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?

UN Establishes Post of LGBT Enforcer

International institutions exist to impose their radical vision on the whole world.
Just a few days ago in Geneva disaster struck. Click here 

C-Fam Centre For family and human rights logo

Radical delegations from Europe have established the position of UN-LGBT Enforcer.

This UN-LGBT Enforcer will travel the world imposing the sexual revolution on peoples and churches and countries who do not want it.

It will be under the guise of protecting LGBT people from discrimination. But that is a lie.

The purpose will be aimed at anyone who believes in traditional sexual morality and to stamp out that belief.

The New United Nations LGBT Enforcer will determine, without a doubt, that your religious beliefs are nothing more than hate.

The new UN-LGBT Enforcer will come with the might and muscle of the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States and with the power to enforce this radical new belief.

C-Fam and other pro-family NGOs worked tirelessly to block this new position. Alas, under threat of losing international aid and other unethical threats, the new position was instituted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

C-Fam and our allies around the world will be on the watch for the inevitable abuses that will come from this individual and the powerful forces behind him.

We cannot do this alone; we cannot do this without your prayers; we cannot do this without your financial support.

We are up against the most powerful people and institutions on the earth. They have unlimited funds and the power of governments behind them.

We pledge never to give up in defending religious people against the new sexual ideology. But we cannot do it without your help.

Austin Ruse
President – C-Fam

Comment:

Will the hierarchy please end their deafening – if not cowardly – silence on the relentless spread of LGBT influence?  

With a Pope who is falling over himself to appease and apologise to them all over the place, it can’t be easy, I agree, but it is the duty of everyone in the Church, ordained and lay, to expose and fight public sin. Nobody can claim to be working for Social Justice, that is, the reign of Christ the King, Who must be at the head of every nation under Heaven, while tolerating and even accepting, as a good in its own right, the diabolical spread of homosexuality. And now we have this acceptance moving to enforcement.  

Do we have anything to fear from the creation of this LGBT Enforcer post? Will we find ourselves being criminalised simply for openly discussing our concerns – e.g. in the blogosphere?  Or do I exaggerate?  Over to you… 

Archbishop Tartaglia: Catholic schools have never been more successful…

Archbishop Tartaglia

Archbishop Tartaglia

In his June 2016 end of term message to Catholic educators in Glasgow, Archbishop Tartaglia writes: 

“I am pleased to be offered this opportunity to address a few words to those who teach in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Glasgow and, through them, to all who have a stake in Catholic Education, not least parents and parishioners, and the young people themselves who are pupils.

As we approach the end of School Year 2015-16, I want to thank you all for your participation in the great project which is Catholic Education. With the person of Jesus Christ at the centre, Catholic Education attempts to offer children and young people, as well as educators themselves, an opportunity to grow into people who can fulfil God’s purposes for them and who can help to make our society and our communities better.  Catholic schools have never been more successful and more appreciated by the Catholic community – and by others – as they are now. The need for Catholic Education is there for all to see.  It is important that we make Catholic schools all the more ready to meet that challenge and that need by offering an authentic Catholic Education to our children and young people. Thank you for all your work. And may God bless you.”

+Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow  

 

Catholic schools should be producing saints... or at least practising Catholics!

Catholic schools should be producing saints… or at least practising Catholics!


Now, bad enough that the Archbishop’s 4-page glossy publication for teachers contains the blatant falsehood that “Catholic schools have never been more successful…” right there on page 1 – I mean, talk about delusion on a grand scale. That’s bad enough.  But turn to page 2, ‘Upcoming Events’ and note the ‘academic retreat’ scheduled for 2nd December 2016 or 25th March, 2017 (9.30am – 3pm both days) on the subject of – wait for this… brace yourself: Amoris Laetitia – Teaching the Joy of Love.

Instead of sticking this Exhortation (to sin) on a shelf somewhere in the hope that it goes away, here we have the Archdiocese of Glasgow, via its Religious Education Department, actually preparing staff to “teach it”.  How? And to which age group?  Are the teachers going to be told to emphasise the “mercy” of God, under the new definition of “mercy” as being “let nothing keep you from Holy Communion. No matter what the sin, it’s not bad enough to keep you from being in a state of grace”  – is that what the teachers are going to be told to teach?  After all, there can be no need for a special “academic retreat” merely to repeat, in season and out of season, the Church’s well known and unchangeable teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the gravity of sexual intimacy in any context whatsoever, outside of marriage.  Is there?

Is it a fond hope that some alarmed parent somewhere in the Archdiocese of Glasgow will have the intelligence to demand sight of the lesson plans in order to see how this “useless palaver” (p.16 Catholic Truth, Issue No. 95, June 2016 edition) is going to be taught in classrooms? 

Comments invited…  

The Application of Amoris Laetitia …

In a bulletin from St. Anne Chicoutimi parish in Canada this past April we can see the real effects of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Celebration of Fidelity, which up to now celebrated the silver and gold anniversaries of couples in this formerly Catholic parish in Quebec, was replaced by a “Celebration of Love” announced as follows: “We now wish to welcome all couples who want to celebrate their love and renew their commitment to each other, regardless of the type of their commitment (Catholic marriage, civil marriage, common-law or same-sex partners) and regardless of how many years (1 year, 8 years, 25 years, 57 years, 62 years). We consider any couple’s commitment important.”

 

I'm delighted to learn of the Canadian celebration of love. That's the spirit! The God of Surprises strikes again! Well done, Canada!

I’m delighted to learn of the Canadian Celebration of Love. That’s the spirit! The God of Surprises strikes again! Well done, Canada!


Let’s be clear: this is not a celebration of love, but rather the egalitarian celebration of sacramental marriage, legal cohabitation, free unions and homosexual relationships. All couples are put on the same level, all presumably having the same exemplary value.

This is not a celebration of love, it is the love of celebration in itself and for its own sake, devoid of all objective content. All that matters is personal commitment, subjective feeling, and sincerity liberated from the Gospel truth of marriage.

This is how the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is put into practice in real life. No longer “The Joy of Love”, but the love of joy, emancipated from the Gospel truth of marriage. A sad joy.

Father Alain Lorans: Amoris Laetitia in Real Life  –  Source

Comments invited – especially from those who argue that AL didn’t change a thing…

Amoris Laetitia Must Be Withdrawn

ChrisFerrara

Christopher Ferrara

Below, an Open Letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, written by The Remnant columnist Christopher Ferrara  He concludes: “Is it enough to call, as you do, for “an authentic interpretation of AL by the Apostolic See” that would reaffirm Familiaris consortio 84 and the bi-millennial sacramental discipline it defends? Is it not perfectly clear that such an authentic interpretation is precisely what AL was devised to preclude, and that therefore it will never be forthcoming during this pontificate (barring a miraculous turn of events)? And, finally, is it not also perfectly clear that the problems with AL go far beyond the ecclesial status of the divorced and “remarried” to an attack on the very foundations of the objective moral order, rhetorically reduced to a set of rules from which an actor may be excused in “certain cases”?  End of extract.

Amen to that Christopher. It seems to me that it is not enough for Pope Francis to provide some sort of “clarification” of Amoris Laetitia. It should be scrapped. Withdrawn. Immediately if not sooner.  Note, too, Mr Ferrara’s criticism of the rest of the hierarchy who have largely remained silent in the wake of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation.  Is he right – should more bishops follow the example of Bishop Schneider in be speaking out? Remember, we know that our very own Archbishop Philip Tartaglia expressed disquiet after the Synod “Part One” when he indicated that he may not BE archbishop if the 2015 synod continued in the same vein. Yet, he has remained silent following the publication of the post-synodal Exhortation, which, by any Catholic measure, is deeply flawed, to say the least.  Anyway, read the Open Letter below and then share your thoughts… 

Open Letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider…

Your Excellency:

To your everlasting credit, but to the Church’s everlasting shame, you alone among the entire Catholic episcopacy have protested publicly and forthrightly against the many statements in Amoris Laetitia (AL), particularly in Chapter 8, which appear to derogate from the negative precepts of the natural law, including those against divorce, adultery and fornication. By the divine will, these precepts, as Your Excellency writes, “are universally valid… oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance” and “forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception” because they concern “kinds of behaviour which can never, in any situation, be a proper response.”

 Yet there is no question that AL was written ambiguously, but with relentless consistency, precisely to create the impression of “exceptions” to absolute moral precepts which the document tendentiously describes throughout its text as merely “general rules (2, 300, 304)”, a “general principle,” “rules (3, 35, 288)”, “a set of rules” (49, 201, 305)”, “a rule (300, 301, 304)”, “the rule (301 & note 348)”, “a general rule (301)” and “a general law or rule (301).”

Bishop Schneider

Bishop Schneider

As Your Excellency has doubtless discerned, AL’s reduction of the moral law to a “general rule” is the rhetorical device by which “exceptions” to the rule are introduced in “certain cases” involving what AL euphemistically describes as an “irregular union” or “irregular situations” (78, 298, 301, 305 & note 351)—meaning, of course, those who “are divorced and remarried, or simply living together (297)” in a state of continuing public adultery or simple fornication.

At the same time it reduces the moral law to a “set of rules” to which there can be practical exceptions—as with any mere rule—AL also demotes the indissolubility of marriage from its divinely ordained status as the universally binding, exceptionless moral foundation for conjugal relations to merely an “ideal (36), “a demanding ideal (38),” “the ideal (298, 303)”, “this ideal (292)”, “the ideal of growing old together (39),” “the Christian ideal (119, 297)”, “a struggle to achieve an ideal (148)”, “the ideal of marriage (157)”, “the high ideal (200)”, “the beautiful ideal (230)”, “the full ideal (307)”, “the fuller ideal (307)”, and “the evangelical ideal (308).”

Having reduced marriage to a mere ideal, AL dares to suggest that certain sexually immoral unions can “realize it in at least a partial and analogous way” and that they possess “constructive elements (298).” AL even goes so far as to declare that a “second union”—meaning a relationship Our Lord Himself condemned as adultery—can exhibit “proven fidelity, generous self giving, [and] Christian commitment… (298).” AL thus obscures, indeed seeks to eliminate, the sense of divine moral reprobation of the adulterous character of nonexistent “second marriages.”

Even the teaching of the very Pope that Francis canonized is subjected to a devious reductionism. In line with all of Tradition, John Paul II affirmed in Familiaris consortio that the divorced and “remarried” cannot be admitted to the sacraments without a commitment to abstain from further adulterous relations: “Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). 

Yet, as Your Excellency rightly objects, AL systematically omits any reference to John Paul’s affirmation of the Church’s constant teaching in this regard. Rather, AL relegates it to a footnote wherein an absolute moral imperative is falsely presented as the mere “possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers.” In the same footnote even this gross misrepresentation of the authentic Magisterium is undermined by the suggestion (based in turn on a flagrantly misleading quotation of Gaudium et spes) that “In such situations, many people… point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.’” As if “intimacy” were morally required to ensure “faithfulness” to a partner in adultery!

Finally, in a summary statement that should alone suffice to cover this tragic document with opprobrium until the end of time, AL declares that even those who know full well “the rule” and “the ideal” can nonetheless be justified in their deliberate decision not to conform their actions to the moral law, and that God Himself would approve of this disobedience to His Commandments in “the concrete complexity” of one’s situation:

Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response that can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. (303)

This statement, reflecting the entire tenor of the document, is obviously nothing less than a license for the “pastoral” exoneration of habitual public adultery or cohabitation based on the subjective self-assessment of objective mortal sinners. These people would then be admitted to the sacraments, without a prior amendment of life, in “certain cases,” following a local priest’s “pastoral discernment filled with merciful love, which is ever ready to understand, forgive, accompany, hope, and above all integrate (312)” people living in immoral sexual unions. (Cf. 305 & note 351).

Your Excellency notes with due alarm that in the wake of AL’s promulgation “There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence.” And, as you rightly observe: “It must be admitted that certain statements in AL could be used to justify an abusive practice that has already been going on for some time in various places and circumstances in the life of the Church.”

Indeed, Your Excellency’s conclusion is inescapable. Also inescapable are the consequences, which you yourself enumerate and we summarize here:

– the Sixth Commandment would no longer be universally binding; 

– the very words of Christ would not apply to everyone in every situation; 

– one could be allowed to receive Holy Communion with every intention of continuing to violate the Commandments; 

– observance of the Commandments would become merely theoretical, with people piously professing belief in the “theory” as they violate God’s law in practice; 

– all other forms of permanent and public disobedience to the Commandments could likewise be justified on account of “mitigating circumstances”; 

– the infallible moral teaching of the Magisterium would no longer be universally valid; 

– observance of the Sixth Commandment in Christian marriage would become a mere ideal attainable only by “a kind of elite”; 

– the very words of Christ enjoining an uncompromising obedience to the commandments of God—that is, the carrying of the Cross in this life— “would no longer be valid as absolute truth.”

Yet your fellow prelates now observe an all but universal silence in the face of this “catastrophe.” Only Your Excellency courageously declares before the world that “Admitting couples living in ‘irregular unions’ to Holy Communion and allowing them to practice acts that are reserved for spouses in a valid marriage would be tantamount to the usurpation of a power that does not belong to any human authority, because to do so would be a pretension to correct the Word of God himself.”

Among more than 5,000 bishops and more than 200 cardinals, Your Excellency stands alone in protesting publicly the unthinkable abuses to which this disgraceful document—utterly without precedent in the bi-millennial history of the papacy—undeniably lends itself. Even the few among your fellow prelates who have addressed the crisis AL has provoked have tried to deny its clear intendment, so evident in Chapter 8. They propose emasculating “interpretations” in “continuity with the Magisterium” amounting to virtually the opposite of what AL’s most problematic passages assert repeatedly in different ways.

But as the eminent French theologian Father Claude Barthe observedimmediately after AL’s publication: “I honestly do not see how one could interpret Chapter 8 of the Exhortation in the sense of traditional doctrine. It would do violence to the text and wouldn’t respect the intention of the compilers…” Likewise, the renowned Catholic philosopher Robert Spaemann, an advisor to John Paul II and a friend of Benedict XVI, replied thuswhen asked if AL represents a breach with prior teaching: “That it is an issue of a breach emerges doubtlessly for every thinking person, who knows the respective texts.”

Others among your brethren, unwilling to deny the obvious, have seriously proposed that Francis has promulgated nothing more than inconsequential “personal reflections” he does not expect anyone to heed. But even this objection focuses on formalities such as tone and style, rather than admitting openly that AL cannot belong to the Magisterium for the simple reason that its assertions, given the meaning of words according to their ordinary signification, cannot be reconciled with the Church’s authentic teaching on marriage and sexual morality.

None of these timid objectors among the hierarchy seem willing to recognize the almost apocalyptic aspect of a papal document wherein the moral law is depicted as a “general rule,” Holy Matrimony is reduced to “an ideal,” and the sacred pastors of the Church are told that “a pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives (305).” This is not the language of Our Lord and His Gospel, but rather a kind of demagogic incantation that seems to fulfill Saint Paul’s prophecy of a time when the people “will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables (2 Tim 4: 3-5).”

Aside from Your Excellency and a few courageous priests, only the laity have exhibited anything approaching the vigorous opposition which this scandalous “apostolic exhortation” demands from every member of the Church. In this regard, Your Excellency remarks on the parallel between our situation and the Arian crisis of the 4th century, when “almost the entire episcopate had become Arian or Semi-Arian.” Pope Liberius excommunicated your namesake St. Athanasius, and the Pope himself “signed one of the ambiguous formulations of Sirmium, in which the term ‘homoousios’ [of one substance] was eliminated.” You also note that “St. Hilary of Poitiers was the only bishop who dared to rebuke Pope Liberius severely for these ambiguous acts.”

The parallel with your own courageous witness against the “ambiguous formulations” of AL is lost on no one who has any sense of Catholic history. As you write: “Arguably, in our time, confusion is already spreading with regard to the sacramental discipline for divorced and remarried couples.” Hence, you conclude, the teaching of John Paul II in Familiaris consortio 84—totally suppressed in AL’s 256 pages, as it was throughout the years-long “synodal journey”— “may be seen, to some extent, as the ‘homoousios’ of our days’.”

In light of these considerations, however, we must in candor raise these questions for Your Excellency’s consideration: Is it enough to call, as you do, for “an authentic interpretation of AL by the Apostolic See” that would reaffirm Familiaris consortio 84 and the bi-millennial sacramental discipline it defends? Is it not perfectly clear that such an authentic interpretation is precisely what AL was devised to preclude, and that therefore it will never be forthcoming during this pontificate (barring a miraculous turn of events)? And, finally, is it not also perfectly clear that the problems with AL go far beyond the ecclesial status of the divorced and “remarried” to an attack on the very foundations of the objective moral order, rhetorically reduced to a set of rules from which an actor may be excused in “certain cases”?

For all these reasons, we implore Your Excellency to do everything in his power to persuade his brethren in the episcopacy—above all the cardinals, who are bound by oath to lay down their lives for defense of the Faith—to mount concerted and decisive public opposition to the destructive novelties of Amoris laetitia, explicitly identifying them as such, warning the faithful against them, and respectfully petitioning the Pope for their immediate correction or the total withdrawal of the catastrophic text.

As Prof. Spaemann has said: “Every cardinal, but also every bishop and priest, is called to defend, in their own field of expertise, the Catholic sacramental system and to profess it publicly. If the Pope is not willing to introduce corrections, it will be up to the next pontificate to put things back in place officially.” Meanwhile, however, we humbly submit to Your Excellency that this shameful silence of the hierarchs must end for the good of the Church and the welfare of souls. For as Sister Lucia of Fatima warned Cardinal Caffarra, one of the few staunch opponents of the progressive faction (and thus Francis himself) during the Synod: “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.”

The final battle is surely underway. And woe to the shepherds who leave the sheep to defend themselves in its midst.
In Christo Rege,

Christopher A. Ferrara  Source – The Remnant Newspaper 

NOT a Catholic Truth discussion - no way!

NOT a Catholic Truth discussion – no way!

Pope’s PC Prayer Intention For May…

 

Comment…

This is the same PC message that any self-respecting radical feminist could have written.  What sort of message in support of women do we expect from a pope – any pope – especially one that is published in the month of Mary?  

8th April: Start of Greatest Revolution in Church in 1500 Years – Cardinal Kasper

As we prepare  for the release of the Pope’s post-synodal Exhortation on Friday 8th April, it might be useful to reflect on the issues raised in the following article published by Catholic Family News.

 

The Exhortation will be presented to journalists at the Holy See’s Press Office on Friday 8 April at 11.30am (Rome time).

The Exhortation will be presented to journalists at the Holy See’s Press Office on Friday 8 April at 11.30 am (Rome time) 10.30.am UK time. 


When the document is released on Friday, we will discuss it on this thread and rejoice – absolutely – if the fears implicit below, turn out to be groundless. I’m sure we are all praying to that end.  Feel free to read the article below, but refrain from commenting until the Exhortation is released on Friday, if you wish – that’s perfectly acceptable. However, we’ll leave the thread open for those who do wish to comment before Friday.  At the end of the article,  there is a video link to the live-stream of the Presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation, available to view at 10.30 am (UK time) on Friday 8th April. If you click on the image above, that will also take you through to the live-stream video.

Francis’ Synod Exhortation: Brace Yourself for Revolution?

The Past is Prologue

by John Vennari

The Vatican announced Francis’ post-synodal Exhortation, titled Amoris Laetitia (“On Love in the Family”), will be released on Friday, April 8.

            Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said the document will be presented in the Vatican newsroom at 11:30 am by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Synod’s secretary, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a married couple, Francesco and Giuseppina Miano who participated in the Synod discussions.

            Both Baldisseri and Schönborn are very much in line with Pope Francis’ thinking.     

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

            The National Catholic Reporter quoted Australia’s progressivist Archbishop Mark Coleridge who rejoiced, “I expect the papal document to be a typical Bergoglio combination of challenge and encouragement.”[1]

            Cardinal Walter Kasper already announced the text will be revolutionary. “The document,” said Kasper, “will mark the start of the greatest revolution experienced by the Church in 1500 years.”[2] 

Cardinal Walter Kasper

Cardinal Walter Kasper

            I travelled to Rome to cover the October 2015 Synod, along with my friend and colleague Chris Ferrara. Spent 14 days there, the final two weeks of the event. Based on what we saw coming from the Synod, as well as the daily Vatican press briefings, there is good reason to fear the new Exhortation will be every bit as “revolutionary” as Cardinal Kasper pledges.

            After some preliminary remarks, we will take a close look at these press briefings, especially some revealing comments of the liberal Archbishop Coleridge. The final week of the Synod was one of revolutionary expectations.

“Resist Not the Spirit”?

            From the beginning of his pontificate, Francis made clear his resolve to advance the Conciliar agenda. He sees the modernist updating from John XXIII’s Second Vatican Council as a work of the Holy Ghost to be embraced, not resisted. Vatican II ushered us into the evolutionary process of continuous aggiornamento, justified by the changing pastoral needs of the time. Francis implies we should be attentive to the alleged call of the spirit to even more revolutionary change, and more razing of Catholic bastions that block the way for renewal.

            Thus we better understand Francis’ exaltation of Vatican II and his scolding of “hard-headed” Catholics. This oft-quoted speech took place on April 14, 2013, only a month after his election to the papacy.

            “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit,” said Francis. “Consider Pope John. He looked like a good parish priest; he was obedient to the Holy Spirit and he did it. But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of growth of the Church that was the Council? No. We celebrate this anniversary; we make a monument, as long as it does not bother us. We do not want to change. What is more, some people want to go back. This is hard-headedness. This is what we call, trying to tame the Holy Spirit, this is what we call becoming foolish and slow of heart.”[3]

            The Synod is a main engine in furthering this “work of the Spirit”. As I’ve noted in the past, the Synod has been established in order to advance the implementation of Vatican II throughout the world. That is how it was defined by Father Kenneth Boyack, a Paulist who had worked with the NCCB.[4]

            Likewise, Tad Szulc, in his biography of Pope John Paul II, explained that the Synod is a “permanent organ to implement the decisions of the Second Vatican Council.”[5]

            Thus the purpose of the Synod is to keep the continuous aggiornamento alive, to keep the accomodata renovatio in motion, in order to implement the Council throughout the world, through the collegial method. The Synod is an ever-present extension of Vatican II into the future.

            The tumult leading up to the 2015 Synod is well known: Cardinal Kasper’s call in February 2014 to pave the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist; Francis’ public praise and support for the Kasper proposal; the working document for the 2014 Synod containing an avalanche of perverse proposals such as “new language” to replace natural law, openness towards the homosexual lifestyle, including the tacit nod for homosexuals to be godparents; the tumultuous 2014 Synod; the scandalous pro-homosexual, pro-cohabitation mid-term report; the subsequent Vatican questionnaire in which the bishops were told not to form their responses merely based on doctrine; the 2015 Instrumentum Laboris forcefully criticized by the more orthodox prelates, including Archbishop Schneider who warned that it pushes an agenda contrary to Divine Law.

            In short, we see a process in which the integrity of Catholic doctrine appears to be the last concern of those steering the events.

            The final Francis-offensive in favor of breaking down the Church’s moral edifice in the name of “Mercy” was manifest in the final week of Press Briefings.

            I had arrived in Rome on October 12, and went to the various press briefings during the second week. These sessions included various lay participants of the Synod who were so happy, so happy, so happy to be there. I paid little attention to these useless sessions, as I knew the key briefings would take place the third week

            Sure enough, this was the case.

            Each day of the final week, the most radical prelates were trotted out by the Vatican Press Office to tell the world what the Synod was, and what were the true goals for the future. These prelates included Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (outspoken supporter of the Kasper Proposal), Cardinal Oswald Gracias (on record calling outto homosexuals, “the Church embraces you, wants you, and the Church needs you”),[6] Spirit-of-Assisi Cardinal Paul Turkson, and Cardinal Christophe Schonborn (who appears to be of one mind with Cardinal Marx). One had the sense the entire week of press conferences was staged-managed for a pre-determined result.

“No Black or White” Coleridge

            Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia kicked off the final week of Synod Press Briefings. Each daily press event of the final week comprised at least three synod prelates (different prelates every day) along with Father Frederico Lombardi, Vatican Press Secretary. Coleridge, by far, was the most colorful. He was also the most helpful, as he gave the game away in clear crystal tones.

            I spotlight Coleridge’s October 19 comments as he represents to a more or less degree the position of the most radical Synod prelates, including – according to all available evidence – that of Pope Francis himself. His testimony is crucial, as it indicates the thinking behind the maneuvering, and the path Francis is most likely to take in the future.

            Coleridge insists that doctrine is one thing, and pastoral practice is another. It’s all about starting from human experience (as we repeatedly warned would be the case in previous issues of CFN). In this regard, Cardinal Wuerl and others say, “We must meet people where they are.” Coleridge likewise insists the Church “must put down its roots in human experience.” This is code for accepting the person’s sinful lifestyles as is, and then bend pastoral practice to accommodate it. This is called the “creative” pastoral approach.

            Though he claims to respect the Church’s traditional teaching regarding divorce and remarried, Coleridge says, “not every case [of adultery] is the same, and that’s where the pastoral approach needs to take account … just to say every second marriage or second union [divorced and remarried] is adulterous is perhaps too sweeping.”

            In one sense Coleridge says nothing new. The Church always noted there can be different degrees of culpability regarding such sins – but also insists that these grievous sins remain grievous sins that bar the soul from the Eucharist. The new “discernment” approach, however, favored by modern ecclesial delinquents, looks to pry open a way to grant access to the Eucharist for couples living in adultery who will not correct their lifestyle.

            Coleridge derides the “all or nothing” attitude, saying there is “no black or white.” He frowns upon the word “adultery,” claiming that it is a “convenient and apparently clear blanket term” that does not deal with the reality of human experience in this life or that life.

             All of this twaddle is camouflage for the old heresy of Situation Ethics: the belief that there is no objective morality, and everything depends on the circumstances of the person. Coleridge calls for a whole new language – thus further discarding irreplaceable scholastic precision – so that those living in moral turpitude will not feel “excluded” or “alienated.”

            When asked what terminology he would like to see changed, Coleridge responded he would do away with the term “indissolubility,” which he says is “negative in form.” He also wants to discard the phrase “intrinsically disordered act” – a term despised by those who embrace situation ethics, and the term used by the 1993 Catechism to describe homosexuality.

            Worse, Coleridge goes on to say, “These are just two examples, there would be many, many other” traditional Catholic terms he wants to shed.

            As a true revolutionary, Coleridge sums up his hope that the synod “would bring the whole Church to a new listening, for the sake of a new language, that would open new doors and new possibilities.”

            He also rightly explains that the effects of this Synod will not end with the closing of the October event, but will extend far into the future.

“Theology progresses”?

            Other prelates from the final Synod week piped a similar tune.

            During the October 22 Press Briefing, Cardinal Gracias ladled out his subversion of Catholic truth claiming, “Theology progresses, the doctrine remains the same, and our understanding of Church discipline progresses.” – words that would warm Teilhard’s heart. After spouting the false claim that John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio opened the doors to ‘different circumstances’ that could lead the way for some divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist, Gracias said, “I don’t think we have seen the solution … this has got to be tackled, this has got to be studied … as we deepen our understanding … I am sure you will find a way forward.”   Gracias acts as if the solution does not already exist, that those in a second “marriage” must repent of their adultery in order for readmission to the Sacraments, a clear teaching of Familiaris Consortio that Gracias does not mention.

            Likewise Germany’s rootin’tootin’ Cardinal Marx at the October 21 press briefing noted that German-speaking bishops made their own proposal to deal with divorced and remarried. It comprises an appeal to the internal forum, where the priest “in dialogue” with various couples will judge each situation on a case-by-case basis. This too opens the door to sacrilegious Communion under the rubric of a counterfeit compassion.

            Other prelates at the third week’s press conference touted a parallel line. This is what Francis’ Vatican presented to the world by means of the press as the major goals and themes of the Synod.

The Final Thud!

            On the evening of October 24, I picked up the final Synod Document from the Vatican press office. The result was every bit as disastrous as we predicted: a mish-mash of imprecision that opens the door – overtly and covertly – to eventual acceptance of various practices always considered gravely sinful. The document has the atmosphere of an insipid humanism with a Christian veneer. Despite its God-talk, it is bereft of the sense of the supernatural.

            Cardinal Burke put it mildly when he lamented the final document “lacks clarity on the indissolubility of marriage”. A number of us have elsewhere listed its numerous deficiencies.

            Of course there is the obvious omission: The Synod’s final Relatio contains no mention of sin or sinful behavior. Yet the number one incentive for most souls to resist immoral behavior is the truth that sexual sins are mortal sins that bring eternal damnation if the sins are not confessed – in other words, a realistic dread of mortal sin and fear of hell.

            Yet the final document contains no reminder that engagement of the ‘marital act’ is thoroughly forbidden outside of the marriage. There is no word about “avoiding the occasion of sin” – which was always a pastoral admonition. Sin is mentioned only in passing (Christ has saved man from sin, etc.). Regarding homosexuality, cohabitation, adultery, fornication, there is no mention of sin whatsoever.

            One would never know Our Lady of Fatima warned, “More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.” All so-called “negative language” and “language of exclusion” is expunged from the text. This omission itself is a grave sin of those who dish out this toxin as if it were genuine Catholic nourishment.

            Catholics need to pray, arm themselves with traditional doctrine, teach the truth to those in their sphere of influence, and publicly resist.

            The 2015 Synod and its final document represent an attack on the Church’s entire moral edifice, and points to institutionalized scandal for the future.

            There is every indication that Francis’ April 8 Apostolic Exhortation will proceed according to the same revolutionary spirit..[7] Source