by Br Alexis Bugnolo
I was recently asked a series of grave questions by a fellow Catholic from Slovenia. And I think they merit a response
Now, dear Br. Alexis, I respect your advice, therefore I have some questions for you as to the character and gravity of crimes against God and His Church that this deathvaxx pass represents in relation to Catholic worship, as this sanitary apartheid requirements are also in force for attending Holy Mass: how grave a crime is it for secular authorities to impose such a requirement on the Catholic Church; for our bishops to comply with this wicked decree; for parish priests and laypeople to check if their fellow churchgoers meet the aforementioned “PCT” requirement?
Br. Bugnolo: It is a grave crime against the liberty of the Church to impose any sanitary regulations upon her works or apostolates which are based on an appeal to a mythical belief system which is contrary to the Catholic Faith. Such an imposture is tantamount to the suppression of the Catholic Faith. For Bishops to comply constitutes the sin of apostasy, because they are gravely obliged to act out of the faith at all times and never to respect the false religious motivations of others. Hence Catholics should not respect any “sanitary control” inside the Church, neither masks, nor gels, nor distancing, nor limits in numbers, times of service, or purposes for entering or attending ceremonies in the Church or outside of the Church.
What can and ought we as Catholics do if we are refused entry into church in order to attend Holy Mass and/or receive the Sacraments on the grounds of this “lex iniusta”? I mean, in obedience to God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, the Precepts of the Church and the supreme law of love of God and love of neighbor and love of one’s enemies? In other words: What is the appropriate proportionality of self-defense if a certain person physically denies the right to the faithful to maintain or regain their life of the soul? What are the faithful allowed to do to defend against such a person?
Br. Bugnolo: If civil authorities prevent Catholics from entering their Churches they can use grave and lethal deterrence, by coming armed to mass and showing their real intent to use these arms to guarantee their right to worship in peace. I say “deterrence”, because so long as Catholics are allowed liberty to worship we should not resort to violence, and we can only resort to violence to obtain and security this right when and where denied. If a government has decreed such a law against the Church, Catholics, if they believe they can be successful, may licitly rise up against their government and overthrow it — this is the teaching of the Saints.
What am I as a layperson allowed to do inside a consecrated church building in terms of defending the Most Holy Eucharist in the Tabernacle and/or on the altar from profanation by an intruder in case he/she tries to interrupt the Liturgy and steal/profane the Blessed Sacrament? Is physical force allowed against such a person?
Br. Bugnolo: Physical force is allowed to prevent the theft of sacred things from the Church or acts gravely contrary to religion in the Church. Thus you can physically throw such persons out, strike at them with hands or fists to prevent their touching or stealing things which are sacred, menace them with gestures and voice to cease and desist and leave. Physical efforts can be made to prevent access, and Catholics in such lands of persecution should lock the doors after the services begin and only unlock them when they ended, as the ancient Church did.
What am I as a layperson allowed (and obliged) to do in terms of defending a priest/cleric/fellow laypeople against intruders inside a church, e.g., a health inspector, police officer or some other government official harrassing people by demanding they produce the deathvaxx pass or be fined and removed from church? Should we resist – even physically – or should we accept the abuse and persecution in silence?
Br. Bugnolo: Catholics in the present situation should never allow such officers to enter their Churches or church property, but should put themselves in the way at the entrances thereto to prevent access. They can lawfully arm themselves and show intent to use such arms if entrance is forced. The consent of the clergy to allow entrance or not, bears nothing upon this decision, since it is an act of perfidy to allow such officers to enter upon false motivations. If your clergy are cowards, ignore what they say during such conflicts, because we must serve and obey Jesus Christ in His House, not cowards or traitors.
Is self-defense by using lethal force against an aggressor who threatens to use lethal force inside a consecrated church allowed? Namely, it is a holy place and bloodshed desecrates it, right?
Br. Bugnolo: Bloodshed in a consecrated building should be avoided since it desecrates the place. However, if nothing but actions which risk bloodshed will achieve protection of the sacred place and the right to worship there, such action may be resorted to as a last resort. But Catholics should, as I said, prevent entry to such persons. If those intent upon desecration enter a Church, Catholics can shoot to kill or maim to prevent such a sacrilege against the Divine Person of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament or His Altars or sacred Persons such as clergy.
This issue is more relevant to people who are allowed by their states to possess arms and know how to use them; we in Slovenia are predominantly a defenseless, unarmed & untrained bunch left at the mercy of abusive government and its armed officials if they go astray: If a person implementing an unjust law bears arms, e.g., a police officer, a soldier, a private security guard, etc., does the proportionality of self-defense allow for the assumption that they are by default an aggressor with deadly intent as they can use the weapons they carry at any moment and are to be defended against by lethal force as soon as they implement an unjust law? Even if they do not (yet) point a weapon or threaten to use it?
Br. Bugnolo: No just government of men has authority to disarm the population. And every honest man has the right to bear arms not only for his self defense but for the defense of innocents. When a nation outlaws that purpose in bearing arms, such a law does not need to be observed and all Catholics should support those persecuted on account of not observing it, for a government which does not exist to empower the honest against the wicked, but contradicts this, is not a government but a criminal conspiracy against the people and need be shown no obedience. A Christian should be peaceful, however, that is keep the 10 commandments and moral law, which may or may not coincide with civil law.
And, finally, how are we to understand the following passage from the Holy Bible as regards self-defense by physical force, including arms? Mt 26:52: “ Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
Many thanks for your consideration of this post and for your patience in reading and answering it.
Br. Bugnolo: Our Lord commanded the Apostles to arm themselves as a deterrence, but forbade they use violence to defend Himself, because He was on a Mission from the Father to suffer for our Salvation and win our Redemption. However, by no means did He intend that that statement be extended to all conflicts, only that those who use arms use them to defend the innocent and not for private gain. Peter wanted Our Lord not to suffer, so he was using them for private gain and not to defend Our Lord as Redeemer.
Papal teaching on Self Defense and Catholics rights and duties
For more about these topics, I would suggest reading the Papal Bulls on the Crusades, which contain all the principles about how Catholic should and when they ought to bear arms for the defense of the Faith, the Church and the right to worship:
Pope Eugene IV: Quantum praedecessores, Dec. 1, 1145 A. D., calling the Second Crusade:
“… We exhort therefore all of you in God, we ask and command, and, for the remission of sins enjoin: that those who are of God, and, above all, the greater men and the nobles do manfully gird themselves; and that you strive so to oppose the multitude of the infidels, who rejoice at the time in a victory gained over us, and so to defend the oriental church -freed from their tyranny by so great an outpouring of the blood of your fathers, as we have said, – and to snatch many thousands of your captive brothers from their hands,- that the dignity of the Christian name may be increased in your time, and that your valour which is praised throughout the whole world, may remain intact and unshaken. May that good Matthias be an example to you, who, to preserve the laws of his fathers, did not in the least doubt to expose himself with his sons and relations to death, and to leave whatever he possessed in the world; and who at length, by the help of the divine aid, after many labours however, did, as well as his progeny, manfully triumph over his enemies. …”
Pope Gregory VIII, Audita Tremendi, October 29, 1187 A. D., calling the Third Crusade:
“..For we hear from every direction of scandals and conflicts between kings and princes, among cities, so that we lament with the prophet and are able to say: ‘‘There is no truth, no knowledge of God in the land: lying, murder and adultery abound, and blood pursues blood’’ [Hos 4:1– 2]. For this reason, everyone must understand and act accordingly, so that by atoning for our sins, we may be converted to the Lord by penance and works of piety and we may first alter in our lives the evil that we do. Then we can deal with the savagery and malice of our enemies. And, what they do not fear to try against God, we will not hesitate to do for God. Therefore, sons, consider how you came into this world and how all pass on, and thus you will pass on. Use the time for penitence and doing well insofar as it regards you, with thanks. Give yourselves, give after yourselves, because you, who cannot make even a gnat upon the land, have nothing of your own. We do not say, dismiss, but send us forth in the heavenly harvest which you have and deposit with him ‘‘upon whom the rust does not destroy, nor the worms, nor the thieves dig up and steal’’ [Mt 6:20]. Work for the recovery of that land in which for our salvation Truth has arisen from the land and did not disdain to carry the forked wood of the cross for us. Pay attention not to earthly profit and glory, but to the will of God who himself taught us to lay down our souls for our brothers. Give your riches to him, which whether willingly or unwillingly, you do not know to which greedy heirs they will be left. It is certainly not new, nor unusual, that that land is persecuted by a divine judgment that, after being beaten and corrected, it may obtain mercy. Of course, the Lord could preserve it by his will alone, but it is not for us to know why he would do this. Perhaps he wished to experience and bring to the notice of others if someone is understanding and seeking God, who having offered himself embraces the time of penance joyfully. He sacrifices himself for his brothers; though he may die young, still he accomplishes much. Heed how the Maccabees, afire with the divine zeal of the law experienced extreme dangers for the freedom of their brothers. They taught that not only riches but their persons should be sacrificed for their brothers, exhorting and saying to each other: ‘‘Gird yourselves and be powerful sons because it is better for us to die in battle than to witness the desecration of our nation and our saints’’ [1 Mc 3:58– 59] Indeed, they were subject to one law; you by the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ have been led to the light of truth and instructed by the many examples of the saints. You should act without trepidation and do not fear to give away earthly possessions, which will last for such a short time, for those goods we are promised that ‘‘neither eye has seen nor ear has heard nor have they entered into the heart of man’’ [1 Cor 2:9], as the Apostle says: ‘‘That the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared to the future glory which will be revealed in us’’ [Rom 8:18]. We promise full remission of their sins and eternal life to those who take up the labor of this journey with a contrite heart and a humble spirit and depart in penitence of their sins and with true faith. Whether they survive or die, they should know that they, after they have made a true confession, will have the relaxation of the penance imposed, by the mercy of almighty God, by the authority of the apostles Peter and Paul, and ours
Pope Innocent III, Quia Maior, April 1213 A. D., calling the Fifth Crusade:
“Because at this time there is a more compelling urgency than there has ever been before to help the Holy Land in her great need and because we hope that the aid sent to her and will be greater than that which has ever reached her before, listen when, again taking up the old cry, we cry to you. We cry on behalf of him who when dying cried with a loud voice on the cross, becoming obedient to God the father unto the death of the cross, crying out so that he might snatch us from the crucifixion of eternal death. He also cries out with his own voice and says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” as if to say, to put it more plainly, “If anyone wishes to follow me to the crown, let him also follow me to the battle, which is now proposed as a test for all men.” For it was entirely in the power of almighty God, if he had so wished, to prevent that land from being handed over into hostile hands. And if he wishes he can easily free it from the hands of the enemy, since nothing can resist his will. But when already wickedness had gone beyond all bounds and love in the hearts of many men had grown cold, he put this contest before his faithful followers to awaken them from the sleep of death to the pursuit of life, in which he might try their faith “as gold in the furnace.” He has granted them an opportunity to win salvation, nay more, a means of salvation, so that those who fight faithfully for him will be crowned in happiness by him, but those who refuse to pay him the servant’s service that they owe him in a crisis of such great urgency will justly deserve to suffer a sentence of damnation of the Last Day of severe Judgment.” …
“For how can a man be said to love his neighbor as himself, in obedience to God’s command, when, knowing that his brothers, who are Christians in faith and in name, are held in the hands of the perfidious Saracens in dire imprisonment and are weighed down by the yoke of most heavy slavery, he does not do something effective to liberate them, thereby transgressing the command of that naturl law which the Lord gave in the gospel, “Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them?” Or perhaps you do not know that many thousands of Christians are being held in slavery and imprisonment in their hands, tortured by countless torments?” …