Lent in the Novus Ordo religion…

Novus Ordo Priest Denies Christ’s Atonement: ‘Jesus Did Not Die to Appease an Angry God’

It’s Lent, even in the Vatican II religion. While it is a noble thing to do without such things as candy and entertainment during this sacred season of penance, a lot would be accomplished if Novus Ordo presbyters could at least give up heresy for Lent.

Not so the Rev. Terrance W. Klein, pictured above. A former associate professor of theology at Fordham University, he is the author of the book Vanity Faith: Searching for Spirituality among the Stars (2009) and now serves at a parish in Ellinwood, Kansas, part of the diocese of Dodge City.

On Mar. 6, 2024, the post-Catholic Jesuit rag America published a homily by Rev. Klein for the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The title alone is heretical:

In this homily, ‘Father’ Klein (why ‘Father’ in quotes?) responds to a woman who contacted him because she was upset about something he had said in a prior sermon, namely: “What God would not ultimately ask of us, God freely gives. The Father sacrifices his son Jesus, his only son, the one whom he loves.”

That was enough to make the lady object: “I would love to see you address the awful [sic] atonement issue. Jesus did not die to appease an angry God, nor, through his torture and terrifying death, to atone for sin, unless the Father is just that bloodthirsty?”

In response, the Rev. Klein scandalously agrees with the basic contention of his objector: “My correspondent rightly rejects the notion of God the Father angrily demanding the death of God the Son. … She is quite right. Jesus did not die to appease an angry God, but I would still leave my words as they were.” Lord, have mercy!

Speaking Truthfully about God

What we see here is the rotten fruit of the Nouvelle Théologie, the ‘New Theology’, which began to rear its ugly head in the 1930s. It was criticized by Pope Pius XII in various addresses in the 1940s, and many of its errors were condemned in the masterful encyclical letter Humani Generis (1950), with a follow-up encyclical in the works but never completed.

A number of the proponents of the Nouvelle Theologie — officially called ressourcement theology — were silenced and suspected of heresy by the Holy Office. Lamentably, however, these papal measures proved too weak, too ineffective to oppose so strong a current. With Angelo Roncalli (‘Pope John XXIII’) taking over the Vatican in 1958, the floodgates were opened: Many of the New Theologians were rehabilitated and became periti (theological expert advisers) at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Ever since then, ressourcement has been the Vatican’s preferred theology, with undeniably disastrous results.

One of the main errors of the New Theology regards the relationship between the content of dogmas (and, by extension, other theological truths) and their expression (see Humani Generis, nn. 14ff.). It would seem that this issue, or some variation thereof, is part of what underlies ‘Fr.’ Terrance Klein’s heretical claim that Christ did not die to appease God the Father, justly angered on account of our sins. Thus the Reverend begins the explanatory part of his sermon with the following caveat:

Like most theological statements, the truth of my words is not to be judged by correspondence: We cannot hold our words up to God for inspection. Instead, theological affirmations are judged primarily by coherence. How do they fit with everything else, which we can rightly affirm of God?

(Rev. Terrance Klein, “Jesus did not die to appease an angry God”, America, Mar. 6, 2024)

Although this may seem reasonable at first, what Klein asserts here is dangerous. It is true, of course, that when we speak about God, we are necessarily limited because God is infinite and anything we could say about Him is based upon merely finite concepts drawn from our created and finite world. Yet, this does not mean that we cannot speak truthfully about God, that we have no way of knowing whether what we say corresponds to reality.

One of the keys to understanding this can be found in St. Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine of analogy (something endorsed by Klein himself toward the end of his homily). The Thomist philosopher Dr. Edward Feser provides a good explanation of it in his book on the existence of God:

The analogical use of terms is typically contrasted with the univocal use and the equivocal use. We use a term univocally in two contexts when we use it in the same sense in both contexts. For example, if I say that Rover is a dog and that Fido is a dog, I am using the term “dog” in a univocal way. We use a term equivocally in two contexts when we use it in one context in a sense that is completely different from the sense it has in the other. For example, if I say that the baseball player swung the bat and that there was a bat a flying around the attic, I am using the term “bat” in an equivocal way. The analogical use of terms is a middle-ground sort of usage. When a term is used analogically in two contexts, the term is not used in exactly the same sense in both contexts, but the senses are not completely different either. For example, if I say that the wine is still good and that George is a good man, I am not using the term “good” in exactly the same sense (since the goodness of wine is a very different sort of thing than the goodness of a man), but the two uses are not completely different or unrelated either. The goodness of the one is analogous to the goodness of the other, even if they are not the same thing. Notice that the analogical use of terms (or at least the sort of analogical use we are concerned with here) is not the same as a metaphorical use. We are not speaking metaphorically either when we say that the wine is good or that George is good. In both cases we are still using the term literally even if not either univocally or equivocally.

When we say of God that he is powerful, or has intellect, or is good, then, we should (so Aquinas argues, rightly in my view) understand these terms analogically. We are saying that there is in God something analogous to what we call power in us, something analogous to what we call intellect in us, and something analogous to what we call goodness in us. These are not utterly unrelated to power, intellect, and goodness as they exist in us (the way that being a baseball bat is utterly unrelated to being the sort of bat that flies around the attic). But neither are God’s power, intellect, and goodness exactly the same as what exists in us. In particular, what we call God’s power, intellect, and goodness (as well as the other divine attributes) are all ultimately one and the same thing looked at from different points of view, whereas what we call power, intellect, and goodness in us are not the same thing.

(Edward Feser, Five Proofs of the Existence of God [San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2017], pp. 78-79; italics given. #CommissionLink)

This lucid explanation by Dr. Feser allows us to understand that even though what we can say about God is necessarily limited by our human speech and understanding, by means of analogy it is nevertheless said truly. When we affirm that God is Love, for example, what we say is true, even though our own understanding of love is finite and subject to the limitations of our created minds. And when we say it is true, we mean that it corresponds to reality. God really is Love, infinite Love!

Klein appears to deny this when he claims that “theological affirmations are judged primarily by coherence”. However, coherence alone, or even primarily, is not, and could not be, a criterion for knowledge. One can be very coherent and still in error. The mere fact that a statement is coherent with other statements does not mean the statement is true, only that it harmonizes with other assertions. But are those true, and if so, do we mean by that, that they are coherent or that they correspond to reality? If the former, then we are a victim of circular reasoning; but if the latter, then we have just admitted that correspondence with reality is possible for theological affirmations.

Thus Klein’s position pretty much refutes itself. We see this in his explanatory question regarding coherence: “How do [my words] fit with everything else, which we can rightly affirm of God?” How can he speak of what we can “rightly affirm of God” when his approach is based on coherence and not on correspondence with reality?

Klein faces a quandary here: Either he must concede that what is rightly said of God does correspond with reality, in which case he would be substantially undermining his thesis; or he must argue that what is thought to be rightly affirmed of God is simply another string of coherent statements, which are only ‘true’ insofar as they harmonize with other statements that are — oh, well! — merely coherent with yet another string of… you get the idea. Thus he would be left with an infinite regress that is ultimately grounded in nothing. But coherence is only meaningful for knowledge if it has a foundation in correspondence to reality. Either way he wants to slice it, therefore, his position is shown to be false.

Now, Klein might respond by pointing out that he merely said “most” theological statements cannot be judged by correspondence, not all — and that coherence is only “primarily” the criterion by which to judge the truth of a theological statement, not the only criterion. However, since he does not clarify or elaborate, there is no way of knowing just what statements he would agree can be judged by correspondence, and what other criteria of judgment he might allow aside from coherence, and why.

Furthermore, although he first says that the truth of “most theological statements … is not to be judged by correspondence”, he quickly drops the determiner “most” in the next sentence and asserts without qualification that “theological affirmations are judged primarily by coherence.” This raises the obvious question that if coherence is only the primary criterion, what are the other criteria we can use, and why should they be secondary to coherence?

Regardless, the reason he gives for preferring coherence over correspondence is that “we cannot hold our words up to God for inspection”. But if this is the case only for “most”, not all, theological statements, then he must be saying that some theological statements can be held up to God for inspection. Which ones are they, and why can correspondence be established for them but not for the others?

Alas, Klein does not even begin to answer these questions, and the reader is left to draw his own conclusions.

Why did God become Man? Klein’s Confused and Confusing Position

What follows next in the Rev. Klein’s homily is a hodgepodge of assertions about freedom, sin, punishment, and redemption. Statements such as the following leave the reader more perplexed than informed:

  • “When we sin, we move away from ourselves”
  • “And it is us who must undo what we have done. Once having placed us in the arena of freedom, everything we do must be fought for and worked out within its liberty”
  • “Neither of them [God the Father and God the Son] makes a sacrifice, in the religious sense, to the Evil One or some impersonal code of justice. Love sacrifices what necessity demands”

Intentional vagueness, ambiguity, and obscurity are quite characteristic of the New Theology, so quotes like the above are no surprise. That is the theology Novus Ordo priests studied in seminary, and they often do not know any different.

Klein eventually gets to his blasphemous and heretical conclusion:

Likewise, it is abhorrent and foolish to think that the anger of God is appeased by the death of his Son. The will of God is eternal, unchanging. When Scripture applies our emotions to God, it does so by way of analogy. All the personal engagement that we express through our emotions finds resonance in God. But just as the eternal God does not move from one action to another, God’s heart is steadfast. Better to think of God as simultaneously angry and compassionate, sorrowing and rejoicing. Ours is the movement that reveals the variance.

(underlining added)

What is abhorrent and foolish is Klein’s denial that the anger of God is appeased by the Sacrifice of His Son!

The objection of both Klein and his unnamed correspondent is not new. Non-Catholics have made it again and again. It was briefly addressed, for example, in vol. 1 of the famous Radio Replies, first published in 1938:

744. The idea of atonement by human sacrifice fills me with horror, and must be abhorrent to a good and merciful God.

You would not abhor the death of Christ for mankind did you understand the full significance of the action. Far from being opposed to the goodness and mercy of God, it is the supreme manifestation of that goodness, God so loving the world as to give His only begotten Son.

(Fathers Leslie Rumble and Charles Mortimer Carty, Radio Replies, vol. 1 [St. Paul, MN: Radio Replies Press Society, 1938], p. 155; bold print given.)

Notice how the answer given by Fathers Rumble and Carty is diametrically opposed to that given by ‘Fr.’ Klein. Whereas the ‘Radio Fathers’ reject the claim that the Atonement is incompatible with a good and merciful God, for it is in fact the ultimate proof that God is indeed all-good and all-merciful, the Novus Ordo priest concurs with the objector to the point of blasphemously claiming himself that “it is abhorrent and foolish to think that the anger of God is appeased by the death of his Son.” What a difference the wrong theology makes!

The torture and death of Jesus are indeed a magnificent proof of God’s infinite goodness and love. The horrors and cruelty Christ endured show us (a) how terrible an offense sin really is, and (b) how much God loves us that He is willing to endure such incomprehensible suffering to redeem us! “Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (Jn 10:17-18). Hence Fr. Rumble and Fr. Carty speak of “the supreme manifestation” of the divine goodness in the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Instead of helping his correspondent understand these beautiful truths, which are also very helpful to illuminate why God permits us to suffer and requires us to carry our cross (see Lk 14:27), the Rev. Klein obscurely drones on about Christ “journey[ing] to the furthest point of our alienation”:

And so, each member of the Trinity wills that the Son, the one who is both God and man, journeys to the furthest point of our alienation. There in the strength of both his humanity and his divinity, he resolutely passes through death in his return to the Father. And of course, he brings us with him.

If God the Son did not offer a sin-atoning Sacrifice to appease God the Father’s just anger, just what did He do on Mount Calvary? What were His Passion and Death for, according to ‘Fr.’ Klein?

Based on his homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the answer appears to have something to do with Christ wishing to experience suffering and death as we do: “The Son of God must come for us, and he must journey to the nadir of our self-negation, our alienation from God. He must embrace the very death that sin deals.” This is quite reminiscent of the heretical thesis the German ‘Abp.’ Robert Zollitsch proclaimed in 2009, but we’ll leave that for later.

Is God’s Anger a Mere Metaphor?

First we must address Klein’s argument that God’s wrath cannot be appeased by the Death of His Son because this would imply that God can change, which is impossible. Invoking the doctrine of analogy, Klein asserts that biblical statements involving God’s emotions are not to be taken literally. But not so fast…

It is quite true that there is no change in God, for He is eternally immutable: “For I am the Lord, and I change not…” (Mal 3:6). It is also true that God does not have human passions (outside of the Incarnate Christ’s, of course). However, from these truths it does not follow that God’s righteous indignation is therefore not appeased by Our Lord’s Death on the Cross.

Fr. Joseph M. Dalmau, S.J., explains:

In Holy Scripture and in the preaching of the Church many emotions are attributed to God. Of these some are formally and properly in the will of God and others are there only in a qualified way or figuratively.

LOVE, JOY, HATE must be attributed to God in a proper sense because they imply no imperfection or limitation in themselves. St. Thomas speaks about this beautifully in S.Th. I, q. 20. DESIRE, if it just signifies the antecedent will with regard to a creature, and ANGER insofar as by this word only vindictive justice is meant, are also in God in a proper sense. But such emotions are not present if by these words are meant passions in the proper sense which, like other emotions of this kind such as sadness, hope, despair and fear, according to their proper meaning cannot prescind from imperfections that cannot be reconciled with the perfect beatitude and power of God. Therefore statements of this kind, when they are attributed to God, have a meaning that is metaphorical or metonymical.

(Fr. Joseph M. Dalmau, S.J., On the One and Triune God, in Sacrae Theologiae Summa, vol. IIA, n. 204, p. 174; underlining added.)

This shows that it is wrong to hold, as Klein does, that God’s anger, understood as His vindictive justice, is a mere metaphor. It is not. Invoking the doctrine of analogy will not help here, for, as we saw Ed Feser explain earlier, “the analogical use of terms … is not the same as a metaphorical use.” Anything we affirm of God we affirm analogically, whether it is meant literally or metaphorically.

Yes, one can speak about God metaphorically. For example, Psalm 90:4 says: “He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust”. Obviously, these are metaphors, since God does not have a body and therefore can have neither shoulders nor wings. True, God took on human nature at the Incarnation, but that is obviously not what the verse is talking about.

Although we can speak metaphorically about God, the anger we can properly attribute to God is His vindictive justice, and it is no metaphor. But this vindictive justice is satisfied by proper atonement, and it is in this sense that we speak of God being appeased by the Sacrifice of His Divine Son. This does not, however, imply any change in God, for it is from all eternity that God is both offended by sin and appeased by the Sacrifice of Calvary: “For all eternity God actually has hatred and love for the time during which man is a sinner and justified” (Dalmau, On the One and Triune God, p. 97).

Why are these truths so hard to accept for ‘Fr.’ Klein, and what is he replacing them with? His sermon is far from lucid and introduces more obscurity than light into the discussion. In fact, it seems that he has even misunderstood the concern of the objector he quoted at the beginning: “I would love to see you address the awful [sic] atonement issue. Jesus did not die to appease an angry God, nor, through his torture and terrifying death, to atone for sin, unless the Father is just that bloodthirsty?”

Clearly, the woman’s problem is with the idea that God would demand a Blood Sacrifice in atonement for the sins of mankind — apparently something she had never heard of before in the Vatican II religion (not too surprising). Instead of explaining this to her in accordance with perennial Catholic doctrine, Klein signals his agreement with her that this would indeed be abhorrent to affirm and then makes it all about the unchangeableness (immutability) of God. As if the objector were concerned that an angry God being appeased by the Passion of His Son would constitute a change in the unchangeable God. That is clearly not what the lady is worried about!

The Testimony of Divine Revelation and the Magisterium

The Scriptural evidence for the anger of God on account of our sins and the subsequent propitiatory (sin-atoning) nature of Christ’s Passion and Death on the Cross is superabundant. We will but look at a few quotations.

The Old Testament is filled with examples of God expressing, threatening, and dispensing or withholding His just wrath, but the concept is not confined to the Old Covenant alone. The New Testament, too, speaks of God’s anger:

But he is merciful, and will forgive their sins: and will not destroy them. And many a time did he turn away his anger: and did not kindle all his wrath. (Ps 77:38)

Convert us, O God our saviour: and turn off thy anger from us. (Ps 84:5)

Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish? (Jonas 3:9)

We have sinned, we have done wickedly, we have acted unjustly, O Lord our God, against all thy justices. Let thy wrath be turned away from us: for we are left a few among the nations where thou hast scattered us. (Bar 2:12-13)

O Lord, against all thy justice: let thy wrath and thy indignation be turned away, I beseech thee, from thy city Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and thy people are a reproach to all that are round about us. (Dan 9:16)

And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he [St. John the Baptist] said to them: Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? (Mt 3:7)

Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. (Eph 5:6)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice. (Rom 1:18)

To avert our eternal ruin, the all-merciful God was pleased to send His very own Son to make atonement for our sins, to be the “Lamb of God … who taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). In this He showed His infinite mercy and love: “In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). Indeed, “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:2).

That God Himself would be the Lamb, and that this Lamb would be slaughtered, was foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament:

And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. (Gen 22:8)

Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will come and will save you. (Is 35:4)

And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand. (Is 53:10)

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me: I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, the year of my redemption is come. (Is 63:1-4)

For those who make proper use of the Redemptive Sacrifice of Calvary, it will avail unto salvation, washing away their sins and regenerating them to a new, supernatural life of grace. But those who reject it will not be spared God’s wrath:

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them who do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance? But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God. Who will render to every man according to his works. To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation. (Rom 2:3-8)

Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins, through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ. (Rom 3:24-26)

Christ died for us; much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. (Rom 5:9)

And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels: Go, and pour out the seven vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (Apoc 15:7; 16:1)

Two-thousand years of Catholicism are unthinkable without the divinely-revealed truth that Jesus Christ offered a sin-atoning Sacrifice to His Father for the Redemption of the world, thereby placating the just wrath of God and restoring His outraged honor. Not surprisingly, therefore, we find the clear Scriptural evidence also affirmed by the Catholic Church’s magisterium.

First and foremost, we will consider the Council of Trent, which made clear that our justification was earned by Jesus Christ when He offered Himself on the Cross:

…but the meritorious cause is His most beloved only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, “who when we were enemies” [Rom 5:10], “for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us” [Eph 2:4], merited justification for us by His most holy passion on the wood of the Cross, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father…

(Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 7; Denz. 799)

Since the Holy Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary Our Lord offered 2000 years ago, it too is propitiatory:

And since in this divine sacrifice, which is celebrated in the Mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who on the altar of the Cross “once offered Himself” in a bloody manner [Heb 9:27], the holy Synod teaches that this is truly propitiatory, and has this effect, that if contrite and penitent we approach God with a sincere heart and right faith, with fear and reverence, “we obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid” [Heb 4:16]. For, appeased by this oblation, the Lord, granting the grace and gift of penitence, pardons crimes and even great sins. For, it is one and the same Victim, the same one now offering by the ministry of the priests as He who then offered Himself on the Cross, the manner of offering alone being different. The fruits of that oblation (bloody, that is) are received most abundantly through this unbloody one; so far is the latter from being derogatory in any way to Him. Therefore, it is offered rightly according to the tradition of the apostles, not only for the sins of the faithful living, for their punishments and other necessities, but also for the dead in Christ not yet fully purged.

(Council of Trent, Session XXII, Chapter 2; Denz. 940)

If Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary were not of a propitiatory nature, what then would this mean for the Holy Catholic Mass?

The Vatican II religion under ‘Pope’ Paul VI took care of that quandary rather quickly, of course, with its institution of the Novus Ordo Missae (‘New Mass’) in 1969. This travesty of the Roman rite of Mass has all but done away with the notion of the Mass as sin-atoning Sacrifice and instead introduced the concept of the Mass as a liturgical meal. Gone is the Mass as ‘Holy Sacrifice’ — the preferred term is ‘Eucharistic celebration’ now. No wonder the average churchgoer will be confused about the nature of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Turning to Pope Leo XIII, we find the Catholic doctrine concerning the Redemption spelled out as follows:

And so, when the fullness of time came in God’s Divine Providence, the only-begotten Son of God became man, and in behalf of mankind made most abundant satisfaction in His Blood to the outraged majesty of His Father and by this infinite price He redeemed man for His own. “You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver . . . but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb, unspotted and undefiled” (1 Peter i., 18-19). … When Jesus Christ had blotted out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, fastening it to the cross, at once God’s wrath was appeased, the primeval fetters of slavery were struck off from unhappy and erring man, God’s favour was won back, grace restored, the gates of Heaven opened, the right to enter them revived, and the means afforded of doing so. Then man, as though awakening from a long-continued and deadly lethargy, beheld at length the light of the truth, for long ages desired, yet sought in vain.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Tametsi Futura, n. 3; underlining added.)

Pope Pius XII, too, affirmed this marvelous and beautiful divinely-revealed truth in which lies all our hope:

O height of the mercy and justice of God, who came to the rescue of guilty creatures and made them sons unto Himself! How the heavens bent down towards us, the wintry frosts vanished, the flowers appeared in our land, and we became new men, a new creation, a new structure, a holy people, a heavenly offspring. Truly the Word suffered in his flesh and shed his blood on the cross and paid for us sinners to the Eternal Father the superabounding price of our satisfaction. Hence it is that the certain hope of salvation sheds its light on those who in genuine faith and ardent charity adhere to him, and with the help of the graces that flow from him, produce the fruits of justice.

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Sempiternus Rex, n. 36; underlining added.)

These “fruits of justice” include “fruits worthy of penance” (Lk 3:8). In his encyclical letter on reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Pius XI specifically pointed out the satisfaction we must offer to God in this manner (cf. Lk 13:3; Col 1:24), lest we be deserving of punishment (cf. Lk 12:58-59):

Now though in both these matters we are impelled by quite the same motives, none the less we are holden to the duty of reparation and expiation by a certain more valid title of justice and of love, of justice indeed, in order that the offense offered to God by our sins may be expiated and that the violated order may be repaired by penance: and of love too so that we may suffer together with Christ suffering and “filled with reproaches” (Lam. iii, 30), and for all our poverty may offer Him some little solace. For since we are all sinners and laden with many faults, our God must be honored by us not only by that worship wherewith we adore His infinite Majesty with due homage, or acknowledge His supreme dominion by praying, or praise His boundless bounty by thanksgiving; but besides this we must need make satisfaction to God the just avenger, “for our numberless sins and offenses and negligences.” To Consecration, therefore, whereby we are devoted to God and are called holy to God, by that holiness and stability which, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, is proper to consecration ([Summa Theologica] 2a. 2ae. qu. 81, a. 8. c.), there must be added expiation, whereby sins are wholly blotted out, lest the holiness of the supreme justice may punish our shameless unworthiness, and reject our offering as hateful rather than accept it as pleasing.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, n. 7; underlining added.)

All of these sublime spiritual truths do not merely correspond to reality, by the way, they are also extremely coherent. Shouldn’t ‘Fr.’ Klein be eager to embrace them, not as metaphors but as literally true?

Final Remarks

The Neo-Modernists of our day have a big problem with the Atonement of Christ because it implies that sin is real and truly offends God. In other words, sin has consequences that are so real and serious that God would not spare even His own Son to deliver us from its bondage.

We recall Robert Zollitsch, the former ‘Archbishop’ of Freiburg (2003-2013) and erstwhile head of the German Conference of Novus Ordo Bishops (2008-2014), who scandalously denied the Redemption of Christ in a public interview aired on April 11, 2009:

That there were absolutely no disciplinary consequences for ‘Abp.’ Zollitsch, goes without saying. Had he said, by contrast, that only the Roman Catholic religion is true and the Catholic Church alone is the true Church established by Jesus Christ and thus no salvation can be found outside of her, the outrage would have been deafening, and the Vatican would have rushed to intervene.

Similarly, Zollitsch’s successor as head of the episcopal conference, ‘Cardinal’ Reinhard Marx (2014-2020), claimed in 2012 that it is impossible to insult God; and so it appears that Zollitsch’s and Marx’s theology is cut from the same heretical cloth: After all, if there is no sin that offends God, there is no need for a bloody propitiatory Sacrifice!

Such wicked theological sophistry is precisely what Pope Pius XII decried in his encyclical letter against the Neo-Modernism of the New Theology when he said:

Disregarding the Council of Trent, some pervert the very concept of original sin, along with the concept of sin in general as an offense against God, as well as the idea of satisfaction performed for us by Christ.

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Humani Generis, n. 26)

The the notion of an angry God, indeed a God who is offended and judges, condemns, and metes out punishment, does not fit into the Novus Ordo religion, especially not its Bergoglian edition, according to which even the Last Judgment is nothing to lose sleep over.

After almost six decades of the ‘New Mass’, catechesis based on Vatican II and the New Theology, and incessant ‘God loves you always’ sermons that focus only on God’s mercy and forgiveness, Novus Ordo pew sitters have gotten to the point of wondering how anyone could believe that God would be so cruel as to demand of His only Son to atone for the sins of men by means of a bloody Passion and Death!

They want ‘Catholicism without Calvary’, but such a thing does not exist. With the supernatural truths about sin, (eternal) punishment, and our Redemption pushed aside, no more thought is given to the all-important task of making it to heaven. Thus it is no wonder that all they worry about now is ‘creating heaven on earth’.

Alas, ‘Father’ Klein isn’t helping.

Image source: composite with elements from Shutterstock (welburnstuart) and americamagazine.org
License: paid and fair use

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