Pope’s Sinister Suggestion: Are ‘Rigid’ People Guilty of Living Double-Life?

How many times will I have to say "don't be rigid"?!**!

How many times will I have to say “don’t be rigid”? There are still Catholics who want to keep the Commandments! For Goodness sake!

Don’t be too rigid.      

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis warned against this natural tendency, and reminded how God wishes for us to be good and merciful, during his homily today during his daily morning Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father drew inspiration from today’s Gospel reading according to St. Matthew, which tells of when Jesus, who was teaching in the synagogue, healed a crippled woman and in doing so, ignited the anger of the righteous.

“It is not easy to keep to the path indicated by God’s Law,” Francis noted.

Jesus’ action, the Jesuit Pontiff pointed out, provoked the fury of the leader of the synagogue who was “indignant that he had cured the woman on the Sabbath” because Jesus violated God’s Law by doing so on the Sabbath day which is set aside for rest and worship. Francis also recalled how Jesus called the synagogue leaders ‘hypocrites,’ and how Jesus often referred to those who followed the Law too rigidly by this name.

To Make Us God’s Children

“The Law,” the Pope said, “was not drawn up to enslave us but to set us free, to make us God’s children.”

“Behind an attitude of rigidity, there is always something else in the life of a person,” the Holy Father said. “Rigidity is not a gift of God. Meekness is; goodness is; benevolence is; forgiveness is. But rigidity isn’t!”

Often, Francis added, rigidity conceals the leading of a double life, or it can have to do with something pathological.

Francis also commented on how those who are both rigid and sincere often are afflicted with difficulties and suffering, which is because they lack the freedom of God’s children.

“They do not know how to walk in the path indicated by God’s Law,” the Pope said, adding, “They appear good because they follow the Law; but they are concealing something else: either they are hypocritical or they are sick. And they suffer!”

Prodigal Son

Recalling the parable of the Prodigal Son in which the eldest son, who always behaved well, was indignant with his father because he rejoiced when the youngest son, after having led a life of debauchery, returns home repentant.

This attitude, the Pope explained, shows what is behind a certain type of goodness: “the pride of believing in one’s righteousness.”

“The elder son,” the Pontiff said, “was rigid and conducted his life following the Law, but saw his father only as a master. The other put rules aside, returned to his father in a time of darkness, and asked for forgiveness.”

Difficult Balance

“It is not easy to walk within the Law of the Lord without falling into rigidity,” he underscored.

Pope Francis concluded, praying for all those who think that by becoming rigid they are following the path of the Lord.

“May the Lord make them feel that He is our Father and that He loves mercy, tenderness, goodness, meekness, humility. And may He teach us all to walk in the path of the Lord with these attitudes.”   Click here to read the original Zenit report

Comment:

There surely has to be a path somewhere between “rigidity” and “false mercy”…  In any case, seems to me that the Pope doesn’t understand the difference between being “rigid” about man-made or secondary rules, and adhering faithfully to God’s essential, natural moral law.  And what about his narrow (if predictable) interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son?  Poor elder brother gets it in the neck again. No mercy for him!  Nor is the Pope’s list complete of what “the Lord” loves:  missing is fidelity, yet God loves fidelity – and, indeed, Christ teaches this in His Parable of the Prodigal Son… through the relationship of the elder son and the Father!  Pope Francis missed that bit! Over to you – what does the Pope mean by not being too “rigid” – do we interpret the fasting laws more liberally (I mean, where to go with a “fast” that is only an hour long anyway?) or is he talking about one or other – or all – of the Ten Commandments?

And what’s this about “rigid” people possibly living a double life?  Correct me if I’m wrong, folks, but, to date, all the scandalous reports of double living within the Church have involved “liberal” types,  who could not be described, in a million years, as being “rigid” about keeping God’s moral law.  I, for one, object to be characterised as a hypocrite, and suspected of living a double life,  on the grounds that I believe the Ten Commandments are binding on us all.  What about you?

52 responses

  1. “Behind an attitude of rigidity, there is always something else in the life of a person,” the Holy Father said. “Rigidity is not a gift of God. Meekness is; goodness is; benevolence is; forgiveness is. But rigidity isn’t!”

    Often, Francis added, rigidity conceals the leading of a double life, or it can have to do with something pathological.

    The above statement from the Pope is deeply troubling.

    All in all, I say we ought to pray for the Holy Father. He needs our prayers.

    • Nicky,

      Yes, Pope Francis IS deeply troubling. I have to say though that there is a way in which sometimes a person who is very strict about moral matters may be covering up something in their own life. The media (and the priests who exposed his double-living) claimed that was the case with Cardinal O’Brien. He was outspoken about the immorality of homosexual activity, yet – it turned out – he had been guilty, to some extent – of that behaviour himself.

      However, that doesn’t mean he was wrong to speak out against it!

      I might be a thief. A liar. It doesn’t mean I don’t know those behaviours are immoral, and it doesn’t mean I can’t speak out publicly against them – it just means two things: firstly, I can’t claim to be innocent, myself. Well, I don’t recall the Cardinal saying he was innocent; during the debate on “gay marriage” he said it should be opposed – that’s all. And that’s all it took for those cowardly priests to use the media to expose him of indulging in that sin without identifying themselves, self-evidently guilty of the same thing. Hypocrisy? You decide. Secondly, we always avoid personalising the sin. We condemn the objective sin (“stealing is wrong… lying is wrong… homosexual activity is wrong…”) without condemning the person. It’s those who shrilly condemn individuals themselves, for whatever transgression, who may be, in fact, concealing their own double-life by pointing the finger at another(s).

      In summary, my point is, that being strict about sexual morality, while it does not mean per se that someone is living a double-life, may, indeed, provide something of a cover for double-living but it’s not living a double-life to condemn immoral behaviour just because we happen to fall into that temptation. Pope Francis should have made that clear in his homily. Assuming that we are acknowledging the sin, confessing and receiving absolution, trying always to overcome that sin, then it is, in fact, a real charity to publicly condemn what we know might lead us – and others – to lose our souls for all eternity. Assuming compassion for those tempted into immorality, it’s certainly not being “too rigid” to condemn seriously sinful behaviour. And – I repeat – it’s not hypocrisy to condemn sin, even if we fall prey to that particular temptation ourselves.

      I think it was St Francis de Sales who prayed in soliloquy: “Lord, is it wrong to speak better than we act?” Reply: “No. If it were, then we would all have to remain silent.”

    • Olaf,

      That link looks very interesting. I will take a look later. Right now I have to go into hiding in order to finish the November newsletter which is very late. But first to answer your question: yes, I fear it WILL get worse but then – peace, perfect peace. At least for a time. Pray for the Consecration of Russia, to see an end to that diabolical disorientation in the Church and the world which has given us Papa Francis.

      More later… much later, I’m afraid!

    • Olaf

      Astounding and very disturbing! The enemies of Our Lord are truly well established within the walls. They will fail, though!

  2. Editor

    I agree 100% with what you have written. There are occasions were moral rigidity can be a cover for someone living a double life. The old saying for such is “I fear thou dost protest too greatly”. However, as you rightly point out, this is usually more applicable to people who personalise sin by condemning individuals. The example of Cardinal O’brien is a good one that demonstrates well enough that a general condemnation of a particular evil, even though one has fallen into that evil himself, can hardly be construed as moral rigidity hiding a double life. All it says is that the individual retains enough of a moral sense to know that what he and others are doing, or have done, is wrong. Cardinal O’Brien’s condemnation of homosexual activity in the public domain tells me that he still recognised the evil of the vice, even though he himself had fallen victim to it. That means there’s hope yet that he may truly and genuinely repent of it.

    Pope Francis, sad to say, as always, leaves his listeners in a state of confusion. It seem the Holy Father is a master at confusing the faithful by deliberately not making himself clear. He should have given examples of what he meant by moral rigidity and exactly what kind of person he was aiming his criticism at. Instead, he left the impression that anyone who refuses to compromise a strict application of the Ten Commandments and the moral law established by God are somehow hypocritical secret perverts. That’s what I took from his obfuscation. Like all Modernist declarations it was ambiguous and open to two different interpretations. Gone are the days when the Popes spoke clearly and with authority in the upholding of divine moral truths. It’s all world-favouring diplomacy now.

  3. I’d have to ask, first, what skeletons and puppeteers are behind Pope Francis’ revolutionary rigidity? The Lavender Mafia? The United Nations? Freemasonry? George Soros? The KGB? World Council of Churches? Lucifer?

    I don’t know how else to characterize his willful determination to destroy the Church in the name of “mercy” – a veritable Reign of Terror to bookend 1793. Like all revolutionaries, he rules with an iron fist, and last time I checked, iron is quite rigid when it is cold.

    Second, I think this blog should start a Pope Francis dictionary, so that visitors can identify what is really meant by certain recurring terms in his anti-Catholic demagoguery. For example, his past uses of “rigid” referred to traditional and/or orthodox “mainstream” Catholics, who, because they love God and want to be with Him in eternity, faithfully cling to and observe everything the Church teaches, and therefore reject the heresies Francis attempts to promulgate in Modernist fashion.

    • Crofterlady,

      I’ve looked in vain, including in the LaStampa hit piece linked in that article, for the second phrase of Hilary White’s headline: “…into his evil designs to destroy Holy Mother Church.” In other words, Cardinal Zen said no such thing, and Hilary White needs to apologize and retract for getting her typically overwrought and prolix shorts in a bunch – not to mention for the scandalous cartoon depiction of Francis as an antipope wielding a demonic skull as a crozier. I’m getting really weary of Hilary White.

      And John Vennari needs to unlink that article from his CFN website, not only because the headline is a lie, but because it gives us traditionalists false hope that a Cardinal has finally publicly challenged and warned the Pope about his heresies.

      • RCA Victor,

        I’m dismayed to read this – I missed it on the 26th because my head was down racing to get the newsletter to the printers – and I included that quote from Cardinal Zen at the last minute!. I’m absolutely livid with Hilary White.

        Would bloggers please not quote from her again here – she’s not to be trusted.

        Thank you RCA Victor for sending me the link to your comment by email – I’m swamped right now but took a minute to read this and express my concerns. My guess is that she is so desperate to get a “scoop” that she doesn’t thoroughly check sources – and now I stand accused for taking HER as a reliable source. Never again. I’ll have to own up in the January edition because November is now at the printers.

          • RCA Victor,

            Absolutely. I managed to track down a means of contacting her, via her blog, and I submitted the following comment for publication…

            I am reliably informed that you have misquoted Cardinal Zen and I am livid about it. Despite having long standing reservations about your writings, I decided to quote your alleged Cardinal Zen remarks about “…. Pope Francis’ evil designs…” in my editorial (Catholic Truth newsletter) just gone to the printers, only to discover, via one of our (American) bloggers, that you have inaccurately reported the Cardinal’s original words.

            I’ve asked our bloggers not to quote you on anything from now on. I’m mortified that I used you as a source. Never again. Stop being so keen on getting “scoops” and double check your sources in future – and believe me, I’m going to take my own advice on this. Big time. Right now, I’m already working on my apology for our next edition. You once called me a “nutjob” – I’m suppressing the adjectives about you which spring to mind, since I’m due at Confession and my list is quite long enough. As above mentioned American blogger said: just shows you really can’t trust anyone named Hilary/Hillary. Quite.

            Do I really need to add that my comment has not been published? And it’s not that she’s spoilt for choice – Last time I checked (earlier this morning) there were only around half a dozen comments up there.

            Hilary White has shifted her position since the election of Pope Francis. Previously (as I know from e-mail correspondence with her) she was in the “don’t criticise the Pope as long as he’s saying all the right pro-life things” (she wrote for LifeSiteNews at the time) to “The Pope’s evil”

            She writes for The Remnant, which gives her kudos and endangers their credibility.

            I will never quote anything from her again. I actually removed material from my editorial to praise Cardinal Zen for being the first cardinal to call out Pope Francis, assuming (wrongly) that she was accurately quoting the original source. I did take a step back with “evil designs” as that goes further than I, personally, would have gone, but, hey, he’s the cardinal so who was I to judge?

            Catholic Truth has a reputation for accuracy, so I am beyond livid that I am going to have to own up to being less than careful with this one. Hilary White is history, I’m afraid. Outspoken is one thing, Making it up as you go along, quite another.

            • Hilary White has now published my comment on her blog and replied to it. I’ve replied to her reply! Here is the exchange:

              FROM HILARY WHITE

              You are free to do the necessary research/fact checking that everyone must do when you create a newsletter. One of the first things that will become clear when you do this is that the “evil designs” comment you have quoted does not have quote marks around it, making it evident that this was my own writing, not Cardinal Zen’s. The original article was linked, and quoted in the indented and italicized section above. There is another that is linked and indented/italicized immediately below it, making it plain what is and is not attributed to the original article I was quoting. The easiest and most immediate way to check a quote is to click the link. If there is a problem with the link, I’m happy to fix it.

              It is the general practice to offset quotes in some way as I have described above.

              Anything that is not offset in this way is not a quote, but my own writing.

              This is what we call “comment” which you and your readers are free to disregard.

              One of the comments that I stand behind most forcefully is that you are and remain a nutjob, your having given me no reason to reconsider that opinion. To that I must now add careless. I certainly encourage you most heartily to continue to ignore me. END.

              MY RESPONSE, WHICH IS NOW IN MODERATION…

              You appear to be unable to distinguish rudeness from outspokenness in defence of the Faith. That’s a pity, and I do hope you come to see that you cannot camouflage your bad manners as “defending the Faith” . It’s perfectly possible to be forthright, forceful even, without being nasty.

              Technically, you are right. You did not place speech marks around the words you attributed to Cardinal Zen, but you did say that he “said it” – that’s a step beyond mere comment. I might say “you heard it here first…” or similar, but not “he said it” – and then place words into his mouth which he didn’t say. From your piece: ( and I quote your piece verbatim) – Cardinal Zen – who has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the Faith in the worst possible circumstances – has said it: Do not follow this pope into his evil designs to destroy Holy Mother Church.

              I am usually extremely careful about sources, and have been since our first publication in 1999. I definitely slipped up this time. You are right about that. I was careless. Since this is going to cost us an erratum slip with each copy going into the post next week, I can assure you it won’t happen again.

              Just curious….I wonder what makes you consider me a “nutjob” – is it because of our email exchange some years ago when – as a journalist with LifeSiteNews – you defended Pope John Paul II (and later Benedict) against our criticism, since as long as a pope said “abortion is evil”, all was well with the LifeSiteNews world? You were, at that time, an out and out papolatrist. I’m certainly glad that you have move forward into understanding that being “pro-life” is not an exclusively Christian virtue, but is a matter of the most basic natural law, and that we expect a tad more from a pope. Anyway, whatever, I’ve been called a lot worse, so let’s not fall out over a “nutjob”.

              Kind regards. END

              I’m now off to organise the erratum slip!

              • I went through to that site, using Crofterlady’s link and on the next page there is an article about Bishop Fellay – she quotes Bp Wlliamson on the “antipope” “Bergoglio” so I think she’s obviously a sedevacantist.

              • Editor,

                That sort of dissembling on her part is as laughable, and dishonest, as her namesake over here claiming she didn’t know emails marked “C” were classified!

                She is obviously a practiced liar. Perhaps Michael Matt should be notified of her sedevacantist tendencies?

                • RCA Victor,

                  She is certainly less than honest. She’s changed the headline on that page where my comments appear, from the Cardinal Zen quote about “evil designs” to something a tad less dramatic – Catholic Cardinal: no obligation to follow a pope who betrays the Church. Kinda something we’ve all known all along. You can visit her blog and read that piece here

                  So far, at time of this writing, my second comment has not been published.

                  Anyway, I’ve now sent off an erratum slip to the printers, and will change the online version before it goes into cyberspace next week. And I don’t need to wait for the New Year to enact this particular new resolution: never, EVER to quote or cite Hilary White as a source… EVER!

                  Something else came to me just now; she attributed “evil designs” to the Pope (and I, to my eternal shame, followed her bad example, for which I apologise in the erratum slip) and, surprised at myself for doing that, I wondered at her making that mistake; that is to say, we do not judge intentions or possible intentions, only words and actions. So, we cannot accuse anyone of “evil by design”. We (newsletter team and bloggers) have stated over and over that we believe the crisis in the Church at the highest levels, is due to a spiritual blindness. That is about as much as we can say. We know from Fatima that we had to expect this diabolical disorientation. And that was it. I remembered that Hilary White had said somewhere (Remnant blog, I think) something which had the effect of minimising if not dismissing the Fatima apparitions. I’d need to search out her exact words, but that she was not promoting, but rather sweeping aside, Fatima, sticks in my mind.

                  That, bloggers, explains a lot about the nature of her writing and her inability to distinguish levels of permissible judgment. Pray for her, cheeky so & so that she has been to me. “Nutjob”? Wharrrrracheek!

                  • I wonder what evidence Miss White has to call you a “nutjob”? Rather unchristian really. From my knowledge of you I think you are perfectly sane and clear thinking.

                    • Olaf,

                      I really have no idea. I can remember only that she disagreed with our assessment of the causes of the crisis in the Church, which included, of course, negligence in the holder of the highest office, but I don’t recall any personal nastiness towards me at that time.

                      Anyway, I paid a quick visit to her blog just now to see if she offered the requested explanation but no – my second comment has not been published. Ah well… we wonder on!

                      Update: 31 October: I have submitted a short comment to say that I think Hilary White is being entirely dishonest by withholding my second comment, my reply to her comment of 28 October. Will check back for a day or so to see if she does the right thing. Then I’ll ignore her writings and will not visit her blog again. It’s one thing to have disagreements on a blog, but quite another to deliberately suppress perfect valid comment, when it is presented without any rudeness or nastiness.

  4. Francis seems to talk in more and more riddles every day. Surely he Must as Pontiff be preaching more about the Straight and Narrow Paths . No ordinary Human is perfect but there are some who not only walk the walk but talk the talk . These to me are Our Saints and thank God we have their examples within Our One Holy Catholic Church. I think it’s time us laity told him there are still very many of us who –Do Not Want To Be Protestant.

  5. Better a hypocrite than a liberal; at least the former knows right from wrong and has enough shame to pretend, and it’s unbelievable that Pope Francis is lecturing others on meekness! Specks and beams come to mind.

  6. I think that Pope Francis is well past his ‘sell by.’ date. He gives more politically based sermons as he goes on believing he has a duty to lead the sheep that are lost. It ends up in gabble. A Pope like a priest must always teach Christ and teach the way Christ taught.

  7. <i.Jesus’ action, the Jesuit Pontiff pointed out, provoked the fury of the leader of the synagogue who was “indignant that he had cured the woman on the Sabbath” because Jesus violated God’s Law by doing so on the Sabbath day…

    Erm, He IS God. It’s His Law.

    “Behind an attitude of rigidity, there is always something else in the life of a person,” the Holy Father said. “Rigidity is not a gift of God. Meekness is; goodness is; benevolence is; forgiveness is. But rigidity isn’t!”

    Often, Francis added, rigidity conceals the leading of a double life, or it can have to do with something pathological.

    Francis also commented on how those who are both rigid and sincere often are afflicted with difficulties and suffering, which is because they lack the freedom of God’s children.

    “They do not know how to walk in the path indicated by God’s Law,” the Pope said, adding, “They appear good because they follow the Law; but they are concealing something else: either they are hypocritical or they are sick. And they suffer!”

    You know, these are exactly the sentiments that Lucifer uses to confound!

    Recalling the parable of the Prodigal Son in which the eldest son, who always behaved well, was indignant with his father because he rejoiced when the youngest son, after having led a life of debauchery, returns home repentant.

    This attitude, the Pope explained, shows what is behind a certain type of goodness: “the pride of believing in one’s righteousness.”

    “The elder son,” the Pontiff said, “was rigid and conducted his life following the Law, but saw his father only as a master. The other put rules aside, returned to his father in a time of darkness, and asked for forgiveness.”

    The father told the eldest son “everything I have is yours”. Not a bad reward for being “rigid”, was it?

    • Well, Therese, you need to do whatever it takes to get a job as a stand up comic. You’re in danger of becoming an out & out scream 😀

  8. I wonder if Pope Francis would think it “too rigid” of us to promote this book? Maybe if HE read it, he might decide it was time for him to speak out clearly on the subject and not worry about being criticised for being “judgmental”.

  9. What about the rigidity of the ‘LGBT’ brigade, who are now busy persecuting (and prosecuting) anyone who dares to disagree with them. Such people would NEVER countenance any views other than their own. Does Francis ever condemn that kind of rigidity?

  10. And this too

    With the Lutheran ecumenical horror at hand, this seems to be the appropriate time to recall the vision of Blessed Anna-Katarina Emmerick

    Anna-Katarina Emmerick(19th century): The Church is in great danger…The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere. I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived. They all work for the destruction, even the clergy. A great destruction is now at hand…I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was admitted in it in order to be united and to have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church…I saw again a new and odd-looking Church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it… (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, pp. 66, 71, 116)

    Dominus Libera nos a malo

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