“Dr. Mazza can go to Hell!”
(and Purgatory and eventually…Heaven!)
Join us as we learn the deepest truths of Faith and Morals by journeying with Dante Alighieri (1266-1321) through the Afterlife: Theology, Philosophy, History, Literature, Sin, Sanctity—and Love!—in Medieval Christendom: lessons for TODAY!
Only $299 or better yet, save on two courses: Hell, Purgatory, Heaven and Romans, Christians, Barbarians II for $499 total.
($225 Discounted price for Hell, Purgatory & Heaven for Meaning of Catholic Guild Registered Members https://meaningofcatholic.com/guild/register/)
Ciardi Translation in English Recommended. https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Comedy-Inferno-Purgatorio-Paradiso/dp/0451208633/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3BXW7IZBMKF5T&keywords=John+Ciardi&qid=1690665629&sprefix=john+ciardi%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-5
Live Classes start Wed Oct 25th, at 5pm PDT/8pm EDT and will run approximately 70-80 minutes. Q&A will follow for 10 minutes or more for those who can stay. I will suggest readings. No tests. No pressure. Content: Ages 13 and up. Recorded video link sent afterwards so you can watch on your own time!
10/25 Intro Poet & Inspiration
11/1 Intro Cantos 1-4
11/8 Lust Canto 5
11/15 Heresy Canto 10
11/22 Violence Cantos 13-15
11/29 Simony Cantos 16-19
12/6 False Cantos 26-27
12/13 Satanic Cantos 32-24
12/20 Purgatory Cantos 1-9
12/27 Pride Cantos 10-13
1/3 Love Cantos 16-18
1/10 Beatrice Cantos 27-33
If Francis is Pope…
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you [plural: i.e. Peter & his successors], that he may sift you [plural] as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” (St. Luke 22: 31-32)
Then Pope Saint Lucius I, Martyr, (r. 253-254) was WRONG
when he said: “The Roman Apostolic Church is the mother of all Churches and has never been shown to have wandered from the path of Apostolic tradition, nor being deformed, succumbed to heretical novelties according to the promise of the Lord himself [to Peter]… ‘I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not…’(Lk 22:31-32) ”
Then Pope Saint Felix I, Martyr, (r. 269-274), was WRONG
when speaking of the Roman Church he said: “As it took up in the beginning the norm of the Christian Faith from its authors, the Princes of the Apostles of Christ, She remains unsullied according to what the Lord said: ‘I have prayed for thee, etc.’ ”
Then Pope Damasus I, (r. 366-382) was WRONG
when he said: “The First See, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish...”
Then Pope Saint Innocent I, (r. 401-417) was WRONG
when speaking of the Roman Church he said: “that…all other churches might derive what they should order, whom they should absolve, whom, as being dirtied with ineffaceable pollution, the stream that is worthy only of pure bodies should avoid; so that from their parent source all waters should flow, and through the different regions of the whole world the pure streams of the fountain well forth uncorrupted.”
Then Pope Saint Gelasius I, (r. 492-496) was WRONG
when he said: “This is what the Apostolic See guards against with all her strength because the glorious confession of the Apostle [Peter] is the root of the world, so that she is polluted by no crack of depravity and altogether no contagion. For if such a thing would ever occur (which may God forbid and we trust cannot be), why would we make bold to resist any error?”
Then Pope Pelagius II, (r. 579-590) was WRONG
when he said: “For you know how the Lord in the Gospel declares: ‘Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired you that he might sift you as wheat, but I have prayed the Father for thee, that thy faith fail not, and thou being converted, confirm thy brethren.’ See, beloved, the truth cannot be falsified, nor can the faith of Peter ever be shaken or changed.”
“Consider, most dear ones, that the Truth could not have lied, nor will the faith of PETER be able to be shaken or changed forever. For although the devil desired to sift all the disciples, the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for PETER alone and wished the others to be confirmed by him; and to him also, in consideration of a greater love which he showed the Lord before the rest, was committed the care of feeding the sheep [cf. Jn 21:15ff.]; and to him also He handed over the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and upon him He promised to build his Church, and He testified that the gates of hell would not prevail against it [cf. Mt 16:16ff.]…”
Then the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681) was WRONG when it repeated the words of Pope Agatho (r. 678-681):
“For this is the rule of the true faith, which this spiritual mother of your most tranquil empire, the Apostolic Church of Christ [See of Rome], has both in prosperity and in adversity always held and defended with energy; which, it will be proved, by the grace of Almighty God, has never erred from the path of the apostolic tradition, nor has she been depraved by yielding to heretical innovations, but from the beginning she has received the Christian faith from her founders, the princes of the Apostles of Christ, and remains undefiled unto the end, according to the divine promise of the Lord and Saviour himself, which he uttered in the holy Gospels to the prince of his disciples: saying, ‘Peter, Peter, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for you, that (your) faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.’ Let your tranquil Clemency therefore consider, since it is the Lord and Saviour of all, whose faith it is, that promised that Peter’s faith should not fail and exhorted him to strengthen his brethren, how it is known to all that the Apostolic pontiffs, the predecessors of my littleness, have always confidently done this very thing: of whom also our littleness, since I have received this ministry by divine designation, wishes to be the follower, although unequal to them and the least of all.”
“…because the true confession thereof for which Peter was pronounced blessed by the Lord of all things, was revealed by the Father of heaven, for he received from the Redeemer of all himself, by three commendations, the duty of feeding the spiritual sheep of the Church; under whose protecting shield, this Apostolic Church of his has never turned away from the path of truth in any direction of error (hec apostolica ejus ecclesia nunquam a via Veritatis in qualibet erroris parte deslexa est), whose authority, as that of the Prince of all the Apostles, the whole Catholic Church (omnis catholica … ecclesia), and the Ecumenical Synods have faithfully embraced, and followed in all things; and all the venerable Fathers have embraced its Apostolic doctrine, through which they as the most approved luminaries of the Church of Christ have shone; and the holy orthodox doctors have venerated and followed it, while the heretics have pursued it with false criminations and with derogatory hatred.”
Then the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (869) was WRONG when it repeated the words of Pope Hormisdas (r. 514-523):
“The first condition of salvation is to keep the rule of the true faith. And because the sentence of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be passed by, who said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church,’ these things which have been said are proved by events, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept undefiled, and her well-known doctrine has been kept holy. Desiring, therefore, not to be in the least degree separated from the faith and doctrine of this See, we hope that we may deserve to be in the one communion, which the Apostolic See preaches, in which is the entire and true solidity of the Christian religion.”
Then Pope Saint Leo IX, (r. 1049-1054) was WRONG
when he said: “By the See of the Chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter — which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail — been strengthened.”
Then Pope Saint Leo IX was WRONG
when he also said: “Without a doubt, it was for him alone, whom the Lord and Savior asserted that he prayed that his faith would not fail, saying, ‘I have prayed for thee, etc.’ [Lk 22:32]. Such a venerable and efficacious prayer has obtained that to this point the faith of Peter has not failed, nor can it be believed that it is ever going to fail in his throne.”
Then Pope Saint Gregory VII, (r. 1073-1085) was WRONG
when in his Dictatus Papae, he said: “…the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.”
Then Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, (1090-1153) was WRONG
when he said: ““all the dangers and scandals that occur in the kingdom of God must be referred to the Holy See, but none more urgently than those which concern the faith. It is indeed just that any menace to the faith should be dealt with by the one 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒇𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒆𝒓. To whom else has it been said : 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘦, 𝘗𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 fail 𝘯𝘰𝘵? The words that follow must apply to Peter’s successor… 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘯.’?”
Then Pope Innocent III, (r. 1198-1216) was WRONG
when he said: “The Lord confesses at the time of the Passion that he prayed for him: ‘I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail: and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren’ [Lk 22:32], by this manifestly indicating that his successors would never at any time deviate from the Catholic faith, but rather they would recall others and also strengthen others in such a way as to impose on others the necessity of obeying….”
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If I myself have no faith how can I strengthen others in faith? And that is one of the chief points of my function [officium meum]: for did not The Lord say to Saint Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not”, and “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”. He prayed, and was hearkened to,— hearkened to in all points, owing to His obedience. The faith of the Holy See has never failed in trouble: but it remains firm and invincible, so that the privilege of Saint Peter remains inviolable.”
Then Saint Thomas Aquinas, (1225-1274) was WRONG
when he wrote in his Lectura on the Gospel of St. Matthew: “However, the Roman Church was not corrupted by heretics because it was founded on a rock. Hence there were heretics in Constantinople, and the work of the apostles was lost; only Peter’s church remained intact (Luke 23:32). And this refers not only to the Church of Peter, but to the faith of Peter, and to the whole Western Church. Hence, I believe that the Westerners owe greater reverence to Peter than to the other apostles.”
Then the Ecumenical Council of Florence (1438-1444) was WRONG
when it said: “For with the Lord’s approval the most illustrious profession of the Roman church about the truth of the faith, which has always been pure from all stain of error shines.”
Then Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church ( 1542-1621) was WRONG
when he said : “For the Pope not only should not, but cannot preach heresy, but rather should always preach the truth. He will certainly do that, since the Lord commanded him to confirm his brethren, and for that reason added: ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith shall not fail,’ [Lk 22:32] that is, that at least the preaching of the true faith shall not fail in thy throne.”
Then Saint Robert Bellarmine was WRONG
when he also said: “There [Pope Saint] Gregory clearly teaches the strength of the Church depends upon the strength of Peter, and hence Peter is less able to err than the Church herself.”
Then Saint Robert Bellarmine was WRONG
when he also said: “The power of Peter’s keys does not extend to the point that the Supreme Pontiff can declare ‘not sin’ what is sin, or ‘sin’ that which is not sin. In fact, this would be to call evil good, and good evil, something that always has been and will be very far from the one who is the Head of the Church, the pillar and foundation of truth.”
Then Francisco Suarez, (1548-1617) was WRONG
when he said: “in accord with His divine providence…[God] preserve[s] the pope from heresy in consequence of the promise that he shall never err in defining faith. Furthermore, as such a thing has never happened in the Church, we may conclude that, in the providence of God, it cannot happen.’ ”
Then the Ecumenical Council Vatican I (1870), was WRONG
when it said: “For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor…And indeed all the venerable Fathers have embraced, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed their [Popes] apostolic doctrine; knowing most fully that this See of Saint Peter remains ever free from all blemish of error, according to the divine promise of the Lord our Saviour made to the Prince of His disciples: ‘I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren.’”
Then the Ecumenical Council Vatican I (1870), was WRONG
when it also said: “This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.
Then Bishop Vincent Gasser, (1809-1879) the principal relator at Vatican I, was WRONG
when he said: “This prerogative granted to St. Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ was supposed to pass to all Peter’s successors because the chair of Peter is the center of unity in the Church. But if the Pontiff should fall into an error of faith, the Church would dissolve, deprived of the bond of unity.”
Then Blessed Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-1878) was WRONG
when he said: “This authority judges infallibly all disputes which concern matters of faith and morals, lest the faithful be swirled around by every wind of doctrine which springs from the evilness of men in encompassing error. And this living infallible authority is active only in that Church which was built by Christ the Lord upon Peter, the head of the entire Church, leader and shepherd, whose faith He promised would never fail. This Church has had an unbroken line of succession from Peter himself; these legitimate pontiffs are the heirs and defenders of the same teaching, rank, office and power. And the Church is where Peter is, and Peter speaks in the Roman Pontiff, living at all times in his successors and making judgment, providing the truth of the faith to those who seek it. The divine words therefore mean what this Roman See of the most blessed Peter holds and has held.”
“For this mother and teacher of all the churches has always preserved entire and unharmed the faith entrusted to it by Christ the Lord.” 
Then Pope Leo XIII, (r. 1878-1903) was WRONG
when he said: “And since all Christians must be closely united in the communion of one immutable faith, Christ the Lord, in virtue of His prayers, obtained for Peter that in the fulfilment of his office he should never fall away from the faith. ‘But I have asked for thee that thy faith fail not’ [Luke 22:32], and He furthermore commanded him to impart light and strength to his brethren as often as the need should arise: ‘Confirm thy brethren’ [ibid.]. He willed then that he whom He had designated as the foundation of the Church should be the defense of its faith. [As Saint Ambrose said.]”
Then Pope Benedict XV, (r. 1914-1922) was WRONG
when he said: “The ancient Fathers, especially those who held the more illustrious chairs of the East, since they accepted these privileges as proper to the pontifical authority, took refuge in the Apostolic See whenever heresy or internal strife troubled them. For it alone promised safety in extreme crises. Basil the Great did so, as did the renowned defender of the Nicene Creed, Athanasius, as well as John Chrysostom.”
Then Pope Pius XII, (r. 1939-1958) was WRONG
when he said: “The Pope has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church; his voice denounces errors, idolatries, superstitions; he condemns iniquities; he makes charity and virtue loved.”
Then Cardinal Alfons Stickler, Vatican Archivist, (1910-2007) was WRONG
when he said: “the pope stands for the Church which has never erred, which cannot err, in questions that involve eternal spiritual salvation. Therefore, he is the absolute (and, consequently, implicitly infallible) guarantor of the truth which one who wishes to be Catholic must profess.”
Then Pope Benedict XVI, (1927-2022) was WRONG
when he said: “For with the same realism with which we declare today the sins of the popes and their disproportion to the magnitude of their commission, we must also acknowledge that Peter has repeatedly stood as the rock against ideologies, against the dissolution of the word into the plausibilities of a given time, against subjection to the powers of this world…Therefore the Petrine promise and its historical embodiment in Rome remain at the deepest level an ever-renewed motive for joy: the powers of hell will not prevail against it.”
Then Pope Benedict XVI was WRONG
when he also said: “The pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He cannot proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism…
Then Pope Benedict XVI was WRONG
when he also said: “Abraham, the father of faith, is by his faith the rock that holds back chaos, the onrushing primordial flood of destruction, and thus sustains creation. Simon, the first to confess Jesus as the Christ and the first witness of the Resurrection, now becomes by virtue of his Abrahamic faith, which is renewed in Christ, the rock that stands against the impure tide of unbelief and its destruction of man…”
“Many non-Catholics affirm the necessity of a common center of Christianity. It is becoming evident that only such a center can be an effective protection against the drift into dependence on political systems or the pressures emanating from our civilization; that only by having such a center can the faith of Christians secure a clear voice in the confusion of ideologies.” 
 St. Lucius I, Epist. I ad Episcopos Hispaniae et Galliae; This and many of the following quotes may be found at www.catholicism.io/2021/06/18/freedom-from-grave-error-in-the-apostolic-see/ [NB: A pro-Francis site]
 St. Robert Bellarmine, On the Roman Pontiff, vol. 2: Books III-V (De Controversiis) (p. 157-158). (Mediatrix Press), Kindle Edition.
 Stephen K. Ray, Upon This Rock, (Ignatius Press), p. 85.
 Pope St. Gelasius, Epistle to the Emperor Anastasius in Bellarmine, On the Roman Pontiff, vol. 2: Books III-V (De Controversiis), p. 161.
 Cf. also www.erickybarra.wordpress.com
 Letter of Pope Hormisdas included in Constantinople IV. Cf. Erick Ybarra.
 Pope St. Leo IX, In Terra Pax Hominibus, September 2, 1053; DS. [Denzinger] 351.
 Saint Bernard, Epist. 190, Ad Innocentium.
 Pope Innocent III, Sedis primatus November 12, 1199, DS 775.
 Pope Innocent, Sermon On the Consecration of the Supreme Pontiff
 Session 13; 30 Nov. 1444.
 St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice vol. 2: Books III-V (De Controversiis) (p. 161).
 Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book IV, 3; 6.
 Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser, deputation from Pope Pius IV, Relatio to Vatican I, n. 7-8.
 Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, n. 12.
 Pope Benedict XV, Principi Apostolorum Petro, n. 3.
 Cardinal Alfons M. Stickler, The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 60, No. 3 (October 1974), pp. 427-441; Cf. http://www.obeythepope.com/2017/12/the-indefectible-church-of-rome.html
 Homily at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, May 7, 2005; quoted in Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, “Happy Catholics Don’t Make the Pope More than He Is,” One Peter Five, February 13, 2019.
 Joseph Ratzinger, Called to Communion, (Ignatius Press), p. 47.
Join us starting Pentecost Sunday May 28th for a 7 class Mini-Course on Ancient Rome! Experience the world of legions, martyrs, and slaves in “Romans, Christians, Barbarians!” Enter the world of the Caesars and learn how the Stone rejected by the builders became the Cornerstone of a new Order. Learn what lessons the rise and fall of Rome has for our own time!
$125 Choose “Mini -course” and Enroll Today! Live Classes start Sunday May 28th at 6pm Pacific and will run approximately 70-80 minutes. Q&A will follow for 10 minutes or more for those who can stay. I will suggest readings. No tests. No pressure. Content: Ages 13 and up. Recorded video link will be sent afterwards so you can watch on your own time!
“My Name is Gladiator…”
RUSSIA & MARY: War & Peace
“Beauty will Save the World…”
Immaculate Heart of Mary, World War III, Ukraine, China, Fatima, the Catholic Church, Russian Orthodoxy, Putin, Solzhenitsyn, KGB, Lenin, Stalin, Dostoevsky, Tsar Nicholas II, Napoleon, Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Andre Rublev, Archbishop Sheen, and more!
Mini Course: Sundays April 16, 23, 30, May 7
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Why has God chosen Russia as the instrument for Punishment and Peace? An in-depth look at a “Chosen People.” What is its connection to Jesus & Mary? Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? $99 Choose “Mini -course” and Enroll Today!
Live Classes start Sunday April 16th at 6pm Pacific and will run approximately 70-80 minutes. Q&A will follow for 10 minutes or more for those who can stay. I will suggest readings. No tests. No pressure. Content: Ages 13 and up. Recorded video link will be sent afterwards so you can watch on your own time!
St. Augustine: Sanctity during Societal Collapse!
NEW MINI-COURSE starts Mercy Sunday! April 24th
$99 for 4 classes on St. Augustine
Enroll today! (Can’t attend live? Free access to class videos when you enroll!) Choose “MINI” from dropdown pay menu…
St. Augustine was the most important theologian of the first thousand years (after St. Paul). Like Paul, before he became a great saint, he was a great “sinner” who had nothing but contempt for Christianity. We learn all this from his work, The Confessions, in which Augustine not only vividly relates the tale of his conversion, but imaginatively creates the genre of autobiography.
Born in 354 of a Christian mother, Monica, and a pagan father, Patricius, Augustine was raised in Roman North Africa, in what is today Tunisia. In the restlessness of his youth he both fathered a child out of marriage (likely with a slave) and left his mother’s Catholicism for the cult of Manichaeism. Teaching that all matter was evil, these quasi-Christians were considered “heretics” [see Chapter 16] by the Catholic bishops because they rejected the Church’s teachings on the redeeming features of the human body: denying both the bodily Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, as well as rejecting marriage and childbearing in favor of artificial methods of contraception (pharmakeia). Such a religion was suited to Augustine’s temperament; he infamously prayed to God to one day grant him the gift of chastity, just “not right now.” But after finding Manichaeism intellectually unsatisfactory, the precocious Augustine soon counted himself a Platonist, a follower of the ancient Greek philosopher as interpreted by Augustine’s near-contemporary, Plotinus (205-270). Neo-Platonists, after all, like their Gnostic-Manichaean counterparts, also emphasized the soul over the body.
Augustine became a successful teacher of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech practiced by lawyers and politicians. He must have been persuasive indeed, for he soon attached himself to the imperial court in Milan (leaving his mother and the mother of his child without a clue as to his actual whereabouts!)…
The Story continues–in class!
What is an Antipope? Can you name one?
(There are at least 33!)
Were they evil?
(Hint: Not all…one is a canonized saint.)
Was there a female “pope”?
Was there a Jewish “pope”?
(Hint: Not St. Peter)
What makes you a Pope or an Antipope? Can a heretic be a Pope? Can a Pope become a Pope Emeritus?
Join us each Sunday of Advent beginning Nov 28th at 6pm PST.
Early Bird Special EXTENDED: Enroll by Nov 29th for just $99.
(Nov 30th and after, $120)