Saturday, 31 March 2018

Gloucestershire Extraordinary Form News - RIP Fr. Damian Sturdy - RIP Sr. Mary Magdalene, Mass Time Changes at Prinknash Abbey

Fr. Damian Sturdy 

Fr. Damian Sturdy passed away on the feast of St. Joseph, 19th March. Father's funeral will take place at Nazareth House, 344 London Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, on Wednesday, 4th April at 10am followed by a private burial at Prinknash.  All are welcome, but those wishing to attend, or concelebrate at, the Funeral Mass, are asked to inform:- or text 07821 754243

It is intended, at some later date, to celebrate a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Sr. Mary Magdalene

Sadly Sr. Mary Magdalene, a regular attended of the Old Rite Mass at Prinknash Abbey has very sadly passed away. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to find out when her funeral is.

Prinknash Abbey

Abbot Francis Baird has resigned and henceforth Prinknash Abbey are reducing their Old Rite Masses (albeit one Mass will be restored to the Sunday). The message from Prinknash states:-  

"The Abbot and his Council, having considered your various opinions, have decided that there will be
These will normally be on the FIRST and THIRD WEEKENDS RESPECTIVELY

To make that clear, for the month of APRIL 2018
SUNDAY, 1st APRIL (Easter) 3pm Mass
SATURDAY, 14th APRIL 11am Mass."


Fr. McCarthy, who has been faithfully celebrating the First Wednesday of the Month Masses, at St. Gregory's in Cheltenham will retire in April. Fr. Goodman has very kindly agreed to continue celebrating this Mass. Parishioners are very grateful to Fr. McCarthy for his service over the years - and for Fr. Mills for arranging the continuation of this Mass.

Sadly, with Fr. McCarthy’s retirement and the reduction of Masses in Prinknash, this means that the number of EF Masses, per month, in Gloucestershire, will decrease from 9 to 3.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Does the Catholic Church Teach that Hell Exists - Quick Answer YES

Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum
manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180). Wikicommons.

In his book The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott distinguishes between the level of certainty a Catholic may have towards any teaching of  the Catholic Church :-

“1. The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact it a truth is contained in Revelation, one's certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are "de fide definita."

2. Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

3. A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church.

4. A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions).

5. Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally.

6. Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.

With regard to the doctrinal teaching of the Church it must be well noted that not all the assertions of the Teaching Authority of the Church on questions of Faith and morals are infallible and consequently irrevocable. Only those are infallible which emanate from General Councils representing the whole episcopate and the Papal Decisions Ex Cathedra (cf D 1839). The ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible. Further, the decisions of the Roman Congregations (Holy Office, Bible Commission) are not infallible.

Nevertheless normally they are to be accepted with an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See (assensus internus supernaturalis, assensus religiosus). The so-called "silentium obsequiosum," that is "reverent silence," does not generally suffice. By way of exception, the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error.” ("Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" by Ludwig Ott, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, 1954, pp 9-10)).

Hell is a DE FIDE DEFINITA DOGMA so it is “based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church.” What does the Church infallibly teach regarding hell? Dr. Ludwig Ott states:-

“The souls of those who die in the condition of personal grievous sin enter Hell. (De fide.)

The Athanasian Creed declares: “Those who have done evil will go into eternal fire” (Denzinger 40)….Benedict XII declared in the Constitution Benedictus Deus: “According to God’s general ordinance, the souls of those who die in a personal grievous sin descend immediately into Hell, where they will be tormented by the pains of Hell” (Denz. 531)….
The Church Fathers unanimously attest to the reality of Hell. For example, St. Ignatius of Antioch states that those who corrupt the faith in God by erroneous teaching “will go into the unquenchable fire – as will those who listen to them.” St. Justin bases the punishment of Hell on the
 idea of Divine Justice, which demands punishment for those who transgress the law of God. ("Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" by Ludwig Ott, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, 1954, pp 479-480).”

Furthermore, Ott teaches: -

“The punishment of Hell lasts for all eternity (De fide) 

Affirming the eternal nature of Hell, spoken of often in the Holy Writ, (7) the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared: “Those [the rejected] will receive a perpetual punishment with the devil.” (Denz. 429) ("Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" by Ludwig Ott, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, 1954, pp 481)

The New Testament also speaks to us numerous times of the reality of hell: for example:-

The wicked shall be turned into Hell, all the nations that forget God. (Ps 8:18) 

• Therefore hath Hell enlarged its soul and opened its mouth without any bounds, and their strong ones and their people, and their high and glorious ones shall go down into it. (Is 5:14)

• Let death come upon them and let them go down alive into Hell. For there is wickedness in their dwellings in the midst of them. (Ps 54:16) 

• I shook the nation with the sound of his fall, when I brought him down to Hell with them that descend into the pit. (Ez 31:16) 

• For they also shall go down with him to Hell to them that are slain by the sword: and the arm of every one shall sit down under his shadow in the midst of nations (Ez 31:17) 

• Thou shall make them as an oven of fire in the time of thy anger: the Lord shall trouble them in his wrath and the fire shall devour them. (Ps 20:10) 

In the New Testament we find these words: 

• If they hand scandalize thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed than having two hands to go into Hell, into unquenchable fire: where the worm dies not and the fire is not extinguished. (Mk 9:42f) 

• And thou, Capharnaum, which art exalted unto Heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to Hell. (Lk 10:15) 

• God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower Hell into torments to be reserved unto judgment. (2 Pet 2:4) 

• 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. (Mt 25:41) 

• There came down fire from God out of Heaven and devoured them, and the devil, who seduced them, was cast into a pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night, forever. (Apoc 20:9-10) 

• They shall go into everlasting punishment. (Mt 25:46) 

By Xavier Tamesis.

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