CC in brief — November 2023

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

Pallbearers at Compromise Funerals

Q:        Can a faithful and informed Catholic be a pallbearer at a funeral taking place at a church of the “new” SSPX (or a different compromise group or priest)?

A:        No.  Some of the men of the Catholic Candle Team have been asked to be pallbearers for funerals conducted in the chapels of a compromise group or priest.  They have politely declined.  We think you should decline too. 

We think that a faithful and informed Catholic should never be a pallbearer at a compromise funeral for two reasons:

1.    It would cause scandal.  We should always avoid scandal, but especially on a gravely serious matter such as this.[1]  People would see us up in the front bringing in the body.  Being part of the activity, they would think that we are approving of this compromise funeral service.

2.    Funerals have a human and Natural Law component to them.[2]  For this reason, it is permitted for us to attend passively and to sit in the back of church without participating in anything except for standing when the body comes in and goes out.  This is done as part of the natural and human aspect of this office of the Natural Law.  But it is a different matter and is a compromise to contribute to (i.e., have a role in) the body being brought to that compromise venue for the purposes of the bad religious service.

We urge you not to be a pallbearer in a compromise funeral.



[1]           Scandal is giving the appearance of evil which makes another person more likely to sin.  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.43, a.1, ad 2.

[2]           Read this article about never participating in a compromise or false religious service: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/other-than-weddings-and-funerals-we-should-never-attend-any-religious-services-of-compromise-groups-or-false-religions

 

CC in brief — June 2023

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

A sedevacantist’s question

Q:      Isn’t it true that the post-Vatican II “popes” [sic] cannot be real popes because Our Lord founded His Church and made it simple enough to be recognizable by anyone who is prepared to use his ordinary common sense.  It wouldn’t be fair otherwise – it would amount to the infinitely just God being guilty of injustice in practice.  It wouldn’t be fair for people’s salvation to depend partly on their level of intelligence and learning.

A:      You are mistaken in your notion of fairness, for three reasons: 

1.    If the True Church were recognizable by anyone with common sense, then joining the Catholic Church would only be a matter of common sense and good human judgment.  Instead, though, joining the Church requires the supernatural Catholic Faith, which is a free, undeserved gift of God.  In matters of the true religion, there are many things that a person will not understand (despite using human common sense) unless he has the Faith, as St. Thomas teaches.  Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, §995. 

So, salvation does not depend “on their level of intelligence or learning” but on the free gift and election of God.  This free, undeserved gift of God is called Predestination”, which is God’s foreknowledge of what He Himself will do.  God foreknows where each man will spend Eternity.  But He only predestines the elect, not the damned, since God’s gifts are His work, which is essential to the salvation of the elect.

2.    Grace is a free gift of God, as is the Catholic Faith.  God does not give those gifts to everyone and that is not unfair.  For example, He does not give them to unbaptized babies who die before the age of reason.  They have no chance to be part of the True Church and they do not go to heaven.  But that is in no way unfair.  We recommend this article to clarify the Catholic position for you: https://catholiccandle.org/2019/12/23/1545/

3.    God does not damn persons for failing to have the gift of the Catholic Faith that He never gave them.  He damns persons (or, in a way, you could say the persons damn themselves) for sins they committed for which they are culpable.  So, for persons who only have the Natural Law, then they go to hell for sins they commit against the Natural Law, not against Church law, and also not because they do not have the Catholic Faith and grace.  Hypothetically, if a person were to live his whole life without grace and without sinning, then he would go to the Limbo of the babies.

God gives the Catholic Faith, wisdom, and grace to whom He wills, whether or not they can read.  St. Catherine of Sienna was correct about who the pope was during the Great Western Schism, whereas certain more learned men – also saints – on the other side of the dispute, were wrong.  Formal schism is a mortal sin which separates a person from the Catholic Church.  But these learned men and saints who were mistaken about who was pope during the Great Western Schism, were in material schism (making an innocent mistake), and were not in formal schism.

It is no more unjust for God to permit the deception of a Catholic by the conciliar hierarchy, than it is for Him to not give that person any grace or Faith in the first place.  God chooses how to dispense His free gifts.

Some of the horrors existing in the current human element of the Church have precedent in history.  But even where the horrors differ, this is a matter of God electing (predestining) whom He wishes.  Notice also, that a lot of what is going on, e.g., unnatural impurity, is against the Natural Law and so it is written in the heart of man what he should do and think, regardless of what the hierarchy says or does not say. 

It seems that a person born into conciliar surroundings or into any den of unnatural impurity (or whatever vice), is not worse off than a person born into the surroundings of Aztec cannibalism, human sacrifice, and paganism.  Even in those surroundings, the Natural Law is written in man’s heart.  And grace and the true Faith are undeserved gifts for anyone who receives them.

So, it is not “unfair” for God to allow a great many people to be misled by conciliar error, just like it is not unfair for God to allow people to live their entire lives in pagan surroundings with no mention of the true God and His true Church. 

Your “fairness” argument does not show that Pope Francis and his post-conciliar predecessors are (were) not true popes.  Despite their extreme dereliction of duty and their promotion of the conciliar Revolution, it is impossible that their sins and scandals would prevent God’s eternal plan for the salvation of the elect.  That is, He will not lose a single soul that was predestined to heaven, in spite of His shepherds’ miserable failures.


Catholic Candle
postscript:  Sedevacantism is a pernicious error.  To learn more why this error is wrong and why it is schism, read Sedevacantism: Material or Formal Schism, which is available:

Ø  Here as a free e-book: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf or

Ø  Here from Amazon, at cost: https://www.amazon.com/Sedevacantism-Material-Quanta-Cura-Press/dp/B08FP5NQR6

 

CC in brief — September 2022

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 any readers to submit their own questions.

 

 

CC in Brief

 

Q.        While sanctifying the Sunday at home, I recently read these words in a sermon on hell:

 

In hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh!  That an hour were given to us”.  They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin.  But this hour or minute they never shall have. 

 

My question is: Do the damned in hell really long for a chance to repent?

 

 

A.        No.  The damned do not long for a chance to repent and to begin pleasing

God.  They could never use that chance of repentance, even if it were somehow given to them.[1]

 

Hell is not really full of repentant sinners.  In hell, the wills of the damned are fixed forever in rejecting God and hating Him.  The damned hate being in hell but would never have a change of heart and begin to love God, with sorrow for their sins, although the damned regret that they are being punished.

 

The damned hate God and don’t want to be with Him.  They hate being in hell but do not want to be with God in heaven.  They hate reality and would like to be in a (supposed) “paradise” without God (if that could be possible) and would like to be in a place of comfort and pleasure where they could continue to hate God and live a disorderly life.  But the damned do not repent of their sins and do not want to repent.

 

With man’s fallen human nature, it is so common for sinners to delay repentance and to delay amending their lives.  Throughout the ages, good priests have used various techniques to move sinners to cease delay and begin leading the Catholic life they know they should lead.

 

One method is to move sinners to repentance by raising the prospect of having waited too long and losing the chance to repent.  In this sermon, these sinners – who tell themselves they will repent later – are presented with the prospect of having waited “too long”.  Right now, in this present life, these sinners would regret having waited too long and being damned in hell forever. 

 

So, this sermon is, in effect, placing before the listener the prospect of that delay and the regret they would feel now, if they knew their continued delay would eventually cause their damnation.  That seems to be the intent of the sermon you quote.



[1]           Here is one way that St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, teaches this truth:

 

Moreover, it is just, that as long as the sinner remains in his sin, the punishment which he deserves should continue. And, therefore, as the virtue of the saints is rewarded in Heaven, because it lasts forever, so also the guilt of the damned in Hell, because it is everlasting, shall be chastised with everlasting torments. ”Quia non recipit causæ remedium,” says Eusebius Emissenus, “carebit fine supplicium.”  The cause of their perverse will continues: therefore, their chastisement will never have an end. The damned are so obstinate in their sins, that even if God offered pardon, their hatred for him would make them refuse it.

 

Quoted from St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Sermon 50, for the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost.

CC in brief — The Existence of Time in the Afterlife

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.         While sanctifying the Sunday at home, I read in a sermon recently that stated:

“Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in hell.”

Is this true that there is no time in heaven or in hell?

  1. There is time in heaven and in hell.

Anywhere that there are bodies which move, there is time.  In fact, time is the measure of the motion of a body.  When a body moves, there is a “before” and an “after” of time, with the movement continuing between this beginning and its ending.  By contrast, angels are not, properly speaking, in time because they do not have bodies.


In heaven

We hold that it will be possible for the blessed to move their bodies in heaven.  We hold that they will be able to smile, to sing, and to move from place-to-place.  In fact, they will have the gift of agility in their glorified bodies.  This will make their movement effortless and extremely fast.  We reject the idea that the bodies of the blessed will be frozen in perpetual immobility.  Because the blessed will move their bodies, there will a “before” and an “after” to these movements and there will be time in heaven.

Further, we hold that it will be possible, e.g., for Our Lord and the Blessed Mother to turn their heads and to smile upon the saints.  

Because of all such movements, there will certainly be time in heaven.


In limbo

The limbo of the babies is a part of hell (but is not a part of the hell of the damned).  We hold that limbo is a place of natural happiness.  We hold that the resurrection of the bodies at the end of the world will include the bodies of those in limbo.  We hold that those persons in limbo will be able to move their bodies.  

Perhaps those in limbo will stroll in beautiful surroundings.  Perhaps they will sing or talk together.  Any such activities (which are part of living in natural happiness) will involve their bodies and will require movement and, thus, time.

In the hell of the damned

It would seem that the damned in hell will not be able to do any activities which will give them relief or enjoyment.  So, in that regard, they might be fixed in immoveable pain and misery.  

However, there are some bodily activities that might occur in hell.  Perhaps the damned will torture each other, or scream at each other, or shout curses and words of hatred at each other.  

So, is there time in heaven and hell?

Thus, we hold that there is unending time in heaven, in the limbo of the babies, and in the hell of the damned.  

Where is there eternity?

In fact, one could ask whether there is any eternity in hell.  Loosely speaking, never-ending time is sometimes called eternity. Since the time in hell is literally unending, we could loosely call it “eternal” in this way.  

Further, we talk about an unpleasant experience being eternal.  For example, if the dentist was drilling my tooth for a long time, we might say, as a manner of expression, that “I sat in the dentist’s chair for an eternity.”

But strictly speaking, it seems that eternity belongs most properly only to heaven, and not to hell.  Whereas time is similar to a point moving along a line, and for which there is a “before” and an “after”, by contrast, eternity is an ever-present “now” which is like a point that does not move.  

Thus, properly speaking, God is in eternity.  He never moves in any way.  He thinks only one thought and has only one act of love without end.

The blessed in heaven are also, properly speaking, in eternity not as they smile at Our Lord (or whatever other acts they do which involve their bodies), but rather as they are immersed in the greatest happiness of heaven, which is the Beatific Vision.  

In this vision, their minds will see God in His essence, without any movement.  As the blessed see God, their minds will not go from “point to point” in the manner in which we think on this earth.  Their minds will see a single vision of God’s essence without movement or weariness, without end.

Thus, in summary, God, the angels, and the saints are in eternity, properly speaking in the Beatific Vision.  The blessed in heaven are also in unending time, along with all humans in limbo and in hell.

CC in brief — What do we mean when we say that God is everywhere?

Catholic Candle note: We should study the Catholic Faith our whole life.  Part of this duty is to understand more fully the truths of the Faith we already learned as children.  Thus, for example, concerning the question “Who is God?”, we know from our First Communion Catechism that “God is the Supreme Being Who made all things.”  During our life, we should learn more about God, as best we can, little-by-little, using the opportunities we have.

The very short article below is an aid to help us to “peer a little more deeply” into the answer to the catechism question “Where is God?”  

Q:        What do we mean when we say that God is everywhere?

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church, gives this simple, clear, and profound answer, explaining how God is everywhere, in three ways:

It is customary to say that God is in all things by His essence, presence, and power.  To understand what this means, we should know that someone is said to be by his power in all the things that are subject to his power; as a king is said to be in the entire kingdom subject to him, by his power.  He is not there [i.e., in his entire kingdom], however, by presence or essence.  

Someone is said to be by presence in all the things that are within his range of vision; as a king is said to be in his house by presence.

And someone is said to be by essence in those things in which his substance is; as a king is in one determinate place [e.g., on his throne].

Now we say that God is everywhere by His power, since all things are subject to His power: “If I ascend into heaven, you are there ….  If I take my wings early in the morning, and dwell in the furthest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me” (Ps 138:8).

He is also everywhere by His presence, because “all things are bare and open to His eyes,” as is said in Hebrews (4:13).

He is present everywhere by His essence, because His essence is innermost in all things.  For every agent, as acting, has to be immediately joined to its effect, because mover and moved must be together.  Now God is the maker and preserver of all things with respect to the esse [i.e., the being] of each. Hence, since the esse [i.e., the being] of a thing is innermost in that thing, it is plain that God, by His essence, through which He creates all things, is in all things.  [In other words, God creates all things by His Own essence and so God’s essence must be together with all creatures and so is everywhere.]

Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, ch.1, #134.


Conclusion.  God is in all things in these three ways, by His essence, His presence, and His power.

CC in brief — September 2021

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 a short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite any reader to submit his own question.

 

 

CC in brief

 

Strategy for Obtaining a “Conscience Exemption”

When Confronted with a COVID Vaccine Mandate

 

Q.  To get a “conscience exemption” from a COVID vaccine mandate, should we use this Vatican teaching (quote below)?

 

The Vatican has instructed the faithful that: “As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health.”[1]

 

A.        We, at Catholic Candle, would never accept the COVID vaccine under any conditions!  Further, we would never use the above, dangerous, conciliar Vatican teaching to justify our refusing the vaccine.

 

First, to use this Vatican teaching plays the game on the conciliar playing field, i.e., it accepts the conciliar principle for making the decision.  In contrast to the Vatican’s teaching (above), we hold the Traditional Catholic principle that no one may use abortion-related vaccines even if, hypothetically, many people would die (including us) if that vaccine were not used.  The end does not justify the means, even when our life is at stake.

 

Second, if we were to rely on the Vatican’s principle (quoted above), this would suggest that we consider the conciliar popes to be worthy authorities on matters of Faith and morals.  Although they are our valid popes[2] – one after the other – they are unworthy, bad fathers.  Despite those popes holding the office of pope, we would never quote them as authorities for true Catholic Faith or morals.[3]

 

When we refuse the vaccine, we would rely on the argument that we are Traditional Catholic and that fact means that we reject the modern conciliar teachings.  We hold fast to the Tradition of the Church on all matters of Faith and morals, including the Traditional teaching that such abortion-connected vaccines are always evil and never permissible for any reason.[4]

 

Not only do we reject that Vatican’s principle (above) because it is wrong and sinful, but we also think it sets the person up for failure to obtain a “conscience exemption” from the vaccine. 

 

When one of the Catholic Candle Team was at Notre Dame, that university ordered him to get a rubella (abortion-developed) vaccine.  The school used against him the Vatican language quoted above (about weighing the consequences of great danger to public health if he did not get the vaccine).  The school told him that, under this Vatican language, those public health consequences required him to get the vaccine. 

 

We think that a vaccine-objector cannot win this argument (based on the Vatican’s conciliar teaching quoted above) because it sets up both sides to weigh whether the end justifies the means in the particular case, and predictably, the pro-vaccine group (requiring the vaccine) will always say that the consequences are huge and that the end (public health) does justify the means (getting the vaccine).

 

The Catholic Candle Team member replied to the school, saying what any faithful and informed Catholic should reply:

 

You don’t understand.  I reject that post-Vatican II teaching.  I am Traditional Catholic and I follow the pre-Vatican II teaching that it is never permissible to get an abortion-connected vaccine. 

 

Notre Dame kept insisting that he get the vaccine as the deadline approached, to see if he would back down.  But when he did not back down, they granted him a waiver at the last minute.

 

 



[1]           Quoted from: Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses, Pontifical Academy for Life, June, 2005.

[2]           See the explanation here, that the post-conciliar popes are valid popes: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf

 

CC in brief — July 2021

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 a short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

                

 

Why No One should play Dungeons and Dragons

 

Q.  My son has gotten into the game Dungeons and Dragons at his school and from the stories he’s told me about the game, it sounds pretty bad.  I want to give him some definitive reasons he shouldn’t play it, but I don’t know enough about it to tell him not to.  Any help is appreciated.

 

A.  The virtuous life is the happy life on earth and, more importantly, is the road to heaven.  We should not engage in entertainments which work against virtue and our progress toward heaven.

 

One such entertainment is the role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, which especially attracts high school boys and less-mature young men.

 

Here are our five biggest reasons this game is bad and everyone should avoid it.

 

1.    Dungeons and Dragons presents a false moral framework for life.  This is done explicitly and implicitly.  Players are allowed to explicitly choose to make their characters evil or morally “neutral” (i.e., “amoral”, “chaotic”) and players are free to live according to whatever moral standards they choose.  Thus, they are allowed to choose, imagine, and cause their characters to sin without limitation or contrition.  This is licentiousness, not true liberty, and it is not the conduct of a friend of God! The evil of that licentiousness is evident if someone puts himself in God’s “shoes”: Suppose a person learned that his family members and best friends spent considerable time enjoying the daydream of torturing and murdering him.  Their pleasurable fantasy would prove that they do not love him and are not his friends.  Similarly, a person would obviously offend God and not be God’s friend, if he spent his recreation time enjoying the daydream of offending God by committing sins.

2.    Besides the sin of willfully taking pleasure in imagining committing sins, such daydreams can also be sins for a second reason: they can lead to committing those sins we are imagining, and could make it easier for us to commit those sins through breaking down any reluctance we might have to committing such sins.  So, e.g., if a young man were to spend a lot of time taking pleasure by imagining shoplifting and how he could do it without getting caught, it would tend to break down his inhibitions and could make him more likely to actually commit that sin.  Thus, such imaginings can be deliberate (and unnecessary) occasions of sin.

 

3.    Besides this false moral framework (discussed above), Dungeons and Dragons promotes and glorifies killing for personal gain and advantage.  Catholics (and all men seeking virtue) should be peaceable and should be builders, not destroyers, as much as possible.  Dungeons and Dragons encourages the opposite: “let’s go kill and be violent”.

 

4.    Dungeons and Dragons presents to the players the false, central goal of living to amass material goods and power, whereas the truth is that those goods play only a small part in the good and happy life.  The truly important parts of life are missing and are “written out” of the game.

 

5.    Dungeons and Dragons promotes interest in (and entrance into) the occult, to learn about, use, and seek spells and magic.

 

The above reasons leave aside many other reasons not to play Dungeons and Dragons, such as:

 

§  Dangers to purity built into the game;

 

§  The wasting of time involved in the game;

 

§  The inherent, additional unwholesomeness of this game as played as a computer game, i.e., when the game is played on that medium.  (Board games are generally better than electronic games.)

 

§  The superiority of “real” activities, such as sports, hiking, rafting, writing and reading activities, art and kraft projects, fishing, long bike rides, swimming, gardening, raising animals, model rockets, taking on extra side jobs to save money for college, etc.

CC in brief — May 2021

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.  Why does the N-SSPX now lean liberal with its followers?

 

A.  If a traditional Catholic or a Society doesn’t fight against liberalism every day, gradualism will take over and they will become liberal after a time.  The New SSPX no longer fights against liberalism daily as Archbishop Lefebvre did.  They may merely mention the problem of liberalism, but are not fighting against it. 

 

CC in brief — April 2021

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

QI’m so confused.  Is there a mass that I can attend, i.e. SSPX or SSPV?  Should I simply stay home and pray the traditional Rosary?

A. We are in the same position you are, with no Mass to attend, since there are no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world.  We strongly encourage you to do what we do: we stay home and sanctify the Sunday there, reading the Mass prayers, a good sermon, etc.  We use the program set out here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/sanctifying-sunday-no-mass.html

Even if we don’t “feel” content in our feelings or emotions, nonetheless with our will and intellect (the important faculties) we should be perfectly content without the Mass and Sacraments when they are not available without compromise.  Read this morale-boosting explanation here:  https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/complete-contentment-without-the-mass-when-it-is-not-available-without-compromise.html

 We urge you not to attend compromise groups to get the Sacraments, even where they are valid Sacraments.  The Sacraments of compromise groups do not please God.  https://catholiccandle.org/2020/04/02/a-compromise-groups-masses-and-sacraments-do-not-give-grace-because-the-end-does-not-justify-the-means/

The SSPX is a compromise group and is liberal (as is Bp. Williamson’s group). To see concrete evidence of the “new” SSPX’s increasing liberalism, click on the “Society of St. Pius X” tab at this link: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/#gsc.tab=0

Most of the SSPV have doubtful ordinations and all of them are in schism.  Read more about the schism of sedevacantism in a book available here: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf  If you prefer, you can buy this book (which is sold at cost) here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FP5NQR6?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860#reader_B08FP5NQR6

 

 

 

CC in brief — March 2021

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. My husband says it was wrong for the Southern States of the U.S. to attempt to secede – that is, to revolt – from the Federal, national government, in the civil war of the 1860s.  Is my husband correct?

 

A. There are many things to consider in assessing whether the Southern States were permitted to secede from the Union.  For example, was it prudent to secede based on the chances of success?  However, in this short CC in Brief, we leave such other considerations aside.  Although it is true that revolution is always evil,[1] nonetheless, the question arises whether the Southern States’ secession was revolution or was it the exercise of a right given by the Union’s founding agreement.  

 

The U.S. Constitution is the agreement between the states which governed their mutual relationship.  That agreement is silent on this issue, unlike, e.g., the European Union’s charter which explicitly allowed for a country to exit the EU as Britain did.[2]

 

One could suppose that the fact that the original 13 American colonies revolted against Britain implies that the U.S. Constitution might implicitly allow secession of any states which chose to sever ties with the U.S. federal government, just as those colonies severed ties with England.  Further, it certainly seems that there could be an element of hypocrisy in the successors of the American revolutionaries refusing to allow secession from their own Union, although they demanded this secession from England.  Nonetheless, the Southern States’ right to secede (or not) would “boil down” to whether secession was implicitly allowed (or implicitly forbidden) under the U.S. Constitution.

 



[1]           Read the analysis of this issue here: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/02/01/revolution-is-in-the-air/

 

[2]           Cf., Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

 

CC in brief — January 2021

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.  Why does the SSPX now lean liberal with its followers?

 

A.  If traditional Catholic individuals or groups don’t fight against liberalism every day, gradualism will take over and they will become liberal over time.  The “new” SSPX no longer fights against liberalism daily as Archbishop Lefebvre did.  They might merely mention the problem of liberalism, but they do not fight against it. 

 

 

Catholic Candle note: Here are some articles cataloging some of the liberalism of the “new” SSPX:

 

  https://catholiccandle.org/category/resources-for-priests/society-of-st-pius-x/

 

  https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/#gsc.tab=0  (from this page on our old website, click on the folder labeled “Society of St. Pius X”).

 

CC in brief — December 2020

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:        A Catholic friend (who considers herself conservative) told me that “we should not do penance during Advent because it is a time for rejoicing”.  Is she correct? 

A:        There is a grain of truth in what your friend says, but she is “more wrong than right”.  Advent is a time of anticipation (and preparation) for the joyful time of Christmas.  We see this in the Church’s hymns: Advent is the time of Oh Come, oh Come Emmanuel, not the time of Joy to the World.

So, there is an element of spiritual longing and a spiritual joy prominent on Gaudete Sunday.  However, Advent is a time of penance to prepare for the coming of Our Infant King.  Purple, the color of penance, is the liturgical color.   In Her liturgy, the Church emphasizes St. John the Baptist, with his calls for penance and preparing our hearts.

Like the secular world, the conciliar church seeks feasting with no fasting.  All of us, Traditional Catholics included, do much less penance than we should.  So, although Lent is a more penitential time than Advent, we should generously embrace Advent’s penitential spirit.

Lastly, we note that it is unfitting to have our Christmas parties during Advent instead of Christmastide, or to put our Christmas decorations up well before the Christ Child comes.

 

CC in brief — November 2020

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.

CC in brief — October 2020

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.