Dress for Success … in Getting to Heaven

 

What a long and sad and unfortunate road we have traveled to arrive at this profligate state of mind today, regarding modesty in women’s clothes.  Our Blessed Mother warned us of this danger when she appeared at Fatima and said unambiguously that more souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than any other sin.

The standards of modesty in women’s clothes have been challenged for many decades, in the beginning by a relatively few filmmakers and other exploiters.  However, people in those arguably simpler times recognized these challenges for what they were – deliberate titillation by evil people.  And this defiance of traditional norms was always (rightfully) considered as sinful and unacceptable to public morality.

The entertainment industry was possibly the greatest promoter of the slide into public immodesty.  The shockingly revealing gowns that actresses wore were viewed with a wink and a nod; but of course, no decent woman would have thought of wearing them.

Possibly as a sop to mild disapproval of this trend, Hollywood created a Censor’s department, called the Hays Office, which was charged with overseeing costumes and dialogues and situations that might offend public decency.  It would be hard to pinpoint exactly when the Hays Office gave up on enforcing its mandate, but the standards of modesty were relaxed, probably in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and then all but done away with in the following decades.

The Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency held on and held out a little longer.  This organization was responsible for directing Catholics to avoid certain movies, whether for immodest costumes or for plots that contained issues contrary to Catholic doctrine, e.g., approval of divorce, suicide, abortion.

At this point, there were still some who were trying to stem the tide of liberalism.  For example, in the early ‘50s, the good nuns in the Catholic high schools were trying to hold the line and protect young girls from veering off the road of virtue by wearing more revealing prom dresses.  The nuns actually stood at the doorways of gyms decorated for proms and checked the girls as they entered with their dates.  If a dress was too bare, they were given a little (frilly or lacy) jacket to wear.  Or at least a stole.

But sensitivity to virtue and morality was allowed to fade out of existence, presumably because the conciliar church itself was less interested in holding the line against the rising tide of immorality.  As our society, in general, became more licentious, it was easier for the church to relax its vigilance than to have to fight the popular trend – toward more daring women’s clothes, for example. 

This disturbing trend persisted into the ‘60s (roughly the onset of Vatican II), when those standards began to nose-dive.  Women were encouraged to “express themselves” and taught that short skirts and abbreviated clothing were the best way to get men’s attention, and a short-cut to a date, a job, or whatever.  (And the “whatever” was not necessarily a stroll through the park.)

In today’s world these aberrations occur at every turn, not only in the media, the entertainment industry, the fashion world, and advertising in general, but also in the grocery store, the high school football game, the girl next door walking to the mailbox, the waitress in the restaurant, the teller at the bank – pretty much everywhere.  A person is hard pressed to avoid it.  That is a sad indication of how far society has left commonsense and moral standards behind. 

Another major player in furthering this disintegration of morality has been the media.  In its many diverse forms, the media reaches into the homes and minds of millions of people every day, not the least of which are the young people who tried to emulate what they saw on the old MTV shows, or Dancing With the Stars, or even the pretend “athletes’ competitions” (which are mere excuses to show the scantily-clads).

The advertising industry, too, must share the blame for its creating more and more explicit ads, with clever ways to attract people, particularly young impressionable teens.  They have no shame when it comes to appealing to prurient interests.  (Many years ago, I walked in the door of a Penney’s store and was faced with a manikin dressed only in skimpy bikini underwear.  [Is there any other kind of bikini?].  I thought sadly of any young boys [or worse, older ones!] who would unavoidably face this model when merely trying to buy some athletic socks.  I went to the Manager and told him how strongly I objected to this – it wasn’t even as if it were in the Lingerie Dept.—but money speaks louder than morals, and it accomplished nothing.  However, we must try, right?)

Another point to be considered is that our society has been brainwashed in so many ways that beliefs held not so long ago have softened to the point that people no longer object to things that our common sense tells us are of course wrong, (read immoral).  For example: People generally understood that there was a direct correlation between how you were dressed and how you were treated. If you were dressed like a tramp, you might be treated like a tramp.  But along came the Feminists who stridently insist that women have a right to dress as they want, and are not to blame if men see their tight, low-cut dresses as a come-on.  They demanded that foolish men who succumb to their temptations be held to account for acting on these weaknesses and be subject to the law.  Well, of course they must be accountable to the law!  But oh, what hypocrisy to pretend that women are innocent in this little charade!

One of the saddest parts of this is that society has allowed itself to be bullied into accepting this situation.  By loudly demanding the “right” to wear what they want to wear, the Feminists shout down anyone who objects, and the mainstream media tamely goes along with this.  And worse, the conciliar church fails to mount any sort of effective opposition.

So, it is clear that Catholic parents can no longer look to society’s fading standards to help instill the virtue of modesty in their children, nor to the human element of the Church for forceful support in inculcating purity into their sons’ and daughters’ hearts and minds.  Even the N-SSPX is not very vigilant in insisting on modest skirt lengths on their girls’ uniforms.  The idea of uniforms is a good one, but the Society fails to demand that hems be universally set at a modest length.

Short skirts can easily lead to other compromises with modesty; for example: skirts that seem to be at a modest length but that ride up when the girl is seated.  Or skirts that might be long enough but that are too tight.  These can be a step toward off-the-shoulder and see-through blouses, low necklines, and too-tight knits. 

These styles are so common and our senses so dulled that people must be reminded that they are sinful styles.  People have become so conditioned by television and movies and the print media to accept them.  And almost nobody is stressing to women and girls that whether or not they are affected by what they are wearing, males definitely are.  Which leads to the unavoidable point that such immodesty may be a mortal sin not only for the girl/woman, but may be responsible for mortal sins of any and all boys/men who succumb to impure thoughts or actions because of them.

So, we can see that immoral dressing is sinful on multiple levels:

  It leads to other sins, e.g., pride, vanity.

  It could very likely be the cause of sin for boys who witness her sinful dress.

  It most certainly can cause scandal.

  It sets a very bad example for others, particularly younger siblings and/or classmates.

Often a girl begins to dress immodestly because she thinks everyone is dressing like that, and she wants to be popular.   Her parents must help her to understand that no matter how other girls dress, and no matter what other people do, she must be true to her Faith and to herself.  She couldn’t do better than to model herself after Our Blessed Mother.

If parents are consistent in their rules and requirements, and these are presented with obvious love and the best intentions, children are much more apt to accept them.  Resignedly perhaps, but trusting that their parents know better.

 One of the most important words in that paragraph is the word consistent.  It cannot be stressed enough that parents must be consistent.  They must be true to the directions, rules, and restrictions that they have laid down for the family.  They can’t discipline a son for missing his deadline one time and then let it slide the next. 

They can’t guide a daughter to modesty by letting her buy the shorter skirt “just this one time” because “it’s such a cute pattern and it looks so cute on her.”  Children aren’t ignorant; they can easily see through the inconsistency in the rules, and it merely sets the stage for next time getting away with it.  This, not so incidentally, will eventually lead to the demise of family rules.   It is merely the first step into the liberal quicksand.

Children aren’t ignorant; they can easily see through the inconsistency in the rules, and it merely sets the stage for next time getting away with it.  This, not so incidentally, will eventually lead to the demise of family rules.   It is merely the first step into the liberal quicksand.

Therefore, the single most important point of this article is that parents must re-claim the role of defender of modesty, arbiter of “fashion,” and guardian of purity.  

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

If we tried to stand as brave men in battle, the help of the Lord from heaven would surely sustain us.  For He Who gives us the opportunity of fighting for victory, is ready to help those who carry on and trust in His grace.

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis, Book I, Ch. 2.

CC in brief — November

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

CC in brief

Q.  There are various groups, e.g., PETA (which stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”) that seem to condemn as wrong the killing of animals.  Can we sin by being cruel to animals?

A.  We can only sin against a person, not directly against property.  Animals (i.e., brute beasts) are property, usually belonging to a particular person.  We can no more sin against an animal than we could sin against other kinds of property, viz., a plant or a non-living body.  However, if we mistreat any kind of property this can be a sin against its owner.  For example, if we cut down the tree in our neighbor’s yard, this can be a sin against him. 

Further, any harm we do to any kind of property can be a sin against God, the Creator, in two ways:

1.    It can be a sin of wasting the good gifts of God, if we unreasonably destroy them. 

2.    If we needlessly cause an animal (even a pest) to suffer, not for the purpose of killing it, but purely for the sake of causing that animal to suffer, e.g., to torture a housefly simply because we want it to suffer, that is a sin of showing contempt for their Creator and is a sin against God.

The Conciliar Church is Anti-God and is a Cult of Man

The Conciliar Church is Anti-God and is a
Cult of Man

All religions – with the notable exception of the Catholic religion – are man-made.  The Catholic Faith was established by God to give grace for the salvation of souls.  This salvation is accomplished mainly through Our Lord’s Passion and Death, renewed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

The Second Vatican Council’s conciliar church has an anti-God Cult-of-Man service which they deceptively call “the mass” but which gives no grace.  Without grace, one loses the Faith.

Webster’s Dictionary tells us a cult is a faddish devotion.  It is the faddish devotion of man in the conciliar church service.  Speaking for the council, at its close, Pope Paul VI addressed the “modern humanists” (an anti-God movement) and told them that “we too, in fact, we more than others, honor mankind.”

Below is a partial list of facts of the Catholic Tridentine Sacrifice of the Mass and Sacraments, along with the Faith-destroying changes made by the conciliar church to their anti-God Cult-of-Man service and sacraments.

  Fact #1:  The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearance of bread and wine.[1]   St. Paul implies this when he says, “We have an altar (i.e., not a table) from which they (i.e., the Jews) have no right to eat”.[2]

Faith-destroying Change #1:  The conciliar “mass” is not a sacrifice but a meal on a table, not an altar.  It is an occasion to socialize, i.e., shake hands, hug and kiss, and be entertained.  It sometimes features dancing girls or clowns, for example.  The priest is “the presider.” 

  Fact #2:  In a Catholic church, the Tabernacle – which holds the Body and Blood of Our Lord – is in the center of the altar, at the front of the church, for maximum attention and worship.

 

Faith-destroying Change #2:  In a conciliar church they moved the Tabernacle to one side, almost out of sight and all but forgotten.  This clears the table and re-focuses attention on the meal.

  Fact #3:  The main purposes of the priesthood are “to offer (the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass), bless, preach, and baptize” [3] (i.e., all Sacraments).

Faith-destroying Change #3:  In the conciliar church meal, the “cook” is called the presider and sits on a “throne” in place of the Tabernacle that was moved off to the side.  Almost anyone can preach from the pulpit, male or female.  Diversity is all-important.  You can be certain that the sermons will be liberal and modernist.

  Fact #4:  For a Tridentine Mass, there is always strict silence in order to move the mind and heart to worship and pray.

 

Faith-destroying Change #4:  Silence at the meal is not necessary for those in attendance.  Instead they are asked to shake hands, hug, or kiss to promote friendliness.

  Fact #5:  Mass attendance is required every Sunday and Holy Day for all baptized Catholics, especially those who are 7 years old or older.

Faith-destroying Change #5:  Attendance at their “mass” is treated as not obligatory – you are “required” to attend only if you really want to.  Or as they say, if it’s “meaningful to you”.  You’re not obliged to go if you really want to do other things instead.  However, conciliar leaders start to push for attendance if the collection basket runs too low.

  Fact #6:  You always dress for Mass in clothes that demonstrate your respect for Christ the King, Whom you will receive in Holy Communion.

Faith-destroying Change #6:  Dress as you wish, for comfort or according to the latest fad.   Anything goes; modesty is irrelevant.

  Fact #7:  Only devout, holy, and religious music is allowed in order to ensure that the best that man has to offer is presented to our Creator.  It is designed to be prayerful and to lift hearts and minds to God.  It is principally a cappella or is accompanied by an organ. 

Faith-destroying Change #7:  The musical instrument of choice at their “meal” is the guitar, playing the latest fad tunes.  Worship and prayer are not involved, so the latest tune is best for entertainment.

  Fact #8:  In the Sacrament of Confession, we accuse ourselves of our sins to a priest who has the authority to give absolution.[4]  The penitent must accept and complete the penance given.

Faith-destroying Change #8:  One “has a discussion with” a priest to help the person to reconcile with his fellow man (not with Our Lord).  Because the conciliar church teaches that no one goes to hell (i.e., universal salvation), God is not involved.

  Fact #9:  The priesthood is reserved specifically for male persons because Our Lord decreed this while on earth, when founding His Church.  This includes restricting servers and acolytes to boys.

Faith-destroying Change #9:  In the conciliar church females serve, preach, and distribute communion.  (!)  In some dioceses, there are women priests (undercover for now, but not for much longer).  And as for the communion they distribute in conciliar churches, it is an interesting fact that those who promote the black mass do not want conciliar hosts because they don’t think they are really the Body and Blood of Our Lord.  They want Hosts from a valid Tridentine Mass.

The conciliar church, without grace, has lost the Faith and destroyed the human element of the Catholic Church, along with all its affiliated religious organizations (e.g., the missions, the schools, the seminaries, the convents).  Without grace and with the resultant loss of faith, don’t expect anything but faith-destroying liberalism, modernism, and heresies from the hierarchy in Rome until the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, after the consecration of Russia. 

Isn’t it amazing (really shocking) how the devil and church leaders in Rome were able to convince the vast majority of Catholics to give up the teachings of their Catholic Faith and join the conciliar church with all those faith-destroying changes?  It is even more painful that the now-liberal N-SSPX wants very much to be “recognized” and accepted as part of this evil Cult-of-Man conciliar church.  How can they possibly want to make a deal with them?  But they do.

We must pray and do penance to offset such evil!  We must also fight against the conciliar church wherever possible for it is an evil new church from the Second Vatican Council, deceptively called “Catholic,” but which it is so in name only.

 




[2]           Hebrews, 13:10.

 

[3]           Catholic Dictionary, Addis & Arnold, Catholic Publication Society, 3rd ed., New York, 1884, article: Priest, Christian, page 691.

[4]           Catholic Dictionary, Addis & Arnold, Catholic Publication Society, 3rd ed., New York, 1884, article: Confession, Sacramental, page 206.

 

God Simplifies the Truth and We Can Delight in It

God Simplifies the Truth and

We Can Delight in It

 

Objective truth series reflection #16

In our most recent reflections, we have considered how we use our reason to come to conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth.   God fills us with the hunger and thirst for more truth.  Furthermore, He gives us satisfaction when we use our reason.  This satisfaction makes it easier to fulfill our moral obligation to use our reason.

Yet the term satisfaction does not seem to go far enough in describing a further benefit that God bestows on us.  This benefit is, namely, that He simplifies the truth and then we can take delight in seeing the truth simplified.

Our use of reason is a remarkable thing.  As was explained in Reflection #14, we gather information and have a sort of mental discussion about the facts.  We then draw conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth.  Over time, as we ponder truths, these truths sink more deeply into us.  They get absorbed slowly like successive drops of water into a sponge.  In this way, the truths become more and more a part of us and are like second nature.  Hence, we acquire a greater love of these truths which have become part of us.

Also, gradually, as we draw more and more conclusions, we can see connections and relationships between things which we never realized were connected before.  We come to see a bigger picture.  Hence, we acquire a more objective view.

In this way, we become more like God and the angels because they see things all at once.  Yet, for us, because we come to know things by reasoning in steps, when we get a more objective view, we have a pleasing enjoyment in our newfound knowledge.

To illustrate this, let us consider what it is like to be in a hot air balloon.  When the balloon is still on the ground before it lifts, everything around us looks large and complex.  As the balloon lifts and pulls away from the earth, the objects from this vertical position appear to be sinking lower and lower. They also look like they are shrinking and getting stunted. From our angle peering over the side of the balloon basket, everything becomes smaller and smaller and things takes on a fore-shortened appearance.

As the flight upwards continues, the objects and the landscapes below now look like a patchwork quilt.  They become less distinct and defined as they diminish in size, but the relationships between things becomes clearer.  Hence, our view becomes simpler.  We have a sense of amazement and delight in seeing how many things are brought together in a simple and orderly fashion.

As a consequence of this astounding simplification, the soul sees the wonder of God’s Providence in creating man to be the type of creature able to use reason and come to know things objectively.  The more objective a man’s view is, the more he appreciates the omniscience and omnipotence of God.  Hence, the result is delight, as well as an increase in the love of God.  Even though words cannot express our delight fully, our hearts still ache to capture it in words – such as the following:

Use of reason for man is this,

His highest, most powerful tool,

By use of it brings man much bliss,

Without it, he becomes a fool.

So, when facts are pondered, one finds,
They draw one, to a proper end,
Bringing him to truths, of all kinds,
Showing reason—a precious friend!

O’er time with practice of using,
The intellect e’er, more and more,
Connections ‘tween things start fusing,
Making things simpler than afore.

Just as an air-balloon lifting,
May make things around look askew,
The mind as it were things sifting,
Brings on a more objective view.

The soul has this, to now enjoy,
Of seeing things, in a new way,
And thankful is man, to employ,
His reasoning, from day to day.

How great God is, to give us such,
A wonderful gift, of our soul,
Which should remind us, oh so much,
That heaven is our, one true goal.

This would make us, ever exclaim,
Keep lifting me, O Lord I pray,
I do aspire to, have the aim,
To seek heaven, every day.

Though unworthy, I know I be
To ask now, such a bold request,
I want to dwell, e’er with Thee,
To become, Thy eternal guest.

Oh, grant Lord, my lowly prayer,
And make me, more like Thee,
To see the truth, that looks so fair,
When with, objective view, I see.

Gratitude can, have no bound,
For such a grand gift, bestowed,
Of seeing links, which so astound,
And to Thee, all my love, is owed!

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

The Holy Rosary, indicating our future salvation or damnation

St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort writes:

Here is what our Blessed Lady revealed to Blessed Alan de la Roche as recorded in his book, The Dignity of the Rosary: “Know, my son, and make it known to all, that lukewarmness or negligence in saying the Hail Mary, or a distaste for it, is a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation, for by this prayer the whole world was restored.”  …

On the other hand, we know from experience that those who show positive signs of being among the elect, appreciate and love the Hail Mary and are always glad to say it. The closer they are to God, the more they love this prayer, as our Blessed Lady went on to tell Blessed Alan.

I do not know how this should be, but it is perfectly true; and I know no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary.

Quoted from True Devotion to Mary, by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, ¶¶ 250-251.

 

CC in brief — October

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q:  In the Our Father, it says “lead us not into temptation”.  Why would God lead us into temptation?  (And if these words do not actually mean “lead us”, why does the Our Father say “lead us”?)

A: Sacred Scripture sometimes speaks of God doing what He permits to be done.  For example, in the Book of Exodus, God says He will harden Pharao’s heart, whereas God permitted Pharao to harden his own heart.  Exodus, 4:21.  In these words of the Our Father, we are asking God to not permit us to be conquered by temptation and so to commit sin.

The Overblown Corona-Scare

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle usually focuses directly on Faith and morals.  However, sometimes issues in society have a severe indirect impact on Faith and morals and should be addressed.  Below, we examine one of those issues which has a severe indirect impact on Faith and morals, viz., the overblown corona-scare.  We put COVID-19 in perspective, to help readers face this challenge in which Providence placed us, for the glory of God and for our good.

In our current corona-crazy world, people are acting strangely because they are frightened by (supposed) imminent death from COVID-19, or they are intimidated by abusive governmental lockdown orders.

People have been coerced into failing to gather to sanctify the Sunday together (which is important, even in the present Great Apostasy, when we have no Masses and no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world).  People have been bludgeoned into letting go of their humanity and are fearfully acting as if their fellow man was a threatening virus-culture rather than a fellow child of God and fellow soldier in the Church Militant.

Lastly, another reason to examine the exaggerated corona death toll is because it is a prominent example showing (for anyone who needs further proof) that the mainstream media is unreliable as a source of the truth concerning what is going on in the world.  It is Catholic Candle’s hope that this present article is a helpful reminder to our readers that they should distrust the mainstream media because it lies and “spins” the truth.

This article uses the statistics which were current when the article was written in August and September, 2020.  The article mostly uses data from the U.S. because there is so much of this data available.  For the most part, we do not include the data from the rest of the world because that information is less available to us and also in order to avoid this article becoming too cumbersome. 

However, the data we have from other countries supports the theses of this article.  That support makes sense because human nature is the same in all countries, COVID-19 is (apparently) the same everywhere, and the lockdowns are broadly similar, although more severe and abusive in some places than in others.

There are three aspects to the COVID-19 (so-called) “pandemic”, which help us to put the “COVID-19 death” totals in perspective:

1.    COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile) as the annual flu;

2.    The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated COVID-19 death tolls were the true ones; and

3.    The COVID-19 death numbers are unreliable and inflated

Below, we examine each of these points.

 

1.   COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile) as the annual flu

There are almost no deaths of younger and healthier people.  For example, the latest CDC numbers (from August 15, 2020) show 309 deaths of persons 24 years of age and younger.[1]  More than 90% of COVID cases are asymptomatic and people usually don’t know they ever had the virus.[2]

Almost all persons who were listed as “COVID-19 deaths” were retirement age (65 or older), especially over 85 years old.[3]  Almost all of them (94%) had co-morbidities, meaning they were being treated for something else which was a known lethal condition.[4]

In fact, the persons who were counted as “COVID deaths” had an average of 2.6 co-morbidities – meaning that more than half of them had three co-morbidities (compared to the number who had 2 co-morbidities).[5]

A person who receives only the slanted, deceptive news of the mainstream media would not be aware of the truth concerning the relative lack of danger for most people.  Instead, people are given the impression that everyone is in great danger of dying at any time from COVID-19.  A recent Gallup poll reveals how ignorant and scared the American people are (because of the mainstream media’s and Democrats’ fear-mongering).  Look at these two graphs of Gallup Poll results, comparing reality and misperception:


This graph is found here: https://www.franklintempleton.com/investor/article?contentPath=html%2Fftthinks%2Fen-us-retail%2Fcio-views%2Fon-my-mind-they-blinded-us-from-science.html

This graph is found here: https://www.franklintempleton.com/investor/article?contentPath=html%2Fftthinks%2Fen-us-retail%2Fcio-views%2Fon-my-mind-they-blinded-us-from-science.html

Despite the false perception promoted by the mainstream media and the Democrats, the reality is that COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with, and has the same fatality profile as the annual flu, viz., it is usually something that does not affect most people and, if it does affect us, it is usually a little “blip” in our month.  (See, the two graphs above.)  However, older people in poor health have to take extra precautions for COVID-19, just like they should regarding the annual flu. 

To put this in perspective, there were 80,000 U.S. fatalities in the 2017-2018 annual flu season, and this number was so unremarkable that this death toll passed virtually unnoticed at the time.[6]

 

No one was locked down in 2017-2018 because of 80,000 flu deaths.  The economy was not destroyed because of that annual flu.  There were no masking orders, no churches closed, and no other oppressive government orders.  In a country the size of the U.S., with over 330 million people, a lot of people die every day and every year. 

Not only is the current COVID-19 scare overblown, but even now, some years of the annual flu, e.g., 1968, have killed more people per capita than COVID-19.  https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31201-0/fulltext  (We do not even mention the far-worse 1918 flu season.) 

It goes without saying that in none of those years – which were worse than the current year – was there a lockdown or other over-reaction, such as we see in the current year.

 

2.   The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated COVID-19 death toll were the true one

In the section above, we saw that COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile as) the annual flu, viz., it is usually something that does not affect us and if it does affect us, it is usually a little “blip” in our month.  However, older people in poor health (especially with multiple co-morbidities) have to take extra precautions for COVID-19, just like they should regarding the annual flu. 

That older, sicker persons are in a different situation than the general population, is underscored by the fact that 42% of all U.S. “COVID-19 deaths” occur in nursing homes, although those facilities contain only 0.62% of the U.S. population.[7]

In the U.S., the states controlled by the (more liberal) Democratic party locked down more severely their general populations of younger and healthier people (compared to Republican states).  However, the Democratic governors of four of these states killed thousands of their most vulnerable people (who were in nursing homes) by forcing those nursing homes to receive other persons who tested positive for COVID-19.[8]

This is exactly the opposite of what should have happened!  Younger, healthier people should have been allowed to go on with their lives, while the government should have allowed nursing homes to protect the most vulnerable people, like those nursing homes protect their residents every year from the annual flu. 

 

Self-inflicted harm and the deaths from delayed medical care, during the corona-isolation

Among the many severe tolls taken by the corona-scare is the increases of suicides, drug overdoses, and deaths from delayed care for other serious illness because of the draconian corona-lockdowns.

It is obvious to any person of common sense that the severe lockdowns would cause great collateral harm.  Here are how more than 500 doctors described this harm in their public letter to President Trump:

It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown. …  Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million other people.  Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.

The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.   …  In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.[9]

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security examined the idea of “Large-Scale Quarantine Measures” in its November 4, 2006 study entitled: Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza.  Here is what that university study concluded:

The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.[10]


Although many people gullibly accept the false narratives of the mainstream media, we see now – by looking at the results of the lockdowns around us – why rational studies and doctors (like those quoted above) have rejected/opposed such lockdowns.

Before discussing the dramatic increase in suicides during the corona-scare, we note that this suicide increase was paralleled by a dramatic increase in help calls to suicide hotlines.  Here are some examples of different suicide hotlines with different increases:

  Two national hotlines had increases of 47% and 300% respectively.[11]

  Another national suicide hotline had a 40% increase.[12]

  Another national suicide hotline had an increase of 891% in March 2020, compared to March 2019.[13]

  Two other suicide hotlines had an 800% increase in call volume.[14]

These increased suicide “help” calls are attributed by those hotline organizations to “social distancing” and “social isolation” suffered because of the lockdowns.[15]

Indeed, common sense makes predictable the severely negative effects of the lockdowns, because we are human.  These lockdowns are inhuman and have never been tried before in the history of mankind: viz., isolate everyone in a nation from all his friends and fellow humans – and isolate each nation throughout almost the entire world.  This is rash and foolish in the extreme!

It is no wonder that one of the epidemiologists who advises the British government called the lockdowns a panic response.  Here are his words:

Lockdown was a panic measure and I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease.  …  It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now.  It was never going to change anything fundamentally; however low we drove down the number of cases …. 

We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school.  …  I suspect right now more people are being harmed by the collateral effects of lockdown than by Covid-19.  … 

Any restrictions imposed should be considered measures and should protect those who needed it while letting everyone live more freely.  …  Instead of concentrating on schools, we should have been concentrating on care homes. We were not really thinking about where the risk lies, just on suppressing the virus.[16]

Regarding the suicide death toll, obviously, the 2020 suicide death toll will not be certain until after the end of 2020.  However, the current projection for suicide/drug overdoses deaths is about 150,000 in the U.S.[17]  To estimate how many of these deaths are due to the extreme corona-isolation, we subtract the total for the latest year for which there is data: 2018.  In 2018, there were 48,344 self-inflicted deaths (suicides and drug overdoses) in the U.S.[18]

Let’s round that 2018 number up to 50,000 deaths.  Thus, according to the best projections we have, suicides and drug overdoses in our times of extreme corona-isolation are estimated to be about 100,000 greater this year than before this corona-scare.  In other words, self-inflicted deaths are 300% of the 2018 number!

The death toll from COVID-19 is extremely inflated, as we see in section three of this article.  However, this death toll is supposedly estimated to be about 183,000.  One way to put this supposed death toll in perspective, is that if we take this number and subtract the increase in self-inflicted deaths because of the corona-isolation, we get 83,000 (i.e., 183,000 – 100,000 = 83,000).  This is approximately the fatality total from the 2017-2018 annual flu which was so unremarkable that this flu death toll went almost unreported then.  Yet, politicians over-react in 2020 and ruin the country’s life.

But there is more: What is not evident in the above comparison of the numbers (viz., “COVID deaths” vs. collateral deaths), is that the deaths blamed on COVID-19 are almost entirely of older, retired people with multiple co-morbidities, most of whom are given only a relatively short time to live even without COVID-19.  By contrast, the suicide and drug overdose deaths occur in the younger and otherwise healthier people who have a far longer life expectancy.  In other words, each “COVID death” represents a far smaller number of years of life lost compared to the suicide/drug overdose deaths. 

Of course, we don’t want anyone to die, but we recognize that a sick, older person losing the last year of his life – as tragic as that is – is not the same as a high schooler losing that last 60 years of his life.

Below, we quote how the U.S. Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) sounded the alarm about the current suicide/drug overdose rate for high schoolers during our corona-isolation.  These COVID-19 lockdown death tolls are far greater than the corresponding “COVID-19 death” toll:

But there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools. We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID.  We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.[19]

Similar spikes in suicide are occurring elsewhere in the world, e.g., in Australia.[20]

Another of the many great harms inflicted by the lockdowns (which are especially extreme in Democratic states) is deaths that occurred because of postponing medical treatment for other diseases, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.  Those lockdown deaths – which would not have otherwise occurred – are from a variety of causes, e.g., heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

We don’t know of a comprehensive estimated total of non-COVID-19 deaths which would have been prevented, in the absence of the corona-scare and lockdowns.  However, here are some datapoints:

  Looking at only two of the many types of cancer (breast cancer and colorectal cancer) the National Cancer Institute predicts there will be 10,000 excess deaths in the U.S. over the next 10 years because of pandemic-related delays in diagnosing and treating these tumors.[21]

  Looking at only the drop in cancer referrals, admissions, and diagnoses, compared to pre-COVID levels, one study (using what it called “conservative assumptions”) estimated that there will be 33,890 additional (i.e., excess) cancer deaths during the next year, in the U.S. because of that delayed treatment.[22]

  Although we do not have non-COVID increased-fatality numbers for the entire country for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, we did find statistics of percentage increases in deaths (of persons who did not have COVID-19) from these four diseases, in five Democratic states (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania).  These five states were among the most extremely locked down.  In these states, in March and April 2020, compared to January and February 2020, there was a:

 

·         96% increase in diabetes deaths;

 

·         89% increase in heart disease deaths;

 

·         64% increase in Alzheimer’s disease deaths; and

 

·         35% increase in stroke deaths.[23]

Also, in New York City (which suffered a more severe lockdown than almost anywhere), there was a 398% increase in heart disease deaths and a 356% increase in diabetes deaths.[24]

With this data, let’s do our best to estimate, in a rough way, how many deaths these percentages (of additional deaths) would mean throughout the United States.  Let us use the latest national numbers (from 2018) for these four causes of death and let us suppose those percentage increases in deaths from lockdown-delay-in-treatment were the same nationwide.  In other words, let’s use the 2018 national total deaths from each of those four causes, multiplied by the percentage increases given above, to calculate the excess lockdown deaths from each of those four causes.

This formula means that the lockdown-delays-in-treatment caused:

  81,548 additional diabetes deaths (84,946 deaths x 96% = 81,948)

  583,289 additional heart disease deaths (655,381 x 89% = 583,289)

  78,092 additional Alzheimer’s disease deaths (122,019 x 64% = 78,092)

  51,734 additional stroke deaths (147,810 x 35% = 51,734)[25]

Thus, we see, as a “ballpark” number, that the total of these lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths is 794,663 additional deaths in the United States.  Let’s be clear about these numbers.  They are only rough.  On the one hand, they would seem to be overstated because they use the data of five Democratic states, whereas other (Republican) states exercised a much “lighter touch” in their lockdowns.  So, we would expect that the percentages (of increased deaths) in these Democratic strongholds would be higher than in other parts of the country.  This would mean that the national percentages for these lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths would be lower than in those five Democratic states.

On the other hand, these numbers undercount the lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths in another way: viz., those percentages only pertain to the increased death from four causes.  Since there are roughly 100,000 self-inflicted deaths, plus cancer lockdown-delay deaths, and delay-deaths from other causes too, all those numbers should be added to the total of the lockdown-delay deaths from these four causes (794,663) to approximate the additional U.S. deaths.  We see similar collateral deaths from corona-isolation in other countries too.[26]

For the present purpose, we are not trying to get an exact number of the collateral, lockdown-isolation deathsNor are we saying that we know there are 800,000 additional deaths.  Rather, we are pointing out that these collateral deaths from the corona-lockdowns provide a valuable context to our assessment of the current corona-scare. 

It is easy to see how the collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns could easily exceed – even very greatly exceed – that inflated 183,000 COVID death number which is claimed.  Moreover, when comparing those collateral “lockdown deaths” with supposed “COVID-19 deaths”, the comparison is even more dramatic when we consider the number of years lost by people, compared to the number of lives lost (as shown above).

Perhaps someone might suppose that the “COVID-19 deaths” would be far more numerous if the governments did not order the harsh lockdowns which caused the huge numbers of collateral deaths.  That supposition is false, as will be shown in a future Catholic Candle article.  In fact, those lockdowns were unnecessary and did not help.

 

3.   The COVID-19 death numbers are unreliable and inflated

Above, we saw that the collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns could easily exceed – even very greatly exceed – that inflated 183,000 “COVID-19 death” number which is claimed.

Now, we examine that “COVID-19 death” total and see if it is reliable. 

 

The overcount of “COVID-19 deaths”

There is a huge difference between dying with COVID-19 and dying from (i.e., because of) COVID-19.  Let’s illustrate the difference: the CDC estimates that adults will come down with 2-3 common colds every year.[27]  With colds being so common, it is common to die with a common cold, even though not because of a common cold.  If someone died while he had a common cold, we would not say he “died from the common cold”.

Well, “COVID-19 deaths” are counted to include anyone who dies with COVID-19 even though not because of (from) COVID-19.  This is similar to counting a person as a “common cold death” if the person died while he had a common cold.

Here is how Dr. Deborah Birx (coordinator of the coronavirus taskforce) explained this U.S. method of counting COVID-19 deaths:

There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording [this] as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. … [In the US] if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.[28]

With this foolishly broad overcounting, which no one ever uses for other sicknesses, there is a greatly exaggerated COVID-19 death toll.  There is not only the everyday overcount we would expect, of sick, frail, elderly people who have multiple co-morbidities, who die of something else (like a heart attack, a stroke, cancer, etc.) but who are counted as a “COVID-19 death” because they died with COVID-19. 

But there are also striking absurdities which are consistent with this official policy of counting every death as a “COVID-19 death” as long as the person had COVID-19 when he died, e.g.,

  A person who died in a motorcycle accident was listed as a COVID-19 death.[29]

  A person who died of suicide was listed as a COVID-19 death.[30]

But the COVID-19 overcount is even more exaggerated because a person need not even be known to have COVID-19.  Rather, current CDC protocols allow a person to be reported as a “COVID-19 death” as long as there is an assumption that COVID-19 somehow contributed to the death.  Here is the CDC’s instruction:

COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.[31]

Thus, when the death certificate lists COVID-19 on it, the CDC and the mainstream media report the person as if COVID-19 caused that person’s death.  For example, here is one instance of this type of falsification (this one from National Public Radio):

Today, more than 6 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and some 183,000 have died from it ….[32]

Here is another example of this type of falsification (this one from the Washington Post):

At least 191,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States

….[33]

The truth is that the COVID-19 death total is really of people who died in some way connected with COVID-19, but not because of COVID-19.  These people did not all have pneumonia-type COVID-19 symptoms, nor were they all even known to have ever had COVID-19.

In fact, the “COVID-19 death” toll includes many people based on statistical suppositions.  For example, early on, New York adopted the policy of counting as “COVID-19 deaths” the number of people who died in excess of a statistically average year, even though those people never tested positive for COVID-19 or had any symptoms suggesting COVID-19.[34]  The unreasonableness and inaccuracy of this policy is obvious, since “half the time” (even without COVID-19) the fatalities will be above average – maybe even far above average – to offset the other “half” of the years when the death toll is below average.

 

Perverse financial incentives to count persons as “COVID-19 deaths”

We see (above) that the CDC authorizes hospitals to count as “COVID-19 deaths” all people whom they “assume” had COVID-19 which somehow contributed to the deaths.  These assumptions are made more common by the perverse financial incentives pressuring cash-strapped hospitals to “assume” that COVID-19 had some role contributing to patients’ deaths.  For example, the U.S. government pays hospitals a 20% premium in Medicare payments if the hospital “assumes” that a patient was a “COVID-19 death”.[35]

Any reasonable person would know that under these circumstances, there will be lots of “assuming” that COVID-19 had some connection to the death.  In fact, some whistleblower doctors have publicly complained that their hospitals pressure them to add COVID-19 as an assumed “contributing cause” on their patients’ death certificates.[36]

 

Summary of this section so far, of the reasons “COVID-19 death” numbers are inflated

The “COVID-19 death” totals are inflated because a person can be counted if:

  The person had COVID-19 when he died (regardless of what actually caused his death); or

  The person was assumed to have had COVID-19 when he died; or

  There was a statistical increase in deaths above the expected average, regardless of how the persons died.

Further, we see (above) that there is a large perverse incentive for hospitals to lie and to say that a person was a “COVID-19 death” so the hospital would get more money.

 

Let’s try to estimate the true number of persons whose deaths were caused by COVID-19

How do we figure out how many so-called “COVID-19 deaths” were really caused by COVID-19?  One way to roughly approximate this number is to consider what COVID-19 is and then look at the CDC numbers.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the virus named SARS-CoV-2. The “SARS” in “SARS-CoV-2” stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome” (which is sometimes also referred to as acute respiratory distress syndrome or adult respiratory distress syndrome).[37]

The CDC explains that sometimes COVID-19 is severe enough that it leads to death by progressing to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).[38] 

Here is another way this causation is stated:

The virus that causes COVID-19 is designated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The major morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 is largely due to acute viral pneumonitis that evolves to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).[39]

This is why, last spring, the CDC directors used a “case definition of COVID-19 requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia” in an article they wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine.[40]

Thus, let’s look at the death toll of persons whose death certificates at least mentioned pneumonia (regardless of what they died of).  In the CDC chart below[41], you see that there are 71,700 persons who died between February 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, who at least had influenza or pneumonia when they died (regardless of the actual cause of their death).

Again, this total is 71,700 deaths.  Let’s count that as a rough proxy for how many people with COVID-19 actually died from it, since these people at least had influenza or had the pneumonia which accompanies COVID-19 when people actually die from the disease.

This data is the best we have although, obviously, to the extent that persons had COVID-19 and pneumonia but died of something else, such as a heart attack, these persons would be included in this total and would overcount COVID-19 deaths.  Further, to the extent that these persons had influenza and not pneumonia, they also would be an overcount.  But let’s “be generous” and count them all, to approximate a real COVID-19 death toll.  That number (71,700) is still only 40% of the claimed total of COVID-19 deaths (183,000).

It might seem that 71,700 is a big number.  However, the U.S. is a country of 330 million people.  In fact, about 2.8 million people die in the U.S. during a typical year.[42]

So, although we don’t want anyone to die, nonetheless pneumonia (and influenza) deaths are currently average for the entire country, not above average.  See the current CDC map below.

 

Map taken from: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html

 

Italy

We could talk about other countries too.  However, we will only briefly talk about one other country, Italy, because it has been mentioned so often in the mainstream media’s corona-scare.  Italy has the second-oldest population in the world.[43]  Just as the annual flu strikes more severely in elderly people with co-morbidities, so does COVID-19 too, as we saw in section one of this article. 

However, there is a dishonesty in the reporting of Italy’s COVID-19 fatalities, just as is true in the statistics for the U.S. and other countries.  Like for the U.S., the mainstream media attributes to COVID-19 all deaths in which the persons had some connection to the virus.  In other words, Italy’s COVID-19 fatality statistics include all the people who died with COVID-19, even when they die of something else and their deaths are not caused by COVID-19.

Here is how this is explained by Prof. Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health:

The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.  On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three ….[44]

Thus, looking at how many people – even among Italy’s more elderly population – have died from COVID-19 as the cause, only 12% of those attributed in Italy as “COVID-19 deaths” showed a “direct causality from coronavirus”.  In other words, Italy’s “COVID-19 death” toll is inflated by 800%!

 

Summary of this article

There are many reasons that it is plain that the corona-scare is overblown.  The reality is that:

  COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile as) the annual flu;

  The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated “COVID-19 death” toll were the true one; and

  The “COVID-19 death” numbers are unreliable and inflated.

 

Lastly, beware of the lies and “spin” in the reports of the mainstream media!



[16]         Assessment by Professor Mark Woolhouse OBE, University of Edinburgh professor of infectious disease epidemiology and member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the British Government.  https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1320428/Coronavirus-news-lockdown-mistake-second-wave-Boris-Johnson

 

[19]         Robert Redfield, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.buckinstitute.org/covid-webinar-series-transcript-robert-redfield-md/

[25]         All of the above death total data was taken from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db355_tables-508.pdf


[28]         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blZpgra3XbU (emphasis added).

 

[33]         Washington Post Evening Edition, September 15, 2020, article entitled: Trump health appointee apologizes to HHS staff after accusing scientists of ‘sedition’ (emphasis added).

 


[36]         See, e.g., one doctor telling a major new outlet this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB0OYp0S0yo&feature=emb_logo

[40]         Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted, by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Robert R. Redfield, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387 (emphasis added).

 

Before and After Death, Without an Uncompromising Priest

Catholic Candle Note:  The following article is a ready reference for end of life issues.  We recommend you keep it handy.

 

                                                           

The following is a short summary of final arrangements to be made before and after death in our current circumstances where there is no uncompromising priest available (at least in most places in the world).

 

This article (with links) is divided into eight sections.  It condenses into four pages, material which has been gleaned from 63 pages of more detailed information.  Except for Section 4, where there is a source footnote, other sections have links for information from earlier Catholic Candle articles. 

 

 

Section 1:  Medical information to be given prior to death[1]

                   

If I should have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness judged to be a terminal condition by my attending physician who has personally examined me and who considers that even with maximum medical treatment, I have less than three months probable, foreseeable life expectancy, I direct that I not be kept alive artificially through major surgery, chemotherapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  However, in no case do I wish to be deprived of food, fluids, oxygen, and common medications such as any antibiotics.

 

 

Section 2:  Our duty to use ordinary care to preserve life even as a person is dying[2]

 

We are free to choose (or not choose) to make extraordinary efforts to preserve our life.  However, there is a minimum, ordinary effort we must make, in order to avoid the sin against the Fifth Commandment, of failing to protect our life.  As St. Thomas teaches:

 

God commands man to sustain his body.  Otherwise he would be his own killer…By this commandment man is bound to nourish his body and do those other things without which his body cannot live.[3]

 

Father John Slater, in his Moral Theology, describes this minimum effort to preserve our life:

 

We are obliged to take ordinary means to preserve our lives, for to do otherwise would be virtually to commit suicide.  There is no obligation to take extraordinary, unusual, or very painful or expensive means to preserve our lives.  And so, one in feeble health, who will probably die if he spends the winter in England, is not bound to expatriate himself and go and live in a milder climate.  Nor am I bound to undergo a painful and costly operation in order to save my life; I may if I like choose rather to die, unless my life is of great importance for the common good, for then the public good must be considered first.  Except in such a case as this, a superior could not oblige a subject to undergo a very painful operation or to submit to the amputation of a leg; obedience to human authority does not seem to extend to such matters as these.[4]

 

 

Section 3:  How to assist a person in dying a holy death[5]

 

Dying persons are often aware even when they are non-responsive and apparently unconscious.  Because a dying person needs our help in his final spiritual battle, we should persevere helping until we are as certain as we can be, that he is dead and no longer needs our help.

 

We cannot know with certainty when this separation of soul and body (death) occurs, so we should “err” on the side of remaining longer to assist the person in dying a holy death.  A person might be non-responsive to stimuli and apparently not breathing, yet fully aware and undergoing a final spiritual battle for his soul.

 

Do your best to give the dying person strength, encouragement, and human moral support.  Remember that love “divides” sorrows, including the sorrows of death.  Human contact with a dying person is very important.  Hold his hand.  Reduce (divide) his sorrows of death, as much as you can.  Give him frequent strokes/touches so he knows we are still there.  (Without movement, we easily lose awareness that something/someone is touching us.)

 

 

Section 4: Perfect Act of Contrition without a priest

                  

The prospect of dying without (an uncompromising priest for) confession would be horrifying were it not for the knowledge that a merciful God has provided for this with a perfect Act of Contrition.  This prayer, said sincerely and with God’s help, is literally a God-send.  United with a pledge to go to (an uncompromising priest for) confession when available, this heartfelt prayer restores the dying person to grace at once.[6]

 

 

Section 5:  The Catholic Church permits a dying person to confess to a compromising or bad priest[7] 

 

In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon #882 states, “In danger of death, any priest, even one not otherwise approved for hearing confessions, may validly and licitly absolve any penitent from whatever sins”.

 

The Council of Trent is the origin of this permission (viz., quoted immediately above) for a dying person to confess to a compromising or bad priest.

 

 

Section 6:  A traditional Catholic funeral and burial when there is no uncompromising priest available[8]

 

Part A:  We must avoid a compromise wake, funeral, and burial.  But God lovingly placed us in this time of Great Apostasy, for His greater glory and for our good.  He does not want us to have a Requiem Mass for our funeral when no uncompromising priest is available to offer one.  Such a compromise funeral (viz., with a compromising priest) is a sin.

 

Part B:  How do we conduct a wake, funeral, and burial of our loved one without a priest?  After our loved one’s death, we plan the schedule and invite/announce the schedule in a manner similar to the customary way for any funeral and burial.  Everyone is welcome!  Praying together is an occasion to benefit from our Lord’s promise: “Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

 

Section 7:  Our duty not to “donate” our vital bodily organs or accept one donated[9]

 

“Harvesting” a person’s vital organs is premeditated murder.  Your organ donor card might be your death warrant.  Catholics should be careful to opt out of organ “donation” in those countries such as England, where permission to “donate” organs is assumed unless a person opts out.

 

 

Section 8:  Guidance concerning a Medical Power of Attorney[10]

 

Granting a “power of attorney” simply means giving a person the legal authority to act for you in certain matters.  In other words, granting a “power of attorney” merely makes that person your agent.  It does not refer to the person being a licensed attorney for the practice of law.  A Power of Attorney for Healthcare (also known as a Medical Power of Attorney) is a document through which you grant to your agent the legal authority to make medical decisions for you, when you cannot do so yourself.

 

As you know, God will not allow you to be tempted to sin beyond your ability to resist, and He also will not allow you to lose your soul without the Sacraments, beyond your ability to secure a happy death.  God will give you the necessary grace for that happy death.

 

St. Francis de Sales says that to wish to do the will of God is of unspeakable merit.  He states that if a Christian learns of his impending death and accepts it because it is God’s will, he may go straight to heaven.

 

Pope St. Pius X seems to have had this doctrine in mind when he granted a plenary indulgence at the hour of death when this prayer is said:

 

O my God, from this moment forward I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death Thou will be pleased to send me, with all its pains, sufferings, and anguish.[11]

 

Is it not wonderful that you love God and accept His will completely, and all that happens is for the best?  God knows what you need.  He will not abandon you in this time of crisis in the Catholic Church.

 

 

 



[3]           Words of St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted from his Commentary on II Thessalonians, 3:10, ch.3, lecture 2.

 

[4]           A Manual of Moral Theology, Rev. Thomas Slater, SJ., Vol I., Fifth and Revised Edition, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, ©1925, Part 5, The Fifth Commandment, Ch.1, On Suicide.

 

[6]           Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, Vol. 4, article on Contrition, page 339.

[11]         From the book How to Be Happy, How to Be Holy, by Father Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

 

The Importance and Need for Stay-At-Home Moms

… to ensure happy families on earth and in heaven.

The importance of having mothers at home was recognized for thousands of years.  It was just common sense.  The fathers earned a living, while the mothers were home tending the home fires.

This was not seriously challenged until World War II, and in a major way, later, by feminism.  (More on this later.)  

It was not easy to pry the American woman out of her home.  Her contributions (as nurse, teacher, cook, baker, cleaner, nurturer, etc.) had always been recognized as essential to the well-being and happiness of the family.  However, the push for women to get the vote in the 1920s was used as a push to get women out of the home.  If it wasn’t very successful then, its time arrived in the ‘40s when World War II called millions of American men to fight for their country.  This must have been the moment the Left had been waiting for: a logical call for American women to replace their husbands in the factories for patriotic reasons.

“Rosie the Riveter” was the symbol.  In posters and billboards everywhere, curls stuck out of her red kerchief while she took her husband’s place on the production line, making it clear she was a female “doing her part.”  And the media loved it.  Even when the war ended, they encouraged women to “seek fulfillment” in their lives, not so subtly suggesting that, of course, they couldn’t expect to find fulfillment as housewives.  Thus, when the men came home from the war, some women weren’t in any hurry to return to the domestic scene, and many were persuaded that it was more exciting to work outside the home.  It was only later that the women were bombarded with the idea that being a housewife was just a job – and that what she wanted was a CAREER.  You had to have a career or you were a dull, boring person who didn’t have this exciting other dimension to you.

But overlooked in the scramble to get a job was the question of who would take her place at home?  Who would take care of the children?  In the beginning, grandma.  However, the advent of the commercial daycare centers greatly reduced having to ask grandma to care for her grandchildren so mom could work outside the home.

(The other side of the coin was the devil’s other solution: to use birth control and have fewer children.  This contributed to the birth rate being way down across the world.)

 

Even so, daycare was not the perfect solution, of course.  Not only does daycare cost so much that it takes a serious bite out of the extra income that mom brings in, but it is notorious for passing on sickness from one child to another.  The problems of the daycare centers have been widely documented.  Some are sub-standard, unsanitary, poorly regulated, and run by incompetents, as well as those that are ably and reasonably proficient.  There was (and is) a huge disparity between them. 

But if the daycare centers provided the illusion that the little ones were adequately cared for, then that seemed to solve the major impediment to mom getting an outside job.

A second major reason that some women left their homes for the job market was the lure of a second paycheck.  Where their parents’ and grandparents’ generations had been willing to wait for those extras like new carpeting, nicer homes, and new cars, most of today’s families were persuaded that they didn’t have to wait to have a boat or fancier vacations if the mother of the family was bringing in a paycheck too.

And as to this paycheck, women were told they should expect to earn the same as men.  This brought things like the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) into being, opening the door for multiple other items on the liberal/feminist agenda.  (Side note for younger readers, perhaps:  The ERA might have sounded like a fair and just amendment, but in reality, it would have caused great havoc with our society, negatively impacting American life in general, and the well-being of women in particular.)

Here are just a few of the ERA’s harmful consequences:

1.    The ERA would be used to overturn all restrictions on abortion;

2.    The ERA would be used to mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions;

3.    The ERA would remove gender designations from bathrooms, locker rooms, jails, and hospital rooms;

4.    The ERA would not give women any more rights than they currently have; and

5.    The ERA would overturn laws and practices that benefit women because they would be viewed as showing preferential treatment to women.

For example:

  Workplace laws that provide special accommodations for expectant mothers;

  State labor laws and guidelines which benefit women who do heavy, manual labor;

  Social Security benefits for stay-at-home mothers based on their spouse’s income; and

  Exemption of women from the military draft and front-line combat.

 Here is the ERA’s history in a nutshell:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ERA in 1972, but by law, it had to be ratified by ¾ of the states within seven years in order to be a part of the Constitution of our country.  After untold Conservative efforts to educate people on the dangers of this amendment, the ERA failed to be ratified. 

Unfortunately, the Left was able to get a three-year extension, which (thankfully) ended in 1982 without the required number of states ratifying it.  (Also, five states that had approved it, rescinded their ratification after better understanding the dangers of the proposed amendment.) 

Currently, there is a new push to entice additional states to ratify, with Nevada succumbing in 2017, Illinois in 2018, and Virginia in 2020.) 

End of this brief history lesson. 

Let’s get back to our look at women and how they were enticed out of their homes.  What had been (disastrously) overlooked was how important the mother was to the family and how the family would suffer in her absence.

Yes, this article focuses on the absence of mothers in the home, but for just a moment let us digress and talk briefly about the absence of fathers in the home.  This move was facilitated by a huge change that was thrust on the American ethos with the idea of “single mothers.”  This was a new term that was introduced and repeated to legitimize the idea of women “voluntarily” raising their children by themselves.  The gradual acceptance of the idea of “single mothers” contributed to the assault on marriage by the huge increase of couples temporarily living together without the benefit of marriage.  The removal of the stigma attached to this sinful way of life accomplished the disastrous objective of making it so common that it spread far and wide.

What greatly contributed to the rise of “single mothers” was the destructive welfare system, which increased the monthly check for every baby she bore out of wedlock.  It was a money-maker for some.  (What does that teach the next generation?) 

 

Another evil result of the absence of fathers in the home was that boys lacked a male role model, and thus, many tended to become feminized, (which may contribute to the confusion in so many young minds as to whether they should use the boys’ or the girls’ bathrooms, for example.)

Returning to our subject of women being absent from the home.  Women moved from factory jobs into offices, stores, industries, etc.  Home life suffered.  Many tried to “do it all” but found it impossible, merely a step along the path toward frustration, exhaustion, and ulcers.  Seemingly, common sense would tell you that working at an outside job for 40 hours a week is hardly compatible with a smoothly-running home where laundry is done in a timely manner, beds are changed regularly, nutritious meals are the norm; where children can be listened to, instructed, guided, monitored, etc

(Note to widows or mothers involuntarily in circumstances where they are doing the job by themselves: You are not included in this disparagement.  The valiant job you find yourselves required to do needs no explanation or justification.) 

However, it might be instructive to consider some of the possible consequences of women taking jobs outside the home:

1.    As mentioned above, the cost of hiring a sitter or paying for daycare is formidable.  It swallows a big chunk of that extra paycheck;

2.    There is little or no supervision of the children after school.  This can’t be a good thing.  The children become part of that sad world of Latchkey Children coming home to an empty house;

3.    Second car expenses must be figured into any financial cost;

4.    More money spent on more clothes for the women;

5.    Rushed meals, in many cases more expensive meals, thrown-together with increased fast food elements and convenience foods; not particularly healthy meals;

6.    The time crunch leaves little or no time for problem-solving family discussions around the dinner table (where problems often are first recognized and resolved);

7.    Guilt at spending less and less time with the children.  (There’s always so much to do she doesn’t have time to sit and find out how things are going in their lives, at school, in the neighborhood, etc.)  This is also where some strange idea that the student picked up might come to light and be explored, explained, and debunked, if necessary.

8.    It often precipitates arguments about whose job it is to (fill in the blank here, e.g., empty the dishwasher, throw the next load in, make the lunches);

9.    Frequently can’t scrutinize the children’s friends;

10. Often hasn’t the time to follow up on whether homework is finished or chores completed;

11. Discipline usually suffers;

12. No time for a kneel-down family rosary; and

13. Impossible to monitor children’s time with entertainment, as well as a tendency toward laxity in using entertainment such as TV, video games, social media, or electronic devices.

 Now, if you are a traditional Catholic home-schooling family, you may be way ahead of the game because you may not have to worry about most, if not all, of those 13 problem areas listed above.  For example, you may not have a TV.  And the home-schooling family tends to have a closer eye on who their children are playing with. 

And the children don’t need latchkeys, and a rosary always begins the class day, etc.  But let’s get real, right?  Can being a stay-at-home mother guarantee life will be a bed of roses?  Frankly, no.  But learning what works (and what doesn’t) goes a long way toward making your load easier.  And having the mother in the home is a huge step toward successfully raising and educating your family.

Now it is not pandering to women to point out how indispensable they are in the family.  When I hear someone speak condescendingly about women wasting their time (and talents) changing diapers, and making snarky remarks about the “little woman” baking her chocolate chip cookies, I want to sit her down and explain the facts of domestic life to her.  (Because it’s almost always “working women” – often guilt-filled – who attempt to disparage the stay-at-home mom.)  I want to point out to her that it isn’t vacuuming the house, shopping for groceries, doing the laundry, etc. that make that mother’s job important, essential as those things are.  It’s being there:

·         to comfort a child with a skinned knee;

·         holding her daughter’s hand when she gets her first shot;

·         listening to her son’s grievance against the neighbor kid;

·         taking him to the orthodontist;

·         instructing her daughter how to write a thank you note to her grandmother;

·         listening to her spelling-words;

·         teaching her son his Mass server’s Confiteor;

·         helping her daughter on her first sewing project;

·         guiding her son’s preparation for the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test);

·         etc., etc

And that doesn’t even include the obvious things like: making a child’s special birthday dinner, taking the dog to the vet; and two of the most important things: – recognizing that that kid from the end of the block is up to no good, and guiding her son away from him; and also, welcoming home at the end of the day the father of the family.

To sum up, the mother’s job is one of the most important jobs in the world: to create a happy, God-centered family, to make a home that is a good place to be.  

The Exquisite Blessings of Possessing the Truth

Objective truth series Reflection #15

Our reason is such a wonderful faculty given to us by God.  By our reason we come to the knowledge of truth as we discussed in the last Reflection.  In this Reflection we intend to consider the moral obligation we have to use our reason, and to see how by using our reason and the light of our Faith, God directs and protects our souls. 

One way we can learn about our moral obligation to use our reason is by looking at the Principal and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God, Our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.  All other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him fulfill the end for which he is created.  From this it follows that man is to use these things to the extent that they will help him to attain his end.  Likewise, he must rid himself of them in so far as they prevent him from attaining it [viz., his end].  

Our Lady teaches us through St. Ignatius how crucial it is for man to use his reason to make the proper distinctions between what creatures are good for man – which help him attain his end – and what creatures are harmful to man in attaining his end.

God expects us to use our reason because He created us rational.  For Our Lord says, “… some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundred-fold.  Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” St. Luke’s Gospel, 8:8.

We know we are obliged in conscience to use our reason.  In fact, when we use our reason, we can know God’s Will for us.  One example of this is that the errors of our times become self-evident.

It is almost as if God rewards us for using our reason.  Nevertheless, it is His Will that we use our reason.  We should value the fact that God made us with the use of reason.  God intends that we perfect our intellects by learning more and more about Him and His wonderful creation.

Consequently, we are properly humbled when we learn more because we see how very small we are compared to God, His creation, and particularly His holy angels.  We begin to count knowledge as a blessing which we are so unworthy to have.  How great God is!  We know that we are so blessed to have the truth!

In our times of great apostasy, seeing reality is a precious blessing.  Many souls do not see the obvious.  As Our Lady of Fatima said, “Many souls are going to hell because they have no one to pray for them.”  Hence, we can see that truth is a gift from God and He is not obliged to give it to us.

As we said in the previous Reflection, “Truth is the mind’s conformity to reality.” What is the highest reality man can know?  It is in the realm of theology and knowing about God Himself.  Where can we discover this knowledge about God?  Of course, the answer is from our Holy Catholic Faith.  In our Baptism we received this priceless treasure – our Faith.  With our Faith, we must be vessels of truth.  We must be apostles of truth in this pagan world.  We would not want to trade the Faith or any of the truth we hold, for anything in the world!  We cannot thank God enough for the Faith and the truth!

The following words of Our Lord are so consoling, “And you shall know the truth: and the truth shall make you free.”  St. John’s Gospel, 8:32. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” St. John’s Gospel, 14:6.

And as we know from what Our Lord told us, “For many are called, but few are chosen”,[1] and “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”,[2] that Our Lord is telling us strongly how few is the number of the elect.  Therefore, to save our souls is a tremendous blessing and gift of God.  We know we must pray fervently to God to beg Him to allow us to be in the number of the Elect.

We cannot presume that we will be in the number of the Elect.  Yet, God wants us to remember through the virtue of hope, that He will not abandon us if we do not abandon Him.  Hence, we must pray earnestly to Him to help us never give up through proud despair.

We can easily conclude that when we simply ponder the fact that we do not deserve the gift of Faith, we see that God is lovingly protecting us in these times of dark apostasy.  All the more should we want to use our reason to the best of our abilities, cling to our God-given Faith, and pray for the gift of final perseverance.  But in addition to these, we should desire to stand up for the Faith and spread the Faith, remembering also Our Lord’s words, “And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  St. Matthew’s Gospel. 25:30.  Remembering also that Our Lord says, “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required”[3], we would certainly want to show God our sincerest gratitude for the blessing of the use of our reason, and the tremendous gift of the Faith.  We really cannot thank God enough for these exquisite blessings.  Knowing that words cannot go far enough to express our gratitude, we might try, with something like the following:

Our use of reason, oh what joy!

God wants us, this tool, to employ.

Deeper and richer truths to know,

Can our intellect perfect grow.

 

Created our we, our souls to save,

For this end, our reason God gave.

 Countless benefits by good use,

And evil snares, we can deduce.

 

In these dark times, in which we live,

Grateful to God, that He doth give,

A way to see, more what He wills,

Thinking clearly, this improves skills.

 

Sadly, so few, try to inspect,

Deeply into, any subject,

They, at the surface, content stay,

With the flow of the breeze, they sway.

 

Thanks be to God, we know not to

Do the things that, the worldlings do,

Much farther we search and can see,

How God does not, want us to be.

 

Caught up in, the world’s silly mess,

Making little things, our distress,

 But to have, an eternal view,

Our souls are of the most value!

 

With reason, by Faith, perfected,

And praying to be elected,

We can know that our gifts are rare,

Of God, others seem, not to care.

 

We cannot give God enough thanks,

To be counted in the Faith’s ranks,

Undeserved are these, many gifts,

By which our soul, up to God, lifts.

 

Let us pour out our hearts and souls,

Praise God for giving us true goals,

Thankful for all the benefits,

Of our Catholic Faith and wits.



[1]           St. Matthew’s Gospel, 22:14.

 

[2]           St. Matthew’s Gospel, 7:14.

 

[3]           St. Luke’s Gospel, 12:48.