Responses to Comments Made on BetrayedCatholics

Below are responses to the post and to comments on BetrayedCatholics latest article, “Scaring up ghosts and calling them errors.”  It is in two parts, for the first is Laura addressing what Teresa Benns had posted in a comment; the second part is Robert (that’s me) addressing what Irene had posted in a comment. The object of these responses is to clarify our position and to defend the truth.

Before we dive into the responses, though, I wish to make it very plain and clear: I am not saying we should not read anything other than the Catechism to learn our faith. Of course there are books written for furthering our education in the faith, but I am saying that the Catechism, and the BC in particular for its convenient referencing and concise language, makes for the best defense of the faith I know of. I am also saying that we should learn our Catechism by rote, even if it takes us some years to do it, because that is what Mother Church would have us do.

1166. We have many means of learning the Christian doctrine: In youth we have Catechism and special instructions suited to our age; later we have sermons, missions, retreats, religious sodalities and societies through which we may learn. At all times, we have books of instruction, and, above all, the priests of the Church, ever ready to teach us. God will not excuse our ignorance if we neglect to learn our religion when He has given us the means.

You see, the BC speaks of the Catechism as the first means by which we are to learn our faith. It is fundamental, and since the fundamentals are what are being attacked today, I think it is best to focus on that, until we have a solid grasp of doctrine. We can, of course, supplement with sermons and books of instruction. We may even read papal encyclicals and read canon law, too; but it is altogether dangerous and presumptive to think we have understood these texts well enough to build a defense of the faith on them. I am only saying we should stick with the fundamentals presented in the Catechism as the safest and surest means of defending the faith. Why would anyone have a problem with that?

Teresa wrote: “…And BTW, I will be taking no more posts on this,” yet there she allowed Irene to post a comment afterward. I am responding to Irene here on CatholicEclipsed, because Irene was responding to my article, and so it makes sense to do so. That, and I wasn’t going to write out a lengthy response only for Teresa to have actually kept her word and not allow it to be posted.


Teresa writes:

What the popes state, (and those things that the Holy Office approves which are written by others state), is, according to the popes themselves, perfectly understandable. So who do I believe, you or them? When I quote from theologians, and I do so usually only in way of explanation, they are theologians loyal to the papacy. Don’t confuse me with Traditinalists [sic] who use them almost exclusively.

I have scanned over your most recent blog post, Robert, with its insinuations about my lack of education, and I am sorry, but you are wrong on this catechism business. This is not about me or you, but the truth. The catechism is a starting point only and not all you need to know to be saved is within its pages. Even common sense tells us that.

I know this is true because Pope Boniface VIII declares that unless one is subject to the pope and obedient to him, he cannot be saved, so there goes your theory that everything you need to know to be saved being in the catechism! How can anyone obey something he doesn’t study and therefore does not know?

Where does that catechism teach how to avoid the errors of Liberalism, Modernism and Americanism, heresies that destroyed the Church? Every error out there today, especially Traditionalism, constitutes a concerted effort to obliterate even the idea of the papacy.

Not teaching people how to avoid these errors is teaching them how to learn to forget the papacy ever existed or meant anything. You forget: the POPE was Christ’s voice on earth, not the catechism, even though it may echo Church teaching to some degree. Stay with Peter or be lost.

The ridiculousness of a recent public comment has prompted me to feel the need for a correction and clarification of Church teaching. There were so many errors, it was necessary to write a full post to correct them all. 

First of all, we need to start with a true understanding of the nature of the Church. The Church is hierarchical. A hierarchy exists to keep order, and as such, it must be treated appropriately to create that order. Stating that we must follow the pope, does not maintain the hierarchy.  To get a better understanding, I will give an example. In the military, a strict hierarchy exists, such that you are allowed to order anyone below you but to seek orders from those only directly above you, such that if a petty officer went straight to the captain (even with a serious or grave issue) he would be out of line and rightly punished. That same petty officer certainly isn’t going to be asking the captain for his own orders either. The captain speaks to the department heads (officers), the officers speak to the chiefs (enlisted) and the chiefs take it to the petty officers (sometimes with lots more steps than this in between!). Now let’s compare this with the Church. The pope speaks in allocutions and encyclicals, etc. written to the cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, the list doesn’t even mention priests or other lesser clergy, let alone laymen. The bishops direct any necessary information to the priests and the priests give any necessary information to the laity, through catechisms for instance.

Now, our commenter stated this: “What the popes state, (and those things that the Holy Office approves which are written by others state), is, according to the popes themselves, perfectly understandable. So who do I believe, you or them?” First of all, as I stated above, the pope himself says he’s writing for the bishops, not the laity. Secondly, the layman is not going to write to the pope and tell the pope to start sending encyclicals to his address, because he’s educated. Likewise, everything that the Holy Office approves. So in any age other than our digital one with everything online, how would a layman even be able to read what the pope has written? Third, of course the letters written to the bishops would be clear for those they are written to, but no pope in anything I have ever read said that he was writing for the laity or that the laity should read his letters or that the laity would clearly understand what he was writing about. Now, that is not to say that I think they are to remain unread, but we must take care and tread lightly, especially since no matter how much we have read or studied, NONE of us has done such under the counsel of a member of the clergy (except supposedly Introibo)  and none of us (including Introibo) has acquired a degree in theology under the guidance of the Church. Therefore, NONE of us has the specific training to properly understand everything that is written for the bishops who have not only such training and degrees, but also experience, and graces from Holy Orders. 

Next, just because we think something is clear, does not mean that we properly understand it. Let us not wonder too hard at this for the protestants have gone before us in determining the sense of Scripture in this way, and yet also the Scripture seems clear (most of the time) when you read it. Theologians are trained for many years in order to apply the principles to interpret rightly what the pope has said. And many things in the Church are not yet defined in such a way as to make necessary a passage being taken in a certain sense. That is why theologians do not always agree on what they write, and they usually even say so within their writings!

Lastly, who among us is competent enough in Latin to truly say that we could rightly understand what the Church has written in Her books, manuals, letters, canons, etc. All these things have been translated, yes, but which of them was translated and approved by or under the auspices of a true Roman Pontiff? As far as I know, all the translations we have are from the Novus Ordo or other modern sources. Who would be silly enough to argue a fine distinction that the pope or theologians wrote when translated by such? 

Now, the next statement made in the comment was this, “When I quote from theologians, and I do so usually only in way of explanation, they are theologians loyal to the papacy. Don’t confuse me with Traditinalists [sic] who use them almost exclusively.”

Now, just as the Protestants misunderstand the seemingly clear text of Scripture, and therefore a good Catholic would go to the Church to see how to understand a passage in the Bible, so to should we see what the Church has stated in Her teachings to see how we should understand the pope. This is why Traditionalists do it. They have the habit created from their training. What training does our commenter have to say that such a passage is clear and needs no explanation? (None.)

Also, as previously mentioned, without training (or obviously a censure from the Church) who are we to judge which theologian is loyal to the pope?! 

Next, “I have scanned over your most recent blog post, Robert, with its insinuations about my lack of education, …” First of all, as a gentle reminder, a wise person does not SCAN something and then think they have the understanding to not only comment, but pass judgment on the text. They read it, and sometimes reread it in order to understand. I can’t imagine a bishop scanning what a fellow bishop wrote and presuming to pass judgement on it. Secondly, in this democratic age, we all too often forget the strata that used to exist in society as social classes. We think that anyone can do anything regardless of their education, experience, or background and we are constantly bombarded with examples to back up the nonsense: such as Abraham Lincoln growing up in a log cabin, teaching himself the law, and becoming president of the Unites States. Lincoln was most likely a genius intellect to have taught himself and is therefore not a common man. I may be treading on thin ice with people here, but I believe (and in ages past it was understood such that) education matters, life experience matters, and God-given ability matters. Not everyone is capable of doing everything. I am reminded of this every time I go into town: the man that bags the groceries at my grocery store would not be able to “put his mind to” learning astrophysics or engineering or maybe even algebra. He is definitely not mentally handicapped, but you can tell that his cognitive level would not be able to reach those heights. Neither would the beggar on the street corner. Who among us thinks they can write as well as Shakespeare or argue like Cicero or conquer like Alexander the Great or keep the world at peace like Augustus Caesar? Therefore, to circle back, education (or the lack thereof) does matter. True autodidacts are few and far between (if they even exist at all) because education requires a master/disciple relationship with feedback in order for the student to make corrections in their understanding. 

Moving on “… and I am sorry, but you are wrong on this catechism business. This is not about me or you, but the truth. The catechism is a starting point only and not all you need to know to be saved is within its pages. Even common sense tells us that.” Now, we get the the crux of the matter and here is where it starts getting painful. This is certainly about truth, the problem is, our commenter doesn’t have it. I know that I have read, and I therefore believe, that Catechisms are infallible. Common sense tells us that. And Rome approved the Baltimore Catechism. So how could Our Mother give us error when we ask for truths of the faith to teach ourselves and our children what is required to save our souls? What did the people in ALL the times past have in order to flee from or combat the heresies of their day, ex. Arianism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism? How did the Japanese pass on the faith without even a priest?! They had their catechism, and most didn’t even have the book, they had the oral questions and answers given and memorized. What more do we need than the Catechism? (This is not to say we are not able to learn more, only that the catechism supplies all that is necessary.) What does the Catechism say about all this?

124. Our Catechism treats of religion; that is, of the truths we must believe and of the things we must do to serve God.

The commenter goes on: “I know this is true because Pope Boniface VIII declares that unless one is subject to the pope and obedient to him, he cannot be saved, so there goes your theory that everything you need to know to be saved being in the catechism! How can anyone obey something he doesn’t study and therefore does not know?”

The commenter apparently doesn’t know her Catechism and didn’t even consult one before making such a comment. Here is what the Catechism says:

489. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the Faith of Christ, partake of the same sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible head.

496. Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church.

To be “under one visible head” is to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. They mean the same thing. And if our commenter had more Catholic sense, she would know that, and just as importantly, she would have known that was to be found within the catechism. In what age was the laity ever required to read papal or council documents in order to know their faith to be saved?! None.

Sadly, our commenter continues, “Where does that catechism teach how to avoid the errors of Liberalism, Modernism and Americanism, heresies that destroyed the Church? Every error out there today, especially Traditionalism, constitutes a concerted effort to obliterate even the idea of the papacy.”

Now, I will have to limit myself to just a few examples here in order not to create a whole post on this error alone. The BC on Liberalism:

494. By “lawful pastors” we mean those in the Church who have been appointed by lawful authority and who have, therefore, a right to rule us. The lawful pastors in the Church are: Every priest in his own parish; every bishop in his own diocese, and the Pope in the whole Church.

Being subject to your pastor and the pope takes care of every error, but since freedom of thought and conscience are two of the most important tenets of liberalism, if you’re subjecting yourself to lawful authority, you’re not free from that authority. 

Also, advocated in liberalism is freedom of religion, but the Baltimore Catechism says:

1171. The denial of only one article of faith will make a person a heretic and guilty of mortal sin, because the Holy Scripture says: “Whosoever shall keep the whole law but offend in one point is become guilty of all.”

Now, contained within these two, is the logical conclusion that if I must believe and do all that the Church teaches, I am not free to speak or write error or heresy, and therefore the teaching against freedom of speech is implicitly contained in the catechism as well. 

Now, for Modernism, I put it to our commenter to even define what it is and therefore what we need to know to fight against it since this is what the Catholic Encyclopedia had to say on the subject:

“A full definition of modernism would be rather difficult. First it stands for certain tendencies, and secondly for a body of doctrine which, if it has not given birth to these tendencies (practice often precedes theory), serves at any rate as their explanation and support. Such tendencies manifest themselves in different domains. They are not united in each individual, nor are they always and everywhere found together. Modernist doctrine, too, may be more or less radical, and it is swallowed in doses that vary with each one’s likes and dislikes. In the Encyclical “Pascendi”, Pius X says that modernism embraces every heresy.”

I have tried to read Pascendi, and I gladly admit, it’s far above me. The errors it discusses are things I don’t even understand and therefore, I know that if I could even fall into one of them, I should be considered invincibly ignorant on that account, but I assume the more likely, that I wouldn’t even fall into such complex and complicated errors since I believe all that the Church teaches and I know my catechism. 

Lastly, the errors of Americanism are pretty much the errors of liberalism (freedom of conscience, religion, speech, etc.) and therefore have been dealt with above. 

So you see commenter, if you knew your catechism, you would know that these teachings are already there for the faithful. The hierarchy may need to be put on guard against them, which is why the encyclicals were written, but that doesn’t mean that the faithful don’t already have the tools to fight for themselves. 

Now for the last part of this extremely long comment. “Not teaching people how to avoid these errors is teaching them how to learn to forget the papacy ever existed or meant anything. You forget: the POPE was Christ’s voice on earth, not the catechism, even though it may echo Church teaching to some degree. Stay with Peter or be lost.”

The catechism does teach us what we need to know as lay faithful. We are not bishops, we don’t have teaching authority, and a complex or complicated explanation of the faith doesn’t convert anybody. Those who are of goodwill will correct their error when shown the simple truth. The pope teaches the bishops in order for the bishops to keep the flock away from error and scandal, not because the pope expected all the laity to read and understand Pascendi for example and therefore start publicly arguing against it. 

The catechism teaches us about the papacy and its importance. Therefore, we don’t need to be taught about modernism in order to somehow not forget about the papacy! What an absurd thing to say! The catechism also teaches us that the pope is the visible head of the Church as stated above and it does NOT just ECHO Church teaching to some degree! It is all the laity need to know to save their souls as stated above. 

We who love the catechism, love the Church and love the Pope. Those who are ignorant of so basic a thing as the catechism (the basic tenets of the faith necessary to save your soul) and disparage it in such a way cannot and should not be listened to when speaking on anything related to Church teaching.


Irene writes:

My comment below is in regard to Robert Robbin’s article, “Need to Know” written on July 24, 2022.

It is peculiar that you would be responding to my article on another’s website. Who does that? It shows a certain lack of decorum. If you would like to take an issue with what I wrote in an article, you should address yourself to me on that article’s page. 

So, Robert, the Traditionalist “laity” don’t need to know and should just stay within the confines of the Baltimore Catechism for all their spiritual needs?

First of all, why is laity put into quotation marks? And I am not sure why you are associating what I say with Traditionalists. As I understand that term—ill-conceived and vague as it is—I am not nor ever shall be a Traditionalist. I am a Catholic who is simply promoting the BC (or any Catechism that you prefer) to form the bedrock for a defense of the faith and, yes, to provide for our spiritual needs, because that is what the BC says of itself: 

124. Our Catechism treats of religion; that is, of the truths we must believe and of the things we must do to serve God.

Does that mean that there are not other pious practices and even beliefs to be found outside of the BC? Of course there are! That is not my point. My point is to get us Pray-at-Home Catholics back to the basics, and to learn our faith from the bottom up, instead of from the top down, that is, to learn our faith from the very means by which Holy Mother Church meant for us to learn our faith, by the Catechism, instead of going in search of possible arguments against the heretics and schismatics to be found in papal encyclicals and legislation, canon law and commentaries, or theological treatises and manuals. We are untrained laity, and as such we do not have the competency to do such work.   

Where do you find in the BC the fact that Lefevbre [sic] and Thuc were never able to consecrate or ordain anyone? Is that in there? Where do these innocent people find out that their “priests” are frauds and have no power to absolve them in confession or administer ANY sacraments to them?

Yes, Irene, it is, insofar as the definition of a heretic is there, and, given the fact that Lefebvre and Thuc were heretics, and so not members of the Church, which is also taught in the BC, it is easily proven that the ordinations and consecrations of those schismatics and heretics were unlawful and sacrilegious, as the BC teaches us: 

1004. Bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church cannot exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders unless authorized and sent to do so by their lawful superiors. The power can never be taken from them, but the right to use it may be withdrawn for causes laid down in the laws of the Church, or for reasons that seem good to those in authority over them. Any use of sacred power without authority is sinful, and all who take part in such ceremonies are guilty of sin.  

Does the BC explain how in the latter days the sacrifice would cease as prophesied in the book of Daniel?

I would class the question of the prophecy of the Cessation of the Sacrifice as further reading. I do not think you believe, nor anyone, that we pray-at-home Catholics pray at home and not at Sede chapels because of Daniel’s prophecy. It is instructive to learn of this prophecy, no doubt, and I have never said that we shouldn’t read Holy Scripture and commentaries for the laity, nor other books written for us laity on other topics.  

Does it teach how to understand the meaning of Christ’s words about the false priests who would say, “Lo, here is Christ…”? Does the BC tell us how we will recognize these wolves in sheeps’ [sic] clothing? Something Christ commanded we do?

The BC.1004 teaches us to avoid those ministers who have not been sent by the Church, so, yes, indirectly the BC does teach us to recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing. As to the meaning or sense of Sacred Scripture, that is the job of Biblical commentaries not catechisms. 

I think the real issue here is that I am asking you to consider reading the Catechism instead of Teresa Benns’s untrained theological and canonical rants. That hurts you because you are friends with Teresa. You have no reasonable basis to assail what I am saying other than that you perceive that I am attacking your friend. I am not attacking Teresa, but I am putting her in her proper place, which is in the place of a laywoman without education or training in theology or canon law who has shown that she is incapable of fraternal correction, which is a dangerous thing indeed for herself and for her readers whom she may scandalize.  

“Robert, I was so happy when I learned you were a Catacomb Catholic, but now I am irretrievably saddened to see you are just another Trad. Just another Trad. Or a liberal Catholic. 

This is a slanderous outrage which you have not a single shred of evidence to back up. You call me a Trad and a liberal Catholic because I want to promote a surefire way to defend the Church and the honor of God and His mother by promoting the means by which we are to know, love, and serve God Almighty!? Frankly, this is unbecoming of a reasonable human being, let alone a Catholic.  

I had been deluded by the Trads to my great sorrow and almost lost my mind trying to find the Truth. Was led down the wrong road by Novus Ordos, Trads, “Independent priests”, SSPX charlatans, and then thankfully through what I believe to have been a miracle from God, was led to Teresa Benns where I recognized Truth immediately and have never stopped thanking God for rescuing me.

I do not deny that there have been helps that I received from Benns as well, that her website does have good on it, and that my family and I have learned from what she has written. But there are also errors on her website, and the general method that she uses to approach the crisis is beyond her competency. Who is to say that she could not have equally rescued you and me from the Trads had she simply quoted from the Catechism? Or, perhaps, if you had known your Catechism, had studied it by rote, in and out, you wouldn’t have necessarily succumbed to the sects? Or perhaps you wouldn’t have lost your mind trying to find the truth if you had picked up your Catechism and read it?  

I pray you ask to be rescued, too.

I appreciate your prayers. I am in need of conversion every day. That is why I am trying to learn my faith by reading and studying the BC. It has proven very spiritually enriching and enlightening. 

The devil is in control of the trads, liberals, modernists, etc., and will kill the souls of each one of their supporters if given half a chance. Some of us, no I say most of us, may have to recognize the devil before we can recognize the Truth.”


I know the truth, and I am learning more day by day, because I am reading the BC, which contains what it is I must know to serve God and save my soul from the Devil. The truth is to be sought for in the open pastures and beside the living streams and brooks of authorized catechisms, not in the thicket and brambles of disputations between heretics on the exact meaning or application of canonical law or papal legislation written by a layperson without training. We are sheep, not shepherds. We must go where the Shepherd has led us, and graze for truth there. If you enjoy the dark forest and think the truth is more easily found therein, then have at it. I do not think that is the safest nor the most Catholic way to go about it. Rather it is to walk in the straightforward path to truth, than to take the winding way: “Midway upon the journey of our life / I found myself within a forest dark, / For the straightforward pathway had been lost,” (Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri).

To teach and defend the truths of the faith requires certitude, not opinions, as the BC teaches us:

1168. Such instruction should be given to those who ask it of us in a kind and Christian spirit, without dispute or bitterness. We should never attempt to explain the truths of our religion unless we are certain of what we say. When we are unable to answer what is asked we should send those who inquire to the priest or to others better instructed than ourselves.

It is my earnest opinion that the BC provides us with those certain truths of the faith which we must know to defend the Catholic faith. Let us endeavor not to assassinate the character of the messenger anymore simply because he is carrying on the mission of the magisterium by promoting the catechism.

And a final word in response to TB’s latest rant: It is simply a straw man fallacy which does not deserve a response.

Powered by

Need to Know

The first atomic device detonated on Earth happened July 16, 1945. The code name of the nuclear weapon was Trinity, after John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14, which I happened to have put to memory in college in a poetry class. I reproduce it below for your poetic fancy. 

Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for you

As yet but knock; breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,

Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.

Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,

But am betroth’d unto your enemy:

Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

What this poem has to do with fusing together heavy radioactive metals to create a critical mass of hell on earth to be used with the purpose of ending an ungodly war by mass murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians is beyond me. Perhaps great sin conjures great and pious thoughts, even if only to blaspheme. Anyway, I mention Trinity for a reason touching upon a recent controversy among us Home-Aloners. That controversy may be summed up as follows: Some believe, perhaps most, that it is the duty of the faithful Catholic to learn the ins and outs of our religion, from the top down, and understanding and continued Catholic eduction, or perhaps, post-catechesis, is sought for in papal encyclical letters, canon law, ecumenical councils, theological manuals, etc. I guess what this advanced degree in Catholicism is supposed to be is anything and everything beyond what one would learn in a catechism, because whenever this author mentions the sufficiency of the catechism for the woes plaguing the Church today, he is met with admonitions to the effect that the catechism is good for children, but for adults what is needed is “a greater understanding among better educated Catholics especially regarding the teachings of the Church which Traditionalists deny.” 

So, what on Earth does this have to do with the nuclear device, Trinity? Well, the name of the device was also the code name of the project to develop the device, which project was under a strict classification for governmental data or information known as need to know. A thing was said to have this restriction when, even granting requisite security clearance to review the information, without a need to know, “that is, access to the information must be necessary for one to conduct one’s official duties,” the individual was simply left in the dark. (Wikipedia, Need to Know).

We see the necessity of this kind of security measure in the military. What would have happened—I can hardly bring myself to imagine—if this security measure was not followed and anyone and everyone who had a clearance and a competency to understand the information about the Trinity project were informed? It is perhaps no great leap of the imagination to say that the poor citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have been the only senseless casualties of war. 

But isn’t the Church on Earth a military as well? And perhaps it is no great leap of the imagination to say that there exists this kind of information control in the Church Militant, this need to know basis for reviewing and making use of information which falls outside not only our competency, but also our duty in life. I contend that there does exist a need to know restriction on information in the Church Militant, and this is observed by hierarchical subordination from the Roman Pontiff down to the baptized child not yet of the age of reason. Just as a pre-catechism child six or younger does not know, nor has a duty to know, the rudiments of the faith found in the catechism, so too the catechized adult does not know, and does not have a duty to know canon law or theology. But even a priest, who does know and has a duty to know canon law and theology, insofar as his office demands him to know, does not know everything a bishop knows and has a duty to know and a bishop does not know nor has a duty to know everything the Roman Pontiff knows and has a duty to know. 

What would happen if a mere layman assumed the duty of knowledge of a Roman Pontiff? Answer: insubordination and anarchy and confusion of discipline and doctrine, not necessarily because the individual is malicious but because, as a natural result of having powers of knowledge not proper to the individual’s station in the Church Militant, disorder would result, both in the individual who unduly assumed powers of knowledge but also in the Church Militant societal structure itself. The hierarchical structure of the Church is like the Chain of Command in the military, which exists to order the inferior to the superior in reason. This is conducive to good order and discipline both in what is natural and in what is supernatural. Just as I do not have a right or duty or need to know the launch codes of an attack submarine as a chef in the galley, so too I do not have a right, duty, or need know how bread is miraculously changed into the Living Flesh of Jesus Christ my God and Savior. There are metaphysical explanations of this, of course, which studied theologians learn, but such things are indeed beyond my need to know as a layman in the Church Militant. Nor do I assume powers of knowledge of a theologian to do war with the heretic—like Luther, for instance—who denies certain details of this great miracle of Transubstantiation. It is enough to know that the Church teaches it, and that the heretic denies it, and that my duty is to admonish the heretic on these grounds, not reform him according to my own understanding of the Summa Theologica. It is not my lot in life to defend it on those theological grounds properly studied and understood only by theologians which explain the hows and whys of the dogma, because that knowledge is not proper to my duty, but to a theologians. 

The question then arises, what is my duty, or my need to know as a layman? Thankfully, the BC is not quiet on this point: 

124. Our Catechism treats of religion; that is, of the truths we must believe and of the things we must do to serve God.

So, since the BC provides us with the knowledge of what we are to believe and what we must do to serve God to save our souls, what else are we required to know? Can you, gentle reader, really say that you know your catechism? Can you honestly say that you know what the Church teaches, say, on when the first marriage was instituted? And whether this union conferred grace? I will give you a second to answer in your own mind…

Now, what does the Church teach us regarding this? 

1007. Marriage was first instituted in the Garden of Eden, when God created Adam and Eve and made them husband and wife, but it was not then a Sacrament, for their union did not confer any special grace.

Can you say you knew that teaching? I can say I had no clue, but then I wasn’t properly catechized. Indeed I have never been catechized, which I am trying to amend in my spare time. The point I am trying to make is that there are those who insist on knowing what is not proper to them yet oftentimes fail in knowing what they are duty-bound to know, like what is found in their catechism. They operate under the misunderstanding that the catechism is insufficient to defend the faith, because they think that it is their duty to defend the faith in the same way theologians defend the faith, when it is not. We are bound to profess and defend the faith according to our need to know the faith, which is taught in catechisms, not in theological manuals and canon law. The danger lies in trying to defend the faith like a theologian and canonist and making theology or canon law look ridiculous in the process—or rather making oneself look ridiculous—and not convincing the heretic of anything beyond the fact that your own understanding of theology and canon law is ridiculous. If only a catechism were used to defend the faith and admonish the heretic, they would have no choice but either to submit or to reject what the Church teaches is necessary for their salvation to believe or do. Thus, having no faith—the act by which we believe all that the Church teaches—they are reprobates that no amount of theological or canonical argumentation, even if competently done (which I deny is possible for anyway without training and faculties in theology and canon law), can correct or convert. 

The individual who believes the mistaken notion that a greater understanding and better Catholic eduction are sufficient to convert the faithless heretic seeming lacks the very greater understanding and better Catholic eduction that individual presumes to have. Let us, the rank and file of the Church Militant, be content with what we have a need to know, especially since that is all we need to know to save our souls and help others save theirs.             

Powered by

Part I: What is the Catholic Church and Who Belongs to It

Ever Notice How the Cross is Always Diabolically Last on the List?

A friend emailed me recently with a kind of challenge for the Baltimore Catechism (BC), which was to see if the BC could demonstrate that the Novus Ordo religion was a sin to participate in, and whether the Pray-at-Home position could be proven from the BC alone without consulting other sources, and this to be done with the least amount of steps as possible. The following, then, is an attempt at his challenge, at least in the first part. It is only one way to skin a heretical Tradcat. There are any number of ways to prove that the Novus Ordo religion is not the Catholic religion, and so participation in it is inherently sinful.

For fun, I will throw out this argument, which is perhaps the quickest way to demonstrate that the Novus Ordo Church of Francis (NOCOFF) is not the Catholic Church. Then I will develop a more elaborate argument based upon direct quotations from the BC. But this brief argument may be used over some beer and barbecue with relatives since, being brief, it may be more readily remembered and recalled. 

If the Catholic Church teaches faith and morals, then it is infallible. (BC 526) 

The Catechism is a teaching of faith and morals. (BC 124)

Therefore, the Catechism is infallible. 

Modus Ponens

The supposed Catholic Church—the church headed by Francis—teaches faith and morals in its Catechism of the Catholic Church, but it is not infallible, because it teaches the belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, which is an explicit denial of the Trinity (CCC 841). 

Therefore, the church headed by Francis is not the Catholic Church.

Modus Tollens

You will notice that after each argument, there is a Latin designation of what kind of argument is being employed. Both Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens are valid logical arguments. This means that, if the premises are true, it is impossible for the conclusion to be false. The premises used in these arguments are fact and are therefore true. There is no argument against a fact. And there is no argument against a valid logical form whose premises are true. Therefore, there is no argument against the above argument.  


But, let’s be real for a second. I know that people do not respond well to such crystalline discourse. People need more to cling to, because ultimately—as my friend pointed out—people tend to choose their religion based upon human comfort instead of the Divine consolation that comes with professing the true religion and belonging to the true Church. The BC is not silent even on this idea, for it teaches us,  

1175. A want of Christian courage chiefly prevents persons who believe in the Church from becoming members of it. They fear too much the opinion or displeasure of others, the loss of position or wealth, and, in general, the trials they may have to suffer for the sake of the true faith.

How often have we seen this unfold before our eyes with relatives or friends who do not take the next logical step, once they have identified that the NOCOFF is not the Catholic Church? Nevertheless, though it is hard, the sacrifice real and painful, we are obliged to belong to the Catholic Church: 

509. All are bound to belong to the Church, and he who knows the Church to be the true Church and remains out of it cannot be saved.

And, again, the BC reiterates elsewhere: 

1179. They who fail to profess their faith in the true Church in which they believe cannot expect to be saved while in that state, for Christ has said: “Whosoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.”

I do not want to be denied by my Lord because I didn’t want to lose my job, or be estranged from my relatives. But I say this with the utmost humility, without the grace of God, I am sure I would have forsaken Him and His Church the moment it proved disadvantageous to adhere to it and belong to it. Let’s not forget Who is in control here. God calls us into His sheepfold, and preserves us here. We do not call ourselves. Membership in His Church is a gift, not a right. Our membership hangs as by a thin thread of grace to God. Therefore, this is not about condemning those who are not members of the visible Church—those who are baptized and profess the entire faith. There may be those who are not members who appear to be, and there may be those who are members but do not appear to be. Though we must be unshaken in our determination of doctrine and dogma of the Church as is taught in the BC, we must proceed with all humility in determining these questions as they pertain to individual persons. The knowledge of the faith ought not to be used as a club to beat our neighbors into submission to the truth. True doctrine is a medicine to our friends, and a weapon to our enemies. Those who are not inimical to the true faith, though they do not perfectly profess it, are our friends, not our enemies. They are simply in need of a medicine.          


The question, then, becomes for those to whom it is not self-evident that the NOCOFF is not the Catholic Church, how do we know what the Catholic Church is? To say that the NOCOFF is not the Catholic Church, one must first demonstrate what the Catholic Church is, before saying what it is not. So, let’s do that. First, the BC tells us what the Church is:

489. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible Head.

Further, the Church has provided for our understanding for distinguishing it from counterfeits—or knockoffs:   

518. A mark is a given and known sign by which a thing can be distinguished from all others of its kind. Thus a trademark is used to distinguish the article bearing it from all imitations of the same article. 

519. We know that the Church must have the four marks and three attributes usually ascribed or given to it from the words of Christ given in the Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church from its beginning.

520. The Church cannot have the four marks without the three attributes, because the three attributes necessarily come with the marks and without them the marks could not exist.

Though the BC teaches us that the four marks (One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic) are better known than the three attributes (listed below), in my opinion, because the three attributes are a necessary condition and cause of the four marks, it makes for a better argument to show how a church which does not have the three attributes couldn’t have the four marks. This is only necessary because it is self-evident that the NOCOFF is not the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Christ, but to argue at length on this point is to try to convince someone of the obvious, which is very difficult to do. In this backward age in which we live, people seem to respond better to more elaborate and oftentimes more zesty and fresh or new argumentation, with fancy terms and several steps of logic, because they are too blind to see the Great Apostasy staring them in the face. To do that is just boring for them, I guess, so they need to read a hundred thousand words of a theology manual before they can assent to the commonsensical proposition that Rome has lost the Faith and has become the Seat of the Antichrist. 

Anyway, the BC continues:    

522. The attributes of the Church are three: authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.

526. By the infallibility of the Church I mean that the Church can not err when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.

528. I know that the Church can not err because Christ promised that the Holy Ghost would remain with it forever and save it from error. If, therefore, the Church has erred, the Holy Ghost must have abandoned it and Christ has failed to keep His promise, which is a thing impossible.

529. Since the Church can not err, it could never be reformed in its teaching of faith or morals. Those who say the Church needed reformation in faith or morals accuse Our Lord of falsehood and deception.

530. The Church teaches infallibly when it speaks through the Pope and Bishops united in general council, or through the Pope alone when he proclaims to all the faithful a doctrine of faith or morals. 

From these data points of doctrine, a picture of what the Church is emerges, which is quite different from the picture we see today of the NOCOFF. An official organ for teaching faith and morals in the NOCOFF is the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCCC). (I make an aside here that it is ridiculous that a catechism needs a compendium to condense it down, when a catechism is supposed to be a concise statement of belief. Of course, the NOCOFF’s modus operandi has always been confusion and needless verbiage to further obfuscate the true faith, which is, as the BC demonstrates, quite accessible and able to be simply stated.) In it, a catechumen will read—as I was once upon a time, and did so read—the following teachings regarding what the Church is and who belongs to it: 

162. Where does the one Church of Christ subsist?



The one Church of Christ, as a society constituted and organized in the world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him. Only through this Church can one obtain the fullness of the means of salvation since the Lord has entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone whose head is Peter.

The verb subsists seems as good a word as is, so what is the foul here? Well, the CCCC continues:

168. Who belongs to the Catholic Church?


All human beings in various ways belong to or are ordered to the Catholic unity of the people of God. Fully incorporated into the Catholic Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, are joined to the Church by the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government and communion. The baptized who do not enjoy full Catholic unity are in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.

This is simply a restatement of a teaching which was put forward when—wait for it—“it [spoke] through the Pope and Bishops united in general council” at the Vatican back in the 1960s. It is essentially stating that those who belong to heretical or schismatic churches are in communion with the Catholic Church, which is false. And just in case one is not convinced that this is what it is teaching, the CCCC goes further to say:

163. How are non-Catholic Christians to be considered?



In the churches and ecclesial communities which are separated from full communion with the Catholic Church, many elements of sanctification and truth can be found. All of these blessings come from Christ and lead to Catholic unity. Members of these churches and communities are incorporated into Christ by Baptism and so we recognize them as brothers.     

So heretics and schismatics are recognized as brothers, and even these sects have elements of sanctification? This is obviously false, and so shows that the NOCOFF is not the Catholic Church, because its teachings on the very identity of what the Church is, are false, which is impossible if it were the Catholic Church. 

The BC clarifies how non-Catholic Christians are to be considered:

571. Protestant Churches have not the marks of the true Church, because:

   1. They are not one either in government or faith; for they have no chief head, and they profess different beliefs;

   2. They are not holy, because their doctrines are founded on error and lead to evil consequences;

   3. They are not catholic or universal in time, place or doctrine. They have not existed in all ages nor in all places, and their doctrines do not suit all classes;

   4. They are not apostolic, for they were not established for hundreds of years after the Apostles, and they do not teach the doctrines of the Apostles. 

Well, that is how a real Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on faith and morals. The CCCC of the NOCOFF would have us live somewhere between right and wrong, in communion and not in communion, in making our yes merge into our no, and, in the ultimate analysis, make good evil and evil good. Is this satisfactory to show that it is a sin to belong to the NOCOFF? Well, since we are bound to belong to the Catholic Church, and since the NOCOFF is not the Catholic Church, it stands to reason that it is a sin (and a jeopardy to the eternal salvation of our souls) to remain in the NOCOFF. 

I have no more space to take up the second part of my friend’s challenge, which would be to demonstrate from the BC alone the reasonableness of the Pray-at-Home position. I intend to do so in a future post, but let me say this much now in closing. We must show people of good will what we have seen with our own eyes, before we can show them the path we must walk to Heaven. A man will not save his soul in the NOCOFF, because it is not the Catholic Church. That eliminates the possibility of going to an indult mass society for the sacraments or to the Society of Pope Pius X, because these claim that the NOCOFF is the Catholic Church. They just cling to most of the teachings—not all of them!—of the Catholic Church, and cling to Her ceremonies. But one is obliged to believe all that the Church teaches, not just most things, like, for instance, the attribute of infallibility. 

The second part of this post will be in answer to the question of Sedevacantists and their organizations and outfits, and whether they are the Catholic Church and if we are bound to belong to them. I will attempt an answer at these questions using only the BC, because I believe it is sufficient to answer the question. I encourage you to leave your comments and ask questions below.

Powered by

The Blogs of Babel

Anymore during this reign of Antichrist, it is altogether almost unheard of that two people’s minds should meet. Of course, people may agree on such things as have no importance at all or which are so self-evident as to be instantaneously believed upon hearing, but in the main, with those things which are important, which challenge people to grow and be other than they are, a meeting of the minds almost never happens. 

Knowing this to be so, because I live it daily, where does that leave CatholicEclipsed? What is the use of writing about important truths no one really agrees with, unless they do already? This blog is, I suppose by virtue of the times in which we live, always preaching to the choir, because only those who actually agree with it read it. The rest sneer and talk past it. 

The age of debate, of systematically presenting one’s ideas, providing syllogistic proofs and refutations according to set rules of reason, is dead. We live during the Apocalypse, and we who are more spiritually inclined and know our Scriptural prophecies, know that this world shall end in a flood of fire. But, as we approach that Day of Wrath, we must pass, as it were, in reverse fashion through the Biblical narrative once again. After the Flood, Noah and his family set out of the Ark to populate and inhabit the world once again. It wasn’t long, though, before pride set in, and people were building a tower to Heaven. God looked upon this insolent race and subsequently confused their tongues as to make each misunderstand each, and scattered the lot to the four winds of the world. 

Babel means confusion. When people try to read those with whom they disagree, what often happens is that one is confused about what they read, though they may not think so. The practical result is that there is disagreement about what is being argued, why it is being argued, and the discussion often ends in flames and a falling away—or, in other words, people scatter. 

Now, some of you may have noticed that a post went missing in action recently, which was written by Teresa Benns. I pulled that post, which was a response to Introibo, because it contained what I believed to be an error. It wasn’t necessarily a big error, but an error it was nevertheless. I gave Benns the opportunity to correct the error, but she instead doubled down on it, and wrote one of her lengthy posts in support of it. Such a response is to be welcomed if something to the purpose were produced, but that was not to happen. 

The error to which I refer was Benns’s claim that immediate jurisdiction was a Protestant heresy. Leaving aside the qualification of Protestant, the claim may just be that immediate jurisdiction is heresy. Okay. Well, heresy is something the Church has defined within a narrow definition. To say that such and such an idea is heretical should be easily demonstrable therefore. The subject matter of the faith and of heresy are the same, namely, Divine revelation, that is, those truths which are either found in Tradition or Scripture that are proposed for belief by the Church. The heretic, then, denies an article of belief which has been defined by the Church as having been Divinely revealed. The problem with denying mediated jurisdiction by a Roman Pontiff, or, positively stated, affirming that bishops receive their power of jurisdiction directly from God, is that the teaching has never been defined by the Church as having been Divinely revealed. Pius XII seemingly settles the matter within an encyclical letter, that jurisdiction is mediated through the Roman Pontiff, but the denial of this does not arise to the level of heresy, because heresy is not defined as a denial of a papal teaching, and Pius XII did not dogmatically define it as having been Divinely revealed.  

I took issue with this because it reflects on us Pray-at-Home Catholics. We are already marginalized and compared to Feeneyites. We have to fight tooth and nail just to get a hearing in the broader Catholic blogosphere, and often times we are laughed out of the combox entirely. We must be rock-solid in our conclusions, especially when those conclusions involve claims of heresy, the belief in which may mean hellfire. I tried to get Benns to see this, but she refused to listen. Let me make this clear, though: Teresa Benns of BetrayedCatholics is Catholic. She is a good woman, and a very studied woman, who has been defending the papacy and the teachings of the Church for a long time running. I do not have an issue with her personally, as she has been personally there for me and my family in a time when I thought I wasn’t sure what would happen to me. I look at her as a friend and a fellow Catholic. That said, however, it is incumbent upon me to show where another has erred, especially if that may make people discredit what we say on our websites.

BetrayedCatholics has a lot of good on it, most of which I haven’t even read yet. But the problem is there are errors on it, as I am sure there are errors on my website, too. The difference is I am willing and eager to be corrected, whereas Teresa has shown a reluctance to be corrected by anyone. Catholic apologetics in the time of the Apocalypse in which there is not a hierarchical Teaching Church is already a shaky enterprise. Introibo has reminded me (not that I really needed it, but it is a good point) that theology is a science, indeed the Queen of the Sciences. This means that words are technical and are not to be loosely used to try to prove a point. But the power of science rests in the exactitude of definition and in linking defined terms with defined terms through valid laws of logic. I am not a theologian, nor is Teresa Benns. I confess I do not have the training to conduct this kind of rigorous scientific activity. Neither does Benns. That is why I have stressed time and again that here on CatholicEclipsed I must present whatever argument I may based upon received and approved teachings of the Catholic Church, principally found in the Baltimore Catechism. Should we poke around into encyclical letters to try to discern what the Church teaches regarding certain matters? Perhaps, but only if such things are not dealt with by a Catechism. And this is an interesting point, if an encyclical letter teaches a matter that is not implicitly or explicitly taught in a Catechism, why do we the laity think it is something that we should know? If the papal teaching did not find its way into a Catechism, perhaps it was too obscure for the faithful? Perhaps it would have required a theological education almost no laity have, in order to understand. 

As a case in point—and I apologize for the rambling nature of this post, but I feel like rambling—I was recently contacted by an individual who believes that the popes from Leo XIII to Pius XII and after were all false popes. This individual claims that Pius XII was not the pope because he wrote in an encyclical letter:

“For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith,” (Humani Generis, 36).  

It is perhaps instructive to note that this encyclical, as I believe almost every encyclical, was addressed to the bishops of the world. Now, I am not sure if it was the practice of the local ordinary to make available these papal encyclical letters to his flock. Perhaps he did. But I think it is clear that, unless one knows how the Church’s magisterial organs work, how they go about defining doctrines and condemning errors through investigations such as what Pius XII seems to call for here, people may get confused as to what is being called for, and conclude that popes are saying something they are not. It is telling that the quotation shared with me by the emailer did not quote the paragraph in its entirety, which ended with the following cautionary qualification: 

“Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of Divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question,” (Ibid.)   

What am I driving at here? I am trying to say in a rather rambling and circuitous way that Catholic bloggers should be more humble and not seek things beyond their understanding or station in life or learning. If God wanted me to be a theologian, He would have created me during a time when I could have been. I was born in a time which makes the pursuit of theological training impossible, because there are no theologians alive today from whom I may learn the science. The learning of a science, as the learning of an art, requires feedback. The student of the science or art must be responsive to the instructions of the master’s corrections, that the student might grow in their understanding or technique. In a very real way, no one teaches himself anything. This is so from the lowest art, which is probably cooking, to the highest science, which is most certainly theology. There are those who make it seem like they can cook, but the fact that they can heat things up without causing significant food poisoning hardly qualifies them as a chef. Likewise, the fact that one can blog out a bunch of quotes seemingly touching upon a disputed question in theology, and opining from these to a conclusion which has no necessary connection with the sources cited, hardly qualifies them as a theologian. In either cooking or theology, a technique and procedure is needed which accords with the demands of the subject matter, be it making and baking gluten-free cinnamon buns (which I do splendidly and deliciously well), or making an argument that a heretofore un-condemned proposition is heresy, which I don’t think anyone without a theological faculty can do well.          

CatholicEclipsed is just a blog on which I share my opinions about the Apocalypse. I am not trying to erect a tower to Heaven. God has already provided a ladder for that: the Catechism. If we confine our conclusions on doctrinal issues to what is stated verbatim in catechisms, then there would be a lot more agreement and a lot less confusion. There will be those who read BetrayedCatholics and agree with every conclusion published there, because its readers are already willing to agree with whatever the author Teresa Benns says. I hope and pray that those who read my silly little blog will have more independence of mind not to agree with everything I say, and when I am in error on something doctrinal, please send me an email saying why you disagree with me. I hope we all can agree on the Catechism. At least then, our minds may meet and be of one mind with the Church, just as God intended. Maybe then we shall be far less scattered. Maybe then we shall no more be Blogs of Babel.        


A very concerned commenter and critic of mine has stated that I have violated my own simplistic approach to apologetics in not sticking with the catechism in this post. I concede their point, which was true in its way, but I also am writing in a transitional period of CatholicEclipsed. Coming up on the actual one year anniversary–I thought that that was the octave following the Feast of the Sacred Heart, but the Antichrist Paul VI changed the date on me (as prophecy foretold). The actual anniversary date of CatholicEclipsed will be August 22, which Pius XII established as the feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Some observant visitors to CatholicEclipsed will notice that the DATABASE page is gone. This was not a glitch in the Matrix. I intentionally removed that page, because it had links to resources which I am not sure it is wise to delve into, at least not until one has mastered his catechism.

And I suppose that is the fine line here. Am I saying that we shouldn’t read anything other than catechisms? No, that is not what I am saying. But I am saying we should not build up an apologia for the faith based upon those materials which we lack the training and education to explore and expound upon. Perhaps the greatest difficulty lies in reading Sacred Scripture, and yet Holy Mother Church encourages us to study the Bible. But She does not encourage us to write up our own exegesis of particular passages, or even form our opinions of the faith based upon our reading. Rather, we must consult approved commentaries to learn the sense of the Sacred Scripture, while also referring everything back to our catechetical formation–which, under normal circumstances, we would have fully received before we could drive a car.

To follow up with my critical commenter, I would add this from the Baltimore Catechism (BC):

Q. 1004. Can bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church always exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders?

A. Bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church cannot exercise the power they have received in Holy Orders unless authorized and sent to do so by their lawful superiors. The power can never be taken from them, but the right to use it may be withdrawn for causes laid down in the laws of the Church, or for reasons that seem good to those in authority over them. Any use of sacred power without authority is sinful, and all who take part in such ceremonies are guilty of sin.

You see here that the BC teaches two ideas at once: First, that in Holy Orders bishops, priests, and other ministers of the Church receive power; the second is that this same power may not be exercised unless authorized and sent by lawful superiors, that is, the Pope principally for bishops in sees, but also the local ordinary for parish priests. The lesson also teaches us that this same power cannot be taken away from the bishop or priest or minister, but the right to use said power may be withdrawn for causes the Church deems fit or good. Finally, the passage concludes with a pithy statement on communicatio in sacris, or the communication or participation in holy things with those who have not right to them.

It may be a stretch to say, or a gross simplification, but this lesson alone may just be all that is needed to prove that the Sedevacantist clergy, though they have valid orders, are not lawfully operating, and that those who attend their missions, chapels, seminaries, monasteries, and who participate in their ceremonies are guilty of sin, and are not acting like good Catholics. The lesson further teaches us that an ecclesiastical law may only prevent the lawful exercise of powers conferred in Holy Orders, but such a law could never take away the valid use of them. That should clear things up for those who think and argue at length otherwise.

The BC is amazingly powerful to clarify issues and to give one a peace of mind, no matter their level of intelligence or learning. One doesn’t even need to be able to read to learn the truths of the Catholic Faith. One need only be willing to listen and believe. That is the real reason why CatholicEclipsed moving forward in the 2022-2023 year will only be using the BC. I envisioned this blog to reach the lowest of the lowbrow to the highest highbrow, through being humorous yet serious, commonsensical yet profound, researched yet accessible. I believe this is the way to proceed so as best to serve my Lord and Lady. I want to be humble yet indomitable, and the only way that I can achieve this goal is to build my house on the Rock, refined and smelted down into the gold of authentic magisterial teaching found in the catechism.

I welcome comments and questions to this developing editorial stance of CatholicEclipsed, and to other concerns or criticisms my readers may have with anything on my blog, as I am willing to be fraternally corrected by my fellow brothers and sisters of the Faith, and to make amends or change according to new insights by my readers. That is how God speaks to us, not through a booming voice in a cloud (unless we are saints of the Son of God) but through our loving and caring neighbor’s thoughtful comments or criticisms. We must be open to our neighbor if we are to be open to God.

May God bless us all!

More Peace, Less Pugnacity: A Response to Introibo’s Addendum

This is a response to Intoibo’s addendum which was itself a response to my wife’s post “Of Apologetical Lawyers and Theological Laymen.” 

Introibo begins his response by saying the following:

“It’s not often that I put an addendum on my post. The last time I did so was in 2019, if memory serves me correctly. Since last week, I’ve been hit by a barrage of blather by HAs accusing me of “arguing fallaciously and reasoning poorly.” That particular quote comes from Laura Robbins, wife of Robert Robbins, who runs the HA website “Catholic Eclipsed.” Ironically, it is Mrs. Robbins who is guilty of arguing fallaciously and reasoning poorly. Her husband touts his Masters Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America as proof of his expertise in logic and is offended that I would call his understanding of logic into question (in the comments below). Robert should be well aware of what his wife writes and posts on the website to check for grammatical errors (if any) and to make sure the content is solid. Therefore, unless Robert allows things to be posted without checking for serious errors, it is reasonable to presume he read it and saw nothing wrong.”

I am sorry if I have given anyone the impression that I am on some kind of pedestal because I hold a few degrees in philosophy. Though I do mention the fact on my BIO page, that is only to show that I have a basic competency in reading, researching, writing, and, yes, even logic. I’ve spent too much inside the classrooms and halls of universities to know education hardly happens in them anymore. Whatever knowledge and academic skills I’ve acquired by my education could have been gained within a quarter of the time with a library card and an inquisitive mind. Education doesn’t so much happen at school anymore as much as information downloading. I was lucky enough to be a philosophy major, so classroom dialectic discussion did happen, but this so seldom as to be forgettable. But this brings me to the point. As intellectually shallow as my education was at the university studying philosophy, my brief sojourn in law school was even more so. 

My wife’s post in criticism of lawyers as such and Introibo in particular was not meant to be a slander of the profession or the man. I wanted to be a lawyer myself, and had my kidney disease not played mind tricks on me, playing with my moods and preventing me from enjoying my time in law school, I probably would have become a lawyer—such was and is my respect and esteem for the profession, and I dare say my admiration as well. 

But what Laura Robbins says in her post is absolutely true. The law is not concerned with what is true, but what is expedient, or what will win the decision of the court. An up and coming lawyer who is bent on the defense of the truth at all costs will lose every single case he tries to argue, because judges don’t care about truth—just look at the cases that came out of the 2020 Presidential pseudo-election. I don’t blame the lawyers. I don’t really blame the judges, who are just veteran lawyers. I blame the culture.

Does Introibo not care about the truth because he is a lawyer? Of course not! But the point I believe Laura was making is that Introibo, along with all lawyers who want to be successful at law—and I am assuming Introibo is successful, as I have no doubt he is—must play by the rules of the game in order to win. But by doing so, and this is the point of Laura’s criticism, there is inculcated a habit of mind which is most certainly unavoidable. There are virtues to this habit of mind, to be sure. I am speaking of the pugnacity of spirit in the lawyer, the bulldog mentality, which says that one is as virtuous as he is vicious, and which is the sine quo non of the lawyer profession, but which is, in the ultimate analysis, the very reverse virtue which is required for the discovery of truth.

You see, truth when being sought must be wooed like a woman, not fought with like a gladiator. There’s a reason why it is called philo-sophia and not mákha-sophia. The truth-seeker is in love with the truth, which is why he seeks Him out in the first place. The fighter does not seek but is contented to pick up whatever is handy and bludgeon his combatant over the head until he surrenders. Truth is not discovered in a social vacuum, where the individual in his study, insulated from the world, has eureka after eureka moment all alone. Truth is discovered by discourse, by working out the terms and the logical connections in a dialectic give and take, abiding by rules of reason, to be sure, but discovered through a cooperation and surrender of one’s own petty opinions heretofore unproven or specious. That is how the truths of the Faith must be acquired, but that is not how they are presently, and we—all of us Catholic bloggers—are guilty of too much pugnacity when what should be our animation is a desire for peace. 

This, then, being the resolve of CatholicEclipsed, to seek out truth in the spirit of peace and not pugnacity, I publicly make apology to Introibo Esquire for allowing any slanderous remarks (perceived or in fact) to be published against his profession or his person, and I further resolve to redact any portion of text published here, when pointed out, which may be considered so slanderous. I have already done so on certain passages I believe went too far afield or which misrepresented the truth of what was trying to be communicated.  

CatholicEclipsed was envisioned as a website to disseminate authentic Catholicism and to expose the agents of darkness eclipsing the Faith. Slanders, or ill-considered rhetoric, errors known or suspected which go unquestioned, these only aid the enemy in darkening hearts and minds to the truths of Catholicism we all so earnestly long for. I resolve today neither to allow any moral misconduct or doctrinal error to be allowed on CatholicEclipsed. If I so allow, through my own frailty of mind or will, I ask you, gentle reader, to instruct me, that I may make amends. 

Now, if I may, I would like to address the substance of Introibo’s addendum as it touches upon doctrine. Introibo opines: 

“When a top theologian, like the great Salaverri, tells us the pope was not deciding something infallibly or closing off discussion altogether, you can bet that is the case. Why? Because the Magisterium checks to make sure, guided by the Holy Ghost, that nothing they write in their theology manuals contain any error in Faith and/or morals that will be used to train the priests (and future bishops) of the Church. Salaverri would have been censured and ordered to redact what he wrote under pain of suspension (and possibly excommunication). Laura Robbins believes de facto, in a Church that can’t teach correctly, and thereby defects. That’s not the Roman Catholic Church.” 

First of all, where does Salaverri tell us “the pope was not deciding something infallibly or closing off discussion altogether?” Because Salaverri used the word “preferred”?! The second claim of Introibo’s is rather gratuitous, that the Holy Ghost preserves theological manuals from containing error. Now, apparently, we are to believe that theological manuals are infallible, even where papal encyclicals are not, because a theological manual can be printed which says that mediated jurisdiction is merely an opinion, whereas a papal encyclical teaches it definitively! But, if Salaverri is correct, Pius XII could not have taught that mediated jurisdiction is definitely true—which he did—because it was just an opinion according to Salaverri. If Pius XII is right, Salaverri is wrong. If Salaverri is right, Pius XII is wrong. There is no middle term between right or wrong, false and true. The question is, who do we listen to, a single theologian or the universal teacher of the Catholic Church and, quite literally, the Vox Christi on Earth? I’ll let you decide that one.                   

And the claim that Laura Robbins believes in a Catholic Church that can defect because a theological manual contradicts what a Roman Pontiff teaches in an official organ of his magisterium is preposterous in the utter extreme. Where did all the apostate clerics at the Second Vatican Council attend seminary? What theology manuals did they use in seminary that were so orthodox and infallible as to lead the vast majority of them to defect from the faith? Come on, Introibo, you can do better than that. And to accuse my wife on such absurd grounds does not reflect well on your reasoning abilities. But, I am sure you had a long week of work at the law office which tired your mind, so I forgive the accusation, as I am sure my wife does, too. 

Finally, let us consider Introibo’s actual refutation proper of Laura’s post, which comes almost at the very end. (I skip over the few points which Introibo makes about the importance of theological censures, because it is irrelevant to the actual point Laura was making.) Introibo writes:       

“What does that mean? According to theologian Cartechini, it is “A truth unanimously held by all schools of theologians which is derived from revealed truth, but by more than one step of reasoning.” What censure is attached to [its] denial? Temerarious. What are the effects of such denial? Usually, mortal sin of temerity. Can a Catholic ever dissent and not sin? Proportionately grave reason can sometimes justify an individual who has carefully studied the evidence in dissenting from such a proposition..” Therefore, an approved theologian, like Salaverri, can dissent. He does not in fact do so, but even under the highest classification given, theologians CAN dissent and hold the opposite opinion, and the laity can follow their teaching.”

First, let me note that the above citation does not abide by the basic standards of scholarship. When content is quoted from a source as a direct quote, it is offset by quotation marks, used at the beginning just before the first quoted word and at end just after the last quoted word. Introibo has a stray quote mark within the supposedly quoted comment of Cartechini, so we are left wondering what words are Cartechini’s and what words are Introibo’s. Second, the Cartechini citation ends with a strange double dot punctuation. Perhaps the reader is supposed to take this for an ellipsis, but the standard scholarly practice is to use three dots, not two. So we are left wondering if there was in fact more that Cartechini had to say on the matter, or else Introibo’s fingers were just a little jittery from too much java, and accidentally typed an extra dot. Whatever the reasons for these typographical anomalies, “…[Introibo] should be well aware of what…[he] writes and posts on the website to check for grammatical errors (if any) and to make sure the content is solid.”    

What Introibo is saying here is that Salaverri was allowed to dissent (though he did not in fact do so) from the opinion that jurisdiction is mediated by the Roman Pontiff. But Introibo here is really just talking past what Laura was saying in her post, which was that mediated jurisdiction was not an opinion or open to debate anymore because Pius XII settled the matter in an encyclical letter. The quote that Introibo provides does not speak to dissenting from a papal teaching but dissenting from the opinion of theologians. The point of Laura’s post was to underscore the fact that we are obliged to listen to the Roman Pontiff when he teaches us. We do not have the right to dissent from his teaching—nor why would we, since he is the the pillar and ground of the truth, not a theologian here or there. Introibo has not shown that dissent from a papal teaching is permitted by his citation. The notion itself is offensive to pious ears, and perhaps even subversiva hierachiae, if not suspecta de haeresi.

It is my sincerest desire that this particular controversy be put to the side, that we might address the issues that really matter and which affect us good willed Catholics today. We all have egos, and I probably have the biggest. It is like a Mr. T golden necklace which strangles me something awful, or like Jacob Marley’s invisible iron chains, which I pull behind me wherever I go. But I must let it go, and I encourage others to do the same, that we all may be one in the Faith, submitting to the Catholic Church and to the Holy Father in all filial docility and love. Will there be disagreements amongst us children? Absolutely! Will there be disputes and even heated debates? I hope so. But may the good Lord forbid us to quarrel amongst ourselves about those things which His vicar has taught us, for the bond and unity of the Faith is in the Holy Father, and in no else.

Hoyle Tutoring for Your Catholic High School Homeschool

As a homeschooling father of six young children, I know that outside tutoring may sound rather nonintuitive. I mean, home-educators do not usually think that it is altogether necessary to reach for outside help when it comes to drilling their seven-year-old in the multiplication table. 5×5=25, 5×6=30, 5×7=35

But, guess what? That seven-year-old will soon—if not already—be expected to take the square root of a circle’s radius and multiply it by an enigmatic Greek letter to determine the area of a circle. Now, with just a basic algebraic knowledge, this equation may not prove very difficult for the typical parent to teach his child. But that is just the beginning of sorrows. Soon after, your child will be expected to ply his little brains on equations and mathematical notions and problems in geometry, trigonometry, and differential calculus, the likes through which your high-school elementary algebraic knowledge just won’t cut. Help will be needed. 

That is why I’d like to introduce you to a fellow pray-at-home Catholic who happens to run an online and in-person tutoring service, Mr. Eric Hoyle! He’s been featured on this website before, in the Catholic Conversations show, in which we discuss jurisdiction. Mr. Hoyle’s credentials speak for themselves: His SAT score comes in at a staggering high 1580! (The highest possible score is just an inch above that at 1600); he has documented almost 4000 hours tutoring since 2008—no, that isn’t a typo, that’s four, with three zeros behind it! He has a B.A. in music theory and history (not easy!) and a minor in chemistry, which he has taught at the high school level. 

Needless to say, Eric is not your typical, contemporary tutor. With expert knowledge in such subjects as mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, and problem solving; chemistry); and test preparation for SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, etc.; not to mention his general knowledge in Latin, Spanish, science, and music, Hoyle Tutoring presents a pedagogical panoply worthy of a medieval tutor—all that is missing is a lute and colorful stockings.   

If you believe that you could benefit from Hoyle Tutoring in your high school homeschool, you can try Hoyle Tutoring for a whole month FREE without any obligation to commit to more service. Give your child the best education you can, and seek out help where it is needed. Look into Hoyle Tutoring today as a possible supplement to your already awesome Catholic high school homeschool! 

Of Apologetical Lawyers and Theological Laymen

By Laura Robbins

As lawyers, people like John Salza, Chris Ferrara, and the man behind the Introibo blog are used to researching. They can pick a pertinent quote out of a court decision and use it to argue well their case. They know how to use rhetoric in order to persuade a judge or jury to see their point. Their whole purpose is winning a case. What is the problem with this? Well, Law is not concerned with truth so much as judgements and justice according to cases already decided and current laws on the books. In fact, I have it on good authority that at law school, lawyers are taught that “law is ordinance of reason”, and if you try to argue for the use of “Right Reason”, you get cancelled by a Novus Ordo Catholic criminal law professor pushing Bob Dylan CDs. You see, modern American Law isn’t concerned with right or wrong, it’s concerned with winning the argument set before you and (as if you didn’t know) it’s infiltrated with a bunch of communists who only care about destruction, not about truth. 

The point to all of this is, Salza and Ferrara argue well for the R&R crowd, and Introibo argues well for the Sede crowd. They sound very convincing to their readers because they’re talented at persuading others. They are taken as authorities because others believe they have the ability to read and research well. The problem is, they argue wrongly because they all have a preconceived notion of what the Church is supposed to look like and they use that to circularly argue that the men they believe to be legitimate authority therefore must be. For more on this problem see “Snipe-Hunting for the Endangered Species Ecclesia Catholica.” 

Why do I bring this up? Well, Introibo has been at it again, arguing fallaciously and reasoning poorly. He wrote in his most recent post Contending for the Faith Part 5:

“As theologian Salaverri teaches, “On the mediate or immediate origin from God of the jurisdiction of Bishops. This question was raised in the Councils of Trent and Vatican, but it was not decided. Several authors with Victoria and Vasquez held that the jurisdiction was given immediately by God to the individual Bishops; but generally Catholic authors with St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, St. Robert Bellarmine and Suarez hold that jurisdiction is given to the Bishops immediately not by God but mediated through the Roman Pontiff. Pius XII teaches this opinion positively in the Encyclical Mystici Corporis, when he says: ‘But Bishops so far as their own diocese is concerned…are not completely independent but are subject to the Roman Pontiff, although they enjoy ordinary power of jurisdiction received directly from the Sovereign Pontiff himself.’ We think that his opinion is to be preferred.” (See Sacrae Theologiae Summa IB, [1955], pgs. 144-145; Emphasis [Introibo’s]).”

The problem with this is answered by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis (20):

“Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me”;[3] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.” (Emphasis mine)

You see, regardless of what a theologian (even a well-respected one) commented, what the pontiffs say is not just “an opinion to be preferred”. The pope is actually writing to the theologians telling them, when Papa makes a decision, you listen! It’s obvious, he says, that the matter cannot be open for discussion any longer. Who cares what the ancients wrote. Who cares what a (or many) theologian(s) argued. I am the voice of Christ speaking to you and He has spoken! 

Now if the pontiff teaches something of faith and morals do we care to quibble about whether it technically amounts to heresy or some other theological censure? Introibo does. He, along with all modernists and protestants hate the word “heresy”. They sometimes seem to hate it with a passion. I wonder why that is?! But if someone is obstinately holding an opinion against Church teaching, well I call that heresy. I don’t stop to look up whether it’s officially been declared ex cathedra with all the right terminology (“declare, proclaim, define” etc.). I just know, if you don’t listen to Mother Church, I can call you a schismatic, if you’d prefer, but you’d still actually be a heretic for denying the supremacy of Peter and the requirement to believe whatever the Roman Pontiffs have heretofore taught. And that’s not just my opinion, that’s Church teaching, too!

Eric Hoyle follows truth wherever it leads, even if he can’t take pleasure in exposing the darkness. His latest well-written piece corrects the late Fr. Cekada’s errors arguing against the Home Alone position. Hoyle treats his subject with humility and his opponent with charity. We can all learn a thing or two from reading his work. I encourage you to do so.

Thoughts on the Fourth of July

In The City of God, that great work of theology by the Doctor and Father of the Church, St. Augustine, Christianity is defended against the accusation that Rome was in decline because of Christians. I am ashamed, though, to admit that I have only read a little of it, and only an abridged version. Perhaps I shall make a study of it in depth someday, because I am convinced that we are quite literally reliving out today the fall of Rome. 

I don’t think it is controversial to say that America is Rome. I went to school in Washington D.C., and one of the most striking features of that great city is its beautiful buildings. When you walk out through the streets of downtown D.C., and behold the monuments and mountainous facades in the neoclassical style, a feeling of national pride sweeps over your soul like a spring breeze. Indeed, the antiquity of the architecture demonstrates a kind of vital youthfulness. There are sculpted eagles and lions everywhere, like one is walking into a gigantic nursery room–or Church. Figurines as beautiful as Hercules and as strong as Venus populate archway after archway throughout the city, like so many toy dolls set up and still just for play.  

Now, contrast the childlike sunshine and brightness of D.C. with your typical small-town drab bank or postoffice, and you get a glimpse into what I mean by the youthfulness of Washington, and the decrepitude of the rest of America. The oftentimes grotesque buildings formed in the modernist style as sleek as a kitchen knife that stabs your eyeballs with angular, jetting structures, usually with reflective surfaces to further bewilder the eyes, the rhythms and motion of which all urge toward a pointless point into an indifferent easterly or westerly sky, with no apparent intentionality at all, not unlike the political and social temperament at present.    

The contrast made, we see that D.C. represents story, whereas the town represents science, or mere mathematical abstraction. The reason for this is simple enough—and there is a push to destroy the story-based architecture of D.C., which was already underway when I attended university there at The Catholic University of America, where beautiful buildings, Catholic buildings of refined American neoclassical, were being replaced by modernist glass and metal monstrosities—which is to replace the Christian and Westerner past with a new futuristic and faceless race. It is the attempt to rewrite history by defacement and replacement, by making the America feel remorse for her past (sound familiar?), that she may have no roots when planted in the desert to die. It is the same thing they (yes, they) did to the Roman Catholic Church. They are doing it today to America, because America is Rome. 

It may come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I am not entirely convinced that we have a legitimate presidency or senate or house, that those who were “elected’ were not actually selected to be the representatives, that this nation of the people, by the people, for the people, has perished from the earth. We witnessed the treason before our eyes, the hours upon hours of eyewitness testimony to the effect that so many fraudulent votes had made a mockery of the election process and the sovereignty of the American people a farce at best and a tragedy at worst. My faith in the democratic process of this country is dead. Let me just say that to get out of the way any objections to what I may say next, which is, that we are obliged to love our country no matter how iniquitous it is—and America is very iniquitous—because of the fourth commandment. Just as we ought to love our father, even if he be an abusive drunkard, so we ought to love our fatherland, not on account of the abuses but because without our country we would not be at all.

The abuses, the totalitarianism and superstition of health, the economical oppression, and reconstructing of energy systems, all of it, are so many antics of the neo-Visigoths, be they Chinese or Russian, or some other nefarious nation of actors—like Israel, perhaps. They want us to hate America, because they hate America. They want us to be be ashamed of our past—which may, in many instances, be shameful. But they want us to live in perpetual mea culpa, using what little Christian virtue remains to the average American citizen to undermine citizenry itself. Divide and conquer has ever been the Enemy’s battle plan. It happened in the Church. It is happening now in America. And it is working, but not in my house. Just as we keep the Faith, so we keep the Flag in our home. We will celebrate the birthday of America by a barbecue of (ironically) German knockwurst sausages, French fries, good old fashioned cowboy baked beans, and a cheese cake (which actually originated in Rome), because, like the Catholic faith which unites all men in the bond of faith, America unites all men in the bond of nature and reason, insofar as she is able when not thwarted by her enemies.    

I do not know when this all began. Perhaps it started with the ground-breaking of the first modernist postoffice. But just as I refuse to relinquish my inheritance of the Catholic Faith for some pottage of worldly comfort and conformity, so, too, I refuse to give up my American heritage on account of the usurpers and invaders. I am proud to be an American. I know there are those who are reading this who are not American. But I tell you, if I lived in another country, I’d be just as proud to be a Spaniard, or a German, or a Latvian. The point is not that America is great (or was great), and so I love her. Rather, she was great because she was loved. Nor should she be despised because she isn’t great anymore. Rather, we should love her more dearly, care for her more sweetly, hoist the flag higher, and salute Old Glory with tears in our eyes, not for what she is, but for what she might have been had she truly been a nation under God.      

Anniversary Launch of CatholicEclipsed on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.

Today is the one year anniversary of launching CatholicEclipsed, a website dedicated to disseminating authentic Catholicism and exposing the agents of darkness eclipsing it. The days leading up to this milestone have put me into a mood of critical self-reflection and recollection of the purpose with which I started out on this mission. I do not claim an ecclesiastical mission. That would be foolish. But I do believe that my efforts are a direct result of a sending of sorts, insofar as we are all sent into the world as lambs among wolves by the Good Shepherd Himself: 

“And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest,” (Luke 10:1-2).  

And, in a very special way, being totally consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the St. Louis De Monfort True Devotion to Mary, which I encourage you to read and perhaps consider doing yourself, I am also sent by her into the a spiritual wilderness to help console my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ whom I have met here. That is the point of the cross in the desert with the eclipse on HOMEBASE  . It represents in a visual way where we are now spiritually during the Apocalypse. It is often lonely here in the desert, where food and drink is scarce (worldly comfort), and friendship is even more so, to where sophisticated man with his civilization has not reached. Here in the desert there is only oneself and God. 

The mission, then, of CatholicEclipsed is clear enough, but how one executes that mission is less clear. My attempt this past year at producing video content has been somewhat lackluster. No significant impact was achieved doing so. From the highly stylized “Sect Spect Report,” which (I confess) may have alienated many on account of its apparent flippancy, to awkward and fumbling interviews, my attempts at video productions has been less than stellar. So, I must reassess and adapt to my own abilities and talents to achieve the mission. I am convinced at this point that web articles, with the occasional image, is the way to go. It is a classic way to communicate, and people respond well to it. 

That said, I have had in the back of my brain the notion of a CatholicEclipsed podcast. I don’t know how that would work or if visitors here would appreciate it at all, but it does have the advantage over print in that it is more personal and intimate, which would help in the consolation department of the mission. Let me know in the comments what you would think about that. 

There have been other changes to CatholicEclipsed. Some of you will notice that I am no longer on Twitter. The reason for this is twofold: Twitter is a temptation and a distraction. Being on Twitter has tempted me in so many different ways, from its grave immodesty to its open blasphemy, I have been tempted to lust and anger so many times I cannot count. Surely, that is utterly fruitless spiritually. And Twitter has distracted me from my mission. I envisioned social media as a way to market CatholicEclipsed, but after a year doing so, my numbers were so woefully low as to be considered nil. No one, with the exception of a handful, actually ever engaged with my Tweeted content, for want of interest or because my material was lame, I don’t know. What I do know is that Twitter wasn’t helping but hurting, and distracting me from producing better and better content, and more of it, and distracting me from my family life. Finally, I had enough, and so I deactivated my account, something one gentlemanly and sagacious reader advised I do some time ago.

So, what to expect this coming year? Well, I intend to produce two kinds of content to achieve the duel aspects of my mission, to expose the agents of darkness (who ever they are) and to console my coreligionists with uplifting and spiritually enriching content. I will attempt a balance, because it is spiritually unhealthy always to be in the thick of things and doing battle. We need a breather every once in a while, a time to recoup and relax and rest in the Lord. To that end, I would really like to know what kind of articles you would like to see, what interests you spiritually, be it devotions, religious arts and music, biographical sketches of saints, prayer life and pious practices, etc. Let me know in the comments section.

CatholicEclipsed is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose feast day it is today. Some of you may have seen my bracelet I wear on my right wrist. I had enslaved myself to Jesus in Mary some years back. I wear this bracelet as a reminder to myself to live out the true devotion to Mary, to be faithful to Christ by keeping my baptismal promises, and to remind myself of the chains of sin which the devil forges around us (which we cannot see), as compared with the the chains of love which God forges around us. We are either slaves to the Devil or to God. But this holy slavery to God is true and perfect freedom, unlike its counterfeit the Devil advertises with a thousand temptations to do what we want. Like a natural slave who owns nothing but depends on everything from his master, I own nothing but give all to Mary to do with as she pleases. This website is just one more thing that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the Queen of my heart and soul.  May CatholicEclipsed honor her evermore this year, and may she use it as she wills. Amen.