Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”
But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”
In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.
The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.
About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus Click hereto read more...
This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits. This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA.
Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said: “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….” (John 6:56) He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity. He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.
How can this state of affairs be put right, then? You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics. That might be a start?
Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation. Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted. Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol? Worth thinking about…
Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter
April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Prominent clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.
The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.
The big question now is whether this latest approach to deal with this problem pope will meet the same fate as previous attempts, notably the Filial Correction and the Dubia. Ignored. If this Open Letter is ignored, what next? And what will it tell us about the response – or lack of response – of the bishops around the world. Is it likely, she said tongue in cheek, that the Scottish hierarchy will respond helpfully to this initiative – or, indeed, the bishops of the wider UK? Am I right/wrong to be a tad cynical? Without betraying anyone’s trust or sources, or anything, she said coyly, but there IS concern about Papa Francis within the hierarchy of the UK – I won’t narrow it down any further – so what would you say to any wavering priest if you could speak to him privately in order to encourage him to sign? This is your chance! Go for it!
Here’s my private message to any priest with a conscience who knows perfectly well the damage being inflicted on the Church by this dreadful pope: Father X, you MUST sign this Open Letter. No excuses. Do you really want to be confronted at your judgement with the blank space where your signature should have been? Of course not. Unpopularity, disapproval, wagging fingers from brother priests who choose to remain complicit in this scandal, all will pass. Your responsibility before God must trump all such fears. Email your willingness to sign to firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN PAUL II Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio AD TUENDAM FIDEM, by which certain norms are inserted into the Code of Canon Law and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches
PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Churchagainst errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22:32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions.
1.From the first centuries to the present day, the Church has professed the truths of her faith in Christ and the mystery of his redemption. These truths were subsequently gathered into the Symbols of the faith, today known and proclaimed in common by the faithful in the solemn and festive celebration of Mass as the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
This same Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is contained in the Profession of faith developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,(1) which must be made by specific members of the faithful when they receive an office, that is directly or indirectly related to deeper investigation into the truths of faith and morals, or is united to a particular power in the governance of the Church.(2)
2. The Profession of faith, which appropriately begins with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, contains three propositions or paragraphs intended to describe the truths of the Catholic faith, which the Church, in the course of time and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit “who will teach the whole truth” (Jn 16:13), has ever more deeply explored and will continue to explore.(3)
The first paragraph states: “With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.”(4) This paragraph appropriately confirms and is provided for in the Church’s universal legislation, in canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law(5) and canon 598 of the Code of the Canons of the Eastern Churches.(6)
The third paragraph states: “Moreover I adhere with submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.”(7) This paragraph has its corresponding legislative expression in canon 752 of the Code of Canon Law(8) and canon 599 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.(9)
3. The second paragraph, however, which states “I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals,”(10) has no corresponding canon in the Codes of the Catholic Church. This second paragraph of the Profession of faith is of utmost importance since it refers to truths that are necessarily connected to divine revelation. These truths, in the investigation of Catholic doctrine, illustrate the Divine Spirit’s particular inspiration for the Church’s deeper understanding of a truth concerning faith and morals, with which they are connected either for historical reasons or by a logical relationship.
4. Moved therefore by this need, and after careful deliberation, we have decided to overcome this lacuna in the universal law in the following way: A) Canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law will now consist of two paragraphs; the first will present the text of the existing canon; the second will contain a new text. Thus, canon 750, in its complete form, will read:
Canon 750 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines. § 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmlyaccepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Canon 1371, n. 1 of the Code of Canon Law, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 750 § 2, so that it will now read: Canon 1371 – The following are to be punished with a just penalty:
1° a person who, apart from the case mentioned in canon 1364 § 1, teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff, or by an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects the teachings mentioned in canon 750 § 2 or in canon 752 and, when warned by the Apostolic See or by the Ordinary, does not retract;
2° a person who in any other way does not obey the lawful command or prohibition of the Apostolic See or the Ordinary or Superior and, after being warned, persists in disobedience.
B) Canon 598 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches will now have two paragraphs: the first will present the text of the existing canon and the second will contain a new text. Thus canon 598, in its complete form, will read as follows:
Canon 598 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All Christian faithful are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.
§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Canon 1436 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, consequently, will receive an appropriate reference to canon 598 § 2, so that it will now read:
Canon 1436 – § 1. Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition. § 2. In addition to these cases, whoever obstinately rejects a teaching that the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising the authentic Magisterium, have set forth to be held definitively, or who affirms what they have condemned as erroneous, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished with an appropriate penalty.
5. We order that everything decreed by us in this Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, be established and ratified, and we prescribe that the insertions listed above be introduced into the universal legislation of the Catholic Church, that is, into the Code of Canon Law and into the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on 18 May, in the year 1998, the twentieth of our Pontificate. JOHN PAUL II
Read document at source here, including footnotes.
Here we have a clear sign that Pope John Paul II wished Canon Law to be enforced against dissenters, heretics and apostates. The above Motu Proprio spells it out clearly: reject Catholic truths and you set yourself against the teaching of the Catholic Church – we are, one and all, to avoid any contrary doctrines. Yet, Pope John Paul II himself did not apply it. Odd.
So, what happened? Why was it never invoked? Or, did I miss it? Whatever, is there any offender (or a million) at the present time, to whom, one might think, the penalties might be applied, which Pope John Paul II inserted to strengthen Canon Law against dissenters, heretics and apostates? Only asking, not least because Ad tuendam fidem seems to have disappeared into thin air, which is why we ask: Ad tuendam fidem, Ad tuendam fidem… wherefore art thou, Romeo, Ad tuendam fidem ?
DEERFIELD, IL, April 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Approximately 100 Catholics from the United States, Latin America, and Europe attended the 2018 Catholic Family News conference in northern Illinois last weekend.
Advertised as “The Weapons of Our Warfare,” the three-day long gathering at a Hyatt Regency hotel just outside Chicago featured talks by some of the most knowledgeable laymen and clergy engaged in the battle for and preservation of the Catholic faith, including renowned Church historian Roberto de Mattei.
The conference, which focused on Pope Francis and the family, was the first hosted by Catholic Family News, a Traditional Catholic newspaper, since 2016. John Vennari, the paper’s longtime editor who managed the organization since its founding in 1994, passed away after a long battle with cancer in April of 2017.
The crisis in the family
In his opening address, editor Matt Gaspers paid homage to his predecessor, assuring his audience that the fight for Tradition will continue. Gaspers then delivered a well-sourced, detailed speech, quoting Sr. Lucia and Our Lady in an effort to contextualize attacks presently being waged against the family.
“Although it is painful to witness this terrible crisis in the Church and the family, the fact that it is occurring should come as no surprise. Our Lady told us it would happen.” The “crisis in the Church and the family share the same root cause, namely, a crisis of fatherhood.”
Gaspers made special mention of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who in March said it is “dangerous” to speak of the family as “the domestic church.”
Archbishop Paglia’s credibility is “next to nothing,” Gaspers said. He has “thoroughly dismantled the Pontifical Academy for Life and has commissioned homoerotic paintings.” The family is a patriarchal hierarchy of baptized persons whose head fills the role of teaching, governing, and sanctifying. As such, it is a reflection and microcosm of the universal Church, he said.
Gaspers also detailed how marriage and the family are “powerful weapons” that must be used in the restoration of Holy Mother Church.
True and false mercy
Traditional Franciscan priest Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea spoke about Confession, a timely topic given the implementation of Amoris Laetitia across the world and Pope Francis’ constant invocation of mercy.
Extensively quoting St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), the patron saint of confessors, Fr. Relyea argued that there is a false sense of mercy being promoted in Rome. This sense of mercy is “twisted” and “disgusting,” he said.
Priests are “obliged to inform consciences” and to withhold absolution if the person confessing isn’t amending their life. You are “crazy” if you think you are being merciful by telling someone cohabitating in an adulterous union that they are pleasing to God, the priest said in a Brooklyn accent.
Fr. Relyea incorporated the Four Last Things — Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell — into his remarks as well, recalling that although God shows mercy to those who fear Him, for those who abuse His mercy, He exercises justice.
The New York-born priest described the Pope’s 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia as “wicked.”
Attendee Elizabeth Yore told LifeSiteNews she went to the conference because “It is incumbent upon the laity to mount a resistance, and to continue to mount a resistance to what is going on in the Vatican, especially now given that so few Bishops and Cardinals are willing to do so.”
Internet-based Catholic radio station Magnificat Media broadcast live from the hotel as well.
Prayer cards and literature on Freemasonry and Our Lady of Good Success were given to everyone who came.
Despite heresy, the Pope is still the Pope
Three speeches at the “Weapons of Our Warfare” conference focused on the papacy.
Church historian Roberto de Mattei said “true devotion” to the Chair of St. Peter requires Catholics to speak out against “the heresies” being promoted by Pope Francis, who, despite propagating heresy, remains the pope.
Canadian Dominican priest Fr. Albert Kallio O.P. echoed de Mattei’s words. “Even if the pope is a heretic…that does not at all mean that by that very fact, ipso facto as we say in English, he would cease being pope.”
Rejecting the claim that Pope Francis has lost his office, Fr. Kallio said, “Even those who hold that a pope who is manifestly a heretic loses automatically his office [believe] that the manifestation required before the pope would lose his office takes place by a declaration declared by the authority of the Church, namely the bishops.”
It seems God is allowing “a sort of eclipse” of the Church for the moment, he concluded.
Christopher Ferrara, a lawyer and prolific Catholic writer, delivered a strongly worded speech emphatically urging Catholics not only to put forth the Church’s perennial teachings but to expose the problematic teachings coming from Pope Francis.
Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Ferrara said “the most effective opposition to what has to be seen now as the most wayward pontificate in the history of the papacy will have to come from the upper hierarchy.”
Such an opposition would come in the form of a public statement made by a significant number of Cardinals that would declare Pope Francis is “in error, that he’s attempting to impose error upon the Church, that his effort to pass off these errors as ‘authentic magisterium’ is a fraud…and that the faithful cannot follow this pope in his errors,” Ferrara said.
Young Catholics need Tradition
Another talk particularly relevant to events taking place in the Church was that which was given by 21-year-old Alexandra Reis, Catholic Family News’ youth correspondent.
“What can the youth do to fight the devil?” Reis rhetorically asked. Not staying updated with every piece of world news and constantly attending protests, she argued. Rather, they can fight the devil by fulfilling their daily duties of state.
If you want “real penance” and if you want to truly change the world, she said, try doing dirty dishes, try “getting out of bed right when your alarm goes off in the morning. Offer that up to Our Lady. Mary wants us to offer sacrifices to her heart.”
Reis told LifeSiteNews that today’s youth aren’t being taught about the virtues of purity and modesty. Millenials view religion “as a cross” and rebel against “simple acts.” In truth, “it is through the little things that we convert the world.”
Other weapons of our warfare
Louis Tofari, owner of Romanitas Press, a publishing company that helps Catholics learn about the Roman Mass, delivered a talk on the liturgy.
Tofari told LifeSiteNews that the Roman Mass “needs to be used to convert souls to Christianity and to restore the Social Reign of Christ the King.”
Another fascinating topic covered at the conference was the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton, a former slave born in the mid 1800s who was ordained a priest in Rome because no seminary in the United States would accept him due to being African American.
Catholic Family News’ web editor Brendan Young pleaded with Catholics to consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother during a thoughtful address about St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata.
Dr. Andrew Childs from St. Mary’s Academy and College in St. Mary’s, Kansas gave an insightful lecture on music while Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X discussed the Traditional Latin Mass. Source (Ed: visit the Catholic Family News website if you are interested in purchasing any of the talks in CD-format.)
If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.
V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia,
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. Has risen as he said, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
From the Editor…
As well as being the usual facility to exchange Easter greetings, we might use this thread to discuss what on earth Pope Francis makes of Easter, since, apparently, according to recent reports, he thinks unrepentant souls just “disappear” – they don’t end up in Hell. What on EARTH is he celebrating this weekend, if there is no Hell? Why Good Friday? Why the need for the Saviour? What IS Christian salvation if not salvation from the eternal punishment of Hell?Read the following report, taken from the Rorate Caeli website which will leave you wishing, as it leaves me wishing that Papa Francis would “disappear” – like, yesterday!
From Rorate Caeli…
“THERE IS NO HELL” — new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday
In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that “hell does not exist”.
His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):
Title of the interview: “It is an honor for me to be called revolutionary.”
Excerpt on hell:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” Source – Rorate Caeli
Was Pope Francis misquoted? Before you answer that, read this Catholic World Report including the following comment underneath: “I can’t believe people have not caught on yet. It is likely that Pope Francis told Scalfari that there was no hell. The fact that he said at other places and times that their IS a hell does not matter. What the Pope says changes from time to time. If Scalfari found it a stumbling block to believe in hell, then the Pope would have no trouble telling him there is no hell. The Pope was “accompanying” Scalfari, trying to move him closer to the church. If this involved the POPE denying or altering doctrine, then so be it. When Scalfari is ready to accept the idea of hell, the Pope will re-introduce it. It will appear again. What we just saw was the Pope’s idea of how to lead someone into the church. You deny or alter doctrine, if necessary. Then, when the person has accepted the fundamentals, you move the goalposts again, hell re-appears, and Voila! Now, the critical thing is that the POPE is endorsing this approach. Truth is situationally relative for the Pope, and he will say whatever he needs to say to get to his goal. He is flexible. Doctrine does not matter. So Germans want to give communion to divorced and remarried and bless gay marriage. Who cares? Not the Pope. So maybe Jesus did not rise from the dead. Who cares? Not the Pope.”
Pope Francis’ history of causing mayhem in the Church is neatly, and painfully amusingly, summed up in the above video. Select your own “favourite” and tell us why, in your view, it is so bad – that is, if you can , in fact, “select” from the scandals of which we are reminded in that satirical “interview”.
Discussing the question of Pope Francis’ possible heresy in the context of Amoris Laetitia, Fr Gleize, SSPX, writes…
To use the words of Saint Pius X himself from the encyclical Pascendi, the proponents of the new moral theology proceed with such refined skill that they easily take advantage of unwary minds. They promote heresy while giving the appearance of remaining Catholic.
“Promoting heresy”: this corresponds to the theological note that Archbishop Lefebvre believed he had to use in order to characterize the harmfulness of the Novus Ordo Missae .
“This rite in itself does not profess the Catholic Faith as clearly as the old Ordo Missae and consequently it may promote heresy….What is astonishing is that an Ordo Missae that smacks of Protestantism and therefore favenshaeresim [is promoting heresy] could be promulgated by the Roman Curia.” (Mgr Lefebvre et le Saint-Office”, Itinéraires 233 – May 1979, p. 146-1-47).
Without prejudice to any better opinion, we willingly had recourse to it in order to describe the major problem posed today for the conscience of Catholics by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.
Fr. Gleize’s precise distinction will surprise more than one. In short, it seems that Pope Francis cannot be considered heretical, since none of the ambiguous statements in Amorislaetitia constitute “a rejection or contradiction of a truth that is not only revealed but also proposed as such by an infallible act of the ecclesiastical Magisterium.”
However, in the popular use of the word “heretical,” one who acts and talks in such a way that he encourages evil and favors heresy is considered heretical. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck!” The popular expression is not a precise theological judgment; it is rather a common way of designating persons or ideas at odds with the deposit of faith.
The theological expression which can be properly applied to Pope Francis instead of “heretical” is favens haeresim or “promoting heresy.”
That does not change that the fact that the Holy Father is ambiguous in his declarations, refusing to clarify them, and – far from correcting evil- promotes it by practical disposition. It is what Fr. Gleize calls “the scandal of praxis.” Click here to read entire article
There’s really nothing new in the above article, nothing that we haven’t already discussed and concluded on this blog in past discussions, but since repetition is the mother of education, and with continued questioning of the status of Pope Francis, I thought it might be worthwhile revising the key points. Which part of the article do you find most useful – the commentary on the dubia? The definitions? The conclusion? What then?
I’ve had a number of telephone conversations recently, today included, with very worried Catholics who are either losing the Faith themselves or who know others who are losing the Faith, because of the scandalous things Pope Francis is saying and doing. Some of these people made the mistake of “investigating” (i.e. searching online) for answers and, needless to say, some of them are now toying with all the wrong “answers” – notably sedevacantism.
In all honestly, I have scant patience with some of these people (and said so) because they apparently failed to notice the modernism of each of Pope Francis’ predecessors. Pope Francis did not appear out of the blue – each of the post-Vatican II popes prepared the path for him to take the Church by storm, so it is irksome to see the new “converts” to the battle against modernism turn the fight into a battle against Christ’s Church. Significantly, some of these new “converts” are relatively recent “converts” from their novus ordo parishes to the SSPX. It is, therefore, twice as concerning to see them risking their souls by entertaining the “anti-pope”, “anti-Christ”, sedevacantist false “answers” to the current scandalous pontificate. Instead of doing their duty as Soldiers of Christ in the battle against modernism, they become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
In these contacts with worried Catholics, I’ve given as much Church history as it is possible to squeeze into a couple of hours of conversation and I’ve quoted St Vincent de Lerins, in order to demonstrate the correct Catholic response to a bad pope, which is to resist his errors and cling to “antiquity” – that is, to Catholic Tradition – while never doubting that Christ has kept His promise to be with His Church until the end of time. Christ assured us that the gates of Hell will never prevail. He made no promise that the gates of Hell will never attack the Church, just that they will never prevail. I get the feeling, though, that there’s always something more to say, which is where you lot come into the frame…
Explain – in as few words as possible – how youwould advise those Catholic who are sorely tempted to abandon the Church and go it alone – Catholicism to go, so to speak. Provide the links to articles or videos that you think will help, and, of course, pray for all Catholics who are tempted to doubt at this time. I plan to send the link to this thread to all those online readers who have contacted me in recent times, in the hope that they find it helpful.
Finally, please pray for Pope Francis who will one day be held to account by God, and made to pay for his dereliction of duty, for the scandal he is causing and for the souls which may be lost because of his false teaching. His beloved God of Surprises is, as things stand, more likely to have a few shocks than surprises in store for him at his Judgment, so we do need to pray very hard indeed – and urgently – for the conversion of Pope Francis.
According to Stanze Vaticane, the blog for the Italian TV channel TGCom24, Card. Gerhard Ludwig Müller has ejected any correction of Pope Francis concerning those explosive sections of Amoris Laetitia (especially Chapter 8, ¶¶ 302-305) which prompted the four cardinals to present
their dubia to Pope Francis. Those passages of Amoris clearly open the door to Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried” in “certain cases” — as bishop after bishop is now declaring — while appearing to reduce exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law (including “Thou shalt not commit adultery”) to “general rules” and mere “objective ideals” rather than divine commands from which no one can claim an exemption.
But Müller’s choice of words is very curious. As reported by Stanze Vaticane, during an interview with TGCom 24 (translations mine), Müller stated:
“Everyone, above all the cardinals of the Roman Church [sic], have the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was astonished, however, that this became public, almost constraining the Pope to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I do not like this. Also, a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far off. It is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith as Saint Thomas has said. We are very far from a correction and I say that it harms the Church to discuss these things publicly.
“Amoris Laetitia is very clear in its doctrine, and we can make out the whole doctrine of the Church on matrimony, all the doctrine of the Church in 2000 years of history. Pope Francis asks for discernment of the situation of those persons who live in an irregular union, that is, not according to the doctrine of the Church on matrimony, and he asks for aid of these persons to find a path for a new integration in the Church according to the conditions of the Sacraments, of the Christian message on matrimony. But I do not see any contraposition: on the one hand we have the cleardoctrine on matrimony, and on the other the obligation of the Church to concern herself with these persons in difficulty.”
First of all, why is Müller “astonished” that the dubia became public? The four cardinals state clearly in their accompanying letter that while their dubia were first submitted privately to Francis, “The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted hissovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection, and the discussion, calmly and with respect. And so we are informing the entire people of God about our initiative, offering all of the documentation.”
That is their right as cardinals, and indeed it is the right of any member of the faithful:
“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” (Canon 212, § 3)
Secondly, why is a “possible fraternal correction” deemed “very far off” — meaning that there is a potential for one — when Müller says at one and the same time that Amoris presents the Catholic doctrine on matrimony and that there is no opposition to that doctrine in the call for “discernment” of the situation of people in “irregular unions”? If Amoris were really so clear, and there were really no contradiction between Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage and Francis’ call for “discernment,” Müller would say simply that a correction of Francis is unnecessary. He would not say a correction is “not possible at this moment…”
I am afraid Müller’s statement falls into the category of so much of what has come out of the Vatican over the past fifty years: artfully worded doubletalk that tries to have it both ways.
Now let us be serious. Cardinal Müller knows very well that Amoris is not only problematic, but a veritable H-bomb targeted on the foundations of Christian life. As the four cardinals note in their presentation to a stonily silent Francis, different bishops interpret Amoris differently — some pro, some con — regarding the admission of public adulterers in “second marriages” to the sacraments (in “certain cases”) without a prior amendment of life. Müller also knows well that Francis has sided with the pro faction. In his letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires regarding their “guidelines” for the “implementation” of Amoris, Francis declared there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris than their guidelines, which provide as follows:
“If it is acknowledged that, in a concrete case, there are limitations that mitigate responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), especially when a person believes he/she would incur a subsequent fault by harming the children of the new union, Amoris laetitia offers the possibility of having access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351).”
Accordingly, the four cardinals rightly note with alarm (while Francis stays silent) that interpreters of Amoris “come to different conclusions… due to divergent ways of understanding the Christian moral life.” Thus, as they conclude:
“In this sense, what is at stake in Amoris Laetitia is not only the question of whether or not the divorced who have entered into a new union can — under certain circumstances — be readmitted to the sacraments.
“Rather, the interpretation of the document also implies different, contrasting approaches to the Christian way of life. Thus, while the first question of the dubia concerns a practical question regarding the divorced and civilly remarried, the other four questions touch on fundamental issues of the Christian life.”
Indeed, the fifth question presented asks the Roman Pontiff, of all people, if following Amoris “does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, n.56, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?” In short: Is Francis — the Pope — authorizing departures from the natural law?
Müller knows all of this. And he knows the whole Catholic world is in turmoil following the publication of Amoris, as some dioceses now regard as “mercy” what others still regard as a mortal sin: the reception of Holy Communion while living in adultery. There is no way he cannot know what is happening. Yet he has chosen to put on a blindfold in order to be able to say that a correction of Francis “is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith…”
Really? If not now, when? After thousands and perhaps millions of souls have put their eternal salvation at risk by receiving Holy Communion while engaging in adulterous sexual relations? After the already weakened faith in Holy Matrimony is completely destroyed in many by the spectacle of people who are not married being treated as if they were? After the very concept of mortal sin is de facto abolished by the subversive notion, promoted by Francis in Amoris (¶ 303), that conscience can properly counsel the continuation of gravely sinful conduct as “what for now [!] is the most generous response which can be given to God… while yet not fully the objective ideal”?
What a sad day for the Church when the very head of its doctrinal congregation blinds himself to what is perhaps, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has observed, the greatest doctrinal crisis since the Arian heresy. How sad as well that, in contrast to the four cardinals who confront the crisis with eyes wide open, we must say of Müller what Our Lord said of the Pharisees: “Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.” (Matt 15:14)
Can you explain Cardinal Müller’s assertion that: “…a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems to me very far off. It is not possible at this moment because it does not involve a danger to the faith…”
I read those words with a sense of incredulity. Given that most of us can see the elephant in the room (even those who are late to the circus) and can, moreover, see it hurtling around the the room causing havoc, how can Cardinal Müller deny the fact that great danger to the Faith has already been caused by Amoris Laetitia. What’s wrong with him? No rudeness, mind, folks, keep the heid. Nobody’s asking you to say it with flowers, just don’t be rude 😀