Sunday, May 26, 2024
A Catholic Life Podcast: Episode 67

In today’s episode, on Trinity Sunday, I address the following:

  1. Trinity Sunday
  2. (6) Heresies Against the Trinity to Refute
  3. Worshipping with Non-Catholics is a Mortal Sin

I would like to thank for sponsoring this episode., the leader in online Catholic catechism classes, has everything from online K-12 programs, RCIA classes, adult continuing education, marriage preparation, baptism preparation, confirmation prep, quince prep classes, catechist training courses, and much more. It is never too late to study the fullness of the Catholic Faith and is the gold standard in authentic Catholic formation online. During the Season after Pentecost we celebrate many incredible days: Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, and so much more. Save 25% with discount code Pentecost25 on their special course.   

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Worshipping with Protestants Is A Mortal Sin

No one can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Church, you can find everything except salvation. You can have dignities, you can have Sacraments, you can sing "Alleluia," answer "Amen," have the Gospels, have faith in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and preach it, too. But never can you find salvation except in the Catholic Church - St. Augustine

There Is Only One True Religion

The Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ has always taught that organized religion is revealed by God and necessary for salvation. And the one religion revealed by God that is true, which is confirmed by both reason and countless verifiable miracles, is the Catholic Religion. There is no salvation found in any other religion. Just as there is only one God who is the only way to salvation (cf. John 14:6) there is only one religion established by Him for our salvation. Any other religion must necessarily be a false religion since its teachings contradict the Catholic religion. 

Logically speaking, there can, at most, be only one true religion. And the disunity and contradictions among the thousands of Protestant denominations violate the very principle of catholicity - not to mention apostolicity - which must be found in the true religion. With the advent of Protesantism in the 1500s, Luther stated that the Bible was open to individual interpretation, and the theological trail became crisscrossed with Biblical theorizing and harsh denunciations. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Anabaptists, and others all preached different pathways of what each described as the true road to salvation. None of them agreed. And none of their respective denominations agree. They all conflicted and continue to conflict with each other. Just as 1 + 1 must equal 2, it is impossible for all of the conflicting and varied protestant groups to all be true. The truth is actually found only in the Catholic Church.

Worshipping With Other Religions Is a Mortal Sin Against the First Commandment

The First Commandment enjoins us not only to believe in God and worship Him but also to trust Him and love Him, as well as to encourage others to do likewise. The Catechism of the Council of Trent explained this well when discussing the First of the 10 Commandments:

The (mandatory part) contains a precept of faith, hope and charity. For, acknowledging God to be immovable, immutable, always the same, we rightly confess that He is faithful and entirely just. Hence in assenting to His oracles, we necessarily yield to Him all belief and obedience. Again, who can contemplate His omnipotence, His clemency, His willing beneficence, and not repose in Him all his hopes? Finally, who can behold the riches of His goodness and love, which He lavishes on us, and not love Him? Hence the exordium and the conclusion used by God in Scripture when giving His commands: I, the Lord.

Next, the Catechism explains what the First Commandment forbids:

The (negative) part of this Commandment is comprised in these words: Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. This the Lawgiver subjoins, not because it is not sufficiently expressed in the affirmative part of the precept, which means: Thou shalt worship Me, the only God, for if He is God, He is the only God; but on account of the blindness of many who of old professed to worship the true God and yet adored a multitude of gods. Of these there were many even among the Hebrews, whom Elias reproached with having halted between two sides [III Kngs xviii. 21], and also among the Samaritans, who worshipped the God of Israel and the gods of the nations [cf. IV Kngs xvii. 33].

Consequently, sins against the First Commandment include (among other things) failing to pray, failing to study the Faith, neglecting spiritual duties, taking part in the worship of non-Catholic religions, despair, presumption, idolatry, consulting fortune tellers, and observing superstitious practices like horoscopes. The Baltimore Catechism clearly reiterates this prohibition against spells and charms: “Those who make use of spells and charms, or who believe in dreams, in mediums, spiritists, fortune-tellers, and the like, sin against the First Commandment, because they attribute to creatures perfections which belong to God alone.” 

Worshiping with Protestants Is A Mortal Sin

Whispers in Restoration summarized the rationale for why active participation in non-Catholic (e.g., Protestant worship) is always forbidden. Similarly, assisting at Jewish seder meals and any other religious ceremony of non-Catholics is also strictly forbidden:

In considering the question of Catholics joining in non-Catholic worship, the constant and uniform testimony of Scripture and Tradition must be maintained: Catholics may never actively participate in non-Catholic worship. This prohibition follows chiefly from the First Commandment in light of the fact that all non-Catholic worship is false, actions standing contrary to right faith and in violation of both natural and divine law. Such acts are therefore objectively disordered, independent of the subjective culpability of those who engage in such worship.

A second, closely connected reason for this discipline is that of making a lie by demonstrating a false religious unity: for a Catholic to join in non-Catholic worship is to manifest a certain unity with that community, contradicting the true unity of the Church. This leads to a third reason of scandal: Catholics who actively engage in false worship give the objective impression that such disordered acts are permissible, even laudable, and in this way endanger right faith (on the part of Catholics) and confirm non-Catholics in their error. A final reason for this prohibition is that it involves an omission of fraternal charity: by engaging in false worship, the Catholic fails in his duty to mercifully instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, and share the Gospel.

It is therefore doctrinally indefensible to admit of a discipline – alien to the constant and uniform tradition of the Church – that would permit (much less encourage) the active participation of Catholics in non-Catholic worship. 

This prohibition was also clearly specified in Canon Law: “It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active manner, or to take part in the sacred services of non-Catholics” (1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1258, Paragraph 1). But this teaching long pre-dated the 1917 Code and was declared at multiple Councils:

“If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or the meeting-houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion.” (3rd Council of Constantinople, 680 AD).

“And since truth cannot contradict truth, we define that every statement contrary to the enlightened truth of the faith is totally false and we strictly forbid teaching otherwise to be permitted. We decree that all those who cling to erroneous statements of this kind, thus sowing heresies which are wholly condemned, should be avoided in every way and punished as detestable and odious heretics and infidels who are undermining the Catholic faith.” (Session 8 of the 5th Lateran Council, 1513 AD)

Several valid but non-Ecumenical councils further affirmed this same truth (along with other examples):

“No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics… It is not permitted to heretics to enter the house of God while they continue in heresy.” (Council of Laodicea during the 4th century, citing Canon 6)

“One must neither pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whosoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman, let him be excommunicated.” (Council of Carthage)

Can Catholics Attend Non-Catholic Funeral or Wedding Services?

What about non-passive worship? The author from Whispers in Restoration continues by noting that even passive (i.e., non-active) attendance at non-Catholic worship (e.g., at a funeral or wedding of a non-Catholic) would be limited and one which should be considered with the prudential advice of a Catholic priest:

Furthermore, it should be noted that traditionally, if Catholics might be permitted a certain passive participation in occasions of false worship, this was admitted only if the instance was: 1) an extraordinary circumstance, 2) commended by some grave reason, and 3) not overtly scandalous. The cautious qualifications here reflect the gravity of the act in question and recognition of the fact that any form of worship is informed by the beliefs of the worshipping community, demonstrating and effecting their religious unity as well. Thus for a Catholic, even passive participation in non-Catholic worship is a question that must be weighed with great caution.

One typical example given for such potentially permissible passive participation is that of a Catholic attending the non-Catholic funeral of a close relative or friend, provided that fraternal charity truly compels it and there be no danger of scandal or harm to right faith. Even here, it is noteworthy that such participation was only ever admitted as a possibility, and on the assumption that the person was seeking the direction of legitimate pastors in good faith, in order to act well.


We must reject religious indifferentism and seek to win as many souls from the devil and error as possible. By keeping the First Commandment and encouraging others to become Catholic, we observe this first and foundational Commandment. As such, no Catholic may ever participate in the religious worship of any non-Catholic religion—even those of Protestants. Catholics may only actively participate in Catholic worship without exception. Even if a family member goes to such a non-Catholic place of worship, the Catholic is not permitted to join, and if he does, he commits a serious mortal sin and risks excommunication.
Sunday, May 19, 2024
A Catholic Life Podcast: Episode 66

In today’s episode, on Pentecost Sunday, I address the following: 

  1. Customs for Pentecost Sunday & Why Pentecost is Such a Holy Day
  2. The Whit Ember Fasts
  3. Why Catholics Must Reject In Vitro Fertilization

This episode is sponsored by offers Latin prayer cards to learn and share prayers in the sacred language. Learn your basic prayers in Latin conveniently on the go. Practice your pronunciation with easy-to-follow English phonetic renderings of Latin words. offers prayer cards in various formats, including Latin-English rosary pamphlets with the traditional 15 mysteries. Shop for additional Latin resources like missal booklets, server response cards, and more. Visit today.

Subscribe to the podcast on Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, I-tunes, and many other platforms!

Monday, May 13, 2024
Why Catholics Must Reject IVF

Earlier this year the Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled, in an 8-1 decision, that the state's law on accidental death of a minor applies to frozen embryos, considering them as "children" under state law. The decision stemmed from a lawsuit by parents whose frozen embryos were accidentally destroyed at an in vitro fertilization clinic. The court examined the "ontological" status of these unborn children, discussing the definitions of "person" and "child" in the context of state law. The judges concluded that frozen embryos are considered "children" and that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all children, born or unborn, without limitation. This ruling was influenced by Alabama's previous legal developments, including a 2018 constitutional amendment affirming the sanctity of unborn life and a 2019 abortion ban.

The ruling has led to consequences for In vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure used to help individuals or couples with fertility issues to conceive a child. The process involves the fertilization of an egg with sperm outside the body in a laboratory setting. Unbeknown to many, the Catholic Church condemns IVF and Catholics are not permitted to use or support it.

IVF Involves the Deaths of Thousands of Embryos

In vitro fertilization is not permitted in the Catholic faith for any reason; instead, adoption is encouraged and there are morally acceptable options for infertile couples. According to a July 2005 issue of Newsweek, IVF costs $9,000 and only 25% of all cycles involve a live birth. It should also be noted that there is a serious though rare side effect, Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), that has killed patients using IVF. Through IVF, 6 million embryos, human beings like us, have died because of this procedure. That is roughly 80-90% of all embryos created in IVF. In the US, 170,000 embryos die each year. 

From a purely biological standpoint, an embryo is the early stage of development after fertilization of an egg by sperm. In human reproduction, fertilization marks the beginning of a new genetically unique organism making embryos, even in the scientific community, individual human beings with human DNA. Embryos therefore are human beings with a human soul.

IVF Separates the Unitive and Procreative Aspects of Marriage

The procreative aspect of marital relations underscores the sacred and inherent openness to the transmission of life. Sexual intimacy within marriage is viewed as a partnership with God in the act of creation, acknowledging the potential for the conception of a child. This aspect emphasizes the natural purpose of human sexuality in contributing to the ongoing generation of life and participating in the divine plan for the family. The intentional obstruction or manipulation of this procreative potential, such as through the use of artificial contraceptives, is mortally sinful.

The unitive aspect of marital relations in a Catholic context emphasizes the profound unity, mutual self-giving, and love between husband and wife. Sexual intimacy within marriage is a sacred expression of the spouses' commitment to one another, fostering emotional and spiritual closeness. This dimension recognizes the significance of the marital act in deepening the bond between partners, reflecting the selfless love that is meant to characterize the marriage. Practices that undermine the unitive aspect, such as extramarital affairs or artificial reproductive technologies that separate procreation from the marital union, seriously disrupt the intended unity and sanctity of the marital bond.

With these in mind, it is crucial to recognize that the Catholic objection to IVF extends beyond the murder of innocent human beings. Any form of insemination outside of marital intercourse is morally wrong, constituting a transgression against the dignity of the child being conceived.

Artificial Fertilization Condemned Both Inside & Outside of Marriage

In an address given on September 29, 1949, to Catholic Doctors in Rome at their 4th International Congress, Pope Pius XII delivered the following remarks on why artificial insemination is not morally permissible. And his words are crucial to make known today given the recent ruling in the State of Alabama. The Holy Father stated:

"Artificial fertilization, outside of marriage, is to be condemned outright as immoral. Such is indeed the natural law and the positive divine law, that the procreation of a new life can only be the fruit of marriage. Marriage alone safeguards the dignity of the spouses (mainly the woman in this case), their personal property. By itself, only it provides for the good and education of the child. Consequently, on the condemnation of artificial fertilization outside the conjugal union, no difference of opinion is possible between Catholics. A child conceived under these conditions would, by the very fact, be illegitimate.

"Artificial fertilization in marriage, but produced by the active element of a third party, is also immoral and, as such, to be condemned without appeal. Only the spouses have a reciprocal right over their body to engender a new life, an exclusive, non-transferable, inalienable right. And that must also be taken into consideration of the child. To anyone who gives life to a small being, nature imposes, by virtue of this bond, the burden of its conservation and education. But between the legitimate husband and the child, the fruit of the active element of a third party (the spouse was he consenting), there is no bond of origin, no moral and legal bond of conjugal procreation.

"As for the lawfulness of artificial fertilization in marriage, it suffices for us, for the moment, to recall these principles of natural law: the simple fact that the result to which we aim is achieved by this route, does not justify the use of the medium itself; nor the desire, in itself very legitimate among spouses, to have a child, is not enough to prove the legitimacy of the recourse to artificial fertilization, which would fulfill this desire.

"Let it not be forgotten: only the procreation of a new life according to the will and the plan of the Creator carries with it, to an astonishing degree of perfection, the achievement of the aims pursued. It is, at the same time, in conformity with the bodily and spiritual nature and with the dignity of the spouses, with the normal and happy development of the child."


The Church does not condemn scientific progress or medical interventions. However, the Catholic Church supports the responsible use of medicine and healthcare to alleviate suffering, promote health, and preserve life that is in accordance with natural law. The ethical use of medicine in line with Catholic teachings must always include respect for the sanctity of human life, recognition of the dignity of each human person, and fidelity to the natural law.

While the Church supports ethical approaches to fertility treatments, certain assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), are often opposed since they involve practices inconsistent with Catholic moral teachings, such as the destruction of embryos and the separation of the procreative and unitive aspects of marital relations. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024
A Catholic Life Podcast: Episode 65

In today’s episode, on the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, I address the following:

  1. Next Saturday is the Vigil of Pentecost: Fast & Abstain
  2. Our Blessed Mother as Mediatrix of All Graces and Co-Redemptrix

I would like to thank for sponsoring this episode., the leader in online Catholic catechism classes, has everything from online K-12 programs, RCIA classes, adult continuing education, marriage preparation, baptism preparation, confirmation prep, quince prep classes, catechist training courses, and much more.

Thursday, May 9, 2024
A Poem In Honor of Our Lord's Descent to Limbo

When Christ died, He descended into hell, i.e. the Limbo of the Fathers, to rescue the Just of the Old Testament. He turned their prison into a Paradise by the brilliance and consolation of His Presence. Up until Our Lord’s Ascension, the doors of Heaven were closed because of Adam’s sin. While the debt for this sin was paid through the death and Resurrection of Christ, the doors remained closed until He, the Victor over death, should open them and be the first to walk through them. Ascension Thursday recalls this sublime mystery: the opening of Heaven to the souls who had waited in the Limbo of the Fathers. It was on the day of the Lord’s Ascension that humanity, in the Person of Christ, first entered Heaven. And on that day, the Limbo of the Fathers was emptied and “closed” as the souls who had waited there were finally admitted to Heaven.

The following is the poem "LIMBO" by Sister Mary Ada:

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.

An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said :
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
They wondered if they dreamed —
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?

And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.

Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom – boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.

The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song.
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue —-

Not any other.
Close to His heart
When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”
Sunday, May 5, 2024
A Catholic Life Podcast: Episode 64

In today’s episode, on Rogation Sunday, I address the following: 

  1. The Minor Rogation Days
  2. Ascentiontide Customs
  3. How to Participate in The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in union with Christ the High Priest and Christ the Victim

This episode is sponsored by offers Latin prayer cards to learn and share prayers in the sacred language. Learn your basic prayers in Latin conveniently on the go. Practice your pronunciation with easy-to-follow English phonetic renderings of Latin words. offers prayer cards in various formats, including Latin-English rosary pamphlets with the traditional 15 mysteries. Shop for additional Latin resources like missal booklets, server response cards, and more. Visit today.

Subscribe to the podcast on Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, I-tunes, and many other platforms!


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