The Lie About Hate

Last week when the Supreme Court decided to make same-sex “marriage” legal for the entire United States, the hashtag “LoveWins” was trending on the internet. The claim was that love won, because homosexuals are now free to “marry”. Those who “hate” homosexuals have lost in their desire to persecute homosexuals by not allowing them to “marry”.
Allow me to first address the claim that opposing same-sex “marriage” is somehow persecutory.
In order to persecute someone, one must be depriving another of a right. For example, not allowing someone to practice the religion of their choice is persecution, because every human being has the right to practice any religion he/she wishes (provided the practice of such does not deprive others of their rights). In fact, every human being has the right to refuse to believe in any deity. So to deprive someone of the ability to believe what they wish is persecution, since freedom of religion stems from the dignity inherent in every human being. This is a right.
The same can be said in regards to abortion, homicide, and genocide. They deprive a person of their life. Since each human being is his own person, life is properly considered a right. The right to life stems from the dignity inherent in every human being. To deprive someone of life because of race, sex, religion, etc. is properly considered persecution.
Marriage, however, is a completely different matter entirely. Marriage can not be considered a right. Thus, to prevent someone from marrying can not be considered persecution.
Every culture and civilization has had some regulation on marriage. Even those that recognized polygamy had regulations on marriage. Now days, polygamy is not widely accepted. That is a regulation. There have been regulations on what age one has to be in order to be allowed to marry. There have been regulations on the degree of relation into which someone may marry.
If marriage is a right, then there can not be regulations on marriage without the arising of some extraordinary circumstance. Thus, polygamy should be allowed. There can be no regulations against siblings marrying each other; parents marrying their children; uncles marrying their nieces; or any other regulations forbidding marriage among relatives of whatever degree. Indeed, if marriage is a right, then one can argue adults marrying minors, regardless of age, should be allowed. (Chalk up a point for the pedophiles!)
So we see that preventing homosexuals from “marrying” is not persecution. To be persecutory marriage would have to be a right. Marriage, as we have seen, however, is not a right.
Now what about the accusation that those opposing same-sex “marriage” advocate hate?
This is an equally fallacious claim. To be sure, there are those who genuinely do hate homosexuals. Most Christians, however, do not hate homosexuals as people. We hate the sin, not the person.
The idea that opposition to same-sex “marriage” promotes hate seems to stem from a couple of equally erroneous ideas. First, there is this odd belief that if one opposes another’s lifestyle (whether it’s a chosen lifestyle or not is not relevant here), he or she is judging the other person. As if not supporting another’s actions or lifestyle is somehow hateful.
One can love another without supporting everything that person does. I am a father. Do you really think I approve of everything my children do? My oldest child skipped out on a class this past school year, and served two days of ISS as a result. When I caught wind of it I had no choice but to make my disapproval known to him. Was I wrong for opposing my son’s decision? Is not his own person, equipped with the ability to make his own choices? Shouldn’t I have supported whatever decision he made? After all, it is his life we’re talking about. Anyone who would answer yes to these questions is clearly not a parent.
I felt my son made a poor decision, and I let him know that. It doesn’t mean I hate him. Actually, the contrary is true. I love him enough to let him know how I really feel about his decisions, and I wish to keep him from making what I believe are bad decisions. Especially when I feel those decisions are sinful.
To oppose another’s decisions, lifestyle, etc. is not necessarily hateful. We can still love someone whose decisions or lifestyle we oppose. To say that opposition to something like same-sex “marriage” is hateful is just plain wrong.
Second, the idea that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is hateful is sometimes defended by saying that Jesus loves everyone. Look, I have no problem with the claim that Jesus loves everyone. In fact, Scripture says as much. To say that Jesus loves everyone, however, is not the same as saying He condones same-sex “marriage”.
During His life Jesus spoke of sin. He called out the Pharisees as hypocrites. When He saw the money changers fleecing the people in the Temple, Jesus made a whip and drove them out. Jesus was clear that not everyone goes to Heaven. Jesus was anything but soft when it came to sin. Sure, He had a clear desire to forgive everyone’s sins. Yet Jesus was clear that some will not have their sins forgiven (through their own fault), and they will spend an eternity in Hell. To ignore or sugar coat this aspect of Christ’s Teaching is a disservice to both Christ, and to our fellow man.
Yes, Jesus loves everyone. To love someone, however, does not mean we must accept everything he/she does. We can oppose them, and yet still love them. That is what Jesus showed us. He opposes our sins, yet He never stops loving us.
When Jesus came He did not abrogate the moral law as it was laid out in the Old Testament. In fact, Jesus not only confirmed the moral law, He took it further. Not only must we obey the Ten Commandments, we must do even more. We must not just avoid murder, for example, we must try to avoid anger. The moral law as laid out by Jesus goes further than in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament homosexuality is referred to as “an abomination” in the eyes of God. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus change this. He never mentions homosexuality, but Jesus confirmed the moral law of the Old Testament. Hence, we must assume that homosexuality is still “an abomination” to God. In fact, St. Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 6!
Furthermore, whenever Jesus mentions sex or marriage, He does so only in the context of one man and one woman. We never even get a hint of Jesus’ thoughts on homosexuality, precisely because Jesus didn’t need to mention it. He had confirmed and advanced the moral law of the Old Testament. Hence, Jesus would have viewed homosexuality as wrong. No direct mention of this was necessary, because such would have been understood by His followers.
So let us let go of the claims of hate, persecution, and homophobia among those who oppose same-sex “marriage”. Again, there are those who truly hate homosexuals. Catholics, however, are called not to be among them. Indeed, in imitation of the Savior, we must go out of our way to show love to those struggling with the sin of homosexuality. That does not mean, however, that we must support the sin. Like Jesus, we must oppose the sin while loving the sinner.
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
President
Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

Rationalizing Against Rationalization

You know G.K. Chesterton once said that “common sense” should be referred to as “uncommon sense”, because it is one of the least common things in the world. I believe that Chesterton was right on the money. I have written about relativism, and how little sense it makes, more than once on this blog. Now, it appears, there is something new to discuss.
I want to discuss what I like to call “rationalizing against rationalization”. There are those who do not accept any kind of proof that comes from rationalizing. The argument goes that everyone rationalizes, or thinks, differently. Hence, just because something sems true to my way of rationalizing doesn’t make it true. Therefore, no argument can be decided by rationalizing. There must some outside proof for either side to prove their point.
I agree with this to some extent. Human rationalization is not necessarily definitive proof in any debate. If such were the case, then relativism would be true. People like Nietzsche could find ways to rationalize atheism, and the idea that “might makes right”. So rationalization is not definitive proof. I do not agree, however, with the idea that rationalizing can not give significant weight to one position or another.
In a debate one can use rationality to prove many things. Things like proving God exists; proving we exist; proving evil exists; etc. Is the proof 100%? Of course not, but neither is empirical proof. In fact, in this universe of constant flux, can we really ever have 100% proof of anything? No, yet, rationality can provide enough proof to give us no reasonable doubt about a topic.
For example, we can prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God exists through rationality. Oh sure, many will dispute this by citing the many atheists throughout history. Yet, proving there are those who dissent by rationalizing differently is not the same thing as proving that nothing can be confidently demonstrated through rationalizing because others “rationalize” differently. Actually, others “rationalizing” differently would seem to prove our rationalization. It is the same as saying the exception proves the rule. In any case, dissent from one rationalization does not disprove it.
The most convincing argument against “rationalizing against rationalization” is the fact that this “philosophy”, if you will, is an absolute. It’s no different than saying that rationality absolutely can not be used in an argument, because it proves absolutely nothing, due to the fact that others rationalize differently.
For one, to refuse to rationalize is to refuse to think logically. To refuse to think logically is no different than refusing to think at all. Without the use of logic, our thought becomes animalistic. It would be more akin to instinct. Logic allows humans to think abstractly, in a way animals can not.
Secondly, if it is true that rationalizing is useless in argumentation, then not rationalizing is equally useless. In fact, the very argument that rationalizing in arguments is useless is, itself, equally useless, because this type of argument is a rationalization! The one making such a comment has, in fact, rationalized that rationalization is useless. Hence, such an individual has contradicted his own argument.
It is equally fruitless to say that one can prove nothing, because this universe is in a state of constant change. Things we thought we knew are changing all the time. Thus, everything we think we know now may one day be proven false.
If we can know nothing for sure, then how can we even accurately know that we can know nothing for sure? This argument makes absolutely no sense. Plus, the fact that we can even debate over whether or not we can know anything proves that we exist. If we didn’t exist, then we could not even have this debate! So we know we can at least know one thing.
Even though this universe is in a state of constant flux, it still exists. It is still real. Something real doesn’t have to be unchanging. In fact, the fact that we change proves we exist. If we didn’t exist, then we could not change. Furthermore, our constant state of flux proves the existence of an unchanging God.
All change in the universe is caused by something that is unaffected by the change it causes. It stands to reason, therefore, that change itself must have a cause which is constant. This we call God.
See, rationalizing can prove something. Rationality just demonstrated the futility of “rationalizing against rationalization”. After all, one must use rationality in order to rationalize against rationality! So keep rationalizing.
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
President
Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

The Importance of St. Joseph

For those of you who are unaware, St. Joseph is the patron saint of WWCS. I selected him as our patron because he is also the patron saint of the Universal Church. Today is Holy Thursday. There will no doubt be many posts today on the Last Supper, Holy Eucharist, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and other related topics. There will also undoubtedly be many posts on Lent, as the Lenten season wraps up, and the Easter season comes upon us. A post on St. Joseph seems out of place today. Yet, I believe such a post is important, because we need to remember the very important role St. Joseph played in the life of Christ; and the important role he plays in the life of the Catholic Church.

Although there are apocryphal books which tell us how it was that Joseph was selected to receive the honor of, not only being the spouse of the Virgin Mary, but also of being the foster father of Jesus, we do not know for sure how this came about. All we know for sure is that Joseph did become the spouse of Mary. Though Jesus had no human father, Joseph possessed the rights of a father over Jesus. As spouse of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph had the rights of a husband over Her. In a marriage, one gives ownership of one’s reproductive capabilities over to one’s spouse. This includes any fruit of these capabilities, even if they were produced by another prior to the union. As the man of the house, St. Joseph would have had the right to rule over any children who lived in the home with him as a father. Thus, St. Joseph is important because he was both the spouse of the Virgin Mary, and the foster father of the Son of God made man.

St. Joseph is also important because of his obedience. When he found out that Mary was pregnant with child, and he knew he was not responsible for this, St. Joseph wanted to “put away” or divorce the Virgin Mary. This is only a natural reaction. First, we must assume that Mary had made a vow of perpetual virginity. This is the only real way to explain Her words to St. Gabriel the Archangel in Luke 1:34. In addition, it is clear the Virgin and St. Joseph had neither consummated, nor had any intention of ever consummating, their marriage. So, Mary being pregnant would be both a shock and a scandal to Joseph.

Furthermore, Joseph intended to divorce Mary quietly. Why quietly? Well, the penalty for fornication or adultery was the same: stoning. Though St. Joseph might have been upset that Mary was pregnant-and not by him-he evidently had no desire to see Her killed for Her alleged misconduct. This is a quality in St. Joseph that, I think, is often lost or forgotten.

As Mary’s husband, Joseph alone would have had the right to sleep with Her. It would have been well within his right to have Mary put on trial, and have Her stoned, for either fornication or adultery. The fact that he did not do this shows the holiness and gentle nature of the man. Mary’s vow of perpetual virginity was no doubt known to at least St. Joseph. No doubt, too, She had already obtained a reputation for holiness. Why, then, would She have committed either fornication, or adultery? St. Joseph certainly pondered this question himself. Maybe he considered that the deed was forced upon Her? In any case, all knew Joseph was that Mary was pregnant, and he was not responsible. He opted not to assert his right to have Her punished, and he simply determined to divorce Her quietly.

No sooner had St. Joseph made this decision, then an angel appeared to him. The angel informed St. Joseph that Mary had been faithful. Her pregnancy involved no sinful deed. No, it was a miraculous conception! St. Joseph was informed that it was God who placed the seed in the Virgin Mary’s womb. Her virginity was still intact. Joseph was made aware that the child would be the long awaited Messiah. But wait! There was more!

As the husband of Mary, Joseph would be responsible for the child. We do not know precisely how much Joseph knew or understood about Jesus. He knew Jesus was the Messiah, but did he really grasp what this meant? Did St. Joseph know Jesus was God incarnate? We simply do not know. What is certain, however, is that Joseph was aware that Mary’s Son was miraculously conceived, and that He was the Messiah. What a responsibility! A lesser man would have panicked, doubted, and, ultimately, probably rejected such a great responsibility. Not St. Joseph, though! He knew it was his job, as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to raise Her Son. If he didn’t take care of Mary and Her Son, then who would have? This was the purpose for which St. Joseph had been created. It was a purpose unique to him. God creates us all for our own unique purposes. If we fail to fulfill these purposes, they will be left undone. St. Joseph surely knew that here was the purpose for which he had been created. He was to protect and love, not only the Mother of the Messiah, but the very Messiah Himself! What a man Joseph was to accept such a responsibility!

It was a good thing, too, because very soon Mary and Jesus would need that protection. Matthew 2:13-8 tells us that, not long after Jesus was born, King Herod wanted to kill Him. This was out of jealousy and fear. Hero’s was told that the Messiah, the King of the Jews, had been born in Bethlehem. Hero’s was notorious for his paranoia, cruelty, and savagery. So it isn’t surprising to find out that he ordered the killing of every child two years old and younger in Bethlehem. What Hero’s hadn’t counted on is the assistance of God on behalf of Jesus, and the obedience of St. Joseph. At the warning of the angel, St. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to into hiding in Nazareth. They only returned to their own land after the angel gave them the all safe.

We are not certain when St. Joseph died, or how he died. It is tradition that Joseph died not long before Jesus began His public ministry. Even if this is wrong, we know that St. Joseph led a very holy life. We also can surmise that he gave a great example of manhood to Jesus. Joseph undoubtedly taught Jesus the carpentry trade, and showed Him what hard work was all about. Joseph also showed Jesus what it was to always obey the will of God, no matter what. Surely Joseph told Jesus the story of how His Mother miraculously conceived Jesus, and how an angel prevented Joseph from divorcing Her. The only thing we really need to know about St. Joseph, however, is that he always obeyed the will of God.

As with all the saints, Joseph is now an intercessor for us in Heaven. He holds a place in Heaven higher than any other saint save the Mother of God Herself. In fact, Mary is called the Mediatrix of all graces. Every grace we receive comes from God, through Mary. What many people don’t know, however, is that all graces also come from St. Joseph. St. Joseph had one of the most difficult jobs of anyone not named Jesus or Mary. His obedience to God’s will in every situation certainly merited a high position in Heaven. I mean, how many people can claim to have lived, raised, protected, and loved Jesus as his own child? Only St. Joseph can say this!

Just as St. Joseph was the foster father of the Son of God, and His protector, so Joseph must also be the foster father of the Church (as it were), and Her protector. Would not this warrant placing all graces in the hands of St. Joseph? I believe it would! I hope that all members of WWCS will have a very great devotion to St. Joseph, and call upon him everyday to supply us with the graces we need. This why I selected the Litany of St. Joseph and the Prayer to St. Joseph for the Triumph of the Church as two of the required daily prayers for WWCS members. Cherish and recite these prayers with love for the foster father of Jesus, and receive many great graces!

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

The Importance of St. Joseph

For those of you who are unaware, St. Joseph is the patron saint of WWCS. I selected him as our patron because he is also the patron saint of the Universal Church. Today is Holy Thursday. There will no doubt be many posts today on the Last Supper, Holy Eucharist, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and other related topics. There will also undoubtedly be many posts on Lent, as the Lenten season wraps up, and the Easter season comes upon us. A post on St. Joseph seems out of place today. Yet, I believe such a post is important, because we need to remember the very important role St. Joseph played in the life of Christ; and the important role he plays in the life of the Catholic Church.

Although there are apocryphal books which tell us how it was that Joseph was selected to receive the honor of, not only being the spouse of the Virgin Mary, but also of being the foster father of Jesus, we do not know for sure how this came about. All we know for sure is that Joseph did become the spouse of Mary. Though Jesus had no human father, Joseph possessed the rights of a father over Jesus. As spouse of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph had the rights of a husband over Her. In a marriage, one gives ownership of one’s reproductive capabilities over to one’s spouse. This includes any fruit of these capabilities, even if they were produced by another prior to the union. As the man of the house, St. Joseph would have had the right to rule over any children who lived in the home with him as a father. Thus, St. Joseph is important because he was both the spouse of the Virgin Mary, and the foster father of the Son of God made man.

St. Joseph is also important because of his obedience. When he found out that Mary was pregnant with child, and he knew he was not responsible for this, St. Joseph wanted to “put away” or divorce the Virgin Mary. This is only a natural reaction. First, we must assume that Mary had made a vow of perpetual virginity. This is the only real way to explain Her words to St. Gabriel the Archangel in Luke 1:34. In addition, it is clear the Virgin and St. Joseph had neither consummated, nor had any intention of ever consummating, their marriage. So, Mary being pregnant would be both a shock and a scandal to Joseph.

Furthermore, Joseph intended to divorce Mary quietly. Why quietly? Well, the penalty for fornication or adultery was the same: stoning. Though St. Joseph might have been upset that Mary was pregnant-and not by him-he evidently had no desire to see Her killed for Her alleged misconduct. This is a quality in St. Joseph that, I think, is often lost or forgotten.

As Mary’s husband, Joseph alone would have had the right to sleep with Her. It would have been well within his right to have Mary put on trial, and have Her stoned, for either fornication or adultery. The fact that he did not do this shows the holiness and gentle nature of the man. Mary’s vow of perpetual virginity was no doubt known to at least St. Joseph. No doubt, too, She had already obtained a reputation for holiness. Why, then, would She have committed either fornication, or adultery? St. Joseph certainly pondered this question himself. Maybe he considered that the deed was forced upon Her? In any case, all knew Joseph was that Mary was pregnant, and he was not responsible. He opted not to assert his right to have Her punished, and he simply determined to divorce Her quietly.

No sooner had St. Joseph made this decision, then an angel appeared to him. The angel informed St. Joseph that Mary had been faithful. Her pregnancy involved no sinful deed. No, it was a miraculous conception! St. Joseph was informed that it was God who placed the seed in the Virgin Mary’s womb. Her virginity was still intact. Joseph was made aware that the child would be the long awaited Messiah. But wait! There was more!

As the husband of Mary, Joseph would be responsible for the child. We do not know precisely how much Joseph knew or understood about Jesus. He knew Jesus was the Messiah, but did he really grasp what this meant? Did St. Joseph know Jesus was God incarnate? We simply do not know. What is certain, however, is that Joseph was aware that Mary’s Son was miraculously conceived, and that He was the Messiah. What a responsibility! A lesser man would have panicked, doubted, and, ultimately, probably rejected such a great responsibility. Not St. Joseph, though! He knew it was his job, as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to raise Her Son. If he didn’t take care of Mary and Her Son, then who would have? This was the purpose for which St. Joseph had been created. It was a purpose unique to him. God creates us all for our own unique purposes. If we fail to fulfill these purposes, they will be left undone. St. Joseph surely knew that here was the purpose for which he had been created. He was to protect and love, not only the Mother of the Messiah, but the very Messiah Himself! What a man Joseph was to accept such a responsibility!

It was a good thing, too, because very soon Mary and Jesus would need that protection. Matthew 2:13-8 tells us that, not long after Jesus was born, King Herod wanted to kill Him. This was out of jealousy and fear. Hero’s was told that the Messiah, the King of the Jews, had been born in Bethlehem. Hero’s was notorious for his paranoia, cruelty, and savagery. So it isn’t surprising to find out that he ordered the killing of every child two years old and younger in Bethlehem. What Hero’s hadn’t counted on is the assistance of God on behalf of Jesus, and the obedience of St. Joseph. At the warning of the angel, St. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to into hiding in Nazareth. They only returned to their own land after the angel gave them the all safe.

We are not certain when St. Joseph died, or how he died. It is tradition that Joseph died not long before Jesus began His public ministry. Even if this is wrong, we know that St. Joseph led a very holy life. We also can surmise that he gave a great example of manhood to Jesus. Joseph undoubtedly taught Jesus the carpentry trade, and showed Him what hard work was all about. Joseph also showed Jesus what it was to always obey the will of God, no matter what. Surely Joseph told Jesus the story of how His Mother miraculously conceived Jesus, and how an angel prevented Joseph from divorcing Her. The only thing we really need to know about St. Joseph, however, is that he always obeyed the will of God.

As with all the saints, Joseph is now an intercessor for us in Heaven. He holds a place in Heaven higher than any other saint save the Mother of God Herself. In fact, Mary is called the Mediatrix of all graces. Every grace we receive comes from God, through Mary. What many people don’t know, however, is that all graces also come from St. Joseph. St. Joseph had one of the most difficult jobs of anyone not named Jesus or Mary. His obedience to God’s will in every situation certainly merited a high position in Heaven. I mean, how many people can claim to have lived, raised, protected, and loved Jesus as his own child? Only St. Joseph can say this!

Just as St. Joseph was the foster father of the Son of God, and His protector, so Joseph must also be the foster father of the Church (as it were), and Her protector. Would not this warrant placing all graces in the hands of St. Joseph? I believe it would! I hope that all members of WWCS will have a very great devotion to St. Joseph, and call upon him everyday to supply us with the graces we need. This why I selected the Litany of St. Joseph and the Prayer to St. Joseph for the Triumph of the Church as two of the required daily prayers for WWCS members. Cherish and recite these prayers with love for the foster father of Jesus, and receive many great graces!

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

Summarizing Some Differences

It has been requested that I write a post summarizing the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. Who can do such a thing? The differences are far too many and varied to summarize them all. Heck, the differences between some Protestant denominations can be too many and varied to summarize. I will, however, discuss at least some of the biggest differences.

The biggest difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is authority. Protestants believe in a concept called sola scriptura (Scripture alone). They use only Scripture to determine what to believe (faith) and how to live (morals). There are several problems with sola scriptura.

In Matthew 16 Jesus says He will establish a Church, and that this Church will be established on the rock of St. Peter. He then gives Peter the powers of binding and loosing, and the keys to the kingdom. Later, in Matthew 18, the rest of the Apostles receive the powers of binding and loosing, but Peter received them first. Also, in Matthew 18, Jesus is clear that issues of doctrine are to be determined by the hierarchy. That is why those not abiding the Church’s decision are to be “as the publican and tax collector”. This is the equivalent of saying that those disagreeing with official decisions of the hierarchy on matters of faith and morals are to be treated as heretics.

Nowhere does Scripture say that it alone is the authority. Actually, it says just the opposite. (See 2 Tm. 1:13; 1 Cor. 11:23; Mk. 15:16; 2 Th. 2:14.) In fact, the Gospel was originally transmitted orally. Jesus Himself never indicated that anything He said or did should be written down. The emphasis is always on oral transmission. Even the Protestant scholar, J.N.D. Kelly, admits this in his work “Early Christian Doctrines”.

Another problem with sola scriptura is that it has led to the belief that any baptized Christian can authoritatively interpret Scripture for himself. If this is the case, then what Protestantism has effectively done is to depose one pope, and replace him with millions of popes. In Protestantism each person is his or her own pope! So when a Protestant says they believe what the Bible says the appropriate response is, “According to who?”

God did not establish us as our own authority. Nowhere in Scripture is it indicated that every Christian is allowed to interpret Scripture authoritatively for himself. The Church is the Body of Christ. Like a body it has many different parts with different functions. We can not all rule the Church, for when everyone rules, no one does. Scripture gives credence to the idea of the Church being the sole authoritative and infallible interpreter of Scripture in Mt. 18:17; 23:2; 1 Jn. 4:6; 1 Tm. 3:15.

Finally, sola scriptura doesn’t make historical sense. Both J.N.D. Kelly (Early Christian Doctrines) and Henry GrahamGraham (Our Debt to Catholicism) attest that the Catholic Church is the compiler of Sacred Scripture. If sola scriptura were true, then Church could not have existed until the Bible was compiled. The problem is that this did not happen until the late 4th century!

Another difference is that most Protestant denominations only recognize two sacraments. The Catholic Church recognizes seven. The argument is that Jesus only instituted two sacraments. I will not go over each sacrament here, as that would take far too long. There is a plethora of scriptural verses to back up the institution of all seven sacraments. Just a few are: Jn. 3:5 (water Baptism); Penance (Jn. 20:21-3); Confirmation (Jn. 14:16; Acts 8:14-7); Holy Eucharist (instituted by Christ at the Last Supper when He said, “Do this in memory of me”, and see John 6); Holy Matrimony (Eph. 5:32; Gn. 2:24; Mk. 10:6-9; Mt. 19:6; Lk. 16:18); Holy Orders (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24; Jn. 20:22; Acts 13:2); and Anointing of the Sick (Jm. 5:14; Mk. 6:12; Jn. 5:14). This list is nowhere near exhaustive.

I have recently discussed the differences in Catholic and Protestant theology regarding grace, so I won’t discuss that here. What I should mention is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant views on Holy Eucharist. Most Protestants believe that the bread and wine are mere symbols of Jesus’ body and blood. Not so with Catholics. We believe when a legitimately ordained priest recites the words of consecration over the bread and wine, they cease to be bread and wine. The accidents (color, weight, taste, shape, etc.) remain. The essence of bread and wine, however, cease. The bread and wine actually become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

Martin Luther taught that the bread and wine were only the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ as long as the recipient believed they were. This was rejected by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent. The bread and wine are the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ when consecrated by legitimately ordained priest. This does not require anyone’s belief, because it is a fact. Nowhere does Jesus indicate the bread and wine were mere symbols, or only His body and blood if the Apostles believed it. He simply said, “This is…”

The Orthodox believe in consubstantiation, whereas the Catholic Church teaches transubstantiation. Essentially, the Orthodox believe in the Real Presence, but they believe the essence of bread and wine remain with the essence of Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity. This, too, has been rejected by the Church.

Many Protestants believe that faith alone saves (sola fides). The Catholic Church believes both faith and good works are necessary. Sure, St. Paul says faith saves apart from “works of the law”, but this does not mean good works are not efficacious. St. Paul was referring to the Old Law. A look at the gospels reveals that Christ actually ordered good works to be performed. Furthermore, every reference to judgment in the New Testament reveals a judgment based on works. That isn’t to say faith is not considered. Faith plays a major role, but our faith must be lived. Hence, James 2 and Galatians 5:6 reference works being essential. Not to mention that 1 Cor. 13:13 places the virtue of love above faith. If faith alone saves, however, how could love be greater? Our faith working through is what saves.

There are many, many, many significant differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. I think this, however, will suffice as a decent summary. I think this also proves that the Catholic Church is, indeed, the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

Demonic Activity and Exorcism

It has been requested that I write a post about exorcism. I will do one better. I will write a post about the three worst degrees/levels of demonic activity, and then I will write about exorcism. Note that this is not to be considered definitive. Though I have done a good amount of research on this topic, I am by no means anywhere near an expert. One must also keep in mind that no case of demonic activity or exorcism is identical. Each case has its own unique manifestations, happenings, etc.

The normal demonic activity that absolutely no one escapes is temptation. Not all temptation to sin comes from demons, but there are a lot of temptations that do have demonic origins. As I said, no one avoids temptation. Even Our Lord was tempted by Satan.

The lowest degree of what you might consider abnormal, severe demonic activity is demonic obsession. Demonic obsession can have many causes. Some things that can cause one to suffer from demonic obsession are obvious things like witchcraft, occultism, satanism, sexual immorality, etc. Other, less obvious, sources of demonic obsession are things like playing the Ouija board, listening to certain types of music, watching immoral television programs and movies, immoral video games, etc. One can even unknowingly have a curse placed over them by a witch. One can eat food cursed by a witch. Apostasy, schism, and heresy can also lead to demonic obsession.

The symptoms of demonic obsession can vary, but they are typically outside of the person. For example, one might place his car keys in their usual spot. No one else is around, but moments later the keys are missing. After some searching they may be located in an odd place. One suffering from demonic obsession may experience phenomena like doors opening and closing on their own; lights turning on and off on their own; disembodied, often hostile voices; cabinet doors opening; dishes being broken; etc.

The second level/degree of demonic activity is demonic oppression (also called infestation). If obsession is scary, oppression is downright terrifying. At this point, the victim not only continues to experience the symptoms of obsession, but new symptoms begin to manifest. The victim starts to experience attacks in and on his person. With oppression, one may experience physical attacks from an unseen assailant; unexplained bouts of depression, rage, confusion, etc. which do not respond to psychiatric and psychological treatment; and many other very serious symptoms. The causes of demonic oppression are the same as obsession. The same goes for possession.

The third and most severe type of demonic activity is possession. In possession a demon (usually it is multiple demons) possess the body of the victim. Only the body of the victim can be possessed, not the soul. Further, the word victim in possession is not really the best term to use. No one can be possessed without their free consent. Admittedly, this consent is generally given after the will is broken through the other two levels of demonic activity, or through the individual being tricked or careless.

There are many signs of possession. Really, this is the easiest activity to recognize. Still, many who are possessed are labeled by doctors as insane. It should be obvious that a possessed individual is not insane, because they do not respond to treatment. This is one sign of possession. Other signs can be unnatural knowledge (knowledge of hidden things); speaking in languages the individual could not have known otherwise; levitation; unnatural strength; speaking in unnatural voices; aversion to blessed objects, people, places, and names.

Many people think exorcisms are only performed on those who are possessed. This is not true. First, even when you are being tempted to sin, you should do something to hinder the work of the demons. This is where prayer comes in. Specifically, prayers of exorcism are particularly effective. Of course, the Mass and Rosary usually works, but there are others. Two of my favorites are the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and the Anima Christi.

For the three degrees of demonic activity discussed above, exorcism is usually required. Exorcism is not always as dramatic as in the movies. Many times, the demons try to stay mute and not manifest themselves. Yet, often, they are violent.

There are different types/rites of exorcism. The Minor Rite of exorcism can be done by a priest with permission from the Ordinary (bishop). The Major Rite of exorcism can only be performed with permission from the Vatican. Priests who are going to perform an exorcism are recommended to first go to Confession (or, at least, make a sincere act of contrition), and, if possible, celebrate the Mass. The one upon whom an exorcism is to be performed should also receive the sacraments.

Most of my readers have no doubt heard about the movie “The Exorcist”. This movie is loosely based on a true story. In the real case, the possessed was a young teenage boy from Maryland. His family was Lutheran, and the boy was unbaptized. Most cases of demonic activity take multiple exorcisms. This case was no different, and the exorcisms were most effective only after the boy began studying to receive Baptism. The effectiveness increased after the boy entered the Catholic Church. He had become possessed by playing the Ouija board, and he was not freed until St. Michael the Archangel aided the boy.

During the course of the exorcisms, the demon possessing the boy had lied about when and how he would leave. Finally, the demon revealed that he would leave only when the boy spoke a specific word. Unfortunately, the demon prevented the boy from speaking. So, one day, St. Michael himself spoke the word, Dominus, through the boy.

Many have no doubt heard of the movie “Exorcism of Emily Rose”. This case was very loosely based on a true case from Germany. Just as in the movie, the young girl died under possession. Not everyone who dies under possession, however, is damned. It is based on the situation. Only God knows. Exorcism is not always successful.

During exorcism the exorcist asks how many demons possess the individual, and what their names are. This is important, because to know a demon’s name is to have power over it. Other than this, the exorcist should avoid conversing with the demon, except to find out the demon’s or demons’ weakness. Some have a particular aversion to holy water. Others really hate the Blessed Sacrament. Others really hate the name of Mary, or St. Joseph, or St. Michael the Archangel. There are almost infinite possibilities.

If you wish to learn more about exorcism and demonic activity, there are a few suggestions I have. You can go to http://www.catholic.com, or even Catholic Online at http://www.catholic.org. “The Exorcist” was not condemned by the Church, but the movie is not accurate enough to the real case for my taste. In my opinion, the best movie on exorcism is “The Rite”. There are many books one could read. My favorites are “An Exorcist: Stories” and “An Exorcist: More Stories”, by Fr. Gabriele Amorth. Fr. Amorth is the former exorcist for the diocese of Rome.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

AmericanSolidaritySolidarity

Catholics vs. Catholics on Grace

It is a well-known fact that Protestantism allows for a significant amount of autonomy. Well, a significant amount of autonomy compared to, say, Catholicism. Yet, Catholics do not have to agree with one another on every single theological point. There is room for debate on some issues. I have written about this before, but there is a topic where Catholics do not all agree that I would like to examine.

The debate is on grace. Protestants believe in only one type of grace: efficacious grace. Protestants believe that human nature is so steeped in sin that it can never do any good work. Any good work done by man is actually performed by God. It is the teaching of Protestantism that the human soul has no power to do anything good, hence, grace does not transform the soul. The Catholic Church says that grace transforms the soul, and makes it capable of doing good. In fact, the human soul must choose on its own to cooperate or reject God’s grace. Protestants believe that the only power the soul has is to either believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, or reject that faith. If faith is chosen, according to Protestantism, God’s grace essentially covers the soul, and operates the good for the soul. In other words, good works are nothing more than evidence of justification. For Catholics, grace gives the soul the ability to actually do good works. In other words, good works actually help to accomplish justification.

Protestants believe all grace is efficacious, since grace is accomplishing good works for us. Catholics, however, believe a bit differently. All Catholics believe grace transformsvthe soul, and makes it capable of good. But we believe that there are two types of grace. One is efficacious grace. Another is sufficient grace. Catholics, however, have several different schools of thought on this aspect.

The first is the Thomists. They follow the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. Basically, the Thomists believe that, since God knows what choices we will make, He creates some souls to be more receptive to His grace than others. According to Thomists, sufficient grace gives one the ability to do good. Efficacious grace actually helps bring salvation (justification) about. God knows who will choose Him, so decides (from eternity) who receives efficacious grace, and who does not. So, while the soul still freely chooses, the souls of the elect are actually created to accept God’s grace.

The Augustinian school of thought agrees with Thomism in everything except the creation of the soul. While Thomists believe God actually creates certain souls to accept His efficacious grace, Augustinians believe that the elect are only morally affected. Efficacious grace isn’t basically irresistible, as in Thomism, but it “tugs” at the soul, as it were.

The Molinistic school says that sufficient grace and efficacious grace are virtually the same. Everyone receives sufficient grace which enables us to do good. If we accept it, then it becomes efficacious by default.

The Congruistic school is similar to Molinism, but with one difference. Congruists believe that if sufficient grace fits all the elements of our particular circumstances, then we will freely accept it, and it becomes efficacious. If it does not fit all the elements of our particular circumstances, then we freely reject God’s grace. The grace then remains merely sufficient.

The last school is Syncretism. This combines all the previous schools, but emphasizes the role of prayer in the reception and efficaciousness of grace. Prayer surely is an important element in the reception of grace. Of that there is no doubt.

As one can imagine, each school has its significant adherents. Dominicans tend toward Thomism. Augustinians tend toward Augustinianism. Jesuits tend toward Molinism and Congruism. St. Alphonsus de Liguori was perhaps the greatest adherent to Syncretism.

Since the Church has not defined, one may accept whichever school of thought one wishes on this matter. Each system has its strength and weaknesses.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

More on Grace

For those who follow our blog you might remember a post I wrote last year on grace. The question I addressed was whether God’s grace is always absolutely free. The position I took was that sanctifying grace (bestowed at baptism) is free. We must have sanctifying grace to inherit eternal life. Since the reward for sanctifying grace is Heaven, the grace must be free. There is nothing in our nature that can equal the reward, so the gift of sanctifying grace is just that. It is a freely-given grace by God. We can not earn sanctifying grace.

I took a bit of a different stance in regards to actual grace. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did the best job of explaining the stance. It must be understood that my stance is the Catholic Church’s stance. It is my desire that the Catholic stance be understood by all. One reading my previous post on grace might misunderstand the Catholic position. Thus, I feel the need to again explain, in part, the Catholic stance on actual grace. We could get into extremely great detail here, but most of my readers would not be interested in such a discussion. I will here only clarify what I poorly conveyed in my previous post on grace.

As I said, sanctifying grace is, and must be, freely-given by God. Actual grace is, to some extent, given freely by God. What I did not convey so well in my previous post on grace is that God always gives us grace before we do any good act. He gives us the grace to will to do good. In other words, grace must precede any good action. Yet, there are graces bestowed on us during the doing of a good action, and after the consummation of a good act.

Grace comes from the Latin “gratia”. This word means something like “gift”. The very nature of a gift requires that it be freely-given. So, to be a grace, we must receive it from God freely. Technically-speaking, every grace is given freely. Although we do receive graces upon consummation of a good act, God still technically bestows these graces freely. Because God is infinite and we are not, He does not technically owe us anything. We can make no demands on the Almighty God. So even actual grace is, technically, freely-given.

Yet, God promises graces in reward for certain good actions. Such works or actions are known as congruo meritum (congruent merit). We can never demand a reward from God, but He Himself has freely promised a reward for actions. So, while such graces are technically still freely bestowed on us by God, we earn the graces insofar as God has promised to bestow them in return for certain good works.

Still other actual graces are bestowed on us by God for actions which, while not possessing a promise of reward, nonetheless, still pleases God. So, He decides to give us graces for the works. Actual grace received in such a way is known as condigno meritum (condine merit). Again, these graces are still bestowed freely by God, but are earned insofar as the works done pleased God, and prompted Him to bestow the graces.

We must remember several things here about actual grace. We receive actual grace from God before any good works are done. These graces prompt us to desire good works. Now, our wills have the power to reject these graces, and not even desire to do good. We also possess the power inherently to accept the graces, and desire to do good. God does not impose His grace on us.

We then are given graces to actually perform the good works. These graces are, again, bestowed freely. We possess the inherent power to reject these graces and not perform the works, or accept the graces and perform the works.

During the performance of our good works we are freely given graces from God to continue until the completion of our good works. We may reject these graces, and cease our good works. Then, again, we may accept them, and complete our good works.

After the completion of our good works, we receive more graces. We may accept or reject them. Either way, we are free.

In conclusion, technically, all grace is free. Yet, it can not be ignored that God has very clearly attached rewards for certain actions. While we can not ever demand God give us even those rewards He has promised, we know that God always keeps His promises. We can not ignore that still other actions do merit a reward due to the fact that they please God, though no reward is promised for these actions. We may trust, however, that God will reward any good work done. Thus, only in this sense can we say that actual grace is ever earned. Technically, actual grace is a free gift. Yet, we are free to accept or reject these gifts. Accepting those graces preceding good works prompts God to give us other graces to compel us to complete the works. Our free acceptation of these graces prompts God to gives us yet more grace upon the completion of good works.

Actual grace is freely-given. Yet, it is, in a sense, earned. If you wish to dive deeper into this issue, I suggest reading “The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” by Dr. Ludwig Ott.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

About Lucifer

The Bible mentions Satan a good deal. Much of what we know about him, however, is after his fall. What about before his fall? Who or what was Satan before he fell from grace?

The name Satan comes from the Latin “Satanus”. This means “the enemy”. It is a fitting name, because that is exactly what Satan is. He is the enemy of God, but not of God alone. Satan is the enemy of mankind. Even those who worship Satan are hated by him. Satan is so full of hate that he even hates himself. What else would you expect from someone who hates his creator? If you hate the One who created you, how can you love yourself, or anyone else? But was Satan always this way?

Originally, Satan was a good angel. He is still an angel, with all the intelligence and power that comes with being such a being. He is still an angel, but he is a bad one. Initially, Satan’s name was Lucifer. Lucifer means something like “bright star”. In Scripture and other ancient writings, stars are symbolic of angels. So, based on his name, we may assume that Lucifer was a particularly great angel. We don’t actually know much of anything about this “period” of Satan’s existence. Scripture is silent. Yet, allow me to give what seems to be (at least to me) the most popular scenario.

We know there are nine choirs of angels. The highest choir are the Seraphim, and the lowest are the Angels. Based on his name, it is quite plausible that Lucifer was among the Seraphim; but we can not be sure of this, and no one is bound to believe it. Such a belief is a mere opinion. In any event, at some point, Lucifer chose to rebel against God. What was his reason for rebelling? Did Lucifer see his own “greatness”, his “brightness”, and believe he was greater than God? Did Lucifer know that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, would become human, but retain His divinity; thereby forcing Lucifer to bow down to a God-Man? Did Lucifer know that a mere woman would bear Christ, and eventually become Lucifer’s queen?

As I said, we do not know for sure why Lucifer and his angelic followers rebelled. We only know that they did. Allow me, however, to explain what I think happened.

God is eternal presence. He has no past, and no future. He always was, always will be, and He always remains the same. In other words, God is eternal. God is also a pure, uncreated spirit. Man, on the other hand, is a composite being, created by God. Man has both a physical body, and a spiritual soul. Properly-speaking, man has no present. Man is in a state of constant flux. We are constantly becoming what we were not before, and ceasing to be what we once were. So, technically-speaking, one could say man has only a past and future.

Angels are like an intermediate being between God and man. Angels are pure spirits, but unlike God, angels are creatures. They are not eternal, but neither are they in a state of constant flux. Because of our fleeting physical existence, man’s knowledge (even before the fall of Adam and Eve) is limited. We have never completely understood the full consequences of our choices. Angels have a past, but it is my opinion that they do not experience a future. Sure, angels do operate within our experience of time, but they do not actually “reside” in, or inherently experience, our time. Once angels are created, everything happens at once. So, they have a past, but no future. This is why angels understand completely the consequences of their choices. This knowledge, in turn, is why angels can not repent of sin. Once an angel chooses for God, or against God, their choice is final.

Furthermore, I believe Lucifer had to have known about the Incarnation, and the Queenship of Mary. I think Lucifer refused to submit to either Jesus or Mary. He would not be subject to any human in any way, because Lucifer believed humans to be inherently inferior to himself. I also believe that the angels initially underwent a sort of test, not entirely unlike what we undergo in life.

I do not believe angels ever experienced a physical existence, but, in order to rebel against God, angels must have initially been kept from the full experience of the Beatific Vision. If you do not know, the Beatific Vision is the seeing of God face to face in Heaven. If the angels had experienced the full Beatific Vision, the sheer fullness of the glory of God would make rebellion practically impossible. The angels would still possess free will, but they would realize the futility of resistance against God. So, in order to rebel, the angels could not have experienced the full Beatific Vision.

This leads into the name of Lucifer. Since he did not have the full Beatific Vision, Lucifer may have appeared (at least to some of the angels, especially himself) to be greater than God. It is entirely possible that, though Lucifer knew he was God’s inferior, that he convinced himself and others that he was greater than God. This would be both the ultimate manifestation of pride, and the ultimate lie.

We must also remember that Sacred Scripture tells us that Lucifer was a liar “from the beginning”. This would be in accordance with what I have said about both angelic knowledge, and how angels experience time. As soon as angels are created-due to their great knowledge, and their not having a future-they make their choice either for or against God. It isn’t like with mankind. We all have time on Earth in which to choose God, or to choose ourselves. Angels, understanding all of the consequences of any choice they might make, choose as soon as they come into being.

So Lucifer was intended by God to be a good angel; but he responded to selfishly to God’s request. Lucifer said, “Non servos.” He would not serve. Lucifer chose something that did not exist…his own greatness. The only greatness is God. It is from Him that all glory stems. All else is fleeting and insufficient. It is truly that, upon his transformation from a good angel to a bad angel, that Lucifer’s name also transformed to Satan. He went from being a “bright star” to being “the enemy”. He is the enemy of the Creator, so he is the enemy of all creation!

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity

The Reform of the Curia

Both non-Catholics and Catholics alike are thrilled that Pope Francis reforming the Curia Romana (the Roman Curia). For those of you who do not know, the Curia is the group of cardinals and bishops who assist the Pope in governing the Church and the Vatican City State. The bishops and cardinals who are a part of the Roman Curia oversee various dicasteries (congregations). It is the job of these congregations to deal with specific duties. For example, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) oversees the dissemination of the Catholic Faith throughout the world. If any professor at a Catholic college teaches contrary to the Faith, or any priest or bishop does the same, the CDF may step in.

There are many dicasteries in the Roman Curia, and each, in theory, has different areas of jurisdiction. In practicality, however, many of the dicasteries’ jobs overlap. Catholics and non-Catholics have long wanted reform of the Curia. But there has been disagreement over what those reforms should look like. In fact, not even Catholics have agreed with one another over what the curial reforms should actually look like. Should there be fewer dicasteries? Should the current heads of the dicasteries be replaced? Should layman be allowed to head the dicasteries? What about women? What role, if any, should women play in the Curia Romana?

It seems Pope Francis is answering these questions. There was no doubt Pope Francis would make major reforms to the Curia when he was elected pope. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had begun some curial reforms when he became pope, but his health and age prevented him from doing too much. Most of the reforms would have to be made by Benedict’s successor. Enter Pope Francis.

Francis’ reforms have been quite dramatic, and it would seem more are to come. Francis’ criticisms of many within the Curia-and most of these criticisms have been made in a general way-have made the Pontiff’s displeasure with their conduct abundantly clear. It was certain many of those leading the dicasteries would be replaced. Indeed, there have been replacements. Yet, Pope Francis has found another way to solve his problems.

Not only are there many corrupt men heading and working within some of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia; but there are too many dicasteries. The Roman Curia has become a lumbering, inefficient bureaucracy that is far too large. You never want that! Not to mention that, oftentimes, the bishops and cardinals heading the various dicasteries become entrenched. They can become very influential and very powerful. This can make them hard to remove.

One great example is Cardinal Sodano. His Eminence served as the Secretary of State for much of Pope St. John Paul II’s pontificate. The Holy Father does not place someone at the head of a dicastery if he doesn’t trust him. St. John Paul II trusted Cardinal Sodano. Why shouldn’t he have trusted Cardinal Sodano? His Eminence seemed to be a genuine kind of guy. Yet, time would show that all was not as it seemed.

It began to leak out that the founder of a religious order (Regnum Christi), Fr. Marcial Maciel, had had sexual relationships with several men in his order. Not only that, but Fr. Maciel had used funds for Regnum Christi to pay for a town home for his mistress. In addition, Fr. Maciel had fathered multiple children with multiple women, and he had sexually abused some of these children!

These were horrendous actions, if true. They were true, but Fr. Maciel had one very powerful, influential friend. That friend was Cardinal Sodano. Although an investigation by the CDF (headed at the time by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI) found that the allegations were true, Cardinal Sodano insisted they were false. His Eminence was able to keep Fr. Maciel out of trouble. At least, that is, until Cardinal Ratzinger became pope. Fr. Maciel was promptly removed from Regnum Christi, and promptly disciplined.

The point is, one can see the power and influence some of these men in the Curia can wield. So it can be difficult even for the Pope to remove them. Francis, however, has found a way around that. The Holy Father has announced that some of the dicasteries will be merged into one. Not only will this shrink the bureaucracy of the Church (making Her more efficient), this will also allow the Holy Father to more easily remove those in the Curia he wishes to be gone.

In addition, there has been some question as to the role of women and laymen in the Curia. Pope Francis has indicated that he may allow women to play some role in the Curia, as women bring different talents and skill sets from men. This could only help the Church. Pope Francis will not, however, be allowing women to serve as heads of the dicasteries. One can understand the dangerous precedent this would set. Jesus never indicated anywhere that women should lead His Church. In fact, Jesus’ actions seem to say otherwise.

As far as laymen go, they have already played a role in the dicasteries, but they have never been allowed to head them. Again, Pope Francis has indicated, this will not change. Indeed, it can not change. Christ established a hierarchy to lead His Church. The nature of the work of the Roman Curia necessitates that the dicasteries be headed by no one holding a rank less than a bishop. So, while significant reforms will be made, there will be limits to these reforms.

Peace in Christ,

David J. Pollard

President

Worldwide Catholic Solidarity

and

American Catholic Solidarity