Today in the National Catholic Reporter, columnist Michael Sean Winters argues that the biggest threat to the unity of the Catholic Church (especially in the U.S.) is the expansion of a highly visible and well-organized movement that opposes Pope Francis and seems determined to split the Church in two. He even goes on to suggest that the highest priority for the USCCB’s November meeting should be developing a response to the question, “To what degree are the seeds of a de facto schism being sown within the U.S. church?”

That question is very close to the heart of WPI, and this website is in many ways a response our response to it. But we are just a small group of lay Catholics, and while most of us are deeply engaged in the life of the Church, we lack the finances and platform to sound this alarm in the way that bishops other prominent Catholic leaders could. In many quarters of what has been described as the Church’s “sanity caucus,” Catholic leaders believe that the most effective way to address anti-papal extremism is to ignore it, and to avoid “giving them a platform.” Unfortunately (and Winters now agrees), they have built prominent platforms for themselves. Thanks to well-funded publishing operations and media outlets, as well as the cooperation (if not open support) of accommodating bishops, more and more well-intentioned and ordinary Catholics have been sucked into the anti-Francis Vortex.

Those who are in public leadership of the Church and stand with Pope Francis must begin to address the dangerous narratives that have drawn in so many of the faithful. Those who have been consuming the onslaught of American Catholic media against the pope–without ever hearing the other side of the story–are not to be entirely blamed. Many of these Catholics are devoted, well-meaning, and sincere. Additionally, I know many hardworking priests and religious who are too busy in their ministry and pastoral work to consume much of this media, but their friends and parishioners have forwarded Lifesite and Crisis Magazine articles or Church Militant videos to them. After a while it has an effect.

Due to the lack of an effective response to this propaganda, we’ve reached a point where some of them can’t even conceive of a faithful Catholic enthusiastically loving and supporting Pope Francis. To them, we’re all modernist liberals who want to take down the Church. This isn’t because they’ve actually read Francis’s documents or balanced opposing views. It’s because they’ve been pulled into an ideological mindset, and are largely unaware that there’s even another side to the story.

How extreme have they become? Winters writes:

I do not believe that any bishop, not even the bishop of Rome, is beyond criticism. But what makes this Faithful Shepherds website so nefarious, and indeed what makes LifeSiteNews and other conservative outlets so nefarious these days, is that fidelity is defined as being in opposition to the pope. They do not cite a single instance in which agreement with the pope is a mark of fidelity. Silly me. All these years, I thought being in communion with the successor of Peter was a significant mark of Roman Catholicism.

Canon 751 of our Code of Canon Law says, “Schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” Yet some Catholics think that if there is any schism at all, they are on the truly “Catholic” side of it while Pope Francis and those loyal to him are the schismatics. The idea is simply and radically absurd. A pope can’t go into schism against himself! Where Peter is, there is the Church, after all.

That said, some of these extremists seem to have recognized the extreme cognitive dissonance that it takes to believe that the pope is the one in schism.

To be continued….


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Mike Lewis is a writer and graphic designer from Maryland, having worked for many years in Catholic publishing. He's a husband, father of four, and a lifelong Catholic. He's active in his parish and community. He is the founding managing editor for Where Peter Is.

NCR’s Winters warns of a looming schism

133 Responses

  1. Rolando Rodriguez says:

    The NCR Michael Sean Winters writes for is the National Catholic Reporter, not the National Catholic Register.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Yes, I fixed it right after I posted. My bad.

      • michael says:

        So…my latest post deleted…3rd one! You don’t look very confident! In none of my deleted posts have I been abusive, nor dishonest. Seems biased and arbitrary, a bit rash. Maybe take the log from your own eye, brother!

      • Mike Lewis says:

        The last one contained a link to a spiritually harmful website, which is why it was not allowed. We’ve passed 100 comments on this post, and I think the contrary position has been more than established.

      • michael says:

        There is a principle of charity involved in honest debate. Do you, or MS Winters, for that matter, understand that to criticize a position you must be able to articulate it fully first, and then go after its agreed upon premises? How does throwing out terms like “extremist” or “schismatic” even approach intellectually honest, charitable debate? How does deleting posts for some arbitrary standard – set by you – contribute to honest, charitable debate? You seem unwilling to actually address the premises of those with whom you disagree: that the Church has become unrecognizable as Catholic in light of V2, that this pope has doubled down on the movement away from a recognizable Church, that the results of the innovators are an historic and unmitigated disaster by every conceivable standard, and that instead of actual debate and explanation justifying the movement from Tradition we get gaslighting and name calling. Note well that in this reoriented Church the only real sin is “schism”, i.e. pointing out the above. While I no longer expect any integrity from you on the matter, let your conscience wrestle with the truth while you continue to demonize good and faithful people.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        I have allowed over 100 comments on this post alone, most of which are critical, and many of which were directed here by a website that calls me “Nasty Mike Lewis.”

        If you are going to attack my integrity, feel free to start your own website. This website is not a platform for dissent, even though we welcome respectful discussion. We have no obligation to allow this site to be hijacked by people who promote dangerous and anti Catholic views.

      • michael says:

        You miss my point: your obligation IS to integrity – as a Catholic. Simply demonizing those you disagree with, name calling ( “Dangerous”, “anti catholic”) without substantive answers to their arguments is in itself lacking in intellectual integrity, i.e. honesty. You are perfectly capable of doing whatever you want with your website, but there is an irony in your continuous claims to be the “real deal” Catholic in the debate while you resort to ad hominem and straw men. Your tactics are more worthy of progressive Alynskyites than to someone who continuously claims to be the voice of genuine orthodoxy.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        Michael, I have limited time to respond to comments. The content of our pieces is well-reasoned and anything but ad hominem. But I think it is completely justifiable to delete a comment that directs people to a website that is hostile to the Holy Father without providing a comprehensive explanation. I have conversed with Steve Skojec many times in the past, and have written many pieces addressing the type of content his website promotes.

        Trying to attack my integrity isn’t going to win you any points. You came here with an agenda: to undermine the content of this site, and to convince others to defy the pope.

        We allow many more negative comments than we delete, but after 6-7 comments, you should have been able to make your point.

      • michael says:

        Never mind my “agenda” (i.e. mental state, motives, etc…again a bit of mind-reading ad hominem) but how about addressing the premises of the argument I outlined above. Once again, that’s how you treat someone in an intellectually honest way.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        I will look it over. It has probably been addressed in a post already.

      • michael says:

        I mean honestly yo should be able to easily demonstrate how the Church has been thriving since and because of V2. To the extent that the Church is in a crisis of historic proportions I hold all of the hierarchy responsible. To blindly support more of the same in the name of blind obedience is suicidal.

  2. jong says:

    I can feel a tone of frustration in your writing and a disbelief how can good people and the good Catholic Media before cannot see the Truth as WPI writers and few faithful catholic site see the real situation.
    Satan human cohorts has an agenda and strategy on how to destroy the Church and all organization and institutions connected to Her. One good example is EWTN, after the death on Mother Angelica whom satan human cohorts cannot defeat. The sad thing happen is, Raymond Arroyo had ruin the good reputation of that once faithful Catholic Media, and satan continues to infect other Media as well that are now too numerous to mention.
    The Council of Media that Pope BXVI described in his narrative speech in Feb.2013 addressed to the Clergy on what he personally experience in the beginning and aftermath of Vatican II would give us a good picture how we the Council of Media had now established more grounds.
    Pope Francis when as who are this people simply said, “we know them”.
    Pope Francis and Pope BXVI knew who are rhe people behind the Council of Media.
    Thats why Pope Francis was inspired by the Holy Spirit to introduce controversial teachings to expose the connection of Council of Media inside Vatican. And we can see how Pope Francis easily identifies and remove them from their position.
    Pope Francis had been purifying the Church, the organizations and institution that had been infected by the Spirit of Judas or Clericalism.
    And this Judases if have the gift of discernment are wolves in sheep clothing.
    Satan had established a Council of Media and a counterfeit church in the aftermath of Vatican II.
    When Pope Francis said several months ago that the “Real Schism” is now visible, from the point of view of a Supreme Pontiff who is both the Chief Shepherd and the Leader of the Army of Church warriors, we all must seek deep conversion to see the real picture as Pope Francis, Pope BXVI and all the Cardinals and Bishops loyal to the Church united to the Pope.
    The Final Confrontation will reach its peak when this Rad Trads had grown in a sizeable manner and they are just waiting for one big issue that will lead all of them to march in Rome to demand the ouster of Pope Francie either thru resignation of forceful means.
    Satan ultimate goal is to take over the Chair of Peter and the Council of Media thru Rad Trads channel are now intensifying and synchorizing all their efforts to sow a massive confusion and diabolical disorientation.
    Can the Rad Trads oust Pope Francis?
    Yes And No is my answer but if ever God Permissive Will allow satan to oust Pope Francis to appoint their “anti-pope”, the Chair of Peter is the perfect spot for Mama Mary to appear to crush the ‘anti-pope” who will be indwelt by Satan.

  3. Nandarani says:

    But but but… CM and lifesitenews are telling the truth. Both sites use hard facts, not innuendos. The situation in the church really is that bad… that what is going on fits into what has been predicted and worsening is inevitable. People withhold money because they don’t want globalist agendas coming from the pope (providing money and constantly talking up immigrants but nary a mention of martyrs among Christians today – whether in Africa or elsewhere. It’s kind of hard not to notice what is going on. One must be willfully siding instead of factually siding.

    The worst is to get emotional about everything… that is the devil’s tool and it is effectively wreaking havoc online. When MV is angry, he uses facts; that’s why he, very gifted, is effective.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Sorry, but they tell many half truths and make unsubstantiated assertions. They are pushing an agenda, not trying to tell the truth

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        Rather than generalize, can you actually provide one of these instances where, for instance, LifeSite News has not been telling the truth?

      • Mike Lewis says:

        Lifesite News’s reporting is generally unreliable (providing partial quotes, unnamed sources, presenting only one side of the story), but I wasn’t so much describing lies as serving as a propaganda arm of the anti-Francis movement.

        For example, it is unquestionably true that this piece is an attack on the validity of the conclave that elected Pope Francis, and the theory it floats is based on scant evidence that can never be proven:

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        Mike, consider that nearly everyone who is paying attention to what is going on tends to take a side and is therefore prone to being a little “one-sided”, including yourself. That being said, there are some issues where being one-sided is not all that bad. LSN is very one-sided on the abortion issue. Being one-sided only becomes propaganda when truths contrary to one’s position are ignored or presented in a way that is misleading.

        LSN published this article that quotes a pro-Francis author who believes that there were political machinations surrounding the pope’s election and gives evidence that one could hardly call “scant”. Where is the propaganda in this? Are they ignoring contrary evidence? Are they deliberately being misleading? Are they misquoting her? Are they being one-sided? Or is this a case where there really is no other side of the story to tell, because nobody is denying it. Whether it is found to be true or not, I think you would have to agree that, given the circumstances, it is at least newsworthy. Completely dismissing all the evidence (most, as in this case, given by people on PF’s “side”) that some shady things went down regarding his election seems to better fit the definition of propaganda.

        If they took quotes out of context, used unnamed sources, given half-truths, or made unsubstantiated assertions, than point that out. But the fact that you don’t like how LSN is critical of Francis doesn’t make them any more unreliable than the fact that I didn’t like how National Catholic Reporter was critical of every pope that came before PF doesn’t, in itself, make them unreliable.

        Regardless of what went on in the conclave, I do believe Francis to be the pope. I am not anti-Francis. I pray for him every day. I don’t believe LSN is anti-Francis. You might consider that perhaps it is not so much Francis the man that we are against, but some of the ideas he seems to promote that are impossible to reconcile with the teachings of the Church. If we are anti- anything, it is towards these ideas. Opposing anti-Catholic ideas used to be perceived as a good thing among Catholics.

        There seems to be a serious misunderstanding with many of the people commenting here regarding the nature of the papacy. The charism of infallibility does NOT protect from error everything that comes out of the mouth of a pope. Nor does criticism of the pope constitute schism. If you had lived under his reign, would you have considered yourself schismatic if you found fault in John XII?

        Mr. Winters ironically frets about schism from his desk at National Catholic Reporter, a media outlet to which several bishops who have had the misfortune of having the NCR’s headquarters in the their diocese have asked to remove the word “Catholic” from their name because they were openly in opposition to the teachings of the previous two popes. Hmmm. The more important point is that, contrary to Mr. Winter’s opinion, unity cannot take precedence over fundamental truths of the faith. If it did, we would all be Arian.


      • Mike Lewis says:

        If you assert that LSN is NOT anti-Francis, then I think you need to reevaluate your definition.

        We are also talking about Papal Primacy, not infallibility, as well as the indefectibility of the Church. This is territory that’s been covered over and over at this site, and the fact that you simply repeat the arguments that are repeatedly employed by papal critics demonstrates that you are ignorant of the responses.

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        The term anti-Francis seems like a charged term meant to shut down discussion, but I guess if you want to use it, I will grant you that. I will define it in the sense that Paul was anti-Peter and the Paris Dominicans were anti-John XXII. In that sense, you are anti-JPII, since you are in opposition to his teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and receiving the Eucharist. Also, NCR is anti-every-pope-prior-to-Francis.

        I humbly admit I am ignorant of all the responses on this blog concerning infallibility and primacy. Frankly, however, it seems like another attempted discussion stopper if you treat everyone that disagrees with you as ignorant because they have not waded through every one of your posts.

        Regarding infallibility and primacy, it seems that it is a distinction without a difference for many of the people making comments here. Not only do they not understand the difference, but they have a grave misunderstanding of papal infallibility For instance: “Jesus has given Peter the keys with the promise to bind and loose, without conditions.” Without conditions? Really? Do you believe that? Because the Church doesn’t and never has. This is the argument the Protestants use against us, and many of you are proving them at least partially right.

        As far as indefectibility, you do realize that you are in essence arguing against it when you argue that the entire Church was 100% wrong about the death penalty for 2000 years.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        According to Lumen Gentium 25, we are to give religious submission of intellect and will to even non-infallible teachings of the pope on Faith and morals, according to his manifest mind and will. (Also restated in the Catechism, Canon Law, and Professio Fidei.)

        If that’s a distinction without a difference to you, then you will have to take it up with the Council fathers. I believe it is the foundational teaching behind the looming schism. Those who support Francis’s magisterial teachings accept this teaching, those who oppose him dissent from it (or try to find loopholes and workarounds).

        Regarding the issues you mention, it’s not as if Francis and the CDF have not provided reasons and justifications for these teachings. Some Catholics simply refuse to accept the Church’s official explanations.

      • Marie says:

        Gerard- My without conditions comment was in response to Aqua placing conditions on bind and loose. As far as Christ’s words ” I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”, I do not see except if the Pope sins…………that was the point in saying without conditions. I thought I was pretty clear. As well, I never once mentioned infallibility because I was not talking about papal infallibility.

        I can distinguish between infallibility and assent and the submission of the intellect and will, why can’t you?

        “This religious submission of the intellect 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]”

        Maybe you can answer who we should follow if not the pope, since Aqua has not., and why did Christ give the keys to Peter ? What is your Catholic understanding of bind and loose apart from absolution of sin?

      • Gerard Altermatt says:


        I re-read both your and Aqua’s comments, and I am unconvinced that you both were not talking about the limits of papal infallibility, even though you didn’t mention the term. But let us not get hung up on that.

        Allow me to answer your questions. I am not a theologian, but my understanding (and someone can correct me) is that binding and loosing, primarily refers to the forgiveness of sin (cf Council of Trent on Sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction), but would also include certain acts of Church governance such as the issuance of indulgences. Remember that the other apostles received the power to bind and loose, so it cannot refer solely to papal infallibility.

        Who should we follow if not the pope? Jesus answers that pretty well in the Gospels: “Come, follow me”. The first pope knew the answer to that question as well: “To whom shall we go?” We follow Jesus, His Holy Church and the Pope…in that order. There should never be a conflict, but if there is (which would only occur outside of the limits of infallibility in either Church or Pope), we must remember that order. Think about it. If we only and unconditionally followed the pope we would a) have ascribed to the semi-Arian creed (Liberius), b) accepted Monothelitism (Honorius) and c) accepted that the justified do not have the beatific vision until the final judgement (John XXII), and this is not an exhaustive list. As far as the keys, I think we both agree why He gave them to Peter, we just differ on the limits of the power represented by them.

        Finally, I think the distinction between infallibility and assent and the submission of the intellect and will, is a lot more difficult than most people think, and the comments here attest to that. These commentors may be able to repeat what the council documents had to say about it, but do they really make a distinction in practice? For instance, do they treat the assent to some of the problematic statements in Amoris Laetitia differently than Pius XII’s promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption? So, practically what is the difference?

        The key lies in the different levels of assent to papal teachings. They are linked to whether the teachings are infallible or not infallible. Teachings that are not infallible (by definition) have the possibility of error. This is the point than many either do not get or don’t want to admit. Since there is the possibility of error, the submission must be conditional. There are two conditions relative to our discussion.

        The first pertains to the extent that the teaching is in conflict with irreformable doctrine. If there is doubt of the congruence with irreformable doctrine, the Catholic should submit with the caveat that if the error is clearly revealed later, than the submission can be withdrawn. If there is NO DOUBT, in other words, if it clearly contradicts what the Church has always and everywhere taught (Tradition), than submission can be withheld. This is why the Parisian Dominicans were justied in resisting the erroneous teaching of John XXII on the beatific vision. This is not my opinion. In Merkelbach’s Summa Theologiae Moralis we find this:

        “When the Church does not teach with her infallible authority, the doctrine proposed is not, as such, unreformable; or this reason, if per accidens, in a hypothesis which is however very rare, after a very careful examination of the matter, it appears to someone that there exist very grave reasons contrary to the doctrine thus proposed, it will be licit, without falling into temerity, to suspend internal assent (…)”

        The second condition pertains to the manifest mind and will of the pope regarding the teaching in question. In the case of the problematic parts of Amoris laetitia, what is the MANIFEST mind and will of Francis?
        There seams to be some question about it. The document itself, in its introduction seems to lessen the force of the teaching by suggesting that there is room for disagreement. The simple thing to do would just be to ask the pope himself what his mind and will is. Oh, wait a minute…four cardinals already did that, and we know what the outcome of that was: silence. We cannot give religious submission, or any kind of assent for that matter, to something that is ambiguous.

        What worries me more is how the Church’s teaching on assent applies to PF’s latest attempt to change the teaching on the death penalty. Here he is being far less ambiguous on this, but I think Merkelbach’s quote from above applies.

        I will end by asking you some challenging questions, in fraternal charity, of course:)

        Before the papacy of Francis did you give religious submission, as you define it, to the teaching that the divorced and remarried were unable to receive the Eucharist? To the teachings that they could not receive absolution unless they resolved to live as brother and sister? To the teaching that the state had the right to administer the death penalty? That contraception was always and in every circumstance evil?


      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        Mike, you will find my response to you covered in what I just posted to Maria. I would just reiterate that we have had very little in terms of explanations coming from the Vatican for the apparent changes of Church teaching. The response to numerous requests for clarification have been almost complete silence. Also, I’m still curious how you can believe in the indefectibility of the Church when she was completely wrong about such an important doctrine as the death penalty for her entire existence until recently.

      • Marie says:

        Gerard, If you take your theological background, and divide that by 75 %, that would be mine, but I don’t believe that changes the substance of anything; Fr. Hardon’s quotes are exactly how I feel about the role of the pope, and our obligations. It is part of the foundation of our faith.

        I recognize the limited instances where infallibility has been claimed, but perhaps you are correct that I bulk most of the other teachings together because I fully accept them, and I leave it to the Magisterium to determine the nuances. I will review the Catechism regarding bind and loose, as I may have spoken in error, but the overall truth remains. In our living church, we must embrace changes in discipline, etc, whenever they arise. I accept it as correct, and work my way from there, so yes, same with JPII and Benedict.

        As far as the death penalty, it’s like first born syndrome on steroids, rules over substance. It is clear that both JPII and Benedict XVI felt the death penalty was not necessary and inhumane. Why the issue really? Let’s be honest. Your limits on papal authority are not in line with Catholic teaching, and your response to who do we follow is Protestant in thought, certainly not Catholic. When you study your faith in greater detail, such as you have done, it can be dangerous if you leave the foundation and simply let it take you where it takes you. Never forget the starting point. Peace.

      • Marie says:

        CCC 553- “………The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles289 and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.”

        I think I was right on this one, no? 🙂

      • Marie says:

        Gerard- I just realized I said your response to who do we follow is Protestant because I read it initially as saying we follow Jesus, when you actually said We follow Jesus, His Holy Church and the Pope…in that order. So I take that back, you are only acting protestant in your rejection of papal authority. Just being fair 🙂

      • michael says:

        The game of soccer is in its tactics and strategy largely defined by the offside rule. Simply stated, the offside rule prevents forwards from receiving the ball behind the apposing defenders, making “cherry picking” goals impossible. Now, imagine the soccer referees yelling “play on” whenever an offside was signaled by the linesman, and that this behavior went on with all referees in all soccer for decades. What would be the result to game play? Players and coaches would quickly catch on to the great advantage of using offside forwards in order to score goals. Importantly, the game would cease to look like soccer even though no one has officially changed the rule book.
        This is precisely the situation we have now in the Catholic Church: the changes since Vatican 2 are “pastoral” (indeed the council documents are “pastoral” not “doctrinal”), and changes in parishes are deemed changes in “discipline”. This has resulted in a Church that would be entirely unrecognizable to Catholics from the preceding 1900 years. In other words, nineteen hundred or so years worth of Catholics would find incomprehensible the current Church, even though the innovators can claim, like those referees, that no rules have changed. We who see the changes in “discipline” for “pastoral” reasons as a dangerous and obviously destructive force for the past fifty years are now deemed “schismatic” . We who see such innovations as communion in the hand and even now (under certain circumstances…please) communion for the divorced and remarried as a de-sacralising scandal which endangers souls are now to be considered schismatics precisely for being in communion with the Catholics of previous centuries.
        What should be obvious to those who defend this papacy – the innovators – but is not through a kind of tribalism, is that this pastoral approach to innovation has undermined doctrine in the hearts of Catholics. The recent survey that 73% of American Catholics have no belief in the true presence is stunning proof of the results of this approach. Yet we’re the schismatics merely for pointing this out! Doctrine on paper is meaningless when practice is removed, it erodes doctrine by removing the ability to recognize it for what it is. One has to wonder if the innovators know this and that it is in fact all part of the plan.
        The writer here misses even the simple economics of the issue: Catholics are not being formed into schismatics by articles from Life Site News or Michael Vorris. Rather they are outraged by the disastrous outcomes of the innovator’s work and are willing to financially support anyone who clearly articulates that outrage. To attack these media outlets as somehow fomenters of rebellion is to utterly misunderstand the situation, and to demonize with the word “schismatic” is flat out ad hominem and not worthy of someone claiming to be a Catholic.

    • jong says:

      Have you not notice how Lifesite,M, Michael Voris, M.Matt, Dr.Marhall, etc. are reporting the Church crisis?
      Do you know that all of them are spreading Fake News?
      Fake News is reporting truthful events mix with intentional lies to sow confusions.
      How can you know it contains fake news?
      Take time to read articles and watch videos from official Vatican websites and good catholic sites like WPI and compare.
      Now after reading both sides of the news, you can now make an intelligent judgement which one is telling the Truth.
      Do not be deceive by Fake News that contains intentional lies by twisting facts esp. the words of Pope Francis.
      The Rad Trads channel twisted the words of Pope Francis saying “God willed diversity of religion” is an active will of God and not permissive will.
      Second they twisted the teachings of Pope Francis on Amoris L. and Death Penalty changes plus a lot more.

      • Joe D says:

        Are you kidding me ???? The Truth comes from these websites while other so called Catholic Websites ignore. Watered down teachings are just that.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        The truth is taught through the Magisterium: that is, the pope and the bishops in communion with him. (Catechism #100). Not those websites who condemn his teachings.

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        Yes, Catechism 100. A serious, non-hypothetical question, Mike: How do you reconcile that in the span of a Catholic’s life he would have been both faithful and unfaithful to the “truth” taught through the Magisterium in regards to certain doctrine, yet have never changed his belief regarding that doctrine?

      • Mike Lewis says:

        If you are referring to Amoris Laetitia, it wasn’t a change in an essential doctrine. It was a change in discipline. Prior to AL, the discipline of the Church was to prohibit the reception of the sacraments based on the objective situation. There was an acception for couples who were committed to living as “brother and sister.”

        Prior to the brother and sister option, the couple was required to separate before being readmitted.

        With Amoris Laetitia, there’s now the possibility to discern whether a person is fully culpable for the sin. If their guilt is sufficiently mitigated, and the sin is only venial, then in some cases they can be admitted to sacraments in individual cases.

        The problem is not so much believing that one solution is more prudent or a smarter course of action. It’s when the person denies the authority of the pope to make a decision about these cases.

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        I would be very interested to see an example of how the sin of having sexual relations with a man or woman that a person is not married to could be a venial sin. You really can’t use the argument of lack of knowledge or sufficient reflection, because we can assume that if they have spoken to a priest about the situation, they are no longer ignorant. That only leaves the absence of grave matter or the free exercise of the will.

        And you still have not reconciled the dilemma I proposed. Denying that we are speaking about a doctrine doesn’t cut it. Any argument that JPII meant his instruction on the denial of communion to the “divorced and remarried” as mere discipline that can be changed is a dishonest reading of Familiaris Consortio. To argue that it really was mere discipline is to admit that JPII was wrong in his assessment and teaching that it was not–which puts you in the predicament of admitting that if one pope can be wrong than the sitting pope can also be wrong. Or you can admit the possibility that he can be wrong, but it doesn’t matter because we need to be blindly follow whoever happens to be sitting on the chair o Peter wherever it may lead and ignore Tradition or even the very words of Christ. Can we say “cult’.

      • jong says:

        Gerard Altermatt
        “I would be very interested to see an example of how the sin of having sexual relations with a man or woman that a person is not married to could be a venial sin.”(your statement)
        Simple Answer is explain how the Church teaches the three conditions for one to commit a mortal sin.
        Grave matter, full knowledge and full consent are the conditions. Now, the word “FULL” is the key, and since man has no faculties to know the heart of mind or the conscience, how can you know it? This is where Pastoral Accompaniment and Discernment becomes a significant factor, as Pope Francis stated that the Bishop or Priest must be an “artisan”, how? The Bishop & Priest must wear the cloak of “compassion & mercy” and by God’s merciful graces along the way, priest with the full cooperation of the couple will persevere in his effort to help the couple seeking healing and forgiveness by participating in the life of the Church.
        The Dubia Cardinals and Dissenting Bishops does not believe this teaching, for them God’s Law on adultery is very clear or orthodox and the Church teachings prohibit it period. The Dubia Cardinals are correct in citing St.JP2 teachings Veritatis Slendor, but why are they not seeing things the way Pope Francis sees it that there are small window in paragraph 84, the key word is “discernment”?
        Why? it’s because the Dubia Cardinals wear the “cloak of justice like the Pharisees” and Pope Francis “wear the cloak of compassion & mercy like Jesus”. This is the bottomline of the issue in Amoris L.,the Dubia Cardinals are going in the direction of “APOSTASY” by contradicting the “True Mission of Jesus given by the Abba Father” written in John3:17. Jesus will not use God’s Law on the couple who are seeking healing & forgiveness, Jesus definitely will not close the Door of the Church but rather as shown in the gospel…Jesus went all the way to hell to preach the gospel of salvation to fulfill His Redemptive Mission. Jesus is the “model artisan” that Pope Francis is trying to emulates while the Dubia Cardinals is clearly contradicting the Will of the Father in John3:17. The Dubia Cardinals are preaching the “anti-gospel” contradicting the Will of the Father which is salvation not condemnation. Let me be clear ,the Dubia Cardinals cited God’s Law and Judgement while it is orthodox, it is not the Will of the Father why He sent Jesus, that is not the gospel as it speaks the future condemnation of sinners while the gospel speaks of salvation first. The words of St.JP2 comes alive saying the counterfeit church will preach the “anti-gospel”.
        Dubia Cardinals are acting like the Pharisees and Pope Francis is uphelding the mission of the Church entrusted by Jesus Christ.
        The “primacy of mercy over justice” is written in James2:13.
        This is the dividing line between Catholic today, those who are faithful to the Pope follows the Will of the Father while the Dubia Cardinals are following their own will inspired by the enemy of God’s Mercy. Satan hated the Mercy of God and the Dubia becomes the instrument of the devil to oppose the mission of the Church embodied in the Redemptive Mission of Christ, which is salvation and not condemnation.
        All of the chaos boils to these two things. Pope Francis embracing the Infinite Mercy of God and all the Dissenters acting like the Pharisees and becoming the tools for the devil to oppose the Will of the Father. This is a “subtle deception” in all this chaos and in the final analysis the ending of the Dubia Cardinals and all the Dissenters is well written in Matthew7:21
        I thought this verse is for the Protestant only but since we are talking about the “Will & Desire of the Father” in John3:17 and 1Timothy2:4, then what did Jesus said about the fate of the Dubia Cardinals opposing the “primacy of mercy over justice”?
        “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”(Matthew7:21)
        DO NOT BE DECEIVE by the orthodoxy arguments of the Dubia Cardinals et,al and likes of John Westen & Dr.Marshall appearing pious & meek but acting like the Pharisees in “mind & heart” as they are embracing the gospel of condemnation and not salvation.
        Pope Francis said it beautifully “The Church cannot condemn forever” but have an obligation to make sure everyone seeking help & forgiveness find salvation in the Mercy of God thru Christ our Lord.

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        Jong, God’s law is not the will of the Father??!! That sounds a lot like 2+2=5.

  4. Evangeline says:

    Mr. Lewis, I would like to respond to what you have written here. I would describe myself as a faithful Catholic, having attended weekly Holy Mass during the course of my adult life. I understand that integral to Catholicism is the tenet that Catholics must be in line with the pope, as the Vicar of Christ, he holds the keys to the Kingdom. The job one of the Vicar of Christ is this, defend the Catholic faith and pass it down whole and intact. No other responsibility takes precedence over this one, and the current inhabitant of the Chair of Peter is not fulfilling his obligation to do just that.
    No serious Catholic can see or hear what has been coming out of Rome for the past six years and come to any other conclusion, and so we must then respond accordingly. It is not the reporting of the scandals and heresy coming out of Rome that is the problem, Mr. Lewis, it is Rome itself that is the progenitor of the problem. It is unnerving to see contemporary people like yourself who believe that when one disagrees with a position, one has the right or the duty to silence it. That is a fascistic tendency that should have no place in Western society. It is truth that needs expression, and we need more truth about the apostasy that has infected the church and that will not go away until it is rooted out but will also not be ignored any further by Catholics. We have heard and seen enough. It is too late for “modernists”, Catholics now know what Rome is doing, we see the ongoing homosexual scandals, the reports are coming out almost daily about lawsuits, and all the church can do is try to cover it up and deflect by innovation in the liturgy to keep us distracted. It won’t work. We’re on to it. We also realize the issue has been roundly ignored by Rome or we are given ridiculous soundbites in place of justice. Would it surprise you or other modernists that many Catholics would now far rather lose the church buildings and lovely artifacts of Catholicism and have Holy Mass in a field or basement but with faithful clergy than continue on with the mess we are suffering with the current crop of homosexual apostates? It should not surprise you. That is truth.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Evangeline, I fear that if you believe that “no serious Catholic” can accept and obey the pope’s official teachings, it’s clear that you have fallen prey to the agenda of the anti-Francis movement.

      I am not a modernist, but a Catholic who embraces the Magisterium.

      • Aqua says:

        The Magisterium is not limited to the thoughts, musings and programs of a living Pope. Jesus Christ rules first. The Pope is His servant – the Sercant Of The Servants Of God. All Popes who ever lived remain as relevant and important today as a thousand years ago. They all speak equally.

        The Pope has authority to rule if he is in conformity with Jesus Christ, all prior Popes who were so conformed, Bishops and theologians so conformed and Dogma passed down from generation to generation until the end of time. *That* is the Magisterium.

        That’s all a Pope can do. He cannot depart from that narrow path even an inch. He cannot declare (for instance) adultery licit. He cannot allow sodomites into Holy Communion or tolerate in the Church those who do. He is the defender of the Faith. He guards Tradition. He presents Tradition and Truth, no different than it ever was (by nature), to a thirsty world.

      • Aqua says:

        The Magisterium is not limited to the thoughts, musings and programs of a living Pope. Jesus Christ rules first. The Pope is His servant – the Sercant Of The Servants Of God. All Popes who ever lived remain as relevant and important today as a thousand years ago. They all speak equally.

        The Pope has authority to rule if he is in conformity with Jesus Christ, all prior Popes who were so conformed, Bishops and theologians so conformed and Dogma passed down from generation to generation until the end of time. *That* is the Magisterium.

        That’s all a Pope can do. He cannot depart from that narrow path even an inch. He cannot declare (for instance) adultery licit. He cannot allow sodomites into Holy Communion or tolerate in the Church those who do. He is the defender of the Faith. He guards Tradition. He presents Tradition and Truth, no different than it ever was (by nature), to a thirsty world.

      • Evangeline says:

        Mr. Lewis, in all charity I encourage you to reconsider, because what you are doing is placing apostates before Christ. In ordinary circumstances, I’d be with you, but friend, we were just told by our pope that we are to incorporate paganism, dialoguing “with spirits”, and emulate a culture that practices shamanism, pantheism, has sexual relations with children, infanticide, and suicide is a regular part of the culture, not to mention making grandpas Catholic priests. To this Catholic, that is all astounding, and that fellow Catholics would defend it, mind blowing.
        I hope all Catholics do some serious re-evaluation. We were told to expect this, and God told us that we would recognize our shepherd’s voice, and that we were not to follow anyone who came preaching a different gospel. What this pope and Rome are promoting is not Catholicism,, and we do not recognize his voice. Come on, connect those dots Mike. A false magisterium concerned about protecting it’s disordered behavior and pushing heresy is not what we are obligated to support. We have not been influenced by media, we have found solace in some media outlets that express what we have had to come to terms with over decades. Our beloved Catholic church has been infested top to bottom, and it’s going to take divine intervention to root them out.
        It is an evil impulse that tells a free person, I must suppress the rights of others because I don’t like what they say.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        What are you referring to?

    • jong says:

      You believe the words of Dubia Cardinals et,al, and i presumed you also believe the testimony of Ab.Vigano as truth. And then ofcourse, when you read artilces and videos blaming all this crisis to Vatican II and Pope Francis, you also believe that as truth as well, right?
      Sorry, but Ab.Vigano was proven lying in his own testimony by “falsely accusing” Pope Francis. How do you saw Ab.Vigano after he was caught by the Media lying? Do you still trust his words?
      Now, the Dubia Cardinals et, al are continuously expressing contradiction and opposition to an approved Magisterial teachings which Cardinal Muller himself warn that public dissent is not allowed, when he was still the prefect of CDF in 2017. Cardinal Muller said, they must do it in “camera caritatis” this is in line with Donum Veritatis guidelines and even Canon Law 751 & 752.
      Now, you prefer to believe the Rad Trads and Dubia Cardinals et,al who are obviously ignoring Church guidelines.
      The Filal Correctio petitioner failed and their evil intention was exposed.
      But the sad truth is, the Dubia Cardinals anD Cardinal Muller is following the obvious violation committed by the petitioner of Filial Correctio.
      It seems to obvious that Rad Trads are not only disrespecting Pope Francis but even the Church laws and guidelines too.
      I never seen anything even a single heresy that were proven by all Dissenters, all i can see is they are all very noisy in continuosly accusing and blaming all confusions and crisis to Pope Francis which by facts and truth, it is originated to the Council of Media established by Church critics and enemies as inspired by Satan himself. to destroy the Church and oust the Pope.
      Pope Benedict XVI is the one who exposed the works of the Council of Media and now all the Rad Trads channel are making “evil money” on their channels for imitating the primary works of the devil which is “accuse, accuse and accuse” (Revelation12:10) eventhough they cannot back it up with credible proof.
      I challenge you now, can you name one single heresy Pope Francis committed and back it up. All the Dubia Cardinals, et, al had failed already, maybe your different.
      go prove only one heresy.

      • Rolando Rodriguez says:

        The papacy of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger began on April 19, 2005. He chose to resign from the Petrine ministry and the bishopric of Rome on February 28, 2013. He did not then become “Pope Emeritus.” His Emminence Cardinal Ratzinger is no longer “His Holiness” nor is he “Pope Emeritus.” Upon his resignation, he became the Emeritus Bishop of Rome. He is a guest at the Vatican. Canonically and liturgically, he should not wear papal white attire. There is only one Pope. Francis is his name.

      • Evangeline says:

        jong, I am finding the evidence overwhelmingly in favor of the conclusion that Pope Francis is hardly a Catholic, and I seriously doubt he is a Christian. As a Catholic, can you name another pope who has steadfastly refused to kneel or genuflect before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, yet kneels to kiss the shoes of African communists or muslims during foot washing spectacles on Holy Thursday. No prior pope I know of has spent so much time insulting faithful Catholics he has his own online Insult Generator. There is so much more, but as far as heresy, how about his Amoris Letitia. He has said that living the Catholic life by avoiding sin is an “ideal” and God expects that we will sin and he has actually said God condones it, approves of it, loves us more when we sin. He has said people living in adultery can receive Holy Communion, and has made that happen across the world with his airplane pressers. He opened the door to even more LGBT than we have by a church filled with homosexuals buggering boys and seminarians by saying “who am I to judge”, and he has appointed homosexualists to the highest positions in Rome while he punishes and disbands faithful communities and demotes those who are faithful to the teaching of Catholicism. He has refused to do anything about the many reports of continuing sexual scandals and has treated the victims terribly. The four Cardinals of our church were 100% correct to issue those dubia, or questions, and the pope is derelict in his responsibility to answer them. That is his absolute responsibility. It was shocking he did not, but we are now accustomed to a pope blatantly ignoring the will of the people to have legitimate questions answered. Then we are insulted and called names.
        jong, he has turned Catholicism on it’s ear. The church is in virtual schism now, there are two camps, very divided. He wanted a “hagan lio” and he’s got it. Sadly, so do we. Please consider the possibility that you are in fact snowed under by modernist baloney billowing forth from a church more on fire than Notre Dame ever was.

      • jong says:

        Nothing I read in what you have commented is true,why? The source of your information is a corrupted article written by church critics & enemies.
        I know you are a smart soul and you are analyzing things that affect your faith in our Church today. But please, be diligent enough and use a good judgement before you believe any news today.
        All the Rads Trads channels are writing not to inform us of the 100% TRUTH of the story. The Rad Trads channel are writing with only one clear mission? and perhaps you can read all their articles again since Day1 of Pope Francis and it peak-up during the controversial teachings of Amoris Laetetia and it worsen during Ab.Vigano accusing numerous prelates all the way to Pope Francis without even presenting a single credible proof. How do ordinary catholic who are not diligent enough to research find out the Truth? Are you aware that the original testimony of Ab.Vigano are mostly proven as LIES?
        check this link: I posted only two articles but there numerous articles that are substantiated with FACTS and not simply opinion or hearsay.
        Why I want you to be diligent first? All the Rad Trads channel are spreading Fake News and the most cunning so far that I saw is John Westen who open his video making the sign of the cross and a prayer and Dr.Marshall copied this style too.
        Now if you are not aware that this channel has an evil agenda to sow confusions by poisoning their viewers to further division in the Church, how will you know that what they are speaking contains truth mix with intentional lies?
        The Merciful God directed you to WPI site is good indication that God loves you and wanted you to learn the TRUTH, the real TRUTH.
        WPI articles unlike Lifesite, Dr.Marshall, Michael Voris and Michael Matt,etc are not twisting any words by providing the link sources so we can verify if what they are writing is credible. Now compare it with your posted comment. The way I saw your posted reply is, you are uttering the Litany of Lies you had read in the Rad Trads channels. How can I be sure that it is all lies? Be diligent enough to one by one check if any of your posted accusatory statement can be link to the official document or teachings of Pope Francis. If you cannot find the source as Rad Trads channel does not link their articles to official documents when they are making accusations because they had written their article “by twisting the words of Pope Francis”. The usual format of the corrupted articles of the Rad Trads channel is a narration of truthful event, and mix it with a twisted words to deceive the viewers that there is an error and they highlight this error.
        I hope by God’s grace if you pray really hard for guidance is, that you will receive the gift of wisdom and discernment to better understand what is happening in our Church today.
        It takes a lot of time to uncover the lies & deceptions of the Council of Media that was established by Satan to sow the Dubia or confusions, but if you keep on comparing the articles from WPI with the articles from the Rad Trads for example Lifesite News and check the bottom of the article wherein they normally link their sources of information. I think you are well equip simply by using logic and good reasoning to know who is reporting the TRUTH and not a truth that is mix with intentional lies.
        In closing, Pope Francis is living a life of simplicity, humility and transparency and preaching the Mercy of God not just thru words but especially thru deeds.
        Can you name who among the Dissenters can measure up to the dignity of Pope Francis?

  5. Aqua says:

    If the Pope declares adultery licit, who is in schism – the Pope or God?

  6. Andrew says: defending the utterly indefensible. The Pope’s responsibility to confirm the brethren in the faith as Our Lord put it to Peter has been stood on its head by Francis and could be more accurately described as confirming the brethren against the faith. Six years of; abandonment of the Chinese faithful in allowing the Communist Party to determine who selects Bishops, of statements to high ranking Islamic clerics that God positively wills the plurality and diversity of religions, of winking at (if not a defacto) overturning of the very teachings of Jesus Christ on divorce, of being thoroughly beloved by the athiestic global elite and its media while being uncared for generally by ordinary Catholics, of the utter disregard for the total saturation of western civilzation in sexual sin culminating in the destruction of innocent life through abortion, the apparent conversational use of terms like “coprophagia”, the boldness of those close to him in denying fundamental teachings of the faith like Fr. Sosa’s dismissal of the existence of Satan, of the elevation of men to high office who have left nothing but destruction and error in their wakes like Cupich.

    At the very same moment all of this and far more is going on at the express direction of Francis, more and more people – who love the Church and wish to see it thrive – appear to be discovering that everything associated with the Second Vatican Council, at least it’s “Spirit”, is coming to naught. The “reform of the liturgy” being laden with cheap sentimentality which obscures the reality of God’s very presence on our altars following the consecration (because everyone at that moment is busy shaking hands, and slapping backs), the priests who by and large seem to be unable to do much beyond homilize about being “nice”, rapidly graying parishes, and Pew Research data indicating that 2/3rds of self-identified Catholics who reject one of the Church’s other most fundamental teachings.

    I offer the Pope a Rosary nearly every day. All my life I have hoped that the Popes and the heirarchy would fill my spiritual hunger with the Bread of the revelation of Our Lord. This Pope seems to be unable to do such a thing, instead he hurls stones at the likes of Catholics like me. It pains me to say this.

    You’re using your corner of the internet to argue that a mountain of evidence doesn’t exist. To paraphrase Fr. Spadaro, this Pope can make 2+2=5.

    • Evangeline says:

      I must admit I am surprised to find earnest Catholics in such denial. I can only say that I would only need read AL, the pope’s own words, to discern a departure from Catholic thought and teaching as it has been understood for almost 2000 years. There is just so much evidence, and thank you to Andrew for mentioning the complete disaster that is the Chinese Vatican agreement that has already resulted in so much more persecution for the faithful Chinese Catholics. Until Francis, Rome had not even come near an agreement where the communist government of China would choose bishops, yet Francis did just that. Do these Catholics not read of their suffering fellow Catholics in China, who are told their children may not even enter a church now? Or must stand by while so many churches and shrines are torn down? There is so much more, and persecution has increased greatly SINCE the agreement. This is all because of Francis, this is his call, it’s under his papacy and of course he knows all about it. How on God’s earth can these things be justified, because they aren’t happening to you? These things are not simply read in an online blog, they are fact! How can you not see it?? May God take the scales off your eyes so you can!
      Just know, this has nothing to do with any media presence, this is something any discerning Catholic would know for themselves, or should know.

      • carn says:

        @Pedro Gabriel:

        Evangeline wrote:

        “persecution has increased greatly SINCE the agreement”

        Date of the agreement:

        22. September 2018.

        The dates of the article you linked to show that the claim by Evangeline is wrong:

        13. February 2018
        30. September 2018
        16. February 2018

        How could a claim on August 25, 2019 that something has increased since September 22, 2018 ever be refuted by information dated before or shortly after September 22, 2018?

        I do not understand how one could even try to refute something that way, independent on topic.

        Regarding China, as far as i am aware, there is no conclusive evidence showing how the situation of the Church is with the deal in place; that is of course no surprise, cause China has a totalitarian regime, that controls information flow in area deemed sensitive for the regime, and a deal just 1 year old is certainly a sensitive area. So if things were as dire as Evangeline suggest, PR staff in Chinese Government would work overtime to hide or obscure that, so it is hard to tell whether Evangeline is wrong or right.

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        It’s interesting that you only focus on Evangeline’s claims about the persecutions having increased (one of the few points conceded in one of the links I posted) and not on all her claims that are factually and objectively refuted by my links:

        “thank you to Andrew for mentioning the complete disaster that is the Chinese Vatican agreement that has already resulted in so much more persecution for the faithful Chinese Catholics. Until Francis, Rome had not even come near an agreement where the communist government of China would choose bishops, yet Francis did just that. (…) This is all because of Francis, this is his call, it’s under his papacy and of course he knows all about it.”

  7. Aqua says:

    “A Pope can’t be in schism with himself”.

    What of Jesus Christ? Can a Pope be in schism with Christ? With Dogma? With the Magisterium?

    If the Pope denies the Holy Trinity is he in schism? (With himself; with Christ)

    Can the Pope declare anything to be true … and not be in schism (adultery now licit)? (With himself; with Christ)

    You can argue that if you like. Not me. I follow Jesus Christ and all Popes who ever lived in conformity with the words of Christ and Church Dogma. They are all one in the Body. They never change. They don’t innovate. They don’t strive to be relevant. They don’t get bored. One.True.Faith.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      No, a pope cannot be in schism with Jesus Christ, he is Christ’s Vicar. Thanks for commenting. I suggest you read more from our site before commenting again. Your questions are nothing new, and have been addressed by us multiple times.

      • Aqua says:

        A Pope cannot be “in schism with himself” because (circular argument) he says it, so it is so.

        A Pope can be in schism with Jesus Christ if what he says is against Dogma.

        The measure is not what the Pope says. The measure is what Dogma says.

        Normally, there is no space between the two. With this Pope, there is.

        Dogma and Sacred Tradition rule. They are of Christ. The Pope is their servant. That is what it means to be “Vicar of Christ”.

        Revelation is closed with St. John’s death on Patmos. There can be nothing new.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        Show me what teachings of the Church suggest that this is possible and what course of action is recommended in such cases.

    • Lazarus says:

      When you say that a pope cannot do such things, do you mean that technically the pope can and the rest of the church can therefore eject him from his office; or do you mean that God gave him a special grace so that it would never happen, he being the integral rock on which the Church is built?

  8. Miles Harvey says:

    It is not just America. The right wing Catholic press is the U.K. is just as bad. I consider myself a traditionalist but I love Francis. He is a breath of fresh air. I Am old enough to have liv d through VAT II by the way.

  9. Brother Finbar OSB says:

    Mike Lewis keep doing what you are doing, it all helps. It’s so sad to see some of the comments, the words “drank” & “Kool-aid” come to mind. In union of prayer

  10. michael says:

    Not answering the Dubia, thereby refusing to confirm the faithful – refusing to provide a clarification (IT’S.HIS, JOB.)! Was there a “Saint Gallen’s mafia” or no? Daneels himself (who was recorded telling a molested child to ask forgiveness for HIS sins!) said there was such a group. Answers to Vigano? Nothing…
    You really think Church Militant is fomenting things here? We are faithful Catholics insofar as we believe that the Faith never changes -that Francis (and V2) have no authority to change our beliefs- and we see the destruction wrought by the inovators, of which Francis is the latest and most radical. CM, Lifesite are only providing us with information about a crisis we already live every day: Our parishes are imploding because of lax teaching and irreverant wirship, our children falling away, and there are no vocations. We have a hierarchy who WILL NOT come clean about the abuse and its causes (i.e. eliminate homosexual priests and you eliminate 80% + of the sexual abuse – deal with the facts, not the spin, please!)

    • Miles Harvey says:

      Our small parish has grown over the recent years to have a Sunday Mass attendance of 1,900 !!! We have to have 7 masses (2 on Saturday) just to accommodate everyone. 74 countries represented! We take a missionary focus thanks to Francis but still teach Roman Catholicism. We have 2 priests and 1 deacon and hundreds of involved laity. Parish rooms are booked around the clock 6 months in advance. 84 received into the church at Easter! Catechism classes, RCIA, Bible Study, Prayer Groups, Eucharistic Adoration, Alpha courses, Once a month Charismatic worship, – Room for everyone. Not bad for a ‘sleepy, Surrey, backwater’.

      • michael says:

        Moderator…is the purpose here discussion??? Echo chamber maybe?

      • Mike Lewis says:

        You see that we allow many dissenting views here. It’s clearly not an echo chamber. I do sleep on occasion, however.

        But if you are going to advance the idea that the Holy Father is the antichrist or write a lengthy treatise on how La Salette and Maria Divine Mercy predicted that Pope Francis would be possessed by the devil or something, you’re comment isn’t getting posted.

        There are also 2-3 commenters (Pat, Arthur) who are essentially banned because they post nothing but vitriolic nonsense. Why they bother, I don’t know,because their comments go right in the trash.

      • michael says:

        I’m not sure exactly how that is a response to my post: The issues are Catholic orthodoxy and what it means to be Catholic (i.e. answer the dubia), the pervasive corruption and the inadequate response to sexual predation, recognizing the cause of the predation (i.e. 80% + is homosexual in nature, therefore remove homosexual men from the priesthood…), also, I would add, that Bergoglio has no authority to change Catholic teaching. To say that changes are “pastoral” or “a matter of discipline, only” and not doctrinal is utterly meaningless when the net outcome is a Catholic base which posseses beliefs and behaviors completely inconsistant with the Church’s perreniasl teachings.
        As to your parish, is there any othrodoxy there? Do they follow the 70% of “Catholics” who believe that the Eucharist is a symbol? Since you have Alpha your parishioners likely do not believe that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Is there open or tacit acceptance of homosexuality? Is there any teaching whatsoever on Catholic sexual morality?
        Many places are filled to the rafters, but is yours filled with believers?

      • Mike Lewis says:

        To be Catholic is to be baptized and in communion with the pope.

        As for my parish, it is very orthodox and Eucharist-centered, with regular adoration and long confession lines.

        There are many large young families, and at every Mass, you will hear the sounds of children and babies.

        Yes, sexual morality is taught, and we have a very active pro-life group. I helped coordinate the bus to the annual March for Life every year, until we had kids #3-4 (following HV) and my wife and I stepped back from our leadership role because we needed to keep an eye on the kids during the March.

        But I appreciate all the false assumptions you make about me. You just take for granted that I’m heterodox because I support the pope. You have it backwards.

      • miles harvey says:

        Well Michael, my response was to your post statement “Our parishes are imploding because of lax teaching and irreverant worship, our children falling away,..”

        You seemed to draw attention to pastoral issues.

        To further justify my position may I say that in my family we remember a time in Canada when devout parents would deny children reception of the Eucharist for chewing a blade of grass on the way to church as fasting was 24 hours before reception not the 1 hour we have today. It was usually accompanied by a beating.

        We remember a time when the Parish Priest would shame any farmers family who had been unable to pay their ‘Quarter Day Tithe’ by listing the family name and nailing it to the Church door. It was a time when one was brought up to fear God the Father.

        We also, many decades later, lived in the very last English Parish to adopt Vatican II when in 1972, yes 1972, our 5 priests were removed overnight and replaced by ones prepared to face the ‘other way’.

        I have also lived to know and love our Lord in the intervening decades through a deep & meaningful prayer life, through years of training for the presbyteral priesthood, through leaving that training at ordination as I became aware of the dreadful things that were happening that has brought such shame on our faith, and through 30 years of marriage and as a father to two children.

        So as grounded in every encyclical and Canon law that is relevant I do have a right to ‘contest & balance’ your posting by drawing on the successful, vibrant, LOVING, missionary focus through which we follow Francis. You are entitled to your view. I will pray for you. Don’t fret, at my age it cannot be for much longer.

  11. tad says:

    So when St. Paul called out St. Peter, said Peter is wrong, and I am going to tell him to his face, was St. Paul wrong? Should he have kept his mouth shut? Should he have publicly told the early Christians that Peter was wrong? Should he have just told Peter in private? Should Peter have answered Paul? Or should Peter have remained silent? Was Paul conspiring against Peter?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Tad, which of Peter’s teachings was St. Paul criticizing?

      As for your other comment – what you assert hasn’t been true for over 2 years. But good try.

      • Evangeline says:

        I would like to thank you for not using censorship and for allowing a free discussion on your blog. Moderating a blog must be a terrific pain, but censorship has become too easy, and I really fear what that is doing to open and free discussion, which is a necessary part of a civilized society. I am finding this blog interesting because it does allow for a free exchange of ideas, and admit I am pretty floored by my fellow Catholics inability (in my humble opinion) to see what is glaringly obvious to many. This huge gap between Catholics is worth investigating and talking about.

  12. Marie says:

    Evangeline/Aqua/Andrew- Part of me sympathizes with you a great deal, but another part is angry at your holier than thou stance that is causing so much grief and turmoil within our Church. I don’t buy your claims of being the faithful ones, because you are not being faithful in this ever so important regard. You are rejecting Christ, and his Church when you reject his words. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    These words are a foundation of our faith, you can’t simply dismiss them when something that has been ‘bound or loose’ is difficult to understand. It is not for you to determine if the teachings meet the standards of scripture, tradition and the Magisterium. It is the Magisterium that determines this ever so complex yet beautiful bond.

    That means you follow the teachings wherever they lead. If you struggle to understand them somewhere along the way, you must be humble enough to accept the confusion is from within , NOT from the Vicar of Christ who our dear Lord promised would not error in his teaching of faith and morals. Yet you have decided, no, I know better, this pope is making errors in faith and morals so I will not follow him, I will follow me. Is that being a faithful Catholic? No, a faithful Catholic trusts the Lord when he says to Peter what is bound and loose on earth will be bound and loose in heaven. The keys were given to Peter, not to you or I. We are to follow Peter if we are to be faithful. Our Lord did not say it would be easy every time, all of the time. Sometimes it requires great thought and prayer to understand, other times it seems so obvious. To be faithful, we are obligated to follow either way, and make our way through any teachings we may struggle with. Never do we suppose we know better.

    It has been difficult raising a family in times where we have felt abandoned by many of our leaders within the Church, where basic Catholic teachings on abortion, sexuality, marriage etc seem to have almost been ignored at the pulpit, leaving us craving for support to help us raise those we love so dearly. The answer now however, is not to blame the Vicar of Christ for these problems, nor embrace political ideologies that are counter to some Church teachings. The solution is to stay on board with the only one Christ promised would speak the truth. That is his Vicar and the bishops in UNION with him! The pope may not be steering the ship in the direction you think it should go, but he is steering its in the direction out Lord WANTS it to go! We all must be humble enough, and faithful enough to accept this. What a wonderful gift our Lord has given us, that he promised us the Vicar of Christ would not error in faith and morals. How can you reject this gift and claim faithfulness?

    I have no doubt you love the Church, and you love Christ, and have been faithful to most of the teachings, but you are not being faithful when you reject the Vicar of Christ. I urge you to start fresh, with all the goodness and love of Christ you have within you, and just tell yourself I need to be on board with the Pope, because Christ has told us this. Then, with an open heart, read his Apostolic Exhortations and Encyclicals, and his letters and homilies, without interpretation from those who reject the Pope. I think you will genuinely be very happy with your decision. Can 752 “Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.”

    Faithful Catholics embrace ALL Catholic teachings or we are only partially faithful. “He who hears you, hears me” Lest we forget, and fall victim to the thinking of the older son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Peace.

    • Aqua says:

      Marie, that was very nicely, beautifully stated. I wish all disagreements were made in such a way. That is precisely how Catholics should speak one to another. Good points too.

      Catholics *do*, I *do*, accept all Catholic teachings. If you read what I said, that is precisely what I said. Nothing can be changed. Nothing can be overturned. Nothing can be altered “for the times”. True yesterday. True today. True in eternity. I accept all teachings and all Popes in union with the clear words of God and Holy Mother Church.

      And so ……. Why didn’t Pope Francis answer the Dubia?

      1: Is it possible to grant absolution to and then admit to Holy Communion those who are validly married to one are living with and in sexual relations with another? (ref Amoris Laetitia footnote 305, 351)

      2: Are there absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts, binding without exception? (ref Amoris Laetitia 304)

      3: Do you affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s Law, for instance adultery (Matt 19: 3-9) is in objective Grave Sin? (ref Amoris Laetitia 301)

      4: After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (302) on circumstances that mitigate moral responsibility does one still need to regard as valid Pope St. John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor (based on Scripture and Tradition) that circumstances or intentions can never transform an intrinsically evil act into a subjectively good or defensible choice?

      5: After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid Veritatis Splendor (56) that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience which never be used to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

      These Dubia were respectfully asked of the Pope by four Cardinals, on behalf of the confused and suffering Faithful, in a format that traditionally demands a Yes or No response. Basic, fundamental, Dogmatic questions that affirm the basic tenets of the Faith. Same? Or New? What say you?

      His response? Silence. To this day … no answer.

      Except, he *did* answer these questions, though indirectly. He wrote to the Argentine Bishops’ Conference that *their* proposed norms in response to Amoris Laetitia were *emphatically correct*, for their Conference and indeed the whole Church, in their proposed implementation of Chapter 8 (the chapter that deals with the Sacramental and spiritual status of those Catholics living in second “marriages”).

      In sum, he answered the question, and he answered them against the constant.magisterial.teaching of the Church.

      Correct: No, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.
      Magisterium: No, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.
      Francis: Yes, No, No, No, No.

      Do with that what you will. That is the error of this Pope. He must remain in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church. He cannot depart even an inch.

      I stand with Constant.Church.Teaching: No, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.

      • Marie says:

        Aqua- I think the pope’s message is clear. When someone ‘demands’ an answer, they never get one; when they ask respectfully, not looking to ‘trap ‘, they are heard. The Dubia should have spent their time reflecting on AL if they did not understand it. Their behaviour exposes their lack of genuine love for the Church, for they would have never wanted to bring scandal if they loved her as they claim. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

        1. Do you think Jesus lied to us when he said “what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven. What is loose on earth will be loose in heaven?
        2. Do you think Christ intended his Church only to be understood by theologians or great intellectuals who have thoroughly studied the faith?
        3. Do these theologians and great intellectuals agree on everything?
        4. How do you determine whether a pope should be listened to if you don’t listen to Christ’s promise to protect the pope from error in faith and morals?
        5. Why have a pope if some might error? Who then is to determine the truth?
        6. Why do you say you are following the Church and the Magisterium when you are ignoring Church teaching on the authority of the pope? You are in conflict with the Magisterium.
        7. Why does Christ speak so often about the pharisees and about pride if he wasn’t addressing those who felt they knew it all, when in fact they were missing Christ’s message?

      • Aqua says:


        I will answer your questions. How do you answer the Dubia? Why shouldn’t the Pope answer a simple Yes, No, No, No, No. Take him 10 seconds. Why not? These are fundamental, Dogmatic truths required to affirm properly if one wishes to remain Catholic. Not trick questions at all. Not mean. Dogma.

        Now yours …

        It is not disrespectful to ask the Pope to clarify positions that are rendered unclear by a document he just wrote. Dogma is Truth and essential to be Catholic. Nothing controversial to clarify we (the Pope and the Church) are still in agreement on Dogmatic essentials.

        1: Jesus cannot lie. Human beings, however, can fail to understand divine language. Bind and loose has never been understood by the Church to mean that the Pope has the power to bind sin on earth as it is in heaven; or to declare what was formerly mortal sin as not mortal sin; or even virtue.

        2: No. I think the Church at its core can be understood by a child and the most unlearned among us. It is deep and wide as an ocean and though *the simple may understand* quite well the basics, a Doctor Of The Church who knows more than anyone else, such as Aquinas, can be exposed to the high secrets of heaven in a vision and deem himself utterly unworthy to continue his earthly work.

        3: No. Theologians and experts do not agree on everything, *except on Dogma*. On Dogma they must agree down to the punctuation mark if they wish to remain Catholic.

        4: The Pope is only protected from errors in faith and morals when he proclaims ex cathedra from St. Peter’s Seat on behalf of the entire Church. The Pope can make errors like any other man. He is human, not God. St. Peter himself was corrected by St. Paul in very basic, existential error. He is protected from error when he sources his Magisterium on the Church’s Magisterium, in unity with all those who came before.

        5: The Pope is the Chief Shepherd, the Rock, The Vicar Of Christ. He is one among 266. They all have equal voices. They all say and teach essentially the same thing. All affirm Dogma to the letter. All can easily, willingly, answer Dubia questions asked by the confused Faithful.

        6: I affirm Church teaching on Dogma. The Pope must do the same. He is not Dogma’s master but its servant. Dogma is Truth. Answer the Dubia.

        7: Trust me. I do not contend that I know it all. I submit to the Magisterial Authority of the Church and the Dogma She passes down to the Faithful to all generations equally. No man, even the Pope, can alter a letter or punctuation mark of Dogma or Sacred Tradition. Revelation closed with the death of St. John on the Isle Of Patmos. The Deposit Of Faith is complete. I submit fully, willing to that. Including the authority of the Pope *rightfully, truthfully, justly applied*, *in service* to Jesus Christ, Logos, the *unchanging Word* of God.

      • Marie says:

        Aqua- I find your answers interesting, as you seem to have attached conditions to each of them, yet claim submission. While you have agreed Jesus did not lie when he gave Peter the keys and promised what is bind and loose on earth will be bound and loose in Heaven….., you are injecting your personal interpretation of when this applies by suggesting that a Pope can be in error and therefore the bind and loose would not apply if sin is part of it. The sin, I presume, you will be the one who determines by deciding if the papal teachings are in line with how you interpret it’s relationship to Scripture and Tradition, EVEN THOUGH that duty has been given to the Magisterium, You are acting as the papal watchdog, a title and position you were not given. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, not you or I. Jesus has given Peter the keys with the promise to bind and loose, without conditions, and you think you have the right to determine if Peter is making the right choices? Seriously?

        So if you and others feel you have the right to determine if our pope, guided by the Holy Spirit, is making the right decisions, then your only obligation to follow his teachings, I presume, are when you agree with them? That puts you in the same category as every Catholic who chooses to disagree with Church teachings, regardless of the issue. That category is “I don’t understand it so therefore I don’t believe it, therefore the Pope is wrong, because surely it can’t be me”

        I say this not to be mean, but because I’m trying to understand how you rationalize your position, when you know there are other Catholics who completely understand the Pope’s teachings, concerning AL and the death penalty, etc as examples. They also completely understood Pope Benedict XVI and JPII. They believe in ALL of the teachings. There are others who don’t fully understand, but assent to the teachings nonetheless. They are following the Pope, and they are wrong? That would be a very odd position to be in, where Christ would allow those who remain faithful to the teaching, faithful that the Church will be protected from error, yet by following the pope they are lead into error? You’ve already said the teachings are to be understood by all, not just great theologians or intellectuals, so how would this scenario be possible? Christ institutes a Church, headed by Peter whom he has given the keys to the kingdom, but if we follow Peter we may be lead astray? How, on God’s earth can you possibly believe this?

        You have not said who we should follow if it’s not the pope, or who is to determine if the pope, or any pope is in error, since you are choosing not to accept Christ’s word that he will bound and loose what has been bound and loose on Earth. If Christ only meant to protect the Church from error when a Pope speaks ex cathedra, why have a pope, if we can’t believe a word he says, unless of course we like it? Peace Aqua, and I mean it 🙂

        There’s a reason for a pope, and for the Magisterium, and a reason why we don’t take it upon ourselves to interpret what Christ has safeguarded through them, not through us. When we start cherry picking what we think is appropriate, we have lost our way, no matter how certain we are we are right, nor no matter how much we love Christ. We are lacking faith if we can’t trust that Christ will always protect the Church from error through Peter and the Magisterium. That is why submission of the will and intellect to vital to staying on track. It is part of the teaching of the Catholic Church and should be adhered to if you want to remain truly faithful to ALL of Christ’s teachings. Peace.

      • Aqua says:

        All I would say in response is contained in this verse from St. Paul: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a divine curse” (Gal 1:8).

        What St. Paul says is that not even an *angel from heaven* (messenger directly from the Throne of God) can change Doctrine (Truth). It is. Logos, God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, cannot change. Ever. If you go back to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, you will find hundreds of Dogmatic definitions in which the Church solemnly declares and affirms contrary belief results in *anathema*. No exceptions. No changes. No mitigations.

        Jesus Christ does not allow a Pope to declare a formerly mortal sin now worthy of communion with Holy God. There are multiple Anathemas attached to the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony that no Pope (or angel from heaven) can ever change. This link will reveal what the Church teaches, has always taught no still teaches (12 Anathemas).

        What you say seems to me a trench of Papolatry, in that the Pope is invested with powers that he is unable to error ever.

        There is more to the Church than the Pope. There are 11 other Apostles besides St. Peter and their successors throughout the world. There are Laymen (disciples) who some say will be those who save the Church in Her hour of crisis.

        “Who is going to save our Church. Not our Bishops, not our Priests and Religious. It is up to you the people. You have the minds, eyes and ears to save the Church. Your mission is to save the Church. To see that your Priests act like Priests, Bishops act like Bishops, and your Religious act like Religious”. (Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen).

        But what you assert is that our only duty ad Catholics is to here whatever the Pope says and then do it. That removes any other duty to know the Catechism and all the collected Magisterial Teachings of the Church and to *incorporate those teachings* carefully into our Faith as we grow in the Faith.

        The Pope **. An Angel from heaven cannot ask us to do so. Neither can the Pope. What he says in Amoris is a departure. *As proved by his inability to answer the Dubia*.

        As to the “conditions I attach”, I have only one: submit to the collected Magisterium of Holy Mother Church.

        How do you answer the Dubia? With the Pope? Or with the Church? Read the link to the Council Of Trent *on Matrimony* and attached anathemas before answering.

        The Church is infinitely more than the present living Pope. He has authority when he is in communion with God and with the collected, eternal Communion Of Saints (Church). He is a servant (to Truth, Dogma). He is not a God (capricious at that) who controls Truth (Dogma). Truth is objective and we can know it: in Scripture, Sacred Tradition and all our accepted collected writings from 2,000 years which are all in accord with each other.

        I easily reject any man (or “angel from heaven”) who leads others to depart from this accord – “contrary to the one already preached to us”.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        While we appreciate comments from different perspectives, Aqua, the comments section is not meant to be a sounding board for dissenting views. In the future, please try and limit yourself to 2-3 comments per post, of only a few paragraphs each.

        It is easy to create your own blog if you feel you need a platform for so many lengthy comments.

      • Aqua says:

        Mike Lewis:

        I put a lot of work and thought into my comments as you can see.

        No one is required to read them.

        However … You are the host of your blog, I am but a guest and I respectfully honor your request and will comment no further here.

        God Bless you in your walk to heaven.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        I proposed a limit the number of comments that you should make for each post. I will post all of your comments today so that you can copy and paste them, and your work will not have gone to waste.

        In the future, please try to limit them.

    • Evangeline says:

      Marie, nobody is saying we are “holier than thou”. We say trads are faithful because it is we who are defending actual, historic, Catholicism. We feel in this way we are defending Christ Himself because this is his church, and it is being throttled by this pope and his merry band of marauders. If you line up all the things he has said and done which have turned either church teaching or tradition on it’s ear, you would see it is a ponderous list! You mentioned political ideologies and I cannot imagine a pope who has ignored Catholicism more while bringing in constant Marxist, Peronist, Socialist, Communist ideologies as well as Liberation theology. Are you really able to raise your family according to what he recommends? Do you realize it is less Catholic than it is these ideologies. Take the upcoming “Amazon Synod”. It is clear his real goal is to get Catholics “sharing”, he’s all about “sharing”. Marie, he’s pushing the West into flooded nations with foreign peoples and then erasing capitalism, which he hates, and replacing it with “sharing”, otherwise known as Communism.
      Marie, we cannot choose, we cannot support, we cannot approve, anyone, ANYONE, who goes against what the Catholic Church gave us. Our church was instituted by Christ himself, and trads are resisting what this pope and church are going to subvert Christ and what HE gave us.

      • Marie says:

        Evangeline- All I can say is you are 100 percent incorrect in your depiction of our Holy Father. He is neither a communist nor a socialist nor a Marxist nor a Liberation Theologist. On the contrary. I do believe when you make the decision to malign another person, especially the Vicar of Christ, it then becomes your duty to read his writings directly, NOT getting your information from ‘other sources”. Clearly this is the case, because your representation of Pope Francis is absolutely completely untrue. And while your intention might not mean to imply you are holier than thou, anyone who claims to be Catholic, and believes they know more that the Vicar of Christ is indeed in a position, however unintentional of claiming superiority over the Supreme Pontiff in matters of faith and morals. I’d give that some thought when you say you are doing this in defence of Catholicism.

        I appreciate your honesty and your love of Christ and the Church. I only hope you will reconsider your approach to our Holy Father and get back onboard the ship, the one that only the Holy Father knows where Christ wants it to sail.

  13. Anthony De Giovanni says:

    David Spares Saul
    “…Afterward, David’s conscience was stricken because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him since he is the LORD’s anointed.” With these words, David restrained his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.”
    [1 Samuel 24: 5-7]

    As far as I know, Pope Francis is still the “LORD’S ANOINTED” I share your same feelings and am pleased that I found one who expresses what I have tried to express for some time. But I am just a small fish swimming against a very rough current of “Staunch Catholic” authors, bloggers, Lifesite, Church Militant, Vortex, sedevacantists, etc., many of whom reported things that never occurred; who are always ready to attack or speculate on every doubtful comma but never a word of praise on the Good done or a report on the positive text of his teaching and writings. Such people who believe themselves more Pope than the Pope are catching well-intended Christians who favor “traditional ceremonies” (nothing wrong in this, they have all the right to).

    These Catholic “protestants” took the Church in their hand and woe to who does not agree with them – to say a good thing about Our Holy Father is as if committing suicide and in the meantime the schism INCREASES; but who cares. As long as their fundamentalist ideas or their strict legalism, which in all time gave rise to the painful scrupulosity to sensitive souls, both consecrated and not, sometimes misinterpretations are published and no apology follows… and in the meantime our schism continues to increase… very few try to put a balm on the wound, to make Christ’s prayer for unity on the night that He was betrayed, be fulfilled!

    Whenever I try to say something positive I am labeled as a Liberalist or a modernist which I am not but neither am I a fundamentalist. In the meantime, anti-Catholics rub their hands and let us destroy ourselves. Thanks be to God that this will never manage to do for He promised us so.

    I invite these fellow Catholics to do something positive if they are ready to protest against the Holy Father why not pray and fast as adviced by Jesus against difficult Spirits! It will only increase the pitiful position we are in if these attacks continue to be the center of our attention. I cannot and shall not judge these people’s intentions, they may be very good ones, but the method is only increasing the wound being inflicted to the Mystical Body of Christ. Just stop and think before you write!

    Why be so biased… why not report the good things as well, the Holy Spirit will not allow error and it is Him who guides the Catholic Church. Where all the Bishops united to the Holy Father during Vatican II all wrong! Was the Holy Spirit absent? it seems so to certain traditionalists.

    Some time ago it was reported that Our Holy Father is going to stop the Latin Mass; a case in point which never happened and I pray that it will not for those who prefer that rite have all the right to continue doing so. What is wrong is that some of these people consider themselves as more Christians than others who prefer to participate in the Mass, there is a room for improvement I agree, but many times we lose time debating the wrapper forgetting the gift. What is most important is the disposition of the heart, soul, and mind that really matters rather the method, although a good method can help get the message through; but I was shocked when recently I read a person asking whether he can participate in a Novo Ordo Mass since there was no Latin Mass nearby. To my astonishment, the reply to this person was NO and gave shocking reasons why not. Its a pity I didn’t copy this episode. Now if this poor misguided guy missed his Sunday Mass to obey this sort of “Spiritual Director” whoever he might be, for sure someone who has some authority for such a drastic reply, who is going to be blamed for missing his Sunday Mass.

    Dear Fundamentalist Traditionalists, please be careful what you say and write as you are penetrating the souls of faithful believers who can be damaged for good. If there is something wrong, report it in a positive way, and if you find out that you were wrong please publish an apology so that in such a manner one might know where to set safely the next step without being injured or the danger of falling down a pit.

    “I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them MAY BE ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE that You sent Me.

    I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that THEY MAY BE ONE as We are one— I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, SO THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me. [John 17: 20- 23]

    For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. [James 2: 13]

    “But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect…” [1 Peter3: 15]

    Remember that it is the “Anointed of the Lord” whom you are writing about, and some even ridiculing him – I’ve seen both. Prayer and fasting should help us all to discern better. God Bless us all – It is out of my LOVE to my faith and the Prayer for Unity of Jesus that I am writing. I do not wish to offend or hurt anybody as I have been hurt.

  14. I found this blog a few months back when I was looking for pro-Francis blogs to read and follow. So thanks for the amazing blog!

    I agree that this trend towards schism is a big problem – I see a lot of support for it in some forums I visit online. I do, however, get the impression that it’s a small but vocal group, at least for now, not able to cause a large-scale schism.

    If they fought internally without going into formal schism with their own bishops or joining the SSPX or sede vacantists, it would likely be no different from various times in the past when there were disagreements amongst the faithful.

    If they go into formal schism, deny that Pope Francis is pope, will they have a large number of bishops and clergy following them off into a parallel “true church”? I don’t see that happening. They may get a cardinal and a bishop or two, some priests, and a few thousand followers – mostly in the USA. We’ve seen that before. It’ll be equal to the SSPX departure and not as bad as the Old Catholic departure. Compared to what has happened this century, that’s huge. Compared to what has happened in the last 50 years, it’ll be rare but have at least one similar event of equal size.

    I do not believe there will be a parallel Catholic Church any bigger than the SSPX sprouting up any time soon.

    I don’t want to completely dismiss the problem – it’s certainly ugly, it seems to affect all of us, in and outside the USA, and we need to pray for these people. And that we get a good pope when this good pope is gone. To think I once wanted Burke as pope.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Thank you for your comment, Stephen. I actually agree with you to a certain extent about the relative impact of a potential “formal” schism in the Church, although I’d caution against the assumption that the division would only have as much impact as Lefebvre’s.

      A few reasons:

      Social media didn’t exist in Lefebvre’s day, so the SSPX largely had to spread by word of mouth and through small and disperate groups of traditionalists. Today, the networks are virtual and communication is instantaneous. The number of people hostile to Francis is larger and more interconnected than in the 1970s.

      Secondly, Abp Lefebvre’s prestige was not on par with that of some of today’s more rebellious prelates. He was the only bishop that was willing to go along with the SSPX once canonical sanctions were imposed (the dissolution of his seminary and the suspension of his faculties). That’s what eventually led him to illicitly ordain his own bishops. He was somewhat well-known prior to Paul VI suspending him, but most of his notoriety came after he was operating in disobedience to the Church.

      The current situation involves bishops and cardinals “in good standing,” who have already galvanized a great deal of enthusiastic support, while fostering antipathy towards the pope. It’s impossible to predict the impact of this group of prelates taking “the next step.”

      And the question is how far they’ll go. Will they formally declare Francis to be an invalid pope? Would they even try to elect a new one? I honestly believe that some are willing to go that far, but only if they can recruit enough support to make an impact.

      I think the bulk of them are more content to keep their standing in the Church and subvert Francis from within, waiting out this papacy (and hoping it ends ASAP), and counting on his successor to be more to their liking.

      • You’re right about us being in a different world with social media. That could make a huge difference. We’ll keep on praying. Keep up the good work!

      • jong says:

        Dear Bro. Mike Lewis,
        I hope you allow this comment to be posted for the sake of WPI readers who are not aware of the ultimate scenario the Church have to face in the coming years as St.JP2 already described the Final Confrontation. The possibility of a desperate attack to oust Pope Francis is already looming, even Pope Francis himself stated that the “real schism” is now visible. I’ve read numerous articles recently and heard how the Rad Trads are now planting the seed on their viewers & readers that they will soon march towards Rome to demand Pope Francis ouster. You are right in asking how far the Dubia Cardinals and Dissenting Bishops would go. Definitely their direction is not towards seeking reconcilliation with Pope Francis but towards his ouster.
        I don’t see why it seems you are not yet convince about the ultimate reason why the Rad Trads never stop attacking the Vatican II Church and Vatican II Popes for over 50 years now. Do you think they are just doing it to sow confusions and for the love of the Old Rites. Their ultimate goal is the ouster of a Pope by forcing them to resign. History is very clear, there are numerous assassination attempt on the life St.Pope Paul VI, the mysterious death of Pope John I and the failed assassination attempt on St.JP2. Have you not seen how evil they can be as to even assassinate a Pope just have a chance one day that a Cardinal in their ranks will be canonically elected . But good thing St.Pope Paul VI seeing this group growing in numbers had received an inspiration to elect numerous new Cardinals, thereby diluting their forces inside conclave & their chances to elect a Pope in their own ranks. When John Paul I was elected, his mysterious death follows because he is not within their ranks, they want a new papal election. It just shows that the Papal election is divinely protected and a Cardinal connected to evil group cannot be elected canonically. St.JP2 Totus Tuus had defeated the plan of Satan to take over the Chair of Peter. The 33 years of St.JP2 was a strong shield and satan human cohorts failed their master as satan arrogance in daring God that he can destroy the Church in 100 years time failed miserably. Satan take over plan on Peter’s Chair failed as St.JP2 was fully protected by Our Lady’s Blue Mantle. During Pope Benedict XVI papacy, he was attack relentlessly to force him to resign again to give way for a new papal election. Pope BXVI had withstood solidly on his ground but his physical strength weaken by the day but spiritually he remain strong and firm. This is the wisdom why expanding the Petrine Ministry is the need of the hour as God will allow the Church to be attack in greater magnitude as Satan in now unchain. The Church needs Two Popes united mystically to counter the great attack, one is contemplative like a Prayer Warrior or Intercessor for Pope Francis and the Universal Church. Pope BXVI is the backbone why up to now since Day1 of Pope Francis papacy, his physical strength had endured a much greater magnitude of attack coming from the synchronized effort of a much larger Media group of Rad Trads who are daily undermining Pope Francis papacy.
        This has been the story and the root of Church crisis since St.JohnXXIII election, the Rad Trads are eyeing for that highest position because as Bella Dodd testified, they already have handful of Bishop beginning in the 1950’s.
        Proper discernment will reveal that the Rad Trads already lose hope in the New Conclave because they do not have the numbers to elect a Pope in their own ranks canonically anymore. If ever they will be successful in the ouster of Pope Francis, if God Permissive Will allows it. The Rad Trads can only “politically appoint” their own pope, and we know how Caiaphas who gave a death sentence to Jesus the Head of the Church was politically appointed only. The New Caiaphas will also be “politically appointed” and will become the Anti-pope that will bring death sentence to the Church the Mystical Body of Christ.
        The destiny of the death of the True Catholic Church was already written in our Catechism(CCC675), and Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus BXVI are united as one in embracing the Wisdom of God in painfully embracing it’s own Way of the Cross for Her glorious resurrection.
        In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph is our hope & consolation.
        My Jesus mercy. S&IHMMP4us. Amen

    • Marie says:

      I think the numbers are more likely in the tens of thousands, as they are rallying conservative Catholics as well, not just Traditionalists. This is the biggest threat. If they can convince enough people that the conclave was rigged, which appears to be what they are pushing/begging for, whatever the number, it’s growth will multiply. I’m watching the transformation within my own family. It’s truly shocking and cult like really. Scary.

      • Gerard Altermatt says:

        “Cult: a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure; a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person.” Hmmm.

      • L Daily says:

        Marie, I see the same among conservative, once faithful Catholic family, friends, and parishioners who are not traditionalists. It is cult-like. They seem quite willing to rip the Church apart to further their agenda. In the US, this movement is tied to our dangerous political climate.

  15. Anthony says:

    Hi Stephen, thank God for another pro-Pope Francis supporter: As Jesus thought us:”A kingdom divided within itself cannot stand” This is the normal outcome of such a Schism which is being created. But Fear Not, With Jesus as its head and the Holy Spirit as her guide; the Blessed Virgin Mary as her Mother; St. Joseph as the Patron Saint, and the Church is the Bride of Jesus No blogger or anti-Pope or anti-Catholic can destroy the Catholic Church as Promised by Jesus that not even the gates of hell will prevail against it…. but members can be lead astray, can be hurt, can be influenced, can lose faith… these are the vulnerable part of the Church and we have to do our very best to bring Unity, something that Jesus prayed for as I quoted above; If this Unity is not seen, the World will not believe that Jesus was sent by the Father as quoted in John 17: 20-23. The greater the Schism the longer it will take the world to believe!

    We can compare this situation to the famous story of King Solomon who wanted to cut the baby in half to find out who the true mother was;

    the false mother agreed with the baby being divided as is happening with whoever, being with a good intention or not is doing to the Church the result is an increased Schism and a divided Church; will that make them happy? I don’t think so but they are heading that way.

    But as the true mother didn’t want a divided baby and was ready to lose it by keeping the baby alive, so do we, as we continue to promote UNITY. We do not happy with a divided Church but a whole Church as ONE as long as we speak in favor of UNITY within the Church.

    Very often I defended my faith against anti-Catholics, but I never thought that the day will come when I have to defend the Church from against other fellow Catholics.
    * * *
    “and the king declared, “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she yearned with compassion for her son. “My lord,” she said, “give her the living baby. Please do not kill him!” But the other woman said, “He will not be mine or yours. Cut him in two!” Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. By no means should you kill him; she is his mother.” [1 Kings 3: 25-27]

  16. Aqua says:

    Not going to publish it, are you?

    So disappointing.

    A Catholic in possession of Truth is not afraid to engage anyone, on anything, anytime, anywhere. Jesus asked us to go out into every corner of the earth and evangelize. Facing certain death, Catholics have always done so.

    But a simple, respectful, although contrary comment(s) from a fellow Catholic …. banned. “Just go away”.

    I can’t respond to any internal questions (Lazarus) and engage in respectful dialogue because I have to assume everything I say will be placed in the trash can.

    It’s one thing if I present angry, unhinged, profane, occasion of sin posts. Mine have always been heartfelt and earnest, calm, respectful and clean; my intent to add to a conversation, not detract.

    But, as is so common in Catholic blogs these days – contrary means unacceptable and thus banned. I have seen it on blogs across the Catholic opinion spectrum. And now, yours too.

    Catholics should be willing to engage for the sake of Christ’s Gospel everyone, always. You don’t evangelize natives in aboriginal Canada and risk your life every day. The least you can do is evangelize a Catholic on-line you think is in profound theological error. What are you afraid of? Why not publish and let those who know better have at me?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Sorry, I trashed yours along with about 40 comments from sedevacantist trolls, thanks to the Canon212 link. They were getting out of hand.

      But your comment was not unique. It is typical of what we have been addressing since we started the site.

      So I am not sure how much it adds to the conversation.

      • Aqua says:

        Mike, that’s not very nice.

        Not much of a “conversation” if only those who agree with you are shown courtesy, involvement and mutual dialogue.

        BTW, my comment was based on the Dubia. Five simple questions to clarify the Dogmatic position of the Pope. Yes, or No. Why is that controversial? I truly don’t understand why you exclude this question as from a “Troll”.

        And why, more importantly, won’t the Pope answer?

        The same reason, I suppose. The answers are new and controversial if stated plainly.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        I didn’t say that you were a troll. I am saying that you I have spent the last two days deleting comments from from sedevacantists and profane trolls (sent here by Canon 212), and yours got deleted along with them. I understand that you are being polite and when I saw your follow up comment, I dug your previous comment out of the trash folder.

        Regarding the dubia, they are actually traps phrased as questions, and the pope is under absolutely no obligation to answer them.

        After the cardinals turned to the mass media and made it public, they crossed the line. It’s clear what Francis intended in Amoris Laetitia, and therefore answering the dubia aren’t going to help anything. Especially since Cardinal Burke has said, on the record, that there’s only one set of answers he will accept.

      • Aqua says:


        I appreciate that. I do love a healthy, respectful debate.

        As to the Dubia, it is either yes or no. They are not trick questions. It is as basic as a Catholic can get.

      • Mike Lewis says:

        They are loaded questions. They are framed in a way that forces him to decide between renouncing his teachings and endorsing doctrinal error. A real answer would require deconstructing the questions and addressing every assertion they make. I’ll go into it more when I have time.

      • jong says:

        Dear Mike.
        Correct me If Im wrong but Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s meditation on Descent into Hell” is a good reference why Cardinal Burke position is oppose to the Will of the Father.The New Catechism CCC633 to CCC635 teaches that Jesus descended to the dead up to the depths of the dead, meaning both the sinners and the damned souls to preach the gospel of salvation.(1Peter3:18-20)
        What I’m trying to say is, the Five Dubia arguments was based on the teachings of Christ that will be the basis of His Judgement when one face the Judgement Seat of Christ in Heaven but not on earth nor even in hell pre-messianic time.
        Hans Balthasar meditations are supernatural as he pointed to the Will of the Father in 1Timothy2:4. Remember Jesus has to follow the Will of the Father and the His Mission was written in John3:17. This goes to show that Jesus was a Redeemer all the way to the prisoners in hell who have not yet heard the gospel of Christ. But don’t get me wrong CCC633 to CCC635 stated clearly that Jesus did not intend to redeem the damned souls but Jesus intention was to show to all of us today that “No sins is greater that the Divine Mercy of God”. It is a reminder to all of us that Jesus redemption extend to all sinners even satanic priest, sinners who sold their sold to the devils more so the couple in irregular union up to their last breath.
        Pope Francis teaching on Amoris L. reflected the meditations of Hans Balthasar that “No one is beyond redemption” because the Will of the Father is salvation of all souls.
        The Dubia Cardinals is not wrong in citing Jesus teachings on the basis of His future judgement on all adulterer’s but Jesus was sent not yet to judge & condemn the souls in His time but to save all of them. This is evident on Magdalene the prostitute as Jesus said “neither I will condemn you..’ and more so the adulterous woman at Jacob’s well became the Evangelizer to the Gentiles. Jesus even raise her dignity by using her as an intrument to preach the gospel. So, the gospel that Hans Balthasar’s upheld is the Redeeming Mission of Christ and not as a Judge in Heaven yet., while the Dubia Cardinals were imploring the righteous Judgement of God in the life of the souls who will not be condemn by Christ up to their last breath because of the Abyss of His Divine Mercy. The Dubia Cardinals is preaching a gospel of condemnation using the very words of Jesus but in the wrong premise of the gospel and clearly oppose to the Will of the Father here on earth.
        That’s why Jesus said He came not to do His will but to do the Will of the Father that sent him. (John6:38)
        This is an apostasy on the TRUE MISSION of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and not yet as a Judge.
        St.James strongly remind us the “the primacy of mercy over justice”. (James2:13)
        This is why St.JP2 described that the Final Confrontation is about preaching the “anti-gospel” and indeed the Dubia Cardinals opposing Pope Francis teachings is a direct opposition too, to the Will of the Father in 1Timothy2:4
        Read Matthew7:21 and it will be clear to us that the path of the Dubia Cardinals is called an Apostasy on the Redeeming Mission of Christ.
        Their position is so subtle that even the elect,priest and theologians who embraced orthodoxy was deceived.
        My Jesus mercy. (Matthew9:13)

      • Mike Lewis says:

        Every pope has “his teachings” – he is the magisterial (teaching) authority who authentically interprets scripture and Tradition and promulgates teaching. How else would you classify the teaching promulgated by a particular pope?

      • Aqua says:

        Jong: Here is the Council Of Trent on the Holy Sacrament Of Matrimony

        12 anathemas (esp 1; 2, 4 and the text body explanation is especially relevant).

      • jong says:

        Your link on the Council of Trent Holy Sacrament of Matrimony was true in their times having not face with the growing numbers of couples in irregular union. However, if you read Veritatis Splendor and Familiaris Consortio both of these are calling on the Church to help all the baptized member who are in difficult situation. Read the whole encyclicals if you have time but both paragraph #84 of both encyclicals already gave the direction to the Church where it must go, it must go towards “Pastoral Accompaniment and Discernment”.
        As Mike Lewis had stated, Amoris Laetetia is not a change of doctrine but on sacramental discipline. The Church in the words of Pope Francis citing the wisdom of the Council of Trent that you link “cannot condemn forever”. The two encyclicals, Veritatis Splendor and Familiaris Consortio had gradually opening up the window wherein those couples in irregular union can be help by the Church.
        There are two directions the Church must take in order to address the growing numbers of couples in irregular union, either the Church ignore their situations and close it door forever anyway it is orthodox. Or the Church will do everything within the means of the Church to help this wounded souls.
        What direction was inspired by the Holy Spirit to St.John Paul II, Pope BXVI and now Pope Francis? All of this three Popes were inspired to implore the Mercy of God on this couple in irregular union. The beautiful reflection of Pope Francis tells us;
        “The Church as a Teacher always look at Her Mother who always implore Her to seek the Mercy of God.”
        Now, the Church is face with two choices, either it upheld the Justice of God or the Mercy of God.
        What does the scriptures says? Read James2:13, John3:17 and 1Timothy2:4…this is the Holy Spirit inspiration in these end times.
        “The Divine Mercy is Infinite but the Time of Mercy is Not.” (Pope Francis)

  17. David Bushey says:

    The Pharisees were scholars of the Torah who focused on helping the Jews of 1st Century Judea cultivate a more personal relationship with God and understanding of the Law, hoping that more rigid adherence to it would help revive Judaism under Roman occupation; they were staunchly anti-Roman and anti-Herodian. The Sadduccees were aristocrats who didn’t care about much of anything, just as long as the Temple sacrifices continued uninterrupted, and if that meant cooperating with Herod and the Romans, so be it.

    Long story short, these are two groups of people who did not get along; despised each other. But they were willing to put aside their differences when a young rabbi from Nazareth began to annoy both of them.

    Where Peter Is as a website is devoted to Catholic orthodoxy, including devotion to the Holy Father. The National Catholic Reporter has from its inception prided itself on being a Catholic outlet free from episcopal restraint, and willing to entertain heterodox ideas. They have savaged papal teachings as contained in Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, Veritatis Splendor, Dominus Iesus, the list goes on and on. They have published articles denying the Real Presence, the divine origins of the priesthood, most of the Church’s sexual teachings, the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, the necessity of protecting the unborn…the list goes on and on. Their coverage of JPII’s legacy after his death was nothing short of hateful, the only Pope they’ve shown any sort of respect for being a caricature of St. John the Good. They would screech loudly about censorship should any bishop try to correct them, so it’s very rich and bordering on disingenuous for them to demand episcopal oversight of networks with opinions they happen not to like. Leave Fr. Curran alone, but watch out for Fr. Pacwa!

    Mr. Lewis, if WPI is trying to demonstrate it’s orthodoxy, you would do best, in my opinion, not to join at the hip with NCR. They’ve never met a heterodoxy they didn’t like, and the only time they’ve shown any sort of respect, never mind love, for the Holy Father, has been in the past six years. Very strange bedfellows. If the conclave had voted for a different candidate in 2013, they wouldn’t be the Papal Fan Club they claim to be now.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      David, I don’t “join at the hip” with NCR. But I do have respect for Michael Sean Winters. Though he definitely leans more to the left, to my knowledge, he doesn’t dissent from Church teachings.

      I agree that it’s a bit ironic that Winters is issuing his warning from the pages of NCR, but he doesn’t speak for them and they don’t speak for him

  18. Manuel says:

    The comment that “what we’ve been hearing come out of Rome the last six years”…THAT IS THE PRECISE PROBLEM. What Catholics have been hearing is COMMENTARY. they have then,in rare cases, read the documents or relevant parts of it IN THE LIGHT of said commentary.
    I have followed the popes writings…I’ve read many of his homilies. He is consistently NOT what lifesite has portrayed him to be.
    The narrative has been incremental and largely the projection of fears.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      It’s funny, the most consistent theme I’ve found in his Wednesday audiences and Sunday Angelus addresses is a call to repent of your sins and give your life to Christ. You’d never know it by following these media outlets.

    • Gerard Altermatt says:

      I’m relieved to hear that the commentary we’ve been reading have all been lies. I can now rest assured that claims that Pope Francis stated things like Martin Luther did not error in regards to justification or any one of the other hundred things that he supposedly said that contradict Catholic teaching can now be regarded with the same credibility as the claims that we really didn’t land a man on the moon. How could I have been so stupid to believe these things.

      Sarcasm aside, Manuel, it doesn’t help to patronize those with whom you disagree. We are not stupid. While I agree that some of the commentary is bad and sometimes uncharitable, the facts in these matters speak for themselves. We have a problem.

  19. Manuel says:

    The comment that “what we’ve been hearing come out of Rome the last six years”…THAT IS THE PRECISE PROBLEM. What Catholics have been hearing is COMMENTARY. they have then,in rare cases, read the documents or relevant parts of it IN THE LIGHT of said commentary.
    I have followed the popes writings…I’ve read many of his homilies. He is consistently NOT what lifesite has portrayed him to be.
    The narrative has been incremental and largely the projection of fears.

  20. Manuel Dauvin says:

    Sorry for duplicate,feel free to delete

  21. Anthony says:

    Dear friends, are we putting first of all Christ’s desire shown in His prayer for UNITY on the night before he was betrayed or are we putting our own ideas before Jesus’s ardent desire for unity? Unity within the Catholic Church and then we should move on to help achieve His other Prayer for Unity among Christians.

    “…just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
    [John 10: 15]-16] Do we treasure these desires in our hearts? Are we moving towards this Unity by our action, works, and writing?

    To achieve this our eyes should be fixed on Jesus and His will if we should always try to put a healing balm on the already large wound lacerating the Mystical Body of Christ.

    The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ on earth – think about that before judging Him! He is the anointed of the Lord; So we should show him respect in whatever we say for he is not there to be bashed! Many of the arguments are set on speculations and misunderstandings, even if one is writing with good intent. We are not bashing Tom, Dick, and Harry, but the Vicar of Christ! So let us keep this in our mind before commenting against Him. Many degenerating comments have been said against him which I wouldn’t say against the worst man on earth! Have we lost our vision to who our Holy Father is representing!

    Prayer and Fasting can help us tune our ideas to those of Christ, doing our best to heal our schism within the Mystical Body of Christ which is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Such a schism is a scandal to all the anti-Catholics and non-Catholic denominations who seeing such a schism within our Catholic Church only helps to keep them away! That goes against God’s Will.

    God Bless

  22. Anthony says:

    Kindly also note that the Dubia have been answered

  23. M. says:

    I am very interested to see more about how the dubia are loaded questions that require deconstruction. When I read them, posted by someone up above, I immediately noticed that they are trying to force a yes/no answer with a perspective distinctly nuanced in favour of a more scrupulous approach to the faith. We can talk about whether moral sins are difficult to commit or easy to commit. But not in the context of yes/no only answers. Unjust and disrespectful- and for sure, Burke knew exactly what he was doing. I wish someone could unpack that, is there an article?

  24. Aqua says:

    That is the nature of Dubia. Yes. Or No.

    There is no nuance when considering the choice of remaining faithful to your spouse and mother of your children for better or worse. Or not. And then considering either choice worthy of communion.

    There is only one answer. And Jesus answered it in Matthew’s Gospel. God hates divorce.

    Read the Catechism of the Council Of Trent. It is all yes, no. And they have anathemas attached if you answer wrong. It has always been so. Truth is yes or no. By nature.

    • carn says:

      “That is the nature of Dubia. Yes. Or No.”

      A question could be formulated such, that both Yes and No would be incorrect answers.

      E.g. “Did you stop beating your wife?” asked of somebody who has never beaten his wife.

      If he answers “Yes”, it would sound as admitting that he did once beat his wife, which would be untrue. If he answers “No”, he would admit still beating his wife, which would be untrue.


      1. Of course answering loaded questions is easy, if one simply uses more words, e.g. “I have never ever beaten my wife.”

      Nothing would keep Pope Francis from doing that, if he were asked a loaded question.

      2. The dubia would as far as i see only be such loaded question, if what they assert about pre-AL were untrue (just as the above loaded question untruly asserts that the person once did beat his wife).


      “After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 79, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?”

      In this question it is asserted that the teaching of JPII was that absolute morale norms existed that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions. If that assertion about JPII teaching were untrue, it would be a loaded question. But i cannot see that it is untrue.

      But let’s see how Mike Lewis tries to argue that all 5 are each on their own based solely on only their own wording a loaded question.

      I can see at most how one could see in number 1 a loaded question.

      There are some articles about which claim that the dubia assert that AL teaching is contrary to doctrine; that is nonsense; the context of the dubia might assert that; which is irrelevant for the question itself, which each asks whether some asserted prior AL teaching is still valid post-AL; the “loaded” seems only be possible if that assertion of prior teaching is faulty, as the assertion about prior beating in the above example is faulty.


    Left-wing columnists spent fifty years spouting a false “theology of conscience” to justify their “responsible dissent” from essential ecclesiastical teaching, like the impermissibility of contraception, the immorality of abortion and euthanasia, the normativity of the man/woman relationship, etc. Ecclesiastical guerilla warfare by the Currans, McCormicks, Cahills, Keanes, et al. of the world was tolerated, even lauded. Now that the Pope is being criticized on what is truly not essential to the faith–the spinelessness of some bishops, the lack of clarity in his own teaching, policy decisions about the primarily homosexual nature of the clerical rape crisis–the Left is coming out in a collective “sky is falling” mode and demanding the USCCB address that fake issue, and not the sexual (not clerical, sexual, specifically and mostly HOMOsexual) rot in the Catholic clergy. I don’t think so.

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Actually, when Catholics accuse the pope of heresy and teaching doctrinal errors, and go as far as to speculate that Francis is not a legitimate pope, that’s pretty essential to the faith.

      And don’t lump me in with left-wingers. I have always advocated following the Magisterium in its entirety.

  26. Aqua says:

    Veritatis Splendor based itself, as do all valid Papal Encyclicals, in Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church. Read past Encyclicals and you will find copious footnotes carefully connecting the new to the old.

    They are all intrinsically connected, as is everything that is enduring and valid in the Church. That is an essential element of its beauty: everything fits with everything else in perfect unity, harmony.

    All valid Church Teaching added to the Deposit of Faith adds to, and builds on, in a perfectly *non-contradictory* and *mutually affirming* way, expansions to a pre-existing Truth (Dogma). The ultimate Truth (as yet shrouded in this veil of tears) is as high above us as the heavens. The Church reveals that Truth (Dogma) increasingly over the years until its True, complete fullness is revealed in heaven within the Beatific Vision.

    It is not a trick question to ask whether his latest Papal Encyclical is in harmony with he previous Papal Encyclical, which was (as is required) in harmony with Sacred Scripture and Tradition, on the same topic of faith and morals.

    Veritatis Splendor, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition all affirm that “there are absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts, binding without exception”. The Church affirms this And has always affirmed this. No one, to remain Catholic, can fail to affirm this.

    That is Dubia 1. Affirm this new teaching is in Dogmatic harmony with previous teaching.

    The question is simple and it must be answered yes.

    • Pete Vickery says:

      In your fallible interpretation. Veritatis Splendor and Sacred Tradition are just as easily (if not more easily) misinterpreted as Scripture itself. Pope Francis was chosen by the Holy Spirit. You and Burke were not. If you disagree you are just another group that protests (Protestant). Join the club formed five hundred years ago or submit. All Protestants have demonstrations of why they are right and the Pope is wrong.

  27. Manuel Dauvin says:

    Lets say you are employed at a clothing store and see your boss ask a hooker “can I help you find something? “…immediately you write a letter and have other employees sign it. You publish it in the newspapers around town and give a copy to the boss’ wife and kids. It states. “Can we still affirm that you are not a pimp having an adulterous affair with this prostitute?”
    The Dubia questions have loaded implications that are unacceptable for sons of the church to ask of a pope.

  28. espiritu ven says:

    Most of my life, I’ve been devoted to the Holy Spirit. He’s led me through some very terrible times. He was always comforter and teacher, light and strength. Last year when the Vigano incident came up, I was devastated. I love Pope Francis so much. I cried for 2 weeks. I decided to pray to the Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen Pope Francis. While I was praying I (interiorly) heard a “Never mind the the Holy Father!” I was taken aback. Then I “heard”, “Who is it that leads and guides the church? It is the Holy Spirit. Then I had an understanding that Pope Francis will be fine. I don’t know about the church. But the Holy Spirit is being horribly offended!.

    The conspirators with Vigano were not trying to help the church. They were taking things in their own hands putting their wills above the will of God. They plan on recreating the church in their image to serve their plans and ideals, rather than submitting to the Holy Spirit so that he may guide it.

    Think about it, do we see the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in these Francis haters? Do we notice deference to the Holy Spirit in the RadTrads? How about the beatitudes? Do they sincerely live by the prayer, ” ….thy kingdom come, thy will be done…”? I think It is someone else’s will and kingdom that they want not Gods.

    Pope Francis does defer to the Holy Spirit and often brings him up in his talks. This past summer some publication had an article on PF being a charismatic. He was baptized in the spirit about 4-5 years before becoming Pope.
    Most people in their 70’s are set in their ways and aren’t looking to make changes. PF at this age was still looking to serve God better.

    Everyone agrees that the church is going through hard times but we won’t turn to the one whose job it is to guide us and the church. Pope Francis is the Peter of our age. He is the one than the spirit prepared and the devoted apostle of Jesus that we should hear.

  29. petey says:

    the comments here from the proto-schismatics have been a lesson in the misuse of rhetorical tropes, and to that extent useful.

  30. Michelle says:

    The dubia are NOT simple yes/no questions. They read like accusations from a devious team of prosecuting attorneys.

    No pope could respond to these sophomoric “questions” without degrading the dignity of his office.

    They are not written in the standard dubium manner. They are designed to start an argument, not settle one.

    I wonder if people who think the dubia are not only legitimate but harmless actually have not seen them or are unfamiliar with proper dubia.

  31. Fr Paul McDonald says:

    You have no qualms, no reservations, quoting the pro-womens-ordinarion, pro-contraception, pro-homosexual-IST National Catholic Reporter?

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