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[527] Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Zep 3:14-18 / Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6 / Lk 1:39-56

Mary is viewed by believers as a figure for the Church, particularly as the New Jerusalem. What God did for her we hope to see realized in us: filled with grace and holiness, handmaid of the Lord, and raised or restored body-and-soul to life in heaven. Israel of old wandered through the desert and was given stewardship of the Ark of the Covenant. Mary, as also a daughter Zion would travel the desert to visit her cousin Elizabeth. There she would fulfill the command found in Zephaniah, “Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exalt with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!” Indeed, her canticle wonderfully parallels the prophetic words of restitution and mercy from God. Indeed, the prophetic words are realized in a way that the prophet could never have imagined, “Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior.” The encounter between these women was not between two persons but four. Hidden but present was John the Baptizer in the womb and, more importantly, the unborn Christ. The responsorial uses Isaiah’s words which point even more directly to the feast we celebrate today: “Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel. God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD.”

Speaking for myself, a personal connection is made with the words, “With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” I visited the site of the Visitation on two occasions, and there is a well at the bottom of the hill from where the encounter took place. There is now a Catholic church that marks the site. There is a quaint legend about the hell. Supposedly, during the time when the elder Herod had his soldiers out search to kill the Christ Child, Elizabeth and Zechariah placed the baby John in a bucket and lowered him into the well so as to hide him. Otherwise, his death would have been added to the many Holy Innocents who died. When we next encounter John, note that he would again be in the water, albeit baptizing for repentance sake in the Jordan.

The Visitation scene is remarkable on many levels. When Mary entered the house we are told that John leaped in the womb. Even here he is the prophet of the Lord, announcing the presence of the Christ. I recall an artist’s modern “symbolic” depiction which showed a cut-away of Christ shining with brilliant Light in the womb and with John smiling and jumping. Today, especially, there is a powerful pro-life message to this event. Jesus was Lord even in the womb and John was his prophet. Such celebrations make the proponents of abortion very uncomfortable. Every child, inside or outside the womb, is a living person distinct from his or her parents. Every person is precious and irreplaceable. Every child is a reflection of the Christ Child. The mystery of the Incarnation brings home the fact that there is no such thing as a pro-abortion Christianity. This makes abortion and all those who permit or enable it to happen into accomplices to murder, indeed, more than this, a form of attempted deicide. Having already received the greeting associated with the Hail Mary prayer from the angel, we now hear the Spirit-moved addition from Elizabeth, a daughter of Israel: “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” The Church will add the rest. Mary responds with her Magnificat that is used every day in the Liturgy of the Hours: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” Mary here becomes a prophetess. Note that she says that God is her Savior, not that he “will be,” an indication toward the mystery of her holiness as the Immaculate Conception. She also foretells her continuing role and the devotion of the Church toward her. God has remembered his promise and has sent the Savior or Messiah. The damage caused by sin will be healed. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Faith & Values in the News

Poll Worker Convicted of Voter Fraud

I am not taking sides and I am trying to stay non-partisan.  But this reminds me of jokes told in Democrat circles. This story fits the motto, “Vote early, vote often.” Years ago when there were complaints in Baltimore about votes being cast by the dead whose names had been lifted from cemeteries, one poll worker responded with a straight face, “It all goes to show you that you just can’t keep a good Democrat down!”

Man Returns from the Dead

Jesus would say, “Been there, done that.”  (Of course, this man was not really dead.  When will we get this right?)

Father Andrew Greeley Dies

Father Greeley passed away. Since his fall he had been unable to do very much. Back when I knew him, he always surprised me by the speed that he could talk… and he could type at the same rate, faster than I could think. Rest in peace.

Teacher fired by Catholic school after artificial insemination

Along with several other cases, such will give us a hint as to where we are going with churches and religious morality clauses in regard to employees. Christianity places a high premium on truthfulness and witness, as well as I should add, charity.

Profiting from a Dead Priest

Gloria Christian Gifts is purportedly selling religious medals owned by the late Fr. Lubey as well as patches of an old alb as relics. Such is being conducted without ecclesiastical approbation.  Any medals that Father kept were blessed, making this the sin of simony. BEWARE!  This would include the buyer.  I sent them an email and notified the Archdiocese of Washington.  He regarded every priest as a healing priest. He rejected at every opportunity the semblance of any personality cult. This business would make him very unhappy. While they might mean well, it can too easily take advantage of hurting and sick people.  (This dear priest married my parents and baptized me. He placed me as an infant on the high altar and prayed that I might be a priest. Toward the end, he visited my father at the house to tell Daddy goodbye. They were like brothers. The next day Fr. Lubey passed. He knew he was going to die.)

To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here

So much for global warming, we may be in for global cooling and a mini-ice age that will last 250 years! Where’s my coat? Shoot! There goes my fundraising ideas for growing oranges in Maryland!

Vatican spokesman says pope is wrong, atheists still going to hell

The media likes to create controversies where there are none. The Pope may have been misunderstood but there is no challenge here to Catholic teaching. God saves whom he wills to save. All the spokesman is saying is if someone knows that the Catholic Church is the true Church and refuses to be a part of it, such a person casts himself outside the saving community of faith. However, non-believers of goodwill probably do not believe the Church’s claim and thus do not fall under the full weight of this judgment. This does not necessarily mean that ignorance will save them; only that charity covers a multitude of sins. Can atheists go to heaven? There is no guarantee that all Catholics and Christians will, particularly if we become comfortable with living in mortal sin.

Abuse. Blasphemy. Communion in the hand?

Part of the problem here is that communion-in-the-hand is done improperly. The communicants are supposed to step aside and place the host in the mouth while standing before the priest, deacon or EMOHC. The minister of the sacrament is obliged to see them put the host in the mouth. Instead, people are taking the host, turning and walking away. With their backs to the minister, they are racing to their pews, sometimes without even saying “Amen.” I am constantly correcting people about this; yes, even to the extent of chasing a person to his seat and demanding the return of the unconsumed host. Communion directly upon the tongue would indeed better safeguard the sacrament; however, even in the old days we had issues with kids throwing up or finding the remains of a host that had been spit out. We would place the host or fragments into a water-filled intinction bowl and allow it to dissolve (in the tabernacle). Communion-in-the-hand is not really new but the restoration of an ancient practice of the Church; however, we have to ask ourselves, maybe the Church had good reason for abandoning the practice? This applies even to elements going back to apostolic and/or to patristic practice.

Faith & Values in the News

COMMENTARY: The revolution is upon us

I am not convinced that this religious revolution is a good thing. Instead of an ecclesial purification, we might face a secular purging where the rights of the Church and religious liberty will be attacked. Is it not already happening?

Pope and the devil: Francis’ fascination with Satan leads to suspicion he performed exorcism

I suspect we are going to hear a lot more about deliverance prayer and exorcisms in the days immediately ahead. The devil has numbed consciences and oppressed souls long enough. People are under demonic domination and bondage and do not even seem to know it. The problem is far more serious than unseen footsteps and whispers in the dark.

Godless funerals thrive in ‘post-Catholic’ Ireland

Because of scandal and defection, people are opting out of Catholic funerals. This is not only a trend in Ireland. We are seeing more funerals here too, without benefit of clergy or the Mass. We are forgetting our obligation to pray for the dead and the value of such for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

Politician: Kill Disabled Children Like We Kill Deformed Lambs

People act surprised at this attitude, but it is a growing mentality and is already realized with abortion. 90% of unborn children with Downs are terminated (murdered) in the womb. I suspect we shall see further culling of “defective” children so we can avoid the expense and the bother of caring for them. We will also deprive ourselves of knowing them and being loved by them.

Scientists Claim They Have Cloned Human Embryos for Stem Cells

Human cloning is supposed to be illegal. But there is a loophole, it is only illegal if the cloned embryo is allowed to live. This is government sanctioned murder.

Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell convicted of first-degree murder

Are the wheels in motion for a presidential pardon? Monsters are monsters, even if PP wants to distance itself from Gosnell.

Knights Pass Out Flowers for Mother’s Day


Father Michael C. Kidd Council members passed our marigolds to mothers after Masses at Holy Family Church.


Father Kidd Council Awarded at State K of C Convention


Father Kidd Council won first place in the following activities: Council, Family, Youth, Community Service, and the Culture of Life. Our pro-life award also won as representative for MD to the Supreme Convention in Texas. We won 2nd place in Church, and congratulate St. Mary of the Assumption (also district 3!) for their first place win! More important than awards, just think of all the good works performed! God bless all our Knights, their ladies and families!

Faith & Values in the News

Mom Screams for Clinic to Call 911 When Baby Born Alive After Abortion

There is so much complicity in this type of homocide. I recall as a seminarian a great controversy when some of the guys with holy communion were obliged to visit women in hospitals who were abortion patients. They were told not to be judgmental. Here is a woman who regrets her decision, but too late.

Three fake nuns arrested with 12 pounds of cocaine

The fact that they were dressed as nuns was probably the give-away, now if they were in polyester pant-suits, they might have gotten away with it. Goodness!

Kentucky woman ordained as priest by dissident Roman Catholics

I can say that I am a ballerina or a space alien, but saying it will not make it so. The poor lady is just one more fake wannabe priest.

At Boston’s bombing scene: Catholic priests need not apply

But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites…

Archbishop prays while topless gay activists shout curses and douse him with water

It could have been worse. I recall a bishop several years ago being spat upon and purportedly doused with urine by protestors. We will see more of this as our clash with the modern world intensifies.

Baby girl sacrificed on bonfire after sect leader says tot is the Antichrist, Chile cops say

Tell me again there is no hell. Such monsters will not escape divine justice!

Arabic mandatory at city public school

Not Spanish, despite their high numbers of immigrants and their birthrate? Hum, could it be because they are mostly Catholic? Arabic is necessary for the proper reading of the Koran and the required prayer chants. While there are translations, traditional Islam frowns upon them and only the original text is regarded as “inspired” or authoritative. Such would make language education a vital ingredient to the expansion of Islam. I vote for compulsory Latin… it will open up the classics of Western civilization, help restore dignity to Catholic worship and make a big difference in understanding basic grammar.

How many public schools teach compulsory Hebrew? Israel is also a big part of the world-peace struggle, too. Of course, Judaism does not tend to be as proactive in making converts as is either Islam or Christianity.

The article includes the quote, “Soon, Arabic will be a global language like French and Spanish. These kids are like sponges. It’s amazing to see their progress.” What is not said is that Arabic is not really a secular language but is one rooted in a particular culture and faith. I am not saying that I am opposed to such instances of education, as long as schools provide other languages and teach the classics. However, many schools no longer teach Latin and Greek. The Christian worldview, along with its culture, is being ecclipsed by a secular humanism that is ill-equipped for the ideological wars and faith conflicts which are pressing upon us.

Pope Francis reaffirms the CDF’s assessment of the LCWR

This was never in question, popes may change, doctrine does not.

Pope Francis clear on denying Communion to those who facilitate abortion

A true consistent life-ethic.

Limbo in Limbo, or Suburb of Hell?

nurp-playground.gifCan children, and notably infants, go to hell?

It seems that St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and some of the early fathers of the Church thought so and for this reason they mandated infant baptism. While they were not guilty of personal sin, they still suffered from the effects of unremitted original sin. St. Augustine’s opinions held sway at the Council of Carthage (418 AD) which rejected even a limbo existence or place of happiness for unbaptized children. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “St. Augustine thought that unbaptized infants went to hell, although he conceded that, due to their lack of personal responsibility and guilt for original sin, the pains of hell were in some way diminished for them” (vol. 8, p. 590). St. Anselm (1033-1109) sided with St. Augustine on the matter of “positive suffering” in hell for unbaptized children. Origin challenged the notion. But the problem was Jesus commanded that unless we were born again of water and the Spirit we could have no part of him.

A sentiment for infant damnation has been revisited in some of the Protestant churches, especially those with a Calvinistic flavor. We recall that Thomas Hardy’s TESS in literature was turned down by an Anglican clergyman when she begged for her child to have a Christian burial. Similarly, the Puritan Johnathan Edwards in his fiery sermons and Sir Isaac Wattes’ in song declared that “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of unbaptized children.”

After the fathers, as the Church continued her reflection on this matter, the scholastics detailed their own theory of a LIMBO PUERORUM. St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274) conjectured that this limbo was a middle state of perfect natural happiness; however, they would be deprived of the Beatific Vision. Italian Jansenists would return to St. Augustine’s view at the Synod of Pistola (1786) and argue as revealed doctrine that unbaptized children are damned to the eternal fires of hell. Pope Pius VI came out with Auctorem Fidei (1794) siding with the more moderate scholastics and condemned the view that unbaptized infants suffer hell fire.

Those of us who cherished and memorized our Baltimore Catechism, remember limbo, from the Latin “limbus” meaning hem or border, as a teaching that preserved the necessity of baptism while excluding unbaptized babies from the full severity of God’s justice, since they had committed no personal sin. The universal catechism today says nothing about limbo. Rather, it states: “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them’ (Mark 10:4), allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who haved died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism” [CCC 1261]. 

baby4.gifThe subject of LIMBO was in the news about six years ago with a report from the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. Like so much else, it was being misreported. Various news organizations wrongly said that the Pope and the Vatican were officially nixing Limbo and yet the Holy Father was simply signing off with allowing the commission to publish its findings after years of investigation. Further, the commission did not totally close the door to the long-held theory, only that it was unlikely and seemed an overly “restrictive view of salvation”. The commission contended that there were good reasons to hope that babies who die without the benefit of baptism (might) go to heaven.

John Thavis of the CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE reports:


In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo — as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God — seemed to reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation.”

The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said.

But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and “wants all human beings to be saved,” it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ’s special love for “the little ones,” it said.

“Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered … give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision,” the document said.

“We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge,” it added.

nurple-mothersmilk.gifThe document is not very large, only 41 pages and is entitled, THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIE WITHOUT BEING BAPTIZED. Thirty experts from around the world sit on the international commission. It only has an advisory role and such documents do not represent “authoritative” teaching that mandates assent.

The question is increasingly important given that more and more couples are laxed or dismissive of baptism and because of the holocaust of abortion. Limbo was never defined Church teaching but was a highly regarded theory taught in old catechisms. It is not in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The CNS article states:

The Church’s hope for these infants’ salvation reflects a growing awareness of God’s mercy, the commission said. But the issue is not simple, because appreciation for divine mercy must be reconciled with fundamental Church teachings about original sin and about the necessity of baptism for salvation, it said.

The document traced the development of church thinking about the fate of unbaptized children, noting that there is “no explicit answer” from Scripture or tradition.

“God can…give the grace of baptism without the sacrament being conferred, and this fact should particularly be recalled when the conferring of baptism would be impossible,” it said.

In this and other situations, the need for the sacrament of baptism is not absolute and is secondary to God’s desire for the salvation of every person, it said.

This does not deny that all salvation comes through Christ and in some way through the Church, it said, but it requires a more careful understanding of how this may work.

How might unbaptized babies be united to Christ?

  • A “saving conformity to Christ in his own death” by infants who themselves suffer and die.
  • A solidarity with Christ among infant victims of violence, born and unborn, who like the holy innocents killed by King Herod are endangered by the “fear or selfishness of others.”
  • God may simply give the gift of salvation to unbaptized infants, corresponding to his sacramental gift of salvation to the baptized.

Later we read:

The findings of this report should not be used to “negate the necessity of baptism, nor to delay the conferral of the sacrament.”

“Rather, there are reasons to hope that God will save these infants precisely because it was not possible to do for them that what would have been most desirable — to baptize them in the faith of the church and incorporate them visibly into the body of Christ.”

“It must be clearly acknowledged that the church does not have sure knowledge about the salvation of unbaptized infants who die,” it said.


Catholic Belief by J. Faa Di Bruno, D.D.

nurple-devilchild.gifORIGINAL sin is distinguished from actual, or personal, sin in this — that actual or personal sin is the sin which we personally with our own free will commit whilst original sin is that which our human nature committed with the will of Adam, in whom all our human nature was included, and with whom our human nature is united as a branch to a root, as a child to a parent, as men who partake with Adam the same nature which we have derived from him, and as members of the same human family of which Adam was the head. The difference between original and personal sin is that the latter is committed with our own personal will, whilst original sin was committed with the will of another, and only morally our own, because it forms with that other (Adam, who is our head) one moral body — humanity.

If our hand strike a fellow-creature unjustly, though the hand have no will of its own, yet it is considered guilty, not indeed as viewed in itself, but inasmuch as it is united to the rest of the body, and to the soul, forming one human being; and thus sharing in the will of the soul with which it is connected.

In the same manner the sin committed inwardly by the human will, by a bad desire, belongs to the whole human being.

Of original sin, in which we are born, we are not personally guilty with our own personal will, but our nature is guilty by the will of Adam our head, with whom we form one moral body through the human nature which we derive from him.

It is a point of Catholic faith that original sin does not consist in what is called concupiscence, which is a propensity to evil of the inferior part of the human soul.

Sin, to be a sin in the strict sense of the word, must be within the sphere of morality, that is, must depend upon free will; and hence the noted principle in moral philosophy and theology, that there is no sin where there is no will.

Concupiscence, therefore, which is not will, but a blind, involuntary inclination of our lower nature (and therefore an irresponsible tendency to evil), is not of itself sinful unless it be consented to by the will, or rendered strong by bad and unrestricted habit.

Concupiscence is indeed sometimes called sin in Holy Scripture (Romans 7:7; Galatians 5:24), but it is called so as the holy Council of Trent explains, not in a strict, but in a wide sense, that is, inasmuch as it is a consequence of original sin, and an incentive to actual sin.

This concupiscence, or inclination to evil, still remains in those from whom the guilt and stain of original sin has been entirely washed away by the Sacrament of Baptism. Moreover, strictly speaking, no one is regarded as a sinner merely because he feels tempted to sin. This miserable propensity to evil excites the compassion rather than the anger of God; who said to Noah: “I will no more curse the earth for the sake of man; for the imagination and thought of man’s heart are prone to evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21).

The Catholic Church teaches that Adam by his sin not only caused harm to himself, but to the whole human race; that by it he lost, the supernatural justice and holiness which he received gratuitously from God, and lost it, not only for himself, but also for all of us; and that he, having stained himself with the sin of disobedience, has transmitted not only death and other bodily pains and infirmities to the whole human race, but also sin, which is the death of the soul.
The teaching of the Council of Trent (Session 5) is confirmed by these words of St. Paul: “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

The Royal Psalmist (Psalm 1:7) says: “For behold I was conceived in iniquities and in sins did my mother conceive me.” (In the Hebrew text it ia in the singular, i.e., conceived me in sin.)

Upon this text St. Augustine says: “David was not born in adultery, for he was born from Jesse, a just man, and his wife. Why does he say that he was conceived in iniquity, unless because iniquity is derived from Adam?”

That the early Christians believed in original sin, can be gathered from what St. Augustine said to Pelagius: “I did not invent original sin, which Catholic faith holds from ancient time; but thou, who deniest it, thou without doubt, art a new heretic” (De Nuptiis, Book 11, Chapter 12).

It may be said that this belief is as old as the human race, for traces of this ancient tradition are spread among all nations, insomuch that Voltaire had to confess that “The fall of man is the base of the theology of nearly all ancient people” (Philosophie de l’Histoire, chapitre 17).

Besides the guilt of original sin, which is the habitual state of sinfulness in which we are born (because our human nature is justly considered to have consented in Adam to the rejection of original justice), there is also in man the stain of original sin, entailing in the human soul the privation of that supernatural luster which, had we been born in the state of original justice, we all should have had.

As neither Adam nor any of his offspring could repair the evil done by his sin, we should have always remained in the state of original sin and degradation in which we were born, and have been forever shut out from the beatific vision of God in heaven, had not God, in His infinite mercy, provided for us a Redeemer.


Anita Moore OPL

Here, for what they are worth, are my own speculations on the fate of infants who die without the Sacrament of Baptism.

As for whether children can go to Hell, with or without Baptism, St. Faustina recounts in her Diary a vision in which Jesus asks her to intercede on behalf of children, because children were offending Him very much. (I wish I could cite to the exact section, but the index to the Diary is far from exhaustive.)

In an age when we assume children go to Heaven, despite the greater and greater evils perpetrated by them, should this not give us pause?


I do not believe infants cause evil. A two week old cannot commit an evil, but alas a 5 year old may be able to. It has to do with reason. A newborn infant does not have that ability. Faustina may have had to intercede on behalf of children, not infants. There is a difference.

Father Joe

Children make first penance and communion in second grade, with the Church judging that by seven to eight years old they have reached the age of reason. No one ever suggested in the debate that infants had committed personal sin. The problem was original sin (passed on from Adam and Eve) and the necessity for faith (even if from parents and godparents) and baptism. Remember, salvation is purely a gift that left to our own devices we cannot deserve or merit apart from Christ.


In my previous response I was responding to what Anita said, just clarifying that infants do not commit personal sin.

The report said, ““God can…give the grace of baptism without the sacrament being conferred, and this fact should particularly be recalled when the conferring of baptism would be impossible,” I particularly believe this to be true with the unborn that die before they even take their first breath. God is merciful and loving and as our Father I believe he welcomes these little ones who never got the chance.

Anita Moore OPL

I never said infants are guilty of personal sin. I was referring to children who have reached the age of reason.

The reality is that we do not know for certain what happens to infants who die without baptism. Maybe the reason God has kept this knowledge from us is because if we knew for certain that all who die in infancy go to heaven, we might not bother to have infants baptized.

Father Joe

Did not mean to imply you did. I was just trying to be comprehensive.

Donald E. Flood

Father Joe, the ITC report never cited, even as a reference, the Papal Bull “Effraenatam” from Pope Sixtus V, which stated the following:
“Noticing that frequently by various Apostolic Constitutions the audacity and daring of most profligate men, who know no restraint, of sinning with license against the commandment ‘do not kill’ was repressed; We who are placed by the Lord in the supreme throne of justice, being counseled by a most just reason, are in part renewing old laws and in part extending them in order to restrain with just punishment the monstrous and atrocious brutality of those who have no fear to kill most cruelly fetuses still hiding in the maternal viscera. Who will not detest such an abhorrent and evil act, by which are lost not only the bodies but also the souls? Who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the impiety of him who will exclude a soul created in the image of God and for which Our Lord Jesus Christ has shed His precious Blood, and which is capable of eternal happiness and is destined to be in the company of angels, from the blessed vision of God, and who has impeded as much as he could the filling up of heavenly mansions, and has taken away the service to God by His creature?”


Clearly, Pope Sixtus V, taught, from the Chair of Peter, that abortion excludes an infant’s soul from Heaven, the Beatific Vision.

Father Joe

The document was a condemnation and censure against abortion.  Peripheral issues are connected but the issue for the Vatican is what the Pope intended to say and to define.  Not everything that Popes include in such documents have the same weight.  It is an exercise of the ordinary authority of the Holy See.  Certain juridical elements would be altered by a later pontificate.