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It is Advisable to Terrify Sinners

One of the false principles of Liberalism is that one should always attract people by means of smiles and goodness. Progressivism has its false ecumenical movement which pretends that no Catholic should threaten heretics, schismatics, Jews or pagans with the eternal fire of Hell toward which they walk if they do not convert. Both principles are false. Scriptures teach us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Today we present for the consideration of our readers the very anti-liberal and anti-ecumenical ceremony established by St. Alphonsus of Ligouri to convert sinners. The great saint knew very well what he was doing, and the Catholic Church also knew what she was doing when she canonized him and confirmed his methods. Below, is the ceremony called “the curse of sinners,’ which the Redemptorist missionaries used to carry out to bring bad Catholics back to the right path.

St. Alphonsus of Ligouri

In the letter of April 26, 1775 to all the missionaries of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, popularly known as the Redemptorists, St. Alphonsus of Ligouri set out an important way to convert sinners. Priests should try to make the people feel tenderness when speaking of the Passion of the Savior, he instructed them. However, they should also make them feel terror when depicting the chastisements that await them if they do not reform their lives ... To overcome the obstinacy of the hard-hearted, St. Alphonsus recommended that his priests carry out a moving ceremony, which he called the “curse of sinners.”

In it the missionary, wearing a surplice and black stole, should pronounce the words of David to impenitent sinners: “Maledicti qui declinant a mandates tuis” [Cursed be those who leave aside Thy Commandments.]. The minister of God, the Saint adds, can do no less than repeat the words of God: He does not curse the sinners who repent, but those who want to persevere in their sins.

Some in his Congregation thought this “curse of sinners” was too terrifying. St. Alphonsus responded: “But its goal is precisely to instill terror in the souls of those who do not fear anything, and are deliberately heading toward the eternal curses.”

(R.P. Berthe, St. Alphonse de Ligouri,
Paris: Librairie Téqui, 1939, p. 522)

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Posted January 5, 2008

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