Mary Ann Collins
The Catholic Church claims that it has the right to control how Catholics think. Some of its doctrines and practices actually result in a form of mind control.
According to "The Catholic Encyclopedia," a person's religious belief should not be determined by his or her "free private judgment." Rather, it should be determined by the Catholic Church. (This article is available online.) [Note 1]
The same attitude is shown in the teachings of Saint Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in 1540. He wrote "Spiritual Exercises," which are rules for the Jesuits. They include rules about how to think. The first rule about thinking says that Jesuits should set their private judgment aside. The thirteenth rule says that it is a virtue to see things the way that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church sees them, even if they are not true. It gives the example of seeing something that is obviously white, but believing that it is really black if the Catholic hierarchy says that it is black. (You can read these rules online.) [Note 2]
According to Canon Law (the official laws governing the Roman Catholic Church), Catholics are required to submit their minds and wills to any declaration concerning faith or morals that is made by the Pope, or by a Catholic Church council. They are also required to avoid anything that disagrees with such declarations. Furthermore, they can be coerced if they don't comply. (You can read these laws online. If you want to buy the book, the Notes give information.) [Note 3]
The Catholic Church teaches that only the Magisterium of the Church (the Pope and the bishops in communion with him) has the right to interpret Scripture. People like us are not allowed to interpret Scripture for ourselves. We are supposed to check it out with Church authorities. (This is online.) [Note 4]
Catholicism teaches that Catholics are supposed to "receive with docility" any directives given to them by Catholic Church authorities. (This is online.) [Note 5]
This sounds like young children, who accept without question whatever their parents tell them. In contrast, the Bible commends the people of Berea, because they "searched the Scriptures daily" in order to "see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:10-11) God wants His people to check things out for themselves, using Scripture as their yardstick.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The Pope said that if people "dare" to even think anything contrary to this dogma, then that disagreement will shipwreck their faith, cut them off from the Catholic Church, and make them become "condemned." He said that people who outwardly express disagreement could be punished for it. (This encyclical is online.) [Note 6]
The Pope's reference to legal penalties is significant, because a man had been executed for heresy 28 years before this papal bull was issued. [Note 7]
The Catholic Church has never renounced its past practice of killing people who disagree with Catholic doctrine. On the contrary, the Office of the Inquisition still exists. It is part of the Vatican Curia. In 1965, its name was changed to The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is headed by Cardinal Ratzinger. [Note 8]
Some people have paid a high price for disagreeing with the Catholic Church, or acting contrary to the wishes of the Pope. (See my article, "Hunting 'Heretics.'")
MIND CONTROL AND POLITICS
Mind control is not limited to Catholic doctrine. Popes and other high-ranking Catholic clergymen have also applied it to politics. Following are two examples. One is from the Middle Ages. The other is quite recent.
Pope Innocent III reigned from 1198 to 1216. In 1215, the "Magna Carta" was signed. This was the beginning of democracy in England. It established the principle that the King is not above the law. The "Magna Carta" is one of the documents that influenced the men who wrote the Constitution of the United States. Innocent said that the "Magna Carta" was immoral. He declared it to be null and void. In addition, he excommunicated everyone who supported it. (You can read about this online.) [Note 9]
In 1962, the island of Malta had an election. The Catholic Church strongly opposed a candidate named Mintoff. It was declared to be a mortal sin to vote for Mintoff. Maltese Catholics who voted for him were placed under interdict. Because they were placed under interdict, they could not go to confession and have their "mortal sin" of voting for Mintoff be absolved by a Catholic priest. They were also denied a Christian burial. (This is online.) [Note 10]
The combination of mind control and spiritual coercion can cause kings to do immoral things, and require their subjects to do them. For example, Pope Clement V (1305-1314) wanted the King of England (Edward II) to have some men be tortured. The King protested. He said that torture was illegal in England. The Pope said that Church law took priority over the laws of England. In other words, he said that the English law forbidding torture was wrong, because it conflicted with the laws of the Catholic Church. The Pope ordered the King to have the men be tortured, and he threatened to excommunicate him if he refused. The King complied. He made his subjects torture people, in spite of the fact that he believed that torture was wrong. The laws of England were changed in order to allow the torture. (Information about this is online.) [Note 11]
According to Canon Law, priests are required to have "reverence" for the Pope. "Webster's Dictionary" defines "reverence" as "profound respect mingled with love and awe." [Note 12]
Mind control can result in moral confusion. Catholics are taught to accept, without question, everything that Catholic authority figures teach them about faith and morals. The result is that you put your conscience in the hands of other people. This can cause moral confusion.
The Catholic Church has done various things to make the Bible less accessible to people, and to make it more difficult for people to trust Scripture. (See my article, "Undermining the Bible.") Once people lose confidence in the Bible, then they become far more susceptible to mind control and moral confusion. Once Scripture is no longer perceived as being a reliable guide for moral living, then Catholics are dependent on Catholic authority figures to tell them what is right and wrong.
An example of this is Pope Innocent III, who ruled from 1198 to 1216. He said that Catholic clergymen have to obey the Pope, no matter what he tells them to do. He denied their right (and responsibility) to make moral judgments and follow their conscience. He said that, even if the Pope commands them to do something evil, they have to obey him, because nobody can judge the Pope. (This is online.) [Note 13]
Jesus and Paul warned us that we need to guard ourselves against deception. They said:
We all need to protect ourselves from deception. If we don't stand on the Bible, then we can fall for anything. I will give some examples from the lives of Catholics I know personally.
A friend of mine was a devout Catholic. She had a confessor, a priest she went to regularly to confess her sins and to receive moral and spiritual guidance. She had been through a painful divorce, and relied heavily on the priest for guidance.
One day, she found out that her daughter had been sexually molested by a monk. She asked her confessor what to do about it. He advised her to tell the monk's superior, and to let the monastery handle the matter.
My friend never reported the crime to the police, and I doubt if she got any counseling for her daughter. She kept the matter quiet, in order to protect the reputation of the monastery.
There is an appropriate place for expressing anger. That girl needed to see her mother get angry at the man who had molested her. Instead, her mother was quiet about it. When she told me about the incident, she quietly spoke in psychological terms about the emotional problems of the man who had violated her daughter. Not once did she express outrage at what had happened.
For several years, I was involved in helping some needy people. One of the people I worked with was a Catholic priest. He had been raised to be a conservative Catholic. At first, he was circumspect in his approach towards women. But one day, his confessor gave him a book. Unfortunately, he had more confidence in his confessor than he did in the Bible, so he never questioned the validity of the book.
The title of the book was, "The Sexual Celibate." It was written by a Catholic priest. (Information about this book is online.) [Note 14 ]
According to the book, celibates need to express themselves sexually, in order to be emotionally healthy. The book said that sexual expression is morally right, and not contrary to their vow of celibacy, as long as they don't actually have intercourse.
One of our projects was helping some Vietnamese refugees. They were Buddhists. One of them was a lovely young lady. She converted to Catholicism. After he baptized her, the priest continued to give her religious instruction. Among other things, he taught her the theology of "The Sexual Celibate."
The young lady trusted the priest. He was her source of moral authority, her guide for understanding right and wrong. She believed what he told her about celibacy. They became romantically involved.
The priest did not have intercourse with her, but he was passionate with her. She was deeply in love with him. Her family found out about it, and scolded her. The young lady confided in me. She was confused, ashamed, and heartbroken.
SOME RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
I know a religious community whose leader became heavily influenced by Jungian psychology. Monks and nuns depend on their religious superiors for spiritual direction, instead of using the Bible as their primary source of guidance. As a result, every member of that religious community was led into deception. When I visited the community, I heard more about Carl Jung than I did about Jesus Christ. The reference point for their thinking was Jung's writings, rather than the Bible, or even Catholic writings.
I have heard of other religious communities whose superiors were influenced by New Age practices and philosophies. Again, all of the members of the religious community followed their leader into deception.
People can be "sincerely deceived." They can sincerely believe a deception that they have been taught by trusted authority figures. They may teach that deception to other people, and think that they are doing a good thing when they do it. That was the case with these religious communities.
A FOUNDATIONAL PROBLEM
We should never put our conscience in someone else's hands. This is a foundational problem with Catholicism. For obedient Catholics, their primary source of moral guidance is the Catholic hierarchy, rather than the Bible.
No person is good enough, or holy enough, or wise enough, to give our conscience to. We have to discern things for ourselves. We have to get to know the Bible, so that we can have God's perspective about things.
The Bible says that we cannot afford to be like children, whose beliefs are at the mercy of other people. (Ephesians 4:14) We need to grow up and take responsibility for our own beliefs, and for having our consciences be based on Biblical principles. We need to be like the Bereans, and test everything against the Bible.
An old hymn says: "On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand." The traditions of the Catholic Church are sinking sand. We need to take our stand on Jesus Christ and the Bible.
USE OF THIS ARTICLE
I encourage you to link to this article. You have permission to quote from this article, as long as you do it fairly and accurately. You have permission to make copies of this article for friends and for use in classes.
1. "Inquisition," in "The Catholic Encyclopedia," Volume VIII, 1910 (online edition 2002). The quotation is from the second paragraph of the article. The Office of the Inquisition is an ecclesiastical institution for suppressing heresy. It is a permanent office with headquarters in Rome (described on pages 1 and 23-24 of my print-out). If this address doesn't work for you, then do an Internet search for "Inquisition + Catholic Encyclopedia" and you should find the article. This article may take a while to load. At first you will see a white page. Then the text will suddenly come in.
A Protestant perspective on the Inquisition
2. Ignatius Loyola, "The Spiritual Exercises" (1521-1535). These rules are quoted in Marvin Perry, Joseph R. Peden and Theodore H. Von Laue, "Sources of the Western Tradition: From Ancient Times to the Enlightenment," Volume I, 4th edition (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), pages 330-332. You can read these rules online. The addresses below have the "spiritual exercises" that are called, "Rules to Have the True Sentiment in the Church."
More addresses for the rules. These web pages have all of Loyola's "spiritual exercises." The one you want is called, "Rules to Have the True Sentiment in the Church." It is the last item on the list, at the bottom of the page. Click on it.
More addresses for the rules. Search the documents for "True Sentiment." [Hit CTRL + F. Type "true sentiment. Hit ENTER.] It is near the bottom of the web pages.
If these addresses don't work for you, then you can search for "Ignatius Loyola + Rules for Thinking with the Church," or for "Ignatius Loyola + Rules to Have the True Sentiment of the Church," or for "Ignatius Loyola + the True Sentiment which we Ought to have in the Church." You can also search for "Ignatius Loyola + Spiritual Exercises." However, that is a more indirect route, because he has many spiritual exercises besides the "Rules for Thinking with the Church."
3. “Code of Canon Law,” Latin-English edition, New English Translation (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1999), pages 247 and 409, Canons 752-753, and 1311-1312. The 1983 “Code of Canon Law” was translated into English in 1988.
4. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church,” paragraphs 85, 100, 113, 891, 2051. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church ” comes in numerous editions and languages. Because it has numbered paragraphs, statements can be accurately located in spite of the variety of editions. You can get the book in regular bookstores and at Amazon.com.
5. "Catechism of the Catholic Church," paragraphs 87, 2037.
6. "Ineffabilis Deus" ("Apostolic Constitution on the Immaculate Conception"). Encyclical of Pope Pius IX, issued December 8, 1854. Near the end of this papal bull there is a section called "The Definition." The statements that I described are in the last paragraph of that section. If these addresses don't work for you, then do a search for "Ineffabilis Deus." I have listed the last four addresses separately.
7. Paul Johnson, "A History of Christianity" (New York: Simon & Schuster, a Touchstone Book, 1995), page 308. Paul Johnson is a Catholic and a prominent historian.
8. Bill Jackson, “Inquisition”
9. Peter de Rosa, “Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy “(Dublin, Ireland: Poolbeg Press, 1988, 2000), page 72. This tells about Pope Innocent III’s excommunication of people who supported the “Magna Carta.” De Rosa is a practicing Catholic and a former priest.
10. Joe Mizzi, "Liberty of Conscience." This is written by a citizen of Malta whose parents were subjected to the interdict.
Dr. Mark F. Montebello, "Civil Rights in Malta's Post-Colonial Age," Part III, "Independence According to the British," first subheading, "The Most Shameful Episode." The author is a Catholic priest in Malta. The information is on page 1 of my print-out.
11. Dave Hunt, "A Woman Rides the Beast" (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1994), page 246.
This article begins by talking about Islam, but it has good information about popes coercing kings. It quotes the order that Pope Clement V gave to King Edward II, requiring the King to torture some men. You can find it quickly by doing a search on the web page for the word "torture." [Go to the address below. Hit CTRL + F. Type "torture." Then hit ENTER.]
This article describes the methods of the Inquisition. The pressure on Edward II to torture some men is described about half-way down the document. The easiest way to find it is to search for the word "torture."
The men who were tortured were Knights Templar. This Templar website gives information about how Pope Clement V ordered King Edward II to torture the Templars. The information is about a third of the way down the document. (Search for the word "torture.")
I apologize for the tone and attitude of this article. However, the quotation from Pope Clement V is accurate. It is what I have in my source book. I don't have permission to quote it, so I'm making it available to you online. The quotation is at the very end of the first entry.
Some Knights Templar were tortured in England under the reign of King Edward II. The Inquisitors complained to Pope Clement V that torture was not allowed. The Pope intervened by putting pressure on the King. As a result, special laws were passed in order to allow the torture.
12. "The Code of Canon Law," page 86, Canon 273. This is in Book II, Chapter III.
13. Peter de Rosa, page 73. Pope Innocent III said that Catholic clergymen must obey the Pope, even if the Pope orders him to do something evil, because nobody can judge the Pope.
14. Donald Goergen, "The Sexual Celibate" (New York: Seabury Press, 1975). This book is out of print, but you can buy it online. When I looked for it at Amazon.com, they had some used copies for sale.
This web page has the table of contents, an excerpt from the Preface, and an excerpt from the book.
"They Didn't Think It Was Any Big Deal," in "Mission," July/August 2002. An article about sexuality at a Catholic seminary. It describes the book, "The Sexual Celibate." To find the reference to the book in the article, do a search on the web page whose address is below. [Hit CTRL + F. Then type in "Sexual Celibate." Then hit ENTER. It will take you to that place on the page.]
Information about three Dominican priests. Donald Goergen is the third one (a little more than half-way down the page). In listing his accomplishments, the article mentions his book, "The Sexual Celibate."
A web page that lists the book.
An article by Donald Goergen in "Spirituality Today," Fall 1982. Under the title of the article, it mentions that Goergen wrote "The Sexual Celibate." He is known for that book.
There are seminary lectures that are based on the book. Modern seminarians read the book.
There is a modern book that deals with the theme of "The Sexual Celibate." Keith Clark wrote, "Being Sexual…and Celibate" (Ave Maria Press, 1995). It is out of print, but when I searched for it at Amazon.com, they had copies for sale.
A description of the book. Many books are described in this article. Do a search for "Keith Clark + Being Sexual" on the web page. [Go to the address below. Hit CTRL + F. Then type "Keith Clark Being Sexual." Then hit ENTER.]
An article by a nun. She tells of the influence that "Being Sexual…and Celibate" had on her. She includes some quotations from the book. You can find the information about the book by searching the web page for it. [Go the the address below. Hit CTRL + F. Type "Keith Clark." Then hit ENTER.]
Books such as these, and classes based on them, contribute to moral corruption in modern Catholic seminaries. Michael S. Rose tells about it in his book, "Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church "(Regnery Publishing, 2002). There is some detailed information about Rose's book in my article, "False Credentials."
The Introduction to "Goodbye, Good Men "is available online. So are feedback testimonials of seminarians and priests who have read the book. There is a collection of excerpts from reviews. At the end of each excerpt, there is a place that you can click if you want to read the entire review.
An online summary and review provided by a book service.