Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog: Canon, Psalms 118 , First Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 7:36-50, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Canon Law, Catechism , Catecumen, Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Seventh Commandment Article 8:4 Respect for the Truth, RECHARGE - Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

Thursday,  September  18, 2014 - Litany Lane Blog:

Canon, Psalms 118 , First Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 7:36-50, Pope Francis's Daily Catechesis, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Canon Law, Catechism , Catecumen, Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio, Catholic Catechism Part Three:  Life in Christ Section Two: The Ten Commandment Chapter Two: Eighth Commandment Article 8:4 Respect for the Truth, RECHARGE - Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today:   Thursday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Luminous Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis Daily Catechesis:

September 18, 2014

Pope tells Catholics to go forth with the Gospel message

(2014-09-18 Vatican Radio) 
Pope Francis encouraged Catholics go forth and bring the Gospel message to the world and to their communities.
Speaking on Wednesday during his General Audience the Pope spoke of the universal and apostolic nature of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis explained that the word catholic means that she is universal, something that she shows by speaking all languages, which – he said – is the effect of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostles and the whole Church the gift of proclaiming the Good News of God’s salvation and love to all, even to the ends of the earth.

And, speaking off-the-cuff to those present in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said we should all carry with us a “pocket” Gospel, so we can dip into it during the day that – he said – is a good thing to do.

The Pope also highlighted the missionary nature of the Catholic Church which – he said - is called to show the tenderness and power of God.

Turning his attention to the many missionaries the Church is blessed with, he said the Holy Spirit compels us to encounter our brothers and sisters, even those most distant from us, and to share with them God’s message of love, peace and joy.

Ours – Pope Francis said – is a Church that goes forth, impelled by the life-giving breath of the Spirit.
And speaking of the heroic lives of many missionaries who have left their homelands and have gone forth to proclaim the Gospel in distant lands, he recalled his conversations with a Brazilian Cardinal who has worked at length in the Amazon area. The Pope revealed that, when possible, the Cardinal goes to visit a cemetery in the Amazon where many missionaries are buried: “these brothers and sisters could all be canonized now” he said.

Thanking the Lord for the Church’s many missionaries; the Pope said “perhaps amongst the many young people present today in the Square there is someone who would like to become a missionary. May he go forth!” The Pope said, “This is good and courageous”.        
Please find below the official synopsis of the Pope’s catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: When we profess the Creed, we affirm that the Church is catholic and apostolic.  The word catholic signifies that she is universal.  This means that the Church is found everywhere and teaches the whole truth regarding the heavens and the earth.  The Church shows her catholicity by speaking all languages which is the effect of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostles and the whole Church the gift of proclaiming the Good News of God’s salvation and love to all, even to the ends of the earth.  The Church then is of her nature missionary, given to evangelization and encounter; that is, she is apostolic.  Founded on the Apostles and in continuity with them, the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, and to show the tenderness and power of God.  This too flows from Pentecost.  It is the Holy Spirit who prevents us from being self-absorbed, of thinking that the blessings of God are for us alone.  Rather, the Spirit compels us to encounter our brothers and sisters, even those most distant from us in every way, to share with them the love, peace, and joy of the Risen Lord.  May we always live in solidarity with all of humanity, and never closed in on ourselves.  May we go out, in communion with the Successors of the Apostles, to announce Christ and his love to all.  And may we always be a sign of the Church our Mother: holy, catholic and apostolic.  

Reference: Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 09/18/2014


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  2015

Vatican City, spring 2014 (VIS)

The following is the English text of the intentions – both universal and for evangelization – that, as is customary, the Pope entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for 2015. 

Universal: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will work together for peace.
Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Universal: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

Universal: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Universal: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Evangelization: That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

Universal: That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 09/18/2014.


November 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you to love; to continually pray for the gift of love; to love the Heavenly Father above everything. When you love Him you will love yourself and your neighbor. This cannot be separated. The Heavenly Father is in each person. He loves each person and calls each person by his name. Therefore, my children, through prayer hearken to the will of the Heavenly Father. Converse with Him. Have a personal relationship with the Father which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children – of my apostles. As a mother I desire that, through the love for the Heavenly Father, you may be raised above earthly vanities and may help others to gradually come to know and come closer to the Heavenly Father. My children, pray, pray, pray for the gift of love because 'love' is my Son. Pray for your shepherds that they may always have love for you as my Son had and showed by giving His life for your salvation. Thank you."

October 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:  “Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

October 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I love you with a motherly love and with a motherly patience I wait for your love and unity. I pray that you may be a community of God’s children, of my children. I pray that as a community you may joyfully come back to life in the faith and in the love of my Son. My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. Give me your open, purified hearts and I will fill them with the love for my Son. His love will give meaning to your life and I will walk with you. I will be with you until the meeting with the Heavenly Father. My children, it is those who walk towards the Heavenly Father with love and faith who will be saved. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Put your trust in your shepherds as my Son trusted when he chose them, and pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. Thank you." - See more at:

Today's Word:  canon  can·on  [kan-uhn]  

Origin:  before 900; Middle English, Old English  < Latin  < Greek kanṓn  measuring rod, rule, akin to kánna cane


1. an ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and, in the Roman Catholic Church, approved by the pope.
2. the body of ecclesiastical law.
3. the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art: the neoclassical canon.
4. a fundamental principle or general rule: the canons of good behavior.
5. a standard; criterion: the canons of taste.
6. the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired.
7. any officially recognized set of sacred books
8. any comprehensive list of books within a field.
9.the works of an author that have been accepted as authentic: There are 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon. Compare apocrypha (def 3).
10. a catalog or list, as of the saints acknowledged by the Church.
11. Liturgy. the part of the Mass between the Sanctus and the Communion. 


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 28

1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for his faithful love endures for ever.
2 Let the House of Israel say, 'His faithful love endures for ever.'
16 Yahweh's right hand is victorious, Yahweh's right hand is triumphant!'
17 I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of Yahweh.
28 You are my God, I thank you, all praise to you, my God. I thank you for hearing me, and making yourself my Saviour.


Today's Epistle -   First Corinthians 15:1-11

1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the gospel that I preached to you is; you accepted it and took your stand on it,
2 and you are saved by it, if you keep to the message I preached to you; otherwise your coming to believe was in vain.
3 The tradition I handed on to you in the first place, a tradition which I had myself received, was that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures,
4 and that he was buried; and that on the third day, he was raised to life, in accordance with the scriptures;
5 and that he appeared to Cephas; and later to the Twelve;
6 and next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep;
7 then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all he appeared to me too, as though I was a child born abnormally.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and am not really fit to be called an apostle, because I had been persecuting the Church of God;
10 but what I am now, I am through the grace of God, and the grace which was given to me has not been wasted. Indeed, I have worked harder than all the others -- not I, but the grace of God which is with me.
11 Anyway, whether it was they or I, this is what we preach and what you believed.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Luke 7:36-50

 1) Opening prayer
Almighty God,
our creator and guide,
may we serve you with all our hearts
and know your forgiveness in our lives.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Luke 7:36-50
One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, suddenly a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of person it is who is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ He replied, ‘Say on, Master.’ ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?’

Simon answered, ‘The one who was let off more, I suppose.’ Jesus said, ‘You are right.’ Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

3) Reflection
• Today’s Gospel presents the episode of the woman with the perfume who was accepted by Jesus during a feast in house of Simon the Pharisee. One of the aspects of the novelty of the Good News of Jesus is the surprising attitude of Jesus toward women. At the time of the New Testament women lived marginalized. In the Synagogue they could not participate in the public life and they could not be witnesses. Many women, though, resisted this exclusion. From the time of Ezra, the marginalization of women had been increasing on the part of the religious authority (Ezr 9, 1 to 10, 44), and the resistance of women against their exclusion, also increased, as we can see in the stories of Judith, Esther, Ruth, Noemi, Suzanne, and the Sulamite and others. This resistance found echo and acceptance in Jesus. In the episode of the woman with the perfume there is inconformity which springs up and the resistance of the women in the life of every day and the acceptance of Jesus.

• Luke 7, 36-38: The situation which breaks out the debate. Three completely different persons meet with one another: Jesus, Simon, the Pharisee, a practicing Jew, and the woman, whom they said that she was a sinner. Jesus is in the house of Simon who has invited him to dinner with him. The woman enters, and she places herself at the feet of Jesus, and begins to cry bathing Jesus’ feet with her tears, and dries them with her loose hair. She kisses his feet and anoints them with perfume. To get the hair loose in public was a gesture of independence. Jesus does not draw back, nor does he send the woman away, rather he accepts her gesture.

• Luke 7, 39-40: The reaction of the Pharisee and the response of Jesus. Jesus was accepting a person, who, according to the custom of the time, could not be accepted, because she was a sinner. The Pharisee, observing everything, criticizes Jesus and condemns the woman: “If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of person it is who is touching him and what a bad name she has”. Jesus uses a parable to respond to the provocation of the Pharisee.

• Luke 7, 41-43: The parable of the two debtors. One owed 500 denarii, the other 50. Neither one was able to pay, both of them were forgiven. Which of them will love their master more? Response of the Pharisee: “The one who was let off more, I suppose!” The parable presupposes that both, the Pharisee and the woman, had received some favour from Jesus. In the attitude that both take before Jesus they indicate how much they appreciate the favour received. The Pharisee shows his love, his gratitude, by inviting Jesus to eat with him. The woman shows her love, her gratitude, by her tears, the kisses and the perfume.

• Luke 7, 44-47: The message of Jesus for the Pharisee. After having received the response of the Pharisee, Jesus applies the parable. Even if he was in the house of the Pharisee, invited by him, Jesus does not lose the freedom to speak and to act. He defends the woman against the criticism of the practicing Jew. The message of Jesus for the Pharisees of all times is this one: “The one who is forgiven little, loves little!” A Pharisee thinks that he is not a sinner because he observes the law in everything. The personal assurance that I, a Pharisee, create for myself many times, in the observance of the Law of God and of the Church, prevents me from experiencing the gratuity of the love of God. What is important is not the observance of the law in itself, but the love with which I observe the law. And using the symbols of the love of the woman, Jesus responds to the Pharisee who considered himself to be in peace with God: “you poured no water over my feet; you gave me no kiss, you did not anoint my head with perfumed oil! Simon, in spite of the banquet that you have offered me, you have loved very little!”

• Luke 7, 48-50: The word of Jesus to the woman. Jesus declares that the woman is forgiven and then adds: “Your faith has saved you, go in peace!” Here we have the novelty of the attitude of Jesus. He does not condemn but he accepts. It is faith which helps the woman to encounter herself and to encounter God. In the relationship with Jesus, a new force springs up in her and makes her be born again.

4) Personal questions
• Where, when and how are women despised or rejected by the Pharisee of today?
• The woman certainly would not have done what she did if she was not absolutely certain that Jesus would accept her. Do the marginalized and migrant persons have the same certainty today?

5) Concluding Prayer
For Yahweh is good,
his faithful love is everlasting,
his constancy from age to age. (Ps 100,5)

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


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Saint of the Day:  Saint Robert Bellarmine

Feast Day: September 17
Patron Saint: Bellarmine University; Fairfield University; Bellarmine College Preparatory; canonists; canon lawyers; catechists; catechumens; Archdiocese of Cincinnati,

Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J. (Italian: Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino; 4 October 1542 – 17 September 1621) was an Italian Jesuit and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation. He was canonized in 1930 and named a Doctor of the Church.

Bellarmine was born at Montepulciano, the son of noble, albeit impoverished, parents, Vincenzo Bellarmino and his wife Cinzia Cervini, who was sister of Pope Marcellus II. As a boy he knew Virgil by heart and composed a number of poems in Italian and Latin. One of his hymns, on Mary Magdalene, is included in the Breviary. He entered the Roman novitiate in 1560, remaining in Rome three years. He then went to a Jesuit house at Mondovì, in Piedmont, where he learned Greek. While at Mondovì, he came to the attention of Francesco Adorno, the local Jesuit Provincial Superior, who sent him to the University of Padua.

Bellarmine's systematic study of theology began at Padua in 1567 and 1568, where his teachers were adherents of Thomism. In 1569 he was sent to finish it at the University of Leuven in Flanders. There he was ordained, and obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher. He was the first Jesuit to teach at the university, where the subject of his course was the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. His residence in Leuven lasted seven years. In poor health, in 1576 he made a journey to Italy. Here he remained, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII to lecture on polemical theology in the new Roman College.

New duties after 1589

Until 1589, Bellarmine was occupied as professor of theology. After the murder in that year of Henry III of France, Pope Sixtus V sent Enrico Caetani as legate to Paris to negotiate with the Catholic League of France, and chose Bellarmine to accompany him as theologian. He was in the city during its siege by Henry of Navarre.

The next pope, Clement VIII, set great store by him. He was made rector of the Roman College in 1592, examiner of bishops in 1598, and cardinal in 1599. Immediately after his appointment as Cardinal, Pope Clement made him a Cardinal Inquisitor, in which capacity he served as one of the judges at the trial of Giordano Bruno, and concurred in the decision which condemned Bruno to be burned at the stake as a heretic.

In 1602 he was made archbishop of Capua. He had written against pluralism and non-residence of bishops within their dioceses. As bishop he put into effect the reforming decrees of the Council of Trent. He received some votes in the 1605 conclaves which elected Pope Leo XI, Pope Paul V, and in 1621 when Pope Gregory XV was elected, but only in the second conclave of 1605 was he papabile.

The Galileo case

In 1616, on the orders of Paul V, Bellarmine summoned Galileo, notified him of a forthcoming decree of the Congregation of the Index condemning the Copernican doctrine of the mobility of the Earth and the immobility of the Sun, and ordered him to abandon it. Galileo agreed. When Galileo later complained of rumors to the effect that he had been forced to abjure and do penance, Bellarmine wrote out a certificate denying the rumors, stating that Galileo had merely been notified of the decree and informed that, as a consequence of it, the Copernican doctrine could not be "defended or held". Cardinal Bellarmine was himself ambiguous about heliocentrism, personally noting that further research had to be done to confirm or condemn it. (In 1633, Galileo would again be called before the Inquisition in this matter.)

Last years

In his old age he was bishop of Montepulciano for four years, after which he retired to the Jesuit college of St. Andrew in Rome, where he died on 17 September 1621, aged 78.


Bellarmine's books bear the stamp of their period; the effort for literary elegance (so-called "maraviglia") had given place to a desire to pile up as much material as possible, to embrace the whole field of human knowledge, and incorporate it into theology. His controversial works provoked many replies, and were studied for some decades after his death. At Leuven he made extensive studies in the Church Fathers and scholastic theologians, which gave him the material for his book De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis (Rome, 1613). It was later revised and enlarged by Sirmond, Labbeus, and Casimir Oudin. Bellarmine wrote the preface to the new Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.


From his research grew his Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei (also called Disputationes), first published at Ingolstadt in 1581–1593. This major work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various religious controversies of the time. Bellarmine devoted eleven years to it while at the Roman College. The first volume of the Disputationes treats of the Word of God, of Christ, and of the Pope; the second of the authority of ecumenical councils, and of the Church, whether militant, expectant, or triumphant; the third of the sacraments; and the fourth of Divine grace, free will, justification, and good works.

Venetian Interdict

Under Pope Paul V (reigned 1605–1621), a major conflict arose between Venice and the Papacy. Paolo Sarpi, as spokesman for the Republic of Venice, protested against the papal interdict, and reasserted the principles of the Council of Constance and of the Council of Basel, denying the pope's authority in secular matters. Bellarmine wrote three rejoinders to the Venetian theologians, and may have warned Sarpi of an impending murderous attack.

Allegiance oath controversy and papal authority

Bellarmine also became involved in controversy with King James I of England. From a point of principle for English Catholics, this debate drew in figures from much of Western Europe. It raised the profile of both protagonists, King James as a champion of his own restricted Calvinist Protestantism, and Bellarmine for Tridentine Catholicism.

Devotional works

During his retirement, he wrote several short books intended to help ordinary people in their spiritual life: De ascensione mentis in Deum per scalas rerum creatorum opusculum (The Mind's Ascent to God) (1614) which was translated into English as Jacob's Ladder (1638) without acknowledgement by Henry Isaacson, The Art of Dying Well (1619) (in Latin, English translation under this title by Edward Coffin), and The Seven Words on the Cross.

Canonization and final resting place

Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930; the following year he was declared a Doctor of the Church. His remains, in a cardinal's red robes, are displayed behind glass under a side altar in the Church of Saint Ignatius, the chapel of the Roman College, next to the body of his student, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, as he himself had wished. In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints Saint Robert Bellarmine's feast day is on 17 September, the day of his death; but some continue to use pre-1969 calendars, in which for 37 years his feast day was on 13 May. The rank attributed to his feast has been "double" (1932–1959) and its equivalent "third-class feast" (1960–1968); in 1969 it was downgraded to an "optional memorial".


Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky is named after him, as are Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California and Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington.


  • Bellarmine, Robert, Spiritual Writings, New York: Paulist Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8091-0389-3
  • Blackwell, Richard J. (1991). Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 0-268-01024-2.
  • Fantoli, Annibale (2005). The Disputed Injunction and its Role in Galileo's Trial. In McMullin (2005, pp.117–149).
  • McMullin, Ernan, ed. (2005). The Church and Galileo. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 0-268-03483-4.
  • Bellarmine's Letters at Historical Archives of the Pontifical Gregorian University
  • St. Robert Bellarmine from Fr. Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints
  • "St. Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.


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Today's Snippet I:  Canon Law

Image of pages from the Decretum of Burchard of Worms, the 11th-century book of canon law.
Canon law is the body of laws and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members.

It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church (both Latin Church and Eastern Catholic Churches), the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of churches.[1]

 The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches.

In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.


Greek kanon / κανών, Arabic Qanon / قانون, Hebrew kaneh / קנה, "straight"; a rule, code, standard, or measure; the root meaning in all these languages is "reed" (cf. the Romance-language ancestors of the English word "cane").

Canons of the Apostles

The Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles is a collection of ancient ecclesiastical decrees (eighty-five in the Eastern, fifty in the Western Church) concerning the government and discipline of the Early Christian Church, incorporated with the Apostolic Constitutions which are part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers In the fourth century the First Council of Nicaea (325) calls canons the disciplinary measures of the Church: the term canon, κανὠν, means in Greek, a rule. There is a very early distinction between the rules enacted by the Church and the legislative measures taken by the State called leges, Latin for laws.[4]

Catholic Church

In the Catholic Church, canon law is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the Church's hierarchical authorities to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church canon law also includes the main five rites (groups) of churches which are in full union with the Roman Catholic Church and the Supreme Pontiff:
  1. Alexandrian Rite Churches which include the Coptic Catholic Church and Ethiopian Catholic Church.
  2. West Syrian Rite which includes the Maronite Church, Syriac Catholic Church and the Syro-Malankara Church.
  3. Armenian Rite Church which includes the Armenian Catholic Church.
  4. Byzantine Rite Churches which include the Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church, Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, Bulgarian Church, Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Greek Church, Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, Italo-Albanian Church, Macedonian Greek Catholic Church, Melkite Church, Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic, Russian Church, Ruthenian Church, Slovak Greek Catholic Church and Ukrainian Catholic Church.
  5. East Syrian Rite Churches which includes the Chaldean Church and Syro-Malabar Church.
All of these church groups are in full communion with the Pope and subject to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

In the Roman Church, universal positive ecclesiastical laws, based upon either immutable divine and natural law, or changeable circumstantial and merely positive law, derive formal authority and promulgation from the office of pope, who as Supreme Pontiff possesses the totality of legislative, executive, and judicial power in his person. The actual subject material of the canons is not just doctrinal or moral in nature, but all-encompassing of the human condition.

History, sources of law, and codifications

The Catholic Church has what is claimed to be the oldest continuously functioning internal legal system in Western Europe, much later than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. What began with rules ("canons") adopted by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem in the first century has developed into a highly complex legal system encapsulating not just norms of the New Testament, but some elements of the Hebrew (Old Testament), Roman, Visigothic, Saxon, and Celtic legal traditions.

The history of Latin canon law can be divided into four periods: the jus antiquum, the jus novum, the jus novissimum and the Code of Canon Law. In relation to the Code, history can be divided into the jus vetus (all law before the Code) and the jus novum (the law of the Code, or jus codicis).

The canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which had developed some different disciplines and practices, underwent its own process of codification, resulting in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches promulgated in 1990 by Pope John Paul II.

Catholic canon law as legal system

It is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code principles of legal interpretation, and coercive penalties, though it lacks civilly-binding force in most secular jurisdictions. The academic degrees in canon law are the J.C.B. (Juris Canonici Baccalaureatus, Bachelor of Canon Law, normally taken as a graduate degree), J.C.L. (Juris Canonici Licentiatus, Licentiate of Canon Law) and the J.C.D. (Juris Canonici Doctor, Doctor of Canon Law). Because of its specialized nature, advanced degrees in civil law or theology are normal prerequisites for the study of canon law.

Much of the legislative style was adapted from the Roman Law Code of Justinian. As a result, Roman ecclesiastical courts tend to follow the Roman Law style of continental Europe with some variation, featuring collegiate panels of judges and an investigative form of proceeding, called "inquisitorial", from the Latin "inquirere", to enquire. This is in contrast to the adversarial form of proceeding found in the common law system of English and U.S. law, which features such things as juries and single judges.

The institutions and practices of canon law paralleled the legal development of much of Europe, and consequently both modern civil law and common law (legal system) bear the influences of canon law. Edson Luiz Sampel, a Brazilian expert in canon law, says that canon law is contained in the genesis of various institutes of civil law, such as the law in continental Europe and Latin American countries. Sampel explains that canon law has significant influence in contemporary society.

Canonical jurisprudential theory generally follows the principles of Aristotelian-Thomistic legal philosophy. While the term "law" is never explicitly defined in the Code, the Catechism of the Catholic Church cites Aquinas in defining law as " ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community" and reformulates it as "...a rule of conduct enacted by competent authority for the sake of the common good."

The Code for the Eastern Churches

The law of the Eastern Catholic Churches in full union with Rome was in much the same state as that of the Latin or Western Church before 1917; much more diversity in legislation existed in the various Eastern Catholic Churches. Each had its own special law, in which custom still played an important part. In 1929 Pius XI informed the Eastern Churches of his intention to work out a Code for the whole of the Eastern Church. The publication of these Codes for the Eastern Churches regarding the law of persons was made between 1949 through 1958 but finalized nearly 30 years later.

The first Code of Canon Law, 1917, was mostly for the Roman Rite, with limited application to the Eastern Churches. After the Second Vatican Council, (1962 - 1965), another edition was published specifically for the Roman Rite in 1983. Most recently, 1990, the Vatican produced the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches which became the 1st code of Eastern Catholic Canon Law.


  • Baker, J.H. (2002) An Introduction to English Legal History, 4th ed. London : Butterworths, ISBN 0-406-93053-8
  • Brundage, James A., The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession: Canonists, Civilians, and Courts, Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2008.
  • Brundage, James A., Medieval Canon Law, London ; New York : Longman, 1995.
  • Hartmann, Wilfried and Kenneth Pennington eds. (2008) The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140-1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press.
  • Hartmann, Wilfried and Kenneth Penningon eds. (2011) The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press.
  • R. C. Mortimer, Western Canon Law, London: A. and C. Black, 1953.
  • Robinson, O.F.,Fergus, T.D. and Gordon, W.M. (2000) European Legal History, 3rd ed., London : Butterworths, ISBN 0-406-91360-9



Today's Snippet II:  Catechism

A catechism from Greek: κατηχέω, to teach orally), is a summary or exposition of doctrine and served as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in catechesis, or Christian religious teaching of children and adult converts.[1] Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorised, a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well. A Catechumen refers to the designated recipient of the catechetical work or instruction. In the Catholic Church, they were usually placed separately during Holy Mass from those who received the Sacrament of Baptism.

Early catecheticals emerged from Graeco-Roman mystery religions, especially the late cult of Mithras meant to educate their members into the secretive teachings, which competed with the Catholic Church as an underground religion in the 1st to 4th centuries CE and allegedly shared its many ritual practices.[2] Today, they are characteristic of Western Christianity but are also present in Eastern Christianity as well.[3][4]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (see below) is the catechism that is in most widespread use among Catholics today. It is the official catechism of the Church.

For Catholics, all the canonical books of the Bible (including the Deuterocanonical books), the tradition of the Church and the interpretation of these by the Magisterium (which may be outlined in a catechism, a compendium or a declaration) constitute the complete and best resource for fully attaining to God's revelation to mankind. Catholics believe that sacred scripture and sacred tradition preserved and interpreted by the Magisterium are both necessary for attaining to the fullest understanding of all of God's revelation.

The term catechist is most frequently used in Catholicism, often to describe a lay catechist or layperson with catechetical training who engages in such teaching and evangelization. This can be in both parish church and mission contexts.

Roman Catechism

The Roman Catechism (also called, the Catechism of the Council of Trent or the Catechism of Pius V) was first published in 1566 under the authority of the Council of Trent. It was not intended for common use by the laity, but as a general use reference book for priests and bishops. The online version is at

Catechism of Saint Pius X

The Catechism of Saint Pius X is a short catechism with questions and answers regarding the essentials of Catholic faith and doctrine. It was issued by Pope Pius X at the beginning of the 20th century in Italian, with the intention that all Catholics could easily understand their faith. An online version is at

Baltimore Catechism

Various editions of the Baltimore Catechism were the de facto standard Catholic school text in America from 1885 to the late 1960s. It was often taught by rote. The most common edition has a series of questions with their answers, which are followed by explanations in more depth. These are often accompanied by biblical quotes. There is a test at the end of every chapter. An online version is at

Catechism of Christian Doctrine (or "Penny Catechism")

A question and answer format catechism that was the standard catechetical text in Great Britain in the 20th century. Popularly called the Penny Catechism as the original version only cost one penny. Various editions of the Penny Catechism were issued through the century and changes were made to the text. An On-line version is at

Dutch Catechism (A New Catechism: Catholic Faith for Adults)

The hotly-debated "Dutch Catechism," De nieuwe katechismus (English translation: A New Catechism), of 1966 was the first comprehensive post-Vatican II Catholic catechism. It was commissioned and authorised by the Catholic hierarchy of the Netherlands, and in its foreword declares as its intention: "to make the message of Jesus Christ sound as new as it is." The catechism, a bestseller, contained a number of problematic formulations. These were reviewed by a commission of cardinals, who detailed several significant shortcomings in the new catechism's presentation of Catholic doctrine. They were able, nonetheless, to "leave untouched by far the greatest part of the New Catechism," while offering their support for "the laudable purpose of the authors of the Catechism, namely, to present the eternal good tidings of Christ in a way adapted to the understanding and the thinking of the present day man."[9]

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The current Catechism of the Catholic Church is the first complete systematic synthesis of faith issued since the Council of Trent in 1566. It contains articles on the classical topics of the official teaching of the Catholic Church on all matters of faith and morals. Since the official language of the Catholic Church is Latin, official teaching documents distributed in Latin are unlikely to change in perceived meaning over time. The Latin language version of the catechism, published 8 Sept 1997, is the editio typica—the normative and definitive text. The principal source materials for this work are the Sacred Scriptures, the Church Fathers, the liturgy, and the Magisterium. This catechism is intended to serve "as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries." – Extraordinary Synod of Bishops 1985, Final Report II B a, 4.

Fidei depositum is an Apostolic Constitution which states that the catechism of the Catholic Church is for the laity in its address to all the people of God.

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

It originated with a request of Pope John Paul II in February 2003 and was issued by his successor Pope Benedict XVI June 28, 2005. The English version was printed at Libreria Editrice Vaticana in 2006. Unlike the larger catechism, the Compendium is similar in format to the Baltimore Catechism with 598 questions and answers, providing an easier format with only the "essential" contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the title suggests.

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

The 1992 Vatican catechism had several aims, among them to be an "authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms". American bishops responded with the 2006 United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCB, 2006) – similar in format to a college textbook, targeting adults, contain seven elements that bring more depth to the material than the 'Compendium', providing more flexibility for diverse groups of people to study its contents. Each section or chapter contains the following: story or lesson of faith, foundation and application, sidebars, relationship to culture, discussion questions, doctrinal statements, and meditation and prayer. The lessons of faith stories are about individuals from the United States and allow the American reader to better relate to these individuals. This version of the catechism is available on audio CD-ROM as well.

Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum

The Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum also known as Enchiridion or Denzinger, is a compendium of all basic texts of Catholic dogma and morality since the apostles. Commissioned by Pope Pius IX, it has been in use since 1854, and has been updated periodically. It is a compendium of faith, like a catechism. By including all relevant teachings throughout history, it is at the same, more than a catechism. It is a search instrument for theologians, historians and anybody interested in Christian religion. The latest updates of the Enchiridion extend to the teachings of Pope John Paul II.

The Archbishop of Baltimore Cardinal James Gibbons is quoted in earlier versions of the Enchiridion, that every theologian should have always two books at hand, the Holy Bible and this Enchiridion.

The Douay Catechism

The Rev Henry Tuberville, DD wrote this catechism in 1649 at the English College of Douay in Flanders. It is based on the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent and was similarly written with the purpose of teaching Christian doctrine during the tumultuous English Reformation. It is a testament to Rev. Tuberville and his colleagues at Douay that it remains one of the clearest and most direct compendiums of Catholic teaching in the English language.

Catechism for Filipino Catholics

The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC) is a contextualised and inculturated Roman Catholic catechism for Filipinos prepared by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and approved by the Holy See. The draft was produced by the Conference's "Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education," and is an update of the late 16th century Doctrina Christiana en Lengua Espanola Y Tagala, which was a Hispano-Tagalog version of the earlier Hispano-Chinese Doctrina that was the first book printed in the in the Philippines using moveable type.

The Doctrina Cristiana[10] was written in Tagalog (both in a hispanised Latin script and the then-common indigenous Baybayin script), as well as Spanish. Amongst the contents of the Doctrina are the Spanish alphabet and phonics, archaic Tagalog translations of basic prayers shown in both languages and scripts, and a brief catechism in a question-and-answer format.

A Catechism or Christian Doctrine

Laurence Vaux, B.D., a Catholic martyr, first published his catechism, also called The Catechism of Laurence Vaux or Vaux's Catechism, in Louvain in 1567. Six further editions in rapid succession, emanating from Antwerp and Liège, testified to its widespread popularity and effectiveness. The 1583 Liège issue was reprinted with biographical introduction for the Chetham Society by Thomas Graves Law in 1885. This edition contains also Vaux's paper "The Use and Meaning of Ceremonies," and a few further pages of instruction added by the Liège publisher. The catechism is practically formed on the same lines as its successor of today, explaining in sequence the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary (excluding the second half beginning at "Holy Mary…"), the Ten Commandments (at considerable length), the Sacraments and the offices of Christian justice. The treatise on the ceremonies discusses the use of holy water, candles, incense, vestments and so forth.

The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas

The catechetical instructions of Saint Thomas Aquinas were used generally throughout the 13th and 14th centuries as manuals and textbooks for priests and teachers of religion. "The Explanations of St. Thomas," wrote Spirago, "are remarkable for their conciseness and their simplicity of language; they are especially noteworthy because the main parts of the catechetical course of instruction are brought into connection with one another so that they appear as one harmonious whole." The influence of these works is especially prominent in the "Roman Catechism" which the Council of Trent ordered written for parish priests and for all teachers of religion. Many of the explanatory passages in both works are almost identical.


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.



Today's Snippet III:  Catecumen

In ecclesiology, a catechumen (/ˌkætɨˈkjuːmən, -mɛn/; via Latin catechumenus from Greek κατηχούμενος katēkhoumenos, "one being instructed", from κατά kata, "down" and ἦχος ēkhos, "sound") is one receiving instruction from a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism. The title and practice is most often used by Orthodox Christians and by Roman Catholics.

Although catechumens existed by the time of the Letter to the Galatians, which mentions them, the practice slowly developed, from the development of doctrine and the need to test converts against the dangers of falling away. The Bible records (Acts 19) that the Apostle Paul while visiting some people who were described as "disciples", established they had received the baptism of John for the repentance of sins but had not yet heard of or received the Holy Spirit. Further, from the second century it appears that baptisms were held only at certain times of year, indicating that periods of instruction were the rule rather than the exception. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes: "As the acceptance of Christianity involved belief in a body of doctrine and the observance of the Divine law ("teach, make disciples, scholars of them"; "teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you", Matthew 28:20 (see Great Commission)), it is clear that some sort of preliminary instruction must have been given to the converts." See also Council of Jerusalem. Justin Martyr, in his First Apology, cites instruction as occurring prior to baptism:
As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated.
The "persuasion" would be carried out by the preaching of an evangelist; but since belief must precede baptism, the person concerned should be prepared spiritually to receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through baptism. That person would receive the sign of the Cross and possibly aspersion with holy water from a minister, indicating their entry to the state of catechumen.

Catechumens were limited as to their attendance in formal services. As unbaptized, they could not actively take part in any service, for that was reserved for those baptized. One practice permitted them to remain in the first part of the mass, but even in the earliest centuries dismissed them before the Eucharist. Others had them entering through a side door, or observing from the side, from a gallery, or near the font; while it was not unknown to bar them from all services until baptized.

Their desire for baptism was held to be sufficient guarantee of their salvation, if they died before the reception. In event of their martyrdom prior to baptism by water, this was held to be a "baptism by blood" (Baptism of desire), and they were honored as martyrs.

In the fourth century, a widespread practice arose of enrolling as a catechumen and deferring baptism for years, often until shortly before death, and when so ill that the normal practice of immersion was impossible, so that aspersion or affusion—the baptism of the sick—was necessary. Constantine was the most prominent of these catechumens.

Cyril of Jerusalem wrote a series of sermons aimed at catechumens, outlining via passages of scripture the main points of the faith, yet dividing between those merely interested and those intending baptism then continuing with certain sermons aimed at those who had been baptized.

St. Augustine was among those enrolled as a catechumen as an infant, and did not receive baptism until he was in his thirties. He, and other Fathers, fulminated against the practice.

Present Christian practice

In no case is a catechumen absolutely bound to be baptized, preserving the principle that the person concerned must be drawn spiritually to the faith rather than being intellectually persuaded.

The Roman Catholic Church revived the catechumenate with its Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) wherein being a catechumen is one of a number of stages leading to receiving the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist). This was a result of the Second Vatican Council, explicitly stated in point 64 of the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium:
The catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be restored and to be taken into use at the discretion of the local ordinary. By this means the time of the catechumenate, which is intended as a period of suitable instruction, may be sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time.[1]
The Neocatechumenal Way of the Roman Catholic Church takes as its inspiration the old catechumenate of early Christianity (the "primitive church") as the basis for its goal of adult faith formation for Roman Catholics.
In many Protestant churches, particularly those preferring not to baptise infants, the catechumenate status may be considered the norm amongst the young. This is especially true amongst young Christadelphians, although they never use the specific term catechumenate, more normally referring to those in this state as "being instructed" or "being taken through".

The catechumenate and the religious education of the young baptized

A catechumen has not been baptized, and is undergoing training in the principles of the faith; one who was baptized as a child has an equal need of education, but this does not start from the same foundation, since baptism has already occurred. The theological basis is common to all sects and taken from the Gospel:
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him
—John 6:44
from which the working of God on the catechumen is presupposed. Once baptized, the relationship with God is of a different order.

Since the schisms between the parts of the Church, conversion between the denominations is also possible. Education in the specific doctrines of the sect is therefore seen as necessary, as well as a thorough grounding in the first principles of the faith. This latter may already have occurred when the convert is mature, and the status of catechumen is then usually not implied.

The three cases - baptized as an infant, come to the faith in maturer years, and conversion from one denomination to another - seem outwardly similar. This has led to discussions on their differentiation, notably the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation which, at its meeting in Toronto in 1991, stated that [1] the catechumenate for those about to be baptized as infants was to be absolved by their parents and sponsors, thus defining the catechumenate as necessary for all, whether directly or by proxy. The status of the "converted" was dealt with at the same time, but in a way that cannot be considered typical of general Christian thinking, when it was declared that rebaptism was not to be thought of; as a consequence the previously baptized cannot become catechumens.

The remark in the foregoing section on "stages of growth" is important to understand this confusion, and happily this can also be seen as typical of the thinking outside the Anglican church. While all parts of the Church promote the growth from catechumen to novice to full member of the communion, the Protestant churches align it with the education of the young who are already baptized, whereas the Orthodox and Roman parts of the church keep this separate. Various terms are used to describe this process: "alpha courses", "nursery courses", "starter groups", among others. The main difference between denominations is whether these courses include or exclude those who are baptized, and an overlap with youth ministries and even to an extent with evangelism is observable. For further discussion not directly related to the state of catechumen, see other Wiki articles.

The form of education varied, though the earliest recorded methods were lists of questions and answers (Catechism). Sermons were also used (Cyril of Jerusalem). Most catechisms were divided into parts, aiming to follow the spiritual growth of the catechumen. There were certain differences between catechisms for the young baptized and for the unbaptized catechumen.

Catechumens and conversion

The divergence between Christian practice as regards catechumens (a formalised, gradual approach) and the idea of conversion (a sudden, overwhelming event) as the entry into the Church, is one of appearance rather than substance. It is recorded in the Bible that Paul the Apostle, who started out as a Jewish persecutor of the Church, underwent sudden conversion on the way to Damascus when Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision. Regarded as the type of sudden conversion, this event was followed by baptism, with, however, a period of study and learning following, lasting a number of years. While there are examples of people being immediately baptised after having declared their faith, it seems that this was the exception rather than the rule (see above). It is therefore debatable if the idea of sudden conversion, promulgated by many evangelical parts of the Church, is in any way incompatible with the catechumenate.

Jewish practice

Quoting Shaye J. D. Cohen: From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (1987) "The Sadducees were the aristocratic opponents of the Pharisees. The Essenes were a group of religious and philosophic virtuosi, living a utopian life of the sort that would provoke the admiration of Jews and non-Jews alike. Josephus mentions their three-year catechumenate, their oath of loyalty to the group, their separation from their fellow Jews, their emphasis on purity and ablutions, but he regards them not as a "sect" but as a pietistic elite." See also Proselyte.


  3. "Laying a Foundation for the Right Kind of Ministers", The Watchtower, March 1, 1969, page 139.
  4. "Why Be Baptized", The Watchtower, April 1, 2002, pages 13.
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.



Today's Snippet IV:  Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola

 The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius (Italian: Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio, Latin: Ecclesia Santi Ignatii a Loyola in Campo Martio) is a Roman Catholic titular church dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, located in Rome, Italy.

Built in Baroque style between 1626 and 1650, the church functioned originally as the chapel of the adjacent Roman College, that moved in 1584 to a new larger building and was renamed the Pontifical Gregorian University.[1] The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Ignatii de Loyola in Campo Martio is Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J.


The Collegio Romano opened very humbly in 1551, with an inscription over the door summing up its simple purpose: "School of Grammar, Humanity, and Christian Doctrine. Free". [2] Plagued by financial problems in the early years,[3] the Collegio Romano had various provisional centres. In 1560, Vittoria della Tolfa,[4] Marchesa della Valle, donated her family isola, an entire city block and its existing buildings, to the Society of Jesus in memory of her late husband the Marchese della Guardia Camillo Orsini, founding the Collegio Romano.[3] She had previously intended to donate it to the Poor Clares for the founding of a monastery.[5] The nuns had already started to build what had been intended to become the Church of Santa Maria della Nunziata,[3] erected on the spot where the Temple of Isis had stood.[6][1]

Although the Jesuits got the marchesa's land, they did not get any money from her for completing the church. Budgetary restraints compelled them to hire their own architect. Construction of the church was taken over by the Jesuit architect Giovanni Tristano. Built entirely by Jesuit labour, the Church of the Annunciation was first used for worship in 1567. A three-aisled church dedicated to the Most Holy Annunciation (Italian: Santissima Annunziata) was built by the Collegio Romano between 1562 and 1567 on the foundations of the pre-existing construction. Since the earlier church had already been built to the height of the ground floor in 1555, there was no way for the Jesuits to expand the structure to hold the increasing number of students attending the Collegio Romano. The facade was very similar to that of the contemporary Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, which was also designed by Giovanni Tristano. In accordance with the wishes of the marchesa, the façade proudly displayed the Orsini arms. The Church of the Annunciation was enlarged in 1580 when Pope Gregory XIII expanded the Collegio Romano itself, especially the side chapels.

The old church became insufficient for over 2,000 students of many nations who were attending the College at the beginning of the 17th century.[1] Pope Gregory XV, who was an old pupil of the Collegio Romano, was strongly attached to the church. Following the canonization of Ignatius of Loyola in 1622, he suggested to his nephew, Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, that a new church dedicated to the founder of the Jesuits should be erected at the college itself. The young cardinal accepted the idea, asked several architects to draw plans, among them Carlo Maderno. Ludovisi finally chose the plans drawn up by the Jesuit mathematician, Orazio Grassi, professor at the Collegio Romano itself.

The foundation stone was laid only on August 2, 1626, four years later, a delay which was caused by the fact that a section of the buildings belonging to the Roman College had to be dismantled. The old church was eventually demolished in 1650 to make way for the massive Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which was begun in 1626 and finished only at the end of the century. In striking contrast to the Church of the Annunciation, which occupied only a small section of the Collegio Romano, the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola took up a quarter of the entire block when it was completed.

The church was opened for public worship only in 1650, at the occasion of the Jubilee of 1650. The final solemn consecration of the church was celebrated only in 1722 by Cardinal Antonfelice Zondadari. The church's entrance now faces on to the Rococo Place of San Ignazio was planned by the architect Filippo Raguzzini.


"Dome" of Sant'Ignazio
The church has a Latin cross plan with numerous side chapels. The building was inspired by the Jesuit mother church, the Church of the Gesù in Rome (finished in the late 16th century). The imposing order of Corinthian pilasters that rings the entire interior, the theatrical focus on the high altar at the rear of the broad eastern apse, the church's colored marbles, animated stucco figural relief, richly ornamented altars, extensive gilding, and bold Tromp l’oeil paintings in the "dome" at its crossing and in the nave ceiling all produce a festive, sumptuous effect. The dome was never completed due to the church running out of money, so they hired a painter to depict the dome.[7] The church stages the triumph of its dedicatee most effectively.

The nave's west wall has a sculptural group showing Magnificence and Religion (1650) by Alessandro Algardi. Algardi also helped design the high reliefs in stucco that run on both lateral nave walls just above the entries to the chapels and beneath the nave's grandiose entablature.

Other artworks in the church include a huge stucco statue of St. Ignatius by Camillo Rusconi (1728). A chapel holds a glass coffin with a portrait of Cardinal Bellarmino (died 1621).

Frescoes of Andrea Pozzo

The trompe l'œil ceiling of Sant'Ignazio.
Andrea Pozzo, a Jesuit lay brother, painted the grandiose fresco that stretches across the nave ceiling (after 1685).[8] It celebrates the work of Saint Ignatius and the Society of Jesus in the world presenting the saint welcomed into paradise by Christ and the Virgin Mary and surrounded by allegorical representations of all four continents. Pozzo worked to open up, even dissolve the actual surface of the nave's barrel vault illusionistically, arranging a perspectival projection to make an observer see a huge and lofty cupola (of a sort), open to the bright sky, and filled with upward floating figures. A marble disk set into the middle of the nave floor marks the ideal spot from which observers might fully experience the illusion. A second marker in the nave floor further east provides the ideal vantage point for the trompe l'oeil painting on canvas that covers the crossing and depicts a tall, ribbed and coffered dome. The cupola one expects to see here was never built and in its place,in 1685, Andrea Pozzo supplied a painting on canvas with a perspectival projection of a cupola. Destroyed in 1891, the painting was subsequently replaced. Pozzo also frescoed the pendentives in the crossing decorating each with an Old Testament figure—Judith, David, Samson, and Jaele.

Again by Pozzo, the frescoes in the eastern apse present the life and apotheosis of St. Ignatius.[1] The Siege of Pamplona in the tall panel on the left commemorates the wounding of St. Ignatius, which led to the convalescence that transformed his life. The panel over the high altar with The Vision of St. Ignatius at the Chapel of La Storta commemorates the place where the saint received his divine calling. St. Ignatius sends St. Francis Xavier to India recalls the aggressive Jesuit missionary work in foreign countries, and finally, St. Ignatius Receiving Francesco Borgia recalls the recruitment of the Spanish noble who would become General of the Company of Jesuits. Pozzo is also responsible for the fresco in the conch depicting St. Ignatius Healing the Pestilent.

Side chapels

The first chapel on the right has an 18th-century altarpiece showing Saints Stanislaus Kostka and John Francis Regis Worshiping the Virgin and Child. The second chapel has an altarpiece depicting St. Joseph and the Virgin and a lunette (right wall) with The Last Communion of St. Luigi Gonzaga, both by Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746); the cupola was painted by Luigi Garzi (1638–1721). The third chapel has an 18th-century altarpiece of The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple by Stefano Pozzi (1699–1768).

The chapel in the right transept, dedicated to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, has a large marble high-relief depicting St. Aloyzius Gonzaga in Glory[9] (1697–99) by the French sculptor Pierre Legros. Andrea Pozzo painted the ceiling which also shows the Glory of the Saint. Buried in the side altar next to Gonzaga is Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine.

The chapel in the left transept houses the relics of Saint John Berchmans.

The chapel just to the right of the church's presbytery (at the south-east corner) houses the funeral monuments of Pope Gregory XV and his nephew, Cardinal Ludovisi, the church's founder. Pierre Legros and Pierre-Étienne Monnot made Gregory XV's monument some sixty years after Gregory's death.

The chapel in the left transept has a marble altarpiece of the Annunciation by Filippo Della Valle, with allegorical figures and angels (1649) by Pietro Bracci, and a frescoed ceiling with The Assumption by Andrea Pozzo. The second and first chapels to the left have paintings by Jesuit Pierre de Lattre, who also did the sacristy paintings.[10]


  1. Society of Jesus. "Official Website of the Church of St Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius". Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  2. O'Malley, John (1993). The First Jesuits. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 366. ISBN 978-0-674-30313-3.
  3. Bailey, Gauvin (2003). "Jesuit Teaching and a Brief History of the Roman Collegiate Institutions". Between Renaissance and Baroque. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-8020-3721-6. "The Collegio was set back on its feet by Gregory XIII (1573-85), a pope for whom education was a primary concern (...). Gregory reluctantly agreed to be called 'founder' of the college, a title offered in acknowledgment of his generosity, even though he thought it more properly belonged to the Marchesa della Valle. (...)"
  4. Valone, C. (2003-07-16). "Architecture as a public voice for women in sixteenth-century Rome". Renaissance Studies (Blackwell Publishing Ltd) 15 (3): 301–327. doi:10.1111/1477-4658.00372.
  5. Bailey. p 112.
  6. The present façade stands where the Roman aqueduct Acqua Vergine once stood, flowing down in a cascade to Imperial Rome.
  7. Steves, Rick. Pocket Rome.
  8.  Gietmann, G. (1913). "Andreas Pozzo". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. St. Aloyzius Gonzaga in Glory
  10. Levy, Evonne (2004). Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 287. ISBN 0-520-23357-3.


Catholic Catechism 

Part Three:  Life in Christ 

Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter Two:  Eighth Commandment 

 Article 8:4  Respect for the Truth



Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another as I have loved you."1 Jn 13:34
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' the second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."2 Mk 12:29-31; cf. Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18; Mt 22:34-40; Lk 10:25-28
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."3 Rom 13:8-10

Article 8

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

It was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn."

2464 The eighth commandment forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relations with others. This moral prescription flows from the vocation of the holy people to bear witness to their God who is the truth and wills the truth. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of the covenant.

IV. Respect for the Truth

2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. the good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. the duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.282

2490 The secret of the sacrament of reconciliation is sacred, and cannot be violated under any pretext. "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason."283

2491 Professional secrets - for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers - or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.

2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons' private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

282 Cf. Sir 27:16; Prov 25:9-10.
283 CIC, Can. 983 # 1.


RE-CHARGE:  Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

To all tween, teens and young adults, A Message from Jesus: "Through you I will flow powerful conversion graces to draw other young souls from darkness. My plan for young men and women is immense. Truly, the renewal will leap forward with the assistance of these individuals. Am I calling you? Yes. I am calling you. You feel the stirring in your soul as you read these words. I am with you. I will never leave you. Join My band of young apostles and I will give you joy and peace that you have never known. All courage, all strength will be yours. Together, we will reclaim this world for the Father. I will bless your families and all of your relationships. I will lead you to your place in the Kingdom. Only you can complete the tasks I have set out for you. Do not reject Me. I am your Jesus. I love you...Read this book, upload to your phones/ipads.computers and read a few pages everyday...and then Pay It Forward...


  •   Recharge: Directions For Our Times. Heaven Speaks to Young Adults.