Monthly Archives: May 2016

Assassination and the Holy Spirit

The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.



This Sunday morning at St. Edith Stein Catholic Church in Brockton, MA, I heard one of the most abominable Pentecost sermons that I have ever been subjected to in my seventy-five years of Sunday Masses. The homilist, an ordained deacon of the Archdiocese of Boston, explained Pentecost to the congregation by telling an extended story on how the Holy Spirit guided Pope Pius XII to participate in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler. Pius XII was more than likely in cahoots with people who were trying to whack Adolph Hitler—whom he helped to become Chancellor—because he was in ongoing contact with Wild Bill Donovan and his OSS (the precursor of the CIA) during WWII, as his successor Pope John Paul II was in constant contact, maneuvering and contriving with the CIA through ongoing blacked-out fights between Washington and Rome by Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, and Knight of Malta, William Casey. (Any wonder why China refuses to let the Roman Catholic Church operate freely within its borders and keeps a close eye on the other Western Christian Churches? It is not Jesus it is worried about!). But such has been the history of Popes and the papacy for over a thousand years to this very day: political intrigue, espionage, war, the overthrow of governments, spying, moles, assassinations, propaganda, block opts, etc. In fact it is hard to imagine how anyone could be elected Pope today that did not have the CIA’s informal Imprimatur, as in times past the selection of a Pope had to be formally approved of by various European political powers.

Be that as it may, there is nothing in a Pope’s or the Vatican’s political cloak and dagger activities that is of the Holy Spirit, that is informed by the Holy Spirit, that is guided by the Holy Spirit or that is inspired by the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit that is being spoken of is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Word (Logos) of God Incarnate and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. There can be no contradiction between the Holy Spirit embodied in the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels who teaches by words and deed as the revealed will of the Father a Way of Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, under all circumstances and the Holy Spirit of the Third Person of Holy Trinity of which each Christian is a temple and who lives in the Body of Christ, the Church, guiding and empowering it to live the Truth and fulfill the Commission it was given by Jesus (MT 28:19).

It is to fill a congregation with craziness and untruth to even suggest that the Holy Spirit guided anyone, including a Pope, to be an assassin in total logical contradiction of the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, are simple; there is no contradiction within the Holy Trinity; there cannot be any contradiction within the Holy Trinity, amongst the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy is the same for each, is each, and the definitive, infallible truth regarding what that Holiness is revealed in Jesus. The God Jesus reveals to humanity is not an absurdist, revealing one thing as truth on Monday and the opposite of it as truth on Tuesday. What Jesus reveals about the Holiness of God is and must be the same on Monday, Tuesday and forever for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will not pass away,” says Jesus Christ.

What this deacon did to a captive audience from the pulpit at Mass this Sunday morning is being done Sunday after Sunday from pulpits across the U.S. with the approval of the Catholic Bishops, namely, the mad, illogical and clever militarizing of the minds of Christian under the auspices of “putting on the mind of Christ.” So, let me leave the final words on this evil—and it is evil because it is deception whether realized or not—to Pope Benedict XVI from is University of Regensburg address:

“Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: ‘It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about such matters—but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss’… In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, and the logosbecame flesh in Jesus, says the Evangelist. The truly divine God is the God who has revealed Himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. It continues to be the love, agape, of the God who is logos. Not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God.”

Tyrannicide, like the mass homicidal slaughter of war, like burning Jews and heretics at the stake, contradicts the Person and teaching of Jesus, the Logos (Word) of God Incarnate—and by necessity logically contradicts any notion of Natural Law Morality of which the Logos of God, Jesus, is the Author. The Author of the Sermon on the Mount and the Author of the Natural Law are the One and the same Logos of God and therefore cannot be in logical contradiction of each other.

-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

On Precepts vs. Counsels

The following is an email written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.


Here is John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor, section 52:
“The Church has always taught that one may never choose kinds of behavior prohibited by the moral commandments expressed in negative form in the Old and New Testaments.”

From The Catholic Encyclopedia, with Imprimatur:

“Christ in the Gospels laid down certain rules of life and conduct which must be practiced by every one of His followers as the necessary condition for attaining to everlasting life. These precepts of the Gospel practically consist of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, of the Old Law, interpreted in the sense of the New. Besides these precepts which must be observed by all under pain of eternal damnation, He also taught certain principles which He expressly stated were not to be considered as binding upon all, or as necessary conditions without which heaven could not be attained, but rather as counsels for those who desired to do more than the minimum and to aim at Christian perfection, so far as that can be obtained here upon earth. Thus (Matthew 19:16 sq.) when the young man asked Him what he should do to obtain eternal life, Christ bade him to “keep the commandments”. That was all that was necessary in the strict sense of the word, and by thus keeping the commands which God had given eternal life could be obtained. But when the young man pressed further, Christ told him: “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor”. So again, in the same chapter, He speaks of “eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven”, and added, “He that can receive it, let him receive it”.

This distinction between the precepts of the Gospel, which are binding on all, and the counsels, which are the subject of the vocation of the comparatively few, has ever been maintained by the CatholicChurch. The difference between a precept and a counsel lies in this, that the precept is a matter of necessity while the counsel is left to the free choice of the person to whom it is proposed.”

I do not know the Patristic roots of this distinction. I doubt it is in existence in the first three centuries. Today Mt 19:16 is the statement of Jesus used to justify it. McKenzie’s response to this line of thought is, “Nowhere does Jesus call His followers to be imperfect Christians.” It is also interesting that, since the Catholic Church in its official Bibles and documents has refused to translate “Thou shall not kill,” as “Thou shall not murder,” Mt 19:16 has Jesus saying as the first negative command, “Thou shall not kill.”

I know of no official list of the counsels of perfection, only that all that is not a negative command of Jesus is a counsel of perfection.1 Cor 7 is the text from Paul that is normally used to illustrate the distinction. But the general statement that only the negative commands are absolutely binding—and need to be followed to attain eternal life—covers everything else, e.g. “Love your enemies,” “Put up the sword,” ” I give you a new commandment love one another as I have loved you.”

A question that could be asked is this: Since the negative commands have been there for hundreds of years before Jesus, why does the Word of God have to become flesh? Also if Jesus, God Incarnate, names something a commandment, “a new commandment,” how can a commandment be merely a counsel of perfection? The same question could be asked in terms of all those imperative sentences of Jesus, e.g., “Love you enemies.” But without the distinction between negative commands as absolutely binding and positive commands as mere counsel war would be morally impossible for Catholic. Until they found another seeming loophole!


Public Missive to Cardinal Muller

A Public Missive to Cardinal Gerhard Muller,

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,

Regarding a Public Statement by him on May 4, AD2016

written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy


Cardinal Muller’s statement:

“Precisely, therefore, because his life [i.e, the life of the divorced and remarried Catholic who has not received an annulment], which he has in the body gives an opposing sign, he cannot belong to the higher Eucharistic sign, in which the incarnate love of Christ is made manifest, by receiving Holy Communion. If the Church would allow him to Holy Communion she would then be committing the act that Thomas Aquinas called ‘a falseness in the sacred sacramental signs.'” 

 Okay Cardinal Muller, but how about the Catholics who engages in the slaughter and maiming of enemies, even Catholic enemies? Is that body not “giving an opposing sign to the incarnate love of Christ, which must include Christlike love of even lethal enemies?” Should that person not also be denied Holy Communion? Is not the Church by giving such a person Holy Communion “committing the act that Thomas Aquinas called ‘a falseness in the sacred sacramental sign'”? Or, is the rejection of divorce and remarriage by Jesus in the Gospels more clear than Jesus rejection of violence and enmity? In fact it is not, and you, as a scholar, know that. Indeed, Jesus’ rejection of violence and enmity in the Gospels is His clearest moral teaching.

Sexual intercourse between a man and woman who have divorced and remarried “cannot belong to the higher Eucharist sign, in which the incarnate love of Christ is made manifest,” you say. But severing enemies’ heads, burning their faces off, disemboweling them can “belong to the higher Eucharist sign, in which the incarnate love of Christ is made manifest?” To hold this interpretation of Jesus and His teaching is to hold a phony interpretation of the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels and to foster a brutally contradictory abuse of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. That the one group of Catholics mentioned above is absolutely denied Holy Communion on the basis of their public choice that it is contrary to the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, and another group of Catholics is permitted to receive Holy Communion who have publicly chosen to flagrantly act contrary to the explicit teaching of Jesus in the Gospels is sacrilege, a violation and misuse of the Sacrament. It operationally amounts to a sacramental theology governed by the crass utilitarianism of protecting self-interests, specifically, the institutional Church’s expedient and profitable relationship with the state and its movers and shakers.

Please, Cardinal Muller, don’t tell the world that the acts of killing and maiming an enemy are possibly morally neutral or good acts depending on the situation, but an orgasm in a second marriage is absolutely and always an intrinsically grave evil that can never be chosen, and if chosen places a person in danger of eternal damnation. When you, or any bishop or priest, explicitly or implicitly speak in this manner you are destroying the Church’s credibility and moral authority and reducing it to just another amoral transnational business entity looking out for its own interests.

To argue that, “Thou shall not commit adultery,” is a negative command and therefore absolutely binding under all circumstances, while “Love your enemies,” or “Put up your sword,” or “Love one another as I have loved you,” are positive commands and therefore are only non-binding evangelical counsels of perfection— to be followed or not followed according to a Christian’s determination whether following them is in his or her interest—is to superimpose something on Jesus’ teaching that cannot be found in Jesus’ teaching, namely, that His positive commands given as imperative sentences in the Gospels are only suggestions to followed if convenient. And, just to be clear on the hypocrisy of this whole situation, the institutional Church raises no objection to Catholics taking oaths in the military to obey orders to slaughter other human beings, even though it is an explicit negative command of Jesus to not takes oaths: Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But, I tell you not to swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth” (Mt 5:33-34; Js 5:12). But then, how can the institutional Church deny eighteen-year-old boys and girls the right to take an oath, when Cardinals are not permitted to enter the Conclave to elect a new Pope, unless they take an oath!

To be clear, I am not addressing in any fashion the issue of divorced and remarriage here. I am addressing the issue of the Pharisaic hypocrisy of the leadership of the institutional Church, hypocrisy as spoken about by Jesus in the Gospels. It is religious hypocrisy when those who hold the keys to the Kingdom in the minds of people demand absolute obedience from those people, regardless of the cost involved, to a teaching of Jesus that effects isolated individual lives, but grants to themselves, and the institutional Church they control, extravagant artificially created loopholes to a teaching the institutional Church leaders feel that they do not want to abide by, i.e., Jesus rejection of violence and enmity. Church leaders dive into such blatant hypocrisy with the hope that their “big lie,” will become unquestioned normalized “Gospel truth.” They believe that if they taught and struggled to live what Jesus taught and struggles to live in relation to the phenomena of violence and enmity, they could not protect and enhance the great wealth and secular status possessed by the institutional Church—and they could not protect and enhance the institutional Church’s privileged position with the economic and political power people of the kingdoms of the Western world.

The hierarchy and its clerics in the institutional Church have been and are literally destroying people in monstrous numbers in body, mind, soul and spirit by giving a false direction to the imperative teaching of Jesus that rejects violence and enmity and that explicitly command a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, as He loved His friends and enemies. This false direction is markedly promoted by abusing the Sacrament of Holy Communion by giving Holy Communion to militarized Christians, who knowingly and intentionally are on their way to kill and maim other members of the Body of Christ and/or other infinitely loved sons and daughters of the “Father of all” (Ephod 4:6).

Cardinal Muller, the motto on your coat-of arms is, Dominus Jesus, “Jesus is Lord.” This self-evidently means that you and no one else in the Church can ever be or can ever desire to be an Ubermensch, a superior man who can rise above the morality, the truth of the will of God, taught by the Lord Jesus in the Gospels, and instead teach, nurture and/or impose your own values on the Church and its people.

-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Talking to Christians

My fellow Radicals and Subversives in Christ:  I am so very glad to be with you!

Why do I refer to you this way?  I know that those words may make some of you uncomfortable. I assure you that that is not my goal.

My point is simply this:  The One that we are privileged to follow was and is the greatest radical and subversive who has ever walked on the surface of planet Earth.

Did he support the socio-economic and political status quo of his time? Hardly. He taught and demonstrated a radical departure from the social and political systems established by human beings.  He actively subverted The System of Empire. In response to his radicalism and subversiveness, he was captured, convicted and tortured to death by that Empire.

Why was he a threat to The Establishment?  I suggest that his primary threat was in his challenge to their assertion that they were God. Jesus countered that only God is God and that no human political or military leader or system is any sort of god at all.  That posed a major threat to their power base.  Therefore “The System” moved to eliminate this threat.

What does this mean for us now?

We are called to follow Jesus. He didn’t ask us to adore him or worship him. He told us to follow him.  How can we interpret this directive?  We can follow his example behaviorally.  We can do our best to act as he did. We can follow his teachings and do our best to cultivate an internal attitude similar to his and practice corresponding external behavior.

I believe that following Jesus means following his path of Radical Love. What is radical about his kind of love?  At the Last Supper, he told his disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.”  This is his instruction as to how we are to love each other (and love ourselves).  He did not direct them (or us) to love any old way. He specifically tells them (and us) to follow his example and do it his way.

So what does it mean to love the way he taught and demonstrated?

He tells us to love those who hurt us. He tells us to turn the other cheek to those who have hit us already. He tells us to love our enemies.  Even as he is being tortured to death on the cross he expresses:  “Father forgive them. They know not what they do.”  He provides a live demonstration even as he is dying. His way of loving is so counter-intuitive, so alien to us.   It would seem that he wants us to actively forgive and love everyone who hurts us.

When we use the words “radical” and “subversive” it’s important to ask:  A radical departure from what?  Attempting to subvert what existing system or situation?

I would argue that the radicalism and subversiveness of Jesus was and is this kind of “movement” away from the Violence of Lies and toward the Reality of True Love. It is the conscious subversion of the idolatry of worshiping The-State-as-if-it’s-God.

Does this mean that we are called to do likewise? I think it does. I think it means that we need to recognize the various ways that each of us is invited or coerced into deifying and worshiping phony gods in our everyday lives.

Who and what are these phony gods?

Who are the individuals that are promoted as heroes in the public eye? Who are those that are advertised as great and powerful that the rest of us are supposed to cheer for and adore? What are we repeatedly told to buy and buy into? What are we directed to glorify by those with materialistic power? What are the institutions and products that are endlessly marketed as “must have” if we are to be acceptable as human beings?

Who wants us to be afraid?

Phony gods.

If we choose to follow Christ, we commit to the path that is a radical departure from the System of Empire and the lies that sustain it. We commit to a path that is a radical movement toward the Unity of Real Love. We express and accept the “Yes!” to who and what we truly are: Manifestations of Love.

If we choose to make this claim, we can expect to be labelled as “subversive” by the world of phony gods. If we take this stand, we should expect The System of Empire to react with violence of some kind. That is consistent with its philosophy. We must be prepared for this reaction.

No empire likes to be told that its “new clothes” are an illusion!

My fellow radicals and subversives, we have choices to make.

We can choose to conform to the System of Empire and enjoy the materialistic comforts that come with it. This option requires behavioral obedience to The Establishment as well as psychological acceptance of its worldview. We must do and think and feel as we are told.

There is another choice.

We can choose to follow Christ’s Way.

This means letting go of the Temptation Traps of the human ego. These are traps like: “I want what I want when I want it” and “I”m more deserving than you” and “Us vs. Them”. It means accepting discomforts we may be unaccustomed to and suffering rejections and criticisms from both strangers and loved ones. It means embracing a lifestyle of all-inclusive compassion and forgiveness. It is a matter of choosing what is real instead of a hollow fantasy. It is a matter of choosing love over fear, freedom over slavery.

It is the choice of redemptive nonviolence over non-redemptive violence.

My fellow Radicals and Subversives in Christ, we have choices to make.

Review of Andrew Bacevich’s Book

Our blogger Doug has arranged for Andrew Bacevich to give a speech on June 1 in Boston.

Here is a review of his latest book: America’s War for the Greater Middle East at The Intercept. 

Here are the details of the event:

For our readers in the Boston area, here is a chance to get involved:

Please join us on June 1 to hear a talk by Andrew Bacevich on the dangers of American militarism.

Andrew Bacevich is a Catholic historian and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University where he taught for many years. He is also a Vietnam veteran who retired with the rank of Colonel after over 20 years in the US Army. He has written many books on American foreign policy including The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, and Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War. His newest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History will be available on April 5, 2016.

Professor Bacevich is also a regular contributor to the Catholic magazine/website Commonweal and many other publications and websites. He has appeared on TV shows such as the Bill Moyers Journal and even the comedy show of fellow Catholic Stephen Colbert.

This event will be the first in a series intended to help American Catholics and others to confront the problems of militarism and perpetual war which exist in our country today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
7:00 PM at:

The Hibernian Hall
151 Watertown Street
Watertown, MA

Free and open to the public. Ample parking. Doors open at 6:30.

Sponsored by Boston Catholics Against Militarism
Join our meetup. Oppose militarism and build Catholic solidarity!