22.4.17

THE NECESSARY CONSISTENCY OF THE MAGISTERIUM WITH TRADITION. THE EXAMPLES OF HISTORY (Claudio Pierantoni)

[Original published by Sandro Magister]

"...3. The case of Francis

However, the doctrinal deviation that is taking place during the current pontificate instead has an aggravating circumstance, because it is not countering doctrines that are still unclear, or still being determined, but doctrines that, in addition to being solidly anchored in Tradition, have also been exhaustively debated in recent decades and clarified in detail by the recent magisterium...

Let us see, in four points, the progress of this destruction of the deposit of the faith.

First

If marriage is indissoluble, and yet in some cases communion can be given to the divorced and remarried, it seems evident that this indissolubility is no longer considered absolute, but only a general rule that can admit exceptions.

Now this, as Cardinal Carlo Caffarra has explained well, contradicts the nature of the sacrament of marriage, which is not a simple promise, as solemn as it may be, made before God, but an action of grace that works at the genuinely ontological level. Therefore, when it is said that marriage is indissoluble, what is stated is not simply a general rule, but what is said is that ontologically marriage cannot be dissolved, because in it is contained the sign and the reality of the indissoluble marriage between God and his People, between Christ and his Church. And this mystical marriage is precisely the end of the whole divine plan of creation and redemption.

Second

The author of “Amoris Laetitia” has instead chosen to insist, in his argumentation, on the subjective side of moral action. The subject, he says, may not be in mortal sin because, for various reasons, he is not fully aware that his situation constitutes adultery.

Now this, which in general terms can certtainly happen, in the utilization that “Amoris Laetitia” makes of it instead involves an evident contradiction. In fact, it is clear that the much-recommended discernment and accompaniment of individual situations directly contrast with the supposition that the subject remains, for an indefinite time, unaware of his situation.

But the author of “Amoris Laetitia,” far from perceiving this contradiction, pushes it to the further absurdity of affirming that an in-depth discernment can lead the subject to have the certainty that his situation, objectively contrary to the divine law, is precisely what God wants from him.


Third

Recourse to the previous argument, in turn, betrays a dangerous confusion that in addition to the doctrine of the sacraments goes so far as to undermine the very notion of divine law, understood as the source of the natural law, reflected in the Ten Commandments: a law given to man because it is suited to regulating his fundamental behaviors, not limited to particular historical circumstances, but founded on his very nature, the author of which is none other than God.

Therefore, to suppose that the natural law may admit exceptions is a real and proper contradiction, it is a supposition that does not understand its true essence and therefore confuses it with positive law. The presence of this grave confusion is confirmed by the repeated attack, present in “Amoris Laetitia,” against the quibblers, the presumed “pharisees” who are hypocrites and hard of heart. This attack, in fact, betrays a complete misunderstanding of the position of Jesus toward the divine law, because his criticism of pharisaic behavior is based precisely on a clear distinction between positive law - the “precepts of men” - to which the pharisees are so attached, and the fundamental Commandments, which are instead the first requirement, indispensable, that he himself asks of the aspiring disciple. On the basis of this misunderstanding one understands the real reason why, after having so greatly insulted the pharisees, the pope ends up in de facto alignment with their own position in favor of divorce, against that of Jesus.

But, even more deeply, it is important to observe that this confusion profoundly distorts the very essence of the Gospel and its necessary grounding in the person of Christ.

Fourth

Christ in fact, according to the Gospel, is not simply a good man who came into the world to preach a message of peace and justice. He is, first of all, the Logos, the Word who was in the beginning and who, in the fullness of time, becomes incarnate. It is significant that Benedict XVI, right from his homily “Pro eligendo romano pontifice,” made precisely the Logos the linchpin of his teaching, not by coincidence fought to the death by the subjectivism of the modern theories.

Now, in the realm of this subjectivist philosophy there is the justification of one of the postulates most dear to Pope Francis, according to which “realities are more important than ideas.” A maxim like this, in fact, makes sense only in a vision in which there cannot exist true ideas that not only faithfully reflect reality but can even judge and direct it. The Gospel, taken as a whole, presupposes this metaphysical and epistemological structure, where truth is in the first place the conforming of things to the intellect, and the intellect is in the first place that which is divine: indeed, the divine Word.

In this atmosphere it can be understood how it is possible that the editor of “La Civiltà Cattolica” could state that it is pastoral practice that must guide doctrine, and not the other way around, and that in theology “two plus two can equal five.” It explains why a Lutheran lady can receive communion together with her Catholic husband: the practice, in fact, the action, is that of the Lord’s Supper, which they have in common, while that in which they differ is only “the interpretations, the explanations,” mere concepts after all. But it also explains how, according to the superior general of the Society of Jesus, the incarnate Word is not capable of coming into contact with his creatures through the means that he himself chose, the apostolic Tradition: in fact, it would be necessary to know what Jesus truly said, but we cannot, he says, “since there was no recorder.”

Even more thoroughly in this atmosphere, finally, it is explained how the pope cannot answer “yes” or “no” to the “dubia.” If in fact “realities are more important than ideas,” then man does not even need to think with the principle of non-contradiction, he has no need of principles that say “this yes and this no” and must not even obey a transcendent natural law, which is not identified with reality itself. In short, man does not need a doctrine, because the historical reality suffices for itself. It is the “Weltgeist,” the Spirit of the World.

... Conclusion

What leaps to the attention in the current situation is precisely the underlying doctrinal deformation that, as skillful as it may be in evading directly heterodox formulations, still maneuvers in a coherent way to carry forward an attack not only against particular dogmas like the indissolubility of marriage and the objectivity of the moral law, but even against the very concept of right doctrine, and with it, of the very person of Christ as Logos. The first victim of this doctrinal deformation is precisely the pope, who I hazard to conjecture is hardly aware of this, victim of a generalized epochal alienation from Tradition, in large segments of theological teaching.

In this situation, the “dubia,” these five questions presented by the four cardinals, have put the pope into a situation of stalemate. If he were to respond by denying Tradition and the magisterium of his predecessors, he would also be heretic formally, so he cannot do it. But if he were to respond in harmony with the previous magisterium, he would contradict many of the doctrinally significant actions carried out during his pontificate, so it would be a very difficult choice. He has therefore chosen silence because, humanly, the situation can seem to have no way out. But meanwhile, the confusion and the “de facto” schism are spreading in the Church.

In the light of all this, it therefore becomes more necessary than ever to make a further act of courage, truth, and charity, on the part of the cardinals but also of the bishops and then of all the qualified laity who would like to adhere to it. In such a serious situation of danger for the faith and of generalized scandal, it is not only licit but even obligatory to frankly address a fraternal correction to Peter, for his good and that of the whole Church.

A fraternal correction is neither an act of hostility, nor a lack of respect, nor an act of disobedience. It is nothing other than a declaration of truth: “caritas in veritate.” The pope, even before being pope, is our brother."

11.4.17

St. Francis of Assisi: "Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer"



"A SHORT time before the holy Father's death, he called together his Children and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:

'Act bravely, my Brethren ; take courage, and trust in the Lord.

The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions ; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound ; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. 


The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity.


At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us.Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics ;
for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. But the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision if by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.*



[* Mark of Lisbon and others think that this prophecy received its accomplishment in the great schism which desolated the Church after the election of Urban VL in the year 1378. But it may also partially refer to other calamities which befallen the Church in the latter ages.]"

St. Francis Of Assisi, "Prophesies great schisms and tribulations in the Church"
in Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, pp. 248-250, 1892
[Imprimatur +William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham]


2.4.17

Cum Oecumenicum Concilium: "alguns erros na leitura e interpretação dos documentos do Concílio Vaticano II"

No Senza Pagare recorda-se a 'Cum Oecumenicum Concilium'. Nessa carta do então Pró-Prefeito da Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé listam-se "alguns erros na leitura e interpretação dos documentos do Concílio Vaticano II". É um autêntico syllabus dos erros do 'espírito' do concílio.


O Senza não diz, mas estes são os erros que têm infestado a Igreja durante as últims décadas e que, de forma muito clara, enformam o presente pontificado.

30.3.17

  • Regina Prophetarum Traditional Sermons for Traditional Catholics.

  • Sensus Fidelium: A collection of Catholic homilies, apologetic videos, & other resources to grow in the One True Faith.





19.3.17

The benedict internal option

"As for the internal solution, since you read the ‘Eleison Comments,’ then you know how often and repeatedly I recommend praying the full 15 Mysteries of the Rosary every day. Good books (and good music) can also help considerably to nourish and protect the mind and the heart. Read what genuinely interests you, and do not read merely dutiful books because you will not get out of them nearly as much. Almighty God has seen from eternity what a mess the modern world would get itself into. He has also seen from eternity that there would be souls today still wanting to go to Heaven. Is it imaginable that even in today’s infernal big cities He would have left such souls with no recourse if only they wanted to stay on track for Heaven?

Yet He foresaw that everything external would fall under the control of His enemies: telephone calls, emails, drones, universities, politics, law, medicine, etc., etc. That is why I think that what He means by allowing such power to His enemies is to drive us back to Him and to a true inner practice of His holy religion despite the worst that Popes and priests can do. Therefore, in my opinion, be content to attend the least contaminated Tridentine Mass that there is anywhere near you, get regularly to Confession with any priest still willing to hear Confessions and who does not tell you that a sin is not a sin, and find the way to work into your day all 15 Mysteries of the Rosary. And then “possess your soul in patience” and quietly beg God to show you the way to Heaven, and to intervene here below before everything is lost. Despite all appearances, He is still in perfect control.

Kyrie eleison
."

29.1.17

Going trad - day 7: Ite missa est


The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Akita, Japan, to Sr. Agnes Sasagaw, October 13, 1973:
"My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior."

After a short silence:

"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."

"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them".

28.1.17

Going Trad - day 6: Lex Vivendi

"Christian perfection consists not only in the habit of charity, i.e. the possession of sanctifying grace and the constant will of preserving that grace, but also in the pursuit or practice of charity, which means the service of God and withdrawal of ourselves from those things which oppose or impede it...

The perfection of the soul increases in proportion with the possession of charity.

He who possesses the perfection which excludes mortal sin obtains salvation, is united to God, and is said to be just, holy, and perfect.

The perfection of charity, which excludes also venial sin and all affections which separate the heart from God, signifies a state of active service of God and of frequent, fervent acts of the love of God. This is the perfect fulfillment of the law (Matthew 22:37), as God is the primary object of charity. The secondary object is our neighbor. This is not limited to necessary and obligatory duties, but extends to friends, strangers, and enemies, and may advance to a heroic degree, leading a man to sacrifice external goods, comforts and life itself for the spiritual welfare of others. This is the charity taught by Christ by word (John 15:13) and example.

...Seculars are obliged to perfection by the observance of the precepts or commandments...
"

For those of you who came into contact with any of the 'conservative' movements that occupied the void after V2, the trad means to achieve this, that is, the means through which the Grace of God flows through our lives, excites our cooperation and leads us to Heaven are not much different from what you've been taught:

The old catechisms and books teach us to lead an ordered life where the love of God (love for God) takes precedence, motivates and guides all our endeavors. Several devotions and practices are mentioned: Morning and evening prayers, the rosary, prayer, spiritual reading, daily Mass, frequent confessions and communion, the practice of virtue, the works of mercy, fulfilling the duties of state, voluntary mortification, joyfully accepting the Will of God in all circumstances of life, following the motions of the Holy Spirit (and not the other spirit), etc...

The spiritual readings are much better, though.

I bought Divine Intimacy a few years ago (the original edition, not the aggiornata edition published after the author's death). Ever since I laid my eyes on it I understood that this was the real thing. I wouldn't go as far as stating that we were "given watered down milk and been told it was wine", but there is indeed a certain degree of watering down in more recent writings.

There's something more to it. When you read pre-V2 catholic books and manuals available for free at archive.org and elsewhere you can hear the Lord's 'rigid, legalistic, unmerciful' command: "if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire".

Other sources tend, in practice, to be more open to compromise with the modern world and try to accommodate sin to contemporary sensibilities: Compare any recent pastoral pronouncements with the Curé D'Ars' fight against religion ignorance, the profanation of Sunday, taverns, blasphemy and dancing ...


21.1.17

Going Trad - day 5: Lex Credendi

Although I started this 7-post series with Lex Orandi, my actual starting point was Lex Credendi.

One of the first casualties of bergoglism was the 'hermeneutics of continuity in reform'. Let's face it: if Pope Francis is right, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, the CCC and the previous magisterium are wrong. There is no rhetorical escape from the contradiction between SC29, CCC1650, FC84, Holy Scripture and what Pope Francis is promoting.

Once it became clear that the 'hermeneutics of rupture' was the only choice left on the menu, I had to decide which side of the broken chain to hang on to.

What does the Church teaches? What has the Church always taught? What did the Saints and the Fathers taught?

Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, and the Catholic Encyclopedia helped me at this stage as did the old(er) Catechisms and the Council of Trent. (In fact when people asked me if I had read the latest Pope Francis' broadside I replied: "I'm a little behind on my reading, I'm still going through Session 6 of the Council of Trent"...)

The 'doctrinal change' series of posts more or less sums it up: Doctrine cannot change, otherwise the Church is neither indefectible, nor One; nor can development of doctrine lead to contradiction (Vatican Council I); Popes have erred in matters of Faith; St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the believer "must not give assent to a prelate who preaches against the faith"; Tradition is the rule of faith when members of the magisterium teach error.



15.1.17

Going Trad - day 4: Latin, etc...

Latin could've been a 'barrier to entry' (inside joke).

But latin is just a rigid, legalistic form of Portuguese and in my (very) conservative parish we had the NO in latin.

So, not only can I understand what's in the Missal, I actually already knew (by heart) several parts and prayers of the Vetus Ordo.

In spite of this, I admit to having spent several of my first TLM's trying to understand what the priest was whispering, worrying about when to stand, kneel or seat or trying to synchronize the missal page with what was happening at any given moment.

I spent mass "troubled about many things" and neglected the "one thing ... necessary... the best part".

I realized this by browsing through one of my Father's prayer books (aptly titled "Rejoice in the Lord"). This prayer book actually included a bilingual ordinary of the mass. But in place of the Epistle there's a non-scriptural exhortation to virtue, the Gospel is Mt v, 1-12 (the beatitudes), the canon is replaced by a meditation, followed by prayers for before and after communion, etc... So I imagined my Father at Mass going through his prayer book and, Sunday, after Sunday, after Sunday, repeatedly reading the exhortation to virtue, the beatitudes, the meditations and the prayers and somehow I got it.

Further help came from Fr. Goffine's invaluable "Devout instructions..." which includes 'A method of hearing mass' (!).

I also found an 18th century "Manual de orações para assistir à Missa" with a brief comment, a prayer and a picture for each part of the Mass.

On the other hand, for hundreds of years, millions of illiterate catholics were able to attend Mass, understand what was going on and keep the "dogma of the Faith"... while many current mass goers will be able to recite the NO and read all the 'propers' while being functionally protestants (or worse)*.


(*) Do an informal survey among your nominally catholics friends about the Real Presence if you dare...

14.1.17

Going Trad - day 3: Missal

I inherited three missals one of which went overseas during the war. Inside I found a prayer card signed: 'your military chaplain' !

I guess there were not many TLM's in the bush in the years by Father was over there because this missal returned home almost intact. War is a terrible thing.

(Come to think of it, that is why there are so few TLM's in my city at present; we're fighting a war in our streets, workplaces and homes. And we are loosing this war just like we lost the bush wars: Our leaders are consorting with the enemy and deliberately poisoning hearts and minds.)

The (mostly young) people that go to these masses also carry old missals. Somehow the missals managed to survive the '50 year war' and reach the hands of the younger generations unscathed.

P.S. ORDINÁRIO DA SANTA MISSA – Guia Prático de estudo do rito latino e Mass Propers for Weekdays.

13.1.17

Going Trad - day 2: Mass center

Where should I go to Mass?

There are not many options available in my diocese. The implementation of Summorum Pontificum was effectively blocked by our bishops for many years (dissidents you say? Nooo, no way). But in the beginning of 2017 the intermittent, sort of monthly, diocesan TLM became an almost daily mass. So I felt compelled to attend these masses.

(I'm not being rigid or legalistic about this. If you attend a SSPX priory or an 'independent' chapel and you are earnestly seeking God, who am I to judge?)

It's not easy to get there on time on a daily basis. But I have been doing my part and my Guardian Angel has been taking care of the rest. Deo Gratias !

12.1.17

Going Trad - day 1: Why?

'They' were right after all. I finally did it. I'm going trad.

Why?

The short hashtag answer is: #FrancisEffect.

The longer answer is this very blog. An almost four-year long answer.

1.1.17

An Open Letter to Confused Catholics (Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre)


16.12.16

15.12.16

A new religion: a different god

In the days when Cd. Mueller was still allowed to do his job, back in 2013, he had an article published in L'Osservatore Romano (ON THE INDISSOLUBILITY OF MARRIAGE AND THE DEBATE CONCERNING THE CIVILLY REMARRIED AND THE SACRAMENTS), where he presented and defended the doctrine of the Church against those who want to allow unrepentant adulterers to receive the Eucharist.

In this article there was an intriguing reference that is now plainly (and painfully) clear to all who have eyes to see.

A different God

Cd. Mueller stated:
"A further case for the admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments is argued in terms of mercy. Given that Jesus himself showed solidarity with the suffering and poured out his merciful love upon them, mercy is said to be a distinctive quality of true discipleship. This is correct, but it misses the mark when adopted as an argument in the field of sacramental theology. The entire sacramental economy is a work of divine mercy and it cannot simply be swept aside by an appeal to the same. An objectively false appeal to mercy also runs the risk of trivializing the image of God, by implying that God cannot do other than forgive. The mystery of God includes not only his mercy but also his holiness and his justice. If one were to suppress these characteristics of God and refuse to take sin seriously, ultimately it would not even be possible to bring God’s mercy to man. Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her “Go and do not sin again” (Jn 8:11). God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church. Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father."
This god that "cannot do other than forgive" and whose holiness and justice were, for all practical purposes, suppressed is not God.


A different Jesus

Around one year after the previously quoted article, Cd. Mueller spoke to the International Theological Commission (this was recently mentioned in a EWTN GB article), and stated:
"[A] division between 'theory' and 'practice' of the Faith would reflect a subtle christological 'heresy'. It would be the fruit of a division in the mistery of the eternal Word of the Father which became flesh. It would be the omission of the incarnational dynamic of each sane theology and of all the evangelizing mission of the Church. Christ who can be said to be the first theologian of Scripture, the theologian par excelence, said 'I am the way, the truth and the life'. There is no truth without life and no life without truth."
The Jesus that is being preached by many is a counterfeit Jesus.


A fickle Holy Spirit

Proponents of communion for adulterers 'blame' the Holy Spirit for all that has happened in the last few years and accuse those who stand by the doctrine of the church of 'not being open to the 'Spirit' or the 'god of suprises'.

What they are saying could be rephrased in the following way: For about 2.000 the Holy Spirit suggested a certain course of action and in the last few months, changed his mind, and  started suggesting the opposite.

But as a recent crisis article states, the "Holy Spirit leads us into truth, because the Spirit is God, and God is Truth. And truth does not change, just as God does not change. Our understanding of the truth may improve—it may sharpen or clarify or elaborate—but it will not move us to say “yes” one moment and “no” another...

The 'spirit' that is being invoked in defense of all these innovations is not the Holy Spirit.


Man takes the place of God

As I argued a year ago, at the heart of all this is regnocentrism. Bergoglism is the most recent incarnation of the post-christian ideology which posits the end of God and the exaltation of Man.

[UPDATE] After I wrote the last two posts, Steve Skojec published a more thorough account of the recent history of 'communion for protestants' which ends like this:
"Elevating man over God — a theme that arose in the first exhortation of this pontificate — is really a form of idolatry. The kind of idolatry that leads, as I’ve said before, to the prioritization of things like “excessive concern for the material well-being of the poor, distribution of resources, or care for the environment – over and above concern for the salvation of souls.”

We are moving far too quickly toward the next milestone. More damage will be done. More souls harmed, or even lost.

Formal correction can’t come soon enough.
"

14.12.16

Next episode



This is the next step in the revolution. Remember the October 31st, 2016 Joint Statement signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Mounib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation, which included the following:
"Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table. We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue."
Unfortunately, I have been right every step of the way. So, barring divine intervention, the 'spirit' will lead Francis to allow another Sacrilege.

P.S. This people either hate the Eucharist or don't believe in the Real Presence.

9.12.16

An open letter to Pope Francis (John Finnis and Germain Grisez)

  • An open letter to Pope Francis

  • Full text

  • Eight erroneous positions:

    • Position A: A priest administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation may sometimes absolve a penitent who lacks a purpose of amendment with respect to a sin in grave matter that either pertains to his or her ongoing form of life or is habitually repetitive.

    • Position B: Some of the faithful are too weak to keep God’s commandments; though resigned to committing ongoing and habitual sins in grave matter, they can live in grace.

    • Position C: No general moral rule is exceptionless. Even divine commandments forbidding specific kinds of actions are subject to exceptions in some situations.

    • Position D: While some of God’s commandments or precepts seem to require that one never choose an act of one of the kinds to which they refer, those commandments and precepts actually are rules that express ideals and identify goods that one should always serve and strive after as best one can, given one’s weaknesses and one’s complex, concrete situation, which may require one to choose an act at odds with the letter of the rule.

    • Position E: If one bears in mind one’s concrete situation and personal limitations, one’s conscience may at times discern that doing an act of a kind contrary even to divine commandment will be doing one’s best to respond to God, which is all that he asks, and then one ought to choose to do that act but also be ready to conform fully to the divine commandment if and when one can do so.

    • Position F: Choosing to bring about one’s own, another’s, or others’ sexual arousal and/or satisfaction is morally acceptable provided only that (1) no adult has bodily contact with a child; (2) no participant’s body is contacted without his or her free and clear consent to both the mode and the extent of contact; (3) nothing done knowingly brings about or unduly risks significant physical harm, disease transmission, or unwanted pregnancy; and (4) no moral norm governing behavior in general is violated.

    • Position G: A consummated, sacramental marriage is indissoluble in the sense that spouses ought always to foster marital love and ought never to choose to dissolve their marriage. But by causes beyond the spouses’ control and/or by grave faults of at least one of them, their human relationship as a married couple sometimes deteriorates until it ceases to exist. When a couple’s marriage relationship no longer exists, their marriage has dissolved, and at least one of the parties may rightly obtain a divorce and remarry.

    • Position H: A Catholic need not believe that many human beings will end in hell.