Catholic Candle note: The article below shows that human life as such, is a natural good, not a supernatural good. So, for example, killing babies, the elderly and infirm are crimes even in the natural order.
Although human life is not sacred (as shown below), this does not mean that people may be killed indiscriminately. Killing the innocent is always wrong, i.e., unjust. Justice is giving everyone what is owed to him, i.e., what he deserves. A person does not deserve to be killed (or harmed) except:
as a just punishment for his crimes, by the lawful authority which has the responsibility to ensure justice and keep the public order; or
in a just and proportionate self-defense to his attack.
is heresy and is one of the hallmarks of modernism to fail to distinguish the natural order from the supernatural order. Pope Pius XI condemned this modernist error in 1923 and at the same time promoted the antidote to this error, viz., the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Here are the pope’s words:
[I]f we are to avoid the errors which are the source and fountain-head of all the miseries of our time, the teaching of [St. Thomas] Aquinas must be adhered to more religiously than ever. For [St.] Thomas refutes the theories propounded by Modernists in every sphere, ... in dogmatic theology, by distinguishing the supernatural from the natural order”.
Studiorum Ducem, ¶27 (bracketed words added).
One application of this failure to distinguish between the natural and the supernatural is the modernists declaring that all human life is sacred. This claim contradicts the Catholic doctrine of sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace makes a person holy and he is not holy until he receives sanctifying grace and only when he possesses sanctifying grace.
Here is how the Baltimore Catechism #3 explains this truth:
Q. 461. What is sanctifying grace?
A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.
The truth is that human life is a natural good which is not sacred (i.e.,
Something is “holy” which is:
sacred, spiritually perfect. One who is of God; one who practices the Christian virtues; one who is in the state of sanctifying grace; something dedicated to God, or consecrated or devoted to divine service.
Concise Catholic Dictionary, Compiled by Robert C. Broderick, M.A., Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, © 1944, p.75.
in itself but can be made
holy by sanctifying grace. It is sanctifying grace which makes a man (and his life) holy.
Pope Francis exhibits this modernist confusion of the natural and supernatural orders where he declares that all human life is sacred. Here are his words:
Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always
sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.
Pope France gives the false conciliar teaching (above) that human life is always sacred. This error “logically” leads to the position that capital punishment is always wrong because it is intentionally destroying something sacred.
As shown in this article, the Catholic truth is that human life is not sacred and so capital punishment can be a just punishment, to kill those persons guilty of very serious crimes.
The distinction between the natural and supernatural order is crucial! This modernist confusing of those two orders quickly leads to many other heresies. For example, saying that human life is holy promotes universal salvation and is contrary to the Catholic doctrine of the limbo of the babies. This is because holiness brings a person to heaven; no holy people are in hell. If everyone’s life is holy, then everyone goes to heaven. This means that no one would go to the hell of the damned. Likewise, no one would go to limbo.
The truth is that every natural thing has its place in the natural order but that does not make it sacred. Something is sacred (holy) by being set aside for Divine Worship.
St. Thomas uses this definition: “a thing is called “sacred’ through being deputed to the Divine Worship”. Summa, IIa IIae, Q.99, a.1, respondeo.
For this reason, unless an object or person has been set aside for Divine worship, it is not holy. Thus, a new chalice is not holy because it looks like a chalice or because it is made of gold. It is holy when (and because) it is consecrated for the service of God.
Similarly, a man is not holy unless he is set aside (consecrated) for the service of God. This setting aside occurs at Baptism when a baby receives sanctifying grace and the character of baptism, showing he belongs to Christ.
St. Thomas explains that a baptismal character (which is an indelible mark) does two things: 1) it marks us as belonging to Christ; and 2) it enables us to receive other sacraments. Summa, IIIa, Q.63.
A person can later be set aside for the service of God in additional ways too, e.g.,
when he makes a religious profession.
Plainly, therefore, it is a modernist error that all human life is sacred (i.e., holy).
The N-SSPX teaches the modernist error that all life is holy, thereby confusing the natural and the supernatural order
The “new” SSPX confuses the natural and the supernatural order like the (false) conciliar church does. The N-SSPX does this (among many other ways) by claiming that natural goods such as all bread,
as well as people eating together,
Recently, the N-SSPX taught additional examples of natural goods which it claimed to be holy. According to the N-SSPX, the human heartbeat (a natural good) is sacred as well as every human life (also a natural good). Here are the N-SSPX’s words:
The sound of the human heartbeat is very mysterious. It is almost like an echo of life in the human body. It sounds identical to our mother and father’s hearts, which in turn sounded the same as all of our ancestors’ hearts. We can trace that heartbeat all the way to our first father, Adam. This heartbeat, given to Adam by God Himself, was handed on as a sacred treasure to every future generation of man. This sacred gift of life continues in us almost as if Adam’s heart were still beating within us. ... In His eternal wisdom, He endowed them with the power to communicate the sacred gift of life to future generations, but He desired that it be transmitted exclusively through the mutual love of lawfully wedded spouses.
Further mixing the natural and the supernatural, the N-SSPX claims that all human life (a natural good) is holy because the nature of man (including his intellect) makes us an image of God. Here are the N-SSPX’s words, beginning with the article’s title, “Life is Holy”:
Life is Holy
Man was made in the image and likeness of God. This means that he is endowed with intellect and will, and so has the ability to make moral choices. These qualities do not exist in any creature other than man, but they make it possible for him to have communion with God and also to be morally responsible for his actions.
Holy Scripture further defines man as composed of that which is material or immaterial [sic]. Accordingly, man has a body and he has a soul. In considering the matter of the life of man, the Scriptures record, “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). God reserves Himself [sic] all authority over life and death. He causes life to begin and He causes it to end.
If the N-SSPX’s modernist claim were true, then the damned would continue to be holy in hell because they continue to have the same nature and the same intellect (which is still an image of God). The truth, though, is that life is a natural good and Pope Francis and the N-SSPX teach modernism by calling it “holy”.
Faithful and informed Catholics must always distinguish between the natural and the supernatural order. Human life as such, is not sacred (i.e., holy).
Because the “new” SSPX teaches this modernist error (and many others), don’t learn the Catholic Faith from the N-SSPX unless your goal is to really learn modernism instead!
Catholic Candle Postscript
Warning! The Angelus quotes (given above) have many other problems. In fact, a careful reading of N-SSPX articles provides seemingly endless examples of liberalism and other errors. We give only two further examples from one of the Angelus paragraphs we quote above:
1. The Angelus’s strange claim about the nature of man
Above, the Angelus
claims: “Holy Scripture further defines man as composed of that which is material or
Of course, the truth is that man is body and
soul, that is, material and
immaterial, not one or the other.
2. The Angelus uses a bad bible
Above, the Angelus gives this bible quote:
the Scriptures record, “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).
An attentive Catholic will notice that the N-SSPX is using a bad bible.
This quotation of Genesis 2:7 certainly is not from the Traditional Catholic Bible. Here is the Douay Rheims version, which faithfully follows the traditional Vulgate Bible:
the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
This bible quotation also did not come from the (1954) Confraternity Version.
You will find the N-SSPX’s quote in the 1984 New International Version, which is a protestant bible!
Beware of the N-SSPX now using quotes found in protestant and/or modernist bibles!