Friday, February 26, 2016

New TFP Book Highlights Conditions of Papal Infallibility, Errors in Magisterial Documents and Other Issues

Written by Luis Solimeo

Is the Pope always infallible in everything he says or does? What are the conditions and limits provided by the First Vatican Council for the Pope to exercise the charisma of infallibility? Can Catholic faithful with sufficient doctrinal formation resist documents that clearly contradict Catholic tradition?

These are some of the urgent questions answered in a new book titled, Can Documents of the Magisterium of the Church Contain Errors? Can the Catholic Faithful Resist Them? The author of the recently published work is Brazilian Catholic intellectual Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira, a leading specialist in the matter. The book is a collection of studies that were originally published in the Brazilian Catholic monthly magazineCatolicismo in the wake of the great doctrinal and disciplinary confusion immediately after the Second Vatican Council. They have never been contested.

Now, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) has translated these important considerations into English and compiled them into a book it is making available to the Catholic public.

Extremely Relevant and Current Topics
A quick summary of the book’s chapters will give an idea of how timely this book is for the present days.

The first study is titled, “What Is the Doctrinal Authority of Pontifical and Conciliar Documents?” The author explains the conditions and limits of the infallibility of the Pope, councils and bishops throughout the world. He distinguishes between the infallible Extraordinary Magisterium and the Ordinary Magisterium, which is infallible only through the continuity of the doctrine taught.

The next chapter─“Not Only Heresy Can Be Condemned by Ecclesiastical Authority”─deals with sins against Faith, which, contrary to popular belief, are not limited to heresy but cover every statement or persistent doubts regarding a doctrine the Church has clearly expounded as something to be believed.

Gestures and Omissions Also Teach
One of the most original studies of the collection is on the many ways heretics can manifest their errors. The study, “Acts, Gestures, Attitudes and Omissions Can Characterize a Heretic,” makes it clear that words alone do not define heresy.

Indeed, man does not teach or learn only through the written or oral word but also by actions, gestures, omissions, and attitudes. For example, a teacher can discipline a class without giving a written or oral order. A father or mother by their facial expression can approve or disapprove a child’s behavior.

The Magisterium of the Church can be taught in a similar manner. A bishop, for example, teaches veneration when he incenses the Blessed Sacrament. There is clearly a doctrine behind his gesture.

Conversely, a person who shows no veneration to the Blessed Sacrament or treats relics with contempt is expressing doubts or opposition to traditional Catholic doctrine, albeit without saying it.

Answering Objections
The next chapters of the book deal with reacting to error. One will find a refutation to the widely held mentality that combating error or admonishing a person in error is uncharitable. Quite the contrary, a true act of charity and an effective pastoral policy should consist in helping people abandon error or sin. This should be done in a firm yet charitable fashion making no concessions.
Can Documents of the Magisterium of the Church Contain Errors? Can the Catholic Faithful Resist Them?
Available now for purchase on the TFP Store.

The study, “Can a Catholic Reject Humanae Vitae?” shows how the Church can express a dogma or impose an obligation even through its Ordinary Magisterium. Such is the case with the EncyclicalHumanae Vitae on contraception.

More complex but of paramount importance is the subsequent study, “Can There Be Error in Documents of the Magisterium?”

Contrary to what many could imagine, theologians fully agree that a magisterial document can contain errors when it does not meet the conditions for infallibility. To hold to the truth, the faithful can always have recourse to previous documents of the Magisterium in order to solve their doubts.

Public Resistance to Decisions of Ecclesiastical Authority
Finally, the book concludes with a practical question: “Public Resistance to Decisions of Ecclesiastical Authority.”

With the full respect and submission due to Church authorities, Doctors of the Church and great theologians alike show that it is not only possible but can also be obligatory to resist orders or guidance from ecclesiastical authority when such attitudes are opposed to longstanding Church tradition. Saint Thomas Aquinas presents the classical case of Saint Paul resisting Saint Peter regarding the maintenance of Jewish customs from the synagogue.

The book’s beautiful cover and excellent presentation is a fitting complement to the author’s clear and precise style. Above all, the timeliness of the subjects broached make this new work a must-read for all Catholics.

Tradition, Family, and Property - New Book Highlights Conditions of Papal Infallibility, Errors in Magisterial Documents and Asks: Can the Catholic Laity Resist?

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Ideal Presidential Candidate Who Is Not Running -

Written by John Horvat II

Perhaps it is best to start by saying there is no ideal presidential candidate now running in the race in either party. None of them has all the qualities that are presently needed, although some candidates may have a few of them. No candidate is proportional to the crisis that is coming.
Part of the problem lies in the structure of the electoral game as it has evolved over the decades. Politics has come to reward only those who can deliver the greatest number of benefits to constituents. Candidates are asked to give voters the best value for their tax dollars in much the same way shareholders expect ROI from the corporations they invest in.
As a result, economy dominates much of the debate. The moral qualities needed for the job are mentioned but pushed aside. The real bottom line is about money, jobs and prosperity. Depending on their orientation, candidates promise tax cuts or soak-the-rich tax increases to better the financial situation of the average voter. The candidates all sound off on important issues like healthcare, student loans or social security. But it all comes down to a “what’s-in-it-for-me” race that has come to define the election cycle.
Additionally, in order to attract the voter/consumer, elections have become all about impression and image. There are dazzling Hollywood-like spectacles where candidates put on road shows costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Campaign managers employ techniques of public polling and improving positive perception.
All candidates, even the so-called anti-establishment candidates, follow a populist narrative to hide their less-than-humble millionaire status. All candidates to a certain degree become entertainers and slaves to polling surveys. They are merchants of benefices and peddlers of promises.

And many voters are no better since they demand this great Mardi Gras of promises and spin. They become frustrated because no candidate can possibly deliver on so many promises, save by making even more (unfulfillable) promises.
The ideal candidate, who is not running, must be different. What is needed is an extraordinary leader. And by this is meant someone with a profound sense of the common good of the nation and the dangers it faces, one who is gifted with a keen perception of the opportunities to be pursued to bring the ship of State to safe harbor, and endowed with a strong will and fine sensibility with which to build a consensus and inspire all to follow willingly the direction indicated. This candidate must be a person whose moral courage grows in direct proportion with the perils the nation is facing.
But an extraordinary leader is not just focused on dangers. This person must also inspire true progress. And so, this ideal candidate, who is not running, must also be perceptive as to where the nation must go and not be guided by polls or pundits, but must boldly interpret what is best for the nation. This is what it means to be a leader.
Finding such leaders is not unreasonable. Sociologists recognize that in any society there are always those visionaries they call “representative characters” who rise above the crowd and point in the direction needed and desired by its members. Such figures have the unique ability to draw and fuse a society together.
“A representative character is a kind of symbol,” writes sociologist Robert N. Bellah. “It is a way by which we can bring together in one concentrated image the way people in a given social environment organize and give meaning and direction to their lives.” Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyrewrites, such characters “are, so to speak, the moral representatives of their culture.”
The ideal candidate, who is not running, should be a representative character that perceives the principles, moral qualities, and virtues desired and needed by the nation and dares to translate them into concrete programs of life and culture … and does so quickly.
This American leader would pursue a vision similar to that which propelled the nation to victory in the Cold War. This new vision must move a divided and polarized nation not to seek only after material benefits, however legitimate they might be. Rather this individual, by words and example, should convince and inspire people toward the most difficult of all tasks, which is to develop within them a willingness to sacrifice for what is good and right. Without this, nothing will be achieved in the crisis that is coming.
Finally, the ideal candidate, who is not running, must be authentic and strive to be the best that the nation can offer. Candidates should have the courage to be true elites in their pursuit of excellence. They should stand tall amid adversity, even to the point of braving unpopularity. They should have strong moral principles, be accessible to all, and be dignified in their demeanor. They should not be afraid to confront the majority when it is wrong, admit mistakes, or fall on their knees in supplication to God in times of affliction and need. All these are necessary virtues in the crisis that is coming.
Where is this ideal candidate, who is not running, to be found? Leaders of this type are not found in the din and shouting of the spectacles that so characterize present-day elections. As candidates and voters engage in the campaign revelry full of insults, jokes and mudslinging, there is no place for the authentic leaders who are dismissed as killjoys, that ruin the party by their sober warnings.
The ideal candidate, who is not running, will only come when those who grieve for the nation start imagining, desiring and working toward a return to order, despite all difficulties and sufferings. In the great crisis that is coming, such leaders will emerge since that is when they normally emerge from their silent exile. When they are truly desired, they rise to the occasion. When they are most needed, they appear.
As seen on

The Ideal Presidential Candidate Who Is Not Running -: The Ideal Presidential Candidate Who Is Not Running

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Is This Election a Last Hurrah? -

Many are attempting to make sense out of the present election cycle and especially the appearance of unconventional political outsiders that are dominating the headlines and in some cases the polls.
Everyone seems to agree that the system doesn’t work anymore. It’s broken and no one knows how to fix it. However, this election season is different because the debate on the two fringes is not about how to fix the system, but rather if we should fix it at all.
It is a perplexing problem. After all, the system has worked quite well over the decades. It has given us prosperity and freedom; abundance and entertainment. Even considering the present state of affairs, things could be much worse from a political and economic perspective. And yet there is discontent.
The discontent comes from the fact that the cooperative structures of our union are breaking down. People sense this and it is becoming unsustainable.
From the beginning, our republic developed a system that has functioned much the same way as a farm co-op, in which membership conferred many legitimate benefits, with distributed risks, voting privileges, few liabilities, and plenty of fun and recreational opportunities. There are certain internal contradictions within the system that are hard to balance but the idea is that everyone must get along if we are to prosper.

To deal with these internal tensions, the founders of our national co-op started out with a few general rules that keep it going. They insisted upon a vague moral code that keeps everyone honest. They imposed upon themselves a certain amount of self-discipline and hard work to keep things running.
The system worked fine until many people started breaking the co-op rules, denying the moral code and resenting the call for discipline. To deal with mounting chaos and disorder, those in our co-op system enacted more rules to keep order — many more rules — so many, in fact, that it made it almost impossible for anyone to get things done. At the same time, they watered down the moral code and discipline with a stifling system of political correctness that accommodates the prevailing moral laxity and suffocates any dissent. Unsurprisingly, people aren’t getting along anymore.
As a result, people are frustrated and angry. The co-op that used to be a kind of materialistic paradise has now become a straightjacket. The co-op is, so to speak, not paying out dividends but causing anxiety, depression, and stress.
Voters are now looking for simple anti-establishment solutions saying: “Down with the system! Get us out of here! We don’t care how! Just get us out of here!”
It is a strange paradox because frustrated voters are not rejecting the prosperous society they once enjoyed under the co-op system. They may disagree a bit on the version they want. Some will tend more toward the moralistic fifties while others will favor the socialism dreamed of in the promiscuous sixties. However, they all want the old co-op back — but without the system of rules, codes, and discipline needed to sustain it.
Added to this surreal scenario is the fact that voters feel that society is falling apart around them — many crises loom on the horizon. This gives the moment a sense of urgency and desperation which makes voters willing to grasp on to those who promise to do away with the old system while bringing back all its benefits. In fact, the more fantastic the claim, the more alluring it is to them. They cheer on all who seek to break down the few remaining structures that keep a semblance of order in society.
The discontent is such that many are thinking: Why not take a gamble and just go for broke? Let’s shout out one last hurrah before the whole system breaks down! Let’s engage in a bit of wishful thinking, and maybe, just maybe, if we wish hard enough, someone can give us back our co-op dividends without any of the co-op’s hateful rules!
But is this really what the nation needs? We need to see that it is not only the system, but we ourselves who are broken — morally, politically and economically. We blame the overburdened system and not our disorders that created it. If we are to return to order, we must address these causes not just their effects. We should not risk everything on the desperation of one last hurrah.
As seen on

Is This Election a Last Hurrah? -: Is This Election a Last Hurrah?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How a Good Lent Can Help Fix a Bad Economy -

Written by John Horvat

To those who see no link between Lent and our failing economy, it might be the case to look again.
Economics is about people. It cannot be reduced to numbers, formulae and analyses. “The subject matter of economics,” observes economic historian Odd Langholm, “is properly the habits, customs, and ways of thinking of producers, consumers, buyers, sellers, borrowers, lenders, and all who engage in economic transactions.”
That means our moral habits can have a definite effect on determining if our economy grows—or fails.
In my new book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go, I show how our present economic crisis is being caused by what I call “frenetic intemperance.”
Frenetic intemperance can be defined as a restless spirit inside certain sectors of modern economy that foments a drive inside men to throw off legitimate restraints and gratify disordered passions. It is not a specifically economic problem but a moral and psychological vice that throws everything out of balance. When frenetic intemperance dominates, it often sends the whole system into convulsions—as we saw during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. And, unless addressed, it is virulent enough to crash the entire financial system.
In our daily lives, we see frenetic intemperance in the tendency to desire everything, right away, regardless of the consequences. Everyone must have the latest gadget even though they do not need it and really cannot afford it. The mad lack of restraint leads to an unstable economy laden with boom and bust, debt and stress. It creates a cold mechanistic economy where money rules. It gives rise to a materialistic culture which values quantity and utility over quality and beauty. The long and short of it is that a frenzied economy comes from frenzied lifestyles.

And that brings us to Lent. Fighting bad moral habits and practicing restraint is what Lent is all about. More than giving up a box of chocolates, how about giving up habits that foster frenetic intemperance, which is the real root cause of our economic decline? Besides the personal benefits of interior peace, detachment, and greater spiritual freedom, a good Lent can also help save our economy.
Here are some suggestions on how this might be done.
1. Avoid speculative investments that promise huge returns on investment in little time. Such offers usually do not deliver what they promise and always feed frenetic desires that create anxiety and stress.
2. Stay away from business relationships that are cold and mechanical. Treat workers like family. Respect those for whom you work.
3. Avoid trendy business gurus and books that call for radical changes that will “revolutionize” a company or keep people in a constant state of change.
4. Eschew work schedules that are inhuman and stressful. Learn to appreciate leisure.
5. Avoid compulsive buying especially during those sales frenzies around the holidays.
6. Shun the abuse of credit cards and especially the temptation to pay only the minimal monthly amount. Avoid consumer debt as you would the plague (i.e. borrowing to buy things for your immediate consumption, e.g. that new laptop, games, cars, fashion clothing, etc. that you cannot afford, as opposed to investment debt , e.g. your home mortgage).
7. Learn not to have everything right now. The culture of instant gratification creates a frenzied lifestyle—and economy.
8. Do not take as role models those who have money as the central axis of their lives. Admire character not a person’s bottom line.
9. Resist the temptation of seeing only quantity and cheapness. Learn to appreciate the beauty of quality and good taste.
10. Avoid lavish display, especially of fancy gadgetry that leads to a desire to keep up with the e-Joneses with the latest version.

As Lent progresses, we would do well to do something that has an impact beyond our own spiritual lives. It would be good to practice charity toward our neighbor by looking at the big picture. Giving up frenetic intemperance is a good start.

How a Good Lent Can Help Fix a Bad Economy -: How a Good Lent Can Help Fix a Bad Economy, sacrifice, honor, frenetic intemperance, economy, unstable, inhuman, work, shedule

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sign the Petition Against "Gender-Neutral" Bathrooms at Catholic Universities

Please defend moral values -- today -- by urging 9 Catholic universities to reverse their terrible decision to include "gender-neutral" restrooms on campus.
God created male and female (Gen 1:27).
It's 100% biblical, scientific and true. To affirm otherwise is a slap in the face of God.
However, according to the twisted homosexual revolution, gender-neutral bathrooms need to be installed everywhere now -- even on Catholic campuses and schools.
You see, the homosexual revolution falsely claims:
Lie #1: That male and female is a fluid "construct."
Lie #2: That there are dozens of "new" genders.
Lie #3: That a boy can pretend to be a girl and access the ladies room.
That's why I'm asking you to oppose this agenda today. Because if more good Americans don't stand up for God's truth, this "transgender" madness will continue.
But what really bothers me most is how this ungodly agenda is allowed to creep into Catholic education with such brazenness.
What about the spiritual welfare of Catholic students?
Who will defend and protect the flock from the wolves?
When Catholic colleges fall for "transgender" bathrooms, young Catholics students will no longer be able to find an authentic Catholic environment that respects human nature as God made it.
And the lie that human nature is no longer based on biology will gain ground and the homosexual revolution will only be emboldened to move forward like a moral meat grinder, clamoring for more and more sinful and crazy demands.
In fact, 9 Catholic universities -- mostly Jesuit -- already have "gender-neutral" restrooms or are currently in the process of installing them.
That's why I'm inviting you to:
Let's stop this immoral agenda. With prayer. And peaceful action.
And please know that Catholic students across the country are grateful to you for fighting the good fight.

Monday, February 1, 2016

“They” is Destroying the English Language

Written by John Horvat

Entering the new year, something tragic happened in the world of grammar and language usage. Over 200 linguists of the American Dialect Society met in Washington, D.C. to choose their “Word of the Year.” They overwhelmingly chose the singular use of the pronoun “they.”

Singular they, as it is called, is not some common usage found in sectors of the American public that has gained a significant following and found its way into the English language. Such is the normal way new word usage gains acceptance. There is certainly nothing wrong with this natural and organic manner of growth.

What happened here, however, was something different. This new usage is politically-correct jargon that is being forced on the public. Singular they now refers to those sexually-confused individuals who do not wish to be called he or she. It has been determined that “they” can now refer to a “known person as a non-binary identifier.” Predictably newspapers like The Washington Post have already included this usage in their style books. In so doing, they (plural) have declared grammatical war upon the language.

It is war, but a dirty war. One cannot help but be struck by the utter mediocrity and cowardice of the august assembly of linguistic warriors. Had these linguists had a bit of courage they might have adopted any of the numerous “gender-neutral” ridiculous-sounding pronouns such as “jee,” “ney” and “thon” that have already been created by activists to promote their cause. They (plural) could even have gone farther by making up their own new pronouns and challenging the world to use a novel new creation to accommodate the sexually unsure.

Instead these jargonists prefer to take a perfectly good pronoun and strip it down to singularity. In so doing, they have mutilated, emasculated, and disfigured this faithful pronoun and emptied it of meaning. These pedantic paladins of political correctness hide behind the excuse that “they” already has some singular common usages as when used with words like “everyone.” This can be seen in a sentence: “Everyone likes their dogs.” However, this is purely a smokescreen in this dirty war to hide an agenda that uses languages as one of its most effective weapons.

This development is truly tragic because such artificial impositions go against the very purpose of language. Language should give clarity to thought. Its beauty consists in its ability to define concisely and clearly. The richness of vocabulary comes from how well words express nuance and subtlety.

But singular they? All is muddled and confused. If you have one they and add another they do they become two theys or are theys simply they? No one really knows, nor do the linguists really care. They (plural) want to make a political statement and force upon the users the task of determining the context of the usage. It assumes the public is savvy to the esoteric world of politically-correct jargon.

There is another reason why this usage of singular they is wrong. The principal purpose of language is to express the truth. Words are essential vehicles for uniting ideas to things -- a simple definition of truth. A man, for example, has an idea of what a cat is. When he sees the cat, he exclaims: Cat! The word communicates a truth to all those around him. It instantly unites the idea and the thing.

In this case of singular they, however, the word refers to a non-existent reality. It involves denying the truth of the natural sex of a man or woman who is confused about his or her identity. The same man who saw the cat, could also see a sexually confused individual and exclaim: They! He proclaims no truth but merely participates in the person’s confusion and enters into complicity with it. He further assigns a plural label to a singular fantasy.

When language no longer expresses truth, it loses its beauty and poetry. Above all, imposed language destroys that organic connection with the people who by their contact with reality are the natural wordsmiths of any language. As Catholic thinker Plinio CorrĂȘa de Oliveira once said, language is like the stained glass window of a people. It is that unique prism through which a people comes to know and express the truth. When modern ideologues destroy meaning and clarity in language, they (plural) obscure the light and a great darkness descends upon the land.

Someone might object that singular “they” is only a word and hardly a great tragedy. But every word that is destroyed in this manner impoverishes, not enriches, language. Something precious has been taken from the people. That is why it is important to fight back and refuse to use the singular they in this context. They (singular) is destroying the English language. The wrong usage of they should apply, as it always has, not to the sexually confused but to the grammatically challenged.