16 Apr 2015

PURGATORY AND HOLY COMMUNION: CATHOLIC ANSWERS TO “REV.” CHRIS OKOTIE



"Rev". Chris Okotie

By Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi

I read with a keen interest “Rev.” Chris Okotie’s statement that Pope Francis is an Anti Christ and that Catholics will go to hell. I got to know about this through an article I read on page 5 of Hallmark newspaper, published on December 4, 2013, entitled: ‘Okotie Under Fire Over Comments on Catholics.’ In the article, Chris Okotie is said to have also attacked Catholic belief in purgatory, as well as Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion—and this, rather than his other comments, was what attracted my attention. Catholic churchmen who were quoted in the article to have responded to the comments were Monsignor Bernard Okodua and Monsignor Gabriel Osu. I was disappointed, however, that instead of using this rare opportunity to educate millions of confused Catholics and the general public particularly on two doctrinal issues raised by the heretic, these churchmen were not even talking like Catholics, let alone defending anything! The work they failed to do is therefore what I have undertaken to do here.

"All Catholics in the world will go to hell because they worship Satan and are led by an Anti Christ Pope who is a friend to the devil", Nigeria’s heretic, Chris Okotie, told his congregation on Sunday, leaving members bewildered.

Okotie, while preaching in his Household of God “church” in Ikeja area of Lagos on Sunday, said the Catholic Church is “a counterfeit church set up by Satan” and that Catholics “bow to idols, and crucify Jesus every Sunday when they eat bread claiming they are eating Jesus’ body.”

“Pastor” Okotie stressed: “They are not Christians and have never been. They don’t know Jesus. They believe that when they eat bread on Sundays, they are eating the body of Jesus. It’s ritual.”

“They don’t believe in heaven. They believe in purgatory, the purgatory that they invented,” Okotie said.

According to PM News, Okotie said Pope Francis is an Anti-Christ who does the job of the devil and that time is fast approaching when the Catholic Church will pledge allegiance to Satan.

“The pope is an Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church will soon declare for Satan. This is the end of times.”

He advised members of his “church” to come to the rescue of Catholics and evangelise them. This, he said, was not out of disrespect but “out of respect for the word of God.”

He said those who know the truth should bring it to those who do not know it in the Catholic Church.

Okotie said one of the Catholic most revered Popes, Pope John Paul 11, surrendered the Catholic Church to Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus Christ, instead of Jesus himself. He said even the current Pope Francis has also done same.

He said Catholics are not Christians and do not worship the same Christ that he preaches in his “church”, at least the one spoken about in the Bible.

Okotie said he did not write the Bible but it was clear to him that those in the Catholic church were lost and were heading to hell fire.

“That church, the Catholic church has been there for Satan and at the right time, they will declare for Satan,” Okotie said.

It is really interesting to note that recent popes have been going against Catholic doctrine by teaching that Protestants are Christians and will be saved. But here, in Chris Okotie, we see a typical Protestant in action, telling us what Protestantism is really all about, that is, ardent, Satanic hatred of the Catholic Church! And what true Protestants really believes—all Catholics will go to hell!

The errors of these popes had started since the 1960s, precisely dating from the Masonic Second Vatican Council. Their major heresy is that Protestants are Christians just as Catholics are. These errors were mostly promoted by John Paul II who in his teachings encouraged Protestants to remain separated from Catholics, whereas Jesus Christ, in the Holy Scriptures, prayed for unity of all Christians under one head, the pope (cf. Jn.17:5, 11, 20-21). John Paul II even went to the extent of teaching that all world religions—Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc, can save, thus contradicting Jesus’ statement that: “I am the door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10: 9); and again: “…but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son”(John 3:18). In Nigeria, we can see Catholic Bishops promoting this heresy by belonging to the heretical ‘Christian Association of Nigeria’, as well as preaching an impossible ‘Dialogue with Islam’, a dialogue which even true Islam forbids. Anyone who wishes to know the difference between today’s pseudo-Catholic Church (which started from the 1960s) and the Catholic Church that has existed for over 2000 years should, to say the least, consult Pope Gregory XVI’s Encyclical Letter ‘On Liberalism’ (Mirari Vos), August 15, 1832, or Pope St Pius X’s Encyclical Letter ‘On the “Sillon”’, August 25, 1910, which are currently on the internet.

The greatest challenge facing the Christian Church in today’s world is ignorance, and I mean, a massive one. Billions of people all over the world do not know the true history of Christianity and are not even interested to learn it, because we live in a world where religion, and in particular, the Christian Faith, has been relegated to the margins of influence. In Islam, we see men and women—young and old, intellectuals and innocents—burning with zeal to learn the doctrines of their religion, and they can do anything to promote and propagate these doctrines. When they enter into the mosque to pray, they behave like a real religious people. Their women—even the worst sinners among them—dress modestly, with the hairs well covered, and the men are equally excellent in their outward dispositions. But in today’s pseudo-Christianity, it is a complete sad story. Here, not only do those who claim to be Christ’s followers refuse to learn the true Christian doctrines and practices, they simply make mockery of everything!

For instance, it is simply unknown that the Bible is, first and foremost, a Holy Book belonging solely to the Holy Catholic religion. The word “Bible” is derived through the medieval Latin from the Greek τὰ βύβλα (Ta Biblia), which simply means “the books.” “The Books” refer to a collection of 27 books written by Christ’s early followers in the second half of the first century. These books were initially in different write-ups, until they were collected and compiled, approved by Pope Boniface in the year 419 and thenceforth became known as a holy book, the Holy Bible. To say the least, no “Christian” can really understand the words of the Bible until he or she becomes a Catholic, and I mean, a faithful one.

Now on purgatory: Protestants, like Okotie and his group, teach that the word “purgatory” is nowhere in the Bible and therefore is purely a Catholic fabrication. They are completely wrong. It is true that the word “purgatory” is nowhere in the Bible, but this does not mean that the concept is not there. In fact, there are many other words commonly used today even by Protestants which are nowhere in the Bible. For instance, many of the Protestants “believe” in the “Trinity”, in the “Incarnation” and in the “Bible.” But these words are nowhere in the Bible! Have the Protestants considered the fact that even the word “Bible” is nowhere in the Bible? Do they know that this word, just like the word “purgatory”, is one of those words “fabricated” by the Catholic Church?

The words “Bible”, “Pope”, “Purgatory”, “Trinity”, etc, were coined by the Catholic Church. They are nowhere in the Bible but their concepts are perfectly there. In the Bible, they are referred to by other names. The Bible, for example, is referred to as “scripture.” The Pope is referred to as the “Rock” of the Church or as the “Shepherd” (cf. Matt. 16:17-19; John 10: 16; 21: 15-17), and so on.

The word “purgatory” is derived from the Latin “purgatio”, which means purging or justification. The infinitive “purgare”, means “to cleanse, purge, clear away; to exculpate, justify; to purify.” Purgatory is a place where souls that have venial sins suffer for a time after death or are purified in order to go to heaven. Protestants teach that after death souls will either go to heaven or to hell. They are completely wrong. In fact, this teaching is purely Satanic because it contradicts the Bible. Logically, to say that souls after death will either go to heaven or to hell implies that no one will go to heaven at all, because hardly do men die without at least venial sins. Protestants do not believe in the concept of venial or mortal sins which are clearly written in the Bible. The Bible teaches that there are sins that lead to death and sins that do not lead to death, as we read in First John (chapter 5: 16 17): “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin which leads to death. I do not say you should ask for that. All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin leading to death.” This passage is so badly translated in so many Protestant and false Catholic bibles, therefore I have carefully translated the above verse from the original Greek.

This sin which ‘leads to death’, that is, to hell, is what the Catholic Church refers to as mortal sin, while the sin which ‘does not lead to death’, that is, does not lead to hell, is what She refers to as venial sin. Let me illustrate: If an armed robber enters a man’s house, snatches his properties and shoots him to death, that is a mortal sin. If the armed robber does not repent and dies in this sin, he will go to hell. At the same time, if a man utters even the least bad words against his neighbour, like a mere gossip which cannot cause his neighbour any harm, that is a venial sin. If the man does not repent and dies in this “little” sin, he will go to purgatory, where he will suffer for a while—perhaps for 50 years or more than that—according to the gravity of his sin. He will not go to hell because his sin is not that serious, yet it is a sin and because of this, he must be purified from it before he can be admitted into heaven. He will be judged accordingly. This is what Our Lord meant when He said that the Son of Man “will reward each according to his works” (Matt. 16: 27).

Now it is against our common sense of reasoning to say that God, who is just, will give the same punishment to both the man who stole and killed his neighbour and the one who only uttered bad words against his neighbour. Yet, that is what Protestants teach!

Protestants also teach that all their members who believe in Christ will automatically go to heaven. But the truth is that most people, like the Protestants, always die in the state of mortal sins, and such people go to hell immediately. In fact, except by the special divine intervention, it is difficult to find souls who do not pass through purgatory but go to heaven straightaway, as Protestants teach, because it is difficult to see any human being who, at the moment of his or her death, has no sin at all. But why must souls pass through purgatory? It is because God decreed that nothing impure will enter into heaven, as we read: “There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the lamb” (cf. Rev. 21: 27).

Purgatory is actually similar to hell fire. Here souls burn in horrible flames of fire; but unlike souls in hell, they are only being purified from their venial sins and they have hope of being released in the future. We see St Paul talking about this purifying fire, this fire of purgatory in his First Letter to the Corinthian Christians: “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3: 15). The original Greek reads: “εἴ τινος τὸ ἔργον κατακαήσεται, ζημιωθήσεται, αὐτὸς δὲ σωθήσεται, οὕτως δὲ ὡς διὰ πυρός” (1 Cor. 3: 15). The Greek “αὐτὸς δὲ σωθήσεται” means “he himself will be saved” and “οὕτως δὲ ὡς διὰ πυρός” means “yet so as through fire”. The word “πυρός” (pyros) means “fire”. Who are those St Paul is talking about here, who will be saved through fire? What fire is he talking about?

No Protestant—not their keenest theologians—can answer the above questions accurately. Only the Catholic Church—the only Church founded by Christ Himself—has the answer.

The concept of praying for souls in purgatory is also in the Bible. We see this in the Book of Machabees (2 Mach. 12: 46), which reads: “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” But I will not talk about this here because Protestants’ bible is incomplete and does not contain this book. Protestants’ bible contains 66 books. The complete Bible remains the Catholic Bible, with 73 books.

Now on the Holy Eucharist: Protestants, like Okotie and his group, teach that “holy communion” received in their “churches” is not the body of Christ but its symbol. They therefore accuse Catholics who believe otherwise in their own Church of practicing idolatry. Excellent!

But Christ, as we read in the Gospels, fed about five thousand men with five barley loaves and two small fish (John6:8-13). After performing this miracle the people believed that He was truly the prophet who was to come into the world, and sought to take Him by force and make Him a king, but Jesus perceived this and departed to a mountain, where He stayed alone (John 6:14-15). The Jews then began to seek Him, and when eventually they found Him, beside the sea, Jesus told them plainly:

‘Most assuredly I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him’ (Jn. 26-27).

The people then asked Him, ‘‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’’ Jesus answered and said to them: ‘‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent’’. Then, the same people, whom He had earlier fed with the five barley loaves and two small fish, began to demand for a sign from heaven before they could believe in Him. ‘‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You?’’ they asked. ‘‘What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manner in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’ ’’ (Jn. 28-31). Christ then said to them: ‘‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world’ ’’(Jn.32-33). The people said to Him, ‘‘Lord, give us this bread’’ and Jesus replied: ‘‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst’’.

This statement should be carefully noted: Protestants hold that the Eucharist is a symbol of the body of Christ, but here Jesus contradicts them. He says “I am the bread of life”, not “I am the symbol of bread”! The Jews, like the Protestants, then complained against Him because of these words, that is, because He said ‘‘I am the bread which came down from heaven’’. They said: ‘‘Is not this Jesus, the Son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven?’’(Jn.6: 34-35; 41-42). We read, from verse 43 to 58:

“Jesus therefore answered and said to them, ‘‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God’. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manner in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.

“The Jews therefore quarrelled among themselves, saying, ‘‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat’’. Then Jesus said to them, ‘‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manner, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever”.

The above doctrine, properly taught and practised only by the Catholic Church, is the major difference between Catholicism and other so-called Christian denominations. The Jews could not understand the doctrine, but Jesus was blunt in letting them know that it was essential for their salvation. Like them, Protestants do not believe that the Eucharist is actually the true body and blood of Christ. For them, to say so is pure madness! St Paul, indeed, seems to be addressing the following questions to them: ‘‘The cup of blessing we bless, is it not fellowship in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not fellowship in the Body of Christ?’’ (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16). St Paul’s questions show that, right from the earliest days of the Church, the doctrine had been a matter of dispute even as it is today.

The English word ‘‘Eucharist’’ is from the Greek ἡ εὐχᾷριστία (Eucharistia), which simply means ‘‘thankfulness’’ or ‘‘gratitude’’. The breaking of bread comes from a well-attested Jewish usage, namely, the religious gesture of the head of the table at the beginning of every meal taken in common. The more recent name, Eucharist, is based on the same custom; the head of the table, before distributing the bread, pronounced a blessing—beraskah—a word whose New Testament equivalent is as much eulogia as eucharistia (cf. Mark 8: 6-7).

‘‘The Eucharist is the food which came down from heaven in the eschatological person of the Son of Man made flesh’’, writes J. Delorme, OP. ‘‘Having come down from heaven and returned to heaven He can now give His flesh and blood as food, in the Church’’. The Eucharist is the central rite of the Christian religion, in which the bread and wine are consecrated by an ordained priest, and consumed by the priest and members of the congregation in obedience to the Lord’s command, ‘‘Do this in remembrance of Me’’(Luke 22:19).

There are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. After baptism, the Eucharist is the next indispensable sacrament of the Church without which salvation cannot be possible. As the Lord Himself stated above: ‘‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you’’. It is only in the Catholic Church that this flesh of the Son of Man can be eaten, and nowhere else. In fact, Protestants themselves admit that what they eat in their “churches” is not the true flesh of Christ but its symbol. The true flesh is being eaten only in the Catholic Church, and nowhere else!


My dear Chris Okotie, I have done this little research for your sake, for your salvation! But on the Catholic use of images, I decided not to make any comment on that but to leave you in your ignorance for now. But if you write to thank me for what I have done for you here, I will be pleased to do that for you and many others again. May God bless you!

Source: This piece was first published by eaglereporters.com in 2013

15 Apr 2015

No, Cardinal Okogie, Homosexuals Deserve No Respect!

            by Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi

Francis I listening to a question from a journalist aboard the
return flight to Rome from the World Youth Day celebrations
where he commented particularly about the divorced and
remarried, women and homosexuals. Francis answered
questions from 21 journalists over a period of 80
minutes on his return from Brazil.

I read with a keen interest Anthony Cardinal Okogie’s article entitled, Homosexuality: Nothing has Changed in the Church, which was published on page 51 of the Guardian newspaper on the 12th of August, 2013. Cardinal Okogie wrote the article to defend Pope Francis’ statement that he, the Pope, would not judge homosexuals. The Pope’s statement, says the Cardinal, “must be read and understood through the lenses of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the concern of the Church for those on the fringes, and the mercy, tenderness and forgiveness of a pastor who walks among his people”. The Cardinal accuses the media of having “given their classic coverage of this interview: sensationalism!” and tries to explain what the Pope meant by the statement.

The subject matter is the following:  Pope Francis, when asked by a journalist about the Vatican's alleged "gay lobby", answered that while a lobby might be an issue, he does not have any problem with the inclination to homosexuality itself: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

It should be noted that his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with “deep-rooted homosexual tendencies” should not be priests. Thus Francis, just as he recently contradicted Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum—by banning some priests from saying the Tridentine Mass—is here doing the same thing again.

But Cardinal Okogie—himself also an anti-Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum—does not share this view. To understand the Pope’s reply above, states the Cardinal, “one must grasp adequately the context in which the question was asked. As is often the case, contexts shape and influence greatly our responses…” The context, according to the Cardinal, is the following: 

“On June 15, 2013 Pope Francis named Mons. Battista Ricca to one of the key posts in the overall effort to reform the Curia; the Pope’s representative at the Vatican bank, with the critical but sensitive task of overseeing every aspect of the management and reform of the bank. This appointment led to the searchlight being turned on the life of this prelate; as a result, unsavory details of a gay past came to limelight, leading to the appointment being viewed in some quarters as the result of “gay lobby mischief”. While others raised eyebrows on the sincerity of the new pope’s proposed reformation of the curia.” 

After citing the above as the “context” which led to the Pope’s reply, the Cardinal goes on to accuse the press of having “a habit of searching out the “sins of youth” to discredit or condemn an individual. A classic biblical allusion would be the case of the woman caught in adultery, while she had sinned against her own body and God, the creator of that body, the crowd tried to exact justice on an action that was not committed against them, it was the exclusive reserve of God, and God chose to forgive this repentant sinner. “…I do not condemn you, go and sin no more.”

First of all, as the Cardinal himself confirms, there was a serious issue at stake: the Pope appointed a man known to be a homosexual (or, if you like, call him a former homosexual) to be his “representative at the Vatican bank, with the critical but sensitive task of overseeing every aspect of the management and reform of the bank.” This very action, on Catholic principle, is a scandal on the part of the Pope and if the journalists had come to question him because of this, as indeed they had done, then they were doing the work of God. Do you agree, Your Eminence?

Aside this, Your Eminence, I consider your “biblical allusion” above simply intolerable. How can you liken the pope’s statement to our Lord’s saying in the Gospel that He would not condemn the sinful woman?

As we saw above, Cardinal Okogie states in his article that, to understand the pope’s reply to the journalist one must grasp adequately the context in which the question was asked—and he goes on to cite the case of Msgr. Battista Ricca. Well, Your Eminence, to understand Jesus’ reply to the Jews on this woman’s case, one must also grasp adequately the context in which that question was asked. We notice that in the Gospel stories, when people came to Jesus with questions, He, being God, would always first of all read the heart of the person asking the question to know if he was asking with a good intention or with a bad one. When people asked Him question with a good intention, he answered them with all sincerity, but when they asked with a bad intention, most of the times He would not answer. For instance, in the Gospel according to Luke, when Jesus was sent to King Herod, we are told that Herod was glad to see Him, simply because he “hoped to see some miracle done by Him” (Luke 23:8). Now when Herod questioned Him, Jesus Christ, knowing his bad intention, answered him not a word. As we read: “Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.” (Luke 23:9).

Now, on the case of the woman caught in adultery, we read the following:

“And the scribes and Pharisees bring unto Him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to Him: “Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou? And this they said tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. But Jesus bowing Himself down, wrote with His finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said to them: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8: 3).

Thus, just like the case of Herod cited above, when the Jews came to Jesus Christ to complain about this woman, they did not come with the intention of learning from Him but merely in order to tempt Him—these people had already conditioned their minds against Jesus and were looking for one thing or the other to use against Him. Hence Jesus did not care to talk about this woman’s sin, not because He felt that her sin did not matter much—which is always the impression given by modern preachers—but because He knew that those who were accusing her were themselves sinners, in fact, perhaps even more splendid sinners than the woman—men who cared less about the beams in their own eyes but more about the motes in other people’s eyes (Matt. 7:3).

Your Eminence, that was the “context” which led to Jesus’ “cold” reaction to the Jews’ question. Our Lord felt there was no need to denounce the sinful woman because really there was no need to do so. Yet, He detested her sin. When Jesus said he would not condemn her, he meant that He would not support putting her to death, not that He would not judge her as a sinner if she continued sinning—hence He said to the woman, “Go and sin no more”.

Now, as I said, it is intolerable to liken this incident to Pope Francis’ encounter with the journalists. The Jews, as we have seen, asked their question in order to tempt Jesus. Did the journalists ask the question in order to tempt Pope Francis? The honest answer is NO! Also, the Jews expected Jesus to either support them to put the sinful woman to death or be against that. Your Eminence, do you think that those journalists, like the Jews, expected Pope Francis to declare that all homosexuals should be put to death? Certainly not! On the contrary, they expected him, as a moral teacher, to condemn the sin of homosexuality. He did not do that at all; on the contrary, he said he would not judge the sinner! Francis’ use of “judge” here is simply incompatible with Jesus’ use of ‘condemnation” in the Gospel. Jesus said to the woman, “Go and sin no more”. Did Pope Francis say that homosexuals should stop sinning? Again, the honest answer is NO!

Your Eminence, your “context” principle, if applied here, renders your argument not only baseless, but also useless.

Again, we consider the Cardinal’s assertion that the Pope’s statement “must be read and understood through the lenses of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the concern of the Church for those on the fringes, and the mercy, tenderness and forgiveness of a pastor who walks among his people”.

Well, I truly do not know which Gospel the Cardinal is talking about, neither do I know the church he is referring to, therefore I will rather assume the Cardinal meant to say: The Pope’s statement must be read and understood as “…the mercy, tenderness and forgiveness of a pastor who walks among his people”.

Now, even for the above statement, it is true that the pope is infallible, for, as Christ promised him in Blessed Peter, ‘‘…I will give to thee the keys (τὰς κλεῖδας) of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matt.16:19)—meaning that whatever Peter, who was the first Pope, binds or looses on earth, his act will receive divine ratification. It is also true that the Pope, as a high priest, was promised by Christ, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20: 21-23; cf. Heb. 5:1-3), which means that the Pope has authority to forgive sins—he can have mercy or compassion on a sinner. But this authority is conditional and cannot just be exercised anyhow. The Pope cannot, for instance, wake up one morning and declares: “Now is a time of mercy! All abortionists in the United States, all homosexuals in England, and all Boko-Haramites in Nigeria have been forgiven their sins!” He has no authority from Christ to do that. On the contrary, he can only grant forgiveness to a repentant sinner, to repentant sinners. Thus one of the strongest accusations launched against the popes by Martin Luther and other enemies of Catholicism in the sixteenth century—which were mere lies anyway—was that they were granting indulgences to sinners who had not truly repented.

Now, on Pope Francis and the homosexual, or rather, the “suspected homosexual”, Msgr. Battista Ricca: did Francis say that Msgr. Battista Ricca truly repented and has been forgiven by the Church? The honest answer is NO! On the contrary, he confirms that the man, in fact, is still a sinner, is still a homosexual. In his own words: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

Your Eminence, what exactly then, are you talking about?

More intolerable still, is the Cardinal’s saying that homosexuals should be respected. As I will show below, Cardinal Okogie is here going against Catholicism. He cites the following from the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church to support his liberal view:

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not eligible (sic.). This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unity (sic.) to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

Well, Your Eminence, your above quotation has errors and omissions and I hereby quote the same passage from my own copy of the Catechism:

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”(CCC. 2358).

Now it must be noted that this Catechism is faulty on many issues, including our subject of discussion. In fact, people must note very well that, since the Masonic Second Vatican Council, held in the 1960s, all the documents coming from the so-called magisterium of the Catholic Church have always been full of errors and not all Catholics—including Priests, Bishops and Cardinals—believe in them. Notice for instance, the above statement, “They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial”—as if the Church is now an advocate of homosexuals! Now how did the writers of this “catechism” know that homosexuals do not choose their homosexual condition? Who told them?

In fact, the statement is just as absurd as saying that adulterers do not choose their adulterous condition! The Cardinal himself must have observed this, hence he omitted the statement in his quotation!

Now to say that some men and women have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” is not only an error noticeable to all human beings, but in fact a blasphemy against human nature. It is, put simply, a sin to utter such impious words, because it is a subtle way of saying that God is ultimately responsible for the sin of homosexuality:  if some men and women have such tendencies, it logically means they were born with such, and if so, then who should be blamed? God! 

Before we go to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church with respect to homosexuality, let us first of all look at the Sacred Scripture. Contrary to the liberal views of Bergoglio and Okogie, in the Old Testament, Scripture refers to the vice of homosexuality with special severity:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22). “If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them” (Lev. 20:13).

Again, we read: “And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous” (Gen. 18:20). The angels arrived at Lot’s house, under the appearance of two handsome men. “But before they went to bed, the men of the city beset the house both young and old, all the people together. And they called Lot, and said to him: Where are the men that came in to thee at night? Bring them out hither that we may know them. . . . And they pressed very violently upon Lot; and they were even at the point of breaking open the doors. And behold the men [angels] put out their hand, and drew in Lot unto them, and shut the door. And them that were without, they struck with blindness from the least to the greatest, so that they could not find the door” (Gen. 19:4-11). “And they [the angels] said to Lot: Hast thou here any of thine?...all that are thine bring them out of this city, for we will destroy this place, because their cry [of their crimes] is grown loud before the Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them” (Gen. 19:12-13). “And they brought him forth, and set him without the city: and there they spoke to him, saying: Save thy life; look not back, neither stay thou in all the country about, but save thyself in the mountain, lest thou be also consumed” (Gen. 19:17). “And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he destroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the earth. And his wife looking behind her, was turned into a statue of salt. And Abraham got up early in the morning, and . . . looked towards Sodom and Gomorrha, and the whole land of that country, and he saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace” (Gen. 19:24-28).

My dear Cardinal, how can you say we should respect evil men whom the Creator Himself cursed and ordered to be put to death?

Again, on the punishment that God prepared for the Jews, we read: “And I will give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them . . . the shew of their countenance hath answered them: and they have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not hid it: woe to their souls, for evils are rendered to them. . . . The Lord standeth to judge the people” (Is. 3:4-13). Vague references to sodomites, without special interest for our exposition, are found in 1 Tim. 1:8-10. For other references to Sodom and Gomorrha, without express mention of the vice of homosexuality, see: Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Jer. 23:13-14; 49:18; 50:40; Ezech. 16:55-56; Matt. 10:15; Rom. 9:29; Apoc. 11:8. 

How can one not relate the fulfillment of these threats to the AIDS epidemic now ravaging Sodomites?

In the New Testament, Saint Paul indignantly castigates this vice against nature: “Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind [sodomites] . . . shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10). In the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle of the Gentiles threatens perverts with punishments even on this earth: “Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error” (Rom. 1:24-27).

Saint Peter, the first Pope, stresses the infamy of the sin of sodomy and the chastisement God reserves for it: “For if God . . . reducing the cities of the Sodomites, and of the Gomorrhites, into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly, and delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked . . . [then] the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented” (2 Peter 2:4-9).

Saint Jude is no less severe: “As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighboring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire, in like manner these men also defile the flesh, and despise dominion [of Christ], and blaspheme majesty” (Jude 7-8).

Of course the Bible, as any good historian knows, is a product of the Catholic Church. From the above quotations therefore, one can see the Church’s severe stance on the sin of homosexuality. The first statement of a Church council on homosexual practices was issued by the Council of Elvira (305-306). The decree excludes from communion, even in articulo mortis (at the moment of death), the stupratores puerorum (defilers of boys). The decree of the Council of Ancyra, held in Asia Minor in 314, strongly influenced the Western Church, and it was often cited as authoritative in later enactments against homosexual practices. Canon 17 speaks about those “who . . . commit [acts of] defilement with animals or males.” The Council of Ancyra established for these crimes a series of punishments according to the age and state of life of the infractors: “Those who have committed such crimes before age twenty, after fifteen years of penance, will be readmitted to the communion of prayer. Then, after remaining five years in that communion, let them receive the sacraments of oblation. However, let their lives be analyzed to establish how long a period of penance they should sustain in order to obtain mercy. For if they unrestrainedly gave themselves over to these crimes, let them devote more time to doing penance. However, those aged twenty and over and married who fall into these crimes, let them do penance for twenty-five years and [then] be received in the communion of prayer; and, remaining in it for five years, let them finally receive the sacraments of oblation. Moreover, if those who are married and over fifty years of age commit these crimes, let them obtain the grace of communion only at the end of their lives.”

Pope Saint Siricius (384-399) issued norms for admission into the priestly state. They apply indirectly to homosexuality: “We deem it advisable to establish that, just as not everyone should be allowed to do a penance reserved for clerics, so also a layman should never be allowed to ascend to clerical honor after penance and reconciliation. Because although they have been purified of the contagion of all sins, those who formerly indulged in a multitude of vices should not receive the instruments to administer the Sacraments.”

In the opening speech of the XVI Council of Toledo in 693, Egica, the Gothic King of Spain, exhorts the clergy to fight against homosexual practices: “See that you determine to extirpate that obscene crime committed by those who lie with males, whose fearful conduct defiles the charm of honest living and provokes from heaven the wrath of the Supreme Judge.”

The most complete set of norms against homosexual practices in the medieval era is contained in the canons approved at the Council of Naplouse, assembled on January 23, 1120 under the direction of Garmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Baldwin, King of the same city. On that occasion, a sermon was preached about the evils that had befallen the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Earthquakes, plagues, and attacks by the Saracens were judged as a punishment from Heaven for the sins of the people. As a consequence, the Council issued twenty-five canons against the sins of the flesh, four of which related to homosexual practices. Death at the stake was decreed for those convicted of those specific crimes.

The Third Lateran Council (1179) establishes: “Anyone caught in the practice of the sin against nature, on account of which the wrath of God was unleashed upon the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:6), if he is a cleric, let him be demoted from his state and kept in reclusion in a monastery to do penance; if he is a layman, let him be excommunicated and kept rigorously distant from the communion of the faithful.”

Such was the horror that surrounded the sin against nature that, by the late twelfth century, sodomy was a reserved sin for which absolution was reserved to the Pope and, in some cases, to the Bishop.

Nevertheless, with the Renaissance this vice surfaced again. Homosexuality was a matter of grave concern to Saint Pius V. As the well-known historian von Pastor narrates, “In the first year of his pontificate, the Pope had two preponderant concerns: zeal for the Inquisition and the struggle against ‘this horrendous sin whereby the justice of God caused the cities contaminated by it to be consumed in flames.’ On April 1, 1566, he ordered that sodomites be turned over to the secular arm. . . . The various imprisonments of sodomites . . . impressed Rome and frightened especially well-established people, for it was known that the Pope wanted his laws enforced even against the powerful. Indeed, to punish for vices against nature, the torment of the stake was applied throughout the pontificate of Saint Pius V. . . . An earlier papal Brief mandated that clerics who were guilty of that crime be stripped of all their posts, dignities, and income, and, after degradation, be handed over to the secular arm.” The Holy Inquisitor promulgated two Constitutions in which he castigates and punishes the sin against nature.

In the Constitution Cum Primum of April 1, 1566, Saint Pius V solemnly established: “Having set our minds to remove everything that may in some way offend the Divine Majesty, We resolve to punish, above all and without indulgence, those things which, by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures or by most grievous examples, are most repugnant to God and elicit His wrath; that is, negligence in divine worship, ruinous simony, the crime of blasphemy, and the execrable libidinous vice against nature. For which faults peoples and nations are scourged by God, according to His just condemnation, with catastrophes, wars, famine and plagues. . . . Let the judges know that, if even after this Our Constitution, they are negligent in punishing these crimes, they will be guilty of them at Divine Judgment and will also incur Our indignation. . . . If someone commits that nefarious crime against nature that caused divine wrath to be unleashed against the children of iniquity, he will be given over to the secular arm for punishment; and if he is a cleric, he will be subject to analogous punishment after having been stripped of all his degrees [of ecclesiastical dignity].”

Saint Pius V is no less rigorous in the Constitution Horrendum Illud Scelus of August 30, 1568. He teaches: “That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were burned by virtue of divine condemnation, causes Us most bitter sorrow and shocks Our mind, impelling it to repress such a crime with the highest possible zeal.

Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517] decrees: “Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature . . . be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery, so that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity, taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, We determine that they should be handed over to the secular authority, which enforces civil law. Therefore, wishing to pursue with the greatest rigor that which We have decreed since the beginning of Our Pontificate, We establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be executed as mandated by law, according to the appropriate punishment for laymen plunged in this abyss” (chap. 4, X, V, 31).

The Code of Canon Law undertaken at the initiative and encouragement of Saint Pius X, and published in 1917 by his successor Pope Benedict XV, says this: “So far as laymen are concerned, the sin of sodomy is punished ipso facto with the pain of infamy and other sanctions to be applied according to the prudent judgment of the Bishop depending on the gravity of each case (Can. 2357). As for ecclesiastics and religious, if they are clerici minoris [that is, of a degree lower than deacon], let them be punished with various measures, proportional to the gravity of the fault, that can even include dismissal from the clerical state (Can. 2358); if they are clerici maiores [that is, deacons, priests or bishops], let them ‘be declared infamous and suspended from every post, benefit, dignity, deprived of their eventual stipend and, in the gravest cases, let them be deposed’ (Can. 2359, par. 2).”

So many saints and doctors of the Church such as St Augustine, Saint Basil of Caesarea, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Peter Damian, Saint Albert the Great, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Bernardine of Siena and Saint Peter Canisius have denounced the sin of homosexuality.

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, in an SBT interview about homosexuality in Brazil (not broadcast) on October 29, 1992, stated: “The sexual act exists in the natural order of things for the fecundity of the family and, through the fecundity of the family, for the expansion of mankind. The precept of Our Lord Jesus Christ to men . . . is ‘Multiply and fill the earth.’ It is necessary, therefore, to do this and by all means to favour the fecundity of sexual intercourse, which is legitimately exercised only in Matrimony. Now then, as for homosexuality, there is no Matrimony, and, above all, there can be no fecundity. . . . “For many centuries,” Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira continued, “homosexuality was the object of real aversion on the part of successive generations. And this was not because of a whim . . . but by virtue of the doctrinal principles I have just enunciated, which are principles of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic doctrine. . . . This rejection [of homosexuality] is a preservation of society against that which of itself threatens it. Everything that is alive rejects what destroys it. Thus, by a similar movement of the instinct of self-preservation, human societies modeled upon Catholic doctrine . . . have been profoundly anti-homosexual.”

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was asked: “Why, in your view, are homosexuals discriminated against in Brazilian society?”

Answer: “Brazil is a son of Portugal, and Portugal and Spain were always very strong bulwarks of the Catholic Church. We received from our Portuguese ancestors rigidity and consistency in the Catholic Faith, which was the model for the customs of colonial Brazil, the United Kingdom [of Brazil and Portugal], the Brazilian Empire and the Brazilian Republic until some time ago. Hence Catholic aversion for homosexuality impregnated our customs and constituted a tradition.”

And I will add that it is not just the Brazilians. The sin of homosexuality is, put simply, anti-human, just as humans have been “profoundly anti-homosexual.”

The truth is that, Cardinal Okogie is among the Church’s leaders with liberal views on many issues, including our subject of discussion. Such also is the former Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. Shortly after he was elected Pope, Marcelo González of Panorama Católico Internacional, a journalist who knows the Church of Argentina as well as the palm of his hand, described Cardinal Bergoglio as follows:

“Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and moral seem to have been irrelevant to him…A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy. He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum…This election is incomprehensible: he is not a polyglot, he has no Curial experience, he does not shine for his sanctity, he is loose in doctrine and liturgy, he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against homosexual "marriage" [approved with practically no opposition from the episcopate], he has no manners to honor the Pontifical Throne. He has never fought for anything else than to remain in positions of power…It really cannot be what Benedict wanted for the Church. And he does not seem to have any of the conditions required to continue his work…May God help His Church. One can never dismiss, as humanly hard as it may seem, the possibility of a conversion... and, nonetheless, the future terrifies us.” (Rorate caeli.blogspot.com, 2013).

Certainly, Cardinal Okogie has his good sides, but his flaws are numerous and simply fatal. He shares many things in common with Bergoglio. As the former Archbishop of Lagos, his episcopate was simply a disaster and “Christian” life in his Cathedral was a scandal. Just like Bergoglio, Cardinal Okogie never ceased persecuting the poor faithful who rejected the new Mass and wanted to go back to the Catholic Tridentine Mass. These Catholics lived, under the Cardinal, like the children of Israel under Pharaoh. He also persecuted priests who made an effort to preach with firmness, or who were simply interested in the Tridentine Mass which Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum aimed at restoring. Now on homosexuality, I am personally aware of a member of his own parish who was a well known homosexual. The Cardinal knew the man, who was even a communicant and one of the strongest pillars of his cathedral. He knew the man, a well known homosexual, yet he did absolutely nothing about that.

It is only the truth, Jesus said, that will set us free.

Source: This piece was first published by eaglereporters.com in 2013.