26 Sep 2016

What about hell?

Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi


“Many don’t want to obey my words. Many laugh at my messages and the messages of my Blessed Mother. They laugh at them and my Doctrine, and they say that “today the Lord does not punish; the Lord doesn’t want suffering; the Lord does not want grief because He is all Love.” Yes, I am all Love, but I am also Just and very Wise and that is why all of those who say that God does not punish are in error, because the first ones that the Eternal Father punished were the angels and He did not forgive them, and they are eternally condemned and with them are all of those who reject the Blood that I shed on the cross.” (Guatemala, August 11, 1989).  

In the Gospel according to St. Luke we read the following, spoken by the Lord Himself:

Lazarus while on earth
The rich man
“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren. That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.” (Luke 16: 19-31).    

The reality
This story is just an example of hell well documented in the Bible. But today many people—including “Christians”—don’t believe in hell, and they behave as if they are 100% sure that there is no hell. Apart from people who openly deny its existence there are also millions out there who pretend to be Christians but don’t talk about it at all. And why? Because they too don’t believe in its existence, though many think they do. Nigerian prosperity-believing Pentecostals and some Novus Ordo priests quickly come to mind!

Here, I have taken time to study and compare Our Lord’s revelations to Rev. Sister Hamanna Guadalupe about hell in 1989 to Sister Josefa Menendez’s revelations about the same subject, given to her in the early twentieth century—precisely between 1922-1923—and what I find is just a perfect match!

Josefa Menendez
Sister Josefa Menendez (1890--1923), a Spanish nun of the Society of the Sacred Heart, was chosen by Our Lord, not only to be a victim for souls, especially for consecrated ones, but that through her Christ’s message of love and mercy might reach the world. Josefa suffered so much for the salvation of sinners—she was even allowed by Our Lord to suffer the pains of hell. From her revelations, so frightening, but also consoling, we learn that those who despise to carry the cross of Christ in this world will have to carry the “cross” of the devil for all eternity in hell fire. Josefa lived only four years as a religious, at the convent of Les Feuillants in Poitiers, France, where she died at the age of 33 in 1923.

In The Way of Divine Love, Sister Josefa’s book published after her death, we read the following endorsement:

                                           Letter from the Cardinal Protector
                                            H.E. CARDINAL E. PACELLI
                                   (Now H.H. Pope Pius XII happily reigning)
                                                                                             April 1938
                                VERY REVEREND MOTHER,
                                    I have no doubt whatever that the publication
                                of these pages, filled as they are with the great
                                love which His grace inspired in His very humble
                                Servant Maria Josefa Menendez, will be agreeable to
                                His Sacred Heart.
                                    May they efficaciously contribute to develop in
                                many souls a confidence ever more complete and
                                loving in the infinite mercy of this Divine Heart
                                towards poor sinners such as we all are.
                                    These are the good wishes which, with my
                                blessing, I send you and all the Society of the
                                Sacred Heart.
                                                                               E. CARD. PACELLI.   

Josefa’s mission was only gradually unfolded to her by Our Lord; several times He had told her that He meant to make use of her to “carry out His plans” (9th February, 1921) for the saving of many souls that had cost Him so dear (15th October, 1920). On the night of 24th February, 1921 He gave her a yet more explicit call during her Holy Hour. “The world does not know the Mercy of My Heart,” He said to her. “I intend to enlighten them through you...I want you to be the Apostle of My Love and Mercy. I will teach you what this means; forget yourself.”

Please pause to mark the words: “Apostle of My Love and Mercy.” As I pointed out in my article, ‘Why do we reject Sister Maria Faustina, Maria Divine Mercy and John Paul II, but promote the SSPX?’ it is actually Sister Josefa, and not Sister Maria Faustina, who is a true Apostle of Our Lord’s Divine Mercy. “Divine Mercy Diary of Sister Maria Faustina, as I learnt, is a counterfeit of The Way of Divine Love, which is also written in diary form, but of the Sacred Heart's messages to Sister Josefa Menendez.” (See: Why do we reject Sister Maria Faustina, Maria Divine Mercy and John Paul II, but promote the SSPX?).

Thus when, talking about the Devotions, in the message of Sister Hermana Guadalupe given on October 13, 1989, Our Lord says, “I have also left for these times the devotion of the divine mercy”—which people like Mr. Patrick Oke falsely use as an excuse to propagate Sister Faustina’s false divine mercy devotion—He adds, “of my mercy which is going to be poured out through Our Hearts and by means of these Hearts we will save the world. And this is very important because my mercy is going to be poured out over the world and on my children through Our Hearts. Don’t forget this.”

Now you only need to study the writings of both Josefa and Faustina to really understand whose divine mercy devotion is being spoken about here! In fact, Our Lord makes this known in the same message (of Sister Guadalupe): “Today I have come to talk to you about these devotions which we have given to our children the seers throughout the centuries, and the devotions which we reserved for these last times which are devotions to My Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of my Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. ...I come again so that all those who have not consecrated themselves to my Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of my Blessed Mother may do so. And this will signify that you have received my Mercy. With this devotion you are going to be marked with the Cross and with my Mercy, and the punishment which has been foretold will not reach you, and you will be freed from this punishment because this is the meaning of these promises. All of those that consecrate themselves to my Sacred Heart will attain my Mercy and my Love, but not my Justice; and all of those who don’t want to receive my Love will receive my Justice on the day of my Great Wrath..”

This is, put simply, not the message of Sister Faustina. In Sister Josefa’s message we see the true image of God’s Mercy which is the Sacred Heart of Jesus pierced with a lance, crowned with thorns, and dripping precious blood, which calls for devotion of reparation. Our Lord emphasises more in the message of Sister Guadalupe: “...it is very important for you because these devotions, these roses which we left for these times are precisely to help you when the devil is among you. And that’s why it’s urgent that you begin observing the First Friday and Saturday Devotions, Friday in honour of my Sacred Heart and Saturday in honour of the Immaculate Heart of my Blessed Mother...because what is lacking is that the world sees their God with love and that humanity comprehends this love of their God that will be made known by way of the Two Hearts.”

Again we read, in the same message of Sister Guadalupe, “We have given many graces throughout the centuries and we deposited them in my Church, and many people, many of my children have accepted them and I had the opportunity to offer them my Love, and when I give them my Love I forget about their sins; I help them to walk the narrow path and on the day of punishment they will be my most loved children and my Blessed Mother and I will look after them and help them get to heaven.” Again, “You know that at Fatima, my Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, asked that the world be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart, but this was not done as the Eternal Father had asked and now the time has come when sin demands punishment because these calls were not heeded and my children do not want to understand that by means of these Hearts, and from these graces which we give will come the salvation of the world...The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was going to take away all of these errors, all of this darkness, but you didn’t obey, and because of this evil gained strength, great strength...” Again, “A call was made in Fatima by my Blessed Mother and she said: ‘Obey, or the world will suffer and evil will be propagated throughout the whole world, the whole world.’ And because no one paid any attention, you can see how the world is; the world is at the point of dying in sin, unrepentant, and with a great forgetfulness of their God.”

At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady asked for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart for the salvation of the world—that is, the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart was to be done only this way. But in 1984 Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart, without mentioning Russia. This is just what the message means by “but this was not done as the Eternal Father had asked.”

In short, as I pointed out in my article cited above, “...in Faustina’s messages, there is so much emphasis on God’s mercy as to exclude His justice.  Our sins and the gravity of the offence that they inflict on God is pushed aside as being of little consequence. That is why the aspect of reparation for sin is omitted or obscured. ...The true image of God’s mercy is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, crowned with thorns, dripping precious blood. The Sacred Heart calls for devotion of reparation, as the popes have always requested.  However, this is not the case with the Divine Mercy devotion.  The image has no heart! It is a Sacred Heart without a heart, without reparation, without the price of our sins being clearly evident.  It is this that makes the devotion very incomplete and makes us suspicious of its supernatural origin, regardless of Sister Faustina’s own good intentions and personal holiness.  This absence of the need for reparation for sins is manifest in the strange promise of freedom from all temporal punishment due to sin for those who observe the 3:00 p.m. Low Sunday devotions.  How could such a devotion be more powerful and better than a plenary indulgence, applying the extraordinary treasury of the merits of the saints?  How could it not require as a condition that we perform a penitential work of our own?  How could it not require the detachment from even venial sin that is necessary to obtain a plenary indulgence?”

Now back to Sister Josefa’s mission: In answer to the fears Josefa expressed—that is, after He told her to forget herself—Our Lord responded: “Love and fear nothing. I want what you do not want, but I can do what you cannot.” Again, “It is not for you to choose, you have only to resign yourself into My Hands.”

A few months later, on Monday, 11th June, 1922, a few days after the Feast of the Sacred Heart, when she had received many graces, He said: “Remember My Words and believe them. My Heart has but one desire, which is to enclose you in It, to possess you in My Love, then to make of your frailty and littleness a channel to convey mercy to many souls who will be saved by your means. Later on, I will reveal to you the burning secrets of My Heart and many souls will profit by them. I want you to write down and keep all I tell you. It will be read when you are in Heaven. Do not think that I make use of you because of your merits, but I want souls to realise how My Power makes use of poor and miserable instruments.” And as Josefa asked if she was to tell Reverend Mother even that, He answered: “Write it; it will be read after your death.”

So by degrees Our Lord unfolded His plan: Josefa was chosen by Him, not only to be a victim for souls, especially for consecrated ones, but that through her Christ’s message of Love and Mercy might reach the world. A two-fold mission—Victim and Messenger—and between the two missions there is a close connexion. If Victim then Messenger, and because Messenger, necessarily Victim.

Why did John Paul II rush to canonise Faustina, leaving Josefa, even though Josefa’s messages came before those of Faustina and were endorsed by no less a personage than Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII), whereas Faustina’s messages were not only not approved before Vatican II but condemned?      

The material above and below is quoted verbatim from The Way of Divine Love of Sister Josefa Menendez. The Way of Divine Love consists largely of Josefa’s notebooks, which she wrote down under obedience from Our Lord, with the revelations of His Sacred Heart, plus portions of her biography. This material was composed after Rev. Schouppe wrote his book on Hell.

This young Spanish sister, who had a short religious life of great suffering, experienced revelations throughout much of her life, compiled in The Way Of Divine Love. More than once, Sister Josefa was taken to Hell to witness and feel the suffering first-hand. Sister Josefa was reluctant to write on the subject of Hell, and did so only to conform to Our Lord's wishes. Josefa repeatedly dwelt on what she described as the greatest torment of Hell, namely, the soul's inability to love. One of these damned souls cried out: “This is my torture...that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left me but hatred and despair. If one of us could so much as make a single act of love...But we cannot, we live on hatred and malevolence...” (March 23, 1922).

She records, too, the accusations made against themselves by these unhappy souls: “Some yell because of the martyrdom of their hands. Perhaps they were thieves, for they say: ‘Where is our loot now?’ ...Cursed hands... Others curse their tongues, their eyes...whatever was the occasion of sin... ‘Now, O body, you are paying the price of the delights you granted yourself!...and you did it of your own free will...’ ” (April 2, 1922).

“I saw several souls fall into Hell, and among them was a child of fifteen, cursing her parents for not having taught her to fear God nor that there was a Hell. Her life had been a short one, she said, but full of sin, for she had given in to all that her body and passions demanded in the way of satisfaction...” (March 22, 1923).

“My soul fell into abysmal depths, the bottom of which cannot be seen, for it is immense...; Then I was pushed into one of those fiery cavities and pressed, as it were, between burning planks, and sharp nails and red-hot irons seemed to be piercing my flesh. I felt as if they were endeavouring to pull out my tongue, but could not. This torture reduced me to such agony that my very eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets. I think this was because of the fire which burns, burns.... not a finger nail escapes terrifying torments, and all the time one cannot move even a finger to gain some relief, not change posture, for the body seems flattened out and [yet] doubled in two. Sounds of confusion and blasphemy cease not for an instant. 

“A sickening stench asphyxiates and corrupts everything, it is like the burning of putrefied flesh, mingled with tar and sulphur.... a mixture to which nothing on earth can be compared.... although these tortures were terrific, they would be bearable if the soul were at peace. But it suffers indescribably... All I have written is but a shadow of what the soul suffers, for no words can express such dire torment.” (September 4, 1922).

“Others curse their tongues, their eyes... whatever was the occasion of their sin... ‘Now, O body, you are paying the price of the delights you granted yourself!... and you did it of your own free will...’ ” (April 2, 1922). (That is, illegitimate delights).

“It seemed to me that the majority accused themselves of sins of impurity, of stealing, of unjust trading; and that most of the damned are in Hell for these sins.” (April 6, 1922).

“I saw many worldly people fall into Hell, and no words can render their horrible and terrifying cries: 'Damned forever... I deceived myself; I am lost... I am here forever... There is no remedy possible... a curse on me...’

“Some accused people, others circumstances, and all execrated the occasions of their damnation.’ ” (September 1922).

“Today, I saw a vast number of people fall into the fiery pit...they seemed to be worldlings and a demon cried vociferously: ‘The world is ripe for me...I know that the best way to get hold of souls is to rouse their desire for enjoyment . . . Put me first...me before the rest... no humility for me! but let me enjoy myself...This sort of thing assures victory to me... and they tumble headlong into hell.’ ” (October 4, 1923).

“I heard a demon, from whom a soul had escaped, forced to confess his powerlessness. 'Confound it all... how do so many manage to escape me? They were mine’ (and he rattled off their sins)... ‘I work hard enough, yet they slip through my fingers... Someone must be suffering and repairing for them.’” (January 15, 1923). (“Repairing,” that is, “making reparation” for them).

“Tonight I was transported to a place where all was obscure... Around me were seven or eight people; I could see them only by the reflections of the fire. They were seated and were talking together. One said: 'We'll have to be very careful not to be found out, for we might easily be discovered.’

“The devil answered: 'Insinuate yourselves by inducing carelessness in them.... but keep in the background, so that you are not found out... by degrees they will become callous, and you will be able to incline them to evil. Tempt these others to ambition, to self-interest, to acquiring wealth without working, whether it be lawful or not. Excite some to sensuality and love of pleasure. Let vice blind them... As to the remainder...  get in through the heart ... you know the inclinations of their hearts... make them love... love passionately... work thoroughly...  take no rest... have no pity. Let them cram themselves with food! It will make it all the easier for us...  Let them get on with their banqueting. Love of pleasure is the door through which you will reach them...’ ” (February 3, 1923).

“Tonight”, wrote Josefa, “I did not go down into Hell, but was transported to a place where all was obscure, but in the centre was a red smouldering fire. They had laid me flat and so bound me that I could not make the slightest movement. Around me were seven or eight people; their black bodies were unclothed, and I could see them only by the reflections of the fire. They were seated and were talking together.

“One said: ‘We’ll have to be very careful not to be found out, for we might easily be discovered.’

“The devil answered: ‘Insinuate yourselves by inducing carelessness in them... but keep in the background, so that you are not found out... by degrees they will become callous, and you will be able to incline them to evil. Tempt these others to ambition, to self-interest, to acquiring wealth without working, whether it be lawful or not. Excite some to sensuality and love of pleasure. Let vice blind them...’ (Here they used obscene words). ‘As to the remainder... get in through the heart... you know the inclinations of their hearts... make them love... love passionately... work thoroughly.. take no rest... have no pity; the world must go to damnation... and these souls must not be allowed to escape me.’

“From time to time Satan’s satellites answered: ‘We are your slaves... we shall labour unceasingly, and in spite of the many who war against us, we shall work night and day. We know your power!’

“They all spoke together, and he whom I took to be Satan used words full of horror. In the distance I could hear a clamour as of feasting, the clinking of glasses... and he cried: ‘Let them cram themselves with food! It will make it all the easier for us... Let them get on with their banqueting. Love of pleasure is the door through which you will reach them...’

“He added such horrible things that they can neither be written nor said. Then, as if engulfed in a whirl of smoke, they vanished.” (February 3, 1923).

“The evil one was bewailing the escape of a soul: ‘Fill her soul with fear, drive her to despair. All will be lost if she puts her trust in the mercy of that...’ (here they used blasphemous words about Our Lord). ‘I am lost; but no, drive her to despair; do not leave her for an instant, above all, make her despair.’

“Then Hell re-echoed with frenzied cries, and when finally the devil cast me out of the abyss, he went on threatening me. Among other things he said: ‘Is it possible that such weaklings have more power than I, who am mighty... I must conceal my presence, work in the dark; any corner will do from which to tempt them... close to an ear... in the leaves of a book... under a bed... some pay no attention to me, but I shall talk and talk... and by dint of suggestion, something will remain.. Yes, I must hide in unsuspected places.’ ” (February 7, 8, 1923).

Josefa continues: “Souls were cursing the vocation they had received, but not followed... the vocation they had lost, because they were unwilling to live a hidden and mortified life...” (March 18, 1922).

“On one occasion when I was in Hell, I saw a great many priests, religious and nuns, cursing their vows, their order, their Superiors and everything that could have given them the light and the grace they had lost...”

“I saw, too, some prelates. One accused himself of having used the goods belonging to the Church illicitly...” (September 28, 1922).

“Priests were calling down maledictions on their tongues which had consecrated, on their fingers that had held Our Lord’s Sacred Body, on the absolution they had given while they were losing their own souls, and on the occasion through which they had fallen into Hell.” (April 6, 1922).

“One priest said: ‘I ate poison, for I used money that was not my own... the money given me for Masses which I did not offer.’

“Another said he belonged to a secret society which had betrayed the Church and religion, and he had been bribed to connive at terrible profanations and sacrileges.

“Yet another said that he was damned for assisting at profane plays, after which he ought not to have said Mass... and that he had spent about seven years thus.”

Josefa noted that the greater number of religious plunged into hell-fire were there for abominable sins against chastity... and for sins against the vow of poverty... for the unauthorized use of the goods of the community... for passions against charity (jealousy, antipathies, hatred, etc.), for tepidity and relaxation; also for comforts they had allowed themselves and which had led to graver sins... for bad confessions through human respect and want of sincerity and courage, etc.—all these happening even years before the abominable Second Vatican Council!

Here, finally, is the full text of Josefa's notes on ‘the hell of consecrated souls’ (Biography: Ch. VII—September 4, 1922):

“The meditation of the day was on the Particular Judgment of religious souls. I could not free my mind of the thought of it, in spite of the oppression which I felt. Suddenly, I felt myself bound and overwhelmed by a crushing weight, so that in an instant I saw more clearly than ever before how stupendous is the sanctity of God and His detestation of sin.

“I saw in a flash my whole life since my first confession to this day. All was vividly present to me: my sins, the graces I had received, the day I entered religion, my clothing as a novice, my first vows, my spiritual readings, and times of prayer, the advice given me, and all the helps of religious life. Impossible to describe the confusion and shame a soul feels at that moment, when it realizes: ‘All is lost, and I am damned forever.’ ”

As in her former descents into Hell, Josefa never accused herself of any specific sin that might have led to such a calamity. By allowing her to go to Hell Our Lord only meant her to feel what the consequences would have been, if she had merited such a punishment. She wrote:

“Instantly I found myself in Hell, but not dragged there as before. The soul precipitates itself there, as if to hide from God in order to be free to hate and curse Him.

“My soul fell into abysmal depths, the bottom of which cannot be seen, for it is immense... at once, I heard other souls jeering and rejoicing at seeing me share their torments. It was martyrdom enough to hear the terrible imprecations on all sides, but what can be compared to the thirst to curse that seizes on a soul, and the more one curses, the more one wants to. Never had I felt the like before. Formerly my soul had been oppressed with grief at hearing these horrible blasphemies, though unable to produce even one act of love. But today it was otherwise.

“I saw Hell as always before, the long dark corridors, the cavities, the flames... I heard the same execrations and imprecations, for—and of this I have already written before—although no corporeal forms are visible, the torments are felt as if they were present, and souls recognise each other. Some called out, ‘Hullo, you here? And are you like us? We were free to take those vows or not... but no!...’ and they cursed their vows.

“Then I was pushed into one of those fiery cavities and pressed, as it were, between burning planks, and sharp nails and red-hot irons seemed to be piercing my flesh.”

Here Josefa repeated the multiple tortures from which no single member of the body is excluded:

“I felt as if they were endeavouring to pull out my tongue, but could not. This torture reduced me to such agony that my very eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets. I think this was because of the fire which burns, burns... not a finger-nail escapes terrifying torments, and all the time one cannot move even a finger to gain some relief, nor change posture, for the body seems flattened out and yet doubled in two.

“All this I felt as before, and although those tortures were terrific, they would be bearable if the soul were at peace. But it suffers indescribably. Until now, when I went down into Hell, I thought that I had been damned for abandoning religious life. But this time it was different. I bore a special mark, a sign that I was a religious, a soul who had known and loved God, and there were others who bore the same sign. I cannot say how I recognised it, perhaps because of the specially insulting manner in which the evil spirits and other damned souls treated them. There were many priests there, too. This particular suffering I am unable to explain. It was quite different from what I had experienced at other times, for if the souls of those who lived in the world suffer terribly, infinitely worse are the torments of religious. Unceasingly the three words, Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, are imprinted on the soul with poignant remorse.

“Poverty: ‘You were free and you promised! Why, then, did you seek that comfort? Why hold on to that object which did not belong to you? Why did you give that pleasure to your body? Why allow yourself to dispose of the property of the Community? Did you not know that you no longer had the right to possess anything whatsoever, that you had freely renounced the use of those things?... Why did you murmur when anything was wanting to you, or when you fancied yourself less well treated than others? Why?’

“Chastity: ‘You yourself vowed it freely and with full knowledge of its implications... you bound yourself... you willed it... and how have you observed it? That being so, why did you not remain where it would have been lawful for you to grant yourself pleasures and enjoyment?’

“And the tortured soul responds: ‘Yes, I vowed it; I was free... I could have not taken the vow, but I took it and I was free...’”

“What words can express the martyrdom of such remorse”, wrote Josefa, “and all the time the jibes and insults of other damned souls continue.”

“Obedience: ‘Did you not fully engage yourself to obey your Rule and your Superiors? Why, then, did you pass judgment on the orders that were given you? Why did you disobey the Rule? Why did you dispense yourself from common life? Remember how sweet was the Rule... and you would not keep it... and now,’ vociferate satanic voices, ‘you will have to obey us not for a day or a year, or a century, but forever and ever; for all eternity... It is your own doing... you were free.’

“The soul constantly recalls how she had chosen her God for her Spouse, and that once she loved Him above all things... that for Him she had renounced the most legitimate pleasures and all she held dearest on earth, that in the beginning of her religious life she had felt all the purity, sweetness and strength of this divine love, and that for an inordinate passion... now she must eternally hate the God who had chosen her to love Him.

“This forced hatred is a thirst that consumes her... no past joys can afford her the slightest relief.

“One of her greatest torments is shame”, added Josefa. It seems to her that all the damned surrounding her continually taunt her by saying: ‘That we should be lost who never had the helps that you enjoyed is not surprising... but you... what did you lack? You who lived in the palace of the King... who feasted at the board of the elect.’

“All I have written,” she concluded, “is but a shadow of what the soul suffers, for no words can express such dire torments.” (September 4, 1922).

Josefa, as I said, lived in the early twentieth century, and wrote all this in the early 1920s (1922-1923). Now compare her above revelations to the following revelations of Our Lord to Rev. Sister Hermana Guadalupe 27 years ago, that is, in 1989:

Guatemala, August 11, 1989:

Dearly beloved children, I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

My children, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Virgin Mary, the God of Love, the God who died nailed to the Cross out of love for you, speaks to you.

I come again to speak to you as we have been doing these past months. My Blessed Mother and I always come to instruct you so that you will know the truth, so that you will not be confused, and the subject I am going to speak of today is a most important subject, one which many people do not want to hear because it frightens them, and they don’t want to hear about this subject which is so very important for the salvation of their souls.

Today I will speak about Hell. Many people do not want to believe that there is a hell, that there is a heaven and that there is a purgatory. They do not want to understand, they do not want to comprehend and when they refuse to accept that these three places exist, they are denying three truths.

Yes, there is a heaven, but there is also a purgatory and there is a hell. Many of my children don’t want to know anything about hell because they don’t want to believe that after a life of many sins they will end in hell. Yes, many deny that hell exists because they don’t like to hear about it, and now my children are saying that hell is the suffering that one suffers here on earth but this is not true, no, it is not true because hell was created for impenitent sinners, those sinners that do not repent of their sins. And if they die in mortal sin their end will be hell.

Many people do not want to believe this, not even my sons, and they say: “But God does not punish because He is very kind, infinitely good”. Yes, He is good, but He is also Just and Wise, and that is why they must not fall into the error of believing that because God is Good He does not punish. Look, He did not forgive His perfect work, the angels, and He condemned them to suffer, and they were the first ones that went to hell and who many people now know as the devil and the fallen angels. And from that moment they began spreading out to confuse and induce my children to sin because their hatred is so big that they do not want my children to be rewarded with heaven, and they induce them to sin so that my children won’t go to heaven. Many people obey them but do not realise that with one and another sin, if they don’t confess them, if they don’t repent and they die in this state their reward will be hell.

Yes, hell is the abode of all suffering, of all pains, of all anguish, and heaven is happiness, peace, light, joy and love; hell on the contrary is darkness, grief, pain, suffering and hatred. The sinner who does not repent of his sins and dies will understand when he is dead that his worse torment will be that he despised the happiness that was offered to him when I died on the Cross. His worse torment will be when he understands that he despised my Blood, that he despised my Suffering on the Cross, and he will have this torment eternally, the pain of having lost eternal happiness, the happiness of heaven, and this will not be his only torment, for there is also the fire, the fire that will consume him in sadness and anguish and in tremendous pain, because the infernal fire is a fire that does not die, that does not end, and it torments the soul.

Many say that this fire is just a figure of speech, that it doesn’t exist, but no, it does exist, the fire is real. It is not a fire like the one on earth; because the fire on earth consumes, it ends, but the fire of hell never ends. And it burns and torments the soul forever and not only this, it also penetrates into the soul, and all the senses suffer this fire; the eyes, the nose, the ears, the touch, all the senses feel it, because this fire penetrates deep inside the soul and it remains there making the impenitent sinner suffer, this fire that burns, that scorches and that does not end, and he will have this torment eternally.

I have come to instruct you so that by knowing all of this you would not fall into sin, but if you do sin, confess it, because hell is waiting for everyone who does not repent.

In hell the scourgers are the devils and they make the soul suffer for all eternity. You know that earth is a place of trial, where you earn heaven or you earn hell. This you know. You know that it is like this, but people don’t want to understand. They don’t want to believe, and they say that it is not like this, that these are inventions of crazy people that don’t want to enjoy themselves, that don’t want to sin, and they go on and on like this. I come to instruct you because the world is sinning constantly, and at the end, when the day of your death arrives and you are in sin you will not be able to do anything. And that is why I am telling you: Look, it is your soul that is going to suffer for all eternity or it is going to be happy for all eternity depending on your deeds during this short passage through this world.

Many people, for a simple pleasure, let their souls harden in sin and they don’t want to change because they don’t want to suffer, because they don’t want to do penance. They want happiness and joy, the happiness that only lasts for a sigh and for this sigh they will have an eternity of grief, of anguish, of pains, and in hell they will not be able to repent; they will not be able to do anything.

I have come today to tell you that you must change your way of living. You must acquire grace. Many don’t want to obey my words. Many laugh at my messages and the messages of my Blessed Mother. They laugh at them and my Doctrine, and they say that “today the Lord does not punish; the Lord doesn’t want suffering; the Lord does not want grief because He is all Love.” Yes, I am all Love, but I am also Just and very Wise and that is why all of those who say that God does not punish are in error, because the first ones that the Eternal Father punished were the angels and He did not forgive them, and they are eternally condemned and with them are all of those who reject the Blood that I shed on the cross.

Listen well, I come to instruct you, to help all of those who are in error to abandon their error because a great punishment is coming to the world because of sins of men who don’t want to repent, who don’t want to acquire the true doctrine that I left in my Church...they put my Doctrine aside for other doctrines that praise their ego, that praise their vanity and their pride—and this is a demonic trap.

My sons are now preaching that you must not suffer; that you must not do penance, fast, or make sacrifices because God does not want this, because He is Love, all Happiness. But no, you must love the Cross because the Cross will take you to heaven. And all of those who separate from my Cross, from my Sacrifice, will die, and their place will be in hell because they despised the redemption I gave them through my Sacrifice on the Cross.

Many of my children don’t want to believe this and they mock, laugh and say that there is no hell; that hell is here on earth and after death there is nothing; and that is why they say, “Let us enjoy ourselves; let us sing; let us dance because tomorrow we will die and afterwards there is nothing.” But this is not true. After these trials on earth the soul will live eternally, and if he has been a good son he will go to heaven, but if he has been a bad son he will go to hell—and this is terrible. This is why I have come to instruct you about hell, because some believe in hell; they believe it, but they only believe partially and they say, “Since the Lord is infinitely good, even in hell, He will give consolation.” But no, this is a lie. He who goes to hell, will not have consolation of any kind—the consolations are here on earth. Here on earth the soul that suffers has consolation, but not in hell. In hell there is no consolation—there is only affliction, sadness, bitterness, despair, and torments day and night. There is no rest from the sufferings of hell.

I left written in the Apocalypse: “All those who in these latter times adore the beast (and this means that they harden themselves in sin) and follow the beast when he comes and the beast marks them—their place will be in hell. And they will be tormented without rest”. I said this in the Apocalypse and it will be fulfilled. Many don’t want to understand, but as I told you, the fire that is here on earth is a fire that burns the flesh but does not penetrate the soul. The fire in hell penetrates the soul and this penetration into the soul causes the soul to be submerged in an infinite intense pain—without end, and it shall be like this eternally because they will have this fire inside and outside of their soul, and they will be a part of this infernal fire.

This is why some messages say that those who do not repent will be like logs that will feed the fire of hell. And this means that they themselves will be this fire that will be inside their souls torturing them without rest in addition to other torments that exist there and they are those of the nose, of the eyes, and of the ears because in addition to the torment of the soul, they will have the sight of horrible things before their eyes, hear terrible things with their ears, and in the sense of smell a stench for all eternity, and this is a stench that if someone could experience here on earth, even if only for an instant, it would kill him. The stench is such that a human being could not resist it and he would die instantly. All the things in hell are like this. And I, your loving Father, want to instruct you about this so that you can see that if the little things of this earth bother you, ... are pains and anguish that have consolation. Nevertheless, many people still get desperate and don’t want to suffer; they don’t want to cry, and when they reach hell and they see that what they suffered on earth is nothing compared to what is in hell, they will wish they would have suffered, that they would have believed in my Words because whoever enters hell will never return.

I am calling you so that you will understand that it is not what many people believe—that these stories about hell, heaven and purgatory are lies. But no, they are true, very true.

I have come to instruct you so that you would know that there is a place of torment for all the people and for all my children that don’t want to repent, that want to stay with a great desire to commit sin over and over again. And I want to instruct you about this because it is important for you to know, so that you can instruct those that say that this is not true.

I come to tell you this because now the demonic traps have multiplied. Sin abounds in the world and because of sin many go to hell—and they will understand, they will comprehend and they will know that this is true when they are in hell. And when they are there, they will not be able to do anything but suffer and cry, because they did not want to believe that I came to the world the first time to die on the Cross to rescue them from this torment. And they will suffer when they understand that it was so easy to have saved themselves but they did not want to be saved. And when they are in hell they will not be able to do anything except mourn that because of the hardness of their hearts they lost heaven and the happiness that they were looking for here on earth; and they will comprehend too late that they should have obeyed my words and the words of my Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary.

I come to instruct you so that you would know that these are not just stories but a cruel reality, and that all of those who die impenitent—and that means without repenting—will fall into the fire of hell and they will not be able to do anything once they are there. But much can be done while here on earth; and I make this call so that you understand that many, many can be saved while here on earth which is a place of testing. You must understand this and beginning today, change your way of living because tomorrow may be too late, because as you have always been told, you don’t know the day or the hour when you will die—and this is why you must be prepared. And you that know this, tell it to others so that they can change their lives.

They must believe that I came into the world the first time to die on the Cross to save them from the eternal sufferings of hell. Many people do not know why I came to save and they say: “Save us from what? I don’t understand what they mean because here on earth nothing is seen; because here on earth His Mercy is not seen; here on earth everyone suffers because there is much evil.” But the evil that exists in the world is not because God wanted it, but because men have caused the evil by their sins, because they did not want to obey my Doctrine. This is why there is so much evil in the world, so much sin, because all these sins that cry to heaven are the ones that bring so many evils to the world and this is what men don’t want to understand, and they do not understand this salvation we are talking about. And salvation is that you will not go to the world of eternal suffering, to the world of torments that never end. I came to save you from falling eternally into the world of afflictions, pain and torment, and this is why I died on the Cross.

This is what I want you to understand. Many people do not want to suffer; they don’t want to cry and they only want happiness, well being, songs and dancing. And they don’t understand when I tell them that I came to die to save them. They say: “...to save us from what? From dancing? From singing? From enjoying ourselves?” No, dear children, no. I came to save you so that you will not fall into the world of eternal suffering where the devils are the tormentors. Many people are afflicted when people attack their bodies, but even if they attack the body they cannot attack the soul and this is what they don’t understand and they believe that the fire of hell that is talked about so much does not exist.

To give you an idea, I tell you that the fire of earth is a fire that burns, that consumes but it does not reach the soul, but the infernal fire burns, embraces and penetrates the soul, but it does not consume, and this means that this torment will never end and the soul suffers, suffers all this torment eternally. In addition to what I have already explained, the five senses: the ears, the eyes, the smell, the touch and the taste will have only horrible things to see, to hear, to taste, to smell and feel, and this will be an eternal suffering because it will not only be on the outside, but the suffering will also be in the inside—inside and outside.

I want you to understand why I came to this world to die; why I always tell you not to sin but if you sin get rid of it immediately and put yourself in the grace of God so that this punishment does not reach you.  

I come to instruct you about hell so that you will know that all that I say is for the good of your soul, for the good of your body, and that if you obey my words you will not fall into these torments.

My Blessed Mother cries when one of Her children is condemned she knows that the torment will be great, much greater because he had his salvation in his hands and he rejected it. And that is why my Mother cries for all those children that will be condemned.

You must be alert and instruct others about this and tell them that here on earth you must suffer. But what you suffer here is just a little, very little and with this little suffering you have many consolations; you have tranquillity and rest. But in hell there are no consolations. There are none.   

I have come so that you know and are not sad when you have troubles or afflictions; offer them up for the atonement of your sins and you will obtain many fruits. If you have patience in your illnesses you will obtain many fruits; if you pray when you are sad instead of being afflicted and feeling sorry for yourselves you will obtain many fruits and this will help you to gain heaven and avoid hell.

I have come to instruct you so that you would understand that here on earth when you are thirsty you immediately look for water to calm your thirst, and when you don’t have it, you suffer and you are not satisfied until you have the water that will calm the thirst on your lips. But in hell the thirst that you will feel will increase, tormenting the soul and the body, and you will never receive even a drop of water to calm this thirst, and this thirst will increase, increase, increase and in the same way also all the sufferings of the senses.

I want you to understand that in heaven the joy will increase, the happiness will increase, and in hell the suffering will also continually increase.
I also want to tell you that purgatory exists, and I wanted to speak to you about purgatory because it is where the souls that have not been completely purified go; but, because they are in the grace of God, and even if it is at last hour they will not go to heaven or hell, but they will go to a place where they can purify themselves, and then, when the moment comes they will go to heaven. And that is why I ask you to pray for these souls that are detained in purgatory, purifying themselves in order to be able to enter without stain into heaven. You must pray for these souls so that their purification will be shortened, and so that they can enter into heaven. And you must also pray very much so that sinners repent and will be able to avoid this suffering that I told you about. Pray a lot. Pray the rosary. Pray very much because times are coming—very hard, difficult, ...cruel times are coming—when you will have to understand that the suffering that you will have on earth will be nothing compared to those of hell, and knowing this you will feel better and you will work better, and when you have a little sorrow you will say that this is nothing compared to what there is down there in hell, and you will suffer these little misfortunes, these little sorrows and problems with joy, and you will see how consolation comes to your hearts...and you will have a double happiness because you will have understood what the Lord really wants and that is that you love my Cross, love my Sacrifice, and because of this love you will be saved.

...From the bottom of my Sacred Heart, I bless you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. May peace, happiness, faith and love remain in your hearts.  

Note: Non-Catholic readers who don’t understand concepts such as Suffering or Cross, Penance, Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart and the like, are encouraged to get converted to the Catholic Faith—come back to their true home—to learn the Faith. This, certainly, may not be an easy task for many, but what is needed is just COURAGE and CONVICTION! There are many who have demonstrated this courage. For instance, British Jesuit scholar Frederick Charles Copleston, born Anglican, was even expelled from Marlborough College for converting from Anglican to the Catholic Faith in the 1920s but he took courage, joined the Society of Jesus in 1930 and was ordained in 1937. Why did he convert?  Again, why did Tony Blair, born an Anglican, take the same decision—making headlines in December 2007 when he converted to Roman Catholicism, becoming the first Roman Catholic Prime Minister of Britain in history? Why did he take such a courageous decision despite having already been given “Communion” as an Anglican by anti-Catholic and anti-conversion John Paul II? Why did John Henry Newman, also born an Anglican, take the same decision in the nineteenth century—becoming a Catholic Cardinal later? And the great Cardinal Manning, also born an Anglican?  ...etc. There are many others (outside Anglicanism!). It’s all about COURAGE! It’s all about CONVICTION!       

22 Sep 2016


Martin Luther (a formal heretic) before Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521   
Dear Father,

I have only begun to refute the mean spirited and sacrilegious vilification that Salza and Siscoe have spewed against me in my four part reply to Salza and Siscoe and on radio interview, and I will continue to do so for so long as it remains necessary. In my ongoing seven part exposé of their theological quackery I have only scratched the surface of their profound confusion on points of doctrine, resulting from their incapacity to correctly understand basic theological concepts.

Here are two examples: 1) Salza, ignorantly challenging me on the definition of the term, "material heretic" writes: An ignorant Catholic is not a heretic (formal or material) because he possesses divine faith and is invincibly ignorant of his heresy through no fault of his own. A material heretic is also invincibly ignorant of his heresy, but does not possess divine faith, thus rendering him a material heretic.

Salza does not understand the basic difference between formal and material heretics – those who knowingly, culpably and obstinately deny a truth of faith are formal heretics; while those who do so without fault (or culpably but without pertinacity) are material heretics only: "Qui cum sua culpa veritatem de fide negant, formales haeretici vocantur, qui id sine sua culpa faciunt, materiales haeretici dicuntur." (THEOLOGIAE FUNDAMENTALIS TRACTATUS DUO. SCRIPSIT SAC. F. H. REINERDING, H. ET. PH. DR. ET TH. PROF. IN SEMINARIO FULDENSI, Tractatus prior. Demonstratio christiano-catholica contra adversarios generatim omnes. Monasterii Guestphalorum. SUMPTIBUS LIBRARIAE ASCHENDORFFIANAE. 1864, no. 428)

Salza is quite unaware of the fact that it is precisely because the material heretic retains the formal cause of the virtue of faith, that he still has the virtue of faith, and therefore is not a heretic in the proper sense of the word. The material heretic does not defect from the faith, because he believes in revelation on divine authority, and does not reject the formal cause of faith – "supernaturalis enim virtus fidei causam formalem habet, Dei revelantis auctoritatem” (Pius XI - Mortalium Animos).

The material heretic accepts the authority of the revealing God, professes the Creed, and thus does not reject the formal object of faith, but, errs ignorantly on the matter, being unaware that his opinion materially opposes some truth of revelation. Such a one still adheres to the formal object of faith: “Formale autem obiectum fidei est veritas prima secundum quod manifestatur in Scripturis sacris et doctrinae Ecclesiæ. Unde quicumque non inhæret, sicut infallibili et divinæ regulæ, doctrinæ Ecclesiæ, quæ procedit ex veritate prima in Scripturis sacris manifestata, ille non habet habitum fidei, sed ea quae sunt fidei alio modo tenet quam per fidem.” (St. Thomas, Summa Theol., IIa IIae, q.5, a. 3.) The material heretic adheres formally to that infallible and divine rule, assenting on divine authority to the divinely revealed truths, but errs objectively in ignorance regarding the matter of some article(s) of faith.

The material heretic retains the formal cause of the virtue of faith, because the form of heresy which is contrary to that virtue is absent in the material heretic. Thus, "Hæretici materiales (qui autem iuxta S. Augustinum . . . nequaquam sunt inter hæreticos deputandi) dicuntur illi, qui non ex malo animo aut pertinacia, sed ex simplicitate, aut defectu debitæ informationis, errant circa Fidem." (Theologia Moralis, P. F. Anaclet Reiffenstuel, Munich, 1715, p. 202) Hence, material heretics remain faithful sons of the Church: "Gli eretici materiali sono figliuoli della chiesa." (Catechismo filosofico, o raccolta d'osservazioni atte a difendere la religione cristiana contro de' suoi nemici. Opera del sig. abate F. X. De Feller tradotta dal francese secondo la terza edizione di Liegi corretta, e notabilmente accresciuta; Tomo III, Milano, 1828, p. 203)

Those who because of simplicity and invincible ignorance err materially do not consciously, i.e. scienter, prefer their own judgment to the teaching of the Church, in which consists the sin of infidelity and the form of heresy, as St. Alphonsus explains: " Porro pertinaciter errare (quæ est formale) . . . est eum [errorem] retinere, postquam contrarium est sufficienter propositum: sive quando scit contrarium teneri a reliqua universali Christi in terris Ecclesia, cui suum iudicium præferat”.

Therefore it is only the formal heretic who is properly called a heretic because he has defected from the faith by refusing to believe what he knows to be the faith of the universal Church, and thus no longer has the virtue of faith – but the material heretic still has divine faith. Thus it is patent that Salza is totally clueless on the proper distinction between formal and material heresy.

2) Salza/Siscoe manifest a profound confusion on the distinction between internal and external sin in the passage you have quoted:

Not wishing to be pinned down, he carefully avoids defining his concocted terminology, but it is clear that by the “public sin” of heresy, he essentially means the internal sin of heresy that the person manifests to many by his external actions (but actions that are not public heresy, as such, as we will explain later). These external actions are what lead others to conclude that he is guilty of the sin of heresy, which, Cekada claims, places the perpetrator outside the Church.

These two ignorant charlatans have obviously never properly studied Fundamental Moral Theology. I studied Philosophy and Theology at the Angelicum in Rome under the old Dominican Thomist professors in the 70s, and I have 14 well read volumes of Moral Theology in my personal library. Salza and Siscoe fail to understand the basic distinction between an internal sin and an occult sin. An internal sin is a sin of thought, as opposed to an external sin which is a sin of words or deeds. An external sin is occult if the sin is not known by anyone, or only by very few individuals. An external sin is public if it was done in public, and is sufficiently widely known so that it is considered to be a public sin.

It is the matter and not the form which determines whether a sin is internal or external; and it is the form or lack thereof, and not the matter which determines whether the sin is pertinacious, merely culpable but not pertinacious, or inculpable. The error of material heresy can be inculpable; or culpable and vincible, but without pertinacity: "Et quia illa ignorantia, vel error potest esse, aut inculpabilis, aut culpabilis & vincibilis, eaque vel levis, vel lata, crassa, supina, vel denique etiam affectata, & directe voluntaria, ideo triplicis gradus distingui possunt hæretici materiales." (Patritius Sporer, Theologia Moralis Super Decalogum, Salzburg, 1722, p. 175) The error of formal heresy is culpable and pertinacious; the error of material heresy is not pertinacious, but in both cases, it is the matter alone that determines whether the sin is internal or external.

So, when Salza says that Fr. Cekada, "avoids defining his concocted terminology, but it is clear that by the 'public sin' of heresy, he essentially means the internal sin of heresy that the person manifests to many by his external actions"; Salza is saying that an external sin is only an internal sin if the form of the sin is not externally visible. He does not understand that one who sins internally commits an internal act of thought, and that one who sins externally commits an external act of word or deed.

Although Fr. Cekada is extremely sloppy in his theological reasoning (which is often logically incoherent), at least he employs in this cited instance, the accepted usage of theological terms; so it is ironic, and even comical in a pathetic way, that Salza accuses Fr. Cekada of manufacturing "concocted terminology". I have often referred to the sloppy and incoherent Sedevacantist theology as "Voodoo Theology"; but the term a fortiori can be fittingly attributed to the pseudo-theology of John Salza and Robert Siscoe as well.

In my just begun series of articles, Defection from the Faith and the Church - Faith, Heresy, and Loss of Office, I am making a critical theological presentation on the Church's doctrine on faith, heresy, and loss of office, in order to refute their principle errors, and dispel the confusion that Salza and Siscoe are spreading, to the grave detriment of souls.

The main problem with Salza and Siscoe is that they have attempted to teach Catholic theology without first having learned it properly by means of a disciplined academic formation. If my memory doesn't betray me, I believe it was Herbert Thurston SJ who said of the Modernist, George Tyrell, that he needed to have first learned doctrine before teaching it. Salza and Siscoe err in the same manner.

Salza and Siscoe attempt to combat error with error, heedless of St. Jerome's warning: "Et si recta via paululum declinaveris, non interest, utrum ad dexteram vadas, an ad sinistram, cum verum iter amiseris." (Liber I comment. in Cap. 5 et 6 Matthei).

Fr. Paul Kramer

21 Sep 2016

Defection from the Faith and the Church - Faith, Heresy, and Loss of Office - An Exposé of the Heresy of John Salza and Robert Siscoe (Part I)

By Father Paul Kramer

The burning of the pantheistic Amalrician heretics in 1210, in the presence of King Philip II Augustus

The sin of Heresy per se, like apostasy and schism, has the intrinsic effect of separating the heretic from the Church by itself, without any ecclesiastical censures; and is distinguished from other sins which do not by their very nature, separate the sinner from the body of the Church; and who, therefore, for grave offences can only be separated from the Church by a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is the infallible teaching of the universal magisterium of the Church which must be believed de fide divina et Catholica under pain of heresy, as is proven and demonstrated below.

St. Pius V teaches in the Roman Catechism: "Heretics and schismatics are excluded from the Church, because they have defected (desciverunt) from her and belong to her only as deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted."; whereas those who have not left the Church by defecting, but are excluded from the Church by excommunication, are "cut off by her sentence from the number of her children and belong not to her communion until they repent.”[1]

In order to understand how it is that heretics leave the Church by themselves – i.e., that heresy per se, by the very nature of the transgression, separates the heretic from the body of the Church as a consequence intrinsic to the nature of the sin, (as Pius XII teaches, "suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet"); and that by the fully deliberate and obstinate act of heresy, the heretics have left the Church and separated themselves from union with the body of the Church: "a Corporis compage semetipsos misere separarunt", (as distinguished from those who for reason of a most grave fault have been cut off by the legitimate ecclesiastical authority – "ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt" [either a jure, i.e. latæ sententiæ, or ab homine, i.e. sententia ferenda] ); it is necessary first to understand how one enters the Church as a faithful member; since it is by faith that one becomes a Christian and a member of the Church, and therefore it is by defecting from the faith into heresy or apostasy that one departs from the Church and ceases by the very nature of the sin to be a member.

It is first and foremost by faith that one is a Christian, without which, (as St. Thomas teaches), no one can be said to be a Christian: "Primum quod est necessarium Christiano, est fides, sine qua nullus dicitur fidelis Christianus."[2] By faith, even before baptism (Acts 10:40), one can become united to the soul of the Church, and become a member not "in re" but "in voto" (as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches[3]). This is, as St. Thomas explains, in virtue of the effects of faith: 1) It is by faith that the soul is first united to God: "Primum est quod per fidem anima coniungitur Deo: nam per fidem anima Christiana facit quasi quoddam matrimonium cum Deo"; [2] and for that reason it is that one who is baptised must first profess the faith: "Et inde est quod quando homo baptizatur, primo confitetur fidem, cum dicitur ei, credis in Deum?".[2] And thus it is that Baptism is first a sacrament of faith: "Quia Baptismus est primum sacramentum fidei." – and for this reason Baptism is said to be "the door", the vitæ spiritualis ianua and the door to the other sacraments[4]; for it is by this sacrament of faith that one enters the Church, and without faith the sacrament is of no benefit: "Baptismus enim sine fide non prodest." [1] From there it becomes clear that in order to be a member of the Church, it is necessary, (as St. Pius X teaches), to be baptised, and to believe and profess the doctrine of Jesus Christ ("Per esser membro della Chiesa è necessario esser battezzato, credere e professare la dottrina di Gesù Cristo")[5]; since the Church is "the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacraments, and the same sacrifice, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him" – and therefore, "To remain a real member of the Church after Baptism a person must profess the one true faith and must not withdraw from the unity of the body of the Church on schism or heresy or be excommunicated by legitimate authority because of serious sins."[6]

Thus, the heretic, schismatic, and apostate withdraw from unity and leave the Church, and thereby cease to be members, as St. Pius X teaches (in Question 200). Whoever would not believe in the solemn definitions of faith or would doubt them, would sin against faith; and remaining obstinate in unbelief, would no longer be a Catholic, but a heretic. ("Chi non credesse alle definizioni solenni del Papa, o anche solo ne dubitasse, peccherebbe contro la fede, e se rimanesse ostinato in questa incredulità, non sarebbe più cattolico, ma eretico.) Heretics are not only those who stubbornly doubt, deny any solemn definition; but the same Pontiff teaches that they are heretics who refuse to believe any truth revealed by God which the Catholic Church teaches as "de fide": "Gli eretici sono i battezzati che ricusano con pertinacia di credere qualche verità rivelata da Dio e insegnata come di fede dalla Chiesa cattolica" (Q. 228).

The doctrine that not only the solemn definitions, but all that has been taught by the universal and ordinary magisterium of the Church as divinely revealed must be believed with divine and Catholic faith was set forth with precision in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filiusby the First Vatican Council: "Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed."[7] Thus it follows that heresy consists not only in the denial or refusal to believe solemnly defined dogmas, but any revealed truth taught by the universal magisterium that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith: "Can. 751 — Dicitur haeresis, pertinax, post receptum baptismum, alicuius veritatis divina et catholica credendae denegatio, aut de eadem pertinax dubitatio; apostasia, fidei christianae ex toto repudiatio". (Codex Iuris Canonici).

It is to be noted that in both extraordinary and ordinary Magisterium, the doctrine must either be proclaimed with a “definitive act” (extraordinary) or it is agreed that it is “to be held as definitive.” The teaching of both the extraordinary and the universal and ordinary Magisterium are defined doctrines. Any doctrine that is not defined does not pertain to the infallible Magisterium of the Church.

Francisco Marin-Sola O.P. explains:

"The Church’s doctrinal authority or magisterium has for its proper and specific purpose the conservation and exposition of the revealed deposit. To determine or to fix infallibly the true meaning of the divine deposit is called a definition of faith by the Church ...These two ways of exercising the magisterium on the content and the meaning of the revealed deposit are of equal dogmatic value, and both are true definitions of faith. Between them there exists only an accidental difference, to wit, that the magisterium exercised by the Ecumenical Council or by the Pope speaking ex cathedra is done with a greater solemnity and show of formulae and is easily discernible by all; on the other hand, the ordinary magisterium is exercised through the universal teaching of the Church without any special display or set formulae, and at times it is not so easy to determine its scope and signification."[8]

A precise and official formulation on Magisterium and that which must be believed de fide is to be found in Canons 749 and 750 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law: Can 749 §1. “The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful ... he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”

§2. “The college of bishops also possesses infallible teaching authority when the bishops exercise their teaching office gathered together in an ecumenical council when, as teachers and judges of faith and morals, they declare that for the universal Church a doctrine of faith or morals must be definitively held; they also exercise it scattered throughout the world but united in a bond of communion among themselves and with the Successor of Peter when together with that same Roman Pontiff in their capacity as authentic teachers of faith and morals they agree on an opinion to be held as definitive.”

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

§2. Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firm-ly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church. [9]

The truths of faith taught by the Magisterium must be understood according to the mind of the Church with the same unchanging meaning: "For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed ... has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding. Therefore ... let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and the same understanding (St. Vincent of Lérins)." (Dei Filius) [10]

St. Vincent of Lerins in his Commonitory lays down the rules that must be observed in order to safeguard the sacred doctrine so that its authentic meaning can be perpetually retained:

 "Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors."

The universality, antiquity and consent on points of doctrine which distinguish them as being of divine origin are pre-eminently to be found where there is the unanimous consent of the Fathers on a point of doctrine. In matters of faith and morals the true sense of sacred scripture is to be understood as the Church, which has the authority to interpret and judge, has understood and understands it; and no one may interpret them contrary to this sense; and it is permitted to no one to interpret the scriptures contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers: "Nos, . . . , hanc illius mentem esse declaramus, ut in rebus fidei et morum, ad aedificationem doctrinae Christianae pertinentium, is pro vero sensu sacrae Scripturae habendus sit, quem tenuit ac tenet Sancta Mater Ecclesia, cuius est iudicare de vero sensu et interpretatione Scripturarum sanctarum; atque ideo nemini licere contra hunc sensum, aut etiam contra unanimem consensum Patrum ipsam Scripturam sacram interpretari."

Steve Ray, inUnanimous Consent of the Fathers, (written for the Catholic Dictionary of Apologetics and Evangelism by Ignatius Press), says, on the authority of ecclesiastical writers, "Where the Fathers speak in harmony, with one mind overall — not necessarily each and every one agreeing on every detail but by consensus and general agreement — we have 'unanimous consent'."

Unanimous consent in interpreting scripture cannot be intelligibly understood in the fundamentalistic sense of unanimous interpretation of many Fathers of individual scriptural texts and verses, (which is rare), but is understood by the Church to denote a moral unanimity of the Fathers agreeing or consenting on points of doctrine that are derived from various texts of scripture.

Thus, (Cardinal) Yves Congar writes, "In fact, a complete consensus is unnecessary: quite often, that which is appealed to as sufficient for dogmatic points does not go beyond what is encountered in the interpretation of many texts." [11] On the consensus of the Fathers, Fr. Bernard Schid writes, "“[T]he unanimity of the Fathers (Consensus Patrum), in matters of faith and morals, begets complete certainty and commands assent, because they, as a body, bear witness to the teaching and belief of the infallible Church, representing the Church herself. So the authority of the Fathers is binding only when they all agree upon a question of faith and morals. The consensus, however, need not be absolute; a moral agreement suffices, as, for instance, when some of the greatest Fathers testify to a doctrine of the Church, and the rest, though quite aware of it, do not positively oppose it.” [12] On this point Congar states, "As a matter of fact, a few testimonies sufficed, even that of one single man if his particular situation or the consideration accorded him by the Church were such as to give to what he said the value of coming from a quasi-personification of the whole Church at that time." [11]

The Catholic belief on heresy is stated in scripture, interpreted unanimously by the Fathers, explicated by the Doctors and theologians, and defined by the universal and ordinary Magisteriun of the Church, and taught by the Supreme Pontiffs to the whole Church in their ordinary magisterium.

The doctrine that, The sin of Heresy per se, like apostasy and schism, has the intrinsic effect of separating the heretic from the Church by itself, without any ecclesiastical censures; and is distinguished from other sins which do not by their very nature, separate the sinner from the body of the Church; and who, therefore, for grave offences can only be separated from the Church by a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legitimate ecclesiastical authority, is taught plainly and explicitly in Mystici Corporis:

"In Ecclesiae autem membris reapse ii soli annumerandi sunt, qui regenerationis lavacrum receperunt veramque fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis compage semet ipsos misere separarunt, vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt." and, "Siquidem non omne admissum, etsi grave scelus, eiusmodi est ut — sicut schisma, vel haeresis, vel apostasia faciunt — suapte natura hominem ab Ecclesiae Corpore separet."

The common and general meaning of the word "admissum" is defined by Lewis & Short as a "voluntary fault", and only in certain specific instances can it be understood to mean "crime", when the particular context in which it is used supports that interpretation. Salza and Siscoe gratuitously interpret the term as used in Mystici Corporis to mean "offence" as in "crime" – a canonical delict or transgression of ecclesiastical positive law which, in the case of heresy by ecclesiastical authority incurs the penalty of excommunication latæ sententiæ. It is quite impossible, and in fact, contra rationem, for the word "admissum" to be understood as denoting a canonical delict in the context that it is used in this passage of Mystici Corporis, because that would render its meaning unintelligible and entirely irrational.

As can be seen from the above quoted text of St. Pius V's Catechism, heretics withdraw (descisco, desciscere, descivi, descitum – withdraw, leave, revolt from, desert, defect), they LEAVE the Church on their own. By the act of heresy, i.e., by the SIN of defecting from the Catholic faith by an external act, the heretic, by the act of heresy suapte natura [13], i.e., by the effect that is intrinsic to the nature of heresy, leaves the Church and ceases to be a member. It is not by the force of law in virtue of a latæ sententiæ excommunication, that the heretic ceases to be a member of the Church by having been expelled from the Church by the authority of ecclesiastical law (ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt), but the act of desertion itself, suapte natura, separates the heretic from the body of the Church, so that the censure does not in any manner separate the heretic from the Church, but only gives juridical recognition and adds force of law to the fact of separation; and imposes the obligation of absolution from the censure as a condition for reconciliation with the Church.

If Salza's interpretation of Mystici Corporis were correct,[14] i.e., that only the canonical delict of heresy suapte natura, but not the sin of heresy severs the heretic from the body of the Church, then the distinction between those who depart from the Church by their own act of desertion, and those who are expelled from the Church by legitimate authority would not exist, since all sinners, including heretics, would then be separated from the Church by authority – by a sentence of excommunication incurred or inflicted by legitimate ecclesiastical authority, and not by the very nature of the act of desertion. It is also quite absurd to say that the crime of heresy only, but not the sin, (which is identical in essence to the sin, and defined in both Canon Law and Moral Theology in identical terms), suapte natura severs the perpetrator from the Church, since under both aspects the crime and the sin are identical in nature.

Finally, if Salza's opinion that only the canonical crime of heresy but not the sin, severs the heretic from the Church, then the perpetual teaching of the Church, namely, that heresy per se, and not heresy considered as a canonical delict, severs the heretic from the Church, would be an error. St. Robert Bellarmine quote St. Jerome (d. 420 AD), one of the four major Latin Fathers says with the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, "Jerome comments on the same place, saying that other sinners, through a judgment of excommunication are excluded from the Church; heretics, however, leave by themselves and are cut from the body of Christ". If Salza and Siscoe are correct, then the Church already defected in the Fifth Century. If the Church is indeed Infallible and Indefectible, (and it is), then John Salza and Robert Siscoe are in heresy. EX SUORADICTIS PATET:

Sententia hæreticathe sin of heresy alone does not sever one from the Church.

Sententia hæretica – That not the sin alone, but a canonical censure in addition to the sin of heresy committed with an external act is required to sever the heretic from the Church.

Sententia hæretica - “The sin of heresy alone does NOT ‘sever the person from the Body of the Church’ because sin is a matter of the internal forum". [It is de fide that the sin of heresy alone, committed as an external, public act alone severs the person from the body of the Church, without any canonical censure, and would have the effect of severing the heretic even if there were no canonical penalty attached to the sin.]



[1] Catechismus Romanus, Cap. 10,9: "Ex quo fit ut tria tantummodo hominum genera ab ea excludantur: primo infideles, deinde haeretici et schismatici, postremo excommunicati. Ethnici quidem, quod in Ecclesia numquam fuerunt, neque eam umquam cognoverunt, nec ullius sacramenti participes in populi christiani societate facti sunt. Haeretici vero atque schismatici, quia ab Ecclesia desciverunt, neque enim illi magis ad Ecclesiam spectant quam transfugae ad exercitum pertineant a quo defecerunt; non negandum tamen quin in Ecclesiae potestate sint, ut qui ab ea in iudicium vocentur, puniantur et anathemate damnentur. Postremo etiam excommunicati, quod Ecclesiae iudicio ab ea exclusi ad illius communionem non pertineant donec resipiscant."

Pope Clement XIII declared the Roman Catechism to be far removed from all danger of error, and that it sets forth the common doctrine of the Church: "Nam et illuc eam doctrinam contulerunt, quae communis est in Ecclesia, et procul abest ab omni periculo erroris; et hanc palam populo tradendam disertissimis verbis proposuerunt" – thus, in matters of faith and morals it presents the teaching of the universal magisterium, promulgated with the authority equivalent to the authority of a dogmatic encyclical.

Doctor John Hagan, [Vice Rector & Rector of the Irish College in Rome, 1904 - 1930) writes thus: "The Roman Catechism is a work of exceptional authority. At the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic Encyclical, -- it is an authoritative exposition of Catholic doctrine given forth, and guaranteed to be orthodox by the Catholic Church and her supreme head on earth. (cf. AUTHORITY AND EXCELLENCE OF THE ROMAN CATECHISM, 

[2] Sancti Thomae de Aquino Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum, PROOEMIUM

[3] De Ecclesia Militante, Lib. III, Cap. 3 - "there are those who belong to the soul and not the body, as catechumens or the excommunicated, if indeed they have charity, which can happen." -- and, "Catechumens however if not in re at least in voto are in the Church and are therefore able to be saved."

[4] "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), [Council of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spiritualis ianua], and the door which gives access to the other sacraments." – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213.

[5] San Pio X, Catechismo Maggiore

[6] Baltimore Catechism No. 3, 1949, Official Revised Edition, p. 78; annotated by Rev. Francis J. Connell C.ss.R., S.T.D.

[7] "Porro fide divina et catholica ea omnia credenda sunt, quae in verbo Dei scripto vel tradito continentur, et ab Ecclesia sive solemni iudicio sive ordinario et universali magisterio tamquam divinitus revelata credenda proponuntur."

[8] Francisco Marin-Sola, O.P., The Homogeneous Evolution of Catholic
Dogma, Manila, 1988, p. 288.

[9] Can. 749 — § 1. Infallibiitate in magisterio, vi muneris sui gaudet Summus Pontifex quando ut supremus omnium christifidelium Pastor et Doctor, cuius est fratres suos in fide confirmare, doctrinam de fide vel de moribus tenendam definitivo actus proclamat.
§ 2. Infallibiitate in magisterio pollet quoque Collegium Episcoporum quando magisterium exercent Episcopi in Concilio Oecumenico coadunati, qui, ut fidei et morum doctores et iudices, pro universa Ecclesia doctrinam de fide vel de moribus definitive tenendam declarant aut quando per orbem dispersi, communionis nexum inter se et cum Petri successore servantes, una cum eodem Romano Pontifice authentice res fidei vel morum docentes, in unam sententiam tamquam definitive tenendam conveniunt.

Can. 750 — § 1. Fide divina et catholica ea omnia credenda sunt quae verbo Dei scripto vel tradito, uno scilicet fidei deposito Ecclesiae commisso, continentur, et insimul ut divinitus revelata proponuntur sive ab Ecclesiae magisterio sollemni, sive ab eius magisterio ordinario et universali, quod quidem communi adhaesione christifidelium sub ductu sacri magisterii manifestatur; tenentur igitur omnes quascumque devitare doctrinas iisdem contrarias.
§ 2. Firmiter etiam amplectenda ac retinenda sunt omnia et singula quae circa doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab Ecclesiae magisterio definitive proponuntur, scilicet quae ad idem fidei depositum sancte custodiendum et fideliter exponendum requiruntur; ideoque doctrinae Ecclesiae catholicae adversatur qui easdem propositiones definitive tenendas recusat.
[10] Neque enim fidei doctrina, quam Deus revelavit, velut philosophicum inventum proposita est humanis ingeniis perficienda, sed tamquam divinum depositum Christi Sponsae tradita, fideliter custodienda et infallibiliter declaranda. Hinc sacrorum quoque dogmatum is sensus perpetuo est retinendus, quem semel declaravit Sancta Mater Ecclesia, nec umquam ab eo sensu, altior intelligentiae specie et nomine, recedendum. Crescat igitur et multum vehementerque proficiat, tam singulorum, quam omnium, tam unius hominis, quam totius Ecclesiae, aetatum ac saeculorum gradibus, intelligentia, scientia, sapientia; sed in suo dumtaxat genere, in eodem scilicet dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia (Vine. Lir. Common, n. 28).

[11] Yves Congar on the “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers” in, Tradition and Traditions; McMillan Company, New York, 1966.

[12] Manual of Patrology, by Rev. Bernard Schid, O.S. B, Herder Book Co., 1917, Pg. 31.

[13] The term "suapte natura" simply means "by or of its own nature". The meaning in law is identical: "Lat. In its own nature. Suapte natura sterilis, barren in its own nature and quality; intrinsically barren." - Black's Law Dictionary (online)

[14] The Salza/Siscoe interpretation of Mystici Corporis is not shared by any academically qualified theologian in the world. Mons. Van Noort wrote:

"b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. 'For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy'.

Related articles: