Much ink has been spilled about Cardinal Robert McElroy’s January 24th piece in America on synodality and inclusion. Less attention has been paid to Cardinal McElroy’s follow up interview (Feb 3, 2023), also in America, in which his views on sexual immorality were more explicit and, unfortunately, more concerning.
The Cardinal explains, “We have cast violations for which you need to not go to the Eucharist, or need to go to confession first, largely in terms of sexual things.” It is true that the Church has always taken sexual sin very seriously (more on that from St. Paul shortly). But Cardinal McElroy misdiagnoses the situation in stating the Church is too focused on “sexual things.” The Church is concerned with all grave sin that violates the Ten Commandments (cf. CCC 1858).
For example, it is a matter of grave concern that many Catholics apparently do not think it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday, yet it is in direct disobedience of the Third Commandment for Catholics to skip Mass on Sunday without a just excuse, such as serious illness or infirmity. The Church has even told racists that they cannot go to Holy Communion, as the Archbishop of New Orleans did in 1962 when he excommunicated several Catholics who vociferously opposed the racial desegregation of parochial schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. If our culture had a widespread issue with theft or worship of pagan gods, the Church would prominently proclaim that these serious sins precluded people from the Eucharist.
But our current culture is infatuated with sexual sin, and so the Church vocally warns of its harm, calls ardently for conversion in this area, and proclaims the beauty of God’s plan for human sexuality.
The Cardinal goes on to say that sinfulness can and does exist within sexual lives, which is an important clarification as many readers interpreted his original piece as condoning all sexual activity. He explains, “Our sexual lives have many areas of sinfulness and I’m not challenging that. All I’m saying is that in the Christian moral life, they don’t automatically represent mortal sin. Mortal sin in Catholic teaching is a sin so grave that it is objectively capable of cutting off our relationship with God. That’s pretty severe.” I won’t quibble by focusing on the fact that the Church makes a distinction between mortal sin and grave matter (mortal sin requires grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate choice), and so the Church would disagree that sexual sins “automatically represent mortal sin.”
I would prefer to address the idea that the “framework doesn’t fit” by casting sexual sins as grave matter. The Cardinal seems to be calling for the Church to devalue the gravity of sexual sin, but sexual sin is part of the “framework” found in God’s Word: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9–10, NAB, emphasis added).
Not inheriting eternal life is indeed “pretty severe,” and the Church rightly treats it so. But why did sexual immorality make St. Paul’s list? Because sexuality affects all aspects of the human person (cf. CCC 2332) and, thus, sexual sins have devastatingly widespread effects.
It is important to recognize and identify what Cardinal McElroy is attempting to do here: he is seeking to revive the discredited theological notion of the “fundamental option” that became popular in the 1960s. In moral theology, the concept of the “fundamental option” says that individual acts do not change our basic relationship with God and that only when our fundamental option changes against God do we fall out of the state of grace. In this view, a person can commit particular sinful actions without losing the state of grace.
Pope St. John Paul II addressed the erroneous notion of fundamental option theory in his 1993 encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor in paragraphs 65-70, most notably in this passage:
To separate the fundamental option from concrete kinds of behavior means to contradict the substantial integrity or personal unity of the moral agent in his body and in his soul. … In point of fact, the morality of human acts is not deduced only from one’s intention, orientation or fundamental option, understood as an intention devoid of a clearly determined binding content or as an intention with no corresponding positive effort to fulfil the different obligations of the moral life. (Veritatis Splendor 67)
In the end, all these disagreements seem to boil down to the Cardinal’s thoughts on sin: “My own view is [that] judgmentalism is the worst sin in the Christian life…. So what the parable of the adulterous woman is about is: Don’t be judgmental.” It is troubling to see the beautiful balance struck by Jesus in this story between an acceptance of the woman but not her behavior flattened to “don’t be judgmental.”
It appears that for Cardinal McElroy it is Catholicism’s judgmentalism that leads to exclusion, and not the committed sins. But it has always been the practice of the Church to exclude those actively engaging in grave sin from Communion until they have repented, confessed their sins to a priest, and received sacramental absolution. This is not a demand for perfection (despite the Cardinal’s insistence otherwise), nor is it a punishment; it is a consequence of those chosen actions.
As Pope Francis said in an interview on September 15, 2021 about withholding Communion, “This is not a penalty: you are outside. Communion is to unite the community.”
Apart from the Communion issue, Cardinal McElroy rightly notes that as a Church we need to do a better job of accompaniment because “the grace of God acts progressively in our lives.” The challenge of loving accompaniment is to avoid judging the heart of the other while still judging his action. This is the only way to reconcile Jesus’ statements, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Mt 7:1) and “If your brother sins, rebuke him” (Lk 17:3).
We are called to accompany the other regardless of his choices while standing in the truth of what is genuinely good for him. This is difficult, especially since as fallen humans we instinctively favor one part of that approach, usually to the detriment of the other.
May we all learn to love more like Jesus so that we can see beyond the sin to the person and lovingly offer him invitation to conversion. In a world so confused about sin, we must do both of those things in pursuing a better way forward.
Full story at Catholic World Report.
God bless Bishop Paprocki for seeking to calm the storm in a most charitable way.
Serious question, with no intent of being snarky or disrespectful: does Archbishop McElroy believe that our bodies are “temples of the Holy Spirit”?
SouthCoast: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
The context of this astounding assertion pertains to the avoidance of sexual immorality.
I would say from listening to the interview that he does believe that. He does not say that but he talks about sexual activity is seen by the Church as something profound not casual.
But that doesn’t at all diminish the call to chastity that each of us has in our own lives, in our own states, and particularly to live by what I think is the central assertion of Catholic faith, which is that sexuality is something profound rather than something casual. That’s where our church really comes up against society. Our society doesn’t believe that. And I think across our teachings in the sexual realm, that’s the basic impulse: [Sex] is something profound, not something casual. And it’s something that reaches very deeply into the personal, spiritual, moral, emotional lives of people. I’m not challenging any of that.
Bishop McElroy America Magazine Feb 2, 2023
We don’t say it’s automatically a mortal sin to discriminate against somebody. We don’t say it’s automatically a mortal sin to rip off your employees or exploit them. We don’t say it’s automatically a mortal sin to mistreat your children or your spouse. Those are very serious elements of the moral life. But we don’t automatically say those are mortal sins.
That is the job of the bishop to teach that.
We need a better list then.
Most examinations of conscience do not say whether something is a grave sin or venial sin.
People trusted John Paul the second. They trusted him because he was clear about what was expected from Christians. This is true in Veritatis Splendor. I like the quote above from McElroy, but what he says outside of that waters things down. The other thing that waters things down is that there isn’t a sense of clarity in his own ministry that comes across as calling people to conversion. Pope Francis has the same problem. It’s the difference between a fresh crisp apple and an apple that’s old and when you bite into it, it’s mealy mouthed. One is delicious, the other, you just want to spit it out. When pope Paul the sixth had the clarity and the courage to write Humana vitae, as laity read it, they were freed by the truth of it, and it created conversion. John Paul, the second with the theology of the body. Made it all that more attractive. I feel like McElroy and Pope Francis are trying to appease people who will never be appeased. The sins of the flesh can never be satisfied, chastity, though, leads to contentment and freedom.
I do not agree with Cardinal McElroy but I have never seen Pope Francis say anything like this.
Most laity never read documents from the Pope, but they read about them in the media.
I think if you really followed JPII and Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis is the perfect Pope to follow them.
I feel like he is misquoted and his quotes are taken out of context a lot.
He asks for prayers.
If you really follow Pope Francis’ guidance (not the clickbait on the Internet), you will be fit for Heaven.
“I feel like he is misquoted and his quotes are taken out of context a lot.” Misquoted? I don’t think so. Taken out of context, very likely, because context is often difficult to establish. Witness the back and forth over an item in Fr. Murray’s fine article, Pope Francis Must Stop the Madness. It is up to Pope Francis, whose prime responsibility is to fully and accurately transmit the apostolic tradition to the Church, to prevent the possibility of misunderstanding. I recoil at the thought expressed in another thread: that Pope Francis owes no one a clarification, or words to that effect. Au contraire, he owes the Church the highest degree of clarity possible. That is being the servant of the servants of God.
The Vatican will clarify it if it needs to.
I believe Father Murray is a priest of the Diocese of New York so you could contact Cardinal Dolan as well.
The Pope is on Twitter although he does not himself tweet.
I can’t believe anybody thinks the Pope should be puppeted by the Internet.
it is your duty not to listen to gossip.
You should be able to tell what is holy and unholy.
You should avoid sites that criticize the Pope.
Wheels, the people who agreed with John Paul II trusted him. The others criticized him and came up with excuses why they did not have to obey. Of course, I don’t think they ever thought they should obey anybody other than themselves.
I was pulled from religious instruction in 5th grade.
No one was talking about sex at that age.
I do not know where and when I developed a sense sex being of mortal sin.
A lot of it I did not know.
I thought every sin was grave, I think.
I guess I just learned as I read things along the way.
I know I learned using birth control is a grave sin by reading Humanae Vitae.
We really are like sheep without a shepherd.
That is not Pope Francis’ fault. It has been like that for a long time.
Usually when things are talking about mortal sin they give a few examples, Not thorough.
I found some lists by googling examination of conscience mortal and venial sins.
Some of the mortal sins are things that I never heard were sins much less mortal sins.
I wish there were a link to the second America piece that McElroy apparently penned, so that I can better understand what Bishop Paprika is saying, because from what I read here, it seems to me that he is possibly not understanding the piece himself or maybe misquoting him. By underlining the difference between grave sin/grave matter and mortal sin, the Cardinal is not harking to an argument to a fundamental option. He is simply saying that grave matter is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient of mortal sin. The quote from the Pope implies the same kind of differentiation. Sometimes grave sin has not represented the desire by the sinner to make a complete and utter rejection of God in one’s life, to render the relationship null and void. Yes, the matter may be grave and should be taken seriously, but if the sinner has not intended to make a break from the relationship, knowing that committing the sin would make that break, then there is no mortal sin. The is why the extra medicine of sacramental confession is necessary – to reestablish the relationship that had utterly been broken. It is very powerful medicine indeed. To use the Bishop’s example, mere ignorance of the laws regarding the Sunday obligation, which might lead to breaking them, does not endanger the mortal soul of the sinner even if she or he objectively skips mass to go on a ski trip, just as an example. The person would have to know and intend that by choosing one over the other, that she has put herself outside her relationship with God. I think most moral theologians would agree that the matter is gravely sinful but not mortally so. This would be especially true if the person assumed that they would be able to get to Mass from the ski resort but later found out that there was no practical way to get to one.
Thank you, “me”, I listened to the interesting interview. I must have missed where he talks about a fundamental option. Bishop Paprocki seems to think he said a lot about it, or else he says that to create a straw man.
I was wondering about that, too.
YFC, you can still desire God and commit mortal sin.
The three things are grave matter, full knowledge and full consent of the will.
Rejecting God is not a part of that.
Ignorance indicates not having full knowledge.
If I miss Mass, knowing it is a sin and it is not an accident or the fault of someone else, it is a mortal sin.
Kidding yourself by saying that it is not a mortal sin because I still want a relationship with God is really bad.
Most mortal sinners, with the exception of apostasy, do want to maintain their relationship with God.
But it is more than that – it kills the life of God (grace) in the soul.
It can be restored by Sacramental Confession.
YFC, sorry if this is micro-aggressive. There are some denominations which do not believe in mortal sin. I know you are a convert so maybe that is the teaching of your former church?
John Paul firmly opposes the theological assertion that such a fundamental choice can be separated from particular actions, stating that it is contrary to Scripture as well as to long-held Catholic teaching on sin and salvation. He also opposes it on philosophical grounds, writing, “To separate the fundamental option from concrete kinds of behaviour means to contradict the substantial integrity or personal unity of the moral agent in his body and in his soul.”
John Paul emphasizes that the “fundamental option” view undermines the traditional Catholic understanding on mortal sin and venial sin, their distinction, and effects: “For mortal sin exists also when a person knowingly and willingly, for whatever reason, chooses something gravely disordered…. The person turns away from God and loses charity.”
But, dear Commenter, what does that have to do with what the Cardinal said? That’s an honest question. Paprocki asserts McElroy is harkening to a fundamental option. Not only does McElroy not use the term but doesn’t seem to rely upon one in his interview. He talks a lot about gradualism, but that is an accepted feature of Catholic moral theology. Perhaps Poprocki is confusing the two, I don’t know?
YFC, I was responding to your post where you said that mortal sin required rejection of God, not what the Cardinal said.
I still have to watch the whole interview.
The pastoral “law of gradualness”, not to be confused with the “gradualness of the law” which would tend to diminish the demands it places on us, consists of requiring a decisive break with sin together with a progressive path towards total union with the will of God and with his loving demands.
Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life 1997
“it seems to me that he is possibly not understanding the piece himself or maybe misquoting him. ” If there is any question of someone as brilliant as Bishop Paprocki not grasping Cardinal McElroy, humility suggests that you grant Paprocki the benefit of the doubt, and that you consider the possibility that the deficiency is in your own understanding. And I would include myself along with you were I likewise troubled by this article– I would consider the defect to be my own understanding.
Is there are way that you can not have these big video things on the page?
One of the nicer things about YouTube is that you can get a transcript of most videos. Not perfect, but a good start in situations like this.
I downloaded the transcript for the video that “full McElroy interview” kindly provided. The word “option” does not appear in the YT transcript. The word “fundamental” appears once, at 28:36, but as you can see it does not even remotely refer to a fundamental option.
The burden, it seems to me, is for Bishop Paprocki to prove that Cardinal McElroy was somehow talking about a fundamental option in the interview. I think he is misinterpreting the interview.
I had no idea that you could do that.
As a boomer who prints the Internet, I am most grateful for the info.
I promise I won’t tell my spouse where I learned about it.
“The burden, it seems to me, is for Bishop Paprocki to prove that Cardinal McElroy was somehow talking about a fundamental option in the interview. I think he is misinterpreting the interview.”
YFC, it is by no means necessary for Cardinal McElroy to use the words “Fundamental Option” in order for his position to be at the very least a tangential approximation to it. The arguments Paprocki employs for claiming McElroy is reviving the fundamental option, from what I get from this article, are 1. The downplaying of sexual sins 2. The decisive character of the sin of judgmentalism leading to exclusion. Point 1 falls in line with the idea that individual acts of themselves do not necessarily deprive of grace, and point 2, that the disposition of judgmentalism would seem to represent the fundamental option. If I have understood Paprocki, then I hope you see how he thinks McElroy has revived the fundamental option, and are in a better position to think how well Paprocki understands McElroy.
I agree with YFC that the complaint about the fundamental option really does not apply to this interview.
But there are some really troubling things.
He ducks the hard questions. He evades serious issues.
Watch the interview.
Dan you are entitled to your opinion, but it really isn’t supported by the facts of the interview. One would have to make a lot of assumptions about what the Cardinal was saying, when in fact the evidence points to the opposite conclusion. It also ignores the fact that Jesus quite commonly rails against what a person like McElroy would today call judgementalism.
Well you are right, YFC, as I was not basing my thoughts on the interview but the article in the thread. I did not watch the interview, and a careful reading of my post made it clear where I was getting my thoughts. I shall have to listen to the interview; nevertheless based on the article in the thread, how did you find my analysis? I was searching for the closest thing to the fundamental option in Paprocki’s analysis of McElroy.
I finished the interview. He is not talking at all about the fundamental option, in my opinion.
He has his own red herrings and straw men, too.
But talking off the top of your head, it can be hard to process a question and not go off.
Two things give me some hope of reconciliation in his diocese with Catholics such as those who write on this website.
He talked about wanting to address the wounds of those in the TLM community.
And he said that St. Francis of Assisi is the greatest Saint for our times-because of his renunciations, his embrace of the Gospel, his reaching out to all people and his care of creation.
There were some other things that will hinder reconciliation such as his saying that he wants LGBTQ people to feel equally embraced (even “active” ones) equally welcomed in the life of the Church as everyone else.
One of my issues with this is- I have known some divorced and remarried Catholics who had annulments who feel welcome in the Church and some divorced and remarried who did not have annulments who were comfortable enough to attend Mass, but I have never known people who were co-habitating to even come to Church (maybe you in CA do). I think there may be young Catholics who are hiding affairs from their parents who go to Church and maybe even Communion but once they get off to college, they stop going. In my family, people stop going to Church when they are in irregular marriages or sinful relationships.
This question is an honest question.
The Cardinal wants LGBT Catholics to feel equally welcome. There is nobody at the door of any parish checking for ID or asking if you are gay. Anybody can walk into any Catholic Mass.
There are no Communion police.
Why do they not feel welcome.
Is it just knowing that the Catholic Church teaches that LGB sex is sinful? Are they afraid of gossip or judgement? Are they being judgmental about the Church? I think that was addressed in Building A Bridge, but I have not read it.
Is there anything a Catholic bishop can say that will make them feel wanted?
I may have figured out my own question. But I am still interested in hearing your answer.
What I think (and it may be a God breeze ..or not)
People have such a fear of rejection that they do not want to go where there is a risk of non-acceptance.
. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us – that is, charity – necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”131
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.”132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
My “fundamental option” is toward the divine, so I’m okay. Ask the Cardinal. I pay my undocumented employees less than minimum wage and expose them to pesticides. I’m polluting coastal waters and don’t think Blacks should vote. My live-in girlfriend is much younger and prettier than my three ex-wives. But remember, individual acts do not change my basic relationship with God and that only when my fundamental option changes against God do I fall out of the state of grace. I can commit particular sinful actions without losing the state of grace. That’s what my Cardinal said. And he has a red hat and went to Harvard, Stanford, Santa Clara University and the Pontifical Gregorian University. You expect me to listen to a carpenter or something?
Your Cardinal said no such thing, and you know it.
YFC, do you think that a Catholic consenting to sex outside of marriage (straight or gay) and knowing the teachings of Christ and His Church is committing grave sin?
Endangering his or her soul?
More importantly, does Cardinal McElroy believe that? It isn’t clear. (Pope Benedict warned us all about “studied ambiguity.”)
If I attend Mass fairly regularly, contribute to the financial support of the Church, drive an electric car and don’t commit sexual sins, but beat only my spouse and hired help, would not my “fundamental option” still be toward God? The discredited “fundamental option” theory exempts certain sins from indicating a turning away from God and His ways. And, it seems the only exceptions are related to surrendering to the the sexual revolution. Our Lord did not tell the person caught in adultery, “Go and continue sinning, provided your fundamental option is still toward God.” He said, “Go and sin no more.” We cannot be more compassionate and loving to sinners than our Lord, Who sacrificed His very life for us sinners. Lent is an especially good time for us to reflect on our sins and go, with resolve and the help of His grace, to the sacrament of Confession and choose to sin no more. Let’s respect human freedom, human choices and their consequences. God does.
I do not think that Cardinal McElroy was proposing the so-called “fundamental option.”
He said that sexual sins are grave sins but not all of them are mortal sins, which of course is perfectly in keeping with the Church’s teaching because you need full knowledge and full consent of the will.
Do not commit sexual sins and if you do, confess.
Do you mean they don’t know what Christ and the Church teach (lack of knowledge) and cannot keep their pants on (regarding lack of consent)? Catholics know that sex belongs in marriage only.
“The Devil made me do it.”
If you are YFC, do you think that a Catholic consenting to sex outside of marriage (straight or gay) and knowing the teachings of Christ and the Church is committing a mortal sin?
That’s not a trick question.
Flip Wilson, I am not YFC. I agree with all Church teachings. If a Catholic does not know that something is a sin, it is still a grave sin. Obviously, they won’t confess because they do not know. If they know it is a sin and do not consent (such as rape) it is not a sin. Another instance of not giving full consent of the will would be someone who really does not want to do it, but gives in to manipulation, abuse, peer pressure, nagging then it is a grave sin. The person will confess or should.
According to Mark Houck, 5 out of 10 men in the pews are struggling with porn use.
That is a mortal sin unless they do not know that porn use is a sin or they end up in a situation where they are embarrassed because other people are watching it and really wish it was turned off.
Still needs to be confessed because it is grave sin.
After listening to his interview, he is not saying what sexual sins are not mortal. If you look up examination of conscience mortal and venail sins there are venial sexual sins. But he is unspecific.
It sounds as if your girlfriend’s “birth control” pills are polluting the water and her body too, and you might be either a Democrat or a Republican.
Gimme a break man. I got myself “fixed” the same week as my dog. Hormonal birth control contributing to water pollution?! Are you some kind of a right wingnut? Next thing, you’ll be claiming my COVID vaccines and boosters might not work. Do you think a Democrat would ever even think about treating employees poorly? No, we corner the market on that one. (Do you think Ms. Pelosi opposes the farmworkers’ union at her vineyard because she’s selfish? Of course not. She really cares about her non-Union farm workers. She said so.) But, the “extremists” are taking over the Republican Party. Who in their right mind could seriously consider Pence, Haley or DeSantis for president? (They’re “anti-choice,” except when it comes to schools, religion, firearms ownership and some other things.) Hey, I’m a guy who puts “fun” in the fundamental option.
Gave you a thumbs ups by mistake.
First of all, it is a scientific fact that the estrogen from making certain plastics and the estrogen from birth control pills that gets into the sewage and flows on into rivers and so forth is contributing to the sexual deformation of fish. There are many websites, not religious ones, that explain all. Secondly, a friend who worked in Oregon, told me her union charged her and others dues for full time work when they were only getting part time work. There is corruption in big business and also in big unions. The Pill is a carcinogen (cancer causing) and can cause many other medical problems. Read the label.
Another thing, you say you got “fixed” like your dog. Have to say that is kind of hilarious, but I would never tell a man to get “fixed” as there may be a connection between getting “fixed” and brain tumors or dementia, not joking. I knew a man whose wife told me he had a vasectomy who later died of an inoperable brain tumor. I also knew/ know two men, one already deceased from brain cancer, and another fighting it, and I suspect they were “fixed” too. Have not asked their wives, though. One of the studies was from Sweden, hardly a “right-wing” nation.
From that “right wing nut agency”, EPA Method 539, used to test water samples for endocrine disruptors, including the “priority hormonal” compounds https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30683528/
We had a pastor who accepted and believed the Church’s teaching but he would not stand up for those teachings. One lady at our parish ended up having a nervous breakdown, even to the point of being hospitalized, because of it.
She ended up OK because one of her kids became terminally ill and she ended up focusing on her family and forgetting about what was going on at Church.
The child survived, miraculously.
Non sexual Grave sins: Missing Mass; not taking Holy Communion at least once during the Easter season; Blasphemy; Sacrilege; going to Communion when aware of an unconfessed mortal sin; heresy, schism, Despairing of God’s Mercy; Presumption of God’s Mercy; Worshipping other gods, Believing in other gods; being involved in the occult; going to a psychic; joining an assembly of heretics, schismatics, freemasons; eating meat on a Friday or fast day of Lent; envy of another’s spiritual good; apostacy (complete rejection of the faith)
Striking a parent or priest, causing grave physical, mental or emotional harm to another, defrauding workers of their wages; attempting suicide; serious theft; abortion; IVF: euthanasia; abortion, using artificial birth control, defrauding others; gravely injuring another’s reputation;
There are a lot of mortal sins. These are the non-sexual ones that I can think of off the top of my head.
Please add those that I have forgotten
Oppresion of the poor
In the eighth paragraph of this article, Bishop Paprocki states that “It is important to recognize and identify what Cardinal McElroy is attempting to do here: he is seeking to revive the discredited theological notion of the “fundamental option” that became popular in the1960s.” So that is basically how Bishop Paprocki interprets Cardinal McElroy’s latest “America” article and interview. McElroy is not a straightforward, dedicated defender of Catholic teaching. He seeks instead to be ambiguous, unclear, and duplicitous, with a thinly-veiled, two-faced dissidence to Catholic teaching, well-known to everyone. He is dishonest, his material is a waste of time to read or listen to, in my opinion. Bishop Paprocki also recently defended the old Latin Mass, and praised those in his Diocese who attend it, saying they are good Catholics, very obedient, and dedicated to Catholic teaching. He said that the bishops should individually handle all matters and needs of the faithful, such as the interest of parishioners in the old Latin Tridentine Mass, in their own individual Dioceses. He said that the recent rescript, issued by Cardinal Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, on “Traditionis Custodes,” was wrong. Roche was overstepping his bounds– the Pope approved the rescript, but it was signed by Roche– the rescript actually should have come directly from the Pope, in accordance with the Pope’s motu proprio, “Traditionis Custodes,” as it was a Papal motu proprio, issued on the Pope’s own initiative. And the Bishops are supposed to be working in a decentralized manner anyway, due to Vatican II teachings, and the desire of the pope and Vatican leaders to decentralize power in the Church, allowing individual bishops to handle matters in their own Dioceses. Many bishops also feel this way, too– and feel that the Papal motu proprio, “Traditionis Custodes” was inappropriate, a big, unnecessary, mistaken over-stepping of P
Poprocki put his own spin on it. I think he only read the part of the interview that was published in the magazine.
I have always believed that in our Church, you have to be very careful with things like Tradition, structure, order, discipline, and power, leadership and shared leadership — such as the concept of episcopal collegiality of Vatican II implies. On the other hand, there is the more “monarchichal” structure of the Church and Papacy, strengthened by Vatican I. The Catholic Church is not secular, worldly, like a secular, international business, with a CEO at headquarters, branch offices, and franchises. Nor is it like a monarch and parliament, nor like a president, Congress and Supreme Court. Nor is it so “human”– it is actually Divine– the Bride of Christ, seeking Heaven and union with God. Ours is an ancient, holy religion, given to us by Christ. It comes directly from Almighty God. We are to obey Christ’s teachings, obey the Bible and Catechism. We have our Deposit of Faith, Magisterium, and Sacred Tradition. None of these things can be downplayed or changed or thrown out, according to who is in power, in our Church. That includes our Sacred Tradition. Worship of God is holy, it cannot be cast aside, or altered to suit mankind’s secular, scientific progress, and secular beliefs and fashions, of the modern world. Modernists of the late 19th century onward, ended up causing vast destructions in many ways, to the world! Modernism was a great and swiftly-rising enemy of the Church, particularly in the era of Pope Pius X– who condemned it– at the turn of the 20th century. Many in the Protestant churches also condemned Modernist beliefs– particularly, Modernist ideas in religion, that stated that the Bible was no longer to be believed strictly as the Word of God. You can interpret the Bible however you like, it also has many “errors.” Etc. This notion ended up eventually tearing many Protestant denominations to pieces. Both Catholics and Protestants make claims all the time, and all through history– that the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding them, and you can trust that, without question. But I am not so sure. It takes a great deal of spiritual maturity, to discern the true guidance of the Holy Spirit! I believe our Catholic Faith is the True Faith– but our Church leaders and Pope need to do some very hard, honest work– separate themselves completely from the world and worldly things, get on their knees in prayer– for as long as it takes– and then, guide the Church in the true direction, according to God’s Will. That is my view.
Of course– it is true, that perhaps Pope St. Pius X went a little too far, in his condemnation of Modernism, in 1907. This is because there are many good things that can and must come from valuable and legitimate scientific, Biblical, and various other types of valid and legitimate research. But overall– God is most important. One time, long ago, when I was very young, I happened to talk to a Jewish Rabbi in my neighborhood. I asked him, that day, what he thought about Moses. Did he believe that Moses actually wrote the first five books of the Torah, Pentateuch, or Old Testament? And did he believe that God really made the world in seven days, as it states in the Book of Genesis? What did the Jews think about these things? (Even Jesus referred to these beliefs and traditions as valid, in the New Testament.) Well– I got an answer that I will never forget! The old Rabbi said, that Jewish Tradition is very sacred and important, so they always read and accept the Torah “as is,” and treasure it— it is of God. But on the other hand– they all know and accept valid discoveries of modern Biblical scholarship, and good theories of modern science. They integrate it all. But their religious faith is most important. I was quite young, and that made a big impression on me. Modernists love to view Man and Man’s big ideas of material and social improvements, “progress,” and scientific discoveries, as of paramount importance– downplaying or excluding God, and His grace, miracles, religious and moral teachings, the life, death and resurrection of Christ, etc. Modernists do not like God and religion. They view it as an obstacle to their notions of “progress.” They also love to discard excellent, thousands of years old, traditional structures, beliefs, order, discipline, and civilization itself– in every artistic, philosophical, and related fields. Marriage and the Family have been tragically under attack, in favor of Man’s “free” and lawless, immoral living, “worse than animals,” “uncivilized,” corrupt, disregarding God’s Laws– and God’s Natural Law. You have to follow Our Lord carefully, just as He says– His ancient, Divine Truth is of God, and it is unchangeable and eternal. And at the same time, one must carefully think through and pray about any new earthly discoveries or ideas, of Man.
Jewish Tradition, as well as Catholic Tradition, and Tradition in other great world religions, too– is highly important. In our Catholic Tradition, for exsmple, we find a rich treasure, largely of unwritten, orally transmitted religious traditions, beliefs, customs, teachings, events, great religious figures and saints, etc. — handed down through the centuries, orally, from times of long ago, when many people in ancient cultures could not read and write. These oral traditions are very great, considered as very important, just as our written Holy Bible is extremely important, the Word of God. It all forms part of our religion, along with the Magisterium. All of these things form a daily religious way of life, for Catholics. During the Reformation, the Protestants sought to eliminate everything related to Catholic Tradition, as being “too Catholic,” and only wanted the Bible, the written Word of God, as their final Authority. They stripped their churches of a great deal of Catholic Tradition– especially, things like “pagan” statues of saints, pilgrimages to holy shrines and venerating saints and their relics, seeking miracles, asking saints to intercede for us in prayers, celebrating Feast Days, observing penetential seasons of Lent, Advent, Rogation Days, and all liturgical seasons, venerating the Blessed Mother and asking her intercession, the Rosary, May Crowning, Corpus Christi Eucharistic Processions, Stations of the Cross, sacramentals, prayers for the dead, belief in Purgatory, prayers for the Holy Souls, etc. etc. During Vatican II, Catholic Tradition came again under severe attack, as we all know, and much of it was stripped from the Catholic Mass and from our religious way of life.
During the Reformation era, many Protestant groups in Europe became very suspicious of all big Catholic Feast Days– like Christmas and Easter, etc. — stating that they were never mentioned in the Bible. Many Protestant groups felt that Christmas celebrations had pagan elements, as some unscrupulous people viewed Christmas as an excuse for drunkenness and debauchery. The Puritans even disliked joyful Christmas services, preferring strict and serious worship of God, devoid of celebrations. Christmas was not mentioned in the Bible, so many Protestants only observed the day as a remembrance of the birth of Christ, but had no church services on Christmas. For awhile in England, when the Puritans were in power, seeking to abolish the Church of England– Christmas was banned, starting in 1647. But people strongly rebelled, and the Puritans were not in power for long. When the Puritans sailed to America, they also banned Christmas, in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anyone caught celebrating Christmas was fined five shillings Reminds me of the Tradition-despising Vatican, right now, with Traditionis Custodes.
In my comment of Feb
27 at 3:09am, the editors removed my quotation marks on the words “pagan,” “Tradition-despising,” and “Traditionis Custodes.” I believe my quotation marks in all of these cases are correct. Also, my next-to-the-last sentence should end with a period (.) after the words “…was fined five shillings.”
So– why can’t a great, big Catholic Cardinal dedicate his life honestly, totally and faithfully to Christ, daily showing people how to live by Christ’s teachings? Why can’t he be excited to teach the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony correctly, and guide Catholic young people in it? Why can’t he dump his sinful, heretical LGBT endeavors– and guide the LGBTs straight to Christ, teaching them how to live a good life, and practice the Virtue of Chastity? If some LGBTs feel “marginalized”– can’t this Cardinal help them to see the Truth– and appreciate the great gift they have been given, as followers of Christ? We all have our special “crosses to bear,” in life. A terminal case of cancer, or being mentally developmentally disabled, or being a quadraplegic– or being a tortured Uyghur in China– is far worse, than “being gay,” in America. Stand up strong, count your blessings, and have faith! God has a good Plan for your life– don’t be afraid! This Cardinal absolutely must show the LGBTs the true Gospel of Christ– “Repent of your sins, and and come, follow Me”– all the way to Eternal Life in Heaven with Him, someday!
Thanks for the article! I enjoyed reading it!