To Light A Fire!
(Re: Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J.)
More than four years ago on 8 August 2004, a Sunday, Ruben M. Tanseco, a Jesuit priest and Founder/Head of the Jesuits’ Center for Family Ministries for many years and up to now, published his usual Philippine Star newspaper column, ironically labeled as GOD’s WORD TODAY. The subject title was “Population Crisis”, whose full text can be downloaded for free from <>.
I shall zero-in on Tanseco’s main propositions in that column which were recently repeated verbatim by another Philippine Star columnist, Ms. Domini M. Torrevillas in support of the morally objectionable Reproductive Health Bill.
Those arguments in Tanseco’s August 2004 column are, I believe, based on outright FALSEHOODS! That column piece also constitutes a clear case of open and unabashed rebellion of a Catholic priest who is a Jesuit at that, against the Catholic Magisterium-- a rebellion so emphatically and repeatedly bewailed by Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary in their various messages to the world, given through visionaries such as Maria Valtorta, Father Stefano Gobbi, “Anne” the Irish lay apostle and Father Ed Carter, S.J.
Hereunder are excerpts of those most offensive and FALSE propositions in Tanseco’s 8 August 2004 column, which should have been sub-titled as MORAL CRISIS, instead of Population Crisis. And so according to that Tanseco column piece:
“There are two moral positions within the same Church, as far as responsible parenthood is concerned. The official Papal position, and the non-official, responsible dissenting position of quite a number of moral theologians, bishops, clerics, and laity. Why is there room for a responsible, dissenting position? Because the official position, though normative, is not an infallible doctrine. It is not a dogma. The Second
This method (Natural Family Planning), as the only one supported by the official Church for the last how many decades, has not worked effectively in our country, as far as control of population is concerned. Just to single out one reason, among others: For so many poor, uneducated couples, learning NFP as the only means of family planning is too difficult, cumbersome, and needs much discipline and spirituality. Many are not able to make it. The poor are already deprived of so many things, and to deprive them of love-making when they spontaneously feel like doing so is to make their lives even more miserable.
This responsible, dissenting position is advocated by eminent theologians, like the late Karl Rahner, Bernard Haring, and others.
We are currently facing a very serious situation of over-population. Our percentage of annual population growth is one of the highest in the world. Coupled with our poverty crisis, which our President is doing her best to solve in due time, our over-population problem is a crucial, national emergency situation that needs the active cooperation of all.
To be faithful and prudent stewards of the Lord, as Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel reading, let us all be actively involved in promoting responsible parenthood, using both the official and non-official moral means of family planning.
Whatever is for the ultimate good of our people and our country is clearly the will of our all-loving and compassionate God.
Tanseco’s Falsehood No 1: (Re: Tanseco’s first paragraph in his 8 August 2004 piece)
The Declaration on Religious Freedom or Dignitatis Humanae its Latin Title (DH for brevity) was promulgated by Vatican II with the joint approval of Pope Paul VI. It was a re-statement of a perennial Catholic doctrine stating that religious freedom is an inviolable and universal human right. However, a key portion of DH was necessarily devoted to freedom of conscience, because conscience is the principal faculty of a person’s soul together with his FREE WILL that FREELY exercises its right to religious freedom and is responsible for its consequences. Thus DH was addressed to the whole world and not just to Catholics, consistent with the Church’s role as Lumen Gentium (Light of the World). Therefore, regardless of whether or not the person is a Catholic, AND whether or not the moral issue involved is a dogma or teachings of Protestant sects, Jews or the Catholic Church, whether officially proclaimed ex-cathedra by the Pope as an infallible teaching or not, AND, whether or not it is the objective TRUTH that is being offered for belief, NEVERTHELESS the right and freedom to believe, or REJECT any or all such teachings, in conscience, STILL APPLIES to everybody!
Tanseco’s proposition and its initial premise are therefore both false yet so cleverly misleading because:
- Aside from his opinion that Catholic teaching on sexuality and contraceptives are supposedly NOT infallible, that Tanseco-supplied qualification is immaterial according to DH (as shown above) for freedom of conscience to be applicable per se even to Catholics. And yet he further jumps to the FALSE conclusion, false both in fact and in logic, that Vatican II allegedly “teaches us that the final arbiter of moral decision(s) is one’s informed and responsible conscience.” As will be shown here later, per DH and other Vatican II documents, it is true that one’s conscience is ultimately responsible for its moral decisions, but certainly the decision-MAKER is NOT the final arbiter or final judge of the rightness in truth, or culpability for the error in the decision! And so we come to:
Tanseco’s Falsehood No. 2
For a person to be a “final arbiter” on any issue, whether moral, political, civil or criminal, it means that he is the FINAL JUDGE on the matter.
But if one may decide on a matter as the FINAL arbiter or judge thereof, whether rightly or wrongly, in good faith or not, or well informed or not, responsible or not, that person should consequently be immune to any liability or culpability whatsoever. And yet not even the Supreme Courts of democratic nations have that kind of absolute immunity or finality of judgments, because in the future they could be impeached or a new Court with different members may rule otherwise!
And so in all civil and ecclesiastical courts, more so before God, anybody’s claim to innocence due to his alleged sincerity and maturity of conscience is still subject to challenge and therefore NOT final!
Obviously therefore, Tanseco’s conclusion is patently FALSE, and HORRIBLY MORE SO in his succeeding statement that allegedly, that is what “The Second
Tanseco’s Falsehood No. 3
Tanseco claims that there is room for his own personal so-called “responsible dissenting position (shared with) quite a number of moral theologians, bishops, clerics and laity”. For according to him, the official positions of the Catholic Church on sexuality and contraceptives including responsible parenthood are allegedly “though normative, is not an infallible doctrine. It is not a dogma.” Supposedly!
Yet clearly contrary to Tanseco’s assertions, here is what the “definitive edition” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say on the moral crux and doctrinal premises of the matter at issue, following Tanseco’s own presentation and line of reasoning.
Part One, Section Two, Chapter 3 (with emphasis supplied)
The Teaching Office
889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith”
890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:
891 “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faithful – he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals… The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,” and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith” This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.
Thus it is clear that God’s promise of infallibility to the one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church, covers the following two instances:
1. The Roman Pontiff, the Pope, not just “by” but in virtue of his office, when as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful… he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.”
2. And it “… is also present in the body of bishops when together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council.
Thus Papal Encyclicals such as Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae and Spe Salvi are usually preceded by an introductory paragraph conveying that these are being issued by the Pope as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful “to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, and all the Lay Faithful.” Such encyclicals also incorporate numerous supporting statements and decisions from previous Popes and Councils.
From Part One, Section One, Chapter 2
88 The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in Divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.
89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, (Tanseco et al, please take note!) our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.
Thus contrary to Tanseco’s assertion that non-dogmas are not infallible, our Catechism states that the “fullest extent” of the authority of the Catholic Church Magisterium is behind its official teachings, whether it be in the “form (of ) dogmas” or even when defining other “truths having a necessary connection with these.” For dogmas are inter-related sections of the ENTIRE DOCTRINE of the Catholic Faith!
Thus too, the dogma on the sacredness and inviolability of life with its “apodictic” (meaning: with absolute certainty) commandment such as “Thou Shall Not Kill”, is necessarily related to the subsidiary truth proclaimed by the Church that human life with a body and an immortal soul, starts at the moment of conception. And so the dogma on the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and extraordinarily confirmed by Our Lady herself in her apparitions at
Still however, anybody may in conscience, whether informed and responsible or NOT at all (for nobody really knows except God Himself!), nevertheless accept or reject any or all of the official teachings of the Church Magisterium. But for Tanseco to say that rejection and/or acceptance of the same teaching are both morally correct per se, is an absurdity and thus a FALSEHOOD. Much more so, if as Tanseco claims in his column, that such conflicting decisions on DH-related issues are both consistent with being “faithful and prudent stewards of the Lord”.
And yet a mere eight months or so later on April 24, 2005 in that same column space, Tanseco advocated an even more startling proposition on Human Sexuality, as follows:
“The Church’s proposition on contraception is untenable. Because the Church’s leaders lack a true understanding of women and the struggles of family life, its teachings are no longer challenging but simply dismissed by most Catholics who have concluded that the Church is wrong.”
But the worst is yet to come, as follows:
Tanseco’s most egregiously blatant FALSEHOOD! (No. 4)
Tanseco must have known, or at least ought to have known as a supposedly responsible and truthful Catholic priest and opinion-writer, that even before its Section 3, Dignitatis Humanae already spelled out its major premises in Section 1 as follows:
“On their part all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. This
Thus in the above official text, there is absolutely no room for relativism to fit in, as far as such OBJECTIVE TRUTH is concerned. Thus too Henry Cardinal Newman concluded that “conscience has its obligations precisely because it has an inviolable right to be free!” Otherwise, conscience becomes an absurdity by being trivialized, into various contradictory interpretations of the truth regarding moral issues, and to be decided arbitrarily by billions of individual consciences. Such will be the case even if per Tanseco’s thesis, they will all claim to be “informed and responsible”. Thus too, moral anarchy would still be the unavoidable result of Tanseco’s theory.
Moreover our DH text is categorical in that man’s obligation to “seek the truth and hold fast to it” has a “binding force” on the human conscience. Thus as in secular civil law, “CONSCIENCE” as the “OBLIGEE” (the party burdened with an obligation), is bound to perform such an obligation in favor of, or owing to an independent OBLIGOR. Therefore, as in civil law as well as by common sense logic, the individual conscience cannot be the ‘Final Arbiter’ over such obligations to be rendered as the Obligee and for the benefit of the Obligor -- no matter how supposedly well informed and responsible the Obligee may be.
As to the misinterpretation of Section 3 of Dignitatis Humanae, I surmise that Tanseco’s untenable basis for his “final arbiter” theory are these statements in that section’s penultimate paragraph:
“On his part, man perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience. In all his activities a man is bound to follow his conscience, in order that he may come to God.” (emphasis supplied)
But even without considering the earlier principal premises and definitions of terms made in the previous sections 1 and 2, those two sentences cannot be logically interpreted to mean that simply following one’s conscience, makes the person at the same time and automatically, as the “final arbiter” on the moral issues involved.
Providentially for us all however, in late May of this year, the Vatican Curia’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, issued a comprehensive set of official instructions and teachings on Authority and Obedience. A key section apropos to our key issue on conscience, was included, as follows:
Obedience and Objections of conscience (emphasis supplied)
27. “Here one could ask: Can there be situations in which a person’s conscience would not seem to permit following the directives given by persons in authority? Can it happen, in short, that the consecrated person must state in relation to the norms or to their superiors: “It is necessary to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)? This is the case of the so-called objection in conscience of which Paul VI spoke, (Evangelica Testificatio) and that should be considered in its authentic meaning.
“If it is true that conscience is the place where the voice of the Lord resounds, the voice that indicates to us how to behave, it is also true that it is necessary to learn to listen to this voice very attentively in order to know how to recognize it and distinguish it from other voices. In fact, it is necessary not to confuse this voice with those which emerge from a subjectivism that ignores or disregards the sources and criteria that cannot be given up and are mandatory in the formation of judgments of conscience: “It is the ‘heart’ converted to the Lord and to the love of what is good which is really the source of true judgments of conscience”, (Veritatis Splendor, 64) and “freedom of conscience is never freedom ‘from’ the truth but always and only freedom ‘in’ the truth”(Veritatis Splendor, 64)
Here is what the Blessed Virgin Mary speaking to Rev. Father Stefano Gobbi and Our Lord Jesus himself through Maria Valtorta, through “Anne” the Irish Lay Apostle and through Rev. Fr. Father Edward Carter, S.J., all have to say to ALL of us and to priests such as Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J. as well as to their superiors in their congregations and in the Catholic Church as well:
From message No. 211 given in
Do Not Sin Any More
a "Today you are gathering here, in a cenacle of prayer, and recalling my final apparition at the Cova da Iria which was confirmed by the miracle of the sun.
b From this land (the Philippines), dear to me for the love and devotion with which I am loved and venerated, I make again to the world the anguished appeal which I made on that same day at Fatima and which summarizes, in a few words, the message which I came from heaven to communicate to you.
c Do not sin any more!
d Do not offend any more my Son Jesus, who has already been too much offended. Return to God by your conversion along the way of prayer and of penance.
e Alas, this message of mine has remained unheeded. And thus humanity has continued to hasten along the road of rebellion against God, in the obstinate rejection of his law of love. Thus it has come even to the denial of sin, to the justification of even the gravest moral disorders in the name of a falsely conceived liberty (of conscience). Thus Satan, my adversary, has succeeded in making you fall into his seduction.
f Many have thus lost the awareness of sin and so it is more and more committed and justified. The sense of guilt, which is the first step to take along the road of conversion, has practically disappeared.
g Even in those countries of the most ancient Christian tradition, the great crime of killing children still in their mother's womb has gone so far as to be legitimized. This crime cries for vengeance in the sight of God. (RH Bill Supporters, please note!)
h This is the hour of justice and mercy. This is the hour of chastisement and salvation. The heavenly Mother intercedes before God for you because never, as in the present time, have you been so menaced and so close to the supreme test.
i For this reason I beg you to repent and to return to God. Through you, sons especially chosen by me and consecrated to me, my apostles in these latter times, I want this anguished appeal to reach to the very limits of the earth.
j From this blessed nation, upon which I have a great design of love and of light, I gather you all into the refuge of my Immaculate Heart."
Message No. 384: June 11, 1988
The Great Apostasy
a "On the feast of my Immaculate Heart of this Marian Year, consecrated to me, beloved sons, I am calling all of you to enter into the heavenly garden which I have built for you, during these painful and bloody moments of the purification.
b The hour of the great apostasy has come. What has been foretold in Holy Scripture, in the Second Letter of
c Satan, my Adversary, with snares and by means of his subtle seduction, has succeeded in spreading errors everywhere, under the form of new and more updated interpretations of the Truth, and he has led many to choose with full knowledge-and to live in - sin, in the deceiving conviction that this is no longer an evil, and even that it is a value and a good.
d The times of the general confusion and of the greatest agitation of spirits has come. Confusion has entered into the souls and the lives of many of my children.
e This great apostasy is spreading more and more, even through the interior of the Catholic Church. Errors are being taught and spread about, while the fundamental truths of the faith, which the authentic Magisterium of the Church has always taught and energetically defended against any heretical deviation whatsoever, are being denied with impunity.
f The episcopates are maintaining a strange silence and are no longer reacting. When my Pope speaks with courage and reaffirms with force the truths of the Catholic faith, he is no longer listened to and is even publicly criticized and derided. There is a subtle and diabolical tactic, woven in secrecy by Masonry, which is used today against the Holy Father in order to bring ridicule upon his person and his work and to neutralize his Magisterium.
g Those children of mine who, often unknowingly, allow themselves to be carried along by this wave of error and of evil are victims of the great apostasy.
h Many bishops, priests, religious and faithful are victims of the great apostasy.
Message No. 420, given in
When the Son of Man Returns
a "You read in the Gospel: 'When the Son of Man returns, will He still find faith on earth?'
b Today I want to invite you to meditate on these words, uttered by my Son Jesus. They are grave words, which cause one to reflect and which succeed in making you understand the times through which you are living. First of all, you can ask why Jesus has uttered them: to prepare you for his second coming and to describe for you a circumstance which will be indicative of the proximity of his glorious return.
c This circumstance is the loss of faith.
d Also, in another part of holy scripture, in the letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, it is clearly announced that, before the glorious return of Christ, a great apostasy must take place. The loss of the faith is a true apostasy. The spread of the apostasy is therefore the sign which indicates that the second coming of Christ is, as of now, close at hand.
e At Fatima, I have foretold to you that a time would come when the true faith would be lost. These are the times. Your days are marked by this painful and significant situation, which as foretold to you in holy scripture: the true faith is in the process of disappearing in an ever increasingly greater number of my children.
f The causes of the loss of faith are:
(1) the spread of errors which are being propagated, and are often taught by professors of theology in Catholic seminaries and in Catholic schools and which thus acquire a certain character of credibility and legitimacy;
(2) the open ,and public rebellion against the authentic Magisterium of the Church, especially against that of the Pope, who has from Christ the duty of preserving the whole Church in the truth of the Catholic faith;
(3) the bad example given by those Pastors (Bishops!), who have allowed themselves to be completely possessed by the spirit of the world and who become propagators of political and sociological ideologies, rather than messengers of Christ and of his Gospel, thus forgetting the mandate received from Him: 'Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature.'
g Thus, in these days of yours, apostasy on the part of many of my poor children is inundating you more and more.
h When the Son of Man returns ...
i If indeed his return is close at hand, then my motherly action becomes more concerned and vigorous, in order to assist all my children to remain ever in the truth of the faith. This is why I have asked you to consecrate yourselves to my Immaculate Heart. This is why, in these times of yours, I have spread everywhere my Marian Movement of Priests: to form the little flock, reunited in the prayer of the cenacles and watchful in expectation - the flock gathered together and formed by me to ever preserve the true faith.
j Thus, when the Son of Man returns, He will still find the faith on earth in all those who will have consecrated themselves to me, allowing themselves to be gathered together in the heavenly garden of my Immaculate Heart."
And from the Lord Jesus Himself as was dictated to Maria Valtorta (Q43:514) on October 30, 1943, referring to abortion as the “crime of crimes” in section 45, page 70 of the book The End Times as revealed to Maria Valtorta, as published by Editions Paulines, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano SRL, translated from Italian to English by Paul T.Y. Atworth.
“I am the Merciful One. I am indulgent and I forgive. There is so much that I forgive. I forgive what I see you do out of human weakness, not what is done out of deliberate human self-interest. I will never be as severe a judge as with those who, with their thinking sold to Satan, commit more crimes than outlaws, lead(ing) others to commit crimes, and above all commit(ing) the crime of crimes, thus leading souls to mistrust God.
“Nowadays this crime of homicide and deicide is not the monopoly of a few. They kill bodies and souls and kill the idea of God in souls, making them blind like empty eye-sockets.
“The crowds make it out (realize it) too late. But I see, at the instant you think and act. And all of you, ungodly of flesh and spirit, will be judged with an extremely severe judgment.”
From Volume One of Direction for Our Times,
Thursday, July 17, 2003
”Do you hear My Son’s voice? He is calling His children with authority. Dear little ones, He does this in an effort to save them. The Voice of my Son bears authority and that is why He says His children will know that it is He, their God, who calls out to them. My little ones must make a choice now. And they must choose God and all that is good.
Priests and religious, holy men and women, console my heart in extraordinary fashion right now and I am maximizing the tremendous graces I receive from (earned by) these righteous souls. Religious in the world are under attack. Be brave, religious souls. Your mother defends you as her own and you will be raised up to your rightful place soon. Instead of being honoured by the world, you are reviled and slandered. This will not endure.
I (also) want to say that there are those religious who have disappointed my Son and turned to the evil one. Do not think, oh souls of Satan, that you will escape divine justice. And for you who have damaged innocent souls? All of heaven quakes with the retribution that will be yours. I say this to you with a special gravity. Repent! Admit your sins and become cleansed. Only in this way will you enter into the
And lastly from the booklet of Father Edward Carter S.J. entitled Tell My People, on page 61 thereof:
“My beloved friend, remind My people that the Church was born from My Heart, pierced with the soldier’s lance on
“I am Lord and Master. I request that all My people listen to My words and respond to them. I love My people with a tremendous love, and in this great love I give them this message!”
“My church is experiencing critical and very difficult times. There are many divisions. There are many false teachings - including some put forth by certain theologians. These false teachings occur because those responsible are not in proper union with My vicar, the Pope, and the Church Magisterium. I want all My children to pray daily for the cure of many and serious ills of the Church. With increased prayer and sacrifices for the health of the Church, that day will soon come when the Church will be purified and revitalized. When that day comes, the Church will be a light to all nations as never before. When that day comes, the renewed Church will be characterized by the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. Thus the message of