Thursday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy


The Eucharist, thanks to which, God’s absolute ‘no’ to violence, pronounced on the cross, is kept alive through the centuries. The Eucharist is the sacrament of non-violence! 

-Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. (March 11, 2005)

 The narrative of Jesus’ Passion and death was the first part of the Gospel Tradition to acquire a fixed structure and, of all portions of the Gospels, was the first to be included as a recited liturgical remembrance. Note it is the narrative of Jesus’ Passion and death that was the central remembrance around which the Gospels took form and that was the primal remembrance of Christian liturgical recital. Note also, it was narrative, and only narrative, tethered intrinsically to the Gospels’ Passion narrative, which was primal and paramountnot theological, metaphysical or mystical expositions of the Passion of Jesus.

Probably a billion Christians participate in the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the Agape Meal, the Mass, the Divine Liturgy with some remembrance of Jesus’ Passion and death every week. Moreover, billions of other Christians over the last two thousand years have also participated in the Eucharist. Think what the Church and the world might be today, if today and yesterday, Christians continuously heard in the anamnesis/remembrance narrative of the Eucharist Prayer—instead of the verbal generalities “suffered” and “died” as the remembrance of Jesus Passion and death—a narrative of particulars drawn directly from the narratives of the Gospels. For example, suppose that instead of simply “suffered and died,” a billion Christians this week heard and billions of Christians going all the way back to the time of Constantinian continuously heard and pondered a liturgical recital of the Passion narrative along the lines of the following: what would be the state of the Church and humanity at this moment?

 On the night before He went forth to His eternally memorable and life-giving death, like a Lamb led to slaughter, rejecting violence, loving His enemies, and praying for His persecutors, He bestowed upon His disciples the gift of a New Commandment:

“Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you also should love one another.”

Then He took bread into His hands, and giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying:

“Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is my body,
which will be given up for you.”

In a similar way, when the Supper was ended, He took the chalice. And once more giving thanks, He gave it to His disciples, saying:

“Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
for this is the cup of my blood,
 the blood of the new and eternal covenant,
 which will be poured out for you and for many,
for the forgiveness of sins,
“Do this in memory of me.”

Obedient, therefore, to this precept of salvation, we call to mind and reverence His passion where He lived to the fullest the precepts which He taught for our sanctification. We remember His suffering at the hands of a fallen humanity filled with the spirit of violence and enmity. But, we remember also that He endured this humiliation with a love free of retaliation, revenge, and retribution. We recall His execution on the cross. But, we recall also that He died loving enemies, praying for persecutors, forgiving, and being superabundantly merciful to those for whom justice would have demanded justice. Finally, we celebrate the memory of the fruits of His trustful obedience to thy will, O God: the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the enthronement at the right hand, the second and glorious coming. Therefore we offer You your own, from what is your own, in all and for the sake of all…

Excerpt from The Nonviolent Eucharist (1991)

The intentional erasure or hiding or ignoring of a memory or of history always serves an end. It is not possible to envision any spiritual advantage or to find any good end that is served by truncating the Eucharistic Passion narrative down to “suffered and died.” Such an extremist shrinking of the narrative of Jesus’ Passion all but converts the Eucharistic anamnesis into a liturgical instrument of amnesia.

Holy Thursday of Holy Week is a dangerous memory because it is the memory of the institution of the Eucharistic with its two commands: “Do this in memory of me,” and the “new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”  If the memory of me is bowdlerized, then the content and meaning of the new commandment will be correspondingly bowdlerized. And, the consequence of this interconnected and interactive bowdlerization will be, in the Church and in humanity, what? Look out of the window or turn on the television!

The insertion by the Churches of Christianity of a narrative of Jesus’ Passion—as clear and as descriptive as the narrative of the Gospels—into the anamnesis/remembrance of their Eucharistic Prayer is a requirement of truth, a requirement of agape, a requirement of fidelity to the Word of God Incarnate. It is a gift all Christians need to receive from the leaders of their various Churches. It is a witness to the grace of the cross that all Christians and all humanity need to encounter in Christian practice.


Wednesday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy


A third reason that accurate remembrances of Holy Week and of Jesus’ Passion in the anamnesis of the Eucharist Prayer are potentially dangerous memories is that such memories do not look only to the past; they also look toward the future. Acute memories of acute human suffering have the power to motivate people to make life better in the future, especially if the particular suffering remembered is still unabatedly operative in the world. New memories of human suffering or new insight into well known memories of human suffering can reveal the tragic flaw in the taken-for-granted worldview of a group. Pondering the memory of a single suffering person has the power to undermine the prevailing myths by which a secular or a religious society and its rulers live and operate, e.g., the memory of one Third World mother in agony and out of her mind with horror holding her child who has just been decapitated by a First World drone or smart bomb. But, memory must be kept alive for it to have a future and not just a past.

The Church is supposed to be the bearer of the dangerous memory of Jesus, a victim of the violence of the powerful, and by compassionate extension the bearer of the dangerous memory of all the victims of the violence of the powerful across the ages down to this very day. The Church is supposed to be the bearer of the dangerous memory of Jesus’ torture and death that motivates witnessing to humanity by word and deed to overcome evil with good (Christlike agape).The Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ that responds to its own violent victimization in the Way it remembers Christ responded to His violent victimization—thereby breaking the perennial cycle of violent reciprocity, retaliation and revenge by returning good (agape) for evil.  The Church is suppose to be that group of people who hears and listens attentively to the anguished cries of intolerable pain of the victim of the violence of the powerful, Jesus of Nazareth, and by the grace of His cries hears, with compassion and urgency, the anguished cries of all the victims of the violence of the powerful. But is this what the institutional Church is?

Do the Churches of Christianity, in whatever nation they may be situated, proclaim the memory of Jesus in such a way that it draws Christians and others into strongly identifying with the victims of the violence of the powerful, beginning  with Jesus? Or, is the proclamation of the memory of the torture and murder of Jesus by the institutional Churches of Christianity made so metaphysically and mystically circuitous and innocuous that these Churches nurture their Christian people into strongly identifying with the powerful and their violent agents, who operate out of the same spirit and myth as their occupational predecessors, the torturers and murders of Jesus?

Traditional Catholic Teaching on Sacred Scripture

By CatholicScout

It’s hard to find a single website which lists the pre-Vatican II teachings on Sacred Scripture. But, contrary to certain popular beliefs, the Second Vatican Council and it’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum is not the source and summit of Catholic teaching on the subject!

A long time ago someone commented that the position put forward on this blog (that Christ taught a Way of non-violent love of friends and enemies, and bound His Church and followers to practice such Way) was not consistent with Sacred Scripture. That I was essentially putting God the Father vs Jesus. Which of course is nonsense in lots of ways.

So I am dedicating this post to the question:

Is Gospel Non-violence consistent with Sacred Scripture?

The short answer is yes, of course it is. I’m not making this stuff up, you can read the words of the Divine Lawgiver right here – Mt 5:21-25.

So the question is really, how does a Catholic reconcile Christs teaching of non-violent love of friends and enemies, with the God of the Old Testament.

There are a lot of references, which to an uneducated mind, point towards a homicidal God. A war-approving God. Here’s a few: Gn 6:8; 19:4-5,26; 38:7,9-10. Ex 12:29; 14:28. Lv 10:1-3. Nm 11:1-3,4-35; 14:36-38; 16:27-32,35,49; 21:4-9; 25:9. Js 10:10-11. Ez 16:46-47, 49-50. 1Sm 6:19; 25:38. 2Sm 6:6-7; 12:14-18; 24:13. 1Kn 13:1-24; 14:10-18; 20:35-36; 22:51. 2Kn 1:9-12; 2:23-24; 17:25-26; 19:35. 2Ch 13:20; 21:14-19.

The problem of course, is that the Gospels are conspicuously different. In the Gospels, God is not a perpetrator of violent torture and murder. He is the victim of it. In fact, God in the Gospels expressly forbids it.

So what, did God change His mind? No, God cannot change His mind. He always Was, always Is and always will Be the same. He is the Eternal Constant.

So Sacred Scripture is wrong? No, Sacred Scripture is not wrong. The Prophets of Old were not mistaken in what they wrote. To say that Sacred Scripture can err is one of the manifestations of the heresy of Modernism. It was Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, who beautifully and comprehensively explained the role of Sacred Scripture – please have a read!

As St Augustine explained in his letter to St Jerome, where there is an inconsistency with Sacred Scripture. It is not God at fault. It is not the inspired author at fault. It is the reader. I am misunderstanding Scripture.

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.

St Augustine also points out that the Gospels are the primary revelatory documents of the Church in his work “On the Catechising of the Uninstructed“.

So, for you Traditional Catholics trying to reconcile the Old Testament with the New. Stop. Read Leo XIII, read St Augustine, and relax. The Gospels are the Gospels. Christ is God. His teachings are Gods teachings.

Please, please please listen to this audio file from Fr Emmanuel McCarthy – “Question and Answers on Gospel Non-Violence – What about violence in the Old Testament?” which so eloquently answers this particular (apparent) conundrum:

I will leave you with this quote on interpretation of Scripture from Leo XIII, which is a gem.

The authority of other Catholic [newer] interpreters is not so great; but the study of Scripture has always continued to advance in the Church, and, therefore, these commentaries also have their own honourable place, and are serviceable in many ways for the refutation of assailants and the explanation of difficulties. But it is most unbecoming to pass by, in ignorance or contempt, the excellent work which Catholics have left in abundance, and to have recourse to the works of non-Catholics – and to seek in them, to the detriment of sound doctrine and often to the peril of faith, the explanation of passages on which Catholics long ago have successfully employed their talent and their labour. For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should, nevertheless, bear well in mind-as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages(41) – that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt outside of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture, and never attain its pith.

41. Cfr. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii., 16; Orig. de princ. iv., 8; in Levit. hom. 4, 8; praescr. 15, seqq.; S. Hilar. Pict. in Matth. 13, I.

So as a last note to you Traditional Catholics, the Second Vatican Council does not have all the answers regarding Sacred Scripture.

Yes, You have to scrape around for the teachings and traditions regarding our traditional teachings on Sacred Scripture, but they are there!

We can much more effectively argue the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Primacy of the Gospels, and many other points, without ever having recourse to Dei Verbum – Thanks be to God!

Tuesday; Holy Week a Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy


A second reason that an accurate remembrance of Holy Week and of the Passion of Jesus in the anamnesis of the Eucharistic Prayer are potentially dangerous memories is that memory defines known history. If the only memory available is the memory of those who were the victors, who successfully prevailed, then the very identity of people is formed from the narration of these memories and from the values, attitudes and beliefs the victors and the successful embody and encourage. Generally there is hardly any remembrance in history of the losers, the oppressed, the forgotten, the broken, the victims—like Jesus of Nazareth.

When secular and religious memory is controlled by the 1%, it is assured that what they include and what they erase, what they emphasize and what they  downplay, what they glorify and what they ignore in memory, and therefore in history, has as its purpose creating an identity for human beings, which is thoroughly consistent with the interests and needs of the 1%. As Johannes Metz writes, “Selective memory that remembers only the triumph of the powerful and “screens out” the agony of their victims, creates a false consciousness of our past and an opiate for our present.”

Since grace works through nature and not independent of it, the primal experiential memory during Holy Week should be the primal natural phenomena of Holy Week, the agony of the victim Jesus at the hands of the powerful, and by empathic extension the agony of all victims of the “great ones.” But it is not. Such a memory is too dangerous to the 1% of this world, who have built their victories and success on an ongoing, en masse, agonizing crucifixion of human beings. But if memory is distorted, by commission or by omission, to that extent it will distort any spiritual, metaphysical or mystical experience and/or interpretation derived from it.

Martin Luther said of the princes of Germany who were protecting him from the violence of the Church of Rome but who were also being attacked by the peasants they had been brutally oppressing for generations, “It is easier today for a prince to get to heaven by killing a peasant than by prayer.” The memory reflected upon in sermons and homilies and pieties during Holy Week, like the memory presented during the Eucharist, is composed and mediated, since the time of Constantine, by the victorious 1% and their kept scribes. Think about that and the dearth of concern about the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in all the Churches of Christianity today and for the last 1700 years.

Are Abortion and Capital Punishment equally bad? – Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 4

Woman caught in Adultery, condemned to death, Jesus forgives.

A good friend asked:

Do you think that abortion and capital punishment are equally bad? I think that capital punishment, if we could not properly imprison a dangerous criminal, would be justified.

Okay, this is a sticky question, so first let’s set some precedents.

  • Firstly, God is creator and He loves His creation infinitely.
    Nothing that His creation does can reduce, or change that love.
    So God loves the unborn child, just as much as He loves the serial-murderer.
  • Secondly, God is infinitely just, and being the Creator knows His creation perfectly, hence He knows what is perfectly good for His creation. Those things that are perfectly good for us, His creations, are the Laws. Prefigured in the Old Testament Laws, and confirmed and clarified by God Himself in the incarnate Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity – our Divine Redeemer Jesus Christ – and recorded in the New Testament.
  • Thirdly, God in His infinite Love created us free. However, if we do something which is bad for us, that has consequences.

Having set those principles, let’s break the question down.

  • The subject of Abortion is a human being incapable of defending itself. That human being did not originate from itself, or by pure human means, but by a singular act of Love by the Divine Creator.
  • The subject of Capital Punishment is a human being incapable of defending itself. That human being did not originate from itself, or by pure human means, but also by a singular act of Love by the Divine Creator.

Okay, onwards.

  • The action of Abortion, is the killing of that human being by other human beings (directly or indirectly).
  • The action of Capital Punishment, is the killing of that human being by other human beings (directly or indirectly).

The difference between Abortion and Capital Punishment, is that some people think that the victim of abortion is not guilty of wrongdoing and therefore does not warrant the death sentence. These same people think that the victim of Capital Punishment is guilty of wrongdoing and therefore does warrant the death sentence.

The problem for these people, is that it is impossible to reconcile this opinion, with the actual Gospel records. According to the Old Law, adultery was a crime punishable by Capital Punishment, death. Christ was presented with a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and Christ did not cast a stone.
He also taught His disciples (not just His Apostles), to do the same.

The question is then, what would Jesus do? What would Jesus do with a maniacal serial killer?
He’d shoot him in the head. He’d inject him with salt solution. He’d pull the lever to electrocute him.
Sound like the Lamb of God to you? Sound like Someone who is described as All Loving? Does it remotely sound like the God that we adore or would want to adore?

Not to me.

Infanticide is a horrendous crime, and made all the worse to us because we perceive the innocence of the child.
Homicide is a horrendous crime, but sometimes the horror of that to us, is mitigated, because we perceive it as “just” or “the right thing to do”.

Those perceptions are not the same to the Author of Life. By His living example He murdered no one, not even those who “deserved” to die. He is the Way, not our perceptions, nor what the world tells us is “the right thing to do”.

He never gives up hope.

Do I think that abortion and capital punishment are equally bad? I think homicide is always and in every case an unjustifiable and grave evil. The perpetrator of the crime, be it a medical professional, or the government by proxy, are always and equally guilty of that crime, regardless of motives.

The excuse of “if we could not properly imprison a dangerous criminal” is untenable. There is always a way to imprison or deal with a dangerous criminal in a way which does not involve homicide. Just ask yourself “what would Jesus do?” and then if your fresh out of inspirations go ask Him yourself in Adoration. The one place, where He Who Is, shows the whole world, Who is the most vulnerable – “will you kill this man Lord?”.

My position is just that of the Gospels. It is very, very, very hard for me, fallen human being, to accept and comply with this position. But by God’s grace, I can use my intellect and will to consent to this.

Despite, the difficulty, I do.

Please listen to the following audio files for outstanding responses to classic Questions and Answers regarding Gospel Non-Violence:

  1. Cleansing of The Temple
  2. What if Someone Is Going to Kill your Wife or Children?
  3. Just War/Just Revolution Theory
  4. Violence in the Old Testament
  5. Christians in the Military/Police
  6. Surely this Is a Purist Gospel?
  7. What about Hitler?
  8. Buy a Sword? Luke 22:35-38

Inquisition into Science Fiction part 3

Following on from part 2,

To skip the disclaimer please click me


As I mentioned in Part 1, in the absence of sanctioned Inquisitors, I’m going to play “The Game” with Hard Science Fiction in general from a Catholic theological point of view. Why? All fiction requires some extent of the suspension of disbelief. Hard Science Fiction attempts to minimise that as much as possible. But the problem is that Hard Science Fiction, just as Science in general, denies the existence of God, and in particular the Truths of the Catholic Church. This makes the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic.

It’s at this point that I need to remind the reader, that I write from the perspective that the Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church are the fullness of the Truth, that all other religions are false and that there is no other means of Salvation than by the means that the Catholic Church teaches as Dogma (meaning; to be believed).

Science, in denying the ontological Truths of the Catholic Faith, such as the existence of the Soul, wastes it’s time and effort on areas, that a Catholic would logically say “that’s most likely a dead end”. Hence in Fiction the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic, I am going to play “The Game” in order to help people understand that concept.

Please note that I will use terms like “Impossible”, what I mean is “according to the current understanding of Catholic Dogma, this is Impossible”.

Why do I make this important note? Galileo. As a scientist, he was able to prove that the Earth rotated around the Sun (heliocentric), not the other way round (geocentric). The Church authorities, who were not scientific at the time, threatened to condemn him as a heretic, unless he recanted. The reason for this was the inappropriate application of the Dogma of the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. I say inappropriate, because as Augustine said:

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.

Letter 82, i, 3 St Augustine to Jerome.

Notice how Augustine doesn’t jump down the neck of the Scientist…

It is also important to note, that consciously or unconsciously Modern Science desperately seeks to rid itself (and the rest of humanity) of the “yoke” of the Catholic Church.

The Inquisition Part 3

Psychic Powers

Otherwise known as Extra Sensory Powers, this particular idea features in many Science Fiction works. Examples: Babylon 5, Star Trek and Star Wars. It is not particularly “hard science fiction”, but it is a persistent topic in Science Fiction and continues to attract research.

Response: Impossible
Why? Well it contradicts several Dogmas, principally the Dogma of Divinity. Psychic powers are portrayed as the ability to read peoples minds (read: Omniscience), or to bend their free-will by transmitted suggestion/order (read: Omnipotence). Neither of these are acceptable to the Catholic.

God alone has Omniscience. Not even the devils are able to read our minds. The daemons are able to read our outward reactions to the temptations they broadcast, and so it may seem that they can read our minds, but they can’t.

God alone has Omnipotence. But even He does not overrule our Free Will. He will give us inspirations, but leaves us free to choose to cooperate with His Divine Will. The daemons when they transmit temptations, the daemons themselves do not have the power to override our Free Will, we must cooperate with the daemonic will, and that is what is called sin. It is important to state that because of Original Sin, every time we sin, the less strength we have to resist the temptation and so it becomes perpetually easier to sin. Sadly, it is not the same with cooperating with the Grace of God, due to Original Sin, it never gets easier to cooperate with Gods Will, there will always be a degree of difficulty.

Again, Science makes the mistake of thinking that everything is physical, explainable, so the proponents of Psychic Powers in Science Fiction, think it is a function of the Brain. The ability of daemons to transmit temptations, is because they are Spiritual entities, not physical ones. The reason why human beings can’t do the same, is because we are Incarnate Spirits (physical).

Sadly we humans being so fallen and depraved can bend people to our wills, by psychological torture, threat or conditioning. But it is via the physical universe that we do those terrible things. Please read and watch the Lenten Examination of Conscience #8 to understand this

CatholicScout Answers: Frequently Asked Questions 2

An important note about CatholicScout Answers: CatholicScout is not the Pope. Therefore, I can and frequently am, be totally erroneous regarding Faith and Morals. In addition I can and frequently am, totally erroneous regarding everything else too. I will try my best to answer questions, but I always encourage answer-seekers to go to source documents, and proper authorities.

So, disclaimer out of the way, on to Question 3.

Question 3: “Explain concelebration”

Answer: From SanctaMissa

In the Traditional Latin Mass con-celebration only occurs at the Mass of the Ordination of a Priest and at the Mass of the Ordination of a Bishop. In the Ordination of a Priest according to the 1962 Missal the rubrics establish that the concelebrating priests be only those who are ordained at that Mass. Thus the priests attending the Ordination Mass of Priests do not concelebrate but only the Ordinandi.

The manner of con-celebration at the Mass of the Ordination of a Priest is not identical to the manner of con-celebration in the Ordinary Form. Rather in the Extraordinary Form the concelebrating priest, at his Mass of Ordination, kneels at some distance from the altar. While the Canon of the Mass is normally read in “vox secreta,” at an Ordination Mass the Canon Missae is said out loud by the Bishop. While the Ordaining Bishop reads the Canon of the Mass out loud the newly ordained priest(s) simultaneously recite(s) the Canon of the Mass in “vox secreta”. Furthermore the newly ordained receive only the Sacred Host. The Ordinandi receive the Sacred Host on the tongue from the Ordaining Bishop while kneeling at the altar. Afterwards the Ordinandi receive a chalice of unconsecrated wine at the credence table as an ablution. The Ordinandi do not receive the Precious Blood.

Answer 2: There is no precedent other than this for con-celebration in the Novus Ordo.

Explanations: Formerly (prior to 1963), every Priest, while not obliged, was expected to offer Mass every day of their lives. One Priest = One Mass. Two Priests = Two Masses etc. So, according to the Church Statistics published by the Latin Mass Society, in 1961 there were 7550 Priests in England and Wales. That’s approximately 7550 Masses a day… Then comes along the Second Vatican Council which conceded that Priests may concelebrate, so now you have things like this:

Here’s 500 Priests saying One Mass. No longer do you have 500 Priests offering 500 Masses. So, who looses out? You, me, the Souls in purgatory, the Church, the world.

To the question, “but one Mass is of infinite value, so one Mass is enough” I answer: It is correct Mathematics to say 1 multiplied by infinity = infinity, 2 multiplied by infinity = infinity etc. But Grace is not Mathematics.

Question 4 – from SpookChristian: “Does the Catholic Church practice Idolatory, Mariolatry, and believe demonic dogmas such as Transubstantiation and Purgatory, isn’t the Catholic Church just the work of the devil?”

Answer: No.

Important note: Here we have a problem, for Lutheranism “is a rejection of Catholic first principles … When confronted with Lutheranism, Catholic apologetic finds itself in the position neatly outlined by St. Thomas; it can solve the opponent’s objections, but not to the opponent’s satisfaction, since he rejects the principle on which the argument refuting him is based. For Luther was not merely rejecting this or that article within the body of Catholic doctrine, (though of course he did do that as well) but rather rejecting the principle underlying them all, which is the divine authority of the Church. Bible and tradition are only authorities for the believer because the Church possesses them; and possesses them not simply materially or philologically, but possesses the meaning of them, which she historically unveils little by little.” Iota Unum – Romano Amerio Chapter 17

Explanation 1: Regarding Idolatory.

The First Commandment
175. What is the first Commandment?
The first Commandment is, ‘I am The LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no gods except me. You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven, or on the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them’.

176. What are we commanded to do by the first Commandment?
By the first Commandment we are commanded to worship the one, true, and living God, by Faith, Hope, Charity, and Religion.

177. What are the sins against Faith?
The sins mainst Faith are all false religions, wilful doubt, disbelief, or denial of any article of Faith, and also culpable ignorance of the doctrines of the Church.

178. How do we expose ourselves to the danger of losing our Faith?
We expose ourselves to the danger of losing our Faith by neglecting our spiritual duties, reading bad books, going to non-Catholic schools.

179. What are the sins against Hope?
The sins against Hope are despair and presumption.

180. What are the chief sins against Religion?
The chief sins against Religion are the worship of false gods or idols, and the giving to any creature whatsoever the honour which belongs to God alone.

181. Does the first Commandment forbid the making of images?
The first Commandment does not forbid the making of images, but the making of idols; that is, it forbids us to make images to be adored and honoured as gods.

182. Does the first Commandment forbid dealing with the devil and superstitious practices?
The first Commandment forbids all dealing with the devil and superstitious practices, such as consulting spiritualists and fortune-tellers, and trusting to charms, omens, dreams, and such-like fooleries.

183. Are all sins of sacrilege and simony also forbidden by the first Commandment?
All sins of sacrilege and simony are also forbidden by the first Commandment.

184. Is it forbidden to give divine honour or worship to the Angels and Saints?
It is forbidden to give divine honour or worship to the Angels and Saints, for this belongs to God alone.

185. What kind of honour or worship should we pay to the Angels and Saints?
We should pay to the Angels and Saints an inferior honour or worship, for this is due to them as the servants and special friends of God.

186. What honour should we give to relies, crucifixes, and holy pictures?
We should give relics, crucifixes, and holy pictures a relative honour, as they relate to Christ and his Saints, and are memorials of them.

187. Do we pray to relics or images?
We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see, nor hear, nor help us.

All straight from the Penny Catechism – which is what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.

Explaination 2: “Mariolatry” – I suppose this neologism is supposed to be idolatry towards Our Blessed Lady. It should have been answered above, but just in case…

158. Should we ask the Angels and Saints to pray for us?
We should ask the Angels and Saints to pray for us, because they are our friends and brethren, and because their prayers have great power with God.

159. How can we show that the Angels and Saints know what passes on earth?
We can show that the Angels and Saints know what passes on earth from the words of Christ: ‘There shall be joy before the Angels of God upon one sinner doing penance’. (Luke 15:10)

160. What is the chief prayer to the Blessed Virgin which the Church uses?
The chief prayer to the Blessed Virgin which the Church uses is the Hail Mary.

161. Say the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

162. Who made the first part of the Hail Mary?
The Angel Gabriel and St Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, made the first part of the Hail Mary.

163. Who made the second part of the Hall Mary?
The Church of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, made the second part of the Hail Mary.

164. Why should we frequently say the Hail Mary?
We should frequently say the Hail Mary to put us in mind of the Incarnation of the Son of God: and to honour our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God.

165. Have we another reason for often saying the Hail Mary?
We have another reason for often saying the Hail Mary – to ask our Blessed Lady to pray for us sinners at all times, but especially at the hour of our death.

166. Why does the Catholic Church show great devotion to the Blessed Virgin?
The Catholic Church shows great devotion to the Blessed Virgin because she is the Immaculate Mother of God.

167. How is the Blessed Virgin Mother of God?
The Blessed Virgin is Mother of God because Jesus Christ, her son, who was born of her as man, is not only man, but is also truly God.

168. Is the Blessed Virgin our Mother also?
The Blessed Virgin is our Mother also because, being the brethren of Jesus, we are the children of Mary.

168a. What do we mean by the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin?
By the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin we mean that by the power of God, Mary, at the completion of her life, was taken body and soul into everlasting glory to reign as Queen of heaven and earth.

168b. Is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin an article of Faith?
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is an article of Faith because it has been solemnly defined by the infallible authority of the Church.

Again all from the Penny Catechism, or the Catechism of Christian Doctrine.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is not God, rather she is the Mother of God, Jesus Christ. In this way she merits a special veneration.

If one does not think that the Mother of God should have special attention, appreciation, veneration (but never Adoration), then one (X) should consider whether one (X) likes people saying nasty things of one’s (X’s) mother, or whether one (X) would prefer people to laud, praise, and thank, one’s (X’s) mother? Well Our Blessed Lord loves His Blessed mum, so it is important to think about what one is saying.

Explaination 3: The Catholic Faith does not any believe “demonic dogmas” for the Church is the mystical body of Christ, with Christ as it’s head, no spot or stain is possible in the mystical body of Christ (incidentally, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be defect in the persons that make up the Church Militant which is on earth and is the smaller part of the Church – the larger parts being the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant). Hence the Catholic Church alone preaches the fullness of Truth.

Because Christ has set the Church up, and has given it a visible Authority on earth, whose successor is Pope Francis and resides in Rome (hence the name Roman Catholic Church), the Dogmas it professes are Divine, and come from That Authority whose Name is Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ.

Transubstantiation, is a Divine Dogma, because the Church says so and Scripture attributes to it.

Purgatory, is a Divine Dogma, because the Church says so and so does the unwritten and constant Tradition.

To say that something Divine (and therefore Holy), comes from someone that is not Divine (and therefore not Holy), is to blaspheme.

Explaination 4: The Catholic Church is not the work of the devil. It’s the work of God, promised never to be prevailed over by the gates of hell, in which is found absolute Authority in the person of Peter and his successors. If one sees defects, sins, apostasy, error, etc. in the people who make up the visible Church, it is because the Church here on earth is not a perfect society, which is impossible.

The truth is rather that the Church has always been a mixed multitude, a field of wheat and tares, a mixture of good men and bad.

The Catholic Church rejects completely the errors of Lutheranism, Calvinism and the rest.
Private judgement is condemned by the bull Esurge Domini 1520
Fead more about the Great Heresies here.

Just in case that wasn’t enough to convince anyone, here’s some more…

83. What is the ninth article of the Creed?
The ninth article of the Creed is, ‘the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints’.

84. What is the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church is the union of all the faithful under one Head.

85. Who is Head of the Catholic Church?
The Head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ our Lord.

86. Has the Church a visible Head on earth?
The Church has a visible Head on earth – the Bishop of Rome, who is the Vicar of Christ.

87. Why is the Bishop of Rome the Head of the Church?
The Bishop of Rome is the Head of the Church because he is the successor of St Peter, whom Christ appointed to be the Head of the Church.

88. How do you know that Christ appointed St Peter to be the Head of the Church?
I know that Christ appointed St Peter to be the Head of the Church because Christ said to him: ‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’. (Matt. 16:18.19)

89. What is the Bishop of Rome called?
The Bishop of Rome is called the Pope, which signifies Father.

90. Is the Pope the Spiritual Father of all Christians?
The Pope is the Spiritual Father of all Christians.

91. Is the Pope the Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians?
The Pope is the Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, because Christ made St Peter the Shepherd of the whole flock when he said: ‘Feed my lambs, feed my sheep’. He also prayed that his ‘faith’ might never fail, and commanded him to ‘strengthen’ his brothers. (John 21:15-17, Luke 22:32)

92. Is the Pope infallible?
The Pope is infallible.

93. What do you mean when you say that the Pope is infallible?
When I say that the Pope is infallible, I mean that the Pope cannot err when, as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals, to be held by the whole Church.

94. Has the Church of Christ any marks by which we may know her?
The Church of Christ has four marks by which we may know her: she is One – she is Holy – she is Catholic – she is Apostolic.

95. How is the Church One?
The Church is One because all her members agree in one Faith, have all the same Sacrifice and Sacraments, and are all united under one Head.

96. How is the Church Holy?
The Church is Holy because she teaches a holy doctrine, offers to all the means of holiness and is distinguished by the eminent holiness of so many thousands of her children.

97. What does the word Catholic mean?
The word Catholic means universal.

98. How is the Church Catholic or universal?
The Church is Catholic or universal because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and is the one Ark of Salvation for all.

99. How is the Church Apostolic?
The Church is Apostolic because she holds the doctrines and traditions of the Apostles, and because, through the unbroken succession of her Pastors, she derives her Orders and her Mission from them.

100. Can the Church err in what she teaches?
The Church cannot err in what she teaches as to faith or morals, for she is our infallible guide in both.

101. How do you know that the Church cannot err in what she teaches?
I know that the Church cannot err in what she teaches because Christ promised that the gates of hell should never prevail against his Church; that the Holy Spirit should teach her all things; and that he himself would be with her always, even to the end of time. (Matt. 16:18. .lohn 14:16-26. Matt. 28:20)

Again Penny Catechism. Which incidentally was specifically written to refute the principle errors of Protestantism.

If you have any Catholic or scouting questions please write in the comments box below.


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