On Resisting Pope Francis To His Face…

Pope Francissmiles

The article below is taken from the website of The American Conservative – click on photo of Pope Francis to read original.  Comments invited.

Here’s a powerful column by Ross Douthat, in which he says Pope Francis is pushing the Catholic Church to a precipice.  Here’s the gist of his piece:

But going beyond such a welcome to a kind of celebration of the virtues of nonmarital relationships generally, as the synod document seemed to do, might open a divide between formal teaching and real-world practice that’s too wide to be sustained. And on communion for the remarried, the stakes are not debatable at all. The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.

Such a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would be welcomed by some progressive Catholics and hailed by the secular press. But it would leave many of the church’s bishops and theologians in an untenable position, and it would sow confusion among the church’s orthodox adherents — encouraging doubt and defections, apocalypticism and paranoia (remember there is another pope still living!) and eventually even a real schism.

Those adherents are, yes, a minority — sometimes a small minority — among self-identified Catholics in the West. But they are the people who have done the most to keep the church vital in an age of institutional decline: who have given their energy and time and money in an era when the church is stained by scandal, who have struggled to raise families and live up to demanding teachings, who have joined the priesthood and religious life in an age when those vocations are not honored as they once were. They have kept the faith amid moral betrayals by their leaders; they do not deserve a theological betrayal.

Here’s the bomb Douthat drops:

[Theologically orthodox Catholics] can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

Call it the Galatians 2 Option. Here is St. Paul:

When Cephas [St. Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? …

Read the whole Douthat column. The point he raises is necessary but incendiary: that the Catholic faith is not Catholic without the Pope, but it is also not what the Pope says it is. That being the case, it is conceivable that those who want to be faithful to the Truth must stand up to the Pope — even to his face.

UPDATE: The traditionalist Catholic priest Father Richard Cipolla explains why the pope’s behavior in the Synod is such a big deal. Excerpts:

There are many of us who have been perplexed and upset by what happened at the first session of the Synod on the Family in Rome the last two weeks.  Quite apart from the synodal procedure itself which the Bishop of Providence called a Protestant way of doing things, where one votes on the truth, what was most upsetting was the very real attempt to railroad through propositions dealing with divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion, and with gay unions, that depart from the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Church throughout her history, which teaching is affirmed as late as the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI and in the Catholic Catechism itself.  Amidst this confusion and pain among those who love the Tradition of the Church there is also a sense of euphoria that the necessary two/thirds majority to pass these propositions as the sense of the Synod was not achieved.  But, as I have said elsewhere, there remains the fact that over 50 percent of the Cardinals and Bishops at that Synod voted in favor of the propositions which included openness to giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, to affirm positive aspects of cohabitation and civil unions, and to affirm positive elements in gay unions.  This should astound us.

More:

But it is this question that is a denial of truth in matters of morality that lies at the heart of this drive to change the Church’s moral teaching in the name of more merciful pastoral practice.  A writer for the Italian version of Huffington Post—I know, that gives one pause—lamented the failure of the Synod to carry out the “October revolution”. And they failed, he says, because they could not find a bridge that would lead from the indissolubility of marriage and the Church’s teaching on those sexual acts that are a part of gay unions to that pastoral practice that would give Holy Communion to divorced and remarried persons and to the affirmation of the goodness present in gay marriage.  He laments this deeply because, he says, the Pope gave them the bridge.  The Pontifex, the bridge builder in Latin, gave them the bridge, showed them how to get from one to the other, in the form of the question:  Who am I to judge?  This is the way to affirm doctrine and then adopt a pastoral practice that denies it.  And it is the way, except the bridge leads to at best liberal Protestantism or at worst the individualism of secularism.

86 responses

  1. Editor,

    That is indeed, a powerful column! What struck me on the first reading was this, “The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.” Are we saying the Church today is more enlightened, and has a better understanding of human nature? What arrogance.

  2. I too was particularly struck by Douthat’s remark about Tudor England, but he failed to follow through on his argument. Because the logical inference is that today the Church must be willing – if necessary – to lose Germany (and possibly more) in order to safeguard the principle that allowing those in mortal sin to receive Holy Communion is untenable.

    At any rate, his column is another welcome piece of evidence that people are finally starting to wake up!

    • Confitebor Domino,

      I similarly appreciated Douthat’s remark about the willingness of the Church to lose Our Lady’s Dowry, and I wish the Pope would have the courage of Clement VII, who excommunicated both Henry VIII and Cranmer to defend the Sacrament of Marriage. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Church lost the German Bishops, or at least most of them, because the German Church generally is rotten to the core, and heresy is so engrained in the hierarchy that it would be beneficial to sack, laicise and excommunicate the whole job lot and start again. Even make Father Franz Schmidberger the Archbishop of Munich! However, realistically speaking, the Holy Father needs to wake up, but I think it is primarily the duty of lay people and Priests to stand up to the Bishops. If I were the Pope, heads would roll! As St. Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians (5:6-9):

      Know you not that a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump? [7] Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed. [8] Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

  3. I agree that is a very powerful article also the link to another article at the New York Times. It’s all very powerful and I was struck by the thought that for the Holy Spirit to protect the Church, the laity must resist false teaching, that that is part of the way the Holy Spirit works. It’s a humbling thought that we have our own part to play in correcting the scandal of crisis in the Church.

      • Joannesromanus,

        You seem to presuppose that the SSPX, and we on this blog, are not in the Church. This is completely false, as has been demonstrated more times than I can recall.

        On that note, allow me to tell you how we really do resist the false teaching. We resist it by acquainting ourselves with the teaching of the Popes, Councils, Saints and Fathers pre-Vatican II, particularly the Encyclicals of the Popes Pius of the last 100 years or so that treat of the errors of Liberalism and Modernism. We also devote ourselves to Our Lady and her Rosary and we investigate every statement made by a modern Churchman, especially those statements that put the defenders of Tradition rather than the destroyers of it outside the Church. That’s called wisdom!

        • Athanasius,

          I agree with with each and every point in your reply, except for the first 1 1/2 lines.
          You seem to presuppose that I pressupose what I absolutely do not pressupose.
          The rest of your reply describes quite accurately what it means to remain in the Church, and that was exactly my point.
          To put it another way, I believe SSPX is 100% Catholic.

        • Athanasius,

          I agree with with each and every point in your reply, except for the first 1 1/2 lines.
          You seem to presuppose that I presuppose what I absolutely do not presuppose.
          The rest of your reply describes quite accurately what it means to remain in the Church, and that was exactly my point.
          To put it another way, I believe SSPX is 100% Catholic.

          • P.S.: By remaining in the Church, I mean upholding Her entire teaching, whole and undefiled, in the same meaning and the same interpretation over the ages, and that’s exactly what SSPX does.
            How else can one remain Catholic?
            I hope this clarifies the misunderstanding.

            • Joannesromanus,

              The misunderstanding is now perfectly clarified, thanks for that. It was late at night when I read your original post and I suppose I just got the wrong end of the stick. Still, all is clear now. Thanks again.

                • Joannesromanus,

                  Thank you for your kind comments. I’m very pleased to learn that at least some of my posts have been useful.

                  As it happens, I’m re-reading St. Pius X’s Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Against the Modernists, and the following passage jumped out at me as perfectly applicable to Pope Francis:

                  “…Their general direction for the Church is as follows: that the ecclesiastical authority, since its end is entirely spiritual, should strip itself of that external pomp which adorns it in the eyes of the public. In this, they forget that while religion is for the soul, it is not exclusively for the soul, and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who instituted it…”

                  • Athanasius,

                    how true! The Papacy is about Christ, not about the man – with all his quirks – who happens to fill the shoes of Peter at any given time in history. As Christ’s Vicar on earth, a Pope must empty himself of his ego to such an extent as to allow Christ, our King, to shine through him. And this entails, among other things, accepting all the trappings of the Papacy. How great a sign of genuine humility this would be!

                    Alas, we hear these days so much about Pope Francis and his frugality … and so little about the unchanging TRUTH of Christ. So much about mercy, and nothing about God’s justice. So much about corporal works of mercy, and virtually nothing about the Salvation of souls …

                    • Joannesromanus,

                      I agree, absolutely!

                      Bishop Fellay observed that Pope Francis is the first fully Modernist Pontiff to be elected to the See of Peter.

                      Reading Francis’ Encyclical on Faith Lumen Fidei, it becomes very apparent why Bishop Fellay declared as he did. Our understanding of the Catholic Faith is not the same as Pope Francis’ understanding. In fact, he doesn’t even share the same understanding of the Catholic Faith as his Conciliar predecessors, who themselves could hardly be called orthodox.

                      We should not, therefore, expect Francis to think and act as we would expect him to think and act. This particular Pope is capable of introducing all manner of novelties into the Church by reason of his evolutionary notion of faith. I hate to say that, but it’s absolutely true.

                    • This is a reply to Athanasius’s Oct. 30 @12:03 am post:

                      Athanasius,

                      it goes without saying that we have no way of judging interior motives. Yet, it should be obvious by now to anyone who cares about the Catholic faith that we are going through extremely dangerous times, without historical precedent.

                      Just in case you haven’t seen it already, here’s a link to Chris Ferrara’s latest take on the issue at hand, well worth the time, written a couple of weeks before *Relatio post disceptationem* was published: [*The Rise of Bergoglianism*](http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/1078-the-rise-of-bergoglianism).

                      Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

                    • Joannesromanus,

                      I agree that we cannot judge the interior disposition of the soul of the Pope, or anyone else for that matter; St. Pius X made this abundantly clear himself in his Encyclical against the Modernists. We can only judge words and actions against the backdrop of authentic Church teaching to test the orthodoxy of a particular Churchman, including the Pope.

                      With this in mind, I would never venture to suggest that Pope Francis is willfully destroying the Faith, even if that is the logical effect of his behaviour. It seems likely that he truly believes that his ideas are furthering the good of the Church when, in fact, they are greatly harming the Church. It is indeed a mystery that our Lady of Fatima so very succinctly termed a “diabolical disorientation”.

                      I’m now about to follow the link you posted to Chris Ferrara’s article on the rise of Bergoglianism.

                      As you rightly exclaim, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  4. Bottom line is that Rome is in rebellion against the laws of God and His Church. There is no other explanation for what’s happening.

    By dismantling the very laws concerning the reception of the Blessed Sacrament by those in mortal sin, the whole foundation of the Church is being dismantled, because the foundation of the Church is Her Founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.

    We must resist anything that is evil, anything is heresy, anything that is not of tradition and the Unchangeable Catholic Faith, which does not change because it cannot change, for truth is unchangeable. The truth is with Our Lord Jesus Christ who is The Truth, and that Truth, in turn, is found in His Holy Bride, the True Catholic Church, the Catholic Church that is and will always remain true to Him and the laws He laid down for our sanctification and salvation.

    We must pray for these men attempting to change the laws of God and His Church. They should tremble for their judgment that is soon approaching, for they will have to give a strict account of what they have done and are doing to the Church and woe to them on that day…

  5. Most good Catholics I speak to either never heard of the Synod (!!) or refuse to believe that the Church is in turmoil at the very top. I think we have for over 100 years been blessed with really good popes (and even the post conciliar popes have been “nice men”) so that now Catholics don’t criticise them or don’t see any error! They are not like the Borgia popes, are they?

  6. Helen,

    “Most good Catholics I speak to either never heard of the Synod (!!) or refuse to believe that the Church is in turmoil at the very top.”

    If they were good Catholics they would be less ignorant in matters relating to their faith, less superficial, less disinterested, less inclined to believe everything a nice man tells them. This is precisely why the Church is in the mess it’s in, Helen. As St. Pius X put it: “All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics.”

    • Yes, Athanasius, exactly right. The Church is also in a mess because as Pope Felix III said, and as quoted by Leo XIII in Inimica Vis, the encyclical against Masonry:

      “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”

      Too many Catholics in the years after the Council were still under the foolish notion that their ‘shepherds’ knew best and stuck to the old rule of ‘pray, pay and obey’ and blind obedience, which was a reasonable policy for Catholics in the old days prior to 1962 because Catholics could rely on their shepherds to be taught the Faith in its fullness. This unfortunate problem still lingers today. I know Catholics who attend Novus Ordo but prefer TLM, but say ‘if the Pope issued it then its OK’.

      WRONG!!!!

  7. That is a fantastic article. I think the following is absolutely true:

    “Such a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would be welcomed by some progressive Catholics and hailed by the secular press. But it would leave many of the church’s bishops and theologians in an untenable position, and it would sow confusion among the church’s orthodox adherents — encouraging doubt and defections, apocalypticism and paranoia (remember there is another pope still living!) and eventually even a real schism.”

    That is exactly what will happen in 2015 if any there is any change to pastoral practice in Communion for cohabiting divorcees, I think Pope Benedict will have to say something and that will start an investigation into the last conclave election. It’s just my opinion and I’m not breaking the rule here about recognising Pope Francis as the validly ordained pope. That’s based on what we know right now. That just might change if Pope Benedict feels his conscience pricking.

  8. Gosh! A fantastic article indeed. It suggests, fantastically, that the Roman Church was willing to ‘lose a kingdom’ for the sacred principle of upholding teaching on marriage. No sooner said, than up pops two commentators nodding wisely in fantastic agreement.

    Fact is that Rome was unwilling to do justice to the unfortunate king (whose case for annulment on any proper legal examination was perfectly sound) simply because the Pope was under the close control of Charles V, a nephew of one of the parties, The actual decision to ‘lose’ England was taken a whole generation later, in 1570, by Pius V – unwilling to compromise with Elizabeth and putting his faith in foreign plots against her freedoms, religions and laws. And so indeed the English-speaking peoples moved on in the direction of reform, economic development and the notion of freedom under the law. The world owes a lot to Elizabeth Tudor – marriage was never the issue but then who I am to judge when it comes to American fundamentalist fantasy?

    I don’t think that anyone is in doubt as to the atavistic passions the pastoral issue raises among a hard-core of doctrinaire extremists – consideration for people whose first marriages have failed or for people who happen to be gay is not their strong suit. But if preserving hard-line doctrinaire positions is more important than pastoral care of individuals then (if we respect tradition rather than fantasy) they ought nevertheless to be discussed up in theological terms, not by some half-baked American fantasy of the history of Anglo-Papal relations.

    • Once again, Dowden, everybody’s wrong except you, every writer has his facts wrong because they don’t chime in with Anglican propaganda, and every time it’s a different rationale from you – this time it’s “American fantasy”, half-baked at that, to blame for the facts which don’t stack up with the Anglican version of history.

      Anyway, by coincidence (fantastically) the following video was emailed to me by Anglican Unscripted who, from somewhere, or someone, obtained my email address and decided to keep me informed about life in the CofE. I haven’t the heart to unsubscribe, and in this case, this looks interesting. A King of England had to abdicate because he wanted to marry a divorcee – say nothing about the nonsense of that in the light of the Henry VIII situation and notice the nonsense, all these years later, of a “Bishop” being allowed to “remarry”. I haven’t had time to watch the film myself, just caught the headline and couldn’t resist sharing it with thee…

      Fantastically ridiculous, Dowden, Yes?

      • Editor,

        The quick reply is that the journalism needs to be checked out – the news here is not that bishops can re-marry after divorce: that has already happened. The point is that the (suffragan) bishop of Stepney is one of the ‘flying bishops’ looking after those traditionalists who wish to discriminate against women. Most people see something amusing in a man unwilling to work with women bishops but being willing for take on a second wife – not much of a story even so.

        But your little dig with the inverted commas on ‘bishop’ is misplaced. You might not rate his orders but in terms of jurisdiction he is beyond doubt the Bishop of Stepney.

        You might do well to catch up with the latest from the Vatican on recognition of Anglican jurisdiction. Bishop Francis of Rome has recently challenged the Archbishop of Canterbury to an ecclesiastical Test Match (colloquially known as the Cranmer Ashes) and has appeared with the Holy Roman XI in cricketing whites (http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140911/jsp/frontpage/story_18823297.jsp#.VBvDVmNvFyQ).

        There was a somewhat unsporting ploy, with the pope blessing a bat. This dirty trick resulted in the Archbishop’s team being beaten while he could not get through traffic. By the time he arrived, all was lost but His Grace’s appearance proved the turning point of the match and the English Church won in the last over with a couple of balls to spare. This public miracle was witnessed by the Papal Nuncio, there to represent the Italian Mission and present the trophy. But there was not an inverted comma in sight.

        Leo XIII seems to have been hit for six. And Francis may well go down in history as the first pope to have lifted a cricket bat.

        Editor: my inverted commas were essential. Anglican Orders are null and void. As for Pope Francis and cricket bats… the thoughts which sprint to mind are prohibited in our in-house rules, so all I can say here is that, least said, soonest mended.

        • Editor,

          This is a reply to myself since your comment is embedded in the post. The question is whether Professor Scarisbrick’s historical judgement is sound and evidence-based or whether the calumny Athanasius pperpetrates is sound and evidence based. I know that Jack Scarisbrick has the disadvantage of coming from the world’s second best university but – bigotry apart – there are no good reasons for suggesting Henry VIII died of a sexually transmitted disease.

          Editor: Dowden, you do love to make mountains out of just about everything. I really don’t particularly care what disease ultimately took King Henry VIII to explain to his Maker why he chose to deny his Catholic Faith and cause mayhem for centuries to come, although I will say that if he didn’t die of an STD, that would place him in the category of those who should “count your blessings”.

          Anyway, I wouldn’t take Scarisbrook’s word for anything and I don’t have the time to research the matter deeply (and don’t care enough so to do) but here’s an extract from a fairly independent-looking website on the subject, which I think is of some interest – unless you are determined to paint Henry as some kind of saint, if not martyr for the Anglican cause, I suggest you let the matter rest here:

          “There are many schools of thought concerning Henry’s possible medical condition, and the suspicion that he might have suffered from syphilis has been around since Henry’s lifetime. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine after the fact just what disease Henry VIII might have had and there is considerable debate as to what it might have been. The traditional explanation for his leg ulceration and mental decline in later life is syphilis, which is also in keeping with the traditional figure of Henry VIII the lecher. This is similar to the traditional contention that the Tudors all died of tuberculosis, which has also been called into question by some historians.

          It is important to remember that during Henry’s lifetime, medicine was extremely primitive. Any condition that caused ulceration anywhere on the body was referred to generically as “the pox”, which was also a common name for syphilis. These ulcerative conditions could, and did include smallpox, chickenpox, the ulceration caused by late term diabetes, and any other spreading skin rash or sores, which were quite common considering the poor sanitary conditions of the day. Similarly, any disease which caused its victims to waste away was called “consumption”, and could include any illness that caused the patient to become emaciated — cancer, diabetes type I, tuberculosis, parasitic infections. But because of these generic terms being used to describe a number of conditions in Henry’s day, the traditional belief that Henry died of syphilis, and his son, Edward, died of tuberculosis, has continued.” Read more here

    • Dr John Dowden,

      It was Jesus who said that if a man divorces his wife and marries another he commits adultery. It was very clear indeed. Does that make him one of the “hard-core of doctrinaire extremists”?

      • Margaret Mary,

        Sorry not have replied sooner – no discourtesy was intended. ‘

        You suggest that Jesus said that “if a man divorces his wife and marries another he commits adultery. It was very clear indeed.’ You ask “does that make him one of the ‘hard-core of doctrinaire extremists?’”

        It is not immediately obvious which passage you have in mind – the possibilities are the doublets in Matthew and the parallels in Mark and Luke. But certainly Matthew sets a context of fairly extreme remarks – the usual explanation is that Our Lord was using quite deliberate hyperbole.
        And I don’t think you would get that much agreement that these texts (or the exception to them included in Paul, probably written earlier than the synoptic Gospels) are “very clear indeed”. The Christian churches have never managed a clear juridical statement of what these texts add up to. The translation of Our Lord’s original words into the New Testament’s Greek creates a situation where it by no means certain what the exception, ‘λόγου πορνείας’ actually meant in the Jewish context or what it actually means for us today.

        This is one of these cases where the scriptural evidence does not give a black and white division. Which being the case, it is good reason for pastoral sensitivity to people in second marriages – quite apart for the consideration due Christians who happen to be gay. The second round of the synod will no doubt have time to think things through.

        Editor: nonsense. Matthew’s “exception” is no such thing. Go and read up on this again. You’ve obviously gone digging into the Protestant “scripture scholars” and come up with this old chestnut. NEVER in the entire history of the Christian Faith, has divorce and re-marriage been permitted because the words of Christ are crystal clear. You have yet to learn the importance of taking the entirety, not just of Scripture, (which supports the Catholic position, which is the authentic Christian position) but the entirety of Catholic Tradition as well. Being an Anglican is SUCH a disadvantage, Dowden. Why don’t you take the bull by the horns and convert to the one, true, Faith? I say that yet again, because yet again you make the whopping error of speaking of “Christian churches”. Christ founded only ONE Church, Dowden, as you know perfectly well. Anyway, here’s an extract on the subject from the Catholic Encyclopaedia…

        Catholic exegesis is unanimous in excluding the permissibility of absolute divorce from Matthew 19, but the exact explanation of the expressions, “except it be for fornication” and “excepting for the cause of fornication”, has given rise to various opinions. Does it mean the violation of marital infidelity, or a crime committed before marriage, or a diriment impediment? (See Palmieri, “De matrim. Christ.”, 178 sqq.; Sasse, “De sacramentis”, II, 418 sqq.) Some have tried to answer the difficulty by casting doubt on the authenticity of the entire phrase of Matthew 19, but the words are in general fully vouched for by the more reliable codices. Also, the greater number, and the best, have “committeth adultery”. (See Knabenbauer, loc. cit., and Schanz, “Kommentar über das Evang. d. hl. Matth.”, 191, 409.) That absolute divorce is never allowable therefore clear from Scripture, but the argument is cogent only for a consummated marriage. For Christ found His law on the words: “They two shall be in one flesh”, which are verified only in consummated marriage. How far divorce is excluded, or can be allowed, before the consummation of the marriage must be derived from other source.

        (b) Tradition and the Historical Development in Doctrine and Practice — The doctrine of Scripture about the illicitness of divorce is fully confirmed by the constant tradition of the Church. The testimonies of the Fathers and the councils leave us no room for doubt. In numerous places they lay down the teaching that not even in the case of adultery can the marriage bond be dissolved or the innocent party proceed to a new marriage. They insist rather that the innocent party must remain unmarried after the dismissal of the guilty one, and can only enter upon new marriage in case death intervenes.

        Reflect!

        • Editor,

          And again, a reply to yourself as myself. Are your American friends from a century ago correct in translating the Greek as ‘adultery’? If scholars disagree on the point, that gives a fair bit of room for pastoral discretion. It might be a bit much to suggest that our Roman friends follow the living bishop(s) of Rome rather than the dead ones.

          Editor: as I have said to you over and over, and as others have said, we have the Christ-given authority of the Catholic Church to teach us authentic Faith and Morals. I gave you a self- explanatory link to the Catholic Encyclopaedia on the matter of Matthew 19 and the Tradition of Christianity (that divorce and remarriage have NEVER been permitted, nor ever will be) but you don’t want to accept the truth. Priests have NO pastoral discretion in morality – objective moral truth reigns. Get over it!

    • Dowden,

      And I suppose that’s why the upright king you speak of went on to die of syphilis! Come on Dowden, there’s no talking your way around that very telling fact. Give us credit for having some intelligence!

      • I do give you due credit – I know the blog’s standards on Latin grammar and the meticulous respect for such details as which pope appointed which cardinal.

        The Henry VIII tale you tell is, however, a canard – all the historical evidence is that the progression of his illnesses and the treatments mentioned in the financial accounts simply do not fit a sexually transmitted disease: mercury was never bought and there is no evidence of transmission to his children, his spouses or his widow’s subsequent family. Modern medical opinion favours a relatively rare bone disease or, more likely, untreated Type II diabetes. It has all been discussed by a distinguished historian, J.J. Scarisbrick, who is in private life a Catholic and an anti-abortion campaigner.

        If, for whatever reason, you wish to indulgence in a bit of old-fashioned sectarian bigotry against the English Church, fair enough. But that is no reason to peddle historical untruths.

        Editor: I’ve met Jack Scarisbrook, in fact, stayed overnight at his home on one occasion (as part of a group attending a meeting nearby) and I’m afraid my opinion of his judgement is poor – he raved about the Scottish Bishops, especially Cardinal Winning and refused to take on board the FACTS which our group was giving him. Thus, if he arrived at my home, soaked to the skin, wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella, boots covered in mud, and told me it was raining, I’d go outside to check for myself. So, good try, but not quite good enough.

    • Back again, eh Dowden? And yet again you are wrong on every count. For you to have gall to denounce traditionalist and orthodox Catholics as ‘hardcore extremists’ is idiocy to say the least. Our Lord said the following in Matthew 19:1-7:

      [1] And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan. [2] And great multitudes followed him: and he healed them there. [3] And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? [4] Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: [5] For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.

      [6] Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

      Is Jesus a ‘hardliner’ or an ‘extremist’. I don’t know if it ever escaped your notice, it might contradict Anglican non-history, but Jesus was and still is the Living and Eternal God, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (ring any bells?), and I personally prefer to follow Jesus Christ, who changest not.

      I always afford myself a chuckle when it comes to the sloppy old church of England with its fake priests and bishops, who railed against divorce and remarriage until 2002, yet it did not dawn on the old dullards that their entire shambles of an institution is founded on divorce.

      Also, so much for sola scriptura, one of the cornerstones of the Protestant Deformation, as you all now see fit to ignore Divine teaching, written in Scripture, pertaining to divorce and same sex sodomy.

      • Come on now CC, let’s be fair to Dowden and his Anglican buddies. They’ve actually been denying scripture from the very start, beginning with St Matthew xvi, 18: “… thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

  9. My husband has a theory: next year after the synod there will be a schism and a new pope or patriarch (as what happened after the eastern schism ) will be elected. He will perform the consecration.

    • Crofterlady,

      I don’t see this happening. A new pope can only be elected if Pope Francis dies or resigns.

      • Petrus, can you explain then how there was all that shenanigans with the Avignon popes? And then there’s Pope Benedict. I’m not trying to score points here, I just don’t understand.

        • Crofter lady

          I’m not sure what you are asking me to explain. Right now there’s only one man who can perform the Consecration. Pope Francis. Only Pope Francis can perform the Consecration until he either dies or resigns. If there’s a schism and another Pope is “elected” whilst Francis is still alive, he would be an anti Pope and unable to perform the Consecration.

          I’m not really sure what you mean by including Cardinal Ratzinger. He’s not Pope and is unable to perform the Consecration.

          I don’t think we should speculate about schism and anti popes.

  10. If they don’t prefix their liberal recommendations the way Jesus did, I don’t trust them. Jesus would say “You have heard it said …….. but here is what I say”. So I need to read Jesus’ view as best we know it in that same context. Leave Jesus out and bad will happen.

    • Editor,

      That is absolutely ridiculous! Does he have the authority to excommunicate Catholics who go to SSPX Masses? Unbelievable that he would threaten to do so!

    • This poor bishop is going to look really thick when the contrary quotes of so many senior Church prelates over the last 10 years show him to have written a malevolent document.

      I wonder though, if this is one of those internal Vatican tit-for-tat statements? Did Francis approve Cardinal Muller’s recent discussions with Bishop Fellay?

      Hmmm! Bishop Marcello Semeraro is very close to Francis, so close in fact that he is appointed Secretary to the Council of 8. Maybe Francis gave him another assignment recently!

      If not, then it is incumbent upon the Pope to clarify the mucky waters his man has vindictively stirred up. But, as we know from Cardinal Burke’s lament at the Synod, Pope Francis is not one for clarifying the truth.

      A final thought. I wonder how Cardinal Kasper fairs in Bishop Semeraro’s estimation. A prelate in good standing, or a schismatic that no Catholic should have anything to do with?

      What lovely Christ-like men these career prelates are!

    • And yet on Sunday Bishop Fellay celebrated a pontifical solemn Mass in the basilica of St Pius X (the underground basilica) at Lourdes:

      Who’s writing this stuff – Lewis Carroll?

        • Olaf,

          No. Seems to be authentic, and not the first time the SSPX pilgrims have been granted this permission. This link on the website of an English diocese, reporting the fact, amazed me – the link leads to the blog of Fr Ray Blake, fairly well disposed to Catholic Tradition, I believe. Still amazing that the link is on the official website of the Diocese. Can’t imagine any Scottish Diocese allowing a link to the SSPX is any way, shape or form.

        • Olaf

          I’m not quite sure what you think is a spoof. The video is for real.

          I’d like to think Bp Semeraro’s ‘notification’ was meant as a spoof. As Rorate Caeli remarks “this heavy-handed approach is so disproportionate and so out of tune with the acceptance of all heresy and misbehavior by Italian bishops that it simply will not be taken seriously.”

      • Wow!!! Look at all the hundreds of young Priests, Religious and servers. The SSPX IS the Church in France. The Church in France has such vitality thanks to traditionalist groups, the SSPX especially.

        Te Deum laudamus!!!

  11. So, let me get this straight. Every kind of heresy is tolerated in the Church, everyone is allowed to do anything and everything that they want to do, but if you dare practice the Catholic Religion, you get the iron rod of vengeance and get supposedly “excommunicated?”

    If Pope St. Pius X himself were raised from the dead and ratified what the Society that bears his name is doing, they “still would not believe.”

    This hatred for the True Catholic Faith is diabolical.

  12. The current poll on the topic of the synod is at best disingenuous. It should really refer to the “…changes suggested and REJECTED… at the Synod”.

    There is no harm in discussing ANYTHING and debate is very useful as a way of seeing what others think and finding ways of putting them right.

    • That’s all very well and good, eileenanne. The problem is it is the role of Pope Francis to put errant Catholics “right”. He is neglecting his duty and is, in fact, wrong himself. For example, telling a divorced and remarried woman to continue to receive Holy Communion. Wrong, Holy Father. “Who am I to judge gay priests?” Wrong, Holy Father.

      We saw no rebuttal from the Holy Father when a majority of the Church’s bishops displayed their contempt for the Traditional teaching of the Church. Don’t you find it concerning that over half of the bishops rejected Catholic teaching? Isn’t it even more concerning that the Pope didn’t “put them right”?

      • Petrus

        Absolutely spot on!

        Pope Francis is creating division amongst the bishops by encouraging debate on forbidden subjects. Infallible Church teaching cannot be considered for re-assessment, re-definition or rejection. It is a sin against the Faith to even pretend to raise the subject in the name of mercy and pastorality. Pope Francis has duty before God to combat moral error, not encourage it.

        Our humble Pope seems to be drawing a lot of attention to himself with these deviances, not least by the great Modernist error of Collegiality that these Synods of bishops (and Episcopal Conferences) represent.

        As Cardinal Ottaviani observed at the time of Vatican II, when this perverse doctrine of Collegiality was first mooted: “The only example of Collegiality at work in the history of the Church is when Our Lord’s disciples collectively abandoned Him during His Passion and death on the Cross”. How history repeats itself!

    • Eileenanne

      The infallible moral teaching of the Church is not up for debate.

      By including rejected, frankly diabolical, proposals in the final draft of the Synod’s deliberations, we’re not talking about a “very useful way of seeing what others think”. This is about making certain that those rejected proposals don’t go away and eventually get accepted. Time you opened your eyes!

      • Athanasius,.

        You’ve said it all in that first sentence, really.

        And as for “a very useful way of seeing what others think” – there’s little doubt what “others” think, given the widespread immoral practices among Catholics who are cohabiting etc like everyone else.

        What we need the Pope to do is to speak out to tell these public sinners that they are risking Hell by living like the pagans around them, and heaping coals of fire on their heads by having the temerity to demand that God’s Law be “adapted” to suit their sinful choices.

    • Eileenanne,

      The changes suggested have NOT been rejected by the Synod. The Synod is not yet over – the debacle we have just witnessed is only Part One, and the cardinals who made these diabolical suggestions have a year in which who coax, cajole and manipulate others into voting for them. Please God, the Holy Spirit will see to it that these shocking techniques do not achieve their goal, but, make no mistake about it, Cardinal Kasper & Co. are going to work very hard to get the required two thirds majority before the next phase of what many have termed either The Synod of Satan or The Synod of Sodom. Whatever, it is certainly a very troubling synod indeed. Unless, of course, (as you do) one holds to the view that God’s law is not absolute and anything and everything is up for discussion.

      In which case, I’d like to discuss whether, in fact, we should be focusing so much on helping the poor and needy. I think we ought to look again at the Sermon on the Mount – it’s an intolerable burden for those of us trying to save a few shillings.

      Get it, now?

  13. Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano

    NOTIFICATION TO PASTORS [PARISH PRIESTS]
    ON THE “SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X”

    In the past few weeks, requests of clarification have reached the Diocesan Chancery regarding the celebration of Sacraments at the “Society of Saint Pius X” of Albano Laziale.

    Regarding it, it is right and proper to point out that the above-mentioned “Society” is not an institution (neither parish, nor association) of the Catholic Church.

    This applies even after the decree of the Congregation for Bishops of January 21, 2009, by which the Holy Father Benedict XVI, reaching out in good will in response to reiterated requests by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, revoked the excommunication in which the four Prelated had incurred since June 30, 1988.

    This was highlighted by Benedict XVI with his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church of March 10, 2009: “the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.” (in AAS CI [2009], n. 4, p. 272). The same Benedict XVI, in the following Letter m. p. Ecclesiae Unitatem, of July 2, 2009, added: “the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the context of ecclesiastical discipline to free the individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However, the doctrinal questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry.” (in AAS CI [2009], p. 710-711).

    As a consequence of the above, it is right and proper to restate what had been formulated in the Pastoral Note on the Society of Saint Pius X of [former bishop of Albano] Dante Bernini, in which it can be read:

    The Catholic faithful cannot participate at Mass, neither request and/or receive Sacraments from or in the Society. Acting otherwise would mean to break communion with the Catholic Church.

    Therefore, any Catholic faithful who requests and receives Sacraments in the Society of Saint Pius X, will place himself de facto in the condition of no longer being in communion with the Catholic Church. A readmission to the Catholic Church must be preceded by an adequate personal path of reconciliation, according to the ecclesiastical discipline established by the Bishop.

    It is sincerely saddening that such options [measures], particularly when in reference to the Christian Initiation of Children and Adolescents, be in constrast with the pastoral orientations of the Italian Church and, consequently, with the choices of the Diocese of Albano, where formative paths for the growth and maturation of the life of faith are favored.

    To the Parish priests, the duty of providing adequate information to the faithful.

    From the Albano Chancery, October 14, 2014, Prot. 235/14.

  14. Steve,

    Thanks for posting this text, which is already linked above by editor and subsequently commented upon. It is, of course, a vindictive document that contradicts previous statements of higher authority in the Church. The tone of the letter is so appalling and scandalous I can hardly believe a Catholic bishop wrote it, let alone a prelate of the Church.

    • Will youow return to the one true apostolic and catholic faith, the one true church of Jesus Christ, as represented by His Vicar on earth. the Pope in Rome??

      • Domchas,

        Was St Paul wrong then, in Galatians 2 where he reports “When Cephas [St. Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face…”

        Nerve, eh?

      • Domchas

        I would answer your question very clearly and succinctly if I thought for one moment you were a genuine Catholic interested in truth. As it is, I believe you to be a troublesome troll who has not the slightest interest in what is religiously true or false, and so I shake the dust from my feet in your case.

          • Editor is having technical problems today and cannot respond. She has asked for no response to this latest comment from Domchas. Editor will deal with him when she returns…..poor Domchas!

          • Domchas

            If I was a “drama queen” I would be more pastorally embraced than I am as a Traditional Catholic! And on that note, I shake the horse dung from my tackety boots. It doesn’t get less “drama queen” than that!

      • Will you?

        You have certainly given a VERY strong impression in your many posts that you do not hold with at least one of the Church’s moral teachings. I have to stick with “strong impression” because you are very leery of coming out and stating in a forthright manner what you believe, so I am therefore very suspicious of your motives and Catholicity.

          • Domchas,

            It’s very clear. Your religious beliefs are limited to those held by any Protestant, of whichever denomination you care to name. NOT sufficient to claim Catholicity.

            And here’s a report about one of those cardinals who “resisted” Pope Francis – is he a rebel? A schismatic? Is HE “homophobic”? Clearly the homosexual at the centre of the above report doesn’t think so…

  15. That’s a laugh about excommunicating those who attend SSPX Masses which are, after all, valid Masses, when one considers that my aunt was encouraged by her bishop in (good standing) to attend Baptist services! Now, who are the real heretics?! You just have to laugh!

    • Spot on, Helen. Laugh a minute stuff, it really is. Remind me never to holiday in that bishop’s diocese – that will be the one place in the world where I’m excommunicated!

  16. Indeed, Helen, what a laugh, especially this bit:

    “The Catholic faithful cannot participate at Mass, neither request and/or receive Sacraments from or in the Society. Acting otherwise would mean to break communion with the Catholic Church.”

    The majority of the present hierarchy have already broken communion with the Catholic Church!

  17. The following is taken from a 2007 article by Brian Mershon. The article quotes at length the various statements of Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos and Mgr. Camile Perl of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) to the effect that the SSPX is not schismatic and that the Catholic faithful are permitted to attend Masses at SSPX churches without incurring censure.

    Rather than paste those known statements here, I chose rather to post this section of Mr. Mershon’s article because it’s more telling in light of Bishop Semeraro’s lies.

    German Priest & Professor: Bishops & Church Reject Communion with SSPX

    The respected German canonist Dr. Georg May, professor emeritus of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, summarized the irony shown above in a January 12, 2003 letter, when he wrote: “The SSPX is not schismatic because she neither rejects the subordination to the Roman Pontiff nor rejects the communion with the bishops (can. 751).” And the explicit irony is found in the immediate following statement where Prof. Georg said, “Rather, the latter reject communion with the Society.”

    Prof. Georg was the Professor of Canon Law, Law of Church-State Relations and Canonical HIstory from 1960 to 1994 at Mainz University. He has been a well-respected priest for more than 40 years in the Archdiocese of Mainz. The Professor’s conclusions appear to be consistent with those of the Holy See as expressed in numerous public interviews and written correspondence emanating from the PCED, specifically Cardinal Castrillón and Msgr. Camille Perl, president and secretary of the commission.

    1. The SSPX is not schismatic, because she neither rejects the subordination to the Roman Pope nor rejects the communion with the bishops (can. 751). Rather the latter reject communion with the Society.

    2. Because the Society is not schismatic, its members are not excommunicated. Both are untrue allegations, made by those, whom the reflective mirror presented to them by the Society irritates.

    3. Absolutely nobody incurs any punishment by attending the masses of the Society. Of course one can fulfill one’s Sunday obligation by attending a Sunday mass in a chapel or church of the Society. Whoever alleges otherwise, reveals that he merely fears concurrence.”

  18. I found the Notification re. the SSPX so much a matter of concern, that I wrote to the Bishop as follows, by email a few minutes ago…

    Dear Bishop Semeraro,

    I have been reading your Notification banning Catholics from attending the Masses of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX).

    I may be visiting your diocese next summer on holiday, but I have a problem. Please help me.

    I always attend the SSPX Masses in Scotland. I have attended them for years.

    If I holiday in your diocese, and attend a Society Mass, will I be excommunicated only in your diocese, or will I be excommunicated forever?

    This is a matter of great concern to me. I look forward to your reply as soon as possible.

    Signed…

    PS if others would like to make a similar enquiry (are we excommunicated everywhere, or just in his Diocese) you will find the email address on the Diocesan website.
    If you scroll down on the home page you will see a photo of the bishop – the email address is located there. You never know, if he receives sufficient such enquiries, he may just realise how ridiculous he is being. One lives and one hopes…

  19. This report from The Remnant shows the depths of dishonesty of these Modernists currently running the Vatican. Unbelievable.

    Below is the text for ease of reference…

    Catholics around the world need to know that the Vatican communications machine is still doing its best to manipulate the results of the Synod on the Family.

    As can be seen from the link here and below to the relevant page on the Vatican website, all the preliminary and more liberal documents of the Synod are up there in multiple languages, while the only one that matters de jure – the final and official relatio which did not even propose – much less approve – Communion for divorced-and remarrieds or “welcome” for homosexuals and their “gifts”, is posted only in Italian.

    As Chris Ferrara noted this morning, “it is even worse than this. All of the problematical documents pertaining to the preparation and interim Relatio of the Synod on the Vatican website page linked to above have titles that are active hyperlinks, so that you can click on the title and immediately go to the document. But the title of the Synod’s final Relatio—the only document that was supposed to represent the Synod’s official outcome—is merely in dead type that cannot be clicked.

    “Worse still, the Synod’s final Relatio is the only document on that page which appears in one language only, Italian, whereas the positively evil midterm Relatio, which the Synod completely rejected, appears in English, Italian, Portuguese, French and Spanish as do ten other documents related to the Synod.

    “The bottom line is that the Synod document that receives the least prominence on the Vatican website is the very document reflecting the Synod’s actual outcome, which is widely (and rightly) reported as a “defeat” for Francis. Unbelievable!”

    So de facto, far more publicity is still being given by the Vatican itself to the intermediate relatio of October 13 which was roundly denounced by the firmly orthodox Fathers than to the much sounder relatio finalis wich replaced it on October 18.

    Why? In heaven’s name, what is going on in the Vatican?

    Vatican source

  20. Editor,

    This is disgraceful behaviour, though not in the least surprising. This is precisely how the Modernists operated at Vatican II. Pope St. Pius X prophetically describes the ruthless and determined methods of the Modernists in Pascendi. Catholics need to read at least the introduction of that great Encyclical if they would understand what is now transpiring.

  21. Editor,

    This report puts me in mind of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s comments some months ago about a possible schism in the Church, though he didn’t go into detail on what exactly he meant by that statement.

    The guy who wrote the article linked above is a typical liberal. The information he provides is, as we would expect, stacked in favour of liberals. It’s actually the conservative bishops, not the liberal ones, who are in the majority at the moment.

    While on the subject, I read a short report in today’s Scotsman newspaper on Elton John’s call for Francis to be canonised. This really should tell any Catholic worthy of the name that there is something unorthodox about Francis’ Pontificate.

    • Athanasius,

      I’m interested that the author of the Guardian article is a “liberal” – as I said, I haven’t yet read beyond the introduction. If they’re hoping that the “conservatives” will go off into the sunset, they can think again.

      Your closing comment is spot on: ” I read a short report in today’s Scotsman newspaper on Elton John’s call for Francis to be canonised. This really should tell any Catholic worthy of the name that there is something unorthodox about Francis’ Pontificate.”

  22. What about this report from Zenit News Agency? Absolutely shocking heterodoxy.

    Pope Francis to Ecumenical Group: Don’t Wait for Theologians

    Encourages Them to ‘Walk, Pray and Work Together Now’

    VATICAN CITY, October 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis is telling those committed to Christian unity that they should pray and work together now, and not wait for theologians to reach agreement.

    Vatican Radio reported that the Pope said this during an Oct. 10 private meeting with the Ark Community, which was founded by his late friend, Tony Palmer.

    Palmer was recognized globally as a friend of the Pope when he facilitated the recording of a papal message sent to Kenneth Copeland Ministries in February.

    Palmer died suddenly in July when he was in a traffic accident.

    Vatican Radio reported that Pope Francis thanked Palmer’s widow and the new leader of the community, Archbishop Robert Wise, for carrying forward the dream of walking together in communion.

    “We are sinning against Christ’s will” the Pope said, “because we continue to focus on our differences,” but “our shared baptism is more important than our differences.”

    While the devil, the “father of lies” divides us, the Pope added, we are called to preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth, with the certainty that He is with us. “We each have in our churches excellent theologians,” the Pope said, “but we shouldn’t wait for them to reach agreement.”

    The Holy Father noted that denomination does not matter for Christians who are suffering the same persecution in places such as the Middle East or regions of Africa.

    Now, here are just two examples of pre-Vatican II Magisterial teaching to show just how deviant Pope Francis’ ecumenism is.

    Mortalium Animos, Pius XI

    “…Nevertheless, when there is a question of fostering unity among Christians, it is easy for many to be mislead by the apparent excellence of the object to be achieved. Is it not right, they ask, is it not the obvious duty of all who invoke the name of Christ to refrain from mutual reproaches and at last to be united in charity? Dare anyone say that he loves Christ and yet not strive with all his might to accomplish the desire of Him who asked His Father that His disciples might be “one”? (John 17:21). Did not Christ will that mutual charity should be the distinguishing characteristic of His disciples? “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35). If only all Christians were “one,” it is contended, then they might do so much more to drive out the plague of irreligion which, with its insidious and far-reaching advance, is threatening to sap the strength of the Gospel. These and similar arguments, with amplifications, are constantly on the lips of the “pan-Christians” who, so far from being a few isolated individuals, have formed an entire class and grouped themselves into societies of extensive membership, usually under the direction of non-Catholics, who also disagree in matters of faith. The energy with which this scheme is being promoted has won for it many adherents, and even many Catholics are attracted by it, since it holds out the hope of a union apparently consonant with the wishes of Holy Mother Church, whose chief desire is to recall her erring children and to bring them back to her bosom. In reality, however, these fair and alluring words cloak a most grave error, subversive of the Catholic Faith…”

    Quanta Cura, Pius IX

    “…For you well know, Venerable Brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of Naturalism, as they call it, dare to teach that “the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones.” And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that “that is the best condition of civil society in which no duty is recognised, as attached to the civil power, of restraining with enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as the public peace may require.” From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society…”

    • While the devil, the “father of lies” divides us, the Pope added, we are called to preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth, with the certainty that He is with us.

      I think we are seeing here the obvious endpoint of wacky ideas about religious liberty – not only must assorted heretics and schismatics be allowed to disseminate their perversions of the Gospel they are actually called to do so!

      Now it may be the case that we can’t prevent them from spreading their poisonous errors but surely there is no possible reason to encourage them. In fact it’s difficult to imagine a crazier thing to do.

    • Athanasius,

      should we be surprised?

      We know at least since last July that Pope Francis’s relations with major Evangelical organizations are going currently through a veritable “global warming”.

      Remember the Pope’s speech at the Evangelical church in Casserta? And especially the Pope’s confidential three hour meeting back in July with a group of Charismatic Evangelical VIPs, led by the late Tony Palmer?

      According to Brian Stiller (World Evangellical Alliance, WEA), Pope Francis told the participants:

      > “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.”

      The authenticity of the above statement was never denied by the Holy See.

      And here’s what Tony Palmer had to say:

      > “Pope Francis agrees with me when I say diversity is divine, but division is diabolic.”

      > “Pope Francis is very clear in stressing the unity we are speaking of is a reconciliation of diversity”. (this is an allusion to the Protestant concept of “reconciled diversity”, introduced by the Lutheran theologian Oscar Cullman)

      > “We met Pope Francis; we are accepting his call and trying to put an end to division.”

      (for details, please see: bccatholic.ca/component/content/article/1-latest-news/4029-pope-francis-is-following-the-holy-spirit-in-reaching-out-to-evangelicals-evangelical-bishop)

      I very much doubt that Mr. Palmer, when he spoke these words, had cultural or ethnic diversity in mind. Rather, he was referring to (irreconcilable) doctrinal differences.

      As traditional Catholics, we can only answer Mr. Palmer with the words of Pope Pius XI (Mortalium Animos, 9):

      > “[S]ince charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest?”

      Another participant at that meeting, Thomas Schirrmacher (WEA), declared for the Protestant website “pro” (pro-medienmagazin.de/gesellschaft/kirche/detailansicht/aktuell/evangelische-allianz-zu-gast-beim-papst-88423/):

      > “He [the Pope] has promised to collaborate more closely with us. Surely, some of those common actions, that were discussed or are already planned, will be made public in the near future.”

      Well, dear Athanasius, I fear that the moment of the “great announcement” Messrs. Schirrmacher and Palmer were hinting at – a sort of proclamation of “unity in diversity” – is at hand.

      May I be proven wrong!

  23. Joannesromanus,

    Sad to say, I don’t think you will be proved wrong. Pope Francis is definitely set on ‘unity in diversity,’ that’s why he continually preaches a misinterpretation of Our Lord’s word’s “that they may all be one.”

    It is actually a great sin for the Pope to suggest that the Church of Our Lord is wounded by a division of Christians into different denominations. Those who have separated themselves from the Catholic Church, the only true Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, do not by their apostasy diminish that Divine Institution, which cannot be divided by any human means.

    In actual fact, the Protestant denominations are in the same position as those in the Gospel who abandoned Our Lord upon hearing that they must eat His body and drink His blood if they would be saved. These were the first Protestants, the first deniers of Transubstantiation, and Our Lord did not run after them begging dialogue and pleading the case for ‘unity in diversity.’ No, He let them cut themselves off from the body of believers and merely turned to the remaining disciples for a confirmation of their belief in Him. It’s an interesting scene where Our Lord asks those who remain: “Will you leave me also?” To which PETER responds “And to whom will we go, Lord, for thou hast the words of eternal life.” Religious ‘unity in diversity,’ then, is a doctrine of demonic origin that seeks to replace the true Catholic religion with a new Tower of Babel.

  24. Within the next couple of days, I will be closing all the October threads, so be sure to post your comments, if there is anything you’ve left unsaid.

    I have just found this report at the Catholic News Agency, and it has left me speechless. Not something that happens a lot. Is there any heretic or schismatic of whom the Pope disapproves?

    • ” there are many areas in which Catholics and Old Catholics can collaborate in meeting the profound spiritual crisis affecting individuals and societies,” the Pope said.”

      He really does not believe that the Catholic Church is unique. I think it is a scandal even to use the term “Old Catholics” just as it is a scandal that he uses the word “gay”.

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