Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

November AD 2011
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin


Does Anyone Go to Hell?
Is Freedom Against the Natural Law?
New Translation: Of the Mass or of the Novus Ordo?
Names for Our Guardian Angels?


Does Anyone Go to Hell?

Question: I saw a video of a Novus Ordo priest who didn’t think anyone actually went to Hell.[1]  He also blamed Saint Thomas for being spiteful about those thought to be in Hell.  Does this make any sense?

Answer:  No!  But to be fair to Fr. Robert Barron, who made the video, he doesn’t go farther than to suggest that “we may reasonably hope that all men will be saved.”  He bases this on the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a Modernist theologian who died just before being made a Cardinal.[2]  Balthasar claimed that God’s love for mankind led the “utter abandonment” of His Son, which was so great a sacrifice that it leads to the “reasonable hope” of universal salvation.  This is not quite the same as saying that all men will be saved, but does come close, and will probably promote indifference to keeping the Commandments and receiving the Sacraments among many who are exposed to this theory.  And this indifference itself may bring about the loss of many souls. 

Unfortunately this bubbling optimism is deeply embedded in the Modernist psyche.  Von Balthasar was considered by many Catholics to be the greatest theologian of the twentieth century.  In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II opined that “perhaps Purgatory is enough.”[3]  And the mistranslation of the consecration of the wine, employed in many languages, suggests that Christ’s blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin of all mankind—an notion which Pope Benedict has sought to correct, but with a fair amount of resistance.[4]

The biblical evidence for hell, and that people may actually spend eternity there is strong:  “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”[5]  “Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry... I was thirsty ... I was a stranger ... naked ... and in prison, and you did not visit me.”[6]  “And fear not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.”[7]  “It is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.”[8]

At Fatima, Our Lady showed the children a vision of Hell containing human forms, and said quite directly: “Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray for them or make sacrifices for them.”

The Church professes her faith in the Athanasian Creed: "They that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire" (Denzinger, "Enchiridion", 10th ed., 1908, n.40). The Church has repeatedly defined this truth, e.g. in the profession of faith made in the Second Council of Lyons (Denx., n. 464) and in the Decree of Union in the Council of Florence (Denz., N. 693): "the souls of those who depart in mortal sin, or only in original sin, go down immediately into hell, to be visited, however, with unequal punishments" (poenis disparibus).[9]

The notion that Hell might be a temporary state was condemned in 537 with the authority of Pope Vigilius (540-555): 

Canon 9:  If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at some time, that is to say that there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema.

What Saint Thomas said about the attitude of those in heaven toward the dead was:

A thing may be a matter of rejoicing in two ways. First directly, when one rejoices in a thing as such: and thus the saints will not rejoice in the punishment of the wicked. Secondly, indirectly, by reason namely of something annexed to it: and in this way the saints will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked, by considering therein the order of Divine justice and their own deliverance, which will fill them with joy. And thus the Divine justice and their own deliverance will be the direct cause of the joy of the blessed: while the punishment of the damned will cause it indirectly.[10]

The rejoicing comes only from the recognition of having escaped punishment, a fact that will be certain when considering the fact that not all souls did escape just punishment.

It may be theoretically possible to drive drunk from California to Florida without getting arrested or having an accident, but anyone promoting the hope of this unlikely possibility would be terribly irresponsible.  It is at least as irresponsible to promote the hope that everyone goes to heaven no matter what!

Is Freedom Against the Natural Law?

Question:  In another video he claimed that the American idea of freedom is at odds with the natural law.HeIt claimed that freedom “is the disciplining of desire, first to make the good possible, and then effortless” and that law is essential to this discipline.[11]

Answer:  The American idea of freedom is in fact founded on the principles of the natural law.  All men are endowed by their Creator with a natural right to life and property.  Unquestionably, a man might be said to be most free when he has acquired the ability to make maximum use of his God given rights and talents.

In a free society civil laws are in conformity with the natural law so that all individuals can “make maximum use of their God given rights and talents,” thereby maximizing the good of everyone in that society.

What is at odds with the American ideal is the society that passes laws that conflict with the natural law—laws that impinge on life, liberty, and property to benefit some elite group at the expense of others—and, of course, laws that deny God and His authority to rule mankind.  Natural rights are taken away—either lost, or replaced with specious “rights” to the fruit of other people’s labor.  A classic example of this reassignment of “rights” is found in the recent contention that all women have a “right” to free birth control and subsidized abortion through government mandated insurance![12]  Can someone explain how to square that with the keeping of the natural law?  It is simply taking away the rights of some in order to confer imaginary “rights” on others.  Women who want children, women who are chaste, women who are infertile, and men will be required to pay for the convenience of promiscuous women.  And babies, with every natural law right to life, will be slaughtered for the same group of women.  Amazing!

Modernist clergymen often play into the hands of those who seek to take away or redistribute rights.  They labor under the delusion that many people are unable to take care of themselves, and must be protected by a wise political elite.  They fail to recognize that society—and the individuals in society—are far better off when everyone has “the ability to make maximum use of his God given rights and talents.”  It is simply not possible to redistribute what has not been produced—and nothing gets produced unless man is free to exercise his talents and abilities, and motivated to do so by his own enlightened self interest.

Translation: Of the Mass or of the Novus Ordo?

Question:  I received the following message from my brother.  Is it correct?  (RD, Ocala)

Went to vigil Mass last evening and was told by our priest that there would be a new version of the Missal beginning first of Advent this year. He mentioned some differences but essentially the missal would be a nearly word for word translation from the Tridentine Latin that was a disappointment to so many Catholics. I admit I would rather the entire Mass revert to the original Latin but a word for word translation into English is the next best thing....

Answer:  There will be a new translation of the Novus Ordo this Advent, but it will still be the Novus Ordo and not the Tridentine Mass that is being translated.  It is important to note that Pope Paul VI issued the text of his Novus Ordo Missæ in Latin.  The English translation currently in use, and the one that preceded it, were extremely loose—sometimes varying from the Latin, and sometimes ignoring it altogether.

The most notable mistranslation was that of the consecration of the wine, where the Latin “pro multis” was translated as “for all men” and later “for all.”  This error gave the idea, mentioned above, that everyone would be saved because the shedding of Christ’s blood forgave everybody’s sins.  This translation was employed in English and a number of other languages despite an explanation in the Catechism of the Council of Trent explaining why it should not be.[13]  In November 2006 the Vatican issued an order that the error be corrected in two years.[14]  (Apparently the Vatican has yet to discover the felt tipped pen.)  Many are opposed to doing so.

The new translation will also reflect the few references of the Latin Novus Ordo that suggest that the Mass is a sacrifice.  For the most part, these were simply ignored in the old rendering.

But even with a perfectly accurate translation the English version cannot be any better than the Latin Novus Ordo.  All of the shortcomings pointed out by Cardinal Ottaviani, former head of the Holy Office, will remain in both versions.[15]  The offertory prayers will still be replaced by Jewish table graces.  Genuflections and other forms of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament with continue to be left out.  The service will continue to be a memorial meal shared by the congregation under the presidency of the priest.  The “consecration” will continue to be a narrative of what Christ did at the Last Supper, rather than a doing of what Christ did by a priest acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ).

But it gets worse.  Cardinal Ottaviani’s successor in the Holy Office, now Pope Benedict XVI lamented precisely that many Novus Ordo priests have, in fact, lost the belief that in offering Mass they are offering the Sacrifice of Calvary.[16]  In declaring Anglican Orders invalid, Pope Leo XIII insisted that the essential form for the Consecration of Bishops must refer to the “summum sacerdotium,” the “fullness of the priesthood.”[17]—Pope Paul VI removed this reference in his 1968 revision of the rites of ordination.[18]  Back in 2003, Walter Cardinal Kasper suggested that the Catholic Church no longer believes in the physical continuity of apostolic succession![19]

With no sacrifice, and no priesthood, this memorial meal will continue to be a far cry from the Catholic Mass, no matter what the language or the quality of the translation.

Names for Our Guardian Angels?

Question:  On of the “permanent” deacons said that his friends gave nick-names to their guardian angels.  Isn’t the naming of angels restricted to the names of the angels in the Bible?  (AH, New York)

Answer:  At a Roman synod in 743 Pope Saint Zachary (741-752) expressed the concern that Catholics were regarding the angels in a superstitious manner, demanding their constant intervention, and even worshipping them.  A host of names had been proposed for the angels without reference to Sacred Scripture or Tradition.  The names “Ariel” and “Uriel,” for example, originate in apocryphal Jewish and gnostic literature.  Pope Saint Zachary ruled that only the names of the biblical angels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael would henceforth be venerated in the Roman Church.[20]

Michael means “Who is like God,” a reference to his role in the struggle against the apostate angels who thought of themselves as equals to God.  Feast days:  May 8th and September 29th.

Gabriel means “Strength of God.”  It is he who represents God in the Scriptures to make important announcements.  Feast day: March 24th.

Raphael means “It is God who heals,” sometimes given as “Medicine of God,” referring to his role in healing the elder Tobias of blindness in the Old Testament book by that name.




[2]   Cf. Galatians 6:7

[3]   Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pages 186-7

[5]   Matthew 7: 14 emphasis supplied.

[6]   Matthew 25: 41-43 emphasis supplied.

[7]   Matthew 10:28.

[8]   Mark 9: 42, 43 emphasis supplied.

[9]   Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. “Hell.”

[10]   Summa Theologica III Supplement Q94, a3.

[16]   Theology of the Liturgy”: delivered during the Journees liturgiques de Fontgombault, 22‑24 July 2001.

[18]   Pope Paul VI, Pontificalis Romani 18 June, 1968 [LINK]

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