Saturday, March 31, 2018


This damage control from Vatican News is all well and good, but shouldn't a Cardinal, someone like Cardinal O'Malley, a credible corrector of Pope Francis, which motivated Pope Francis to clarify a very serious gaffe in Chile, pressure Pope Francis to do the same on hell?



The Easter Triduum: contemplating Death and Resurrection, Hell and Heaven

The three holiest days in the Church’s liturgical calendar offer an opportunity to reflect on what used to be called “The Four Last Things”: death, judgement, hell and heaven.
By Seàn-Patrick Lovett
It was at a morning Mass in Santa Marta, back in November 2016, that Pope Francis mentioned how the world “does not like to think” about the Four Last Things. The reason, he suggested, is that death, judgement, hell and heaven, are just too scary to contemplate. The truth, he continued, is that if you choose to live your whole life far away from the Lord, you run the risk of “continuing to live far away from Him for all eternity”.

Visions of Hell

Pope Francis has made his personal vision of Hell quite clear on several occasions. During another homily in the Vatican in 2016, he said Hell is not “a torture chamber”. Rather, it is the horror of being separated forever from the “God who loves us so much”. His predecessor, Pope St John Paul II, said something similar in 1999: not so much a physical place, he explained, “Hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy”.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

It was Pope Benedict XVI, in 2007, who said that Hell “really exists and is eternal…even if nobody talks about it much anymore”. When he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, he was responsible for much of the work involved in updating the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The same Catechism not only affirms the existence of Hell and its eternity, but confirms that “the chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God”. 

Death and Judgement

“No one sends you to Hell”, said Pope Francis when he met with a group of children during avisit to a Rome parish in 2015: “You go there because you choose to be there”. That’s how we know the Devil is in Hell, he continued, “because the Devil wanted to be there”. At an Angelus Address in August 2016, the Pope stressed how, at the end of this life, "we will all be judged". But, he continued, "the Lord offers us many opportunities to save ourselves” and, until the end, “He never tires of forgiving us and waiting for us”.

Salvation and Heaven

During the same Angelus Address, Pope Francis confirmed how the most serious and important goal of our human existence is that of achieving “eternal salvation”. "If we are faithful to the Lord”, he said at another Mass in Santa Marta in 2016, we have nothing to worry about. On the day of Judgment "we will look at the Lord" and say: "I have many sins, but I have tried to be faithful". And all will be well: “Because the Lord is good”.


Dom Yves said...

As we see on this very blog, people can read INTO another person's words whatever they want. And sometimes it is pretty fantastic, and I don't mean that in a good way.

Taken what Pope Francis has clearly said about hell, the notion that he has, more recently, denied the existence of hell is, also clearly, absurd.

Were he to say "I know that Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, and that, by aligning my life with His commands, I will see God in the face when I die" there would be some who would take exception, reading into his words something Pelagian, something Manichean, something "Modernist."

Some would complain about the influence on the Pope of 19th century Protestant theologians. That person would conclude, therefore, that the Pope is a heretic.

Some would complain that, since the Holy Father did not express himself in Latin, the "universal language" of the Western Church, he is certainly an undereducated plebian. (It never was the "universal" language, by the way, but the language of the educated clergy.)

Some would, God Bless 'Em, lament that, while saying the above, the Pope was not wearing ermine (or rabbit) fur, not living in the Apostolic Palace, or not being driven about in a Mercedes limousine. Therefore, his words about anything are not to be taken seriously.

Some would complain that the Pope, in his words, had not condemned Pelosi for her stance on abortion. Therefore, his words are meaningless. (This same person would assert, just for good measure, that the Pope is being paid by George Soros.)

It's a great game many commenters play. A great, sad, game.

TJM said...

Dom Yves,

Is that you Kavanaugh? Your commment on Latin is absurd. Latin was employed by scholars, diplomats, and educated lay Catholics for centuries. When the US Government was formed, there was an employee in the Secretary of State's office hired to write diplomatic notes and documents in Latin. Even into the 20th century, many colleges and universities required students to pass a Latin competency test to be admitted. Where do you get your information from? CNN?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, blogs and the new social medias are giving Catholics on the periphery of official Catholicism a voice which was not heard or respected during the great upheavals following Vatican II.

While there is a lot of complaining and whining, one should not be so completely dismissive of those on the margin, the periphery if you will, because their voices may well be the voices of others, the many, who are hesitant to say anything let alone place it into writing.

Pope Francis, a champion of dialogue, should engage these voices and not marginalize them further, symbolically annihilating them as those they cease to exist.

Dom Yves said...

"An" employee of the federal Government.

One. Just One. Universal?

Colleges and Universities required Latin. Okay. What percentage of the population went to colleges and universities? In 1900 2% of the population in the US attended college. Universal?

French, not Latin, was the language of diplomats for almost 200 years. Universal?

What "educated lay Catholic" used Latin in common conversation outside Mass or Latin classes? Universal?

TJM said...

Dom Yves/Kavanaugh,

Thanks for your non sequiturs. It was YOU that asserted that Latin was not a "universal" language because it was only used by the clergy and I simply pointed out your error by a few examples. I would think that even a contumacious bore like you would recognize that Latin, like English today, was a universally employed linga franca.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Dom Yves:

The "nothing to see here" approach on "Hellgate" doesn't really wash, because there is another question that you don't address; but perhaps you will, now? Can you please explain why the pope continues to give interviews to Signore Scalifari, when time and again, the elderly "journalist" makes an embarrassing claim about the pope's words, which the Vatican has to untangle, and then someone like you comes out and says, "nothing to see here," over and over.

How do you explain the pope's decision to continue giving interviews to such an unreliable journalist?

Dom Yves. said...

"Can you please explain why the pope continues to give interviews to Signore Scalifari,..."

Nope. I have no idea.

"How do you explain the pope's decision to continue giving interviews to such an unreliable journalist?"

I don't, nor do I even try. Attempting either or both is a fool's errand.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Well then, Dom Yves, I think there is definitely something to see here. The Holy Father is behaving inexplicably.

TJM said...

Fr. Martin,

You realize you are dealing with the artless dodger, Kavanaugh, don't you?

Mike said...

Dom Yves:

Well, both my mother and my father took Latin in high school. That's as far as Dad got, but Mom continued on to be a nurse and I can tell you that Latin was important for her. So, no, it wasn't just college students who took Latin in the early 20th century; it was quite common in high school as well.

A story from 1965 when I was in high school: At the end of class just before a vacation break the Latin teacher told the class they'd receive extra credit for quickly writing the Lord's Prayer in Latin - the Catholic kids nailed it!

Unfortunately, I didn't take Latin, I took Spanish, and I'm not at all certain that was a net gain. My daughter did take Latin and got a 5 on the AP exam. However, her college (Georgia Tech) had the same modernist bias as Dom Yves and wouldn't let her use it to meet their language requirement.

Dom Yves said...

TJM- How is answering a question directly a "dodge?"

The answer you will most likely be unable to give is, "It is not. I was wrong."

rcg said...

I use Latin every day. Quite a bit. I use it to learn new words. I use it in science and engineering. I use the words of great thinkers to condense and capture a thought I am trying to communicate, although I typically translate it. Yes, I use Latin quite a bit. And for the record some Greek, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. I am not fluent by any means, but the learning and mastering of key words and phrases helps with communication and forming thoughts.

That is why Latin is so important for the Church. It is the “base number system” that allows the construction of a codex for the other languages to compare their interpretations. It has some interesting and sometimes beautiful phrasing. It is vital and not that difficult. I do not think that people who want the vernacular realy want the content of the Mass to be understandable. It is the opposite. They want the Mass to go a thousand different directions and confound any attempt to regulate what is taught in the Mass by hiding behind the huge number of translations to police.

TJM said...

Dom Yves/Kavanaugh,

Well, you were wrong on your Latin assertion, you refused to respond to those who pointed out your error, and you still owe Bee a response and provide her the studies, etc., she asked for to support your other silly assertion

You and Mark Thomas make excellent company because you are both masters of the non sequitur and the dodge

Dom Yves said...

When you go to the store and ask for a pound of ground chuck, do you ask in Latin?

When you call a travel agent to plan a cruise to the Bahamas, do you do your planning with him/her in Latin?

Yes, many of our words are derived from Latin, and we use the occasional phrase in Latin - Tempus Fugit! Carpe Diem! Post Partum. Vice Versa.

Knowledge of a few phrases is not the same as "using" Latin every day.

If you've ever spoken of a Senate filibuster, you've used Dutch. If you've ever bought a seersucker suit, you've used Persian. If you've thought about Gibraltar, you've used Arabic.

But one would hardly claim that using/knowing these terms means you "use" Dutch, Persian, and/or Arabic.

John Nolan said...

Kavanaugh is pathetic. No-one has suggested that PF's words have any less import because of his allegedly poor vestment choice.

Don't argue with him about Latin; his mind is closed. He, Kavanaugh, has stated that it is of no use, or of no significant advantage. Why then did PF celebrate Mass in Latin this morning? And answer came there none.

I am Sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips let no dog bark.

It's a waste of time trying to engage such people in meaningful dialogue. Ironic in that modernists like he purport to value dialogue above all else (as long as it serves to dilute the Catholic faith).

Once again, pathetic.

Dom Yves said...

Hey, John, I didn't say a word about vestment choices...

My mind is open regarding Latin. No one has explained what benefit the use of Latin is with a congregation that does not know Latin. "And answer came there none" to echo a phrase.

How many people understood Pope Francis this morning when he used Latin? Not "How many followed along in a booklet so that they could read what he was saying in a language they understood?"

When did I ever say I valued "dialogue above all else"? Of course, that correction will go without a response...


John Nolan said...

'How many people understood Pope Francis this morning when he used Latin?' So what language should he have used? Perhaps the Gospel could have been chanted in Greek and then in every language under the sun, changing sentence by sentence. You have heard all the arguments for the retention of Latin, from Veterum Sapientia, through Sacrosanctum Concilium up to Pope Francis's recent comments. Yet no argument can dent the carapace of your smug ignorance and obduracy.

I don't use Latin at my local butcher or travel agent. Why should I? However, I do use Latin every Sunday when singing the Ordinary and the Propers at Mass, as does the priest who celebrates it, and the congregation who make the responses, since it happens to be the language of the liturgy.

So 'Dom Yves', whoever you may be, I maintain you are an ignoramus, a philistine, a modernist and quite probably a heretic. However, most commentators on this blog recognize self-serving casuistry when they encounter it, and it would appear that you are in a minority of one.

I suggest you join your fellow heretics over at PrayTell, and perhaps you can take Kavanaugh with you. We are all sick and tired of him.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh and Ruff, posterboys for the term "liberal fascist"

Dom Yves said...

"Even if you are a minority of one it does not make you wrong."

Dom Yves said...

Well, John, I suggest you seek treatment for your "sickness," since two things are not going to change. First, I am not going anywhere. Second, as much as you try to wish it away, or as much as you find it disturbing, there will always be people who disagree with you.

As to the Papal Mass, I suggest that Pope Francis should have considered using Italian in the celebration since, I suspect, the vast majority of those attending the celebration in Rome were Italians.

What you and others routinely overlook, the authority to implement the prescriptions of SC was given to various regional and local groups of bishops. Subsidiarity, we call it.

And a reminder, just because someone disagrees with you and stands up to your pompous pronouncements does not make him or her "an ignoramus, a philistine, a modernist and quite probably a heretic."

Lastly, "And whoever says to his brother ‘Raka!’ will be subject to the Council. And whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hell fire."

Cheers, mate.

TJM said...

Dom Yves Kavanaugh,

So you are repudiating St. John XXIII's teaching in Veterum Sapientia? Why would you want the balance of the crowd to feel "excluded?" Isn't that the greatest sin according to Liberals? Oh, I forgot balkanizing people and creating identity groups is more important than exclusion.

You are a tired, contumacious relic from the 1960s. Thank God they are over and so are you!

Dom Yves said...

The balance of the crowd was not "excluded." They could easily have been given a handy-dandy booklet produced with translations of Italian into the many languages of earth and they could have followed along, as is so often suggested here for those who do not know Latin.

"So you are repudiating St. John XXIII's teaching in Veterum Sapientia?"

First, the Apostolic Constitution VS is a matter of law/discipline. It does not offer us "teaching" in terms of doctrine or Divine Revelation.

There's another famous Apostolic Constitution, Quo Primum, which also dealt is matters disciplinary with which you may be familiar. It contains the very serious sounding, "Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other Churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world."

"Now and forever" But.......

So, no, I am not repudiating VS. There certainly was a time when Latin "united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire." but that is no longer necessary. It may have been thought that Latin " most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples..." but I don't know that that was really the case 1962, as European colonialism and colonial thinking was breathing its last. VS notes that Latin is "immutable" in one place, but then, later, tells us, Latin "...must be furnished with new words that are apt and suitable for expressing modern things, words that will be uniform and universal in their application. and constructed in conformity with the genius of the ancient Latin tongue." No language is "immutable." All language is analogical, and, therefore, mutable.

Linguistic and liturgical disciplines change, as they must, over time.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

Maybe you should inform the Jews and the Greek Orthodox how mistaken they are for adhering to their liturgical languages, because you say so. "It is my opinion, thus it is a fact." There was no compelling reason to stop using Latin as the unifying language of the Roman Rite, precisely because Missals provided the translations, and the loss of our treasury of Sacred Music was phillistine to the nth degree

Dom Yves said...

TJM asserts: "There was no compelling reason to stop using Latin as the unifying language of the Roman Rite,..."

Maybe because it wasn't unifying, unless your idea of a unified Church is priests reading Latin prayers in mostly inaudible voices in front of a congregation that included people reading along in a language they could understand and praying the rosary in their vernacular language, with a few going to confession while the Mass was being celebrated at two or three or more altars around the church, while the choirs sang responses over the heads of those being "unified"...

The synagogues where I live use, for the most part, English.

TJM said...

Dom Yves Kavanaugh,

I had a radically difference experience of the pre-Vatican II Mass than you did apparently. Our normative Mass was the Missa Cantata and I had no problem with understanding what was going on . I suspect people today have far LESS understanding what is going on at Mass because lazy priests do not teach their congregations about the meaning of the Mass. St. John XXIII in Veterum Sapientia said "Latin is the language which joins the Church of today." Nice to know that you can so breazily dismiss a Saint and Pope's teaching. It tells me volumes about your Catholicity which appears to be skin deep.

Dom Yves said...

TJM asserts: "I had a radically difference experience of the pre-Vatican II Mass than you did apparently."

1. It's not about you or your individual experience.

2. I have no recollection of the pre-Vatican Two mass.

I suspect people today have a better understanding of the prayers, the words of the Canons, the hymns, the Psalms, the Scripture readings, and every other part of the mass since it is in a language they can (wait for it) understand the language.

Again, you savage "lazy" priests. I thought you said, regarding clerics, "He's lucky he's a cleric and thus is not subject to the same criteria of we mere mortals."

Seems you have gone up with your own petard - again.

John Nolan said...

'I have no recollection of the pre-Vatican Two mass'.

I have no recollection of the Second World War. However, I have a considerable understanding of it.

Most of the congregation I encounter at Masses in the older form were born after Vatican II.

I don't give a monkey's if priests insist on only celebrating over-the-counter 'liturgies' in the vernacular, or believe that the history of the Church began in 1964, or turn their back on the Church's music - after all, it's better than turning their back on the congregation, innit?

I simply avoid them and treat their jejune arguments with the contempt they so richly deserve.