us remain loyal to the truth
Artificial contraception will always be intrinsically evil.
late vocation, Fr. John Corapi's life experiences prior to his
ordination were simply astounding, and truly show the great work of God
through the Virgin Mary. From athletics to soldiering to a millionaire
businessman, his life became a string of successes that always left him
flat and empty. But after a series of trials, he soon felt the
unmistakable call to become a priest. Eleven years of life as a
religious and four university degrees later, Fr. Corapi was ordained in
St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by Pope John Paul II. Fr. Corapi currently
resides in the diocese of Sacramento, California, and gives conferences
across the U.S.A. and even Canada. Here are excerpts from a conference
he gave at Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Sept. 1, 2001:
Father John Corapi
The truth is a two-edged sword
Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in Him, “If
you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know
the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John
They answered Him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been
in bondage to anyone. How is it that you say `You will be made free?'”
Jesus answered them, “Truly,
truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin... I know
that you are descendants of Abraham, yet you seek to kill Me because My
Word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with My Father,
and you do what you have heard from your father... Why do you not
understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My Word.
You are of your father, the devil, and your will is to do your father's
desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with
the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks
according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
But because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me.”
That is Jesus Christ speaking. Jesus is saying to the religious leaders
of His time, “You
are the spawn of Satan. You are the children of the devil. You don't
accept what I have to say, which is the truth, because you follow your
father, a liar, the father of lies, and a murderer from the
Nowadays, those of us who try to be faithful in teaching and preaching
the fullness of truth are often criticized and condemned for being
divisive, for being inflammatory, for being problems in the Church. I
assure you with 100% certainty that they would not allow Jesus Christ to
preach in the Church in many places today; in fact, they would send Him
off to sensitivity training.
It is Jesus who is speaking, the Lord of lords and the King of kings, the
Prince of Peace who said, “You
think I have come to bring peace? I tell you, I have not come to bring
peace but a sword, division that will separate a household of five,
three against two, and two against three, father against son, and son
against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother.”
The Prince of Peace said that. If you do not believe it, look it up; it
is right there in the Gospel. (Matthew 10:34-35)
is the sword that Jesus speaks of? It is the truth; the truth is a
two-edged sword. Start to live the truth and teach the truth and preach
the truth with fidelity and power, then fasten your seatbelt. You are in
for it! Your family will reject you, your friends will reject you. You
will become the vocal point of a battle, that primordial quintessential
battle between good and evil, truth and lies, light and darkness, life
and death. We are at war, and our battle is not against flesh and blood.
The first lie of Lucifer
In order to understand these things, you have to go back to the
beginning. Saint Thomas Aquinas rightly taught many times, “An error
in the beginning is an error indeed.” Don't make an error at the level
of principle; you make an error at the level of principle, and the
repercussions of that fundamental error will reverberate throughout your
life and throughout history.
So we go back to the beginning, The Book of Genesis. Now in the
beginning, God created everything that is, out of nothing, ex nihilo.
That's creation by definition. God does not require pre-existent matter
to bring things into existence. He's the Creator. He does not need
anything. He wills it into being. God created everything out of nothing,
and when He finished the job, He called it good, very good. All of
creation is good. Everything God created is good. He had to be good for
it came from the One who is goodness itself. That is Genesis, Chapters 1
In the third chapter of Genesis, something goes wrong. The Garden of
Eden. The serpent approaches Eve, the mother of all the living, as the
Bible calls her. “Eve,
woman, did God tell you, you can't partake of the trees in the
garden?” “Well, no!” Eve said. “God
said we may partake of the fruits of all the trees in the garden. Human
freedom is very broad. However, God said we may not partake of
the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden, the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil. We may not partake of that fruit or even
touch it, less we die.”
freedom has limits. And those limits are laid down by God Almighty.
Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that the original sin must have been pride.
Eve considered it, and the devil went on; the liar and the father of
lies, the murderer from the beginning, and he went to say: “Well,
surely you don't believe God!” The father of lies is calling God a
liar. “Oh no! God knows very
well that if you partake of that forbidden fruit, you'll become like
Knowing good and evil, subjectively and arbitrarily. Pride: “I can be a
god! I can decide for myself what is good and what is evil.” That's a
pretty powerful incentive: I can be God; if only I will disobey God, I
can be like God. That's the original sin, that's pride. What did it
result in? Disobedience! Partaking the forbidden fruit. What was the
result of that? Death! At that very moment, pain, suffering, and death
entered creation. The gates of Heaven slammed shut.
has changed! It goes like this today, and I realize where I am speaking.
I realize 100% consciously and wilfully where I am: in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, Canada. It goes like this today, “Surely you don't accept
that teaching of that Polish Pope! Nor the ones who went before. Surely
you don't accept and believe the teaching contained in the encyclical Humanae
Vitae on the sanctity of human life! Surely you don't accept that!
No, no! You're too intelligent and educated for that! You can decide for
yourself what's good
you, what's not good for you; you can play God! You can engage into
artificial contraception — the ultimate form of which is abortion, as
Pope Paul VI so rightly prophesied in his encyclical. You can play
What happened? Eve succumbed to the temptation; she bit into the
forbidden fruit. The lie ushered in a reign of darkness and death.
That's why the Saviour came: to bring light into that darkness.
What is the truth?
I am going to talk to you about three things: truth, conscience, and
freedom. And the absolutely essential indissoluble union among those
Conscience! Freedom! What is the truth? We live in a very confused era
in history. A lot of people think truth is relative. A lot of people
would take the position that, well, if it's good for you, fine, but
there is another truth good for me, but there is no absolute truth.
There is no objective moral good and evil. In other words, truth becomes
a subjective construct. Whatever is convenient, whatever fits in with
your contemporary lifestyle, however disordered and degenerated it may
the truth is not a subjective construct. And the truth is not determined
by a democratic vote, for a democratic vote is only as good as the
individuals voting. And if those individuals are perverse in their
understanding, then a majority of those perverse individuals will arrive
at something far from the truth, far from that which is good. The truth
is something absolute and objective. If I ask you what is the truth, and
you try to describe it, you say: “Well, the truth is this and the
truth is that.” And you may be right about many things.
say to you, the truth is not merely something. In the end, you are
better understanding the truth is somebody. And His name is Jesus
Christ. And that's why the truth cannot be trifled with. Don't trifle
with Jesus. Don't play games with the Lord of lords and the King of
kings. There is an absolute and objective character to truth. Jesus
said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
truth that truly is, subsists in Him who is the Truth. Jesus is who He
is. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He could have gone on to
say, “I am not whoever you think I am; I am not subjected to your
whims and fancies. I am who I am! My absolute essence is to exist.”
try to distort the truth
have tried to distort, diminish, and destroy the truth from the very
beginning. Jesus said to the religious leaders of the times, “You are
the unholy spawns of Satan in so many words.” He said, “Your father
isn't God; your father is the devil! And your desire is to do your
father's will. And your father is a liar. And the father of lies is a
murderer from the beginning.”
did Jesus say that? Because of Genesis, because of what happened. A
can become like gods if only you'll disobey God.” That's a
lie, and a big lie. What happened? Our first parents bought into that
lie: the original sin — which, by the way, is a doctrine of the Faith.
And anyone who denies the existence and reality of original sin is a
is the truth? Well, the truth fundamentally is God Himself... God so
loved the world that He sent His only Son, by the way, His only Word.
The “Word” of God is not merely something. The Word of God is
somebody — Jesus. A divine somebody. In the eternal silence of the
Trinity, God our Father spoke but one word. He has no more to say. The
great Doctor of the Church, Saint John of the Cross, said, and the
Church has quoted that in the Catechism: “The Word of God, the one and
only Word of God, Jesus, all truth subsists in Him.”
did Jesus teach? Now Jesus is a teacher; we know that. Right? They
called Him “rabbi”. There are probably some teachers in the audience
here... The teacher learns a subject matter which is extrinsic to
himself, and then he teaches it to his students. Jesus was an
essentially different kind of teacher, for Jesus didn't teach something
extrinsic to Himself; Jesus taught Himself. Jesus taught the truth, and
the truth is not something outside of Him; the truth is essentially God
is the Rock
how do we know what the truth is? Well, I am going to point you again to
the Gospel, this time Matthew, 16th Chapter. Jesus posed a question, a
question which reverberates throughout the ages: “Who do the people
say that I am?”... Then one voice spoke out, with all of the resonance
and power of eternal truth: “Thou
art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” “Ah, Simon, son of John,
no mere man has revealed this to you, but My Father in Heaven. And I,
for My part, declare that you are Rock, and upon this rock I shall build
My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
note the divine institution of the Church. Jesus, a divine person, the
second person of the Blessed Trinity, speaking through His human nature,
declares that He changes Simon's name to Rock. Take a concordance book
of the Bible, look at the word “rock”, and you will see it listed
dozens of times. Every place in the Bible, the word “rock” is used,
usually it is in the conventional sense of the term (the rocks roll down
the mountain), but a couple of times, here and there, the word is
capitalized, rock with a capital “R”, in which case it refers to
God; it is a name given to God. He is the Rock, “the Rock of my
salvation”. “I declare that you are Rock.”
you have to understand that in Antiquity, a name meant a lot more than
it means today. In Antiquity, a name, in a sense, represented the very
being of the person who held that name. I will give you an example:
Smith. You know “blacksmith”. A man named “Smith” was a
blacksmith. The perfect example, Jesus: “God saves”. You see the
name perfectly, powerfully, makes present
the reality underlying that name. Jesus = God our Saviour, God
who saves. And so He changes Simon's name to Peter, Rock.
we know Peter isn't God. What is happening here? A mystical marriage is
happening here: Jesus and Peter become one; the two become one. Such
that when Peter speaks in Faith and morals, it is Christ Jesus speaking
through him,. And when the successors of Peter, the Popes, speak
definitely in Faith and morals, that is Christ in the power of the Holy
Spirit speaking through them.
business is to obey, not to disobey. Who was the original dissident?
Lucifer was the original dissenter. Look it up in the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, “The Fall of the Angels” (n.391). God gave the
angels a test. Some of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church say that He
presented to them the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption.
Lucifer — the word means “morning star” or “light of the
morning”, once again a name is important — a very bright angel,
brightness is analogous to intelligence; a very intelligent angel,
blinded by his own light, chose darkness. When he heard the plan, he
no! I don't like that idea of God. Non serviam. I will not serve!
not accept Your plan. If You are going to assume a created nature, it
will be mine, not that human dust. I am higher, I am better, I am more
said, “I watched Satan fall from Heaven like a lightning.” And a
third of the angels with him. That was the first sin, the fall of the
angels: arrogance, disobedience, death, that then played out in the
Garden of Eden. At the instigation of the serpent, what happened?
Arrogance: I can be like God! Disobedience: taking the forbidden fruit.
The result: death, as God said it would be. How does it play out today?
How is it relevant for us?
truth is not something we make up as we go along. The truth is something
we have received from God. It is a pearl of great price. The truth is a
gift beyond the wildest dreams, for truth in its essence is God Himself.
The teaching of the Church is the teaching of the Lord. It is in fact
the Lord Himself.
infamous Winnipeg Statement
has been a battle going on ever since darkness had entered Eden. That
battle rages all about us. Sometimes it is discouraging. One of the
blackest days in the history of the Church and the world took place
right in this city (Winnipeg, Manitoba). The infamous, treacherous,
insidious Winnipeg Statement. A curse and a pox on the House of God.
Why? Why? Why is it so bad? The truth was taught faithfully by a
successor of Saint Peter, Pope Paul VI. All of the Popes in recent times
have been great men, saintly men, highly educated men, more than
anything, holy men. That is what is important! At a time in history when
it was not easy to do so, a courageous successor of Saint Peter asserted
boldly and clearly the immutable truth that has been taught always and
everywhere in the history of the Church. And never once was it ever
knocked off. Never once has the Church ever, anywhere, taught that oral
contraception and its unholy offspring, abortion, is acceptable. And the
cursed reasoning that you can just follow your conscience is absurd,
because they do not say what conscience!
is no such thing as conscience in a vacuum. Conscience is not an
independent entity. Conscience must be formed. Conscience must be
formed. Formed to what? Formed to the objective norm of Church teaching
to the truth, which is not whatever you or I want it to be, which is not
a subjective construct. The Holy Father taught that truth in the
Vitae. And in this city, in this country, something like 100
out of whatever it was — I do not know the exact number. I think there
were only six Bishops that went against the dissenter. Better to repent
of their sin, because I am going to tell you something straight out. A
rapist or a murderer has a higher place in hell than someone who leads
little ones astray to false teaching, especially to false moral
teaching, for the one defiles the body, and the other defiles the soul.
God help us! (...)
Church's definitive teaching
I am going to tell you in no uncertain terms, and I will tell the world,
and I will shout it from the rooftops: the teaching is not doubtful. The
teaching is not unclear. The teaching of the Catholic Church is
absolutely clear. It is immutable, unchangeable; it rings out throughout
the ages: respect for life in all of its forms. Artificial contraception
is, always was, and always will be intrinsically evil.
is the Church's definitive teaching! That is not something you can take
nor leave, and that is something which you must use to form your
conscience, and then that well-formed conscience will set you free, for
there is a relationship between truth, conscience, and freedom. Jesus
said, “If you are truly My disciples, you will abide in My Word.”
You have to abide in His Word first, and then you will know the truth.
And that truth will set you free with the glorious freedom of the
children of God. (...)
who have been given the authority and the commensurate responsibility to
care for the flock, do it, and don't be timid about it. Don't be
indifferent about it. Don't be cowardly about it. God's flock has been
entrusted to you, and woe to you if the wolves come and ravage and
pillage God's little lambs. Woe to the shepherds!
am afraid in recent years, many there are in the Church and in the
secular order who go about their business as though there were no war
going on; as if there are no casualties. Souls fall into hell like
snowflakes, and we seem to take it quite nicely.
brothers and sisters, get very serious about the truth, for the
deterioration of the proclamation and defence of the truth in the Church
has weakened the entire world... May God protect, bless, and strengthen
His Church, the beautiful mystical body and bride.
This article was published in the March-April, 2002 issue of “Michael”.