostentatious show.  He was materialistic and openly challenged Jesus to make a ‘preferential option for the poor.’

The woman, who may have been St. Mary Magdalene, was focused on Jesus, on his life, his body, and, as Our Lord says, His burial.  She was worshiping Him for His own sake and sparing no expense to do it.

Is this woman not like those who love the Holy Mass said in beautiful churches, where we honor God in the way He wants, being present before His sacrifice?

And is Judas not like those who want to make the Mass ‘for the people;’  stripped down, profane, and vulgarized, in ugly utilitarian buildings?  Such Christians would replace loving doctrinal obedience to God with simple ‘service’ to others.

Finally, like Judas, those who make the Faith into ‘a Church of the poor and for the poor’ where ‘the poor are the center of the Gospel,’ always seem to be the ones who want to control other people’s money, to enable the state, and participate in their ‘service’ programs.  They attack profit and ownership, calling it oppression.

Judas held the money so he felt bold enough to tell even Christ what to do with possessions.   Judas also stole from the purse just as governments steal through high taxes, unjust regulations, debt, and inflation; all in the name of ‘the poor’ and service.

In the next passage today at Mass, Judas moves to betray Jesus.  Is this not perhaps how our Church is betrayed from within in our day – by materialists and thieves?

In His time Our Lord would not allow Mary’s worship to be denied.  Who defends her today in His name?