Tag Archives: truth

The Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

A man who is led by the spirit of truth seeks the truth and investigates facts and laws to find the truth, as is necessary. He trusts but seeks confirmation and verification.

A man who is led by the spirit of falsehood seeks his own will and ignores truth and facts and laws so that he can sustain his own will, as necessary. He mistrusts and does not seek but to undermine and vilify all who disagree with himself.

A man who is led by the spirit of the truth, even if he has read all of Scripture, and all of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, he never puts himself forward as an authority, because he knows that God, Who is Truth, is the only authority, and that authority comes to us through the offices God Incarnate has handed down to men.

A man who is led by the spirit of falsehood, even if he has not read all of Scripture, nor any of the Fathers or Doctors of the Church, always puts himself forward as an authority, because he recognizes no god, as his Truth, but himself, and thus is willing to challenge or deny the authority of all who received offices from God Incarnate.

A man who is led by the spirit of truth, assents immediately to the teaching of God in Scripture, of Christ, of the Apostles, of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, of the perennial magisterium and of Canon Law. He also accepts Catholic philosophy and the natural truths of human language and all reality as it is. He considers  it shameful to act in any other way.

A man who is leg by the spirit of falsehood, withholds his assent until he can calculate whether it is useful for him to assent, for he never will put in risk his own personal authority or the goal he seeks, whether that is to defraud you of your souls, money, property, family, or religious liberty. He considers it foolish to act in any other way.

We should keep in mind these two spirits and when reading the reports of any journalist, Catholic commentator, whether Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, Religious or layman, to check to see of which spirit they are, because many are the false apostles who go about today teaching things of which they have no authority to teach.

______________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is Christ teaching the Doctors of the Temple, by Paolo Veronese. The image is in the public domain. The painting is at the museum of the El Prado, Madrid.

+ + +

Donate to support FromRome.Info

Make a donation to Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a non profit which is supporting Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Apostolates like FromRome.Info -- If you would like to donate more than $10.00 USD, simply increase the Quantity below from 1 to a higher number.

$10.00

How to discern when ‘Catholic’ media is Catholic?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On line media is in constant competition for viewership. Catholic online media is the same. That is simply a fact of the medium.

But what most Catholics perhaps are not sensitive too, is that when seeking information about the Catholic Faith or the Catholic Church the verity of the source of the information is just as important as the information. Some websites and Media operations are just not worthy of trust. Many use the name ‘Catholic’ but are not worthy of it.

What does “Catholic” mean?

As a word, “catholic” is derived from the Greek adjective meaning universal, that is, that which pertains to everywhere, every place.  It was in the second century, A. D., at Antioch, in the Roman Province of Syria, where this Greek word was first used in reference to the Church founded by Jesus Christ. The meaning of the term in reference to the Church has always been the same: the institution which wherever it is in the world, holds the same faith of Christ. (“Faith of Christ”‘ is the traditional term for the Catholic Faith; in which ”of” does not refer to the faith of the person but the Faith taught by the person).

But today I am going to use the term “‘Catholic” in a slightly different sense, because online “Catholic’ media are not part of the Catholic Church, though some of these outlets are official works or apostolates of certain Dioceses of the Catholic Church.

Instead, here I will use the term “Catholic”‘ in the common and popular sense used in American English, to refer to the orthodoxy of the information presented. Here I used the term “orthodoxy” not in reference to the Greek schismatics, but in its proper etymological sense of ‘right teaching’.

To be Catholic a Media site has to meet certain criteria

First, a Catholic site must meet certain criteria to be worthy of being judged “Catholic”.  As I just said, I am not using the term, “Catholic”, in reference to whether the website is sponsored or approved by an ecclesiastical institution or diocese. I am using it in reference to right teaching in matters of faith or morals etc.

By “criteria”, which is the plural of “criterion”, I mean rules or principles by which a thing is judged to be what it is or claims to be. It is only sane an rational, that if something is to be judged it be judged by objective norms, not by opinion, not by claims, not by emotions etc.. Is the website or journalist you read for information about the Catholic Faith or the Catholic Church (here I used “Catholic” in the original sense at it was used at Antioch in Syrian in the second century A. D.) truly Catholic (here I use “Catholic” in the sense of conforming to right teaching or orthodoxy)?

Because if it is not truly Catholic, but is seeking your attention and or financial support, then you are being defrauded. Now, no one can insist you not let yourself be defrauded, but common sense tells us that we should not let ourselves be defrauded, because self-preservation, the fundamental moral principle of all human action, demands that we protect ourselves from fraud and from being defrauded.

This consideration is raised to the level of the infinite, when we consider that if we let ourselves be defrauded or mislead in regard to the Catholic Faith or to what the Church teaches or as regards how as Catholics we should act in regard to God, His Church, or any other matter, then we risk consenting to our eternal damnation by accepting lies in place of truth, lies which turn us away from saving truth, lies which confirm us in error and vice, lies which, when accepted, merit for us eternal damnation, because it is a mortal sin to knowingly accept a lie, and it is a mortal sin of imprudence to put yourself in constant danger of accepting lies.

There is a moral obligation then, to use discernment

Discernment is the act whereby we apply what we know is true or just to a matter which needs to be judged as to whether it conforms to the proper truth or justice to be had in a particular matter or affair.

For example: at the supermarket, you discern whether to buy a product or not based on its apparent quality and whether the price is proportionate to that and your need for the product. Yes, there are individuals who go to the supermarket and just buy anything they see for no reason at all. They have no discernment, and some of them have a psychological disorder known as the compulsive buyer.

I suppose there may be a disorder called the compulsive reader or listener syndrome, but I have never heard of it.  Reading and listening should be an activity which employs more discernment than shopping for food. Not only because the act itself must be undertaken with understanding, which is an act of the intellect, the power of judging, but also because what is read or listened to — here I am not speaking of music or simply video per se — should be the truth or at least a true criticism of error or a true presentation of facts.

Just as one may be occasionally fooled by street corner hustlers, who say one thing, simply to get something from us, and what they say is nearly always entirely a lie, so we should be cautious in matters of our Catholic Faith, because we live in an age of hucksters and false apostles and calculated and contrived deceit of the most nefarious kind.

So if you are to protect yourself, you need to use discernment. And if you have any true charity for those in your family or who know you and might follow your example in anything, then keeping yourself free from error, by not allowing yourself to be deceived, is essential to protecting them too from error and lies which could lead them astray.

A Reputation is founded upon facts and deeds

Here we must keep in mind that it is one thing to make a claim and another to exhibit the comportment or behavior which is consonant with that claim. Many websites do not actually claim to be “catholic’ in any sense of the word, but nevertheless constantly publish information about the Catholic Faith or the Catholic Church.

Before Vatican II, it was the Catholic Clergy who directed or ran nearly all Catholic media. That is what it meant for it to be Catholic. Being trained in institutions which were Catholic in both senses of the word, the clergy who ran them were competent to execute the duty entrusted to them.

Nowadays, however, very few media outlets are run by clergy. Moreover, since Vatican II, the anti-Church forces in the Church have nearly entirely destroyed the formation process of the Catholic clergy, to such an extent that it is a rare priest and bishop who knows the Catholic Faith well enough to be even able to speak as a Catholic at all times, let alone think as one, or run a Catholic media outlet.

Having self-proclaimed Catholic journalists or apostolates take over what these Catholic  Clergy used to accomplish is obviously not the best solution nor even a solution. It puts the important apostolate of spreading the truth of the Gospel in the hands of men who were never trained or examined or proven to be worthy of that trust. And it makes the Catholic Faith appear to be something like the Anglican church, that is, a collection opinions which are up for grabs.

There is also a lot of deep pride and egoism in men and women who were never in a formation program and never learned what it means to mortify your ego and live for Christ Christ and obey His Church in the proper sense of those words. And not a few websites exhibit this. Egoism is a form of idolatry, so everyone needs to beware of this disorder, since it makes a person subject to being taunted this way or that, as the Devil may want them to do, to achieve his greater plans against souls and the Church.

So you should pay attention to what is being said and whether it conforms to the Catholic Faith. And when a source of information habitually deviates from the Catholic Faith on any point, you need to take care not to be led astray.  Some Catholics have the intellectual gifts and preparation that they can discern this and avoid the error while plucking a few grapes of truth from a source of information which is thus vitiated. But most Catholics do not have this ability. We need to be honest and confess this.

This is even more true, when we recognize that as human beings, we are wont to trust in others, and that in the present crisis in the Church our habit of trusting in others can be and is being abused by unscrupulous men, clergy and lay alike.

The duty of Catholics who publish

Catholic websites and media outlets have a graver duty to publish the truth than anyone else, because to publish a lie which is read by thousands is to commit a mortal sin in regard to each and every person who reads what is published. Catholic journalism and Catholic social media apostolates, therefore, are a fast track to hell if run by those without discernment and zeal for the truth. This is why not a few of them are patently diabolic, because while they are capable of knowing the truth, and have been presented with the truth, they fail to publish it or even worse attack it.

The Devil in Social Media…

I recall the example of a Catholic Diocesan Newspaper which was asked by a humanitarian organization to run an advertisement on behalf of defending and helping Catholics being persecuted in the Mid-East by ISIS.  The director of advertising refused, because he said it would create confusion about the Gospel message of forgiveness. A more diabolically contrived response was never had.

You see, there is a global effort now underway to undermine everyone’s grasp on reality and on real religion, because reality itself is seen as the enemy of the agenda which needs to be pushed. The ones pushing such a diabolic conspiracy have oodles of money and are willing to spend it to control Catholic Social Media sites, so they print and publish lies and stop printing and publishing the truth.

Catholic media which are run by organizations or corporations are directly vulnerable, because it is sufficient that the enemies of the Faith gain control of the organization or corporation to direct or control the information they put out. EWTN is a classic example. Before Mother Angelica had her stroke, the station was solidly catholic. After she had her stroke, laymen took control and these laymen were then suborned by unfaithful Bishops to alter the kind of information put out.  EWTN then began to purchase other Catholic media outlets and the same kind of control of information spread. When asked in 2016 to run advertisements to help persecuted Christians, EWTN refused because they said it would have disastrous consequences to their apostolate world wide.  I guess they mean by apostolate, their sources of funding or control.

Catholic media which are run by individuals are vulnerable inasmuch as the funding they seek or receive is controlled or not by those who want error promoted and truth suppressed.

You can easily know if a source of information about the Church or the Faith is compromised by simply compare what they are saying with the documents which are published by the Church or in ages past.

A classic example of fraud, today, is that which is perpetrated by those who promote the opinion of universal acceptance of a papal election. They boldly share images of the text in question, of the Thomistic author they cite as an authority, which text clearly uses the word “canonically” in reference to elected, and then proceed to apply the principle to the case of the present crisis in the Church as if the word “canonically” was not in the text.

When confronted with the documents of the Church which say that a pope resigns when he renounces his munus, they ignore the word munus, and place a X in its place, which they will replace with whatever word they like as it suits them for that day, and claim that a resignation is valid, whenever a pope says the word “renounce” X.

These are just two current examples of fraud which show clearly that such individuals or sites are not Catholic and that in reading them you are being defrauded of the truth and led astray. It is not just a question of intellectual dishonestly, it is dishonesty which intentionally misrepresents the truth of Church teaching or history. And as a Franciscan hermit, I can tell you that such a habitual practice of deceiving in matters of religion is no small vice. It is deeply evil, and there is something behind it more than just egoism.

So I exhort one and all, use discernment when you go online to learn more about the Catholic Faith or the Catholic Church. Look for sites which quote documents and are faithful in their reading and application of the truth which the Church has always taught.

___________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo taken by Br. Bugnolo of the Papal Throne at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Rome. Just as the throne is at the center of the Sanctuary, so should we put the truth at the center of our minds and love of it at the center of our hearts.

CLAIMER: Here at FromRome.Info we are dedicated to always presenting the truth and the facts. If you notice any error whatsoever, please leave a comment and call us to correct it. What we say is not important. The truth is what matters.

Donate to support FromRome.Info

Make a donation to Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a non profit which is supporting Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Apostolates like FromRome.Info -- If you would like to donate more than $10.00 USD, simply increase the Quantity below from 1 to a higher number.

$10.00

 

It’s like mentioning “Therapy” on the streets of South Boston

Screenshot_2019-12-12 'Disdain For Plebs Meme T-Shirt and Accessories ' Zipper Pouch by RedEarthShirtCo

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

When I began living my traditional franciscan vocation more than 20 years ago, I was invited by two zealous Catholic laymen to join them in their apostolate of street-evangelization on the streets of South Boston.

Their apostolate only had one goal: seeking the salvation of souls.

No one appointed them to this apostolate. They did what they did out of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And they were organized. They had times and places where they knew there were more souls to catch. They had purchased in bulk — and even printed their own — tracts explaining the Catholic Faith or urging the practice of virtue. They had tracts against suicide, alcoholism, sodomy etc..

It was a courageous apostolate, standing outside in all kinds of weather and enduring with patience all the nasty things that those who hate God, Jesus or the Catholic Faith are wont to say.

Generally speaking, however, those not interested in hearing the Gospel simply would ignore us.

But no one reacted with greater disdain and anger that those with not normal inclinations on the streets of South Boston, when you offered them a tract on “How to cure yourself”.

These laymen did not mince words. And in those days you still could speak like a Catholic without risking jail. Here at WordPress, I dare not be so frank. But I am sure you understand what I am trying to say.

The reason why I mention this is that here at Rome, when I hand out information about Pope Benedict’s Renunciation I see a similar reaction, and it is very disturbing.

Yes, the Catholics of Italy, South America, Africa and the Orient all receive the information with joy and gladness. By “all”, I mean about 85%. That is a great sign of hope for the Church!

But the Catholic men of the United States who are seminarians immediately express the most cold disdain. Of them only about 5% accept the information, the rest refuse.

I think Catholics in the United States of America should take great care to warn their Bishops about the kind of men they send to Rome. If they do not care about truth, nor about who is the true pope, then what will they care about in the Church of the next generation when these seminarians become Bishops?

This disdain I believe is the fruit of the “recognize and (and not really) resist (except to raise money)” lunacy which has gripped all those clergy and talking heads who make money off speaking authoritatively in the Public Forum about the Faith.

It is  not surprising that men who act like Protestant Ministers should be supporting notions which lead to the separation of Catholics from the Pope and from the Catholic Faith, or engaging in daily attacks on the Papacy as if it were the whore of Bablyon.

To call good evil and evil good is the sin against the Holy Spirit. As Our Lord taught, however, one incurs this sin precisely when one calls His Authority the source of evil and attributes to His Authority the workings of the Devil.

Catholics need to wake up and start asking what kind of spirit is behind the news outlets and talking heads they read on-line. Because it is the same spirit I see on the streets of Rome and which I saw on the streets of South Boston: hatred for the truth.

We know by Divine and Catholic Faith that a true Pope will never teach error. If the man we think is the pope does teach error, then we better examine the reasons why we think he is pope, because we are certainly deceived on some point.

_______

CREDITS: The leading image is a screen shot from “Disdain for Plebs Meme
T-shirt”, at https://www.redbubble.com/people/redearthshirtco/works/34193234-disdain-for-plebs-meme-t-shirt-and-accessories?p=pouch where you can purchase their products (This is an unsolicited referral which does not constitute an endorsement, but which is made in gratitude for using their image in this post. The From Rome Blog received no compensation for this and has no financial relationship with the company selling these items).

Don’t imagine for a moment you can be saved, if you don’t love the truth zealously

St Michael the Archangel, the First Defender of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
St Michael the Archangel, the First Defender of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ

Editorial — Ever since Immanuel Kant —who asserted without foundation that the human mind could not know truth, but understood the world by imposing categories upon reality and understanding what it knew according to those pre-existing innate categories — a monstrous and apocalyptic error has spread the spirit of Lucifer, the deceiver, abroad the nations of the Earth: this is the error of voluntarism, that says that a thing is good if I will it, and evil if I do not will it.

So widespread is this error today, that nearly everything is beholden to it.  It is magnified by another demonic error, that of unbridled liberty, which transmogrifies true liberty, “the right to act free from constraint of unjust violence or threat”, into a horrible orc-like caricature, the morality of the libertine, which holds that liberty is “the right to do whatever I want, when I want it, free from constraint of all justice or the will of another”.

Together, along with innumerable other errors, voluntarism and libertinism have spawned the death and destruction of hundreds of millions of little ones in the womb, by surgical or chemical abortion, and tens of millions more in the wars with which nationalists, socialists and communists have striven to overthrow the Christian and natural order of men. But by far their worst consequence is the damnation of billions of souls, for all eternity, in the unimaginable torments of Hell.

And, in our own days, the advocates of both errors have shown great zeal for their error by exalting themselves in the courts of civil law and by dictating therefrom to man and God, saying falsely that it is licit to do every evil, engage in all manner of perversion or monstrous devilry.

In an age of so great a darkness, it is easy to veer into the void of the abyss by even small errors.  And since the abyss of our age calls for the just punishment of the eternal abyss of Hell from God’s Justice which is as inexorable as it is unbending, it behooves us miserable weak men to guard ourselves with the utmost care from veering off into the darkness.

If we do not love the truth, we should not delude ourselves: we are no longer Christians, but wannabe devils working to heap up a foul pile of merits worthy of the everlasting fires of the Inferno.

But if we do not love the truth, zealously, then we should not imagine that we can be saved, either: because being but weak men, not Angels, the course of our interior life, of our spiritual and moral life, is such that every moment takes its departure from the course we have already undertaken.  For this reason, even a small moral error inclines us to great evil; and a lack of continuity in virtue guarantees a fall.

How many who have committed 1 mortal sin, imagine themselves able to rise again when they want, simply with a good confession; when in reality the pride which gave that sin of death birth, lives still and turns their entire moral life into something undead and corrupt, such that they fall again and again in the same mortal sins for the rest of their lives, even with what they image were “good” confessions?

The same is true of the sins of omission.  While sins which we commit are easier to number, because we can remember what we did; sins of omission escape the notice, especially of those who are willfully unaware.  For this reason, Our Lord warns us sternly in the Gospel to “take heed of what you hear”!

The greatest sin of omission in our age is the lack of zeal for the truth which God has revealed to us in Christ; of studying that truth, of putting that truth into practice, of loyalty unto death no matter what sacrifice for that truth.

Without dogmatic faith, that is assent to the truths revealed by the true God, as taught by the God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, it is impossible to please God in the present moment, in life, or in eternity.  That faith requires a zealous love of the truth.  Such a love makes a man noble because it enriches him with a priceless treasure which will last forever: God.

For those who are heeding the seducing calls from Cardinals Bergoglio, Kasper, Marx, Baldissieri and Rodiguez Maradiaga, to compromise with this age of darkness, with its errors, morals and values: don’t fool yourselves. They are the pied pipers of the netherworld, whose zeal is to lead men away from truth, into eternal damnation.