Some thoughts to consider if you’re at all concerned about the Synod on the Amazon or the final synod document:

1. A synod is ultimately just an advisory body for the pope. Likewise, the Amazon Synod was simply bishops and religious from the Amazon area coming together, as a unified assembly, to inform Pope Francis and Church leadership about the reality of Catholicism in the Amazon and to make the pope and the Church aware of the pastoral needs in the region. In other words, this wasn’t a group of ideologically-driven Europeans or Americans trying to change the Church.

We have to keep in mind that from the perspective of the Universal Church, American Catholics are the minority. Over 40% of all the world’s Catholics live in South America and only about 6% are in the US. We should be open to the idea that our understanding of the Catholic Church may not totally correspond to the worldwide reality of Catholicism.

2. The final synod document is simply an advisory document for the pope to do with as he pleases. It has no magisterial weight in itself. It’s not assisted or protected by the Holy Spirit in the way an official papal teaching is. The reality is that 99.9% of Catholics will never even read the final papal exhortation anyway, much less the synod document. Is it really prudent to get emotionally invested in the contents of the final report from the advisory committee?

3. Modern communications and social media have given Catholics a glimpse into how the sausage is made when it comes to magisterial teaching. This was not at all the case, even in the recent past. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. However, it does mean that there’s more responsibility on us, individual Catholics, to be aware of the humanity and messiness that goes into how the Church governs and teaches. If I am not able to watch the process without doubting the promises that Jesus made about the final product, then it may be my responsibility to stop watching.

Fear or anxiety about what may be in the final papal document reveals a lack of trust in Christ and His promises to Peter. If this is where you are, consider asking the Holy Spirit for a renewed anointing of faith and possibly even the grace to step away from the news and commentary surrounding the synod.

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  1. Avatar Jude says:

    “this wasn’t a group of ideologically-driven Europeans or Americans trying to change the Church.” – many people would find that hard to believe, I would tend to agree with them.

    • Avatar Marie says:

      That’s because that is the world you choose to live in, a world of suspicion and doubt of others, and certainty in yourself, and how you interpret things. That’s a choice. Why not try to take people at their word, trust Christ and his promise, have faith in the Church? Wouldn’t that be a lot easier and a lot less stressful?

      Thanks so much Paul. We need to accept we are not all knowledgeable on all things, quite the contrary. We also don’t have a right to demand everything be explained to us. Some things are just not our business as a process plays out. I wonder how much people would like someone analyzing their work every step of the way. It’s just wrong, and there’s something wrong if you feel the need to do it.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        The pope is human, the men in the synod are human, ascribing human traits to them is not beyond the pale. Other than that, the men chosen by the pope for the synod had made their agenda known before there even was a synod announced… so I fail to see how i am not taking them at their word. They gave no word.

        It is not a question of not trusting that the right thing will happen in the end, but how much damage will be done in the mean time.

      • Avatar George XY Palantine says:

        We fully trust Christ and his promises. But we know that the church in the past has sometimes fallen into deep corruption, with several bad popes. When we see a pope simply not care that the first commandment is not being followed, anyone who is a Catholic should be very concerned, especially when that pope seems to be trying to overturn the things that John Paul II and Benedict stood for. This reversal is not Catholic.

    • For your reference CCC 2478

  2. Avatar Terry says:

    “Why not try to take people at their word, trust Christ and his promise, have faith in the Church? Wouldn’t that be a lot easier and a lot less stressful?”

    Because in this day and age, trust is a mighty difficult thing, more so now than ever. In the Church, especially in the wake of all of the issues they have had. Even my pastor expressed his concerns at where this could lead.

    • Avatar Marie says:

      Terry, there is a time and place for everything. Can you imagine trying to do your job, or raise your children under such scrutiny, with everyone interpreting your every move from their less than well informed position? We can’t possibly understand everything, we lack the experience in the subject matter, and in the process. We need to be humble able these things. There’s no sin in not understanding, but there certainly can be in assuming and projecting.

  3. Avatar Paul Goings says:

    “If I am not able to watch the process without doubting the promises that Jesus made about the final product, then it may be my responsibility to stop watching.”

    Is it not just as true to say that those making the sausage have an equivalent (if not greater) responsibility to keep in mind the world of instantaneous texts and images, and behave accordingly? Without even thinking too deeply about it I can come up with about a dozen things that the organizers of the Synod could have done in advance that would have prevented about 90% of the consternation and outrage. Putting all of the blame on the faithful and not the hierarchy is unjust, and worse, hauntingly similar to some other episodes in recent history.

    • Avatar Anne Lastman says:

      Paul the outrage was preplanned, contrived and executed using available outlets. The outrage was planned to sabotage both the papacy and the synod itself. The outrage was hourly fuelled by a group of individuals angry with the election of pope Francis instead of another preferred one with similar thoughts, beliefs as their own.
      Have you noticed that these “outraged” people have never mentioned any of the most beautiful writings of pope Francis e.g The Name of God is Mercy”
      and so many others and focused solely on a footnote in Amoris Letitia and now the synod with some of its beautiful expressions eg love of our common home and brothers and sisters of the amazon.
      This outrage was contrived from the beginning and slowly gathered momentum till at the end some behaved like Madam (or even Mons) DeFarge in Tale of Two Cities. By end of synod social media was/is aflame with virulence rather than joy at what the holy Father brought to the rest of the world.
      Like St Francis of Assissi, he brought to our focus our interconnectedness with one another and the “home” we share.
      those who fuelled the outrage there was no love of church or faith involved but a further attempt at deconstruction of anything which Pope Francis sees as necessary for our time and society.

      • Avatar George XY Palantine says:

        These allegations are entirely false. I have no idea where you would get such ideas. The trouble with any pope is that if he says some nice things, but then says something deeply wrong or misleading, he is a bad pope, no matter how many nice, sweet sounding things he tries to plant in your ear to cover up his misdeeds.

      • Avatar Paul Goings says:

        Anne, I will certainly grant you that some of the outrage was pre-planned. However, I strongly suspect that it would have amounted to little more than a tempest in a teacup if the Vatican and the Synod planners had exercised even a modicum of caution when it came to considering how some of the events would be perceived by a worldwide audience. You can’t simply–if you wish to be rational–ascribe every objection to a vast conspiracy against the Holy Father.

        Which relates to one of your own questions, “Have you noticed that these ‘outraged’ people have never mentioned any of the most beautiful writings of pope Francis?” In turn I would ask why those who are most enthusiastic about the reforms of Pope Francis never seem to mention anything written by any other popes? I suggest that this is because we all tend to selectively invoke those popes which are most closely associated with our own ideologies, and that it is laughable to believe that this is in any way one-sided.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Paul- This isn’t about ideology, it’s simply about the faith. There is no pope that closely resembles our own ideology. They represent our faith, so we follow their teachings. It really is that easy. Of course some may speak to our heart more so than others, but not because we agree or reject teachings. You need to accept that plenty of people believe in ALL Church teachings, something many anti Francis critics eagerly want to dismiss, and instead push everyone who doesn’t agree with them into a left/liberal camp. That is just not the case.

  4. Avatar Mary Angelica says:

    ” In other words, this wasn’t a group of ideologically-driven Europeans or Americans trying to change the Church.”

    Given that a third of the voters are Germans, ethnic or otherwise, who were trained (in Germany) with modern german theology and sensibilities, and who tried to make this synod more about married priests and women deacons than about actual problems facing the region, I’m not sure I can agree with this.

    Having said that, the rest of what you say is all true, and people shouldn’t freak out so much over its content, given the nature of the document.

  5. Avatar Wayne says:

    I would add to Angelica’s comments that what distinguished this synod from others is that those attending it were all chosen by the Pope which is unique I believe, in other words it seems very unlikely indeed that he will not endorse their advisory recommendations. Most synods are open for all bishops etc to attend but not this one!!! I do also find it extraordinary that there was no mention of Our Lady of Aparecida at all, she was crowned Queen of Brazil by St Pius 10th in 1904, nor was there any mention of our Lady of Fatima consecrated to Brazil this year in the presence of the President of Brazil!! What we had instead was ‘Mother Earth’??? I presume this is all part of the need of a ‘messy church’ which Francis is so keen on!

    • Avatar Chase says:

      How do you know there was no mention of those topics at all? Do you mean in the final document or in the meetings? And what can be proven by the absence of something that “should” have been there?

      Also, if the president of Brazil gave a crap about the blessed mother or the Church, maybe he’d treat his indigenous citizens with more than contempt for squatting on land he wants to develop?

  6. Avatar M. says:

    Wayne, I think it’s so sad that so many Catholics trust their i-phones and their favorite media outlet more than they trust the pope. If the synod leads nowhere, and the people of the Amazon still have no priests to minister to their sacramental needs, the contant ragging on the holy father will not stop. If the synod leads to conditional ordination of married priests for regions that have no access to the sacraments, the holy father will be vilified as a modernist trying to change church law. (Which he actually has a right to do anyway, y’know? Church *law* not doctrine.) It doesn’t matter how much the vatican tries to do damage control. Y’all will read what you want into it anyway, so they have given up trying, obviously.

    • Avatar Jude says:

      The pope could sell the Vatican too, and give the proceeds to the UN to fight climate change and borders, ya know. May be legal, doesn’t mean it’s right, or moral.

  7. Avatar Lazarus says:

    The whole rad trad bit that the Church teaches false doctrine or is going to apostatise is impossible with what Catholicism teaches about the Church. Because of the ancient dogma of indefecibility, what they claim happened after Vatican II could never happen. The Church cannot repudiate doctrines in such a way that it leads souls to hell. The Church is not abandoned by God in the end of the worldat the time of the great apostasy. God is with the Church FOREVER. It cannot vanish in a puff of smoke and travel to a sedevacantist church in the middle of Kansas. No pope = no new bishops = no priests = no sacraments. It also impossible to be justified in resisting the man you claim is pope. Even if something in the ordinary magisterium is not infallible you have to assent to it. These are the rules. This is papal supremacy. The first see is judged by no one. This is Catholic.

    You can’t say the Church teaches error now because even the true interpretation of Church documents and scripture is the province of the living magisterium. If there’s nothing to deal with a heretic pope, it’s probably by design. You don’t make up a right to resist the pope out of thin air.

    If you really can stop thinking he is a heretic do you actually believe theCatholic Church is the Church of God? Do you believe your own judgments more than you do Christ, who called Peter the rock? There are many scandals but God keeps the Church from failing, even it looks like it’s going to. So stop showing a lack of trust in God! A disposable pope just means he’s a spokesman for whatever the majority wants to hear rather than a teacher to correct people in the Church.

  8. Avatar Andreas says:

    For those of you that read French I recommend this interview of Cardinal Schönborn. He has some pretty interesting things to say about the synode. “ Certes, chez les catholiques orientaux, il y a des prêtres mariés, mais pour l”Église latine, la forme du sacerdoce célibataire reste la norme fondamentale et doit le rester.” http://www.lavie.fr/religion/catholicisme/cardinal-christoph-schonborn-le-pape-ne-prendra-pas-de-decisions-a-la-legere-27-10-2019-101399_16.php?fbclid=IwAR3lvAa0yAb2gj_cZy7GMbOihTSvn7PCRfmGSadFlDfKe3pgZ32MtnyLi2w

  9. Avatar carn says:

    “Fear or anxiety about what may be in the final papal document reveals a lack of trust in Christ and His promises to Peter.”

    Absolute nonsense. So nonsense that I am uncertain how one could write that down.

    The promise of Christ to Peter does in NO WAY exclude that Peter commits horrible blunder and mistakes that cause great physical or spiritual harm.

    Peter is only protected from teaching contrary to the faith.

    He is not protected from writing down confusing sentences which cause spiritual harm.

    Accordingly, a Pope can write a papal document containing a lot of stuff that better would have never been said.

    Accordingly, your claim that fear about what a Pope might write in some papal document proves lack of faith is nonsense.

    Isn’t that obvious that Popes could write stupid and/or harmful stuff and that one could be concerned about that?

  10. Avatar Mike says:

    One can recognize that the Holy Spirit protects the Deposit of the Faith while also recognizing that the Pope may make innumerable prudential acts as Pope or as a private person that cause immeasurable scandal, loss of faith and undermine the mission of the Church. One may be particularly anxious if a Pope has habitually performed such acts.

    • Avatar Lazarus says:

      Yes, but because of papal supremacy, the pope has the authority to make those decisions you disagree with.

    • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

      Mike have you noticed any imprudent and particularly anxious, habitual spins that the traditionalists blogs are attaching to everything concerning the Vicar of Christ? I disagree that the scandal is immeasurable. ..it can be measured by the clicks that every salacious headline gets among the traditionalist blogs. Do you think lifesite, rorate and 1peter5 are helping the body of Christ when they can’t keep a level head about anything that Francis does?
      Can the hand say to the head, “I don’t need you”? Is this not in essence what they are saying in their clamor for Francis to be censured?
      I’m with marie in the early comments. It is fruitless for those who should attend to vocations of their own to scrutinize every facet of another’s job.

      The problems of the church in the Amazon seem worthy of some attention. ..am I wrong? Or should we inform them that we are content with their status quo?

      It’s interesting that I didn’t hear much talk of priestly pedophilia in the Amazon church. Darn, that means they might not feel the full weight of our pious outrage given our record?

      The “agenda” had been largely imagined by catholic anxiety outlets. They begin from the premise that the pope is out to destroy the church. They cannot be convinced to save their souls to revisit that premise with a little actual reading of their own. How did onepeterfive put it the other day? “We read the documents so you don’t have to”
      uh huh…

      • Avatar Yaya says:

        How did onepeterfive put it the other day? “We read the documents so you don’t have to”

        No thanks, onepeter”smearthepope”five … I am more than capable of thinking and reading and discerning for myself, gracias a Dios y a la Madre de Dios.

        I stand with the Peter.

        Viva Cristo Rey!

        Viva il Papa!

        @Paul Fahey, I never worried not once about the synod despite the many wringing their hands over the “omg, they are destroying the Church” attitudes from those “more faithful” than myself. I prayed about what I did not understand, asking for understanding, I placed my trust in the Holy Spirit and gave benefit of doubt to our Holy Father and the bishops.

        May only good fruit come from the synod for the sake of the faithful who struggle daily to make ends meet in the Amazonas.

        Praying our Holy Father Francis makes wise and prudent choices that will benefit all especially our brothers and sisters who live in the Amazon.

      • Avatar Yaya says:

        Typo!

        I stand with Peter.

        Perdon ^^)

  11. Avatar jong says:

    carn
    For over 2000 years Church history none of your negative statement against a Pope happened.
    Dont you think it is much better that when you pose an attack on the dignity of the Vicar of Christ as it is a Dvine Office, it would be prudent to post an example and post a link, so that your statement can stand in the Court of Mam, much more in the Court of God.
    You know the Pharisees are “liars”, I mean lawyer minded.
    Now, can you substantiate your post, maybe WPI had been missing on something that only you can provide the answers.
    Ok carn, prove your negative statement and cite just one obvious example that you can back up with credible proof.
    Remember a “lie” has no leg to stand on, thats why the old serpent after he lied was punished to crawl on its bellies.
    Maybe your different from all the schismatic rigid Trads. go please prove only one error or heresy a Pope committed, you have 266 popes to choose from. or maybe choose Pope Francis it would be better. God bless…im waiting, prove it!..

    • Avatar Jude says:

      off the top of my head, pope Alexander and the Magna Carta come to mind.

    • Avatar carn says:

      @jong:

      You fail at reading:
      “go please prove only one error or heresy a Pope committed”

      I did not claim that any Pope committer a heresy.

      As you misunderstood what i claimed (“not protected from writing down confusing sentences which cause spiritual harm”; “confusing” is different from “heretic”) your accusation is empty.

      Here evidence that a Pope is capable to write in an official document confusing sentences that cause spiritual harm:
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07452b.htm#III

      “It was now for the pope to pronounce a dogmatic decision and save the situation. He did nothing of the sort. His answer to Sergius did not decide the question, did not authoritatively declare the faith of the Roman Church, did not claim to speak with the voice of Peter; it condemned nothing, it defined nothing.” = confusing content (confusing in it not addressing what the Pope should have addressed)

      “The letter cannot be called a private one, for it is an official reply to a formal consultation.” = papal document

      “To the Spanish bishops he explains his meaning: “With Honorius, who did not, as became the Apostolic authority, extinguish the flame of heretical teaching in its first beginning, but fostered it by his negligence.”” = Pope caused spiritual harm by his choice of words.

      “Some other writings of the condemned heretics were further read, including part of a second letter of Honorius, and these were all condemned to be burnt.” = what the Pope wrote in a papal document was spiritual harmful, cause otherwise burning it would be pointless.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        so were you not asking him to prove that “popes can write stupid and/or harmful stuff”

        To show that it is not impossible for the pope, even Francis, whom some idolize with uncritical fervor, to harm the faithful.

        i would think that putting a whole country under interdict is harmful to the faith (of course i meant Innocent not Alexander)

      • Avatar carn says:

        jong:

        “So you see, you cannot find a “single error, confusion or heresy” Pope Francis committed.”

        The easiest part is finding your errors. Above you requested “prove only one error or heresy”; now you act as if this request were identical to “single error, confusion or heresy”. “confusion” is different from error, which is different from heresy. So you committed the error of not noticing that you now request something different.

        But “single error, confusion or heresy” is easy, if one presumes the following definition:

        A statement is confusing, if its wording implies to reader/listener beside or instead of the actual intended meaning a meaning different or at odds with the intended meaning.

        Pope Francis has done that.

        Evidence:

        https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-francis-comments-on-statues-stolen-from-church.html

        “Good afternoon. I want to say a word about the statues of the pachamama that were taken from the church of the Transpontina – which were there without idolatrous intentions – and were thrown into the Tiber.”

        According to Vatican spokesperson the intended meaning was that these statues are known by that name, while it was not intended to imply that they are statues of that pagan goddess.

        But the words of Pope Francis can easily be understood that way, cause it lacks something like “so called”; the words he uses would also be used if it were actual pachamama statues.

        Hence, the sentence is confusing.

        This is also obvious from the fact, that Vatican spokesperson saw the need to clarify this.

        (Note: “were there without idolatrous intentions” does not include in any way the unintended option; actual pachamama statues could certainly be placed in a Church without idolatrous intentions)

        “Pope Honorius I did not teach heresy”

        You still do not seem to get that “confusion” is not the same as “heresy”. Honorius I did not teach heresy; but he did write a letter with confusing and spiritual harmful content. So a Pope can do that and that is because promise of Jesus does not protect Pope from doing connfusing and/or spiritual harmful things.

        It does not happen often. But it does happen.

  12. Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

    Hey Lazarus,

    I’m not sure what the combox rules are in this regard, but here is something I commented on an earlier post that might help to clarify and explain the position held by those who are very concerned about some of the actions and teachings of Pope Francis. I hope the following makes our position, at least, understandable if not altogether agreeable.

    Yes, the gates of hell will absolutely never prevail against the Church, but the Church is not the mystical body of the pope, she is the mystical body of Christ. In the past popes have failed. St. Peter failed to uphold the truth about the passing of the old law for fear of the Jews and so was justly and publicly rebuked by St. Paul. Pope Honorius was solemnly condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople and then later anathematized by his successor Pope Leo II for betraying the Faith and being complicit in the propagation of heresy. Pope Paschal II was denounced for holding a heretical position by St. Bruno (yes, a saint) whom the pope then persecuted for doing so, only to later repent and renounce his position. Pope John XXII was publicly censured by the bishops and theologians of his time for teaching error regarding the beatific vision of the saints. He responded by imprisoning many of these bishops and theologians only to then later repent and recant his errors on his deathbed.

    The list goes on. Resistance to the particular actions of a pope is not resistance to the papacy itself, and may at times not only be just but even necessary for the very love of the pope and the Church. Even so, these flawed and sinful men I just mentioned remained true vicars of Christ who the faithful were obligated to be subject to in all things, save error and sin, and who without their submission to they could not save their souls.”

    …Catholic doctrine cannot be altered or changed. Changing the original sense and meaning of a doctrine is not authentic development of doctrine. I don’t say this, the Church does. Vatican I states “that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, …but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding.”

    I have put forth three concrete examples in which Pope Francis done just this (Amoris, Death Penalty, Abu Dhabi). If I am wrong about this, all I ask is for a response and solution that doesn’t require me having to reject authoritative and binding Church teaching which the Church herself already adamantly insists I am not at liberty to dispense with or contradict if I am to save my soul.

    We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. It is for this reason that the Church has defined the limits of papal infallibility as well as set forth the weight of magisterial pronouncement according to degrees. Not every magisterial pronouncement carries with it the same level of authority. More authoritative magisterial pronouncements trump less authoritative magisterial pronouncements. The Church says this, not I. When magisterial pronouncements seemingly contradict we don’t look to chronology to determine which one is right (it doesn’t matter if what was said was said on Monday or if it was said on Tuesday), rather we look to magisterial weight/authority e.g. are either of these teachings infallible? Has one been taught longer and more universally? Which has been pronounced more solemnly?

    Concerned Catholics are now in a very uncomfortable position which none of us ever wanted to be in but which we have been forced into because of our fidelity to the Church’s magisterium. You cannot just say that what Francis has said regarding these matters is also part of the magisterium and therefore we must adhere to it and then call it a day. That’s not how it works, as you have seen. The magisterium has within it levels of authority. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. On certain matters, Francis’ magisterium has directly contradicted much weightier and even infallible magisterial pronouncements. This must be reconciled. As faithful Catholics we are then left with a choice. We either accept Francis’ new admittedly non-infallible teachings, and by so doing reject the infallible Church teachings which we are absolutely bound to if we are to remain faithful Catholics, or we hold on to what the Church has definitively taught and temporarily set aside the teachings of Francis until some sort of clarification or correction is forthcoming. If I and other countless faithful Catholics are mistaken and have gotten all of this completely wrong, then all we ask is that the Holy Father clarify this so that we can move on.”

    • Avatar Terry says:

      Thank you, Joshua!!

    • Avatar Marie says:

      Joshua- CCC 85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.”

      I don’t see your name here, and I don’t see any “except when someone determines that the Magisterium is incorrect so they will do the interpreting for themselves, and follow what they determine to be the correct teachings and then continue to refer to themselves as faithful”. Where can I find that?

      • Avatar John says:

        That article on Vatican News is profoundly misleading as to what development of doctrine is. Nor do its examples persuade. Circumcision was more than a “centuries-old tradition.” It was *the* sign of the old covenant, and its abrogation was only possible because the Word Incarnate had institute the new and everlasting covenant in his blood. Surely we’re not proposing that we’re now facing a “newer” covenant? The example of limbo is a red herring. No doctrine here has changed, just the regnant theological theories for making sense of the dogmatic data (which, again, have not changed). As for Dignitatis humanae etc., it explicitly asks to be read in continuity with previous papal magisterium. The fact that it has been read as overturning that earlier teaching doesn’t change the fact of how it asks to be read.
        In clear opposition to Dei Verbum and a long line of other magisterial teaching, that article comes as close as anything I’ve seen to suggesting that the living magisterium is free to *revise* the deposit of faith as handed on in Scripture and Tradition. I realize that seeing some developments as such takes some careful work. But this essay at the very least presents it as a project of discontinuity, suggesting that a desire for continuity betrays a lack of fidelity. That is sophistry. Precisely because I am loyal to Pope Francis, I would not attribute this journalists view to His Holiness.

    • Avatar Lazarus says:

      > Yes, the gates of hell will absolutely never prevail against the Church, but the Church is not the mystical body of the pope, she is the mystical body of Christ. In the past popes have failed. St. Peter failed to uphold the truth about the passing of the old law for fear of the Jews and so was justly and publicly rebuked by St. Paul. Pope Honorius was solemnly condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople and then later anathematized by his successor Pope Leo II for betraying the Faith and being complicit in the propagation of heresy. Pope Paschal II was denounced for holding a heretical position by St. Bruno (yes, a saint) whom the pope then persecuted for doing so, only to later repent and renounce his position. Pope John XXII was publicly censured by the bishops and theologians of his time for teaching error regarding the beatific vision of the saints. He responded by imprisoning many of these bishops and theologians only to then later repent and recant his errors on his deathbed.

      False, St. Paul was rebuking a sin, not a false doctrine of Peter. The council Pope Honorius was condemned, that anemethization was not ratified by a pope. Without papal approval, no ecumenical council decrees have authority; this is one of the reasons Eatern Orthodox no longer can call an authoritative council. Pope John XII had an opinion that wasn’t heresy yet, just like Thomas Aquinas is no heretic despite not agreeing with the immaculate conception. All these things are traditionalist talking point that can be refuted if you actuall looked for evidence against those claims.

      > The list goes on. Resistance to the particular actions of a pope is not resistance to the papacy itself, and may at times not only be just but even necessary for the very love of the pope and the Church. Even so, these flawed and sinful men I just mentioned remained true vicars of Christ who the faithful were obligated to be subject to in all things, save error and sin, and who without their submission to they could not save their souls.”

      The idea that you can seperate the pope from his office is classic SSPX tosh to justify their schizophrenic theology. The respect due to the papacy is due to the current reigning pope, and though popes can sin or do stupid things He cannot lead souls into errors concerning faith and morals in a way that imperils their salvation. Either God will let them bind error, leaving everyone to bicker about what it is, or God will not (because we have to assent to their teachings). If it’s the former the papacy is redundant and the Orthodox are right.

      > …Catholic doctrine cannot be altered or changed. Changing the original sense and meaning of a doctrine is not authentic development of doctrine. I don’t say this, the Church does. Vatican I states “that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, …but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding.”

      Dogmas cannot change, but doctrines do, throughout the ages. Living tradition is not juts modernist tosh but it is mentioned in the pre-Vatican II catholic enyclodopedia. I suggest you read it and about the living magisteriim. Much rad trad tosh is based on the false premise that they can privately intepret the true meaning of old Church documents.

      > I have put forth three concrete examples in which Pope Francis done just this (Amoris, Death Penalty, Abu Dhabi). If I am wrong about this, all I ask is for a response and solution that doesn’t require me having to reject authoritative and binding Church teaching which the Church herself already adamantly insists I am not at liberty to dispense with or contradict if I am to save my soul.

      Perhaps you don’t know what the Church reqires of but think you do because you read old documents and won’t let the magisterium correct your private understanding.

      > We have an absolute duty as Catholics to hold fast to the Church’s teachings, in spite of what high ranking prelates or even a pope says. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. It is for this reason that the Church has defined the limits of papal infallibility as well as set forth the weight of magisterial pronouncement according to degrees. Not every magisterial pronouncement carries with it the same level of authority. More authoritative magisterial pronouncements trump less authoritative magisterial pronouncements. The Church says this, not I. When magisterial pronouncements seemingly contradict we don’t look to chronology to determine which one is right (it doesn’t matter if what was said was said on Monday or if it was said on Tuesday), rather we look to magisterial weight/authority e.g. are either of these teachings infallible? Has one been taught longer and more universally? Which has been pronounced more solemnly?

      The magisterium is a LIVING thing. If the bishops and peope can defect from the faith, it doesn’t make rad trad Catholicism true: it makes Catholicism as a whole false. If the Church defects at any point in history, it means it was ALWAYS false. This is a matter of faith, which is trust in the things you can’t see by reason. God said so, I believe it. When a convert is baptised when they ask you if you believe all that the Church teches, it’s not just past pronouncement but whatever the Church pronounces in future. Maybe you think is has already defected but you were certain it didn’t in the past and you’re trying to come to terms with that, which is why you struggle to accept what it teaches today. We walk by faith, not sight.

      > Concerned Catholics are now in a very uncomfortable position which none of us ever wanted to be in but which we have been forced into because of our fidelity to the Church’s magisterium. You cannot just say that what Francis has said regarding these matters is also part of the magisterium and therefore we must adhere to it and then call it a day. That’s not how it works, as you have seen. The magisterium has within it levels of authority. Again, I don’t say this, the Church does. On certain matters, Francis’ magisterium has directly contradicted much weightier and even infallible magisterial pronouncements. This must be reconciled. As faithful Catholics we are then left with a choice. We either accept Francis’ new admittedly non-infallible teachings, and by so doing reject the infallible Church teachings which we are absolutely bound to if we are to remain faithful Catholics, or we hold on to what the Church has definitively taught and temporarily set aside the teachings of Francis until some sort of clarification or correction is forthcoming. If I and other countless faithful Catholics are mistaken and have gotten all of this completely wrong, then all we ask is that the Holy Father clarify this so that we can move on.”

      God won’t let the Church defect from the faith, but he will let everyone who wants to jump overboard. Only the magisterium can interpret the meaning of past pronouncements. The Church itself teaches this. If Catholicism is true, anything that seems contradictory really isn’t. This is a matter of faith, where we choose to trust even if we don’t understand.

      I’m not a fast typer so I’ll leave it at that. Faith is not fideistic but neither is it all clear when reasoning.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        Well, pope John believed and expounded something that was not true, an error. The fact that it was not labeled heresy yet, does not change the fact that it was wrong. Does not change the fact that a pope was pushing error. I suspect that the subject was controversial at the time, and that anyone who didn’t accept the pope’s erroneous position were call schismatics and worse by the more fanatical of the pope’s supporters. But, they were not inventing anything or going off on their own, and they were right. Should they have accepted the pope’s error and been led astray themselves?

        And I have to believe that St Peter of immortal memory, was not just throwing his weight around. Lording it over the foreigners because he could, but that he believed and taught that the old rules were still in effect, i.e. he believed something that was wrong. Paul, the great apostle, didn’t tell Peter to relax, he told him that he was wrong. Peter, to his eternal merit, didn’t say he would change the discipline for the sake of the weak, but that he was wrong. Should Paul have just deferred to him? What would have become of the church outside of the Holy Land if he did?

        So, perhaps at some time in the future, some of the Francis era ideas will be rejected as heresy, and those who opposed them will not be held is such contempt.

        Blind obedience and blind faith is owed to no one, but God only. God gave everyone a brain and He expects us to use it. If something doesn’t look right, (like a bunch of people bowing down to a figure of mother earth) then maybe it isn’t. Maybe that’s not just fake news, but well formed intuition, the guardian angle, the Holy Spirit, or such like acting in the soul.

        At any rate, events that would have caused riots in the streets in better days have taken place over the last few days… the “nothing to see here folks” approach doesn’t cut it. the “it’s not what it looks like because I said so” approach doesn’t cut it. The “who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes” approach doesn’t cut it.

      • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

        Right on, Jude.

        Lazarus,

        I’ll try to answer some of your objections.

        “Only the magisterium can interpret the meaning of past pronouncements. The Church itself teaches this.”

        This is, of course, true. But the Church clearly teaches us that there are levels of magisterial authority to which we must give different degrees of assent. This teaching has logical consequences. Especially when less weighty magisterial pronouncement, at least seem to, contradict more authoritative or even infallible doctrine.

        “False, St. Paul was rebuking a sin, not a false doctrine of Peter.”

        What St. Paul was rebuking was an action predicated on a particular doctrine which St. Peter failed to uphold for fear of the jews.

        “The council Pope Honorius was condemned, that anemethization was not ratified by a pope.”

        Read the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Pope Honorius.

        “Pope John XII had an opinion that wasn’t heresy yet, just like Thomas Aquinas is no heretic despite not agreeing with the immaculate conception.”

        Just because the doctrine had not yet been defined infallibly doesn’t mean that his opinion was considered a permissible one, hence the public outcry. We are not talking about something that was in the realm of a fine theological distinction and permitted opinion as in the case of Aquinas. It also bears repeating that Pope paschal II was denounced by St. Bruno for holding a heretical position concerning the Church’s doctrine on episcopal investiture. St. Bruno even went so far as to say that anyone who upheld the popes decision on this matter would become a heretic.

        “If the bishops and peope can defect from the faith, it doesn’t make rad trad Catholicism true: it makes Catholicism as a whole false. If the Church defects at any point in history, it means it was ALWAYS false.”

        The Church hasn’t and will never defect. Her doctrine always remains pure. If something is declared infallibly which proves to be false or contradicts previous infallible teaching then we can say that the Church has defected and that the gates of hell have prevailed, which of course, hasn’t happened and could never happen.

        “Much rad trad tosh is based on the false premise that they can privately intepret the true meaning of old Church documents.”

        It doesn’t take much interpreting to realize that to say that those who are living in adultery, who are sexually active and plan to continue to be so, can receive communion goes against the Church’s doctrine against receiving communion while in an objective state of mortal sin. Or to see that other teachings in Amors Laetitia which say, that we can choose to commit mortal sin knowingly and willingly without falling into a state of mortal sin, or that a catholic, with God’s grace, cannot carry out the demands of the moral law, or that God may at times actually ask us to commit sin etc. Or that the death penalty is contrary to the gospel and can never be justified when this clearly and unambiguously goes completely contrary to scripture as well as the infallible universal magisterium of the Church. Or that God actively wills the existence of false religions, which is utterly blasphemous. None of this requires a degree in theology, just a decently catechized and well formed Catholic mind. This is first communion stuff that every Catholic should know.

  13. Avatar Rita Michele says:

    Short, to the point, excellent! Love the “how the sausage is made” analogy. I’m happy to say that I’m no longer anxious, thanks in large part to this blog. I’m looking forward to the papal document. And when is Francis’ Our Mother Earth coming out?

  14. Avatar Rita Michele says:

    Short, to the point, excellent! Love the “how the sausage is made” analogy. I’m happy to say that I’m no longer anxious, thanks in large part to this blog. I’m looking forward to the papal document. And does anyone know when Francis’ Our Mother Earth book is coming out?

  15. Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

    Carn…if I decided your comment was confusing and harmful and would have been better left unsaid…should everyone take my word for it and ask you keep quiet.
    What if others have successfully found Francis’ actions and words to flow out of the perennial mission of the church?What if I am not scandalized or confused because I actually read his encyclicals and homilies? We still have to take your word do we?
    Read his words. Take some time. Ask yourself very honestly in prayer is it possible that Francis is precisely what God wants for his church. It’s possible. To say otherwise is to assume something rather sanctimonious about your understanding of God’s mission. He ate with tax collectors, what do you think that looked like , some of them likely we’re in irregular situations…aghast! Examine all your “yeah but Jesus…”s . Has Francis failed to teach on the indissolubility of marriage…has he condoned homosexuality? has he failed to mention that holy orders can only be conferred on men? He has reaffirmed the teaching over and over.
    So the confusion…”he eats with sinners”…”he does not wash his hands”…sounding a little hollow by now.

    “the church is a field hospital” sounds an awful lot like. ..”it is not the well who need a physician but the sick. ..I came not to call the righteous but sinners”.

    • Avatar Jude says:

      That is predicated on not making the well sick in order to make the sick well of course.

      • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

        Everyone’s sick Jude. That’s why Francis is keen on none judging their neighbor.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        Cute, but inane.

        should i have been more coarse?

        Everyone is not as equally sick, making the mildly sick very sick in order to make the very sick a little less sick, doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

    • Avatar carn says:

      “What if others have successfully found Francis’ actions and words to flow out of the perennial mission of the church?What if I am not scandalized or confused because I actually read his encyclicals and homilies? We still have to take your word do we?”

      Completely irrelevant, cause the claim was:
      “Fear or anxiety about what may be in the final papal document reveals a lack of trust in Christ and His promises to Peter.”
      = It is 100000% certain, without a glimmer of doubt, as certain as the sunrise tomorrow that the only, absolutely really only explanation why someone might feel “fear” or “anxiety”about content of papal document is “lack of trust in Christ” and never ever may there be any legitimate other explanation.

      That claim is nonsense independent of the quality of my texts and/or of my personal opinion of Pope Francis.

      “Read his words.”

      I do. If I wanted to hire someone capable at formulating texts precisely, Pope Francis would waste his time if he applied.

  16. Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

    For those who don’t read french cardinal schonborn noted that the eastern church has married priests but the Latin does not. And cardinal schonborn thinks that’s good.
    Whether cardinal schonborn believes the Amazon church is more like the west or the east in its clerical needs he does not specify…pity
    …maybe in German elsewhere.

  17. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    I keep seeing people posting comments on this thread, and others here at WPI, which basically amount to this:

    “I am Catholic, and I am loyal to the Pope. I am not separating myself from him. I respect his teaching authority. I just believe that he is, in his office as Pope, either officially, publicly, teaching numerous heresies on matters of faith and morals, or coming very close to doing so, and it is our responsibility, as Catholic laity, to call out the Pope on his heresies or near-heresies.”

    If you are Catholic, and you *truly believe what the Church teaches*, then the fourth of the above four sentences does not coherently fit with the prior three. The fact that some Catholics, including, apparently, even some clergy, *suspect or believe* that the Pope is officially teaching heresy does not make it so. Moreover, if the Pope can officially, publicly, teach heresy, in his office as Pope, and it is the responsibility of the Catholic laity to read through and research Church documents, partially so that they can call the Pope out, when he officially, publicly teaches heresy, then, *on those self-contradictory terms*, then I genuinely have to wonder– why did I even return to the Catholic Church from evangelical Protestantism? Truly, why?

    What I mean is this. When I was a Protestant, I believed in and “practiced” Sola Scriptura. If I have to practice a Catholic form of that– Sola Traditio, it seems, reading and interpreting *both Scripture and Church documents* to make sure that the Pope is not contradicting them– then how is the lived-out practice of Catholicism, for lay people, not largely another form of textual interpretation (based partially on literacy at a minimum, when a great number of the world’s lay Catholics are still not literate!!) that offers no certainty about divine things at all but only more interpretive subjectivity?

    To be clear, I do *not believe* that it is the job or the responsibility of the lay Catholics to call out the Pope on his supposed heresies, based on their interpretations of Scripture and Church documents. I am wrestling with, though, and simply trying to understand logically, how some lay Catholics *seem to see this* as part of their job and responsibility in the Church. I genuinely don’t see how this understanding of Catholicism differs substantially from my past practice of Protestantism– other than in the fact that now, apparently, not only does Scripture have to be personally interpreted by lay Catholics, but Church documents do too, *both in the service of protecting the Church from supposed Papal heresies which, his opponents charge, despite the Pope’s assertions to the contrary, contradict Scripture and Tradition*.

    • Avatar Yaya says:

      Thank you Mr. Lake for your comment. I always learn from you as I do from this fine website.

      Please do not become discouraged in standing with our holy father Papa Francisco.

      Every time I pray for him or ponder on something he has said that I relate to, I always see him in my mind’s eye walking hand in hand with Mary our mother.

      In my humble opinion, he is in very good company as she will keep him on the royal road.

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Yaya,

        Thank you so much, again, for your encouragement to me, to not become discouraged in standing with the current Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis. Amen to all that you wrote!

        Speaking of writing, I have just finished and sent a lengthy reply to our brother in Christ here, Joshua, so I am probably going to rest my tired (and Cerebral Palsy-affected, to an extent) hands for at least a few hours! 🙂 Thanks again, and God bless you, Yaya!

    • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

      P.S. In question 33 article 4 of his summa theologiae St. Thomas states: “It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.”

      As the lay faithful we are subject to the Pope and Bishops and owe them our deference, our filial love, our submission and our obedience. But, as I have said, we are, nevertheless, also instructed to hold fast to the traditions we have received and to reject any gospel preached to us besides the one handed down, under pain of anathema, as St. Paul warns us, whether it be preached by a successor of an apostle or an angel from heaven.

  18. Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

    Christopher,

    It’s really not that complicated. There is a hierarchy of authority within the magisterium and also specifically within the papal magisterium. The same way you know that you must hold to what the Church teaches even when a priest or bishop tells you to believe otherwise (as unfortunately happens all to often now a days), it also goes for for a pope when he strays and asks you to do the same.

    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Glatians 1:8-9

    Again, as I have said, the Church clearly teaches that there are levels of magisterial authority to which we must give different degrees of assent. This teaching has logical consequences. Though we do owe religious submission of the will and intellect to the pronouncements of the ordinary non-infallible magisterium, we owe submission of faith (a much higher and absolute submission) to the pronouncements of the infallible magisterium, be it the extraordinary magisterium or the ordinary an universal magisterium. That being the case, obviously, if one seems to contradict the other we are required to stick to the higher one. This also applies to the different non-infallible statements of the ordinary magisterium when they seem to be in contradiction. The CDF document “Professio Fidei” states:

    …”As examples of doctrines belonging to the third paragraph, one can point in general to teachings set forth by the authentic ordinary Magisterium in a non-definitive way, which require degrees of adherence differentiated according to the mind and the will manifested; this is shown especially by the nature of the documents, by the frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or by the tenor of the verbal expression.”

    As I have said before, we are in a massive mess and what is to be considered an irregular situation. This is precisely why the papacy is so important. The pope is the only one who can get us out if this raging storm by making the proper clarifications on the relevant matters as he has been asked to do, and has up to now refused. No good and faithful Catholic wishes to be in such a conundrum but it’s the cross Our Lord has asked us to carry. The Church is in a sad and miserable state, but as we know, in the end Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will Triumph.

    Lastly, to restate what I said a few comments up, it doesn’t take much interpreting to realize that to say that those who are living in adultery, who are sexually active and plan to continue to be so, can receive communion goes against the Church’s doctrine against receiving communion while in an objective state of mortal sin. Or to see that other teachings in Amors Laetitia which say, that a person may choose to commit mortal sin knowingly and willingly without falling into a state of mortal sin, or that a catholic, with God’s grace, cannot carry out the demands of the moral law, or that God may at times actually ask us to commit sin etc. Or that the death penalty is contrary to the gospel and can never be justified when this clearly and unambiguously goes completely contrary to scripture as well as the infallible universal magisterium of the Church. Or that God actively wills the existence of false religions, which is utterly blasphemous. None of this requires a degree in theology, just a decently catechized and well formed Catholic mind. This is first communion stuff that every Catholic should know.

    • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

      Joshua,

      When Paul rebuked Peter, it was *not* because Paul believed Peter to be publicly teaching heresy (or heresy-encouraging ambiguity) to the Church. It was over a matter of *personal behavior, personal choice* that, nevertheless, was not in keeping with the developing Christian understanding that the Gospel was meant for all people, not only the Jews, and that Christians were not under the ceremonial dictates of the Mosaic law. Paul’s rebuke of Peter was/is very, very different from what an increasing number of Pope Francis’s critics are now saying about him.

      You write about the Pope supposedly contradicting “first communion stuff that every Catholic should know,” but the very things that you accuse him of are almost all, basically, talking points from anti-Francis websites which have been shown to be either incomplete in some major way or flat-out inaccurate.

      Pope Francis never writes, in “Amoris Laetitia” that it is simply okay for all divorced and remarried Catholic couples to receive the Eucharist. He *does* write about a private process of divorced and remarried individuals or couples meeting with priests, for a time of discernment, partially to try to discern their level of *personal culpability* for the *objectively sinful* that they are in, but he never says that all, or most, or half, or any certain specific number, of these cases will, or should, end in reception of the Eucharist. It’s much more complex than that. Have you actually read the guidelines of the Buenos Aires bishops on “Amoris Laetita”– the guidelines that Pope Francis has publicly stated are “authentic Magisterium”? If you haven’t, it would be helpful: https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/09/18/guidelines-buenos-aires-bishops-divorcedremarried/

      Pope Francis did not say that the death penalty can never be justified under any circumstances. That would be akin to equating the death penalty with abortion, which he *did not do*. He said, in part, that the death penalty can no longer be justified *in contemporary circumstances, where are penal systems that are capable of protecting the public without resorting to the death penalty*. Now, you may disagree with the Pope on that, but he did *not* state that the death penalty, in and of itself, is, and always has been, intrinsically evil. The letter that the current head of the CDF (who was appointed by Pope Francis) wrote to the bishops of the world explains this at length: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/02/180802b.html

      Pope Francis never stated that God *actively wills* the existence of non-Christian religions– other than, to be precise, Judaism, which obviously began well before the birth of Jesus Himself, and which Jesus both observed, in large part, *and* modified, as was His right to do, as the incarnate God. With that said, the recent Christian-Muslim document, to which you are referring, *does not say* what you are attributing to Pope Francis on the subject of non-Christian religions. God has an active will and a permissive will. God did not *actively, morally will*, an an example, those particular aspects of non-Christian religions or philosophies which teach about God, humanity, and morality in ways which contradict Judaism and Christianity. He *permitted those particular false aspects* of those religions to come into existence, but He didn’t actively, morally will them.

      Joshua, have you noticed that for several decades now, in official Church documents, and in their speeches and interviews, the Popes have not tended to speak in your preferred terms of describing non-Christian religions as utterly “false religions”? There is a very good reason for this, and it has nothing to do with watering down the Christian Gospel. The Church teaches that that there are *elements of truth* to be found in many non-Christian religions, but that the Catholic Church has the *fullness of God’s truth*– and all of this is true.

      There are genuine truths which exist in many non-Christian religions (seeds of the incarnate Word is one way of describing them), and God genuinely pursues people through those truths. In that sense, God can accurately be said to have willed *those truths* of non-Christian religions. At the same time, God still desires what He desired in the first century A.D.– for *all people, worldwide* to come to the fullness of truth in Jesus Christ, and therefore, the Church can and should continue her missionary mandate from Christ Himself. Pope Francis has affirmed this continuing missionary mandate so many times in the last six years of his Papacy. Have you read his Apostolic Exhortation on the joy of being a missionary of the Chrstian Gospel (whether that call is across the world, or, simply, down the street from where you happen to live)? http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

      • Avatar Jessica says:

        Metta meditation is my favorite example of God’s truth in other religions. It’s a Buddhist meditation on what is essentially Christian love: kind, selfless, full of charity.

        (I would prefer if it emphasized active charity, but I easily modify prewritten meditations to add this.)

  19. Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

    Joshua:
    The problem is not that Catholics are failing to recognize their duty to stand up against a prelate who teaches error.
    The problem is that the objecting Catholics have not bothered to ascertain the actual meaning and import of the pope’s actions and words.
    You set up a straw man every time you repeat the duty to object as if it is naive reverence or filial fear that keeps us defending this pope.
    Admit this to me. You have interpreted francis’ words in whatever way you think a liberal might take it. You have made the liberals your filter for judging the voice of the shepherd. Why, may I ask? Isn’t that a bad idea given the lack of concern a liberal has for objective truth?
    I’ve made the pope’s homilies and pastoral practice the primary interpretive key to his meaning. It’s far easier to then discern that there is little to object to. In fact there is much to be inspired by. If this pope was your parish priest you would likely be singing his praises. He’d be in the confessional all the time.

    • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

      Manuel,

      I’m not interpreting things according to how liberals think. I’m simply reading our Holy Father’s own words. It’s plain for any honest observer to see that some of the things this Pope has taught are contrary to Church teaching.

      I’ll offer some examples…

      The Abu Dhabi Document:

      “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom.”

      My comment: Clearly, this is a reference to God’s active will, as can be evidenced by the reference to objectively good and positive things brought about through God’s wisdom such as color, sex and race. False religion, however, which is intrinsically erroneous and blasphemous in spite of what the intentions of its adherents may be, is not actively willed by God and to say so is utterly blasphemous. This is first communion level stuff, guys. You don’t need to be a theologian to get this.

      The Death Penalty:

      “the church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide,”

      My comment: The right of the state to use the death penalty is unequivocally affirmed by the natural law, sacred scripture, tradition and the ordinary universal magisterium of the Church, which, according to The First Vatican Council, is infallible. In other words, it is an irreformable teaching of the Church. If what is being asked of us is to choose between one Pope, on the one hand, and every Doctor, Saint and prior Pope and Catechism on the other, then the choice quickly becomes quite clear and effortless.

      The Letter of the Argetinian Bishops on Amoris Laetitia: (which the Pope himself affirmed as the only authentic and true interpretation of Amoris and which he declared to be part of the “authentic magisterium”):

      “Whenever feasible, and depending on the specific circumstances of a couple, and especially when both partners are Christians walking together on the path of faith, the priest may suggest a decision to live in continence. …In other, more complex cases, and when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained, the above mentioned option may not, in fact, be feasible [living in countenance]. Nonetheless, a path of discernment is still possible. If it comes to be recognized that, in a specific case, there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes they would incur a subsequent wrong by harming the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia offers the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351).”

      My comment: Clearly, the letter of the Argentinian bishops is stating that a person living in mortal sin i.e. active adultery, and who has the intention of continuing to live in such a state, refusing to live in continence, may receive the sacraments of penance and the eucharist. This amounts to nothing short of sacrilege. Every Catholic passed the age of reason knows that you cannot be absolved of a sin which you intend to continue to commit. Not only would you not be forgiven but you would also incur the sin of presumption and sacrilege by making such a confession. To say nothing of receiving the Eucharist in such a state. Every single Catholic of good will should be absolutely horrified by this.

      Amoris Laetitia:

      1. “A subject may know full well the rule [the “rule” being referred to here is God’s absolute prohibition against committing adultery], yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”,339 or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.”

      My comment: It is not ever possible for a Catholic to be in a situation where it is totally impossible for him to avoid sin, difficult as it may be. And it is completely insane to say that sometimes we must sin in order to avoid further sin. This is not Catholic. This is not even rational.

      2. “…Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation [the situation being referred to here is adultery] does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.”

      My comment: God never asks us to sin. This is utter blasphemy.

      3. “The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consoli- dated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in con- science that one would fall into new sins.”

      My comment: Can “fidelity” and “Christian commitment” be used in describing adulterous relationships which are directly preventing the spouses from fulfilling their solemn vows and morally binding obligations to live in fidelity and Christian commitment with one another? How does an adulterous relationship express “proven fidelity” and “Christian commitment” in relation to the abandoned spouse to whom the person is under moral obligation to be faithful to by virtue of their solemn vow to live in Christian commitment with one another? How does grave infidelity and abandonment of solemn Christian commitments express “proven fidelity” and “christian commitment”? Again, this is not Catholic or even rational.

      4. “John pauL II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 84: AAS 74 (1982), 186. In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers””

      My comment: How is faithfulness to ones spouse endangered by refusing to commit adulterous acts with another person? Can the term fidelity be properly used when it is in relation to something intrinsically evil i.e. adultery? Can children directly benefit from the sin of their parents? Does the well being of children depend on their parents committing intrinsically evil acts such as adultery? Is the well being of children hindered by their parents choosing not to commit intrinsically evil acts such as adultery? Every Catholic knows and always has known the answers to these questions, so let’s stop pretending otherwise just because the current Pope has clearly gone off the deep end. Don’t be an accessory to his sin, rather, pray and do penance for him.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        All of those claims have been sufficiently debunked on this site, and repeatedly.

        Also, the first of your claims directly contradicts what you said.

        You say: “I’m simply reading our Holy Father’s own words”

        And then go on to mention the Abu Dhabi statement and say: “Clearly, this is a reference to God’s active will”

        Thing is, the Pope has already clarified that he meant God’s “passive” will. He did it twice: in a homily and in an answer to Bp. Schneider.

        And I don’t know how you can ignore this, since the wording “active will” denotes you are familiar with the discussion around the Abu Dhabi statement re: God’s active vs. passive will.

        So, no. You are not reading the Pope’s own words. If you did, you would be reading them in accordance with the clarifications he provided, which are also his own words.

      • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

        Pedro,

        To quote Bishop Schneider:

        “On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. ..The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes. I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will. But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this.”

        A private conversation that the Holy Father had with a bishop does not rectify this. To my knowledge this document hasn’t been formally corrected nor has the pope clarified this in an official public statement. Am I mistaken?

        Also, why has Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni quoted Pope Francis saying that he“encourages the efforts of the Committee to spread knowledge of the Document” while this sentence, which may clearly lead one to heresy, as the Pope himself readily admits, remains yet unchanged or corrected?

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        Yes you are mistaken and so is Schneider

        The Pope said what is the way to accurately interpret the document

        So interpret it like so. Nothing more is needed

        Therefore making a comment (as you did) complaining how the Pope advocated that plurality of religions is the active will of God is disingenuous

        I again refer you to Christopher Lake’s comment. The first time you came to this site you wrote a big lamentation about how you wanted people to explain to you and to dispel your confusion regarding the Pope’s interventions

        So far every explanation that was given to you has been brushed aside. You don’t seem to want clarification. For you things are actually very clear. The Pope is wrong and needs to correct himself to your satisfaction

      • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

        Pedro,

        To get a sense of just how bad the sentence in the Abu Dhabi document is, try replacing “the pluralism and diversity of religions“ with evils less acceptable to our modern sensibilities, given that the evils of heresy, apostasy and idolatry seem to no longer stir our righteous anger.

        For example, “the pluralism and the diversity of smut, pornography, organized crime, human torture, industrial waste, racism, bigotry, intolerance, rape etc. color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom.”

        Are you going to tell me that if those were the evils described in the passage that you would let the pope off the hook without a formal and very public clarification and correction? The fact that we can just shrug our shoulders at such a blasphemy that clearly implies that God actively wills false religion says a lot about who we are and what we’re willing to tolerate. And this doesn’t speak well for us at all.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        So you are going to double down on the “actively willed” bit, even if the Pope has clarified otherwise.

        Thank you for proving my point.

        Next time, don’t come and deceive people of good faith by saying “I am confused, please someone explain me”. Just say outright “I disagree with the Pope because I think I know better”

        PS: FWIW, my article on the matter is here: https://wherepeteris.com/pluralism-and-the-will-of-god-is-there-another-way-to-look-at-it/

      • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

        Pedro,

        Our you honestly saying that you wouldn’t see a problem with the following sentence if it came from the Holy Father?

        “The pluralism and the diversity of smut, pornography, organized crime, human torture, industrial waste, racism, bigotry, intolerance, rape etc. color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom.”

        If this were the case, are you really telling me that you wouldn’t expect, and even demand, a formal and public clarification as well as a correction of the actual text? You don’t wouldn’t think that an explicit mention of the permissive will of God with regards to things such as racism and rape would be necessary? A private conversation with a bishop doesn’t amount to such. The document remains uncorrected as our Holy Father pushes for its promotion worldwide. You honestly don’t see a problem with this? I don’t understand.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        I wrote an article. I gave you the link to it. The reason why your analogy fails is written there. In the meantime you keep proving my point right.

        I will answer your objections when they are written with a spirit of “I’m confused, I may be wrong, can someone help me understand?” instead of “I’m confused, and by that I mean I’m not confused at all, but rather that the Pope is wrong and I want people to agree with me and lobby with me so that the Pope will change”

  20. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    Joshua,

    When you first came to this website, you wrote a comment which basically cried out, in seeming exasperation, that you were honestly confused by many of Pope Francis’s words and actions, but that you honestly wanted to understand them. You asked for answers and clarification (from WPI and people commenting here) to that end. I’m trying to understand, please help me to understand, you wrote.

    Since that very first comment of yours though, virtually any time that answers and clarification regarding Pope Francis’s words and actions have been offered here, you have condescendingly lectured the people who have been offering said answers and clarification about how Pope Francis is *obviously. clearly* wrong, *obviously, clearly* contradicting Catholic teaching, etc. In your words– “This is first communion stuff, guys.”

    The logical question becomes, then, if you already knew, so clearly, what you believed about the Pope and his teaching before you came here, then why *did* you come here asking for answers and clarification? Was it simply just to lecture people who believe that Pope Francis is being truthful when he states, over and over (and demonstrates, from what I have seen) that he is not teaching heresy or anything close to it?

    • Avatar Joshua Hernandez says:

      Christopher,

      I apologize. I used this forum to reach out to the Holy Father. My questions were addressed to him and they still are. It was a form of venting. I needed to get things off my chest. I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear or somehow came off as being dishonest. I maintain that only the Pope himself can fix this mess and rectify the situation in the Church by addressing the doubt, confusion and concern with regards to these matters directly. My questions were asked in a spirit of filial love and respect, as they were directed towards the Pope. Such would be my words if I ever had his ear. In hindsight, I suppose I should have written him a letter and sent it to the Vatican. I guess I just wanted to publicly share my pain and frustration. Again, I’m sorry if this came off as unclear or dishonest.

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Joshua,

        You are now claiming that you used this forum to “reach out to the Holy Father” and to ask him questions “in a spirit of filial love and respect.” Joshua, there is a problem with this claim, and that problem is the documented evidence of your own comments here.

        I have read many of your comments, and you have accused the Pope of making and/or approving of statements which, *according to your serious misinterpretations of those statements*, you have said amount to “utter blasphemy” and/or serious contradictions of Catholic teaching involving “first communion stuff,” stuff that is not hard for even a child to understand.

        These are questions asked to the Pope in a spirit of filial love and respect, Joshua? If you were *honestly concerned* about something that your earthly father or mother had said, would you seriously go to him or her with harsh accusations of “utter blasphemy,” telling him or her, “Come on, this is easy stuff, first communion stuff!”

        If you wouldn’t speak or write in such a disrespectful, accusatory, “I’m sure that I am right, and you are wrong” way to your father or mother, just after claiming that you are *honestly confused* by their statements, then why have you done exactly that to the Pope here (since you claim that your questions here at WPI were/are directed to the Pope)?

  21. Avatar Pete Vickery says:

    Pedro: Your last reply is simply what Lumen Gentium says: “Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. – Lumen Gentium 25”. You’re right wrt the opponents of Pope Francis supposed “confusion”. The opponents of Francis are not unlike Protestants claiming the Pope contradicts Scripture; the only difference is that they claim he contradicts Tradition. Your coining of the phrase “Sola Traditio” fits well. They are not sincerely confused, they disagree and are protesting. The holder of the keys of the kingdom has the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, not the protesters. May all of you here at WPI keep up the good work and God bless you. Viva Cristo Rey!