by Father John Hardon, S.J.
Need for and Outline for Re-Evangelization
It is to provide some basic guidelines for
the Catholic laity to restore America to its Christian origins. The premise
is on the principles of the Catholic faith. Not to the New World to the discovery
of the Americas; and as long as I am sure you know, the next International
Eucharistic Congress is in Seville, Spain where Christopher Columbus was first
buried. The Holy Fathers wish is that as many Americans as possible North
and South America participate in the International Eucharistic Congress
in Seville which is from the 3rd to the 11th of June,
This will be my 23rd year in working
for the Holy See. I was there last month on business. The Holy Father has
no illusions. Among the countries of the New World the most secular is the
United States. He has great hope and I am not exaggerating he is hoping
that a miracle will take place to convert America back to God. We may say
that this projected re-evangelization is not optional. On its success depends
nothing less depends nothing less than the survival of our America are
numbered. No way, no way the United States can survive given its present deluge
of immorality. God wont it. We are too influential worldwide as a nation.
In the opening lecture which I will give after
this introduction, on the re-evangelization of America; a responsibility of
the laity. In order to achieve this notice re-evangelization the language
is the Holy Fathers to achieve this re-evangelization the laity has certain
obligations: to understand their Catholic Faith, to live their Catholic Faith
faithfully, to pray their Faith by a growing union with God, to share their
Faith by personal should be personal conversation and active evangelization;
and finally and crucially to suffer for their Faith by uniting their trials
physically and spiritual in union with Christ for the conversion of sinners
and the extension of Christs kingdom. No Catholic can remain a Catholic faithful
person in America today without suffering no way, no way! Either you pay
and you pay dearly whether you are a Catholic bishop, a Catholic priest,
a Catholic religious, a Catholic father and mother, husband and wife, child,
student. You name it! Either you pay and you pay dearly or you will compromise
your examples of nominal Catholics who are not willing to pay for their Faith.
What is our method or procedure? First, reading
carefully the Second Vatican Council document on the Apostolate of the Laity.
You should all have received copies and the reading assignment I think I
told you you will be given a quiz and it will be a short quiz. I tried to
make it as perceptive as possible. It will last no more than ten minutes and,
by the way, dont be late for class. If you are not all here, Ill delay giving
the quiz until you get here
on that reading just to see whether you have
read it and your mind was turned on while you were reading it.
The class lectures following the sequence
outlined above on the Catholic re-evangelization of American and then some
practical ideas or personal and organized apostolic re-evangelization organization
including the retrieval of lapsed Catholics. Here, by the way, I welcome your
recommendations. As you know, the new universal Catechism is already published
in the original French. However, it has yet to be released to the public.
You will be pleased with it when you see it. The English edition should be
available, maybe by Christmas. In any case, I need not tell you we need
a massive re-education of millions of American Catholics. Do you believe me?
And I know I am being taped but I must say it I have already said it
in effect before including our priests they need to be re-educated and
I am quoting as I said before, by own Vatican superior who has a right to
tell me that ideas you have for retrieving lapsed Catholics for re-evangelizing
our country will be welcome. Any idea, and the more practical the better
whether individually or as a group effort. One of my hopes from this, and
Lord willing, the spring semester of these classes to organize the Holy
See is telling me to organize the laity in a way in that we have not so
far been organized in our country. Then questions as usual. I would recommend
putting your questions on the 3 x 5 cards and Ill cover depending upon
how many questions there are at least the last 20 or some minutes of the
present class. The class ends, I believe, at 4:15 P.M. and well start the
questions, present plan, at 5 to 4 P.M.
What we are doing, by the way, the last class
which is going over those questions; I will have a manuscript for each of
these classes. Then I will ask somebody to type the manuscript and then have
it available to the class afterwards. Is that fair? As I think I have told
you, you dont give it to the students beforehand. That spoils it. Besides,
I wont just read, Ill use this as a manuscript to refresh my memory.
Subject: The Re-evangelization of America a Responsibility of the Laity
We do not normally think of America as a mission
country. On the contrary, we have for generations been sending missionaries
to other countries to the people of Asia and Africa we have mission aid
societies, a mission center. Over the years, thousands of American religious
and priests and the Holy Father wants an increasing number of dedicated lay
Catholic missionaries let me repeat: the Holy Father wants a growing number
of dedicated lay Catholic missionaries to other countries. Part of our responsibility
one reason you may be surprised for this course however much has happened
since the middle even of the 20th Century we have become more
and more secularized. Not too many decades ago we could honestly say as our
Supreme Court on one occasion said can you imagine the united States is
a Christian nation. Our churches were numerous, our congregations were flourishing,
our Catholic school system was the envy of the world. Our Catholic family
life was always under severe pressure but it was stable family life and our
Christian values of right and wrong were basically sound.
My purpose in this opening class is to ask
four questions and try within the period at our disposal to answer them. First,
why why does America have to be re-evangelized as the Pope was telling
the American bishops? Second, what does re-evangelization mean? Third, how
is the re-evangelization of our country to be done and fourth, who is mainly
responsible for this re-evangelization?
First, why does American have to be re-evangelized?
If it isnt, America as a nation
will disappear. It has to be re-evangelized because America has become de-Christianized.
Now, in my opinion, it is not an opinion, it is a provable fact. There are
certain basic premises of Christianity which are easily identified even where
a person is not professedly Catholic. There are principles of faith and norms
of morality that who should claim to be Christian still believe in, and in
greater or less measure, put into practice. Plus, a Christian believes in
the existence of a personal God who is the creator of the human race; a Christian
believes that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ; thus Christmas
Day is the birthday of Christ, the Son of the Virgin Mary and Good Friday
is the commemoration of His death by crucifixion on Calvary. Easter Sunday
is the feast of Christs resurrection from the dead. Sometime ago I was talking
to a Methodist bishop of Chicago. He was, by the way, from Kalamazoo originally,
but we knew each other. He came to Chicago a Methodist bishop of northern
Indiana about 400 Methodist churches under his jurisdiction. He said, I
watched TV on Easter morning. I stayed there much of the day I kept an eye
not one program on one Chicago TV station would even imply that Easter
Sunday was the anniversary of Christs resurrection from the dead. So he
said, I mobilized my Methodists and I can tell you the next Easter Sunday
because we threatened these TV stations with foreclosure I am happy to say
that Easter Sunday now you can tell oh, yes Easter Sunday is the anniversary
of Christs resurrection from the dead.
A Christian believes there are certain moral
laws that are divinely binding on all people. That premarital sex relations
are fornication. That extramarital sex activity is adultery. A Christian believes
that marital relations between husband and wife are sacred. That artificial
birth control is a sin; a Christian believes that sex activity between two
men or two women is sodomy and a crime that characterizes the pagan nations
of antiquity and destroyed their civilization. No society has ever survived
homosexuals in power. They are in power I mean it, Ive got no prophetic
powers I hope I make it to the year 2000. A Christian believes that the
willful destruction of unborn human life is murder. A Christian believes that
marriage is a lifetime commitment. And that divorce with remarriage is forbidden
by Jesus Christ, even among Christians who are not Catholic. Marital instability
was frowned upon and an embarrassment to Protestants. For Catholics there
never was any question of a temporary marriage or a part-time commitment and
there was no organized movement for the annulment of marriages. I repeat:
the days of America are numbered. The Catholic Church cannot survive. No wonder
they are closing so many churches. Because many of the once believing Catholics
are no longer Catholics.
A Christian welcomed children and Christian
families were sizable and the population growth was substantial and our schools
were flourishing. Something drastic has happened! Every one of the features
identified as typical of a Christian civilization is to say the least
on trial. Our Holy Father in speaking to the bishops from Western Countries
is telling them in the plainest possible language: there are people in Germany,
in France, in England and surprisingly, in Spain, and Italy and, not surprisingly
the United States you people must be re-evangelized. And, it is harder,
it is harder, to re-evangelize than to evangelize in the first place. Born
pagans who have never been Christians are easier to convert to Christianity
than those who have been Christians and, as we say, mistakenly abandoned
nobody abandons the Catholic Faith they give it away they dont lose it.
Second question: What does re-evangelization mean?
We better know I made my
first trip to the country where my parents were born Slovakia last month.
I was forbidden to enter the country till two years ago when the Soviet government
pulled out because I was legally a Soviet citizen. But I would not in conscience
visit just my relatives. It had to be some other justifiable reason. There
was. To begin making contact which they made on their side with the liberated
countries. You name it, they need it! And the poorest cities the villages
have kept the Faith. The only way you could get any education beyond the
early grades in Czechoslovakia which had become Communist and you couldnt
get a decent job unless you were a card carrying Communist. Yet so many remained
What then does re-evangelization mean? And
we are worse off I mean it and so many millions that have been enslaved
by Communism for up to 70 years. It means reconversion. It means bringing
people whose ancestry was Christian and who even have been baptized, who may
have been professed Catholics but who no longer believe in the basic truths
revealed by Christ and taught by the Church for 1900 years.
Is it October 10th that I am speaking
in Lansing to the Michigan Right to Life? They called me up to remind me Be
sure to show up! They want to see me at the hotel the night before breakfast
at 7:30 A.M. After breakfast I am to speak on The Future is Ours! So I said,
you know, I told the woman who called me up, you know I am a Catholic priest.
I suppose I am to speak, well, like a Catholic priest and talk about the Catholic
principles of the pro-life movement. Oh no, she says, oh no! Youve got
a mixed audience. Oh how well I have been trained as a Jesuit! Ill speak
as a militant Roman Catholic!
Re-evangelization means more than converting
people from the life of sin. The hardest and most important conversion we
need in the United States is conversion of the mind. The minds of millions
have been perverted by our multi-billion dollar American educational system.
It means converting their minds to accept
on divine authority what God has revealed. It means bringing unbelievers who
have thrown away their Christian heritage to become believers. And by the
way, I would like to share this with you; there is a man who came to visit
me from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has organized a movement called Say Yes to Jesus.
Sounds like Billy Graham; though he is a Catholic he even got shirts Say
Yes to Jesus. And hes organizing youth rallies in different large cities
of the country and during these rallies he would even have the Blessed Sacrament
exposed and he gets priests to hear Confessions! Isnt that great? A layman
a prominent business man of Tulsa. He came to see me. I said, Wonderful
idea, but whats your follow-up? Thats why Im here! I promised to provide
him with personnel unpaid pardon me unpaid, well in the money of this
world, but paid by the Divine Treasurer in supernatural currency which I call
Divine Grace. Do you think Lansing could stand a rally? Detroit, do you think
Detroit could stand a youth rally? And he tells me, I have to say this, and
hes meeting his worst opposition from the clergy.
The very term re-evangelization is new to
our vocabulary and the reason is not hard to find. Our century is witnessing
the most widespread and devastating loss of Faith among Christians, including
Catholics hear it in the history of Christianity. There has never been
such widespread apostasy among once believing Catholics as of the 20th
century. Never? Never! And one reason of course, is the media. We must make
sure we know what we are saying. In the Western world there has been a massive
abandonment of Christian belief and a correspondent abandonment of Christian
morality. When a priest may God forgive him in an international magazine
on the spiritual life writes a learned, dripping with footnotes article defending
homosexuality, the Western world is indeed de-Christianizing. Recently, I
received a telephone call from a priest in California who asked whether Catholics
in a given western state could vote yes on a ballot which allowed direct abortion
under certain circumstances. You have the choice to vote unrestricted abortion.
In other words, American citizens are no longer being given the option to
vote against all direct killing of the unborn.
I was in Washington, as I said, just this
week-end. I am in there a lot. Lived there for four years, and over the years
I have been working with those working with the government. I can tell you
the voting, we still say mistakenly in a democratic society we have a choice,
and in many cases we dont even have a moral choice. The choice they give
is often between the bad and the worst.
We return to our question: What does re-evangelization
mean? And we repeat re-evangelization means restoring the Christian Faith
to millions in our country who no longer believe that God became man in the
person of Jesus Christ. They just dont. You read the big thick book called
Jesus Christ by the Dominican theologian Schillebex if you read that
and you still believe in series that I was asked to analyze for the Holy See.
Bad, very bad! Widely used in one Catholic school after another in our country.
Eight years of indoctrination in what we call Nestorian Christianity. That
Christ had the same sex passions that we do. That is not only heresy or a
lie. That is perversion!
Many of our once believing Catholics no longer
believe that Christ died on the cross for the redemption of the human race;
that Christ rose from the dead. A German bishop not to be identified he
was elevated to the hierarchy and I have reason to think that he is now more
Catholic than he was before he became a bishop. He wrote a very learned book
in German published in different languages on Jesus Christ: the Resurrection
is merely and only and exclusively something which those who want to believe
in but we cannot establish that Christ really, truly rose from the dead in
a human body. Millions of Catholics no longer believe that Christ instituted
It was here after one of our Sunday classes
a lady came to me and told me she had just witnessed a baptism at which the
priest baptizing the child before the baptism told everybody, I want to make
sure you understand that baptism does not remove original sin. Am I clear?
Baptism does not remove original sin. This can raise some very serious problems!
Including, including how validly some priest are administering the sacraments.
Now just because a priest does not believe that baptism removes original sin
by itself does not invalidate his administration of the sacrament. But it
does raise problems and that is why I was called twice by the Holy Fathers
secretary, as Ive told you last year, to do something! Do something to restore
and, therefore, re-evangelize the Catholic faithful in your country in the
Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. One Catholic Church
after another looks like a Quaker meeting hall. There are dioceses, I am told,
where the bishop forbids the people to kneel during the consecration. I think
I told you what I do with a group of men that I spoke here at Dominos Farms
on one Good Friday lecture that I gave them. How many of you men will genuflect
before the Blessed Sacrament? Well, who does not genuflect? A dozen hands
went up. How many of you will always genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament?
About 50 hands went up. Come, how many how many of you? Finally, every
hand. Remember, for a man, this is a contract. The scandal, as I am sure you
know, of the massive desecration of the Real Presence means weve lost their
Faith in Jesus Christ being on earth in the Eucharist. Need I go on to explain
why it needs it sure does re-evangelization.
Third, the next question is How is this
Re-evangelization of our country to be done?
The answer is simple. Simple to put in words but not
easy to put in practice. Re-evangelization is to be done in the same way as
evangelization. Only you must work harder! Re-evangelization, therefore, is
more demanding than evangelization of pagans. It is always harder to reconvert
a former believer than it is to convert a non-Christian to Christianity or
a non-Catholic to the Catholic Church. Re-evangelization is more difficult,
it is less its appealing, is more costly in time, effort, and energy, and
human resources. Then, Im planning for the rest of the semester: How do we
re-evangelize? We re-evangelize, that means we restore the Christian and Catholic
Faith in our country, by doing five things:
- First, we learn our Catholic Faith!
And the ignorance in allegedly learned circles
of the Catholic Faith is abysmal.
- Secondly, by living our Catholic Faith.
If we are going to convert others we had better
be living bona fide authentic Catholic lives ourselves; otherwise people will
say, Well, if what you are telling me is the truth, then why has it been
lost on you?
- Thirdly, we must pray our Catholic Faith.
And I mean pray. And I mean pray!. Back to
my five days in a country rather where my parents were born in the village
from where my mother came 500 people I found out they are all related
every one of them. You meet somebody on the street you dont say hello
or good morning. You say Praise be Jesus Christ. And the answer is, Now
and forever. They pray! There is such a thing as praying all day. I knew
I made a mistake coming to class here. Pray! Well talk about this!
- Fourth, share the Catholic Faith.
I would welcome, by the way, any literature
you can provide. In fact, we may even have some exhibits here for class of
the way others are promoting whatever they are promoting the Mormons, the
Jehovahs Witness, the Hari-Krishnas: Take the New Age people they are there
peddling their wares and have penetrated, as you know, many, if not most Catholic
dioceses in America. Youve got to learn some of their techniques. How zealous
they are! How aggressive they are! I did tell you, didnt I, of the two Mormons
two young men well dressed, meets me in Manhattan came from the mother
church in Salt Lake City to convert Father Hardon. I told them I was flattered!
Youve got to work on people. Youve got to be shrewd. By the way, St. Ignatius
in the 16th century he was shrewd. So, whatever I have inherited
from him shrewdness so share the Faith. You dont hit people over the
head, You gotta become a Catholic! No, you smile. Theyre nice. When I began
teaching at Western Michigan they forbade me, as I think I told you, to exercise
any of my priestly ministry outside the classroom. There they told me not
to evangelize. Well so I got myself a job as a Catholic chaplain at the
state hospital and when I finally cleared things with the Bishop and the superintendent,
14 people showed up for my first Mass in kind of a small auditorium they have
there. So I thought to myself, and I asked the administrators there must
be more than 14 Catholics out of 3000 residents in the state hospital. I found
there were over 600. You know what happened? The Protestants were paying mazuma.
They were paying the people their money to come to their Sunday services.
I had no money so I had to use other Jesuitical means. I told you what we
did, didnt I? Oh I got the Protestants of Kalamazoo to form a committee.
Of course, you know who was chairman of that committee to build an inter-faith
chapel on the premises of the state hospital. I told you about this, didnt
I? Oh yes! We got money from we got $400,000. And, of course, remember,
this was engineered by a person who had other plans in view. So in the contract,
as long as Kalamazoos state hospital exists, its in writing, there must
be a Catholic chapel within that larger chapel where the Blessed Sacraments
permanently reserved. Isnt that neat! Then we have the church filled. So
we must share and share shrewdly.
- Finally, suffer!
Let me just say a word about the last item.
We usually think of suffering for our Catholic Faith. Well! Thats still true!
But there is also such a thing as suffering the Catholic Faith. Meaning what?
Meaning as Christ could not have been plainer in telling us! Finish the sentence
as a class; If you wish to be my disciples, you must take up your
cross daily and follow Me. In other words, to be a Catholic, youve got to
suffer! Well, let me change it. Can I use the blackboard or will that spoil
it? Is that o.k. or is that too far away? I can use it. Is there chalk there?
Pardon me! (inaudible
) Theres first such a thing as pain. Pain is whatever
is contrary to the created will. Weve touched on this before but here it
comes to the very heart of what we are teaching. Whatever is contrary to what
we want is pain. And the least pain we can suffer on earth is pain of the
body. Whatever is contrary to our will is pain. You married people; you want
your married partner to love you if I dont say the married partner does
not love you if you even think that maybe perhaps he or she does not love
you you already have pain. However, animals suffer pain but animals do not
What is suffering? Suffering is a rational
experience of pain. It is the experience of pain by a rational being. Because
what is most painful about pain is not the pain quote pain it is my mind
reflecting on the fact that I am suffering, that Ive got the pain. I know
whats going on in me and I dont like it. And the more I think about it the
harder it becomes. I know people who are tempted to question even the existence
of a God. What kind of a God is this that I am suppose to believe in? A God
who allows innocent children to suffer! But thats not all. Every human being
suffers. Every human being! From the moment we are born, in fact you have
the use of reason already in a mothers womb. I keep telling people unless
we are totally anesthetized before we leave this world, we leave it in a spasm
of pain. So everybody suffers but not everybody suffers willingly. So what
is willing suffering? Suffering that I am willing to endure. Thats patience.
Patience is the willing resignation to pain,
the main resistance to the pain that I am experiencing. But that is still
not the highest, but for our purpose the deepest meaning. We can suffer without
wanting to and do everything in our power to resist. The pain doesnt go away,
in fact, stupidly the pain gets worse. Youve got two kinds of pain; youve
got the pain of whatever source is causing the suffering and youve got the
pain of resisting the pain. Be smart, be patient! But thats not enough! For
us who believe in God becoming man, it is not only that we suffer willingly;
it is that we choose to suffer. And that is sacrifice!
When we say that one of the ways that we are
to re-evangelize, which means to reconvert our nation mostly Christianity
and to the Catholic Faith is suffering. I mean not only suffering for the
Faith but suffering the Faith. Living a Faith which not only experiences pain,
but realizes what Ive been enduring, wants to endure it but even what are
we saying chooses to suffer. And here you better be you better be not
just a Catholic but a very deeply intelligent Catholic I mean it to believe
only experience can teach it! No books you can read will prove it to you.
The deepest joy on earth is to choose to suffer out of love for God. You dont
find that in Adler or Freud or modern psychologists. All of this is locked
up in what we are talking about. Namely, that by our suffering we evangelize
of for our purpose re-evangelize those who have abandoned their Faith because
how many people have told me it is the lives we live as Catholics that are
the most powerful magnets for attracting other people to the Faith we profess.
But you have to profess it, not just with your lips oh no youve got to
profess it not only in your life but by your patient and, indeed, sacrificial,
loving not only acceptance but even choice of suffering because then,
then we make sense to the unbelieving world that Christianity must it must
be very deep. Look at what it does to human beings. It changes them from selfish
persons to those who out of love for God even choose to suffer because they
love Him. One more part, in about 7 minutes we finish at a quarter after 4.
My clock says 18 to
does your clock too?
Fourth Question: Who is Mainly Responsible
for this Re-evangelization of America?
Let me tell you whatever class you may have
sat in on or whom I have taught, I can tell you this one is for real! Somebody
had better do something to restore the Catholic Faith in our country. Who?
Theres no doubt. The answer should be: It is the Catholic laity! And so why?
And I have six reasons:
- The laity are empowered by the sacraments of
Baptism and Confirmation to evangelize and re-evangelize other people. Nary
in 2000 years of the Churchs legislation have the rights and responsibilities
of the laity I repeat evangelize for our purpose, re-evangelize, than
the present Code of Canon Law. It is the laity!
- The laity are the most numerous members of
the Mystical Body of Christ. And nobody has to delegate you or appoint you.
This, by the way, is one of the major developments of doctrine in the Catholic
Church introduced by the much maligned Second Vatican Council. Theres no
longer a need for being well officially delegated, say by a bishop. No!
All the lay person has to do or a group of lay people is to want to do what
they believe before God would be, say teaching the Faith, evangelization
and all the bishop has to do, all he needs to do is to tolerate them in the
diocese. Isnt that neat? Oh wow it works! Your numbers organize! mobilize!
- Why are the laity mainly responsible? They
are in direct contact and in daily association with a de-Christianized world
in which we live. In other words, you can immediately have impact on those
with whom you are dealing. As I was talking to one of the representatives
in Washington, of one of the political parties and candidates, and I found
out that one of the secretaries for one of the candidates is not a Catholic.
So I said, Why not? Shes not interested. So I got the phone number. Im
going to call her up. Cant lose!
Youre in contact immediately
with the people who have the power political power, financial power, legal power.
- The laity are in positions of influence. In
the world and on the world such as new priests or religious could possibly
have. They are in charge of newspapers, magazines. Sometime ago I was in New
York, St. Agnes Church, with Father George Rutler. You probably know Father
Rutler, oh Father Rutler; hes the Assistant Pastor. And I had some work in
Manhattan so I left my suitcases in the rectory to save myself luggage,
came back before I took the flight out of New York. So we met, Father Rutler
and I, and he introduced me to a couple he was giving instructions to, the
editor and his wife of Sports Illustrated. And so he said, Oh, by the way,
look what we are using for instructions, The Catholic Catechism of the
Catholic Church. So you people are in contact with people of great influence.
Use that influence. Thats why youve got it! If youve got money, thats
why youve got money. Youve got money to be more powerful in sharing your
Faith with others.
- The laity realize as mothers and fathers of
families, as persons in the world, how business and politics, how deeply the
de-Christianization of America has become. You should have no illusions, you
are right there.
- Finally, the laity have the immediate experience
of dealing with the secularized world in our day. They know, you know, how
to cope with this world, how to affect it, how to change it, and with Gods
grace, how to convert it back to Jesus Christ.
I was giving a lecture in Salt Lake City some
years ago. One of the participants was a Catholic professor at the university.
He told me, Father, Ive decided to withdraw my children from going to the
public schools here in Utah because they are being Mormonized. Well! Im
just dropping a hint. But the power that we have to Christianize, even Catholicize,
the people that we associate with like for example, recently a girl at the
Northwest Airlines did me a service so I thanked her and then said, Ill
say a Rosary for you. She said, I should. So I gave her my Rosary. Oh,
I dont want your Rosary. Look, look, do you say the Rosary? But I dont
know how. All right, Ill send you directions. So I sent her a Rosary,
and, of course, a copy of the Pocket Catholic Catechism. I mean this
is just good business. This is basic. Am I making sense?
And it is time for questions. Are there any
questions? Pass them up. Please, Ill try to avoid walking in front of the
camera and pass them to the front.
- What is the number of the Canon that commands
the laity to evangelize and re-evangelize our society?
I would have to look it up. Cecilia,
would you please remind me to look this up and find the Canon for next time.
- Where/when we choose to suffer, do we seek our
suffering or do we choose to accept our present suffering out of love for God?
Well, Im sorry to have to tell
you; its both! I dont mean you stay up nights wondering what kind of suffering
can I endure tomorrow, or call somebody up: Would you provide me with some
pain! Most people are so obliging!
First of all, certainly we choose to accept
the suffering that God sends us. But there are many times, even during the
day, that we have an option of choosing two courses of action. One is easier,
one is harder. Providing there is no sin in choosing the harder and our effectiveness
in the apostolate would not suffer to choose what is more difficult. By the
sixth month of the novitiate for the first six months in the novitiate we
sat at table. Six men to a table. If you sat last, it was your own fault.
You got what was left
if there was anything left on the platter. By the seventh
month I became more and more spiritualized. There is an advantage in taking
the last place
because we learned to save the best or the better piece
anybody looked at a platter, those with the biggest piece of meat is on that
platter. Thats obvious! A child knows it! So am I making sense?
- Can you explain what is the Nestorian heresy?
The Nestorian heresy is the heresy invented
by Nestorius, the archbishop patriarch of Constantinople, who taught and he
required all of his priests to teach that Christ was two persons a divine
person and a human person. The divine person who may be the son of God, but
a human person. He was a human being so that Mary gave birth to and conceived
a human person. So the human and divine person in Christ were very close.
Oh so close so much so that you might say that Jesus was divine. But he
had, he had not just a human nature but a human personality so that his human
person was capable of sin.
I think I told you people there are writings
of Martin Luther that have never even been printed. They are so obscenely
blasphemous, describing Christs sinning. The Last Temptation that movie,
is only a mild, a mild commentary on Martin Luthers Nestorian Christology.
And that is the Christology, I repeat, of the New Creation series with a bright
shiny imprimatur from the Archbishop of Dubuque.
- Are we most painful in surrendering our own self
will? Upon doing so, isnt one then cluttered with peace knowing you are doing
Yes, but the secret is to give
in to surrender! And how we hold on youd give up anything except that
will of ours. And the trifling things on which some peoples will can be set.
Yes, great peace in fact, thats the only peace of heart that Catholic theology
knows. Peace of heart defined on Catholic terms is the peace experienced by
our human will conforming to the Divine Will.
- When someone refers to charismatic phenomena
I agree that no good effects could come from such phenomena if it is evil.
What should our argument be for them?
Now thats not true. In other
words, there are good actions; my heavens, good actions that can have bad
effects. And there are bad actions that can have good effects. For example,
I steal from a rich person. I mean steal. There is some poor person I want
to help. There is some poor person I want to help. It happens to be me. So
there is a rather good being done. Sin of stealing was being committed, but
well, Im better off. Thats a benefit. Or something which is evil can have
good effects and something good can have bad effects. For example, for me
as a priest, to stand up for my Faith. I think I told you that I am on the
faculty of the University of Ottawa where one of the students wrote a doctoral
thesis defending polygamy. Remember! Well, I was appointed one of the three
readers by the Dean. And when you are appointed a reader for a dissertation,
you have got to take it. And your tenure on the faculty depends on your taking
that job of reading and passing judgment on the thesis. I tried to dissuade
the priest the priest who wrote his doctoral thesis defending polygamy.
I went to the Dean and said, Now look, I tried to dissuade the writer of
this thesis but evidently I didnt succeed. I would like to be excused from
being the reader, the required reader for this thesis. So I was told, If
you decline your being the reader and judge of this dissertation, you can
no longer be on this faculty. So I said, Thanks. I didnt even take the
thesis back to my room. I left it on the Deans desk; finished the semester.
I have never taught one class at the University of Ottawa since. There can
be bad consequences to good actions. Does that make sense?
- How do we find out more about Martin Luther and
his blasphemous writing so a person can show a Lutheran this issue?
I would recommend to all of you
getting at least either the one copy edition or, I think it is the 6th
volume edition of Grisar, G-r-i-s-a-r, Grisar. He happens to be a Jesuit.
He wrote what I consider the best life of Martin Luther in existence. Totally
documented! Not a single thing that Grisar says it is not a quote directly
from Martin Luthers writings or from his biographers, his actions. Grisars
life of Martin Luther is a must for every Catholic! Read it!
- Is Abraham the father of Muslims as well as Christians?
Well, the Muslims consider him
yes their father. However, as you know, the Muslims because they deny
Christs divinity, they claim there were three principle prophets that Allah,
that is god, sent into the world Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. Even as Mohammed,
pardon me, even as Moses foretold Jesus, which he did, so by the claims Jesus
foretold Mohammed. He had to turn a few somersaults to do it, but he does
it. So, yes, Abraham would be their believing father, believing exactly in
one god because the world in which Mohammed was born was a world of polytheism
of many gods.
- Who or what can a person say to a charismatic
Catholic to tell them the movement is not Catholic?
I just came across, last night,
preparing my classes today of an article in a magazine in Rome. Remind me
to make copies of that article on the charismatic movement and its non-Catholic
foundations. The book was kind what else could it be to Charismatics.
And Ill be very happy to distribute copies. Im sure you dont mind if I
have things whatever 25 cents or 30 cents or whatever it costs for the Xeroxing.
Is that o.k.? So, I have a vow of poverty. I dont have a cent to my name.
- What can a person say to an M.D. friend, an evangelical
Lutheran, who believes in birth control? Why it is a sin or wrong and where
the Bible teaches it?
Well, the best place, of course,
in the Bible is in the Old Testament the sin of Onam. In other words remember
his brother died, married his brothers wife and then practiced what is called
Onamism withdrew during intercourse and he was killed by God for doing that.
Well, some of these so-called exegetes who remembers who remembers the
word that is the opposite of exegete? Who remembers? Isogete! Please? Isogete!
They read things into the Bible. They claim it wasnt because he committed
or sinned by practicing contraception because he did not allow his brothers
wife to have another child. So, however, from the very beginning contraception
was forbidden by the Church! And there again, because I have written much
more than I have published, I do have some unpublished manuscripts, even a
page or two, on the Churchs teaching from the very beginning 1st
century on the sinfulness of contraception.
- Can you suggest a book for a non-Catholic friend
who has many questions about our Catholic Faith? She thinks we are in error.
Well, I tell you what. The best
way to start with such a person is to have them first raise the objections.
So then you know what they should read because there are all kinds of books.
So may I ask this person to provide a problem by next week. This is a personal
request from myself. I would very much talk to this person and over the
telephone, or at least meet the person. Ill provide well, she has many
questions let her ask the questions. Ill be happy to provide the answers.
- Can a priest be a godfather?
Yes. Hed better use his head.
The most famous case I know of was a chaplain in the Viet Nam War. Godfather?
He adopted a child, Vietnamese child, and the child took his name. Well, and
boy, now! Just entered the seminary and was at Detroit University. So, yes.
- How does the natural law affect the culpability
of our actions? Does it inform us? Cardinal Arinze taught that anyone who
has an abortion or who performs one or who supports such a person would be
excommunicated automatically. Please explain how this is true.
Well, Cardinal Arinze taught?...the
Catholic Church teaches! So they are really two questions. How does the natural
law affect the culpability of our actions? Does it inform us? Of course. For
example, for many of us, before we reach the age of reason we are naturally
possessive. Do you know that? Ive watched babies in their little penitentiary
or play pen. Another child puts the hand in and picks up the rattle. There
is a scream! The baby, say 3 months old, would not know how to spell the word
steal. He has not reached the age of reason. So what! Instinctively we want
to hold on to what is ours. Well! We ought to know there are other human beings
besides ourselves. If we dont want people to take away from us, reason tells
us we shouldnt take from others. But if we scream when someone takes from
us, maybe theyd scream if we take from them. Yes, it does inform us. Now,
Cardinal Arinze yes, is it true? Yes! Now, of course, to be excommunicated
a person must be a Catholic to begin with. Because excommunication, it carried
also the penalty that not everybody could forgive that sin. Whereas I think
Ive mentioned last semester that now it being such a common sin the excommunication
now can be lifted by any priest with faculties from the diocese.
- I attend a Catholic college and blasphemous
and heretical literature is normally posted on bulletin boards. Would it be
stealing or charity for me to make them disappear?
Well, I like that language! It
would be Christian charity if you made them disappear. But, of course, youve
got to protect you must protect your own, well, position as a student.
But to answer the question please do not show this tape in that college.
- When a pregnant woman receives the Holy Eucharist,
what effects of grace does this reception have on the soul of this child?
It affects the child. It confers
a part of the grace on that unborn child. It is not unimportant. And the confessional
same thing. Graces through the mother on that unborn child.
- Lately I heard by some people that servile work
may be done for one hour on Sunday. Is this true?
Catholic moralists over the centuries
have always said that a certain amount of servile work may be done. And, say
up to an hour is one norm. However, I think I have a better explanation
on what I have been taught. First of all, as you know, servile work is that
work which the body, the muscles are mainly used. So the work can be called
muscular work. Consequently, there is another kind of work called work intellectual
work that may be done on Sundays. I have written too many manuscripts on Sundays
never thought I was sinning by working on Sunday. But even with servile
work servile work may be done not just for one hour may be done where
either charity or necessity requires it. And thus, say, now you cooks you
might say, well, in washing the dishes you dont usually save the dishes
for Monday. Am I correct? You wash them on Sunday. Now I know that is servile
work. But I would call that both a necessity and charity.
- In the present deluge of immorality, when will
it become apparent that continence in the Catholic Canon which has governed
Oh, that continence is in the
Catholic Canon Law. It will become apparent when more Catholics, beginning
with more bishops, priests and religious practicing continency. Am I clear?
I couldnt be more clear. Now the teachers and custodians of Catholic morality
themselves live morally good lives, including morally chaste lives.
- Minding the current rise of heresy and the participation
of even priests and religious in the acceptance of homosexuality, the changes
in the Mass, and the so-called modern morality, why is the Devil so apparently
For three reasons. And the Devil
is extraordinarily strong and successful today: First, as penalty for
sins committed in other words we believe in the solidarity in virtue and
solidarity in sin. We believe that the present generation can be suffering
for the sins of the past generation. First reason!
Second reason, God is allowing the Devil
to be so successful because those who should be guiding the Church in sound
morality are not doing so! In other words, the Catholic Church depends, absolutely
depends on the authority established by Christ when he ordained the apostles
at the Last Supper. And, therefore, the Devil is so successful because the
Devil, remember, he succeeded with one apostle, Judas. Judas was possessed
by the Devil. Do you hear me? And he lowered himself to be possessed by the
Devil to betray Christ. There are Judases in the Catholic Church today. And
I am quoting Pope Paul VI. He knew exactly what he was saying.
Thirdly, and consolingly, God allows
such massive evil in todays world being perpetrated by the Devil because
God, in his Infinite Providence, was plans to give extraordinary blessings
on the generation before us the century to come. In other words, in the
spirit of St. Paul, where sin has more abonded get the more the grace
will (get the future tense) the grace will even more abound. The 21st
century, says the Holy Father, will be the holiest and most Catholic century
of the Churchs history. But weve got to do our part. And I know I am talking
to the right audience.
Thanks for being here. Shall we close with
a prayer? Oh my! It is only 18 minutes after. I was supposed to have finished
15 minutes after. How about Latin? We say the Pater Nostra at Mass. Lets
say the Ave Maria in Latin. In Nomine et Patris et Filius et Spiritus Sanctos.
Amen. Ave Maria (
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