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Pope vs church - the anatomy of a Catholic civil war

His scattershot reforms and wild statements make him look out of control to ordinary conservative Catholics

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

Last Sunday, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica carried an article by Eugenio Scalfari, one of the country’s most celebrated journalists, in which he claimed that Pope Francis had just told him that ‘at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask [to receive Holy Communion] will be admitted’.

Catholic opinion was stunned. The Pope had just presided over a three-week synod of bishops at the Vatican that was sharply divided over whether to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacrament. In the end, it voted to say nothing much.

On Monday, the Pope’s spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said Scalfari’s report was ‘in no way reliable’ and ‘cannot be considered the Pope’s thinking’.

Fair enough, you may think. Scalfari is 91 years old. Also, he doesn’t take notes during his interviews or use a tape recorder. Of course he’s not ‘reliable’.

But that didn’t satisfy the media. They pointed out that the Pope knew exactly what he was letting himself in for. This is the fourth time he has chosen to give an interview to a man who relies on his nonagenarian memory. In their last encounter, Scalfari quoted the Pope as saying that two per cent of Catholic priests were paedophiles, including bishops and cardinals. Poor Lombardi had to clean up after that one, too. Last time round, Catholics gave Francis the benefit of the doubt. This time many of them are saying: never mind Scalfari, how can you trust what the Pope says?

We’re two and a half years into this pontificate. But it’s only in the past month that ordinary conservative Catholics, as opposed to hardline traditionalists, have started saying that Pope Francis is out of control.

Out of control, note. Not ‘losing control’, which isn’t such a big deal. No pontiff in living memory has awakened the specific fear now spreading around the church: that the magisterium, the teaching authority vested in Peter by Jesus, is not safe in his hands.

The non-Catholic media have yet to grasp the deadly nature of the crisis facing the Argentinian Pope. They can see that his public style is relaxed and adventurous; they conclude from his off-the-cuff remarks that he is liberal (by papal standards) on sensitive issues of sexual morality, and regards hard-hearted conservative bishops as hypocrites.

All of which is true. But journalists — and the Pope’s millions of secular fans — get one thing badly wrong. They assume, from his approachable manner and preference for the modest title ‘Bishop of Rome’, that Jorge Bergoglio wears the office of Supreme Pontiff lightly.

As anyone who works in the Vatican will tell you, this is not the case. Francis exercises power with a self-confidence worthy of St John Paul II, the Polish pope whose holy war against communism ended in the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

But that’s where the similarities end. John Paul never hid the nature of his mission. He was determined to clarify and consolidate the teachings of the church. Francis, by contrast, wants to move towards a more compassionate, less rule-bound church. But he refuses to say how far he is prepared to go. At times he resembles a motorist driving at full speed without a map or a rear-view mirror. And when the car stalls, as it did at the October synod on the family, he does a Basil Fawlty and thrashes the bonnet with a stick.


Non-Catholics were far more interested in Francis’s ‘historic’ pronouncements on climate change than they were in the synod, which was dominated by wrangling over the eligibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.

That gets things the wrong way round. The Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ gave a temporary boost to climate activists. It was the conference on the family that was historic, but not in a good way. During the synod, ordinary devout Catholics began to wonder if Francis’s judgment had deserted him — or whether he’d always been a far stranger man than his carefree public image suggested.

In church circles the worries began in October last year, when the Pope staged an ‘extraordinary’ preparatory synod that fell apart in front of his eyes. Halfway through the gathering, the organisers — hand-picked by Francis — announced that it favoured lifting the communion ban and wanted to recognise the positive aspects of gay relationships.

Cue media rejoicing, until it emerged that the organisers were talking rubbish. The synod bishops, who included senior cardinals, didn’t favour either course. Cardinal George Pell, the Australian conservative who serves as the Pope’s chancellor of the exchequer, hit the roof — and when Pell is angry you really know about it. The final vote ditched both proposals. Francis, however, demanded that this year’s synod should revisit the question of communion for the divorced.

This first synod wasn’t just humiliating for the Pope; it was also weird. Why did Francis let his lieutenants, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Archbishop Bruno Forte, arrange a briefing that basically told lies?

Any other pontiff would have sent Baldisseri and Forte to parishes in Antarctica after screwing up so badly. Instead, to general amazement, the Pope invited them to take charge of the main synod last month. Also invited back was Cardinal Walter Kasper, an 82-year-old ultra-liberal German theologian who wants to sweep away all obstacles to remarried divorcees receiving communion.

To cut a long story short, Francis made it clear that he agreed with Kasper. Yet he also knew that most bishops at this year’s synod wanted to uphold the communion ban. So why did he insist that they debate the subject, given that they were never going to vote his way?

Senior cardinals were baffled — and angry that a synod on the worldwide crisis in family life would be dominated by squabbling on this one issue. A week before it started, 13 cardinals led by Pell wrote a letter to the Pope asking him not to let this happen — and also voicing their suspicion that the synod proceedings had been rigged in order to give maximum prominence to the minority Kasperite view.

As expected, the synod quickly threw Kasper’s scheme into the wastepaper basket — but that still left open the possibility of some change, because in the months before the synod started Francis had altered its balance by inviting extra bishops who shared his liberal views.

This brings us to a disturbing detail that has seriously undermined confidence in Francis. Among these personal invitees was the very liberal Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels, who five years ago retired in disgrace when he was tape-recorded telling a man to keep quiet about being abused by a bishop until the latter had retired.

The bishop was the victim’s uncle. In other words, Danneels tried to cover up sex abuse within a family. Pope Francis knew this — but still decided to give him a place of honour at a synod on family life.

Why, for God’s sake? ‘To thank him for votes in the conclave,’ said conservatives — a smear, perhaps, but it didn’t help that Danneels had just been boasting that he’d helped get Bergoglio elected.

The synod ended messily, with a document that may or may not allow the lifting of the communion ban in special circumstances. Both sides thought they’d won — and then the Pope, in the words of one observer, ‘basically threw a strop’.

In his final address, Francis raged against ‘closed hearts that hide behind the church’s teachings’ and ‘blinkered viewpoints’, adding that ‘the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter but its spirit’.

The implication was clear. Clergy who wholeheartedly supported the communion ban were Pharisees to Francis’s Jesus. The Pope was sending coded insults to at least half the world’s bishops — and also, it seemed, giving priests permission to question teaching on communion and divorce.

One priest close to the Vatican was appalled but not surprised. ‘You’re seeing the real Francis,’ he said. ‘He’s a scold. He can’t hide his contempt for his own Curia. Also, unlike Benedict, this guy rewards his mates and punishes his enemies.’

Clergy don’t normally refer to the Holy Father as ‘this guy’, even if they dislike his theology. But right now that’s one of the milder conservative descriptions of Francis; others aren’t printable in a family magazine.

Never before has the Catholic church looked so much like the Anglican Communion — which broke up because orthodox believers, especially in Africa, believed that their bishops had abandoned the teachings of Jesus.

In the case of Catholicism, the looming crisis is on a vastly bigger scale. For millions of Catholics, the great strength of the church is its certainty, coherence and immutability. They look to the Vicar of Christ on earth to preserve that stability. If successive popes come across as lofty and distant figures, that’s because they need to, in order to ward off schism in a global church that has roots in so many different cultures.

Now, suddenly, the successor of Peter is acting like a politician, picking fights with opponents, tantalising the public with soundbites and ringing up journalists with startling quotes that his press officer can safely retract. He is even hinting that he disagrees with the teachings of his own church.

A pope cannot behave like this without changing the very nature of that church. Perhaps that is what Francis intended; we can only guess, because he has yet to articulate a coherent programme of change and it’s not clear that he is intellectually equipped to do so.

Loyal Catholics believe that the office of Peter will survive irrespective of who holds it; Jesus promised as much. But after the chaos of the last month, their faith is being tested to breaking point. It’s beginning to look as if Jorge Bergoglio is the man who inherited the papacy and then broke it.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Damian Thompson is an associate editor of The Spectator, and author of The Fix and Counterknowledge.

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Show comments
  • Brendan

    Excellent piece! God bless you for writing it.

  • Woman In White

    Catholic opinion was stunned

    No, it wasn’t.

    This is because it trusts Scalfari and La Repubblica just about as far as it can throw them.

    • Tim

      Speak for yourself. And if that is the case why does Pope Francis keep them in his confidence?

      • Nesbyth

        That’s a good question but one to which I fear the answer !

      • Woman In White

        My honest opinion on that one is that Francis is acting privately, as Fr Jorge, a priest, to try and bring a very elderly baptised gentleman to consider returning to the Faith of his childhood for the salvation of his Soul.

        Do you think you yourself have no such duty of evangelisation BTW ?

        • Tim

          I see, and you would contend by continuing to provide interviews to Scalfari and let Scalfari continue to damage his papacy this serves to evangelize someone? I think not, I can’t recall similar instances in the life of the Church. Allowing confusion to be spread among the faithful is not a tool of evangelization. We have no duty you know to defend everything a pope does. And we do him a disservice in fact. Melchior Cano pointed that out about five hundred years ago.

          • Woman In White

            We have no duty you know to defend everything a pope does

            Clearly not — you’ll take note though that I wasn’t trying to defend the propriety of giving such interviews, but I was more simply offering a theory about what may be motivating him to make all those private phone calls to this atheist.

          • Tim

            Fair enough, but he has known for a long time that Mr. Scalfari does not consider them private and will publish.

        • rkat

          Um, the Pope himself said “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.” This would seem to preclude any notion of a “duty of evangelization”.

          • Woman In White

            Proselytism is only one particular kind of evangelisation.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Sometimes you say the most intelligent things. I think you must be a very intelligent, verbally gifted woman with no heart.

  • Ken

    Can we please have an article on the RC Church from anyone except Thompson? For most Catholics and many outside the Church Pope Francis is just what was needed – he is the most significant Pope since John XXIII. A pity cankered reactionaries cannot see the point of him. As for communion for divorcees, why not? If your local priest doesn’t want you to receive it, go to another church and let your conscience deal with God (who is a lot closer to Pope F than He is to your embittered correspondent).

    • couissent

      On the contrary, this is the most accurate and nuanced account (of many) that I have read of the current crisis in the Church. What is particularly worrying about Pope Francis is his incoherence and unpredictability.

      Thank you, Damian.

      • rtj1211

        In the eyes of many, the refusal to forgive a mistake in marriage is the ultimate lie to christian forgiveness.

        That’s where the debate needs to be: why in god’s name is making a mistake in marriage so utterly unforgivable??

        • ardenjm

          It’s not. Don’t be melodramatic.
          The simple reason is that Jesus Himself is so strict on this question.
          Your quarrel is with Him, not the Church. Which rather raises the question – why seek Communion with Him under such circumstances.

        • Phil Steinacker

          Forgiveness is quite apart from consequence.

          Sacramental forgiveness of sin absolves the sinner (each of us) ONLY if there is authentic contrition, and if there is no intention to repent (which means, simply, to change direction and to CEASE the sin to be absolved), then there can be no forgiveness or absolution.

          It’s really rather simple, you see, but also makes for a very hard decision.

    • Woman In White

      Can we please have an article on the RC Church from anyone except Thompson?

      Hear, hear.

      • Jacobi

        Fraser Nelson, got it?. Mentioned quite clearly above!

    • Floating voter

      I meant Bendedict XVI in my last post tihs morning

      • Floating voter

        Many non-catholics respect the magisterium of Rome because it is there as an anchor of faith, strong and unbending. In the face of militant non-Christians, the church needs a champion and the only global Christian champion is the Pope. Relapsing into woolly Anglicanism, which has introduced relativism to follow current fads, will destroy Rome as much as it has Anglicanism. Disgarding personal responsibility in favour of blaming the government is no basis for a religion – Christianity is not soppy socialism. Rome needs to revert to the authority that ” when Rome has spoken etc “. The example of Pius XII, John Paul II and Benedict XVI needs to be enhanced and thundered around the world. We need a crusade to convert the infidel – and there are millions of them.

        • BronxLady

          You skipped a couple of Popes between Pius XII then over to JPII and Benedict. We Catholics listen to all of our Popes, not just the portion we find personally appealing. That kind of selectivity could lead to criticism that one considers themselves more Catholic than the Pope.

          • Floating voter

            I actually skipped three popes. The problem is that any change will upset a large percentage of the church, and at the same time call into question the authority and teachings of previous popes. A universal church needs one absolute leader who adheres to tradition and doctrine . The alternative is a rag bag of woolly and half believed choices which inspires no-one, such as the C of E. I asked an Orthodox priest why the Orthodox do not accept many of the changes made over the centuries by Rome in apparent response to guidance of the Holy Spirit . He said that of course Rome would say it was the Holy Spirit guiding them, but the Orthodox Churches consider it more likely to be the Other Spirit !

          • Woman In White

            A universal church needs one absolute leader

            His name is Christ Jesus.

            No Pope is an “absolute” leader, and the Catholic Church is not a totalitarian political structure.

          • Floating voter

            The Pope is an absolute sovereign, supreme pontiff ( pontifex maximus) and the Vicar for Christ on earth in maters temporal and spiritual. when speaking ex cathedra he is infallible. One can argue about the validity of all this, but this is what he is. Putting Christ at the Head of the Church on earth is a Protestant idea. On earth, it is the Pope, or for Anglicans it is the Queen in matters temporal. The Pope and the Church answer to Christ, of course.

          • ardenjm

            Sure but as you know the Head of the Church is Christ Himself – that comes from St Paul and is not only non-negotiable but is precisely the Truth that the Sovereign Pontiff defends in his task as supreme pastor of the Church.

            “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.” Colossians 1 vs18

          • Floating voter

            Christ is head of the Church, but on earth, his representative (Vicar) is the Pope who heads the church on earth. To diminish this role is dangerous because it would make it difficult to know whom to talk to if General councils took over. . The Muslims have a big problem as there is no Muslim Pope. Which Muslim leader can we talk to in order to discuss many of the current issues in the world affecting Muslims ? The Muslim world is chaotically split in every direction.

          • Woman In White

            That is an erroneous understanding, drawn most likely from the very erroneous English-language translation of the Bull Unam Sanctam that’s been in circulation since the 19th century.

            More properly, the Bull teaches that obedience to the Pontiff is a consequence of Conversion to the Catholicity of the Faith, but not the absolute precondition of any and all Catholicity that the bad 19th Century translation claims.

            The Pope is more realistically the supreme arbiter of the provisions of the Canon Law, and his Authority is absolute over any provisions of that Law that do not contradict infallible Dogma.

            The Pope has no Authority at all, however, to overturn either infallible or accepted Church doctrine.

            If he were the “absolute sovereign” that you claim him to be, then he could just decree that adulterers shall be given Communion; or that women could be ordained, or that everyone with more than ten parking tickets is automatically excommunicated. He can do none of these things.

            The Roman Pontiff is absolutely subjected to the Revelation, just the same as any other Christian.

          • Floating voter

            The Pope can create dogma, such as the Immaculate Conception declard infallibly by Pius XI. Innocent III put England under an Interdict because King John was disobeying the Pope. The Pope is absolute when he wants to be,

          • Woman In White

            The Pope can create dogma

            That’s true only in a very theoretical manner.

            A doctrine of the Immaculate Conception existed for many centuries prior to its Papal declaration of dogmatic infallibility.

          • Red_Tory

            That was Bl. Pius IX, not Pius XI.

    • MenAreLikeWine

      Hitler followed his conscience.

    • jarston1

      In this global slouch towards Gomorrah, how is he “exactly what the church needed?” The world needs a rock to rely on, yet here you suggest a church where you can “shop around” for a priest who will do what YOU want. That’s sickening. If you want to wife swap then go be a Jehovah’s Witness.

    • Phil Steinacker

      If you do not get why Communion cannot be available to those in manifest mortal sin (including me for over 31 years), then you reveal you do not know your own faith. Perhaps you, too, need a trip or two to the confessional.

  • Edward Studor

    Catholicism is dead Damien. Get ready for Sharia law. It’ll be here in your lifetime.

    • rtj1211

      It won’t – violence against Muslims will become acceptable if they try and impose it. I can see authoritarian Muslims having their genitals severed and made to eat themselves in front of their children, applying Sharia law on them in the eyes of those who won’t accept it.

      I can see Muslim Mosques being burned down with 200 people locked inside them if they try to impose it.

      There’s a difference between appeasement and submission you know.

      Hitler learned the difference……

      • jarston1

        I’d like to believe that. Unfortunately our own military and police would be used against us. Our secular humanist overlords would love to lord over us with a stifling moon cult like the radical hadjis.

    • Jacobi

      That is a danger! Sharia Law I mean.

  • ohforheavensake

    Let’s check…. Nope. Still not important.

    • The_greyhound

      Have you always been unimportant, or is it recent? If it’s permanent, why the need to check?

      • Dan

        LOL

  • Hugh_Oxford

    There is no specific “civil war” in the Catholic Church. There is a cosmic struggle between good and evil in which the Church is an obvious target. The Church is the one human institution in the West that stands up for marriage, the family and the right to life. Of course, in an attempt to destroy Western society, the forces of evil will attempt to infiltrate and subvert the Church. They have already done this in the Anglican church and most of the other established churches. But the forces of destruction know that the RCC is where it’s at.

  • Hugh_Oxford

    There is no specific “civil war” in the Catholic Church. There is a cosmic struggle between good and evil in which the Church is an obvious target. The Church is the one human institution in the West that stands up for marriage, the family and the right to life. Of course, in an attempt to destroy Western society, the forces of evil will attempt to infiltrate and subvert the Church. They have already done this in the Anglican church and most of the other established churches. But the forces of destruction know that the RCC is where it’s at.

    • Marian Hunter

      Thank you, Hugh for this response. It is the truth that the RCC is the target for the forces of evil due to her stance on moral issues. I am a White African Roman Catholic and feel lost and bereft right now at the conflicting teachings we hear from our priests and bishops, which remain in the “Thou shalt not” domain, mainly regarding homosexuals and the divorced, never mind adultery.

      • aristophanes

        ‘I know that Pope Francis is infallible, its the one thing I am holding onto at present.’

        Forgive me, but that is an inaccurate formulation. It is only in very precisely defined circumstances and speaking ex cathedra that a papal statement is infallible. From memory I think that papal infallibility has been invoked for only one teaching of the church.
        I would be grateful if a Catholic theologian would check my statement for its accuracy.

        • James M

          There is an article in the (truly magnificent) Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, now about 80 years old, that lists 12 occasions. The definitions of 1854, 1870 and 1950 all seem to qualify. As also may Humanae Vitae (1968). Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is definitive, but not formally infallible. A lot of was taught before 1854 – like the “Tome” of St Leo the Great – would seem to be materially but not formally infallible.

          • aristophanes

            Many thanks for your post. I’ll bounce back later, please, with oneor two questions.

    • Grace Ironwood

      “The Church is the one human institution in the West that stands up for marriage, the family and the right to life. ”
      Do you believe this issue is merely a stalking horse for “gay marriage etc.” ?
      Has there been a powerful movement of activists flooding the public and religious domain?

  • NBeale

    The fulminations of people who think they are more Catholic than the Pope are almost laughable.

    If you believe in the (absurd) Doctrine of Papal Infallibility then you can’t claim to know better than the Pope in matters of faith and morals. Those who “magnify His strictness With a zeal He will not own.” should listen to the wonderful hymn by Fr Faber.

    • ardenjm

      The definition of Papal Infallibility is precisely that – limits that are demarcated.
      It isn’t defined to give any holder of the office carte blanche to say what he wants about matters of Faith and Morals. On the contrary, it binds the holder of the office to acting within the Tradition of the Church.
      There’s nothing absurd to that because it’s exactly what’s been going on in the Church ever since the first Council of Jerusalem.

    • Jacobi

      That just shows how much you know about the doctrine of Infalliblity. Perhaps you could start by Googling it. Do you need any help with that?

      • Phil Steinacker

        Actually, NBeale is correct, but without providing much detail. If one has read about papal infallibility only somewhat in depth, then it is clear that NBeale has described what is, in fact, the case. Vatican I imposed limits on papal infallibility for the first time by erecting criteria which must be satisfied for it to apply to any papal statement.

        Prior to Vatican I, there were only a handful of instances in which it is presently considered that a pope made an infallible declaration, but his authority to do so had never been defined. It is that very definition which now constrains a pope from running off half-cocked to say anything he wishes on matters of faith and morals.

        Furthermore, NBeale has it exactly right in saying that the doctrine of papal authority does not confer on a pope authority to act against the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church. His authority is given to him not to innovate and fundamentally change Church Tradition and teachings, but to protect them from innovation and tampering by heads swelled with their own notions on how to improve on what was handed down from Jesus and His Apostles.

        Anyone claiming or advocating otherwise stands against Jesus, His Apostles, and their disciples, including those known as the Fathers and Doctors of the Church who similarly have utilized their authority in like manner.

        • Jacobi

          Defined Infallibility concerns doctrinal matters. Do remember there is active
          and passive Infallibility. We are dealing here with that stemming from
          Revelation. Now I assume you are concerned here, as most questioners
          are, with Papal In fallibility. That applies when the Pope speaks ex
          cathedra.

          It was formally defined by Pope Pius IX during the First Vatican Council.
          Christ established Peter as the Rock on which He would “build “, sorry about the commas but that is critical. The Church was far from complete in understanding. And as one necessary tool in that He gave Peter and his Successors the power to bind, an aspect of that being for instance, the Definition of Papal Infallibility.

  • ardenjm

    “A pope cannot behave like this without changing the very nature of that church.”
    He can’t change the nature of the Church. Her nature comes from (the side of) Christ Himself.

    What he could end up doing is causing harm.
    That’s why we pray for him.
    And trust in God.

  • trace9

    It’s a funny thing, but there’s no ‘images’ for the article about the FO/UKG’s latest exhibition of arrant cowardice on Sharm-el Sheikh. So here’s a pic of the wonderful place – wonderful before Egypt regained it & turned a remote, almost mystical place into a tourist rat-trap & doubtless engorged that shimmering Red Sea with sewage of all manky kinds. Murder inc – the tourist industry! In those days it was so remote you couldn’t even get camera film, even after realising this lot had been drastically underexposed – Image Editor eventually to the rescue, rather gareishly.. Does oddly show the impression the place made though. St. Catherine’s Monastery loadsa miles to right. Didn’t visit – shall ISIS?? Must say – myself not Quite like Delingpolski’s bathing-Belsenite horror-pic in the Tel. a few years ago… Ho.

    As to Sharm, so the Church now the Argy’s gotten ahold.. of course.

  • Sarony

    Pope Francis wants to change the Catholic church into his own image. End of.

  • Nesbyth

    Excellent article and Thompson shows a clear summary what appears to be the Pope’s real agenda

    This makes worrying reading because the direction being taken by the Pope seems antithetical to the teaching of Christ.

    He is in sympathy with the avant-garde Cardinals, whom he clearly favours and has gathered around him for the Synod, whereas he was forthright in castigating those Cardinals who would teach the Doctrine of the Church.
    In his closing speech he used surprisingly intemperate language against them. He was obviously more than peeved.

    • Denis

      For the first time I am beginning to have real doubts about where the Church is being led. One thing is for certain; African Catholics who are hugely in the ascendancy, will not accept compromise and they are the future of Catholicism.

      • Nesbyth

        I agree!

  • BronxLady

    I think this alarmist criticism against the Pope- especially from anyone who holds themselves out as Catholic- is absolutely unconscionable. I stopped reading after the line “No pontiff in living memory has awakened the specific fear now spreading around the church: that the magisterium, the teaching authority vested in Peter by Jesus, is not safe in his hands.”

    Doesn’t this author know- (or perhaps he does?)- that there are mentally disturbed people in the world who would be incited by language a lot less incendiary than this?

    What disgraceful and reckless commentary!

    • Jacobi

      What about Pontiff’s beyond living memory say, some time during the last two thousand years. or will that upset the mentally disturbed even more?

      • BronxLady

        I don’t know, are you upset by it?

        • Jacobi

          My point is simply that a lot of people are going to be upset, as is normal in war. Mark you my war, the Cold War in north Germany was quite pleasant as I remember it. But of course it could have warmed up a bit ?

    • paulpriest

      Important question:
      The Church teaches that God NEVER comands the impossible – and that the command to repent now is always possible – nobody is ever forced to commit sin – God’s sufficient grace is always readily available to those who desire to freely choose not to sin – God will be there to help them not sin. That’s not merely doctrine – that’s absolute dogma. You have been graced with free will by an all-loving Merciful God who will be there for you and pick you up when you fall if you ask for it.

      Communion for the divorced and remarried is argued upon a different premise altogether – that these people do not need to repent and stop sinning NOW – instead they can do it over a gradual proces – and why? because a] God says it’s ok for them to keep on sinning? – which is ludicrous and absurd or b] it’s simply not possible for them to get out of their sinful lives and stop sinning now – which is basically arguing that God DOES command the impossible by saying repent now – and His sufficient grace to stop you sinning IS NOT THERE!!!
      In other words human being don’t really have free will – they’re trapped in sin
      And God isn’t a God of love and mercy – rather He’s one who will see you in a mess and leave you there….

      This position is also known as the Gradualism Heresy – and it’s been condemned for 2000yrs and anathematised at Trent – Augustine wrote against it in de poenitentia [5.8] – Aquinas and Neo-Scholasticism denounce it as a heresy against God and man – Suarez called it a heresy against the charity of God – St John Paul II condemned ‘graduality of the law’ in familiaris consortio 34…

      Do you see the problem?
      saying it’s ok to excuse the sinful condition of those in adulterous and fornicating relationships….is actually using the argument – humans aren’t really freely human – and God isn’t really loving and merciful….

      • Woman In White

        I agree with virtually all of that, but one quibble :

        The Church teaches that God NEVER commands the impossible

        Where ?

        It’s sound advice, but it looks to me more like the old Roman proverb ad impossibile nemo tenetur rather than official Church teaching …

        • paulpriest

          Council of Trent Session 6 article 11
          [it’s also repeated – denziger 1536/804 &1568/828]

          • Woman In White

            Ah; OK, it means that God never commands us to do the impossible in His Commandments to us, sorry your shorthand confused me there.

            God can command the impossible in the sense that He Commands Reality by His own Will what we are incapable of, but that doesn’t contradict in the slightest what you intended to say.

          • Dan

            I have become a follower. I enjoy reading your posts. You are very knowledgeable and tell it like it is.

    • Phil Steinacker

      You must by wearing a blindfold if you do not see what is clearly before you. There have been other popes who’ve caused substantial damage in their time, but I wonder if theirs can compare to the damage being wrecked upon the Church today. In ancient times, much of the mischief never came to the attention to a majority of the faithful – or, at least, not in real time, given the lack of modern communication networks in those days.

  • mikewaller

    Is it possible that, knowing what a self-serving and fundamentally unChristian bunch most of the Catholic (and many other Christian) hierarchies are, Francis knows that his only chance to improve things lies in hanging the conservatives out to dry before the wider world? I cannot believe that the person who said of the woman taken in adultery “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” would treat divorcees as this bunch both do and wish to continue doing. Indeed, I can no more conceive of Christ authoring a nasty piece like this article than of myself being taken up into heaven by an archangel!

    The only trouble is, as Douglas Adams pointed out, folks who try to get people to be nice to one another often prove to be rather poor insurance risks.

    • RuariJM

      “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

      Do you remember how that story concluded, Mike?

      • Ambientereal

        I agree with you, but then we should abolish “confession” and “communion” because both distinguish between people in and out of the so called “state of grace”. We are all sinners, we should repent privately and no one should be blamed for his sins.

        • RuariJM

          I’m afraid I don’t agree with you, Ambientereal.

        • Phil Steinacker

          You are totally lost in your understanding of the relationship between confession and communion. This is not simply a disagreement; you truly are confused and in that confusion you have formed some absurd but still very dangerous conclusions.

          • Ambientereal

            Enlighten me!!

    • Dorothy

      Holy moly! Absolutely we must stop heaving big chunks of rocks at divorced-and-civilly remarried people! Bruising them and breaking their bones is simply barbaric! How about a strict examination of their fitness and freedom to get married the first time? And before that a simple explanation that Catholics can NEVER marry without the permission of their Ordinary or his representative? We could call the examination “the Annullment Process” and the second “Catechism.”

      • mikewaller

        And how, does one suppose, in the hereafter Christ will look upon these literally man-made exclusions from full communion? With considerable displeasure I am inclined to think.

  • MenAreLikeWine

    I think this is a very good piece from Damien. He has managed to convey, pretty accurately, the issues as they stand with Pope Francis.

    Never before has the question “Is the Pope a Catholic?” been anything other than a quick rhetorical question.

    • Grace Ironwood

      🙂

  • Sigfridiii

    Welcome to Anglicanism and the slippery slope!

  • Ambientereal

    ” …the question of communion for the divorced…” is NOT the topic. The point is “are remarried divorced in a state of grace ?” If the answer is “yes” then there is no impediment to receive communion. But in that case the Church will have to admit that divorce and new marriage are not sins and should be allowed as Christian sacraments.

    • Woman In White

      It is a pure invention of some journalists and bloggers that Pope Francis has said anything in favour of Communion for the remarried and for adulterers.

      • Ambientereal

        May be, but I have heard him personally (I understand Spanish very well) speaking in favor of an “opening” towards divorced. As far as I know, divorced are not excluded from Church, even non baptized can go to Church and hear mass or pray privately. I mean the Church is already wide open for anyone, how could it be “wider open” for divorced?

        • Woman In White

          The civilly divorced are only barred from Holy Communion if some mortal sin of their own caused the divorce or has resulted from it.

          Also, I really do think people should take a LOT more care than is typical these days to separate the personal opinions of the men who are the Pontiff from the positions of the same men when speaking or writing officially as the Pope

          • Ambientereal

            Sorry, when I said “divorced”, I meant “remarried divorced”. I know civil divorce, where people live separately but keep assuming the contracted obligations is not a “continuously committed” sin. But when after that people remarry by civil law, then they are in perpetual sin.

          • Woman In White

            Sorry, when I said “divorced”, I meant “remarried divorced”

            Right — except that even in this latest “quote” coming from the imagination and faulty memory of a 91-year-old atheist the words used were i divorziati, with no reference whatsoever to remarriage nor adultery.

          • paulpriest

            no we’ve had a whole two synods arguing about the issue and we’ve NEVER had any bars on the single civilly divorced receiving holy communion – and now you claim the Pope is totally ignoring the issue of the day and referring to something completely different which was never a problem?!!! can you keep a straight face while saying that?

          • Woman In White

            Contrary to yourself, I do not let my own imagination dictate the contents of reality, but I try my best to constrain my opinions and conclusions to coherence with those contents.

            Reality : the Pope has never said that the divorced-remarried nor the adulterers shall receive Communion, but in fact he has said the EXACT opposite.

          • paulpriest

            Except that’s not true unless you wan’t to call Scalfari a liar.
            …and it’s also highly suspect given he also rejoiced at his divorced niece civilly remarrying – quote ‘nothing could please me more’

            …and it’s also suspect given he imposed six unelected kasperites upon the circuli minori in Synod14

            …and particularly personally invited an additional 45 known kasperites to synod15

            actions speak louder than words – and His Holiness has shown at every turn that he endorses the kasperite position – to the extent that when the propositions within the instrumentum laboris were thrown out on the friday morning in a rebellion His Holiness actuallly rewrote his Saturday speech [the Jesuit shadow-synod manifesto was instead mothballed] in which he vollied a tirade of abuse at his opponents….

          • Woman In White

            I’ve no idea if Scalfari is a liar, or confused by senility, or so biased in his interpretations that he simply hears what he wants to rather than what was told him.

            All I know is that I’ve lost count how many times his “quotes” have been denounced as contrafactual.

      • paulpriest

        except he never needed to – his actions always spoke louder than words…on the balcony after being elected he appealed to Kasper’s gospel of mercy, he had Kasper leading the preparatory consistory of cardinals with his gospel of mercy – His Holiness [by default, inaction and refusal to either punish or remove those involved] rigged, gerrymandered, censored, suppressed and shanghaied the extraordinary synod and made exactly the same attempts at the last one – to the extent that on the friday where the circuli compositions were supposed to be formulated into a draft document instead a glorified transcript of the instrumentum laboris replaced it – only to be thrown out by rebela Bishop on the synod floor as a despicable hijacking of the synodal process by the Pope and his accomplices – hence the mean-spirited mudslinging saturday evening closing address….

        • Woman In White

          That is a rather paranoid narrative, pp

          • Marian Hunter

            Hi Woman in White, I have become a follower of yours you seem very knowledgeable on the subject of church doctrine and your posts are a joy to read. Many thanks Marian Hunter

          • Phil Steinacker

            NOT paranoid. Those are, in fact, widely reported and verified facts paulpriest has cited.

    • Phil Steinacker

      Will. Not. Happen.

      The answer is NO.

  • Jacobi

    “War”, as one of Damian’s colleagues has speculated, has broken out in the Church. No point in pretending anymore. Time for inhibitions in such matters has come and gone.

    It is nominally about the Indissolubility of Marriage and “Mercy”, but like all wars it is really about a lot more.

    The body of Catholic belief, what we call doctrine is under attack, from within the Church. That is what we call heresy.

    Catholics, divorced, remarried and living a married life are in what we call mortal sin and can not receive Holy Communion. Others argue they can. That is heretical, and they have not as yet been contradicted . It is now being called by “ordinary” Catholics, the Kasperite heresy.

    So yes, war has commenced.

    Of course there are many other aspects. But some other time. War can be a busy time!

    • BronxLady

      And the Enemy is busy working with the Vatican & the Federal Reserve to coordinate the New World Order i their headquarters beneath the Denver International Airport.

      i think its time for everybody to take off their tin foil hats.

      • Woman In White

        Careful —or you’ll just encourage our resident tin foil hat enthusiast (not Jacobi) to come out and start cut’n’pasting his cogitations on Marxism and the USSR for the umpteen hundredth time …

      • Jacobi

        And put on our steel helmets, both theological and real.

  • Woman In White

    This article is little more than another attempt by Thompson to stir up factionalism, and therefore divisions, which are the gateway to schism.

    He raises his standard as a “conservative catholic” — twice BTW in the same day — so at least now he’s decided to declare which political/ideological faction he belongs to.

    But of course, “conservatism” is by no means a synonym of orthodoxy. Orthodoxy clings to the Catholicity of the Faith, in its entirety and its Unity, whereas conservatism seeks to simply perpetuate what exists, as well as seeking to convince the whole Church to adopt whichever parochial preferences that one may have.

    Traditionalism isn’t synonymous of orthodoxy either, true, but there’s a far lesser margin of difference between them than exists with conservatism, which can all to often seek to perpetuate various practices, as if they were the core of the Faith and the Spirituality and the Religion, even though quite clearly they aren’t.

    St Thomas Aquinas himself once attacked what we’d refer to as conservatism, as being far from the very nature of the Catholic Christianity — though he did give it one important mitigating grace, which is that it is healthier for a bad catholic to be conservative in his Church practice than not to be, because that conservatism could yet lead that person or others into the better Christian Faith that belongs to the Catholicity itself, and which is of Faith, Hope, and Charity ; not of worrying about whether the musical quality of what one hears during the Liturgy is up to one’s own personal standard or not, or other such trivialities.

    The orthodoxy of the Faith comes from the Love and the Revelation that God has Given to us in Christ, and the orthodoxy is our reciprocation to Him, and so it needs be accepted in its totality.

    Factionalism seeks to destroy it, by claiming that these or those are trying to create some sort of “civil war”, or by trying to start such a “war” all by oneself.

    As Aquinas taught, conservatism is no better than a safety net, to try and catch those who have started to fall away from the Unity of the Church, the Orthodoxy of Her teachings, the Spirituality of Sainthood, of always remaining centred in one’s Soul in worship of God in the company of Saints and Angels, and of seeking to bring the very Nature of this Catholicity to others in word, in deed.

    • Hugh_Oxford

      Could it not be that Thomson mistakenly refers to himself as “conservative” when what he really means is “orthodox”.

      • Woman In White

        No.

        • Hugh_Oxford

          What aspects of “conservative” Catholicism are unorthodox?

          • BronxLady

            The disloyalty to the Pope, for one.

          • Hugh_Oxford

            Is that strictly unorthodox?

          • BronxLady

            I don’t know, a Pope duly elected by the College of Cardinals, directed by the Holy Spirit? You tell me

          • Hugh_Oxford

            What if the Pope is unorthodox?

          • BronxLady

            Only an un-orthodox Catholic would say that.

          • Lagos1

            No they wouldn’t. You are confusing the Catholic faith with the Pope. A good Catholic will stand up to the Pope when he is wrong. St Paul did so against St Peter. Similarly Catholics stood up against Jon XXII when he veered towards heresy. St Catherine of Sienna was extremely critical of the Pope.

          • Woman In White

            A Pope can be wrong about all sorts of things, or more simply there’s no problem if you disagree with a Pope, or a Pope disagrees with you, or the guy sitting two rows down from you at Mass disagrees with you, on a massively wide variety of multiple issues.

            Orthodoxy is not constituted of a monolithic agreement by one and all about absolutely everything.

            But conservatism is.

            Orthodoxy is of the Spirituality of the Faith ; conservatism is of its politicisation.

            A Pope can only ever be personally blameworthy if he were to teach actual Heresy, and Pope Francis has never done so.

          • Lagos1

            Yes, I would generally agree with what you say. Although a Pope can be personally blameworthy for other things beyond the actual teaching of heresy.

          • Woman In White

            a Pope can be personally blameworthy for other things beyond the actual teaching of heresy

            Sure, I nearly edited my post to point that out myself, but seems you understand the distinction anyway, so no harm done.

          • paulpriest

            Whoever you are – why don’t you actually learn what these designations, phenomena and predicates actuall ARE before you comment – you’re really embarrassing yourself.

          • Woman In White

            cripes pp, is that your newest opening gambit for yet another supercilious pedantry-fest ?

          • paulpriest

            No – you just spent a long time proving you haven’t got a clue what orthodoxy means – and the variants between political conservatism – ecclesiastical conservatism [slow or limited change] – or actual conservatism [which is ever- changing/restoring that which is deteriorating in order to conserve – ie conservationism]

          • Woman In White

            Political factionalism is not Orthoidoxy, and simply adding qualifying adjectives to distinguish various forms of conservatism provides no relevant content, but just pedantry.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Sorry, he nailed it and you don’t get it. That’s clear.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Well, perhaps, but your view fails to allow for the fact that for very many Catholics the word “conservative” is synonymous with orthodox. You may not agree this is correct, but you should allow for folks speaking this way just the same.

            Otherwise you misrepresent their views to yourself and others.

          • BronxLady

            Being critical is one thing; accusing the Pope of being a heretic, or “not orthodox” is completely different. Did St Catherine and St Paul do that? I was no particular fan of JPII, but disliking him and some of his pronouncements does not mean I don’t believe he was a legitimate Pope with legitimate authority.

          • Lagos1

            If the Pope is unorthodox then it is perfectly orthodox of a Catholic to say as much. This is what you are denying. Why do you think that it isn’t true? I am not saying that Pope Francis is a heretic. I am talking about the principal of the matter.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Francis has legitimate authority, but NOT to tamper with the Magisterium and Tradition in a way that contradicts or undermines what has been handed down to us from Jesus through His Apostles.
            NO POPE has authority to abuse his position to do so.

          • paulpriest

            Liberius, Honorius,a Nicolas, John XXII etc all fell into heresy – St John Paul II’s writings are laden with confused material heresies whereas the Present pontiff throws material heresies around on a [humiliating] daily basis – it’s not unorthodox to say so. I’d advise anyone to read what the first few Chapters of Lumen Gentiun say in comparison with what the Church actually teaches in these regards and one soon discovers that a significant amount of the coma-inducing vatican 2 documents are not merely dire and verbose – they’re also materially heretical due to significant tragic ignorance amongst its authors….it must be noted that irrespective of Pope Francis once being appointed a profesor of Theology and being considered somewhat informed – actually he’s no such thing – he has an extrememly basic and limited understanding of even fundamental Church teaching – and continues to reveal it the more he atempts to seem like he knows what he’s talking about…

          • Woman In White

            In your list, only Liberius was ever formally denounced for Heresy.

            St John Paul II’s writings are laden with confused material heresies

            That is a totally inaccurate statement, that could only possibly be the result of confusing a particular heterodoxy of your own for infallible Dogma.

            That which is merely Authoritative can be overturned by the Magisterium should it become necessary to do so. Authoritative teaching is not infallible.

            the first few Chapters of Lumen Gentiun say in comparison with what the Church actually teaches

            You deny the contents of a Dogmatic Constitution of an Ecumenical Council of the Church, and then accuse a Pope of “material heresy” ???

            Quite apart from your blatantly schismatic factionalism, you’re accusing a Saint of your own failure to adhere to the Catholicity of the Faith.

            Pope Francis once being appointed a profesor of Theology and being considered somewhat informed – actually he’s no such thing – he has an extrememly basic and limited understanding of even fundamental Church teaching

            So what pp, you’re more pontifical than the Pope ?

            To set yourself up as a higher Authority on doctrinal matters than the Roman Pontiff is as schismatic as it is Modernist.

            It is is materially as it is formally heretic to teach such Grave Errors to your Christian brethren.

          • paulpriest

            Oh good grief you really are obtuse aren’t you!!
            Vatican II is a pastoral council – the only things within which are either dogmatic or doctrinal are those which heretofore they were precedentially magisterial – read Cardinal Felici’s FootNote 8 as ratified by Bl Paul VI – NOTHING about vatican 2 is innovatively dogmatic or doctrinal – admittedly St John Paul II made many, many attempts to ‘doctrinalise’ the council in his writings but he simply had neither magisterial precedent nor mandate nor opportunity given magisterial teaching was already clear on those issues – ie when he appealed to a ‘in the light of the tradition of the church’ and then proposed a material heresy [eg sister churches, equality, 1st covenant not abrogated, new advent, utilising oecumenical terms prohibited by mortalium animos etc] – it did NOT become doctrinal in any way, shape or form…

            And excuse me – Popes set doctrinal and moral precedents within both ordinary and exraordinary magisterial matters – and bind their succesors eg humanae vitae – or in certain circumstances providing they use the correct formulation they may make infallible decrees which do not have to be ex cathedra as they are intrinsically already in cathedra and in magisterio [eg St JP2 on the impossibility of women’s ordination]

            Popes cannot – cannot bind their successors on matters of discipline and administration….but they solemnly bind in a whole host of other fields…

            Schismatic factionalism? Are you serious!!!
            I’m saying what the Church teaches
            And will always teach….
            Vatican 2 made errors and grievous confusions all over the place – but it is not an issue – its material heresies are and were never formalised – and it is perfectly admissible as it was a PASTORAL COUNCIL…
            Where it erred it is no problem – because the magisterial teaching of the Church was not altered one iota by it – vatican 2 could not change anything that the Church taught…it had no mandate and was ratified by Bl paul VI to ensure it never had that mandate….

            Why not learn a little more before you keep falling into these massive gaffes?

          • Woman In White

            Oh good grief you really are obtuse aren’t you!!

            Thank you for your lovely insult.

            And no.

            Vatican II is a pastoral council – the only things within which are either dogmatic or doctrinal are those which heretofore they were precedentially magisterial

            Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger authoritatively established otherwise. There are very few new doctrines in the Vatican II documents, but it is quite false to claim that there are none.

            The Dogmatic Constitutions in particular have a doctrinal nature that the other documents generally lack, except in some particulars.

            The new doctrines of that Ecumenical Council are anyway provided in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

            NOTHING about vatican 2 is innovatively dogmatic or doctrinal

            That is not a teaching of the Council, it’s your own biased interpretation.

            material heresy

            Disagreement with your own pseudo-pontifical heterodoxy does not constitute “heresy”, pp

            sister churches

            That pastoral and purely ecumenical phrase can be freely agreed or disagreed with, so that not sharing your personal opinion about is is not heretical

            equality

            I have no idea why you think that the concept of “equality” might be “materially heretical”

            1st covenant not abrogated

            It is perfectly heretical to claim that God has reneged on that Promise, and to distinguish between a 1st and 2nd covenant is also deeply erroneous.

            There is only one Covenant.

            The notion that there could be several is contrary to the Dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, where the Church referred to is of course the Church of All Saints and Angels with God.

            new advent

            When I need to Google a term as if it were relevant to some imaginary “heresy” of a Pope, and come up blank, it’s hard to take seriously.

            utilising oecumenical terms prohibited by mortalium animos

            Nope, there is no formal opposition between the contents of Mortalium Animos and Unitatis Redintegratio.

            The only real opposition is that some purely disciplinary measures decided by a previous Pope were over-ruled and replaced by his successor in Ecumenical Council with his Bishops.

            The provisions of Mortalium Animos that were NOT overturned remain in force, including the interdict against participating in ecumenical groups, except that Unitatis Redintegratio gives Authority to Bishops to permit participation in such a group.

            The partial reversal of a disciplinary measure is NOT a “heresy”

            Schismatic factionalism? Are you serious!!!

            I’m not the one falsely claiming that some Church teachings are “heretical”, so YES.

          • paulpriest

            Not true…it’s just NOT TRUE…there are different doctrinal empahases but the emphasis is not on any ‘new’ doctrine inherent within V2 – and sorry where Lumen Gentium of Dei Verbum [and Pope Benedict – despite being a major contributor to DV is also one of its harshest critics] diverge or commit material heresy or promote heterodox expressions or confused extra-contextual distortions and misattributions – they can be ignored.

            No the new doctrinal considerations of the pastoral considerations of doctrine is detailed in the CCC – but their not doctrinal statements – they’re at most secondary reflections/considerations on the nature of the doctrine – and where the CCC went wrong [don’t forget Cardinal Ratzinger had to overhaul it as well as compose the compendium to correct the 78 most blatant errors/confusions/distortions/omissions in the CCC]

            Re the abrogation of the 1st covenant – Council of florence – Bendict XIV in Ex Quo & Pius XII in Mystici Corporis – For St John Paul II & Pope Francis to say it was never abrogated [eg in Evangelii Gaudium] – distinctly contradicting the very words of the magisterium – is material heresy.

            Unitatis redintegratio’s pastoral considerations argued, endorsed and promoted that which is expressly forbidden on doctrinal grounds in mortalium animos – and no pope can permit that which the Church does not as his express mandate and commission is grounded in the ontological reality of the inherent Truth within that which provides him with all authority and power as the Vicar of Christ.

            Religious liberty, conscience,equality, freedom and oecumenism? all been dealt with by the Church – in the 19th and early 20th century – and it’s binding – and Vatican 2 & St John Paul 2’s aberrations cannot rewrite that which is doctrinally taught as positive, analytic, apologetic, manifestative or explicative theological statements [and first two illative if you wish to fall on the Thomistic side of Trent – all three illatives if you wish to side with Newman] – and taught as that we do because we believe!!!

            They’re not Church teachings – their pastoral considerations on church teachings which materially heretically distort Church teachings….
            So if someone says ‘Ah but vatican 2 says X” if we have a plethora of magisterial citations saying the contrary – it aint doctrine!!!

            Ironically in some ways Vatican 2’s laziness ignorance and just plain self-centred stupidity and presumption actually makes some of its statements schismatic – albeit inadvertently but nevertheless they do no supersede or take any remote precedent over what the magisterium teaches….

            finally Catholic teaching on Predilection – outside Himself God “does not do equal…” – this enlightenment heresy has no place in Catholcism. [as said by every pope before ’58, By Blessed Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI – only two Popes have ever said otherwise – and JP1’s writings indicate he understood predilection too]

          • Woman In White

            where Lumen Gentium of Dei Verbum … commit material heresy or promote heterodox expressions

            Claiming “heresy” or “heterodoxy” in Catholic teaching is nonsensical.

            Re the abrogation of the 1st covenant – Council of florence – Bendict XIV in Ex Quo & Pius XII in Mystici Corporis – For St John Paul II & Pope Francis to say it was never abrogated [eg in Evangelii Gaudium] – distinctly contradicting the very words of the magisterium – is material heresy.

            This is rubbish — If you set up one of your personal interpretations of teaching X against one of your personal interpretations of teaching Y to then claim that X contradicts Y, clearly the problem lies in your interpretation.

            Or, as Pope Benedict XVI put it, in a hermeneutic of discontinuity, that he formally denounced as constituting heresy.

            Unitatis redintegratio’s pastoral considerations argued, endorsed and promoted that which is expressly forbidden on doctrinal grounds in mortalium animos

            This is complete rubbish, Mortalium Animos was and is a document of a disciplinary and pastoral nature, and to claim its contents as being “doctrinal” is to make the exact same Error as the “liberal”-progressives who claim that some pastoral contents of Vatican II might be “doctrinal”.

            Mortalium Animos contains exactly ZERO new doctrine, and that’s not even considering the fact that an Encyclical is of intrinsically lower Authority than the teaching of a Pope in Communion with an Ecumenical Council, except if the Encyclical were used to define some doctrinal infallibility.

            the ontological reality of the inherent Truth

            Truth is not discovered in ontology, which is the study of what exists, that is to say of the creatures that are made by God, but in God Himself, Who transcends those things.

            Your immanentism is theologically indefensible.

            Furthermore, it is not “ontological reality” that gives Authority to a Pope, but Grace.

            Religious liberty, conscience,equality, freedom and oecumenism? all been dealt with by the Church – in the 19th and early 20th century – and it’s binding – and Vatican 2 & St John Paul 2’s aberrations cannot rewrite that which is doctrinally taught as positive, analytic, apologetic, manifestative or explicative theological statements [and first two illative if you wish to fall on the Thomistic side of Trent – all three illatives if you wish to side with Newman] – and taught as that we do because we believe!!!

            Your use of long words does little to disguise the paucity of your argument.

            Others own dictionaries too, you know.

            Claiming that your own personal views are absolute Church Dogma is an intrinsically false position, as well as being Modernist by definition.

          • Phil Steinacker

            You merely pretend to know what you are talking about, don’t you?

            Paulpriest argues from specific facts which he cites, then applies to his points.

            I notice you do not. You just make unsupported statements.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Whether it has become an “infallible teaching” de jure or not, you know very well that all of mainstream Catholic theology now accepts as a de facto proposition John Paul II’s declaration that the 1st Covenant is not abrogated. You wont get a job on a Catholic theology faculty if you challenge it–at least not in America. (And that, by the way, my friend, is how popes effect change in the Church, and it’s what Francis is obviously determined to do, if he lives long enough. I’m cool with it; you aren’t.)

          • Phil Steinacker

            And THAT, my friend, is how heresy spreads throughout the Church, becoming rampant within the ranks of bishops.

          • Deacon_Augustine

            “he has an extrememly basic and limited understanding of even fundamental Church teaching – and continues to reveal it the more he atempts to seem like he knows what he’s talking about…”
            Would that be like the times he’s called opponents of divorce and remarriage “Pharisees”, when the Pharisees were supporters of divorce and remarriage, for example?
            Not that we should be concerned about pig-ignorance in a Pope of course.

          • David W

            Both St. Paul and St. Catherine of Sienna took a stand against personal misbehavior, not teaching. As for John XXII, he never taught error as Pope.

            In contrast, people are alleging that the Pope is teaching error in matters of faith and morals *as* Pope.

          • Deacon_Augustine

            Try reading about Pope Honorious in the Catholic Encyclopedia and compare and contrast with our present situation. He was posthumously anathematized by 2 Popes and an Ecumenical Council for far less than the current occupant of his see.

          • David W

            It’s kind of ironic when anti-Francis Catholics use the same arguments that anti-Catholics do against the Papacy. The answers against them apply to your own claims as well.

          • Deacon_Augustine

            How is that an argument against the Papacy? It is precisely those Popes who had taught heresy as Popes who were discussed in detail at Vatican I in order to arrive at a clear definition of the LIMITS of papal infallibility.

            This popular piety which ascribes infallibility to every utterance and inclination of a Pope is exactly the kind of sentimental tosh which gives anti-Catholics just reason for some of their criticisms. It may be news to you, but the Pope is just as much bound to fidelity to Scripture, Tradition and the Ordinary & Universal Magisterium as the rest of us. He is not some kind of demigod who can overrule the law of non-contradiction, divine revelation and the natural law as though he were the archbishop of Canterbury on steroids.

            Consequently a Pope can err in matters of faith and morals on all occasions apart from when he teaches in line with the Ordinary & Universal Magisterium or exercises his Extraordinary Magisterium, the conditions and limits for which are precisely defined. Francis appears to be quite ignorant about the limits of his powers and this makes him dangerous for the millions of souls who will be suckered by his hubris.

          • David W

            Excuse me, but we are not claiming that every utterance a Pope makes is infallible. We are saying that when the Pope intends to TEACH, we are bound to obey, even when it is not ex cathedra. (Go look up Humani Generis #20, Canon Law #752 and Chapter 3 of Pastor Æternus.

            Pastor Æternus is especially relevant because it gives the Pope authority where his critics seem to deny it: In matters of discipline and governance.

            It’s easier for me to believe that you err than the Pope does. Not because I think he is impeccable, but because I have faith that God will not permit the Church to bind error and loose truth.

            My point in the post you are responding to is that certain Catholics are using the same arguments about bad Popes that anti-Catholics do to deny the authority where they dislike the teaching. The anti-Catholics are wrong of course, but they are at least more consistent than the Catholic who tries to undermine the teaching authority of the Church when it interferes with what he wants to do.

            So how about stopping the straw man argument that we believe everything he says is infallible and consider the fundamental flaw in the argument that tries to justify disobedience where one dislikes a teaching by the Pope.

          • Deacon_Augustine

            If you seriously think that this dispute devolves on a “dislike” of teaching by this Pope, then you are recklessly trivializing the matter.

            It is not a question of “dislike”, it is one long series of material heresies that spew forth from his lips – heresies which contradict the deposit of faith upheld by all his predecessors. Whether it be universalism, annihilationism, indifferentism, relativism, Francis seems to have a dog in all of those fights. Now we are treated to Francis’ new revelation of an “impotent God”.

            As the Angelic Doctor taught “no obedience is owed to a heretic”, and neither can any superior legitimately command anything which is contrary to the natural law or the divine positive law. If the Pope were to teach/legislate that unrepentant adulterers could be admitted to Holy Communion, then no minister of the Church would be obliged to obey him.

          • David W

            One can only see this in the Pope’s teachings if they rely on a hostile interpretation that colors any reading of the original documents. The Pope has taught no heresy. The Pope will teach no heresy. Unfortunately, certain groups who are antagonistic to the Pope portray everything he says and does in the worst possible light. That’s rash judgment at best. It’s calumny at worst.

            Ultimately what you are doing is begging the question combined with ipse dixit. You assume that the Pope has taught error when the burden of proof requires you to show that you have a proper understanding of what the Church teaches and the Pope does not. But you offer no proof, relying simply on your own say so.

            What’s more, you can offer no proof. It is the magisterium, not the individual Catholic who determines how the teachings of the Church are best applied.

            Relying on your own interpretations, we can have no way of knowing which Popes were heretics and which were not. For all you know, Trent and St. Pius V could have gotten it wrong. It’s only when one trusts in God to protect the teaching of the Church from teaching error that we can have faith that we have not been following error for 2000 years.

          • Phil Steinacker

            You offer no proof, as well. The arguments you offer in your first paragraph are the opinions, strongly held, by one faction among theologians who grappled with this question over centuries.

            This is a matter yet to be settled, so we are free to point out material heresy on the part of any pope, for many of us believe a pope is only protected from error through ex cathedra infallibility, which requires satisfaction on qualifying points.

            NO one is required to obey material heresy, ever. Period.

            And the list of this pope declaring such is ever-growing.

          • David W

            Your assertions that the Pope is supporting heresy is sheer ipse dixit that entirely depends on the interpretation of Church teachings by one not qualified to offer authoritative interpretation. Since the “proof” for such claims are entirely based on the assumption that the assertion is true, the assertion is also “begging the question.” So in essence, your argument that a heretic pope can be obeyed and Pope Francis is a heretic Pope is not at all proven.

            I’ve also provided proof elsewhere in my comments about how Papal teaching is binding even when not ex cathedra. Notably Code of Canon Law 752-754 and Pastor Æternus Chapter 3. Also relevant is Humani Generis #20, which I’ll quote because people seem to be unwilling to look up:

            “20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me”;[3] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.”

            The Pope has taught no heresy, material or formal, and his teachings as Pope are just as binding as his predecessors.

          • paulpriest

            He did – he wrote and taught about the impossibility of the beatific vision until the final judgment’ – the University of Paris and various others opposed him and it was only on his deathbed he retracted and ordered his successor to eradicate his error

          • David W

            Yet every scholarly work of John XXII that i have encountered, calls this a private opinion. Hmm, who do I believe? Vetted authors? Or someone on the internet that I don’t know anything about?

          • Lagos1

            If they were even willing to criticise merely the personal misbehavior of a Pope, then they would be all the more ready to criticise actual false teaching.

            And in fact Paul opposed Peter precisely because of its teaching effect.

            And John XXII did teach error when he was Pope, even if he did not teach it infallibly. – notably during sermons in Avignon cathedral between 1331-1332.

            In contrast, people are alleging that the Pope is teaching error in matters of faith and morals *as* Pope.

            Not really. Most criticisms that I have heard about Pope Francis` teaching also pertains to sermons at worst or even simple off the cuff comments. So very similar to the John XXII situation.

            But this is beside the point. I am not here supporting the view that the Pope is teaching error. I am making the point that it could be perfectly orthodox for a Catholic to suggest that a Pope might not be orthodox. Most Catholic theologians have supported the view that it is possible for a Pope to be a material heretic.

          • paulpriest

            you mean heterodox?

          • paulpriest

            It’s ironically a heresy to say the Holy Spirit elected a Pope – the Holy Spirit inspires the intellects of those involved and the electors may freely conform with this inspiration in their wills – or defiantly choose otherwise. The election of the Pope is an administrative disciplinary affair performed by men who can either seek the common good or their own self interest.

          • Woman In White

            It’s ironically a heresy to say the Holy Spirit elected a Pope

            That is a false statement. To give one’s opinion regarding any particular election is utterly neutral regarding Doctrine.

            It is a heresy to claim that the Holy Spirit cannot cause the election of a Pope.

          • paulpriest

            Nice try but I didn’t say CAUSE – I said elect – the Holy Spirit may cause the election by extraordinarily imposing efficacious grace and actuating the elector to do the Good – but even then the Holy Spirit does not do the electing – but normatively the Holy Spirit provides sufficient grace to inspire the intellects of the electors – to which they may FREELY choose to conform – and freely will their vote accordingly.
            At present cardinals elect a pope – it is an administrative process which is both fluid and arbitrary according to papal whim – Pope Francis could give all 1.2 Billion of us a vote tomorrow or have an electoral college of all Bishops or whatever….
            But the holy Spirit DOES NOT treat us like chesspieces or cosmic puppets – Free will has been graced.

            and if you want a little light reading to verify this – try Reginald Garrigou Lagrange on Grace – the associated heresies regarding grace , will, intellect and the Holy Spirit are within

          • Woman In White

            You’re quibbling semantics — look up the etymology of the verb “to elect”, and you’ll see that it’s not limited to the choices that you wish to restrict it into.

            You are also falsely claiming our own Free Will is absolute against God’s own Free Will. Prayers to submit one’s own Will to the Will of God are not void of consequence, and you have absolutely no idea about the prevalence nor effect of such prayers during Conclave.

          • paulpriest

            Read what I wrote – not the nice string of strawmen you wish I’d written…you do know what efficacious grace is? If so why’d d’you write that response?

          • Woman In White

            Because you’re quibbling semantics.

          • paulpriest

            no – and repeating the accusation doesn’t make it any less ludicrous – the Holy Spirit INSPIRES the Intellect – to suggest He motivates the will except in the free reception of efficacious grace by a willing recipient – also contravenes dogma on the grace of free will and human dignity and responsibility – as cited in the councils of Arles, Quiercy, Valencia, Nancy and Trent.

          • Woman In White

            For the third time, you’re quibbling semantics, and now accusing me of this or that even though what you claim is not what I said.

          • Phil Steinacker

            You must be totally clueless on this matter and so I can only conclude you cannot bear to admit it, given your repeated insistence over semantics when you are actually being schooled on quite obvious distinctions you fail to grasp – or do not wish to admit.

          • Phil Steinacker

            You better contact Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and straighten him out, because that is exactly what he did – publicly. He didn’t get caught up in your nonsense over “elected” or “caused”, but he understands it as paulpriest explains it.

            “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope…I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”

            […]

            “There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”

          • Phil Steinacker

            You better contact Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and straighten him out, because that is exactly what he did – publicly.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Nonsense. The Catholic Church has NEVER taught that the pope is selected by the Holy Spirit. We’ve had too many bad popes (as in bad teachers) and even evil popes to see it otherwise. Cardinal Ratzinger said as much himself.

          • Lagos1

            Depends on the situation….however, the contrary, i.e. loyalty to the Pope when it goes against true Catholic teaching, is maybe a better example of unorthodox “conservative” Catholicism.

            I might also suggest that most heresies have their counterpart at the other extreme. Therefore we can usually find “liberal” heresies have a “conservative” flip side. perhaps Jansenism, Donatism are kinds of Conservative heresies? (and therefore unorthodox).

          • Athelstane

            Would disloyalty to Stephen VI have counted? Or Honorius?

          • Desert Sun Art

            You mean like the loud, foul-mouthed, disloyal verbiage used against Popes JPII and BXVI by the “liberals”? How orthodox is that?

          • BronxLady

            Liberals would definitely be unorthodox if they implied that JPII and Bendict were heretics or lacked legitimate authority. But that’s not what is happening in this commentary; let’s focus on what this Damian Thompson is spewing.

          • Woman In White

            I didn’t use the word “unorthodox” — but anyway, a “conservative” Diocese could be one that is steadfast in its will to perpetuate certain liturgical and pastoral innovations that may have been introduced in the “spirit” of Vatican II by the grandparents of the current diocesan youth, but which may have little or nothing to do with the Orthodoxy of our Religion as an expression of the Revelation.

        • Phil Steinacker

          You are incorrect. That is exactly what Thompson means by the term.

  • JS

    The Holy Father is a visible risk-taker on behalf of those who cannot afford even the merest failure; in order to build ‘la civiltà dell’amore e pieta’ of which the family is an ‘original cell’

    It is an extraordinarily difficult task to move the culture from a to b, although not the mission impossible that the elderly Scalfari implies. Pope Francis has warned his priests and people against being immobilised by cold judgement or lapsing despair, in Paul VI’s words:’ensuring that pastoral (efforts) take into account people’s situations .. that which it is possible for people to do’

    Messages distorted in the whispering loggias, ‘thoughts and images that weaken… and disturb…so that…the service of God (is) more difficult’ versus a great Jesuit charism, the Spiritual Exercises; heroic and at the service of the broken and suffering:- live-streaming the Holy Spirit.

  • Fulgentian

    “a more compassionate, less rule-bound church”
    So basically a secular charity…

    • Woman In White

      Nail on head.

    • Athelstane

      So basically a secular charity…

      Or an NGO?

    • Des Demona

      Why do you think your religion is more valid or better than anyone else’s? Other than blind bigotry?

      • Ad Orientem

        Why do you think your opinion is more valid or better than anyone else’s? Other than blind bigotry?

        • Des Demona

          I haven’t expressed an opinion I’ve asked a question. Do try to keep up.

          • Ad Orientem

            No.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Such an answer bespeaks cowardice.

            You know damned well your question implies a statement; a value judgment.

          • Des Demona

            Oh no. you’re not damning me are you?

          • Louise

            Of course there was a judgement!

      • Catholic_Dad_of_4

        Because it is true. The Truth is superior to falsehood. Now, every other religion contains falsehood, therefore every other religion is inferior to the True Religion.

        • Des Demona

          So……… blind faith then?

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            Certainly not. Faith and reason do not stand in conflict with one another. That is why these other false religions are not only wicked because they are contrary to the true faith, they are also objectively defective in regards to reason. This means they are morally evil, evil being a lack of what is necessary for something to be whole.
            Now, the true religion is that religion which is whole, entire, and in conformity with reason, established by God. But every other religion is irrational (superstitious), evil (their object of worship is not the true God, but either demonic entities/fantasies), and false (They have no legitimacy from God).
            The criterion of the truth of a religion is not “religious experience.” Atheists have “religious experiences” of the truth, which they deify above the author of truth.
            The criterion of the truth of a religion is:
            1. Does it have God for its author?
            2. Does it elevate man above his baser nature?
            3. Does it fulfill justice, rendering to God what we owe him?

      • Phil Steinacker

        You make zero sense. If one truly believes in one’s religion, it follows then that all other religions, of necessity, are disbelieved. That is not bigotry. Try perusing a dictionary; you obviously are the product of a Liberal education and not a liberal education.

        Your notions suggest that being a member of apolitical party precludes one from believing all other political notions are false.

        In either case – religion or politics – to believe a set of ideas in complete contradiction of another set of ideas is tantamount to believing your set of ideas is the only valid one.

        Otherwise, what does it mean to believe – anything?

        • Des Demona

          Sorry old fruit, you are the one making zero sense. If everyone truly believes that their particular religion is right and every one else’s is wrong then in effect they are all equally right – and equally wrong.

        • Des Demona

          big|ot¦ry.

          Noun

          definition

          1.intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself:
          synonyms: prejudice · bias · partiality · partisanship · sectarianism ·

          Sorry old fruit, you are the one making zero sense. If everyone truly believes that their particular religion is right and every one else’s is wrong then in effect they are all equally right – and equally wrong. You have no room for subjectivity, which is the root of your intolerance.

          And please don’t try to conflate political parties with religion.

          ”In either case – religion or politics – to believe a set of ideas in complete contradiction of another set of ideas is tantamount to believing your set of ideas is the only valid one.”

          What utter guff. Your religion bullies and threatens people that if they don’t follow it they suffer eternal damnation. I can’t see even Cameron getting away with that.

          • Louise

            “If everyone truly believes that their particular religion is right and every one else’s is wrong then in effect they are all equally right – and equally wrong.”

            No. It could just as easily mean that my religion (or yours for that matter) is right and all the others are wrong.

      • lwhite

        Because God said so.

    • Grace Ironwood

      Like the rest of the Western elites, they are simply implementing the sexual revolution that started in the sixties. These men are post-Christians.

  • Like God, whom he is supposed to admire, the Pope moves in a mysterious way. It has to be said that it is a lot easier to have faith in God. Not a bad article, Damian.

    • Jadissock

      And a great cartoon

    • Sanctimony

      Patronising git !

  • Food_Stuff

    It’s totally obvious that FP is a Modernist and intends to (try to) change the Church radically. He hasn’t hidden it. I don’t see what’s to wonder about. What you see is what you get.

  • Food_Stuff

    It’s totally obvious that FP is a Modernist and intends to (try to) change the Church radically. He hasn’t hidden it. I don’t see what’s to wonder about. What you see is what you get.

  • Aaron Baugher

    “Why did Francis let his lieutenants, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Archbishop Bruno Forte, arrange a briefing that basically told lies?”

    Because those lies — along with the existence of the synod in the first place, “discussing” already settled doctrine that goes back to the words of Jesus Christ — shifted the narrative in the direction he wished, regardless of what the synod actually did. The actual synod was a MacGuffin. Many Catholics now (incorrectly) think the Church can reverse her teaching on these matters, or any other matters, whenever a large enough number of clergy get together with the pope’s approval and vote to do so, as if the Church is the US government.

    The Catholic Church is a monarchy with the pope as the head, and a synod’s role is only advisory. It can’t allow or disallow anything. Only Francis can do that, but he wanted the synod to give him cover for this stage of his revolution.

    • Food_Stuff

      Absolutely. Damage is done no matter the outcome of the synod. People are misled. If they think doctrine is a matter of votes, many will decide they can decide for themselves.

    • Athelstane

      Only Francis can do that, but he wanted the synod to give him cover for this stage of his revolution.

      Which he really did not get – to his surprise, it seems – though there’s just enough ambiguity in Secs. 84-86 that….well, stay tuned for the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

      • Aaron Baugher

        We’ll see. As you say, we won’t know until his Exhortation, because he can do whatever he wants anyway. I think he sowed enough confusion with the synod that he may charge ahead and blame the synod. A more careful man, or a man wanting to remain seen as orthodox, might refrain and hope for a clearer chance later. But I keep reading articles from people close to him that say he’s a man on a mission, determined to make his papacy a major turning point for the Church.

        • Woman In White

          because he can do whatever he wants anyway

          Nope.

          Those who believe this nonsensical fantasy have no understanding of Ecclesiology.

          • Aaron Baugher

            What human being’s approval does he need?

          • Woman In White

            Christ, Apostles, Councils, and Popes

          • Aaron Baugher

            Thank you, I think we agree then. When I said “he can do what he wants,” I meant he’s not restricted in any way by what the synod didn’t or didn’t do. I didn’t mean God can’t stop him. I’d put it this way: a true pope can’t change settled doctrine or teach falsely on faith and morals. Whether he gets a synod’s approval doesn’t affect that.

          • Bruce Lewis

            If he lives, he will have God’s approval. God could remove him in a heartbeat. You and all the other Catholic reactionaries on here– including the slanderous article’s writer–seem to have forgotten that Catholics USED to believe that the Holy Spirit guides a papal conclave. Really, you are as much “cafeteria Catholics” as you accuse us “liberals” of being!

          • Aaron Baugher

            No, I believe that a true, valid conclave is guided by the Holy Ghost (though I’m not sure “guided” means “controlled” as you’re implying, but I’ll accept “controlled” too). I also believe that a true pope of the Catholic Church cannot teach falsely on faith and morals. Certain conclusions follow directly from that.

            Ask yourself: what would a man sitting on the throne of Peter have to do to convince you he is not there by right? A Catholic should know where that line is. If you think Francis hasn’t crossed that line, that’s an argument you can make. But don’t say the line doesn’t exist.

            I agree with you, though, that people who claim Francis is a true pope and that he’s overturning doctrine and teaching heresy have a contradiction they need to work out, because that’s not possible. Catholics don’t get to say, “He’s the pope but he’s wrong on this and that matter of faith and morals, so I’ll ignore those.”

          • Aaron Baugher

            No, I do believe that the Holy Ghost guides (though “guides” doesn’t mean “controls” as you imply, but lets assume it does) a true conclave. I also believe, as Catholics are required to, in papal infallibility: that a true pope cannot teach falsely on matters of faith and morals. Certain conclusions flow inevitably from that.

            Ask yourself: what would a man on the throne of Peter have to do to convince you he’s not there by right? Every Catholic should know the answer to that question, because of papal infallibility. If you don’t think the current occupant has crossed that line, that’s an argument you can make. But you don’t get to say such a line doesn’t exist.

            I’ll agree with you on one point, though: Catholics who believe Francis is the pope should not criticize his teachings. We don’t get to say, “He’s the pope, but he’s wrong on this and that matter of faith and morals, so I’m going to ignore him on those and write articles encouraging others to do the same.” If he’s the pope, then when he speaks on these matters, faithful Catholics shut up and listen.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Catholics who ever believed that the conclave ALWAYS listens and obeys that guidance have been wrong, wrong, wrong!

          • James M

            In 1932, Father Ronald Knox was very surprised to hear that idea, about the Holy Spirit guiding conclaves, from the (not yet Catholic) Arnold Lunn. So it seems to be of fairly recent date.

          • Grace Ironwood

            Since you are discussing the pragmatics here, do you see any organised counter-revolution being able to put a spanner in their works?
            Could the Africans & others declare him a heretic (basically a post-Christian) and that they will continue to follow the deposit of faith?

          • Aaron Baugher

            Whose approval does he need to do it? Or put it this way: if the synod had said straight out (instead of implying it by omission and obfuscation) that divorced-and-remarried Catholics could receive Communion, would that give Francis any more authority to make it so than he already had?

            You know he overruled the 2014 synod by simply writing in some paragraphs it refused to approve, right? Why can’t he do that again in his Exhortation?

          • Woman In White

            if the synod had said straight out (instead of implying it by omission and obfuscation) that divorced-and-remarried Catholics could receive Communion, would that give Francis any more authority to make it so than he already had?

            No.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Like you? Paulpriest already handed your head to you on a plate.

            To anyone with a correct understanding, you lost that round.

    • Bruce Lewis

      He doesn’t require “cover” from them, but he will have it from all the new bishops and cardinals he’s already begun appointing. You are seeing the last days of the “restorationists” who attempted to reverse Vatican II.

  • mcasey6

    Funny how conservatives demand total fidelity to the pope when he is conservative, and declare those that disagree with the pope as heretics. But as soon as the pope takes a line they don’t agree with all such fidelity is tossed out and civil war (hyperbole much!) is declared.

    • David W

      Indeed. If we would insist on others obeying teachings that are hard for them, we should set an example by obedience to things that are hard for us.

      The Pope isn’t risking “civil war.” Those who are rejecting his authority as the successor of Peter are risking civil war, or more accurately, schism.

      • Anton Medak

        If he goes against the teachings of Jesus (Hint See Gospels on divorce) then he is guilty of heresy. Difficult for “anything goes” liberals to understand.

        • David W

          Except the Pope *hasn’t* gone against the teachings of Jesus. And that is a rash judgment on your part in assuming I am an “anything goes” liberal.

          • Cromulent

            If communion is allowed for the divorced and remarried then yes, doctrine has changed and Jesus’ words are ignored.

          • David W

            Which hasn’t happened and if you bothered to read his actual words as Pope and as a cardinal, you’d know they never will happen.

          • Cromulent

            Hasn’t happened but may happen. Practice affects doctrine just as much as the other way around. You should read Jesus’ words.

          • paulpriest

            Giving communion to those in ongoing mortal sin can only be justified via an appeal to the Gradualism heresy [ie that they can’t repent and cease sinning now because they are either not free to do so or God’s Grace is not readily available to them to help them stop – both rationales are heretical]

          • David W

            Except the Pope has not called for that. That is a distortion as infamous as the distortion of “Who am I to judge?”

          • Anton Medak

            Sorry Was speaking generally Didnt mean to offend you. You are right God bless

          • Phil Steinacker

            We shall see by what sleight of hand he gets what he wants.

    • jarston1

      If you are a Catholic, I would love to know why you do not consider yourself a “conservative”? If you want “symbolic communion”, abortions, divorce and gay marriage, then go be a presby.

      • mcasey6

        Thankfully, folks like you don’t get to determine who is Catholic, the Pope does. As yet Francis has not excommunicated me. Plus, I’m not a Bible expert but I don’t remember Jesus saying much about abortion, gay marriage or who should receive communion.
        I’m not claiming to be a good Catholic, certainly no better than others, probably worse. Just a regular sinner trying to get better. Until you get to be Pope, though, they let imperfect people like me in.

        • Phil Steinacker

          Frankly, neither the pope nor I get to decide who’s Catholic. Besides, jarston1 didn’t claim he did. He merely invited you to leave for climes more suited to your understanding of Catholicism, twisted into self-serving utilitarianism.

          However, faithful Catholics sufficiently grounded in what the Faith teaches and has always taught are more than capable of recognizing when Catholics are use sarcasm and other obfuscation to mask their deviation from authentic, unchangeable Church teaching.

    • I think that goes for both extremes. I have seen Popes JPII and Benedict denounced.

    • Athelstane

      The fidelity is to the *teaching* of the Church, which cannot be reversed, and of which a pope is merely the servant and guarantor, not the master. The Pope doesn’t make up doctrine. That’s not what the doctrine of infallibility entails.

    • youngexecutive

      Funny how liberals repeat that same lie over and over yet most conservatives do not advocate blind allegiance to the pope.

      On the other hand if you don’t fall in line with liberal doctrine about transsexuals you will be excommunicated from the church of feminism. Hmm.

  • Hamburger

    When he was elected pope, the first thing that Francis said to the conclave was that he hoped that God could forgive them for what they had done. An amusing quip perhaps, but also one that puts forgiveness at the heart of his understanding of Christianity. It is hardly a radical thought, we repeat it in the creed every Sunday. It would appear that there are elements of the conservative church who believe that forgiveness is not an absolute. Insurgent that they are wrong, and should be forgiven.

    • Phil Steinacker

      Again, this claim is just plain wrong.

      All sinners may and should be forgiven, but…

      The distorted progressive view may sometimes be summed up, thusly: “Jesus loves you just the way you are.” We see such thinking implied in all the distortions claiming folks continuing to sin (as in those cohabitating, those engaging in ongoing homosexual behavior, and the adultery of those divorced and remarried without annulment) should simply be forgiven even as they do not cease to sin.

      For those needing a review, it is an unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church that sacramental forgiveness of sin, or absolution (there is not other kind), requires authentic contrition, a firm purpose of amendment, and finally actual repentance or change of direction.

      Forgiveness where it counts is as I described, not as found in your poorly written comments. Absolute? It is absolutely as I described.

      What is proposed by Kasperites and, it appears (we’ll know later), Pope Francis, is an arrangement in which the text doctrine will be proclaimed as safely preserved while simultaneously contradicted and undermined under the rubric of a false mercy imparting “forgiveness” to those not meriting it due to their obstinate refusal to change behavior.

      Jesus, whom liberals love to selectively quote, always admonished those healed by Him moments earlier, “Go and sin no more!” He also suggests repeatedly that only a few will ultimately be saved.

      So, yes, all can be forgiven, if only everyone is willing to detach ourselves from the sin we love too much to repudiate.

  • Guy Fox

    “In the case of Catholicism, the looming crisis is on a vastly bigger scale. For millions of Catholics, the great strength of the church is its certainty, coherence and immutability.” This has not been the case since Vatican II, and the Church has bled adherents. Forget the phony numbers of membership, the Catholic Church is about to drop off the demographic cliff thanks to the “spirit of V2” contraception, and a consistent undermining of the Church’s doctrine by the bishops and other clergy. Change and religion do not go well together for the reason Mr. Thompson states. Francis is merely the continuation of a string of pontificates that appeased the culture and undercut its teaching.

    • Fulgentian

      Changing to suit the culture…
      For liberals – essential.
      For conservatives – suicidal.

    • Bill Guentner

      Are you saying that Popes St. John Paul and Benedict were appeasers of the culture? Can you supply any confirmation on that?

    • James B

      Good point.

  • Hamburger

    When he was elected pope, the first thing that Francis said to the conclave was that he hoped that God could forgive them for what they had done. An amusing quip perhaps, but also one that puts forgiveness at the heart of his understanding of Christianity. It is hardly a radical thought, we repeat it in the creed every Sunday. It would appear that there are elements of the conservative church who believe that forgiveness is not an absolute. I suggest that they are wrong, and should be forgiven.

  • Bill Sinclair

    What would that friend of the sinner, Jesus of Nazareth, think of demonising divorcees?

    • Woman In White

      Demons and divorcé(e)s are very different to each other, the former being already in damnation, the latter having Souls ordered towards salvation.

      The Christ Jesus meanwhile condemned divorce very, very clearly.

      • Hamburger

        He also preached forgiveness, it was one of his central tenets. It seems to me that the teachings on forgiveness and divorce are out of kilter.

        • Athelstane

          Anyone divorced and remarried can repent and be forgiven, as readily as did Christ with the woman caught in adultery. Anyone.

          But they do have to repent. “Go, and sin no more.” And to stay “remarried” is to continue sinning. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12) Hard to find clearer words than that in the New Testament.

        • Phil Steinacker

          He also required those He healed to go and sin no more!

          Forgiveness without repentance (change of direction, cessation of sin) is a fraud.

          Also, divorce for the person who did not bring about the end of the marriage is NOT a sin.

          • Hamburger

            As far as I know, I am not your son.
            I shall put a situation to you. It is not a real case but could be. A lapsed catholic divorces his wife, marries again, has children and repents and wants to rejoin the RC Church.
            If I understand you correctly he cannot, unless he jettisons his wife and children. It strikes me that there is little compassion or forgiveness.

      • mcasey6

        Divorce at that time had nothing in common with with divorce today. Then it was strictly a man dumping a woman (and his kids) for greener pastures; women couldn’t initiate a divorce. Because women had no rights then, a divorced woman was totally helpless, fated to starve or become a prostitute. This is what Jesus was condemning.

        • Woman In White

          Because women had no rights then

          Rubbish, wives and mothers had significant rights under Roman Law (Palestine was a Roman Province). to the extent that the family was defined on the basis of motherhood.

          The duties of Roman men to their wives were very great, and though the husband disposed of property rights, management right of that property was his wife’s, as well as ordinary governance of their children.

          The notion that all women were deprived of rights prior to the invention of feminism is ludicrously ahistorical propaganda. As is the preposterous idea that women were condemned to drudgery but men were not.

    • Deacon_Augustine

      He actually referred to divorcees who remarried as adulterers. Were you thinking of a different Jesus of Nazareth – the soft toy version perhaps?

      • Louise

        LOL!

    • Louise

      And right on cue, out come the apologists for family breakdown and adult selfishness.

  • jarston1

    Pope Francis seems to be the CC’s Barack Obama. He comes across as this smiling, laid back “uniter” who just wants to focus on the fundamentals, when beneath it all is the hard line Chicago politics style which seethes with anger and seeks revenge when it doesn’t get its way. It’s all smiles until baby doesn’t get it’s bottle.

    • James B

      True. Sad but true. I’ve had the same thought.

  • Deacon_Augustine

    Perhaps the brain tumour which he hasn’t got (just as Brezhnev was always in fine fettle) is having an effect on his behaviour as well as his cognitive abilities. Whatever the cause, he is clearly too irrational to be taken seriously by anybody except the most ardent worshippers of the pope-god.

  • Bill Sinclair

    That Jesus of Nazareth I mentioned earlier, who told of the difficulty of the rich gaining access Heaven, and recommended selling up to donate to the poor, such as the Syrian refugees… what would he make of the Vatican were he to visit it today?
    And what would he make of all the dancing on the head of a pin evidenced in these comments when there are desperately serious matters on which a church allegedly following Christ’s teaching could be focusing its brain-power?
    Pray tell.

    • Woman In White

      who told of the difficulty of the rich gaining access Heaven

      The “eye of the needle” referred to was the very narrow entrance to the nomad tents of the Hebrews.

      Rich ones tended to be fat, so had difficulty passing through.

      Camels simply couldn’t.

      Just some context as food for thought …

      • Bill Sinclair

        And here was me thinking it referred to narrow gateways in the city wall.

        • Bill Guentner

          You are correct.

    • jarston1

      The Catholic Church has done more for the poor than any organization in the history of the world. The buildings and holdings are rich, no doubt about it…but so was Solomon’s temple. If you were to ask poor Catholics if they would rather melt down the gold so that they would eat better for a few months, or keep the gold there as a glory to God, most would choose the latter.

      • Bill Sinclair

        “If you were to ask poor Catholics if they would rather melt down the gold so that they would eat better for a few months…”
        So non-Catholic poor don’t count?

        “the gold there as a glory to God…”
        Some God that!

        • Athelstane

          Take it up with Christ:

          “But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” – John 12:4-8

      • Bill Sinclair

        What distinction would you make between the moneylenders in Solomon’s Temple and the Vatican’s soiled bankers?

  • Cromulent

    One thing is for sure; it will be centuries before another Jesuit is named to Pope.

    • Elizabeth

      I pray you’re right about that.

    • Athelstane

      The real pity is that John Paul II declined to suppress (and possibly salvage some part of) the Society of Jesus in the 1980’s when he was considering it.

      Then again, it’s apparently nearly impossible to suppress even the Legion of Christ.

    • Dan

      I pray it never happens again.

    • Louise

      We can only hope!

    • Bruce Lewis

      We won’t need another one after Francis has restored the spirit of Vatican II. (And by the way, have you been keeping up with the Holy Father’s appointments? He’s replacing all those John Paul II doctrinaires; when Francis dies, you may get an EVEN MORE liberal Pope (as per your definition of “liberal”.)

      • Grace Ironwood

        And perhaps you, Bruce, will get your “gay marriage” from this hollowed-out institution.

    • sidor

      I never thought that I would be so pleased with a Jesuit. He is just an angel as compared with his two predecessors.

  • Gregory Mason

    ‘Loyal Catholics believe that the office of Peter will survive irrespective of who holds it; Jesus promised as much.’

    Agnostic here. I don’t suppose you can provide a source for that by any chance?

    • A.P. Hill

      Matthew 16:18-19

      • Gregory Mason

        Much obliged.

  • James B

    Excellent article. It hits the nail on the head and summarizes perfectly the current state of affairs. Thank you for the article, Mr. Thompson. God help the Church.

  • mariandavid

    What I find baffling is why the majority of posters here (no doubt of the school of John Paul) believe that a slight relaxation in the relationship between the Catholic Church and its devoted, if divorced, members constitute a crisis of shattering proportions. Of course to the majority of Catholics, that being those concerned with the attitudes of the Church – as opposed to those who define it in terms of tradition, liturgy and a stultifying conservatism – such changes are a point of hope.

    • Athelstane

      [Initial small clarification: merely being civilly divorced does not bar one from communion. It is remarriage that is the real problem.]

      Because you can’t “slightly” relax it. This comes straight from the Apostle Paul in I Cor. 11:27-29: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” That’s the first premise. The second premise is that to divorce and remarry is a mortal sin, and an ongoing one, per the injunction of Christ in all three Synoptic Gospels (not just one, but all of them!) that to do so is adultery. Combined together, the conclusion is clear, and it has always been clear since the first days of the Church: The divorced-and-remarried are in a state of ongoing mortal sin, and receive the body and blood of Christ to their own damnation.

      The real problem is that so many people, including some Catholics, including some bishops, don’t really believe, deep down, that divorce and remarriage is a mortal sin. But there’s no way they can reach that conclusion while taking the injunctions of Christ seriously.

      • Des Demona

        ”The divorced-and-remarried are in a state of ongoing mortal sin, and receive the body and blood of Christ to their own damnation.”
        See, that doesn’t seem like a very Christian attitude to me.
        Ah well, in the words of Ned Flanders ”I’ve done everything the bible told me to, even the stuff that contradicts each other”

        • Athelstane

          See, that doesn’t seem like a very Christian attitude to me.

          Well, you will have to take that up with Christ, as they say. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12) The people on the other side of that argument were the Pharisees, who defended divorce.

          • Willard

            Wow Christ was so clear huh? Then why did St. Paul make an exception and allow divorce within a few years after Christ’s death? To be deep in history and theology is to cease to be a traditionalist.

          • Athelstane

            The Pauline privilege involves natural marriage between unbelievers, where one remains an unbeliever and insists on separating rather than accept the faith. In Church history, the granting of it has been extremely rare.

          • Willard

            Rare or not, it proves that the Church acknowledges exceptions to Christ’s general rule.

          • Dodger Dickens

            The key word is “rare”, as in “out of the norm”. The Church is built on the steadfastness of Her teachings, safeguarded by the Holy Spirit, and proclaimed through Peter. Exceptions don’t get to graduate to “norms” just because people have lost their minds.

          • Willard

            Nobody is talking about making things “norms”. It is about someone like my friend’s grandfather who recently died. He married an abandoned divorcee with two little children who were on verge of destitution. They went on to have 6 more children of their own and the marriage lasted 68 years until his death.

          • Athelstane

            And that exception is expressly present in Scripture. And it is there for a very specific reason (the salvation of the soul of the Catholic spouse).

            There’s no scriptural warrant for getting remarried because “we were young and rushed into it,” or “I must follow my bliss with my secretary,” or “she had a mid-life crisis.”

          • Willard

            Where is the scriptural support for the Petrine Privilege? Yet another exception to Christ’s “clear teaching”.

            And please, knock it off with your straw men as nobody is condoning divorce and remarriage for “I must follow my bliss with my secretary”.

          • Louise

            The Petrine Privelege is a clear teaching by that Church which was founded by Christ.

          • Athelstane

            And please, knock it off with your straw men as nobody is condoning divorce and remarriage for “I must follow my bliss with my secretary”.

            No, of course not. The reasons are *always* far more noble and profound.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Perhaps not you, but plenty of folks have cited similarly self-serving excuses posing as hard life situations. Stop whining.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Perhaps not you, but plenty of folks have cited similarly self-serving excuses posing as hard life situations. Stop whining.

          • Woman In White

            No, because only Holy Matrimony contracted before the Altar of God constitutes the general rule.

          • Willard

            Really? Christ said something about marriage before the Altar of God? Chapter and verse please.

          • Phil Steinacker

            You masquerade as smart and knowledgeable, but you just went down a rabbit hole which offers you no satisfactory end.

            Christ also said nothing about rape, either, unless you’re still in that same rabbit hole. Do you wish to try making a Divine case for rape?

            Chapter and verse please.

          • Louise

            It also is not actually divorce.

          • Athelstane

            Correct.

          • Des Demona

            Actually I’d be better taking it up with his Dad who started all this in the first place, as in Levictus 20-10 when stoning to death is advocated.
            I’ve often wondered if the change from stoning to death being downgraded to damnation was as a result God Mk1 deciding that was a bit harsh, and therefore was actually fallible? Of course this might also mean that the teachings of God Mk2 and his boy are also subject to modification.

          • Athelstane

            Of course this might also mean that the teachings of God Mk2 and his boy are also subject to modification.

            If so, it’s God who gets to do the modifying, not us.

          • Des Demona

            So you think that God was wrong in advocating stoning to death? Or is your position that God does whatever God wants to do when God wants to do it? No matter how brutal, bloodthirsty and savage and you will just go along with it without question?

          • Dodger Dickens

            The question is, “do YOU think God was wrong?”

          • Des Demona

            I wouldn’t worship a god in the first place who advocated the savage killing of anyone who disagreed with him.

          • Dodger Dickens

            Then there’s really not much to discuss with you here.

          • Des Demona

            Not sure about that. I’d be interested to know how you reconcile your faith to such an apparently monstrous deity.

          • Dodger Dickens

            Why?

          • Des Demona

            Because it interests me how people can do this. Is it a pick and mix approach where you take the bits you like and ignore the bits you don’t? The NT is so completely different from the OT in most respects that it is hardly even the same religion.

          • Louise

            I wouldn’t worship a God who was such a Big Girl’s Blouse that 1: He cared about your opinion of Him and 2: He used your understanding of morals and 3: He would not be prepared to inflict a harsh punishment upon all evil-doers.

          • Des Demona

            You people really are nuts!

          • Phil Steinacker

            She missed nothing. You did

          • Des Demona

            What did I miss?

          • Phil Steinacker

            If you truly believed that god actually existed, your statement would be awfully stupid…not that I wish to feed such ignorant notions that God actually does as you say. It’s clear you know nada about how to read Scripture to gain a proper understanding of it.

          • Des Demona

            How so?

          • Athelstane

            I don’t think that God can be wrong.

            But Christ fulfills the Old Covenant, and we live under the new one, which happens to retain the moral precepts of the old, albeit not its ceremonial and and judicial precepts. Adultery was wrong then. It is wrong now. That, at least, remains constant.

          • Des Demona

            But just because something is constant doesn’t mean it is right.

          • Athelstane

            No, of course not, not per se. I would say it is right because it of God; but I also think it is a proposition that conforms to our natural reason. Because we can see the results of the breakdown of marriage all around us. It’s a disaster for children.

            The fact that the law is constant, however, addresses the objection that the law has changed. Only the punishment has changed, not the evil of the act.

          • Des Demona

            We can also see the results of an unhappy marriage and the disaster for the children.

          • Louise

            Why would He be wrong? Seems fine to me, given how bad adultery is. Since New Testament times, however, I would be content with a mere flogging for adulterers. But that’s just me. God and the Church decide these things.

          • Des Demona

            Are you allowed to wander the streets unsupervised?

          • Louise

            *yawn*

          • Louise

            People who don’t care about justice for those who are the victims of adultery have opinions I don’t care about.

          • Louise

            stoning to death was *downgraded* to damnation? That’s quite a “downgrade”!

          • Woman In White

            Harsh denunciation of some old Hebrew Laws is found in the Old Testament itself.

            The Sanhedrin BTW abolished the death penalty fairly shortly after the Crucifixion.

          • Phil Steinacker

            I was thinking the same thing. I’d keep the original deal.

        • Phil Steinacker

          What would you know about what is and is not a Christian attitude when you seem to possess total ignorance or disregard of authentic Christian teaching?

        • Phil Steinacker

          What would you know about what is and is not a Christian attitude when you seem to possess total ignorance or disregard of authentic Christian teaching?

          • Des Demona

            Protestants are Christians and don’t seem to have many qualms about divorce being a mortal sin – or are they not your kind of Christian?

      • ganganelli

        Correction. It is considered an objective grave sin. Whether or not a sin is mortal is dependent on the subjective culpability of the individual. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this.

        • Athelstane

          Fair point. The act is always objectively wrong, but its imputability will vary with circumstances.

        • Dodger Dickens

          It’s pretty hard to be “subjectively” inculpable of adultery when there’s an ipso facto second union outside of a valid marriage. By the time you get to a priest, there’s no “ignorance” to hide behind unless the priest/bishop/pope explains that adultery is a mortal sin “except for you”.

          • Willard

            Ok then let me ask you this. Is having sexual relations outside of marriage intrinsically evil as well?

          • Woman In White

            Yes

          • Louise

            of course

          • Athelstane

            That’s called “fornication.”

        • newminster

          Which part of “serious matter”, “full knowledge of the guilt” and “full consent of the will” is missing?
          The first two are simply addressed by Christ Himself, as Athelstane says above. Of course if you want to believe that Christ was kidding then you can convince yourself, I suppose, but I wouldn’t like to be in the vicinity when the elastic on your conscience snaps!

      • mariandavid

        But surely you are assuming that the musings of the Apostle constitute the Word of God – which they clearly and obviously do not. And only the Word can define what is a mortal sin and I am not aware of any sayings of the Lord or of Christ that claim that divorce is a sin without repentance and without forgiveness. In reality the doctrines of the Catholic Church on this matter are inventions of the early Middle Ages designed to encompass the authority of the Church over marital as well as religious affairs. I will grant the sanctity of the marriage oath before God – but cannot accept that one whose marriage oath has been broken is in turn damned into eternity. After all the Church has in its history cheerfully forgiven broken oaths on matters far more substantive – even regicide and patricide.

        • Athelstane

          So what are we doing? What are you advocating? That we dispense with all the Pauline Epistles since, after all, they are not cases of Christ speaking? If so, why not dispense with anything not in red typeface?

          I will grant the sanctity of the marriage oath before God – but cannot accept that one whose marriage oath has been broken is in turn damned into eternity.

          No baptized person is damned unless they have unrepented mortal sin on their soul. And a “broken marriage” doesn’t keep you from communion by itself – it’s committing adultery by marrying someone else while that spouse of that “broken” marriage is still alive.

          • mariandavid

            The Pauline Epistle which you quoted can serve as a measure of how the Church shall and should conduct its business: It is not an absolute source of definition of iniquity. Put another way – it is an advice to a minister and a congregation, it is not a diktat from above.

            But you did in your last sentence hit upon the heart of the issue – which is the failure of the Church to recognize that adultery is a FORGIVEABLE sin. And that just as in the past the Church routinely granted such forgiveness in the form of annulments in return for property or wealth or power it should be proper for annulments of marriage if granted with good cause to be the norm for ordinary Catholics. Put another way – it is blatantly obvious that the Church is creating the sin of adultery by not granting the ‘lesser sin’ of annulment.

          • Woman In White

            the failure of the Church to recognize that adultery is a FORGIVEABLE sin

            No such failure exists, but to be permanently in a state of adultery is not a pathway towards Holy Eucharistic Communion.

          • mariandavid

            That carefully dodges the obligation of the Church to encourage the pathway – in this case by exercising its self-defined right to forgive by annulment. It is of more than a little concern that the Church rightly exercises its power of forgiveness in many ways – but not it seems in that which is of greatest benefit before God of many of its members.

          • Athelstane

            The Church has always recognized that adultery is a forgivable sin – just like anything else proscribed in the Decalogue. I’m confused that you think otherwise.

            it is blatantly obvious that the Church is creating the sin of adultery by not granting the ‘lesser sin’ of annulment.

            Are there any limits to this granting? How does this not become tantamount to “Catholic divorce,” a form of casuistry designed to do an end run around the plain and repeated injunction of Christ?

          • mariandavid

            Of course it has – as I said it has exercised it on many occasions when the granting helped the Church. And of course there should be limits – no one that I have ever heard (in or out of the Church) has claimed otherwise. How granted and when granted is of course the entire issue at point – with the conservatives in effect denying that any grant is plausible and the Pope implying that a process for so granting, modeled for the modern age (in which grounds for divorce have multiplied compared with that of the 13th Century) is an appropriate direction to take.
            I am merely appalled that so many feel that the weight of ages alone prevents the change that is being suggested.

          • Athelstane

            1. Past abuses – and there are many fewer than you think (and why wasn’t an easy granting for Henry VIII done, when the fate of Catholicism in England was at stake?) don’t justify changing the teaching. It is not “the weight of ages alone” that prevents the changes being urged – it’s the plain words of Christ. How do we ignore them? How do we define them or qualify them away?

            2. One difficulty that is not addressed here is that most of the alienated divorced or cohabiting German (or American or British) Catholics out there are not looking for an annulment. They are not looking for a statement that their last marriage never existed. They are not looking for an oikonomia-style penitential second marriage. What they’re looking for is a full acceptance of their choices and their life, no matter how arrived at. And there’s no way to satisfy them without abandoning the teaching of the Church altogether – and no real chance of getting most of them back in the Church even if you do. They are not willing to make the sacrifices that faith requires – to take up our cross, and follow Him.

          • mariandavid

            1: That is reasonable – though I would mention that the rejection of annulment by the Pope in the case of Henry VIII and Catharine had nothing to do with doctrine or tradition but rather with the threatening sword of her nephew Charles the Holy Roman Emperor. In essence the Pope had to choose between a Catholic England and an extant Papacy and picked the latter. Not that it did him any good – soon his Rome was sacked and he in flight anyway.
            2: That I did not know – or more accurately none of the cases of which I am aware fall into that category being, perhaps, more traditional examples of those who desire annulment. I do agree that such an ‘automatic absolution in perpetuity on past conduct’ is not the direction the Church should proceed in.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Louis XII was given a divorce (called an “annulment”) from his wife some years before Henry applied for his.the Pope at the time, Clement VII de Medici, was controlled by Catherine of Aragon’s nephew, Charles, the Holy Roman Emperor, the most powerful prince in Europe. THAT’s why Henry didn’t get shed of Catherine–not some theological obstruction that a cynical Medici Pope would have laughed at up his sleeve.

          • Woman In White

            Right, Brucie, and I suppose you can explain away all of Henry VIII’s murders and serial adulteries with the same pro-divorce pro-adultery glibness ?

          • Athelstane

            A couple points here:

            1) Louis XII was given an annulment by Alexander VI – worth noting as one of the monstrous men to ever sit on the papal throne, which certainly does not make it an auspicious example. But even so, Louis had a more credible case than Henry VIII: a) it was a compelled marriage as a minor (which is, admittedly, arguably the case with a number of royal weddings in that age), and b) Joan was sterile, and c) there wasn’t a previous papal dispensation to marry to worry about, as there was with Catherine of Aragon.

            2) It is true that Clement VII had the difficulty of being a hostage of Emperor Charles, whose army had sacked Rome in the spring of 1527, around the same time that the petition of Henry was finally submitted to Rome. Yet Charles and his army were gone by the next year, and yet Clement still refused to grant the petition in his remaining years on the papal throne.

            The reality is that we don’t know whether Clement would have granted the petition without Charles in the picture – and yes, he was a Medici. But Henry’s case was rather weak. However it worked out, Clement ended up doing the right thing.

          • James M

            All the Letters in the New Testament, with all their parts, like all the writings in the NT, are Divinely-inspired Sacred Scripture. That is Catholic doctrine. The Church is equipped to discern what is a mortal sin, and in what mortal sin consists.

          • Bruce Lewis

            But unlike the claim for the Qu’uran, they were written down by men, and, therefore, subject to interpretation by a divinely-guided institution, which has the power to “bind” and “loose.” Looks like Pope Francis is about to “loose” Church “discipline” from Church doctrine, and that’s his prerogative, as Peter’s Successor.

          • mariandavid

            There is a sharp and acute difference between the elements of the New Testament in terms of their significance to the Christian faith. And acceptance of all is not Catholic doctrine – it is merely the rote repetition of statements made by long dead popes. Once might as well claim that everything Francis says is Writ. And after all we all know that at least one book of the New Testament is a forgery in terms of its claim to be Apostolic.

          • Woman In White

            That’s rubbish — the authorship questions are intrinsically irrelevant to the establishment of the Canon.

            You’re right that not every verse of Scripture is of identical teaching value, but that too is an irrelevant quibble.

            Our current 1990s+ critical editions of the Scripture in the original languages are the best quality texts we’ve had of it since the fall of Rome.

          • mariandavid

            And I fear that in return is nonsense – to claim that it makes no difference whether (for example) a text is written by the Apostle or instead by some obscure priest for motives of his own. It is a fundamental error in doctrine.

          • Woman In White

            Incorrect, canonical status is not subjected to theories of authorship, but to the Ecumenical Councils that established the Canon.

          • Bruce Lewis

            I want to know what you’d say to someone like my sister, who is being divorced unwillingly, should she find a partner later in life. Do you actually want to command such a person to live in permanent celibacy, should she find love again? It’s not her fault that the man she married in a Catholic Church is breaking his marriage vow. It seems to many of us that these rules–pronounced nowadays in the name of a Saviour who had, Himself, little interest in marriage–are too cruel to be “Christian.”

          • Desert Sun Art

            If I may, I know what I’d say to your sister, since I too, am a Catholic woman who was divorced unwillingly by her husband (no fault divorce). I would tell her that if she thinks that there is even a remote possibility that she may want to remarry in the future, that she seek an annulment now. Otherwise, she can, like many of us, choose to remain single, celibate and chaste. This earthly life is really so short. Why trade the possibility of an eternity of perfect happiness for a few years of imperfect “happiness”?

          • Woman In White

            I want to know what you’d say to someone like my sister, who is being divorced unwillingly

            Be chaste, or seek annulment.

            It’s fairly simple, really.

            Sexual urges are not beyond one’s moral control.

          • Sanctimony

            Your own, I imagine, are non-existent !

          • Athelstane

            What makes you think I’m not in the same situation, Bruce?

            Look, we have clear words of Christ here. There’s no qualifiers (save for the adultery – porneia – in two of the gospels). Every single Church Father, with the possible exception of Origen, would have said the same thing – many, indeed, would have said that it remains the case even after the estranged spouse has died! If this is “too cruel to be Christian,” as you say, we are forced to conclude that Christ Himself was too cruel. But your remarks here suggest that you may well think that.

            If what you say is true, what is being done to your sister is appalling, and believe me, I can sympathize strongly. And I have seen it happen to others, almost all of them women. Usually for a “younger model.” It is disgraceful. All I can offer beyond that – however little it may seem – is my prayers for your sister, that God’s grace may sustain her through this trial.

        • James M

          All the Letters in the New Testament. with all their parts, like all the writings in the NT, are Divinely-inspired Sacred Scripture. That is Catholic doctrine. The Church is equipped to discern what is a mortal sin, and in what mortal sin consists.

  • ganganelli

    I’m just wondering what will happen with the existing sedevacantists. Will you have chapels for people who believe the last real Pope was Pius XII and other chapels for people who believe the last real Pope was Benedict XVI?

  • Willard

    It should be noted that there are many of us Catholics who, while not exactly welcoming schism, wouldn’t mind seeing certain reactionary bishops and cardinals take off and join their brethren in the SSPX, or SSPX-Resistance, or CMRI, or SSPV, or any of the other groups of traditionalist dissenters.

    • Dodger Dickens

      So you “kinda sorta” welcome schism? Gee, that’s the spirit.

    • Woman In White

      Then you are a schismatic

      • Willard

        What does this even mean? LOL. Do you even know what schism is?

        • Woman In White

          Anyone who positively preaches schism as being somehow desirable is by definition a schismatic, as it is to seek the destruction of the Communion of those subjected to the Roman Pontiff.

          • Willard

            Really? So you would have said the same thing if say a Cardinal Kasper was thinking of setting up his own shop under the papacy of Benedict?

          • Woman In White

            Obviously.

          • Willard

            Interesting because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by “traditionalists” that Kasper, Cupich, Marx, etc. should just go join the Episcopalians.

          • Woman In White

            Denouncing those men’s views does not justify campaigning for them or anyone else to go off and create a schism.

    • Cradle Convert

      I think more would like to see the actual dissenters and heretics leave and have the church remain in the hands of true Catholics such as the SSPX and CMRI.

      • Willard

        The CMRI believes the last “true” Pope died 57 years ago. Is that your position as well?

    • Athelstane

      How are you defining “reactionary?”

      • Willard

        I can’t improve upon the words of the Supreme Pontiff who said in his closing address to the synod. “It was also about laying bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.”

        • barnabus jonus

          Willard and the pope, two peas in a pod.

        • Maggie

          It would have been nice if the sin-nod had addressed the problems that Catholic families are truly dealing with such as the lack of catechesis , the immoral societal cesspool, the loss of faith, etc.

        • Dodger Dickens

          Moses allowed divorce. Jesus abhorred it. I’ll hide behind the words of Christ every time.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Jesus permitted it for adultery. Luther, however–and John Milton–permitted it for many other reasons, but mostly to support his “salvation by faith alone” heresy. (The Savior had his tongue far in his cheek when he gave us that command” [supposedly, according to the heresiarch, to “convict” us of our concupiscence].) We, unfortunately, live in the world that Luther’s evil doctrines helped to create.

          • Bruce Lewis

            The quote above is from Luther’s TABLE TALK, which I suggest that all Protestants who think their religion is based purely on Sacred Scripture ought to read. He also calls the Letter of St. James “a text of straw” and says he will “have none of it.”

        • C.Caruana

          The irony that seems to have escaped Bergoglio and his fans like you is that the real hard hearted pharisees were the ones who were sitting on the chair of Moses by supporting and condoning the adultery that was called legal divorce. I really wonder who is really hiding behind the Church’s teaching by peddling a false mercy.

        • Athelstane

          It was, indeed, a vicious and remarkably petty address all the way around.

          • Woman In White

            You haven’t the faintest idea who he was referring to, and it is very silly to assume that it was addressed against those Bishops that you happen to agree with.

          • Athelstane

            I think it’s the only possible assumption.

            It’s plain enough that it’s directed at opponents of the Kasperite position, at opponents of permitting those living in adulterous situations to receive communion – and that is bad enough, since that position happens to be the unbroken teaching of the Church, not just “Bishops that [I] happen to agree with.”

            It was a petty, vicious, harsh address, the harshest I have read of ANY post-conciliar papal address, and I believe I have read most of them. Frankly, it’s an appalling piece of work.

          • C.Caruana

            Ouch! After more than two years of antinomian fulminations against traditional upholders of Catholic doctrinal and pastoral laws, with almost daily St Martha harangues in crude and demeaning language that no recent Pope has ever deigned to use, you still have doubts about the real targets of Bergoglio’s colourful insults? Come on! If the style is the man, it is not that difficult to see where Bergoglio is coming from, nor where he is headed to.

          • Woman In White

            Sorry, but I don’t buy the victimhood pleas of certain traditionalists, and I believe that the assumption they make that they are the targets of all those remarks is absurd.

          • C.Caruana

            Well, absurdity comes in many guises – including the Pollyannaish one of not seeing through the deliberate and devious ambiguity of Bergoglio’s statements.

      • youngexecutive

        Not supporting abortion and female promiscuity

        • LG

          I see its all about controlling females? Same as Islam.

          • Des Demona

            I would expand that to ‘it’s all about controlling sexuality”.

          • Athelstane

            A strange world we live in where opposition to killing babies is glossed as “controlling females.”

            But humans are known for their remarkable capacity for self-justification.

          • Bill Guentner

            Why are you here? You are obviously not Catholic and appear to be unable to argue consistently with knowledge of Catholic theology/dogma. To conflate the churches “controlling females” with Islam is ridiculous.

          • youngexecutive

            I see it’s all about dominating males and when you can’t have your way… You insult.

    • Cradle Convert

      By reactionary, you mean, actually catholic?

  • C.Caruana

    Bergoglio is a typical product and exemplar of the ‘spirit of VATICAN II,’ hence his admiration of the ‘serene theology ‘ of a Kasper and his obsession with social causes and ambiguous antinomianism. I have lost confidence in his Bergoglism.

  • Athelstane

    This time many of them are saying: never mind Scalfari, how can you trust what the Pope says?

    Of course, some apologists are attempting to deny that the interview even took place.

    The idea of a problematic pope is one that is hard for some people to come to grips with, especially if they have built an apologetics career in close engagement with every public remark by popes, no matter how informal or off the cuff. But we have had a number of problematic popes in our history. It’s even harder when the pontiff in question doesn’t appear to be obviously venal, which has been the most common failing among the “bad popes.”

    • barnabus jonus

      No not venal, this pope is corrupt spiritually.

  • LG

    All this fuss over a corporate franchise, operating a protection racket.

    • Louise

      No committed Catholic cares a jot what apostates and pagans think of our beloved Church.

  • Willard

    Schism is defined in Canon Law as, “the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

  • Louise

    “A pope cannot behave like this without changing the very nature of that church. Perhaps that is what Francis intended; we can only guess, because he has yet to articulate a coherent programme of change and it’s not clear that he is intellectually equipped to do so.”

    If the Pope really attempts to change doctrine in a future, supposedly magisterial document he will be proving himself to be an Anti-pope, which would have to be declared by a future council of bishops. It’s quite clear to me that this Pope is causing trouble and has been since the very beginning. The fact that there are still some Catholics who can’t see this is amazing to me.

    • Woman In White

      If the Pope really attempts to change doctrine in a future, supposedly magisterial document he will be proving himself to be an Anti-pope

      erm, as being not the Pope, actually.

      An antipope can only exist if several Popes are elected by separate Conclaves of opposed Cardinals.

      • DJR

        An antipope can only exist if several Popes are elected by separate Conclaves of opposed Cardinals.

        Not true.

        There are several reasons a man can be an antipope without there being a rival claimant; e.g., if it ever turned out that a man elected to the papacy were actually a member of a secret sect, e.g., a Masonic organization, at the time of his election, and therefore excommunicated, he couldn’t be a valid pope. Excommunicated persons are not eligible to be elected to the papacy.

        Of course, the general public would not know if such were the case, and I’m not saying it is the case with Pope Francis. I believe he is a pope, albeit an unusual one. However, it cannot be denied that such a scenario is possible, in which case the ostensible pope would actually be an antipope.

      • Louise

        ok then

      • Louise

        you learn something new every day

      • An anti-pope can exist with an invalid election which is based on an invalid resignation. Benedict XVI is still the real pope, while Bergoglio, aka Francis, is an anti-pope, elected by the mafia-club of Cardinals, such as revealed by Cardinal Danneels, and included the famous Martini. Can’t you tell by Francis’ confusing “doctrine” and the “magisterium of Scalfari” and the like? There has never been in the history of the Church a “Pope Emeritus”, and there can never be. Does Pope Benedict XVI where white because they ran out of black cassocks in Rome?

        • Woman In White

          That’s nonsense.

          • What will you do when Francis approves of sin by his declarations, most likely by devolving doctrinal decisions to episcopal conferences, giving them – against Divine Law – “genuine doctrinal authority” as he has already advertised in Evangelii Gaudium?

          • Woman In White

            when Francis approves of sin by his declarations

            Have you been consulting Madame Soleil and her crystal ball ?

            I respond to fact, not fantasy.

          • James M

            STM we should leave the future in the hands of God, where it belongs, and live in the present, since that is what God had given us to serve Him in. Worrying about what “might” happen in the future only causes needless anguish, and destroys peace of mind. How can tying ourselves in knots about what “might” happen do good to anyone ? St Matthew 6 has quite a bit to say on this.

        • Athelstane

          Celestine V – the last pope to abdicate before Benedict – is not considered to have been an antipope after his abdication, nor was Boniface VIII.

          There is a lot that smells “off” about Benedict’s resignation, no question, to say nothing of how his successor was elected. But we tread on dangerous ground by suggesting we now have an anti-pope situation.

        • Willard

          So are you accusing the Pope Emeritus of lying when he reiterated that his resignation was valid and free and the rumors to the contrary were “absurd”?

          • Not lying but just as those prisoners of war in communist countries “confessed” their support for communism.

          • Woman In White

            Oh don’t be ludicrous, Benedict XVI is NOT a prisoner who is being held in prison, tortured, and brainwashed.

          • lwhite

            Benedict XVI was a liar and apostate. Nothing he says can be believed as nothing Satan says can be believed.

    • Willard

      As the Pope has REPEATEDLY made clear, doctrine is not even in debate here. It could have been as the Church has modified doctrine in the past in areas like slavery and religious liberty. But he hasn’t chosen to develop doctrine at all.

      The only question is whether or not the current DISCIPLINE of not allowing the divorced and remarried to receive communion should continue.

      And as far that goes, IF the Pope decides to change the DISCIPLINE, anyone who would oppose would be heretically denying the infallible teaching of the 1st Vatican Council which says, “Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.”

      • That’s the party line, the lie you have swallowed. As Cardinal Muller of the CDF said, separating pastoral practice from doctrine is a Christological heresy.

      • Athelstane

        … the Church has modified doctrine in the past in areas like slavery and religious liberty.

        We are on dangerous ground here. You’d have to be clear in what you mean by “modify.” Especially as regards religious liberty [sic] or slavery.

        The problem we are faced with now is what Cardinal Kasper is advocating: It is the view that dogma is to be left intact in theory, but may be contradicted in practice. And that does, in fact, amount to a doctrinal problem.

        The real problem with the divorced, unfortunately, is not being addressed, either by the Synod or this pope: that we have millions of Catholics living in objectively evil situations, and all we’re debating is whether they may continue doing so while eating and drinking their own damnation at communion time – when we ought to be pressing every effort to bring their lives back into conformity with the divine law given us by Christ.

        • Willard

          At the very least you should understand the arguments of your opponents. What Cardinal Kasper is advocating and in which can no way be construed as heretical is that ONLY those in subjective mortal sin should be denied communion. Period.

          For example, right now all across the world putatively married couples are having sexual relations in a “marriage” that will one day be declared null. Can they receive communion even though technically they are cohabiting? Yes. Why? Because they are not in mortal sin because they subjectively believe their marriage is valid.

          • Athelstane

            What Cardinal Kasper is advocating and in which can no way be construed as heretical is that ONLY those in subjective mortal sin should be denied communion.

            He has made comments that appear to go beyond that.

            But let us work on the assumption that this is all he is advocating. It is STILL unacceptable as measured against the unbroken teaching from the first days of the Church. While culpability of the couples in question might be mitigated by circumstances on the subjective level, these are still objectively gravely evil acts, and what is more, they are public scandals to the faithful. There’a a uniformity among the Church Fathers on this.

          • Food_Stuff

            Yes. And there’s something called a “properly formed conscience.” This “internal forum” thing is nonsense to allow license.

          • Willard

            C’mon uniformity among the Church Fathers? St. Basil allowed the famous oikonomia used today by the Orthodox.

            Having said that, public scandal is a valid concern and I hope it is addressed in the forthcoming decision of His Holiness.

          • Louise

            I think he was an exception, if that’s the case. The Orthodox practise in this matter is dire.

          • Grace Ironwood

            Is this – to use a lurid analogy – akin to the “psychopath”, or man with no conscience & sense of responsibility, “subjectively” denying his killing is a murder?

          • Woman In White

            ONLY those in subjective mortal sin should be denied communion

            That’s completely heretical, as it seeks to grant to each individual sinner the right to choose for himself if he’s in sin or not.

            The state of being in mortal sin is objective, and it does not depend on how the sinner personally feels about his sin.

            You are trying to deny the Commandment against Adultery.

            Marriages that are annulled are not “sinful” while they exist, neither objectively nor subjectively.

          • Willard

            It is not granted to the sinner alone. Please read the last paragraph of the Catechism #2352.

            Also, please stop failing logic 101. An annulment is not a divorce. An annulment is a decision by the Church that a marriage never existed. Therefore, as logic dictates, people in those “marriages” were actually having sexual relations outside marriage but this is not a mortal sin so they are able to receive communion.

          • Phil Steinacker

            NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

            Absolutely FALSE!!!!!

            “…actually having sexual relations outside marriage” most assuredly IS a mortal sin. Where were you catechized?

            Speaking as a former serial fornicator, I am all too aware of m y own mortal sin. The reasons the Church considers fornication to be mortal sin is well established beyond the point of complete certainty and no doubt, except as exists in your own heart.

          • lwhite

            No Willard. What you refuse to accept is that the anti-Christ’s, such as Kasper, have already been refuted, been exposed as anti-Christ’s and as there is “nothing new under the sun” in which they propose the same arguments, should be ignored, excommunicated, and dealt with severely as the enemies of Christ whom they truly are.

      • Woman In White

        The only question is whether or not the current DISCIPLINE of not allowing the divorced and remarried to receive communion should continue.

        This is NOT a “discipline”, and the Pope has made it extremely clear, on more than one occasion, that Holy Communion for divorced-remarried is not to be permitted.

        • Willard

          It is your OPINION that it is not a discipline so you’ll need to back that up. And I’d like to see your reference where His Holiness has stated that communion for the divorced and remarried is not to be permitted.

          • Louise

            Simple logic will back it up.

          • Woman In White

            And has done multiple times already inside this thread.

            Willard, though, appears to be incapable of comprehending it, ranting on instead about “subjectivity”, “praxis”, and “the internal forum”.

          • Grace Ironwood

            Willard obviously took the “studies” courses at uni.

          • Phil Steinacker

            No, she is correct. it is YOU who needs to back up your false statement, the list of which seems to be growing rapidly.

      • John the Mad

        You are tedious aren’t you. Doctrine and discipline may not contradict one another. Doctrine is binding on Catholics while discipline that contradict doctrine would not. The doctrine is what Jesus taught and what the Church has held for two thousand years. The sacrament of matrimony is indissoluble. Vatican I did not give the pope the authority to impose whatever he wants on the Church. Such a rendering is false.

        • Bruce Lewis

          The SACRAMENT of matrimony IS “indissoluble, ” but what Pope Francis and his more theologically sophisticated advisors are recognising is that in secularised, Protestantized societies, a great many Catholics, influenced by the culture around them, aren’t even getting that kind of marriage, and that, if they are one day to aspire to it, they and their families must be treated with greater consideration. ( And that includes the “gays,” too; if they are to aspire to a chaste life, they must not be told that their affections are “intrinsically disordered.”)

          • Woman In White

            more theologically sophisticated advisors

            Quite apart from your ludicrous assumption that the Pope is a theological midget who must be patiently guided by his betters towards the sorts of heresies that you place your belief in, the Pope has in fact explicitly denounced such men as being inspired by the Devil.

          • Bruce Lewis

            I’m beginning to think you can’t read: I never said the Pope was a “theological midget”; you are confusing me with your “conservative” allies on here; I meant that HIS theologians are more sophisticated than those you listen to (and much more charitable).

          • Woman In White

            It’s not possible to “unspot” your reverse argument from authority fallacy once it’s been seen — the only reason you claim some people as “more theologically sophisticated” is so that you can claim that your own opinions have the same veneer of “sophistication”.

          • Baron

            Doctrine is doctrine is doctrine, Bruce, no amount of sophistry can or should even dent it. The sacrament of matrimony (to take an example) has been mauled by all and sundry so much it’s hardly recognisable. If the Church were to succumb to what’s currently in vogue we may as well go for a Full Monty of bonking, scrap marriage altogether.

          • Grace Ironwood

            This issue is merely a stalking horse for the gay agenda to destroy the doctrine of sexual complementarity – as your interlocutor is indicating – and the rest of the Christian understanding of what human nature is falls with it.

          • Is that why there is such disproportionate rage against recognition of the internal forum (building on Ratzinger and Müller as well as Kasper)? Is the rage against communion for the divorced just a stalking horse for rage against gay marriage etc.?

          • Phil Steinacker

            No, you’ve got it backwards. The proposal of communion to be allowed for divorced but remarried Catholics without annulment is the stalking horse for open Church recognition of overt homosexuality. Never was it the goal of homosexual activists to achieve same-sex marriage status. It has always been the intention, from the very start, to destroy marriage completely.

          • Grace Ironwood

            I would suggest yes: reordering the church’s doctrines on human Life – to an order more consistent with the values of the sexual revolution.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Your description of these “theologians” as sophisticated may be, ironically, appropriate. They’ve not managed to avoid being of the world, so when it comes to being IN it, it’s obvious they are DEEPLY ROOTED in it.

            Theological sophistication is NOT a desirable quality; it heralds the onset of heresy, as others have been saying to you.

      • Louise

        This so-called “change of discipline” actually requires the changing of doctrine. Simple logic will show you that.

      • Grace Ironwood

        So doctrine will simply be null and ignored ? As Obama arguably has done with the US constitution ?

      • Phil Steinacker

        NO discipline can legitimately defy and undermine doctrine, what Jesus Himself said about adultery and divorce, and divinely-inspired Scripture prohibiting eating and drinking the Eucharist unworthily is tantamount to eating and drinking one’s own condemnation.

        Any proposal to allow Catholics to place themselves into deeper mortal sin is NOT a matter of mere discipline. It defies the words of Jesus Himself, and would be heresy.

  • Willard

    My humble recommendation would be that if the Holy Father decides to change the current Eucharistic discipline regarding communion for the divorced and remarried he also ex-communicate anyone who would dissent as heretically denying his authority as infallibly defined at the First Vatican Council.

    • C.Caruana

      Humble? If Bergoglio changes what you not so humbly consider as a mere discipline that has nothing to do with doctrine, he cannot be speaking ex Cathedra and therefore not infallibly, therefore there cannot be any excommunication of those who dissent from his disciplinary changes. And would a future Pope who changed back the discipline, as by your lights he has every right to do, would he be considered a heretic by your fanciful recommendation? You are tying yourself up in knots sir. Greater and more theologically gifted minds than yours or mine have not so humbly shown that the real heresy is the sleight of hand that tries to separate doctrine and discipline in this matter.

      • Willard

        See my response below to Louise that quoted the infallible 1st Vatican Council on the requirement of Catholics to submit to the Roman Pontiff on doctrinal and disciplinary matters.

        And, of course, a future Pope could change the discipline back and once again Catholics would be required to submit.

        • C.Caruana

          So your vision of Church governance is Popes playing ping pong with discipline and Catholics smelling of sheep sheepishly following every changing wind of discipline. Please respect our faith and intelligence!

          • Willard

            I said a future Pope could change the discipline back. Absent a tremendous renewal in the morals of society, I don’t think a future Pope WILL do it.

        • Food_Stuff

          You’re a fraud. Do they pay you to do this?

          • Willard

            Yes I know that in the right wing echo chamber you’re only used to hearing things like “Romney is going to win in a landslide!” but I do this only for my love of the Church and the Holy Father.

          • Food_Stuff

            Shut up, I’m done with you. You’re impaired in one way or another.

          • Willard

            Good then don’t respond anymore.

          • Bruce Lewis

            He’s not a “fraud”; he’s simply more learned than you are, and he’s doing a good job defending actual orthodoxy against Fundamentalist heretics like you.

          • Food_Stuff

            Didn’t notice any defense of orthodoxy or learning.. Could you tell me which orthodox doctrine(s) he defended? Was it when he said that Kasper didn’t actually DENY the Ressurection? Could you point to an item of learning? Of course, you know nothing about me, so your comment on my learnedness is worthless, as everyone here knows.

          • Phil Steinacker

            It is useful to see progressives declare themselves as orthodox. There is relevant Scripture when predicts the time when such backward statement swill be uttered by those complicit with evil.

        • Louise

          Can the Pope change doctrine?

          • Willard

            Doctrine can certainly develop. For example, it used to be the Church’s teaching that a Catholic state much like the Islamic State could burn people to death for apostatizing from the Catholic faith. The principle behind that teaching was that “error has no rights”.

            Well at Vatican II that teaching was developed to “while error may not have rights, those IN error do have right” so execution for heresy was disallowed.

          • investigator

            You really set the cat amongst the pigeons when you refuted the acceptability of burning for heresy.
            It makes you think that there are folk here who are determined to see a burning-at-the-stake before they die.

          • Louise

            Doctrine can develop. It can hardly contradict itself. The documents of Vatican II were “pastoral” and arguably are not even binding, but as it happens I’m not sure that the Church formally taught that people can be executed for apostasy.

            Why do you love divorce and “remarriage” so much? Or can you simply not cope with the possibility that we could a rogue Pope?

          • Phil Steinacker

            However, you missed an essential. Doctrine can NEVER be developed in a manner which defies or undermines its original meaning. Development can only lead to a deeper understanding of it but NEVER against its true, original essence.

        • Phil Steinacker

          But NEVER when a pope distorts the Traditions and Magisterium. There is NO authority for a pope to undermine doctrine, even by verbal by sleight of hand.

          You argue for heresy at the highest levels.

    • Food_Stuff

      He should also excommunicate all the bishops and cardinals who have openly taken heretical positions on defined doctrine: I.e, his closest advisers.

      • Willard

        Name those bishops and cardinals and name those heretical positions. I must warn you, without evidence you commit the sin of slander.

        • Food_Stuff

          A bit disingenuous are we? Yeah, I’ll spend an hour compiling a list for you, when you can easily find out for yourself. One will suffice: Kasper says it’s not necessary to believe in the Ressurection.

          • Willard

            Another outrageous lie. Give us the source of the ridiculous statement.

          • Food_Stuff

            Now who’s slandering? It’s in his book, which PF so highly praised. You really don’t know much, do you?

          • Willard

            I’ve read his book. He nowhere DENIES the resurrection. Have you read his book?

        • Here are a few top dogs – pun intended. Kasper, Marx, Danneels, Wuerl. Anyone who separates pastoral practice from doctrine – that is makes it oppose doctrine – is a heretic, as Cardinal Muller of the CDF explained some months ago – a Christological heresy. Anyone who promotes sodomy, a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance, as having any good in it.

      • Athelstane

        Well, Cardinal Kasper has dismissed most of the miracles of the Gospel accounts as merely “legendary” (in his book Jesus the Christ), not factual. He’s never recanted or disavowed those statements. “The result of all this is that we must describe many of the gospel miracle stories as legendary.…The probability is that we need not take the so-called ‘nature miracles’ as historical.” (p. 90-91)

        Contrast with Vatican II, which reasserts what was already said in Dei Filius, Trent, et al: “Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven.” (Dei Verbum, 19)

        • Jesus not Paul

          Spanish author Fr Jose A Pagola wrote a book in 2008 called ‘Jesus an
          historical approximation’ This book was banned in Spain and subsequently
          investigated by the CDF

          Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2013 prior to the election of
          Pope Francis declared that the book Jesus:
          An Historical Approximation by Fr. José Antonio Pagola contains “nothing contrary to
          the faith”.

          This book clearly states that Jesus never described or understood His death
          as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of humanity. Pagola also states that
          Jesus was born in Nazareth not Bethlehem … there was no ‘flight into Egypt’
          and no ‘slaughter of the innocents’ … etc etc … read the book …. oh and there was nobody to hear Jesus’
          last words on the cross … and He may well have been buried in a communal
          grave.

          • Athelstane

            I haven’t read Pagola’s book.

            But if it is as you have represented, hard to see why it shouldn’t have received a censure by CDF.

    • Athelstane

      Hope he’s prepared to excommunicate most of Africa, then.

      • Willard

        Most of Africa will submit. Should we place a friendly wager?

        • Athelstane

          Depends on how it plays out, and exactly what he says.

          I tend to think he will back away from changing the praxis on this, however. And I absolutely think that he will not start throwing out anathema sits or excommunications (as you would like to see him do). He probably would *like* to do so, but he does seem to have limits about what fights he will pick.

          • Willard

            I think he will change the praxis via the internal forum solution. Cardinal Mueller will go along and everyone else will follow so there will be no need for excommunications. In the meantime, I think the disloyalty to His Holiness has strengthened his resolve and His Holiness will not be resigning any time soon. And every day that goes by another conservative bishop is replaced by a more pastoral one. Caffara in Bologna and Leonard in Brussels are the latest two to go.

          • Woman In White

            I can just imagine Jesus sitting down with the Apostles and telling them : “I think Caiaphas will change the praxis via the internal forum solution. Cardinal Annas will go along and everyone else will follow so there will be no need for crucifixions or beheadings. In the meantime, I think the disloyalty to The Sanhedrin has strengthened its resolve and the Temple priests will not be resigning any time soon. And every day that goes by another Christian believer is replaced by a more pharisaical one. James in Jerusalem and Peter in Rome will be the next two to go.

          • Sanctimony

            Nurse….quick, more Prozac …..

          • Bruce Lewis

            She really, really needs a “liberal” dose!

          • Woman In White

            Denouncing your factionalism does not constitute approval of any other factionalism.

          • Sanctimony

            Cute quote, Deirdre Spart…. Don’t hesitate to ask if you need clarification….

          • Athelstane

            “Pastoral.” Yes, that seems to be what we’re calling “liberal” now. So pastoral that, before long, they will have no clergy or laity left over which to exercise their pastoral gifts (which is more or less the case in Belgium already).

            But I agree that the internal forum question may well be explored.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Disloyalty?
            Such a word was not in use under St John Paul II or Benedict XVI.
            You progs are al the same – politicizing what is theological and spiritual. No one owes loyalty to a pope who speaks falsehood on faith and morals, such as souls are annihilated upon death (Francis).

    • John the Mad

      The pope cannot use the doctrine (O’ the irony) of infallibility as defined at Vatican I to impose a new heretical doctrine on the Church. A pope’s charism is to defend the deposit of faith as revealed in scripture and Church tradition, not contradict it. Francis has no authority to contradict Christ and Jesus was clear on the indissolubility of marriage. End of story. Any excommunication imposed on this basis would be invalid and yet another abuse of papal authority.

    • Dodger Dickens

      Your point is well received, in the sense that the Holy Spirit will not allow a pope to teach heresy in an “infallible” capacity, and his authority is an infallible doctrine in its own right. But the fine line is whether the pope can ever be considered acting outside his private opinion when promoting something that is ostensibly contrary to doctrine. It would seem the answer is that he must be acting privately in such a circumstance, because the foundational belief is that the Holy Spirit guards anything heretical from being taught from the official standpoint. If the Holy Father promotes a change in doctrine, for example — not saying he’s done that here — it would be as Jorge Bergoglio, not Pope Francis. Setting the table for others to abuse and circumvent doctrine — creating massive loopholes, if you will — is where the battle line is drawn: Is it heretical to facilitate heresy and abuse? Can it possibly be the actions of the Holy Spirit to, for example, promote a curial structure that shields pederasts and promotes them to higher and higher offices in the Church? Can it be the action of the Holy Spirit to empower bishops to find ways to bring obstinate, practicing homosexuals to receive the body and blood of Christ?

      Preserving doctrine while changing discipline is “too cute by half”, for most observers. Like a three-card-monty. Thus, the storm we have right now. These are difficult questions that the Holy Father has invited by his own actions. The flock is not to blame for wondering just what the heck is going on.

    • Woman In White

      Such a heretic would have no power to excommunicate anyone, by virtue of being excommunicated himself for heresy.

      • Sanctimony

        Cute piece of gobbledygook from the blog’s Rosa Klebb ….

      • Willard

        LOL. It would be kind of like the SSPX, SSPX-Resistance, CMRI, SSPV. “You’re excommunicated!” “No, you’re excommunicated”. “No, No, you’re excommunicated!”. The whole world knows who the Pope is. Whatever your little group does is irrelevant in the big picture. I do wonder though, will your priests say the Novus Ordo in your little chapels?

        • Woman In White

          Please don’t confuse orthodoxy with splinter groups.

          • Sanctimony

            Please expound on the differences ….

          • Willard

            Listen to yourself. Who decides who is a “splinter” group. You don’t think the sedevacantists of the 1960’s were just as sure as you are that the Pope was heretical? Heck actual doctrine was developed at Vatican II with the decree on religious liberty. A whole new mass was imposed. This stuff today is nothing compared to those days.

            Lose the protestant mindset. Accept the teachings of His Holiness.

          • Woman In White

            You’re the one who started ranting on about “little groups”, and falsely accusing me of being the member of one of them.

          • Phil Steinacker

            No doctrine was developed or pronounced at Vatican II. So say several of the recent popes. However, VII advanced a number of erroneous ideas which are elevated to the level of faux-doctrine by such as you.

      • Bruce Lewis

        No, they’d be excommunicated, and they’d STAY excommunicated because the majority of Catholics in the world are not ultra montane “church ladies” like you, with their heads wrapped around issues like “sacramental” and “gay marriage”; instead, they’re mostly poor Third Worlders who look with befuddlement at your obsession over those things. They will be with Francis, whether or not the likes of Damian and his “church mice” call him an “anti-Pope because they regard him as their champion against injustice. And there’s something that you and the “church mice” who fore-gather here don’t know, but which I do, as a practising Catholic who’ lived half of my life in the Third World: many of those John Paul Ii-appointed “conservative” bishops are positively despised by the ordinary poor Catholics they preside over.

        • Woman In White

          I have no idea why a listing of your own obsessions should be viewed as being mine instead.

          I am sickened by your report of “catholics” despising any Bishops.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Obviously you haven’t heard that many bishops protected pedophile priests. When I lived in New Mexico, I was under an Archbishop who had done exactly that, when he ran a seminary in Texas. His protection of one sparked a suicide. Francis is getting rid of the Opus Dei bishops who sport Rolex watches.

    • Phil Steinacker

      We would be in excellent company, then, for Pope Liberius excommunicated St. Athanasius for his refusal to cooperate with the pope’s weakness and confusion in receiving the heretic Arius as if he were legitimate.

  • “It’s beginning to look as if Jorge Bergoglio is the man who inherited the papacy and then broke it.” And all the popes horses and all the popes men, couldn’t put the church back together again.

    • Louise

      Don’t overstate your case.

      • With the loss of almost all moral credibility, the stage is being set for God
        to expose the ‘church’ for what it is. No more than all too human
        theological counterfeit of His word and promise. And there you have the
        basis for second coming and a last judgement!

        • Louise

          Nope.

          • Or as Dante wrote in his Divine Comedy:

            For as I turned, there greeted mine likewise
            What all behold who contemplate aright,
            That’s Heaven’s revolution through the skies.

    • James M

      But God can.

      • I would suggest just the opposite. That the stage is being set for God to expose the ‘church’ for what it is. No more than all too human theological counterfeit of His word and promise. And there you have the basis for a last judgement!

  • Food_Stuff

    Btw, if B16 was forced out, and Daneels said he was part of the clique that forced him out, PF isn’t even a validly elected Pope. It’s Canon Law.

    • Willard

      Again are you calling Pope Emeritus Benedict a liar? He himself responded to those rumors and said, “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simply absurd.”

      • Food_Stuff

        It’s you who have said it. I said nothing about him. I quoted Daneels. Btw, B16 totally reversed himself on the third secret of Fatima. Was he lying, fibbing? How would I know? Popes have actually lied.

      • Food_Stuff

        I’d say you’re incredibly naïve, but I think you’re more of a self-appointed mole. Something like the “useful idiots” Lenin relied on.

    • That’s it!

  • thomistica

    All this discussion of schism.

    Schism is an offense against the unity of the Church.

    However, unless I’m wrong, which may well be, there seems to be a distinction that users of this term miss, at least in journalistic writing these days. The distinction is this:

    (1.) of one’s own volition, fomenting or initiating schism (bad), and

    (2.) desiring, ‘lo, actively and publicly seeking, that the very contumacious opposition (the Kasperites, the American Kasperites such as Cupich, the socially liberal professors in “Catholic” academe) will of their own volition engage in schism, i.e. go their own way and join the ranks of the low-church Anglicans, or the tens of thousands of Protestant denominations. After all, the Church’s history is one of “shedding”.

    This distinction has to do with identifying the **agents** of schism. One should not be a direct agent of schism, but should one (when necessary) encourage others to act on their de facto schismatic attitudes and make these attitudes a fait accompli?

    But in doing so, is one indirectly promoting schism? Maybe double effect doctrine obtains here!–in suggesting that others make good on their schismatic attitudes, one does not intend schism, but foresees it as an unintended consequence, and so encouraging others to act on their contumacious schismatic attitudes is perfectly fine (??)–provided one first try to change their attitudes (that hasn’t gotten very far in decades) and provided one is willing to have them back with a change in heart.

    Anyhow, what is the greater offense to unity: overlooking the fact that the Church is now in a radical de facto state of disunity, *or* desiring that those who pretend to be within the tradition no longer perpetuate their dishonesty?

    In brief, can encouragement of “shedding” be a *good* thing if the alternative is the status quo of sheer dishonesty, now going on decades? Should we all encourage others to go their merry way and, in doing so, are we, or are we not, offending against the unity of the Church?

    Can anyone point me to scholarly discussions of the distinction between 1 and 2 above?

    • We saw the makings of schism promoted by Francis and his Kasper-ites Recall the praise Francis had for Kasper’s “serene theology” “done on the knees” when talking about the Eucharist for adulterers.

    • Woman In White

      How many angels danced on your head while writing that apology of factionalism ?

      • thomistica

        It wasn’t an apologia, or a statement. It was a question. Give it another gander.

        • Sanctimony

          Don’t worry… she’s completely barking and would love to torch all heretics…. a la Bloody Mary ….

          • Woman In White

            Nearly everything that you write is hatefully mendacious.

          • Sanctimony

            Maybe so… but when one arrives on a site where so many pretentious, opinionated nutters are foaming at the mouth, it is quite good fun to wind up dingbats, like you…. A bit like the buzz a bullfighter might get, I suppose….

          • Woman In White

            You’re not “winding” anyone up, you’re just being a tedious monotone anorak’d bore.

          • Sanctimony

            More like attempting to deflate a few self-important balloons who are trying to corner the market in self-righteousness…

    • James M

      Schism is a sin, of the utmost seriousness. That by itself should be more than enough to scare off Catholics from committing it. The Catholic Church is the One True Church of Christ, and outside her there is no salvation. So how can it be charity to those in error, to suggest that they leave the one Ark of Salvation ? STM that these challenges are precisely why we receive the grace of charity: so as to love those whom otherwise we would not love. It is fallen nature, not God’s grace, that leads to wanting people to leave the Church.

      • thomistica

        I don’t know about this, thus my question. After all, what of charity to persons harmed, e.g.: in the confessional, a priest counsels someone that contraception is A-OK; or a theology professor inculcates dissent in generations of students. These things happen widely.
        Perhaps Matthew 10 is a scriptural warrant. Or consider the spirit of Matthew 18.
        I’m in a research mode, trying to discern whether counterarguments to the position you mention have been made by theologians in the tradition. Again, I don’t know, thus the question.

  • Ad Orientem

    In my position down here on the ground keeping the Faith and encouraging others to do the same, I have no authority to do or declare anything, but the minute a group of Cardinals should call him out as a manifest heretic and declare him to be a stinking anti-pope, I will be the first one to back them. Until then, he has my prayers and intentions in each Rosary and Mass as Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

    • Sanctimony

      Frankie must be a-shakin’ in his shoes ….

      • Ad Orientem

        He seems either too stupid or too evil to be also a-shakin’ in his shoes, no matter what colour they are.

        • Sanctimony

          Actually it was the last geezer, Ratzo, who ponced around in blue suede Jimmy Choos….

  • Stephen

    Francis has been revealed (private revelation) to be the False Prophet. He is not a validly elected Pope. He is the Destroyer of the prophecy given by Saint Francis. The real Pope remains Benedict XVI in spite of his retirement. Read Rev. Chs. 12,13.

    • Sanctimony

      But Benedict is being well looked after by Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, pianist, tennis player, private pilot and skier…. what more could an Ex-Pope wish for ?

      • Food_Stuff

        He’s probably the pope who’ll be “fleeing Rome.”

  • Food_Stuff

    The Pope says it’s bad to hide behind Church teachings? That used to be considered virtuous.

    • Stephen_Phelan

      Well, they’re not for hiding behind, but, as statements of God’s will, for conforming one’s life to. It’s sad that Francis characterized those who defend the teaching in such terms.

      • Food_Stuff

        Exactly my point. To reiterate my previous comment: PF is an obvious, manifest heretic and Modernist. There’s no question about it. If he weren’t Pope, no one would deny it except other Modernists. People with brains will recognize the unpleasant truth, find their nether parts, and move on from there. All the spin and double-talk is disgraceful.
        (I don’t mean you, Stephen.)

        • James M

          Answer – pray for the Holy Father (which he is, unless the Cardinals judge that his election was invalid). If he is not Pope, what becomes of his acts as Pope, like the canonisation of the 800 Martyrs of Otranto ? He has, regardless of any deficiencies in his election, been in practice accepted as Pope by the Catholic world, from the cardinals and bishops to the least of the Faithful, throughout the world.

          If it were up to me, I would have grave doubts about most Popes since 1958 – but that is not how the Church works. Catholics are expected to heed and *obey* the Church, whether they find doing so easy, or not. The Church accepts all those men as Popes, therefore, that is what all of them are, despite the difficulties in regarding them as such. Alexander VI purchased his election to the Papacy. If a man guilty of a major crime like simony can be regarded as the legitimate Pope, why can Cardinal Bergoglio not be legitimately regarded as Pope Francis ?

          • Food_Stuff

            I pray for him every day… One of the Pope’s close advisers, Kasper I believe, has said that the plan is to made such deep changes that a succeeding Pope won’t be able to roll them back.

        • Woman In White

          You’re talking absolute rubbish, and if anyone were to attack without just cause any Bishop as being “an obvious, manifest heretic and Modernist” I’d deny it just the same.

          The truth is more likely to be that if he weren’t the Pope, you wouldn’t be launching these grotesque attacks against him.

          • Food_Stuff

            We’ll see.

    • Grace Ironwood

      Yep. Hilarious. This position (and marital issues are a stalking horse for the gay agenda) seeks to place Roman Catholics in exactly the same predicament as the post-Christian secularist – or “spiritual” cafeteria pagan.

  • Willard

    All these trads who don’t know anything about doctrine or theology. Riddle me this?

    What Cardinal Kasper is advocating and in which can no way be construed as heretical is that ONLY those in subjective mortal sin should be denied communion. Period.

    For example, right now all across the world putatively married couples are having sexual relations in a “marriage” that will one day be declared null. Can they receive communion even though technically they are cohabiting? Yes. Why? Because they are not in mortal sin because they subjectively believe their marriage is valid.

    • Fulgentian

      “putatively married”
      What do you mean?

      • Willard

        Their marriage is invalid and one day in the future will be declared so by the Church through the annulment process.

        • Fulgentian

          Sorry, can you give me an example?

          • Willard

            Do you know what an annulment is?

          • Fulgentian

            I was just confused by your reference to future annulment…

          • Sanctimony

            No, he know nothing…..

          • Fulgentian

            “Charity, forgiveness and acceptance” my friend! Will you show them towards even me?

        • Dodger Dickens

          Well yeah, in the new annulment process, you can receive a declaration of nullity for bad weather outside the church.

        • Louise

          In fact, the tribunals are not infallible

    • Lynne Newington

      If clergy having the best of both worlds can get away with it ……..and they’re the ones who act in Christ persona hearing confessions.

    • Stephen_Phelan

      Perfectly said – Kasper and co. want to make clear, unchangeable teaching into a riddle. Lacking only the full knowledge of the sinfulness of their actions, Kasper would keep them in ignorance rather than lead them toward the truth.

      What was that line about those who lead another into sin? I think it involved a millstone. I hope someone loves Kasper enough to tell him of the risk he is in, due primarily to the risk he insists in dragging others into.

    • Dodger Dickens

      Riddle me this, Willard. When the determination of “who’s in a state of ‘subjective mortal sin'” is punted to the sinner (so “they can arrive at a judgment of their own situation”, I believe the Final Relatio stated), well we’re not really being serious about the gravity of eating and drinking their own damnation, are we? I’m POSITIVE the local bishops will be utterly objective, what with a near 100% annulment rate in most major U.S. Dioceses.

      • Willard

        It’s not punted to the sinner as far as I understand. There would have to be a discussion with a confessor.

        • Dodger Dickens

          Therein lies the problem. And my hope is that Francis will be exceptionally clear on how he intends this to work when he issues his exhortation. The document reads like a Rorschach blot, a “Choose Your Own Adventure” paperback. Clarity is key, in my opinion, and we haven’t gotten it. Thus, a lot of consternation and aggravation going around.

      • Barbara

        The difficulty here is that adultery and fornication are OBJECTIVELY mortally sinful. There is no ‘subjectivity’ to it.

        • James M

          The question is whether in a particular case a penitent who confesses to having committed a sin that is (1) objectively mortally sinful (2) an intrinsic evil, is culpable; and, if so, in what degree. Both those sins are objectively sinful – it does not follow that all who confess to them are in a state of mortal sin, even without making an act of contrition. A sin that can become habitual can be objectively mortally sinful, yet the culpability in the person committing it may as a result of habit be greatly diminished, even, perhaps, to vanishing point.

          The subjectivity of the penitent matters a great deal. Only a very imprudent confessor would treat an elderly nun in exactly the same way as a student at university. People differ too much to be treated as so many gingerbread men.

          • Woman In White

            The subjectivity of the penitent matters a great deal

            This does not alter the objectively sinful nature of sins.

            The difference between being forced to kill in self-defence and premeditated murder isn’t that the one is mortally sinful and the other not, it’s that the first is easy to forgive whilst the second is not.

            Differences in the requirements for penitence in different circumstances concern the nature of penitence and the state of Grace for Holy Communion, NOT the nature of Sin.

          • James M

            On the whole, your post restates mine. Though I think yours is a bit less precise. *Any* sin can be forgiven – it’s not more difficult for God, through the priest, to forgive sin A rather than sin B. And, the nature of a sin is not, simply by itself, the only thing that a confessor has to take into account: does it really make no difference whether a penitent is a convict serving a sentence for serial murder, or a religious of holy life ?

        • Bruce Lewis

          Yes there is, when it comes down to individual cases, in a pastoral situation. Look, other than the Catholic “sacramental marriage,” Jesus Christ’s divine and very special innovation, “marriage” is a cultural construct (and that includes Protestant marriage, which after Luther’s permission of divorce became no longer “sacramental” because of impermanence. Pope Francis is in no wise seeking to demote the importance of what loyal and devout Catholic spouses do, but he is asking the “good people in the pews” to consider what modernity and Protestant heresy have contributed to changing the meaning of marriage for most people in the modern world; Christ’s prohibition of divorce may be an ideal that cannot remain a requirement for belonging to the Body of Christ, if Christ’s two central commandments are to be kept. (And you do know, don’t you that neither Christ nor very many of his disciples had much interest in marriage or families, seeming to consider them an impediment to spiritual development; they all seem to have been Eunuchs for the Kingdom’s sake. The modern Church’s obsession with “traditional marriage” and “family life” is itself an innovation upon “Biblical Christianity.”)

          • Woman In White

            “marriage” is a cultural construct

            That claim is simultaneously blasphemous and heretical.

          • Bruce Lewis

            You are invincibly ignorant; I specifically said that that traditional Christian marriage (the real, sacramental thing, not the Protestant mutation of it) is an exception. I wonder if you know that in a number of Asian religions marriage is so much a “cultural construct that no monks or priests or clergy even attend.

          • Woman In White

            I specifically said that that traditional Christian marriage … is an exception

            No it’s not, it’s the very definition of marriage.

          • Bruce Lewis

            The Protestants, the Jews, the Buddhists and the Muslims do not agree. Are you arguing that they don’t have “marriages”?

    • ptmurphy

      a marriage is presumed valid until judged otherwise, by the tribunal

      • Willard

        Yes that’s why I wrote “putative” marriage.

  • Gary Scarrabelotti

    Damian, this is an exceptional article precisely because of its cool, calm and collected quality in the face of things stupendous in their historical gravity. You speak for many. You speak for me. Thank you.

    • Sanctimony

      OBN for you, mate !…. assuming you read Private Eye…

      • James M

        Private Eye would not give an OBN for an article like this…

  • Sanctimony

    Never, never, ever have I seen so much hair-splitting, nit-picking, cavilling, prevarication, hedging, pettifoggery, pussyfooting and jiggery-pokery about a religion that is so absorbed in navel-gazing and the exquisite definition of insignificant points of dogma and doctrine, that it excludes any reference to the true meaning of Christ’s purpose on Earth and his elemental teachings…

    Francis at least wants to throw a lifeline to those whose faith has been estranged by a failure in marriage or some other fundamental difference with the Catholic Church…

    This blog is a putrefying & gangrenous hotbed for the most extreme pharisees, bigots and dyed-in-the wool hypocrites festering within the Catholic Church…

    • Fulgentian

      “the true meaning of Christ’s purpose on Earth and his elemental teachings…”
      Please define these.

      • Sanctimony

        Charity, forgiveness and acceptance for starters, you overdressed old queen !

        • Fulgentian

          Sorry, I realise I should have shown better manners in asking for your definition!

          I think you’re half-right.

          “Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

          Christ’s purpose was the establisment of the Kingdom of GOD – that even charity, forgiveness and acceptance are subordinate to loving and submitting to the Lord God our King.

          • Sanctimony

            The Lord God our King…. would that be any particular member of the Trinity, or even Mohammed, Buddha, the Dali Lama, Vishnu, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung or any other godheads that crop up every now and then….

          • Fulgentian

            It’s the Christian God.

          • Sanctimony

            It (Christianity) has multi-fragmented since the Crucifixion and as (I think) Talleyrand once commented, “England has three sauces and three hundred and sixty religions, whereas France has three religions and three hundred and sixty sauces…..”

          • Athelstane

            France clearly had the better arrangement (albeit two religions too many). And a tasty one at at that.

          • James M

            Charity toward God is the same as, and results in what follows from, “loving and submitting to the Lord God our King”, surely ?

        • Fulgentian

          Oh the irony! An appeal to “Charity, forgiveness and acceptance” and an insult in the same sentence!

          • Sanctimony

            You got it one, genius !

          • Fulgentian

            I’m confused. You seem to agree that these virtues are admirable, but feel unobliged to follow them yourself. Why is this?

          • Sanctimony

            Charity; why should I feel benevolent to a self-important idiot…. forgiveness: what am I to forgive you for …. acceptance; I fully accept your stupidity, cant and hypocrisy….

          • Dodger Dickens

            Oh dear, it’s an ex-Catholic

          • Fulgentian

            I’m sorry you feel that way! Just so you know, I have nothing against you, and I hope you haven’t felt any of my questions or comments have been directed at you personally.

          • Tim

            Perhaps you might extend charity and even forgiveness as Christ did to those who persecuted him. Did you miss those passages or is your approach to the Gospels entirely utilitarian?

          • Sanctimony

            It’s a reaction to all the hocus pocus and gobbledygook that followed Jesus Christ’s mission on earth and the traducement of all the true Christian values which he espoused….

            What have we had since then: an utterly corrupt and self serving papacy served by the likes of the Borgias and Medicis…. the Inquisition, Pope Joan, Leo X, who had his catamite, Cardinal Alfonso Petrucci, strangled with a silken cord … a good new slant on the Papacy…..

          • Tim

            Jesus never said that his followers would not be sinners. As Hilaire Belloc observed it was the many bad things in the history of the church that convinced him it was a divine institution: “an institution run with such knavish imbecility that were it not a work of God it would not have lasted a fortnight. “

          • Sanctimony

            More sceptical, I’d say… and, without wishing to sound patronising or condescending, I find you to be one of the more rational and charitable contributors to this blog.

          • Tim

            Thank you kindly, I hope I am always found to be so.

          • Louise

            LOL! “Acceptance” — I don’t remember that bit in the Bible.

        • Tim

          Actually Christ also called to repentance, don’t dumb him down to the level of the secularized.

    • Woman In White

      Never, never, ever have I seen so much hair-splitting, nit-picking, cavilling, prevarication, hedging, pettifoggery, pussyfooting and jiggery-pokery

      … than in comments written by Moany.

      • Sanctimony

        How wonderfully original and illuminating…. your intellect is even more bland and antiseptic than your avatar….

    • Athelstane

      Francis at least wants to throw a lifeline to those whose faith has been estranged by a failure in marriage or some other fundamental difference with the Catholic Church…

      It’s possible that their faith has been estranged because they’re marinating in grave sin. And enjoying it.

      • Sanctimony

        You are completely pompous and seriously un-Christian…

        • Athelstane

          Possibly. But who are you to judge?

          • Sanctimony

            It’s unnecessary… it’s just completely obvious….

          • Sanctimony

            It’s unnecessary… it’s just completely obvious….

          • Athelstane

            I’d like to see these souls saved from damnation. The difficulty is that many people in these discussions no longer appear to think that there *is* such a thing as damnation.

            “Failure in marriage.” Such a passive way to express it? In my experience of the (many) broken marriages I have seen, it’s rare that one party is completely faultless. People *must* accept responsibility for their actions. These are – all of us, me included! – human beings, and they (we) are all damaged by original sin. Marriages don’t just fall apart by random accident.

            “…some other fundamental difference with the Catholic Church.” But what difference? Obtuse assignments of clergy by a bishop? Covering up sexual abuse? Poor handling of finances? Bad music at Mass? These things all happen, and they are scandalous – I have seen them all firsthand. But if the difference is with Church teaching, that is an entirely different kettle of fish. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of Church dogma you get to accept and which you can reject. Unless such people come to be convinced of them, they’re engaging in what Cardinal Newman called “private judgment,” and that is, by any other name, Protestantism.

          • Louise

            That’s right.

            “Marriages don’t just fall apart by random accident.”

            Exactly.

          • Sanctimony

            No they often fall apart as a result of lust… a god-given instinct bestowed upon us by some divine creator…. let’s all grow up, shall we ???

          • Tridentinus

            Lust is now a virtue, is it?

          • Sanctimony

            No, but it is god-given !

          • Desert Sun Art

            What I should have said is there is a difference between sexual desire and lust. Sexual desire when used properly, between a husband and wife is God given. Lust is a perversion of that and is not God-given.

          • Sanctimony

            Semantics….

          • Desert Sun Art

            Not really. You can research the Christian understanding of Lust vs. Sexual desire.

          • Sanctimony

            I believe Pope JPII once described that sexual intercourse between Catholics should be expressed and considered as achieving a ‘sense of noble satisfaction….

            I laughed so much that I fell off my chair !

          • Sanctimony

            It’s still semantics… whatever the nuances between sexual desire and lust that you might use your minimal brain cells to try to distinguish between…

          • Woman In White

            Are all of the anorak’d bestowed of your superior intellect, or just yourself ?

          • Sanctimony

            Bestowed with might be better English (pace the Jesuits)… but otherwise I will accept it as a compliment.

          • Woman In White

            Is your anorak god-given, Moany ?

          • Sanctimony

            No, I bought it at Alpine Sports ….

          • Tridentinus

            Ah, I see, along with other six Deadly Sins.

          • Sanctimony

            Yes, all inflicted upon mankind by that divine comedian in the ether… he’s just ‘avin a larf… like he does when he causes infants and children to suffer and die horribly from hideous and painful afflictions… before they have even reached the age of reason… seven-years-old, isn’t… as dictated by the only true and holy mother church…

          • Bruce Lewis

            No, they are both “thinking with the Church” –as represented by many competent theologians, and, now, with the Magisrerium– as well as using their informed conscience, which Cardinal Newman also recommended, in that famous “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk” in which he called the individual human conscience the “primordial Voice of God in man, ” and also pronounced that to obey a Pope or a Council if your conscience told you what they were decreeing was evil or heretical was a “mortal sin.”

          • Woman In White

            “Conscience” in this case means the Mind informed by God through Revelation via the Soul, including the Revelation as given in the Tradition and the Deposit of Faith.

            It does NOT mean “I can behave as I please”.

          • Bruce Lewis

            I said, an “informed” conscience, and I meant the same thing you do–except that I believe that mature faith requires the use of judgment and reason to interpret and contextualise doctrines. When God gave man the Church, he did not take away his “primordial voice” in him. It’s still there, and it demands to be heard, as well.

          • Woman In White

            The conscience is not, as you very clearly allege and believe, the “primordial voice” of man’s “judgment and reason”, but it is the Voice of God speaking to Man.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Right, but the “Voice of God” speaks to man in many other ways than through Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Apostolic Church. In fact, according to John Paul II (you should check this out, in his “Crossing the Threshold” book), it also speaks to man in the other major world religions. And, of course, as everyone who is “orthodox” (as you only partly are), it speaks to man in nature itself.

          • Woman In White

            but the “Voice of God” speaks to man in many other ways than through Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Apostolic Church

            The Voice of God is the Living Word and the Revelation, and so cannot, by very definition, be contrary to the Voice of the Revelation in the Dogma and the Tradition of the Catholicity.

            If it is contrary to those, then it is not of God.

            everyone who is “orthodox” (as you only partly are)

            You justify heterodoxy on the basis of personal opinion only, falsely described as “conscience”, and then denounce lack of orthodoxy in others ?

          • Louise

            It’s now apparently pharisaical and bigoted deplore adultery (i.e. “remarriage” after divorce). What a surprise.

          • Sanctimony

            I’m not… it’s merely an opinion….

        • Tim

          He made no assumptions but mentioned a possibility. Read carefully and don’t judge. Hasn’t Pope Francis taught you anything about “love, mercy and tenderness”?

          • Sanctimony

            At least Francis might be making some sort of attempt to haul an increasingly arrogant, bigoted and indoctrinated juggernaut out of its quagmire of ignorance, supposition and bigotry and is trying to turn it into a faith that has more relevance in today’s world and a creed that is intellectually acceptable to anyone who has not been totally engulfed by superstition and hocus pocus…

            As someone who suffered ten years of Jesuit sophistry, casuistry and specious reasoning I am still suffering from the mental anguish which their indoctrination entailed; not to mention the memories of all the physical pain they inflicted in trying to instill their beliefs….

          • Woman In White

            Also spracht the Anorak’d paranoid.

          • Sanctimony

            It’s time you got my anorak off your chest… it’s an orange, high-visibility piece of clothing used at high altitude for identification in case of difficulties… much used by skiers and alpinists…

            Looks a lot less unusual than the vestal virgin garb you appear to adorn yourself with….

          • Tim

            As always your point of view is heavily charged with anti-Catholic bigotry yourself and quite a lot of pontification but there is a danger of taking on the same qualities. Sometimes people become what they hate. The creeds are not changeable and no speaks of doing that. I am sorry for your pains with Jesuits, I don’t have much use for them either. I pray God will comfort you and show you a way forward. Jesus is always there for those who turn to him and pray.

  • Lynne Newington

    Bergolio is such a cunning operator [otherwise he would never have survived the dictatorship] he probably used his old friend knowing full well his watchdog Lombardi would soon get on the bandwagon causing confusion [and divisions] among the ever faithful who deserve better than that.

  • ptmurphy

    Did Pope Benedict resign in complete freedom, or was he tricked, coerced? Why does he maintain the papal coat of arms and continue dress in white? Why does he still go by Benedict rather than Card Ratzinger?

    Was Bergoglio’s election valid? Or did it violate cannon law? Was there a conspiracy to have Bergoglio elected? Were Cardinal electors excommunicated ipso facto for violations of cannon law?

    https://fromrome.wordpress.com/category/2013-conclave/

    • Sanctimony

      Ratzinger is believed to have had all sorts of contractual obligations with Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana etc etc and this was felt to compromise his projected image as an aesthete and ascetic ….

      • Woman In White

        More rubbishy old nonsense from Moany, then, I see.

        Carry on zipping up that anorak !!

        • Sanctimony

          There’s no chance of me unzipping it for you, duckie !

      • Ludovicus

        While you are believed to have had all sorts of contractual obligations with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Woody Allen and Mr Bean, and you are proving you’re much better than all of them

        • Sanctimony

          Thank you very much for the compliment.

          • Ludovicus

            You’re welcome, troll.

    • Willard

      And once again these conspiracy theories were addressed by Pope Emeritus Benedict himself who said, “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simply absurd.”

      If you really want to go down the conspiracy hole, check out the Siri thesis that says it was actually Cardinal Siri and not Pope John XXIII who was elected in 1958.

      Get the tin foil out.

    • Cradle Convert

      It is a fact that he was being threatened with prosecution for the abuse scandal. They had to put pope poopypants in to allay the fears of the liberal pukes who try to run the world stage.

  • Bill Sinclair

    It is a bit of a puzzle as to why Benedict/Ratzinger continues to dress in white. However, the man seems to have found happiness in the Vatican, though outside the Papacy. Long may he enjoy it.

    • Strictly speaking, He’s not outside the Papacy. He’s Pope Emeritus: it’s different.

  • ALEXANDER VI

    The reality is that most Catholics will welcome the readmission, in certain circumstances, of some of the divorced/remarried to the eucharist. Those opposed to this change include the usual loony Americans, a few young fogeys and theological illiterates like Cardinal Pell…..

    • Since the Church is not a democracy, your kind of comments are absolutely irrelevant.

    • carl jacobs

      So … the people who disagree with you are either 1) loony 2) obsolete or 3) illiterate. Looks like you can’t possibly lose against such competition. Which of course is the point. It’s much easier to delegitimize than to engage.

      I’m a Protestant. I’m waiting for Pope Francis Jefferts Schori to go off the rails so I can watch a whole bunch of serious Catholics suddenly say “Here I stand!” But I still have to treat them with respect. Serious Catholics (defined as those who know what the RCC taught before Vatican II and still believe it) deserve better than to be dismissed lke this. The RCC didn’t just discover theology in the aftermath of Vatican II.

      • Bruce Lewis

        Unlike your religion, the Catholic and Apostolic Church has a duty and a responsibility to “rediscover theology” perennially. I advise you to get a copy of John Henry Newman’s DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE and curl up in an easy chair for a long and painful read.

        • carl jacobs

          I see. Can I rediscover the errors in the Canons on Justification from the (infallible) Council of Trent? Because that would be a really good place for the Catholic and Apostolic Church to start rediscovering theology.

      • Mara319

        “Serious Catholics (defined as those who know what the RCC taught before Vatican II and still believe it) deserve better than to be dismissed like this. The RCC didn’t just discover theology in the aftermath of Vatican II.”

        How true. Thanks for the empathy.

    • michaelkellogg

      Where is your evidence for this “reality” you describe? Because no one besides you is buying it.

  • andrew123456789

    Ordinary conservative Catholics have been in charge too long anyway. Who cares what they think?

    • carl jacobs

      That’s when the Episcopal Church thought. In the next 20 years, about half of the Episcopal church’s current membership will die of old age. But take heart! The conservatives are all gone. No one cared what they thought. Thoroughly modern leadership took over and proclaimed its enlightenment to the masses, So the masses departed. And now TEC is an aging church of boomers. Old. Sterile. Pristine in its progressive reputation. Utterly doomed.

      But, hey, if you want to follow Francis down that road, be my guest.

      • Fulgentian

        Same for mainline Anglicanism.

        • carl jacobs

          … in the West.

      • andrew123456789

        Better a small church that follows the Gospel than a conservative church in which it’s impossible to truly do so. Your dramatic language is pretty, but to say the church is doomed is obviously a bit of wishful thinking on your part. There will always be a progressive church. As I say, I’d rather worship with them anyway, even if there are only five of them.

        • carl jacobs

          The Episcopal Diocese in which I live has an average Sunday attendance of about 2000 people. That Diocese covers an entire state. Statistically, half of those people are 60 or older. About two thirds are 50 and older. Do the math. How Iong can this infrastructure sustain itself?

          In about 20 years you will be able to travel 1000 miles and not encounter an Episcopal Church. The top heavy hierarchy will implode for lack of funds, and TEC will settle out at about 100,000 people in the NE and a few isolated college towns. It will in other words become the Unitarian Church with Liturgy. At which it will be invisible and irrelevant – a ghost of its former self.

          You are welcome to your small progressive church. You certainly will have a few to choose from. The Gospel however is not “God loves everybody and isn’t mad about anything except those crazy fundamentalists.” The Gospel is that Christ died for sinners and rose again for their justification. If you don’t accept that, then we have no unity, and could never be in communion anyways.

          • andrew123456789

            That’s okay with me, because even if you don’t think that love is the ultimate commandment, it still is, and God loves you anyway. But your caricature of progressives is only that, a caricature. I certainly cannot accept your dire predictions, as they assume a straight line, which simply doesn’t work in real life. Many of us are loners anyway, and telling us we won’t be in communion with those who believe and preach that which is anathema to us isn’t exactly going to sway us to your way of thinking.

          • carl jacobs

            Death is very predictable. Unless TEC finds a huge source of parishioners in the next ten years, there is no way for it to avoid the outcome I have described. And where will it find that source? The secular society has no need for TEC and its counterparts. It thinks Liberal religion is quite fine for those people who “need that sort of thing.” But there are very few people who desire what liberal religion offers – a thin veneer of divine sanction smeared over human autonomy.

            People like me are long gone. And they won’t come back. TEC preaches a false Gospel and that problem simply can’t be overcome. So where are you going to look? Whetever it is, you better look hard and fast because Liberal churches have been looking without success for that city of gold for four decades now.

            And I do mean gold.

  • Catholic_Dad_of_4

    I am no sedevacantist, But I pity them…

    • Mara319

      I agree and thank you. Therefore we must stay at the foot of the Cross with the Blessed Mother, while the Church is being crucified by her own sons.

      • Sanctimony

        No wonder Stalin flourished !!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • sidor

          Stalin was a Russian Orthodox. You should rather talk about Hitler who was a Catholic and signed Concordat with Vatican.

          • Woman In White

            In fact, that Concordat was signed by the leader of the German conservative party, and was instantly violated by Hitler, before the ink had even dried.

          • Sanctimony

            Yes his best mate in Rome was Mussolini, followed closely by Pacelli …

          • James M

            Actually, Georgian Orthodox. “Not a lot of people know that”.

          • sidor

            The Georgian Orthodox Church was a part of the Russian Orthodox Church. A lot of people know that.

    • Ludovicus

      NON PRAEVALEBUNT.

    • Sanctimony

      Will that be before or after next year’s equinox…. I need to choose religions, sects etc before the second coming…..

      • Grace Ironwood

        It looks very much as if you are attracted to Catholicism, as I am for different reasons.
        Or do you haunt Muslim sites baiting the posters with sneering at “The Prophet” Buddhists?
        If you are doing this to “speak truth to power”, I recommend you hang with the Muslims.

        • Sanctimony

          I am quite happy dealing with those of my own faith of birth and upbringing…. besides, the Muslims would probably try to chop off my gonads…. not my idea of a Saturday night’s entertainment….

          • Woman In White

            a Saturday night’s entertainment

            AKA a Saturday night’s trolling.

          • Sanctimony

            I’d like to think of it as an evening of deflating bigots, self-righteous religious nuts and a bit of levity in the complex issues of spirituality, whereas you crank your mouth open to its maximum aperture in order to spout all your self-conceived opinions about the salvation of our souls…..

          • Grace Ironwood

            precisely

    • Catholic_Dad_of_4

      I DO feel I need to reply to myself here though, that a Sedevacantist is not a schismatic. They do not deny the Papacy, they deny this MAN is the Pope. The theologians say you can’t be considered a schismatic for refusing obedience out of suspicion of the man holding the office. For example if you believe him to be invalidly elected. COnsider briefly these canonists:

      Canonists have told us that sedevacantists are not schismatic if they recognize the papacy, do not intend to reject a true pope and act with good reason.

      F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal: “Finally they cannot be numbered among the schismatics, who refuse to obey the Roman Pontiff because they consider his person to be suspect or doubtfully elected on account of rumours in circulation.” (Ius Canonicum, 7:398, 1943)

      Rev Ignatius Szal: “Nor is there any schism if one merely transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state.” (Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, 1948)

      De Lugo: “Neither is someone a schismatic for denying his subjection to the Pontiff on the grounds that he has solidly founded [‘probabiliter’] doubts concerning the legitimacy of his election or his power [refers to Sanchez and Palao].” (Disp., De Virt. Fid. Div., disp xxv, sect iii, nn. 35-8)
      SO even if we don’t agree, let’s not jump the gun in judgment. That’s all.

      • Woman In White

        I DO feel I need to reply to myself here though, that a Sedevacantist is not a schismatic

        Canon Law : Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

        Despite the jiggery-pokery of your eminent quotations, there will in practice be very few cases where an active, vocal sedevacantist of the sort that we have nowadays has not become guilty of schism.

        • Catholic_Dad_of_4

          I just repeat the experts. Besides, the NEW code of canon law says a person can’t be a schismatic if they really aren’t intending to be.

          Can. 1323 No one is liable to a penalty who, when violating a law or precept:

          1ƒ has not completed the sixteenth year of age;

          2ƒ was, without fault, ignorant of violating the law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance

          3ƒ acted under physical force, or under the impetus of a chance occurrence which the person could not foresee or if foreseen could not avoid;

          4ƒ acted under the compulsion of grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, unless, however, the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls;

          5ƒ acted, within the limits of due moderation, in lawful self-defense or defense of another against an unjust aggressor;

          6ƒ lacked the use of reason, without prejudice to the provisions of canon. 1324, ß1, n. 2 and 1325;

          7ƒ thought, through no personal fault, that some one of the circumstances existed which are mentioned in nn. 4 or 5.

          • Woman In White

            Refusal of submission or of Communion is by very definition wilful, therefore intended.

            And newsflash : that IS the new code of Canon Law I quoted from.

            I deliberately refrained from making the following remark, but oh well, since you bring it up — all of the quotes that you provide predate the current Canon Law, and are also intrinsically of lesser authority than its provisions.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            False. It is willful because of a perceived emergency, which disclaims objective guilt of schism.

          • Sanctimony

            You tell her, mate…. This Gorgon makes Rosa Klebb look like a kindergarten minder….

          • Woman In White

            Will no Moderator rid the website of this ghastly anorak’d troll ?

          • Sanctimony

            Bring it on…. It’s all copied and pasted to hard copy and has been sent to the RC media…

          • Woman In White

            “The RC media” ??????

            cripes, didn’t realise paranoia was among your intellectual gifts

          • Sanctimony

            Plagiarising Henry II now, are you….?

          • Woman In White

            As pointed out earlier, the typical activist sedevacantist of today is very unlikely in practice not to be a schismatic.

            The simple action of joining a sedevacantist online community as an expression of opposition to Communion with the Roman Pontiff, or the graver action of refusing to attend the Eucharistic Mass with non-sedevacantists, and several other activities of such persons constitute actions that are by definition and of themselves schismatic.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            This, again is false. You see, subjectively they do not ADMIT that the present Pope is Pope. Therefore, subjectively, they do not break communion with him. To be specific, they would be material, not formal schismatics. And again, if they, subjectively, believe there is a state of emergency in the church and that the “Antipope” Francis is a destroyer, then they cannot be penalized according to canon law. See Canon 1323, Section 7, then 4 and 5.

          • Woman In White

            Look, I’m aware of the subtleties — but you’re arguing that the rule is defined by its exceptions, which is legally, theologically, and philosophically untenable.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            No, I am arguing that in the particular case of the Sedevacantists, they cannot be considered schismatics because of their approach. They do not reject the authority of the Pope in principle, which WOULD be objective formal schism, they reject the authority of this individual and his pretensions to the papacy. This makes them material, and not formal schismatics. Formal schism requires a scission from the Head in principle. This particular scission is not a substantial rupture, but merely accidental, that is, it is a consequence of their belief that a manifest heretic cannot be the pope. And in this, they are Rash and DARING, but not schismatic, not formally.

          • Woman In White

            Formal schism requires formal condemnation from the only person with the Authority to impose it, the Roman Pontiff, but to be “a schismatic” is not the same thing as being “in schism”, which requires that formal condemnation.

            But really !!! To claim that you’re not in schism for the substantial, formal reason that the only person with the Authority to formally condemn you for it isn’t really the Pope is an entirely circular argument having no justification in logic, nor Law, nor reality.

            Furthermore, those claiming that the Pope is a “heretic” lack the very authority to do so that they seek to deny to the Pope.

            Those attitudes are schismatic by very principle of what schism is.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            Again, this is another false understanding of the sedevacantist mentality and situation.
            1. Formal schism does not require formal condemnation for the same reason formal heresy does not. If a protestant were to say, “I know that the Church teaches, but I SAY…” he would be a formal heretic, because he has formally embraced a heretical point of view. Now, a formal schismatic is one who, like the Orthodox, say, “Yes, in the past Rome exercised a Primacy over the east, but now we reject it, and I SAY…” this is an act of formal schism. Formal schism is not about what the legitimate authority does to YOU but about your official rejection of the Authority on PRINCIPLE. Like the schismatic and heretical Orthodox. They reject the Popes authority in PRINCIPLE and deny that he could exercise authority over them. a sedevacantist does not do that. His rejection is purely accidental because he rejects the MAN, not the OFFICE.
            2. The whole principle of “Non-judgment” has been shot to pieces by liberals today. When the Canonists and theologians say “The Holy See is judged by no one” What they mean is, as the supreme legislator, no one can canonically accuse and condemn the Pope before a court and depose him from his office. This is EXACTLY what happened at the COuncil of Pisa in the 14th century, when the cardinals of the Pope and Anti-pope got together and deposed BOTH of them for heresy and established a second anti-pope. Doesn’t work. There is no canonical authority that could be assembled to enact a canonical punishment against a Pope.
            However, there IS room for prudential judgment. This is what the theologians talk about. If a presumably valid pope were to be a manifest heretic, he would cease to be Pope because he would Ipso Facto fall from the Church, and he who is outside the Church cannot be her head.
            Now, the sedevacantists do NOT exercise canonical judgment over Rome. Not a single one has ever admitted that they are doing so. They make a prudential judgment that they admit could be erroneous based on how they see the situation: “There is no Pope, these men are heretics.” That is the same prudential judgment the Apostle Paul tells us to make when he tells us to avoid heretics. Well, you can’t do that without IDENTIFYING them, so you have to make an internal judgment. This is NOT an act of canonical condemnation.
            Ok, that is not a legal declarative power. That is their attempt at saying, “Insofar as this Pope has fallen from the faith, it appears that he himself has been removed from the Church by Christ himself.”
            That is possible That can happen, and in fact most likely WILL happen at some point. But can WE determine it outside of the judgment of a FUTURE pope or council looking BACK on our times? I cannot say for sure, and that is the risk the sedevacantist takes.
            But objectively, this is not formal schism. It is simply rash and daring.

          • Woman In White

            the sedevacantist mentality

            It is Modernist to imagine that material schism should be subjected to the requirements of personal “mentality”.

            Mentality no more cancels out the schismatic Error than it could cancel out the Ecclesial penalties for adultery.

            Formal schism does not require formal condemnation

            Ah no, sorry, looking into it, I was actually wrong.

            The Canon Law dictates that “refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him” carries a penalty of automatic latae sententiae excommunication.

            It’s the lifting of the penalty that is reserved, not its conditions.

            Your remarks concerning prudential judgement are interesting, but you claim quite falsely that I didn’t understand these questions, given especially that I pointed out my awareness of the subtleties.

            But you are STILL claiming, wrongfully, that the rule should be based on its exceptions, rather than the reverse.

            You also commit the error of saying “the sedevacantists” as if they were all alike in the extent of their Error, except that this is quite blatantly unreasonable — as well as constituting a further attempt to present sedevacantism as being non-schismatic, contrary to the extremely clear definition of Canon 751

            There is no canonical authority that could be assembled to enact a canonical punishment against a Pope

            Just a quibble, but the College of Cardinals does actually have that authority, though it’s NEVER been justly exercised AFAIK. But yes, it’s (very theoretically) possible.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            “It is Modernist to imagine that material schism should be subjected to the requirements of personal ‘mentality’.”
            how then do you resolve canon 1323 section 7?

          • Woman In White

            Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

            1/ a person who has not yet completed the sixteenth year of age;

            2/ a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance;

            3/ a person who acted due to physical force or a chance occurrence which the person could not foresee or, if foreseen, avoid;

            4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;

            5/ a person who acted with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another;

            6/ a person who lacked the use of reason, without prejudice to the prescripts of cann. ⇒ 1324, §1, n. 2 and ⇒ 1325;

            7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.

            Thinking that Pope Francis was not lawfully elected for reasons detailed in complex nit-picking argumentation does not constitute being “coerced by grave fear” — furthermore, intrinsically evil acts, such as promoting unjustified disobedience to the Roman Pontiff, are explicitly denounced in 4. Grave fear refers to the fear of violence or death, not some cerebral worrying about this or that notion of theology. It refers to situations like facing an ISIS fanatic pointing automatic weaponry at your head.

            Similarly, “legitimate self defense” concerns defense of one’s body or that of another from violence, not from some imaginary assaults against one’s personal opinions. Also note “legitimate”, this means “authorised by Law”. There is no Law that authorises sedevacantism, which is instead explicitly condemned, and which carries the penalty of automatic excommunication for reason of schism.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            This isn’t nit-picking to those involved in it. It is the gravest of fears: That a Pope has invalidated his office due to heresy. That isn’t nit-picking. That is serious grave matter.
            If true, that wouldn’t be unjustified disobedience, but totally legitimate disobedience, because we owe no obedience to false popes.
            In the end, this is the risk they take. I say it simply doesn’t MAKE them schismatic, because there are too many mitigating circumstances. At the worst they are material schismatics.

          • Woman In White

            grave matter

            Grave matter is simply NOT grave fear, and it is quite clearly ironic to see the supporters of sedevacantism twisting the Law completely out of shape to support their personal views against those of the Magisterium.

            Furthermore the personal choices of the sedevacantists are the exact and diametric opposite of “coercion”.

            Similarly ironic is the refusal of the sedevacantists to accept blame for their schismatic actions, and insist on placing all blame on one individual.

            What, is he the scapegoat of God now ?

            The notion that the Pope is a heretic is utterly ridiculous, and it will continue to be so unless and until a Pope decides to start proclaiming Heresies carrying a penalty of automatic excommunication.

            Personal disagreement with Magisterial teaching is most certainly NOT sufficient to justify accusing ANY Catholic of heresy, and it is quite blatantly Modernist to set up one’s own personal views as being above those of the Pope for whatsoever motivation at all concerning Faith, Morals, and the Unity of the Catholicity.

            And now you have run out of arguments, unless you are a sedevacantist yourself, and wish to carry on arguing the “merits” of a position that imposes the penalty of excommunication for schism on those who preach it.

            Error has no rights, and you cannot accept that Dogma without accepting it for yourself first.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            Has the Jewish Covenant been revoked by God or is it still in force?

          • Woman In White

            God did not “revoke” an “old covenant”, because God does not break His Promises.

            The Fulfilment of the Promise of the Covenant made to the Hebrews is not foreign to it. The Promise and the Fulfilment are One, in the Person of Christ Jesus. There is only one Covenant, and the Church of the Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. To claim that the Covenant could subsist elsewhere is an Error, but that does not mean that those of the Jewish religion do not worship God.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            again, Pope Pius XII spells it out

            Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis:

            “29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area – He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] – the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “*was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.*” [35]

            30. *On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death*, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. ”
            And the Jews do not Worship our God. There is only one God, the Trinity, and they deny him. Therefore, the God they worship is a god of their own imagining. The Kabbalistic, Talmudic, Post-Temple sacrifice-less system of “spiritualized” Judaism is simply occultism in Jewish dress. It has nothing to do with God.

          • Woman In White

            There is no need to post the same opinions more than once.

            the Jews do not Worship our God

            That is an objective falsehood. There is only One God, and the God of Israel is God. To deny that is to deny the Revelation and the Gospel and the Catholicity.

            This does not mean that they lack need for Conversion to the Christian Faith, contrary to your false conclusions about what such facts would mean.

          • lwhite

            If there is only One God, and the God of Israel is God, why is there any need to convert to the Christian Faith?
            Who, in fact is Christ, and why did this one god send Him into the world if the Jewish God is truly the only, one God?

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            again, Pope Pius XII spells it out

            Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis:

            “29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area – He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] – the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “*was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.*” [35]

            30. *On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death*, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. ”
            And the Jews do not Worship our God. There is only one God, the Trinity, and they deny him. Therefore, the God they worship is a god of their own imagining. The Kabbalistic, Talmudic, Post-Temple sacrifice-less system of “spiritualized” Judaism is simply occultism in Jewish dress. It has nothing to do with God.

          • Sanctimony

            Could you put all that into Portuguese for the benefit of all the denizens of the favellas in Sao Paolo ?

          • Woman In White

            You should put it into Outer Space Thargese, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Planet that you’re a local of.

          • James M

            That is why Archbishop Lefebvre was not a schismatic. One cannot be guilty of a crime against the Church’s unity against one’s will and intention.

  • Unanimous Consent

    The Holy Father seemed to endorse the concept that one should expect a punch if you insulted another’s mother.

    I wonder what one should expect when they insult Christ by holding his clear language on divorce in contempt?

  • steve5656546346

    A good article about a bad Pope.

    • Bruce Lewis

      Actually, a bad, slanderous article about a good Pope.

  • Maybe, just maybe, all those Orthodox bishops that were upset in the 9th-11th centuries as the papacy gradually claimed ever more absurd levels of authority for itself based on out-and-out forgeries like the donation of Constantine and the Isidorian decretals… maybe those guys had a point after all…

  • whatever name

    Francis is a ridiculous heretic and an antipope. Queue the papolators…

    • Woman In White

      Has this place become the secret meeting hut of the papefigue club ?

      • James M

        Papefigue ?

        • Woman In White

          Papolator and papefigue are sarcastic names invented by Rabelais for the factionalists that divided the Church in the early 16th Century.

          • Sanctimony

            Wow … you are so sublimely well-read and intellectual….

          • Woman In White

            Meanwhile, your preferred reading material is second-hand airport novels zipped into the pockets of your anorak.

          • Sanctimony

            Il n’est rien creu si fermement que ce qu’on sçait le moins … Montaigne

          • Woman In White

            I hope your anorak wasn’t too much of an encumbrance to your efforts to Google.

            Et qui voudroit rendre raison de ce que Arrius et Leon son Pape, chefs principaux de cette heresie, moururent en divers temps, de morts si pareilles et si estranges

          • Ludovicus

            Yes. And you are not.

    • Grant Melville

      I have a question about papal infallibility. Is infallibility associated with the person or with the office of the pope? So, if Francis is a heretic, is he therefore automatically not a pope, because he is fallible in terms of doctrine? Or, should he be removed from the office of pope because he is fallible and therefore unsuited to that office? The question occurred to me when I was reading about one of the instances, in Wycliffe’s time, when there was more than one pope. Clearly, both men could not be the pope, though both claimed to be pope and denied the other’s claims.

      • Desert Sun Art

        Papal infallibility only involves teaching on matters of faith and morals when in union with all the bishops, and on specific, dogmatic, ex-cathedra pronouncements, such as the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It does not extend to the popes personal opinions or behaviors.

        • Grant Melville

          Thank you – that’s interesting. The terms of papal infallibility are widely misunderstood among non-Roman Catholics such as myself, so it’s good to have it defined.

          • Desert Sun Art

            You’re welcome. You can also search online for the proper context of papal infallibility. My explanation is probably over-simplified. But definitely, the pope is not infallible in everything he says and does, that is true.

          • Ludovicus

            To make it clear, for a Catholic a pope is almost never infallible. In general only protestants believe that the pope claims or thinks to be infallible.

        • Mara319

          The matter of the “divorced-and-remarried receiving holy communion” is a matter of morals.

          The pope needed the Synod [representing the bishops of the world] to make legitimate whatever pronouncement he will make.

          In the end, it’s his word that will prevail. The Pope is the majority of one.

          • Desert Sun Art

            I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your response to me. I was answering Grant Melville’s question about papal infallibility pertaining to the person of pope or the office of pope, and I did my best to answer his question. I was not commenting on the Synod.

          • Mara319

            I totally agree with your post. I just thought I’d extend the thought to touch on the Synod, since that, too, has to do with the matter of the Pope’s infallibility on the matters of faith and morals..

            I’m sorry if I seemed to have diluted your message. Please forgive me.

          • Desert Sun Art

            I am sorry, I misunderstood.

      • Cradle Convert

        There are many opinions among theologians and church fathers. This needs to be settled in the next council, if Our Lord decides to allow one. Most who study it tend to go with the majority of saints and scholars who believe that a heretic, who the catholic church believes is outside the church (and all heretics are, the church teaches) , cannot be pope, because in order to be head, he has to be part of the body. He therefore, according to the likes of Saint Robert Bellarmine, has ipso facto lost his office.

        • Grant Melville

          Interesting. I suppose there would have to be unanimous view that he was a heretic, for a pope to lose the office.

          • whatever name

            It is “ipso facto” or “from the fact itself” of the heresy. He would not be pope even if everyone in the world thought that he was.

      • Woman In White

        The office.

        The rest of your speculations is uninformed gibberish.

        • Sanctimony

          The oracle speaks… and not from the usual speech orifice…

      • Louise

        The office. Also, you need to understand what the doctrine of infallibility actually is before you start posing questions.

        • Grant Melville

          But, Louise, how am I to understand the doctrine of infallibility if I don’t pose questions?

          • Louise

            You can certainly ask questions. It’s not always obvious if people over the internet are really after an answer or just posing. Do you really wish to know?

            “So, if Francis is a heretic, is he therefore automatically not a pope, because he is fallible in terms of doctrine? Or, should he be removed from the office of pope because he is fallible and therefore unsuited to that office? The question occurred to me when I was reading about one of the instances, in Wycliffe’s time, when there was more than one pope. Clearly, both men could not be the pope, though both claimed to be pope and denied the other’s claims.”

            The question of whether or not a supposed pope was valid or really an antipope must be resolved by a subsequent council of bishops. At the time it is not clear.

            Papal infallability simply says that under fairly strict conditions, the Pope cannot define things falsely in matters of Faith and Morals. As a private theologian, he can be in error. He can also make mistakes and commit sins. The Doctrine of Infallibility has nothing to do with this.

    • Sanctimony

      Do you, by any chance, mean ‘Cue the papolaters? ‘

      • Woman In White

        Cue the anorak.

        • Sanctimony

          Ah, your anorak fetish and obsession is characterising your extremely limited intellect and complete lack of any sense of humour or irony…

          • Woman In White

            Your continuous insults and complete lack of positive contribution to debate do not demonstrate that you’re in any position to judge of the intellect of others.

          • Sanctimony

            to judge of the intellect of others… what appallingly bad English …

          • Woman In White

            95% of your posts constitute insults and trolling.

            Meanwhile :

            An Anglican : And now what is the just consequence of all these things ? Not that reason is no judge of what is offered us as being of divine revelation. For this would be to infer that we are unable to judge of anything, because we are unable to judge of all things. Reason can, and it ought to judge, not only of the meaning, but also of the morality and the evidence of revelation.

            A Philosopher : When we judge before we see, or of more things than we see, we are deceived in our judgment, or at least we judge ill, though we may happen by chance not to be deceived; for when we judge of things by chance, as well as when we judge by passion or interest, we judge ill because we do not judge by evidence and light. This is judging by ourselves and not by reason, or according to the laws of universal reason

            A Saint : It is one thing to judge of things and another to judge of men. For when we judge of things, there is no question of the good or evil of the thing about which we are judging, since it will take no harm no matter what kind of judgment we form about it; but there is question of the good of the person who judges, if he judge truly, and of his evil if he judge falsely because “the true is the good of the intellect, and the false is its evil,” as stated in Ethic. vi, 2, wherefore everyone should strive to make his judgment accord with things as they are. On the other hand when we judge of men, the good and evil in our judgment is considered chiefly on the part of the person about whom judgment is being formed; for he is deemed worthy of honor from the very fact that he is judged to be good, and deserving of contempt if he is judged to be evil. For this reason we ought, in this kind of judgment, to aim at judging a man good, unless there is evident proof of the contrary. And though we may judge falsely, our judgment in thinking well of another pertains to our good feeling and not to the evil of the intellect, even as neither does it pertain to the intellect’s perfection to know the truth of contingent singulars in themselves.

            BTW I’ve been wondering, how much brain damage do you think you’ve suffered from lofty altitude orange anorak -related hypoxia ?

          • Sanctimony

            It goes both ways, sweetheart !

  • Precambrian

    I though that divorce was only allowable for adultery, and that remarriage was only allowable for the innocent parties in such a divorce (Matt 5:32, 9:19)?

    • Ad Orientem

      No. What God has joined together, man must not divide. The Sacramentally valid marriage is binding upon both spouses until one of them dies. That’s it.

      • Precambrian

        Matthew 5 says otherwise; that divorce is wrong unless done because your spouse cheats on you.

        • Ad Orientem

          No, again. You have to look at the perennial, infallible teaching of the Church on this matter. That teaching, handed on from Apostolic times, is binding until the end of time. That is the cause of the current controversy. The Pope himself is attempting by some means or other, to change this teaching. If he makes a formal teaching changing the doctrine, he will possible and probably forfeit his Papal Office and be declared an anti-pope.

          • Precambrian

            “whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery”

            Notice that clause?

          • Grant Melville

            It’s really very saddening how little weight the scripture has with some people who profess to be Christians and are attached to the Roman Catholic Church. It would seem that the issue has gone beyond opposition to ‘sola scriptura’, to the point where the teachings of the RCC are a higher authority than scripture. It puts the written word of God on the level of the Qu’ran, with later passages of the ‘tradition’ abrogating earlier ones.

            “… ye have made void the commandment of God on account of your traditional teaching.” (Matthew 15:6)

          • Bruce Lewis

            “What you shall bind on earth, I shall bind in heaven, and what you shall loose on earth, I shall loose in Heaven” seems to have something to say to the “sola scripturaIope Francis wishes to reinterpret The Gospel of Matthew in a way that is more in line with the Beatitudes, he has that authority. Damian Thompson seems to think that most Catholics “in the pews” are reactionaries, ultra-montanists and rejectors of the “Spirit of Vatican II”. He’s wrong; we’ll be sticking with this Holy Father–especially those of us who live in the Third World (for reasons Thompson never chooses to write about; he and his “conservative bishops” whom most of us don’t like very much are going to get a big surprise).

          • Bruce Lewis

            For some reason my IPad is not allowing me to edit the above: “…the ‘sola scriptura’ heretics. If Pope Francis wishes to…”

          • Two2trees

            Your statement is utterly devoid of logic and uninformed.

            Men invented sola scriptora 500 years ago. Where in scripture is sola scriptora? I can show you where it says that sola is false… try 2 thes 2:15.

          • Grant Melville

            It’s important to note that 2 Thessalonians 3:15 only challenges the idea of reliance on the scriptures alone if one believes in apostolic succession – a notion which is entirely false. The whole of the Roman Catholic theology is built on extra-Biblical ground, which is very unstable indeed.

            I really don’t have much time for intellectual exercise – as far as I’m concerned subjection to our heavenly Head, simple reliance on the scriptures, and dependence on the Holy Spirit to shed light on them are where safety and certainty lie. That certainly avoids any contortions. Romanism, on the other hand, while it contorts the truth of scripture, also displaces Christ entirely from its evil system – which is what the devil purposed it for. It makes the Mass a sacrifice, in the teeth of Hebrews 10:12, and putting the Lord out of His place as the once-and-for-all and all-sufficient sacrifice for sins. It denies 1 Timothy 2:5, putting the Lord out of His place as the sole mediator, to share that place with Mary and the saints. It places the pope as Head of the Church, a place which rightly and only belongs to Christ, whose body the Church is. The list goes on… and the attempt to displace the Lord Jesus Christ in every way is absolutely clear.

          • Desert Sun Art

            If it’s all about “simple” reliance on Scriptures dependence on the Holy Spirit, then why don’t ALL Christians agree and believe the same things about God and Scripture?

            And the Pope is just the visible head of the Church on earth, there is no denying that Christ is the Head of the Church. All of your anti-Catholic arguments have been heard and refuted for 500 years now.

          • Woman In White

            The whole of the Protestant theology is built on extra-Biblical ground, which is very unstable indeed

            FTFY

          • Grant Melville

            I couldn’t agree more. None of the “detestable isms” (as C.H. Mackintosh called them) are built on solid ground.

          • Two2trees

            Sure. You go ahead. It is very important to be right.

          • Grant Melville

            It’s important to be on solid scriptural ground, for sure. When it comes to winning arguments on internet forums… well, I’m certain that both of us have a lot of more profitable things we could be doing. Thank you for responding anyway, and for your courtesy in discussing what’s undoubtedly a sensitive issue.

          • Mara319

            “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mk 10:9
            This, too, is scriptura.

          • Louise

            That is not true. Christ founded His Church upon Peter, the rock. You will find that in scripture. This Church has the authority to teach from scripture and tradition. Otherwise you just have lots of Protestants interpreting everything the way they like and each one being his own pope.

          • pobjoy

            Christ founded His Church upon Peter, the rock.

            Why did he do that?

          • Louise

            You’d better ask Him.

          • pobjoy

            He said that he did no such thing.

          • Louise

            Prove it.

          • pobjoy

            Prove that he did not.

            (Failure to do so renders you subject to arrest and execution.)

          • Louise

            You said “He said that he did no such thing.” Do you mean Jesus said he did not found His Church upon Peter?

          • pobjoy

            That is what I mean.

          • Louise

            Where did He say that?

          • pobjoy

            On the way to the park.

            Now do you know why Jesus founded His Church upon ‘Peter, the rock’, if that is what he did? If you don’t know, perhaps someone else does. Maybe your priest does, or your bishop does. Isn’t that what they are for? Answering questions? It would save all this baby talk, eh?

          • Grant Melville

            What we find in Matthew 16 is this – Peter’s confession to the Lord: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16). Whereupon, Jesus replies, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in the heavens. And *I* also, I say unto thee that *thou* art Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and hades’ gates shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:17-18). Here, the Lord is referring, not to Peter as “the rock”, but Peter’s confession. It was on that conviction and confession that the Church was to be built. Could the Church be build on a fallible, mortal man such as Peter? Surely not. It could be build, and was built, on that work of God, that which the “Father who is in the heavens” established in Peter.

            As for the notion of apostolic succession… we don’t need to look far in the book of the Revelation to find many repetitions of the phrase, “I come quickly”. If you or I were away somewhere and set on someone to look after our affairs, and we were coming back quickly, would we appoint a succession of caretakers? No. Neither has the Lord. There is never so much as a hint or suggestion of the idea of apostolic succession given in scripture, for that very reason: He comes quickly.

            What you say about Protestantism is very true, and the Lord says to it: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” (Revelation 3:1). Perhaps it meant something at the outset to be a Protestant, but the enemy used much the same techniques by which he corrupted the Roman Church to corrupt and divide Protestantism. But, as it was in Elijah’s time, the Lord has His remnant: “Yet I have left myself seven thousand in Israel…” (1 Kings 19:18). Not everything is lost, not everything is empty profession, and not every believer is enmeshed in denominationalism and sectarianism. In every period of the Church’s history, there are those who overcome.

          • Louise

            This is a very convoluted and ridiculous interpretation of scripture. The Lord very clearly established the Church upon Peter (whose name he deliberately changed to “Rock”).

            The Church which Jesus founded elected subsequent popes after Peter. It’s not difficult to understand.

          • Grant Melville

            It should be noted that when the Lord says, “thou art Peter”, the name “Peter” is literally translated, “A stone”, which is quite different from “The rock”.

            The issue here is that no authority is given by scripture or the Lord for the appointment of even one vicar, never mind a succession of them. The very idea of Christ requiring a vicar is wholly unscriptural. God uses ministering servants, but none of them are substitutes for His Son.

            But more than that, and beyond arguments about dry theology, there’s the reality of the nearness of the Lord Jesus to the believer, His close communion and walk with each one who loves Him, and keeps His word: “my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23). The precious fact of the immediacy into which the believer has been brought by the movements of divine love is undeniable. There’s no trace in John 14:23 of the intercession of patron saints, or of a separate class of earthly priests, or an earthly organisation claiming to be invested with divine authority. No amount of doctrine and reasoning about words could convince and convict me that Romanism is utterly false – in many ways it seems plausible, according to human thinking. It’s the substantiality and reality of Christianity, having to do with a heavenly Man, the risen and ascended Christ, that puts everything in its true light and exposes darkness, wherever it’s found.

          • Woman In White

            “whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery”

            Separation is not divorce and remarriage.

            From the same verse : “and whoever will have married her who has been separated, commits adultery”

            The Scripture really just justifies why annulments are treated on a case-by-case basis, instead of divorce being permitted.

            I can’t be bothered to examine the Greek, because it’s blatantly clear that the Scripture provides no justification for divorce and remarriage.

          • Precambrian

            That’s unfortunate because the Grk (apolyō) means to release/dismiss/send-away. It’s not just living apart. Its a release from vows – a Divorce.

            Divorce is permitted for adultery, and only those who have been divorced for THEIR adultery are adulterers if they remarry. The innocent party, having not been divorced for THEIR adultery are free to remarry.

          • Woman In White

            That’s unfortunate because the Grk (apolyō) means to release/dismiss/send-away

            In other words not “divorce”, unless that’s how you decide to interpret it.

            There’s no significant difference in meaning between the Greek and a food translation, which is why it’s a waste of time to worry about it.

            Divorce is permitted for adultery, and only those who have been divorced for THEIR adultery are adulterers if they remarry. The innocent party, having not been divorced for THEIR adultery are free to remarry.

            That is an extra-biblical gloss, drawn directly from contemporary Protestant “dogma”.

          • Precambrian

            No, it’s actually reading the text with some knowledge of the Greek and seeing how the text is calling remarriage “adultery” when the first marriage was broken for anything other than the spouses adultery.

            The extra-biblical dogma is the Roman Catholic stance…

          • Woman In White

            it’s actually reading the text with some knowledge of the Greek

            Do you *really* think that you are the only one to know some Greek ?

            The Greek πορνεία means “whoring”. The text actually refers essentially to cases of discovering that a bride was not the virgin that she claimed to be, or to cases of a general sexual immorality incompatible with Christian Matrimony.

            It’s far stronger than just one or two instances of infidelity, πορνεία denotes the exact antithesis of the Christian Fidelity in Matrimony.

            You’re basically claiming that words referring to prostitutes are applicable to housewives.

          • Sanctimony

            I can’t be bothered to examine the Greek… just about sums up your arrogance, posturing and lack of education…

          • Sanctimony

            “whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery”…

            Actually the Aramaic could be interpreted as “do away with” and “comitteth not adultery”….

            Suggest you ask the blog’s resident pharisee, the Woman in White….

          • Tridentinus

            Yes, for the pope to be pope he must be a Catholic.

          • Sanctimony

            You don’t say… does he also have to kiss concrete ?

          • Tridentinus

            Well of course he does, what a silly thing to ask.

          • pobjoy

            If the only requirement for being a pope is belief in a pope, a pope can believe and teach whatever he likes.

          • pobjoy

            You have to look at the perennial, infallible teaching of the Church on this matter

            Where would a Catholic find it?

          • Ad Orientem

            Google.

          • pobjoy

            Not all Catholics can use Google. Probably, most of them.

            Where would a Catholic find it?

          • Ad Orientem

            Considering the fact that most Catholics cannot use Google, what about the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
            Try starting from here.

            “1638 “From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament.”142

            The marriage bond

            1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.143 From their covenant arises “an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society.”144 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: “Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.”145

            1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.”
            I hope this helps you!

          • pobjoy

            Unfortunately, not. One poster says, ‘Matthew 5 says otherwise; that divorce is wrong unless done because your spouse cheats on you.’ Another says, ‘No.’ So how does the Vatican deal with Mt. 5 in its canons?

          • Ad Orientem

            I am assuming you are not Catholic, and are therefore adept at using Google. Go to the Vatican’s own website and look up the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Or you could try a local Catholic book store? I am busy and the internet is a big place. If you want the truth you can find it. Hope this does not come across as rude or brusque, but I have already provided a lot of information on the matter and the rest is up to you. If you are truly interested, the teaching that I have echoed here is correct.

          • pobjoy

            I am assuming you are not Catholic, and are therefore adept at using Google.

            No wonder Bergoglio would be tearing his hair out, if he had hair to tear out.

            It appears that the desire of demons is to interfere in the private lives of as many as possible.

          • Ad Orientem

            But it is not private before almighty God. Every thought, word and deed are laid out absolutely bare before him, and to Him we must all render a strict account. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis and his cronies would have you believe that everything is solely directed towards this world and this life, and that everyone is automatically going to Heaven.

          • pobjoy

            But it is not private before almighty God.

            No, but what does that have to do with a cult that was established by perhaps the most brutal police state the world has known?

          • Woman In White

            Cromwell’s republic you mean ?

          • Ad Orientem

            We are done here. Believe whatever you want. Do whatever you want. Don’t stop.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Only by you half-baked “Traditionalists” who wrongly think you will be supported by the Catholics of the Third World, who are solidly with Francis, because they believe these matters to be “wedge issues.”

          • Ad Orientem

            I don’t care who “supports” me. I am not looking for support. I have the 2000 year infallible teaching of the Church on my side, and all the Saints and Doctors to boot. I’d rather be in their company than yours. St John the Baptist wasn’t looking for “support” from the Third World when he publicly declared Herod’s “marriage” invalid because he married his sister-in-law. He was ready to die rather than give an inch on God’s moral law. He got his head chopped off rather than just shut up.

        • Louise

          Incorrect.

        • Ad Orientem

          If that interpretation were true, it would mean that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, was providing for the following scenario: “If you are married but you want out, just have a quick affair with someone and, presto, your marriage is dissolved.” That interpretation is absurd. The phrase “except for for fornication” refers to people who are living together without being married. They are living in sin. Since this exception refers to people who are not married, the binding law of the indissolubility of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony does not apply to them. All cases where there is a valid sacrament of marriage are absolutely indissoluble until one of the spouses dies. That’s it. Play with this, either your self, or by consenting or approving someone else who goes against it, and unless you repent, you will find Heaven shut off to you when you try to enter.

          • pobjoy

            Control freak goes barmy.

          • Ad Orientem

            We are done here. Believe whatever you want. Do whatever you want. Don’t stop. It’s all good.

          • pobjoy

            Believe whatever you want.

            LIke the inversion of what Jesus said that you just posted. It’s this political, pagan notion of sacraments, used to control people, that is all that the Vatican has any interest in.

          • Ad Orientem

            You are believing whatever you want! I’m flattered. Few people take my advice.

          • pobjoy

            Including your leader.

          • Precambrian

            “If that interpretation were true, it would mean that the words of our
            Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, was providing for the
            following scenario: “If you are married but you want out, just have a
            quick affair with someone and, presto, your marriage is dissolved.””

            Not quite.

            It means that if you are the innocent party you can divorce your spouse for their adultery and then remarry someone else (including another innocent party who divorced their own spouse for that spouse’s adultery).

            That way, innocents are not required to stay in a cheating marriage. Nor are they forced to live alone when “It is not good that the man should be alone”.

          • Woman In White

            You confuse causes for annulment for a non-existent permission to divorce.

            Meanwhile, πορνεία continues to mean “whoring”, not “adultery”.

          • Precambrian

            No, I recognise that breaking marriage is breaking marriage, and remarriage is remarriage, and I don’t need to play word games on the matter.

          • Ad Orientem

            In this “Springtime of Vatican II” you can believe what you want and do whatever you want.
            “Outside the Church, one can have everything…except salvation”. – St Augustine

          • Precambrian

            Except, of course, that the thief on the cross was not a baptised member of the RC church and yet received salvation did he not….?

          • Ad Orientem

            Where does it say he was not baptised? It doesn’t say. He could have been baptised already. Jesus had instituted sacramental baptism by that point. Obviously, the man had undergone some radical conversion, as shown by his words to Our Lord on the Cross. He could have had baptism of desire, which would suffice.

      • jeremy Morfey

        What God has joined together, man must not divide, but does anyway. What God has joined together though, God can divide. If God is omnipotent, then God can create English Family Law.

        Is the husband who took a a Sacramentally valid marriage still bound by it if his wife sleeps with another man, has his child, sets off civil divorce proceedings on the grounds of the husband’s “unreasonable behaviour”, denies him contact with the children of this marriage, changing their surname (now renamed “family name” by officialdom) without consent, and then civilly marries this other man?

        This is considered perfectly usual behaviour in English legal circles – indeed it’s considered a “woman’s right” and courts are bound to honour this as the most paramount principle when settling family matters there.

        I know, I’ve been there (except it turned out that neither of us were baptised at the time, so I was able to get an annulment). The woman in question became a head teacher of a CofE primary school and is now a senior County education adviser, responsible for the moral education of the next generation.

        • Ad Orientem

          Actually, he does not divide any valid sacramental marriage. It can’t be divided. Man has not the competency. No power on earth has the competency. He merely thinks he can and acts as if it were so, but in God’s eyes it is not divided. Hence, the charge of adultery is laid against those who try to dissolve a valid marriage. If they don’t believe this at the moment, they will find out at their particular, individual judgement at the moment of death.

          • Bruce Lewis

            But what will happen to those who have tried vainly to RESIST the dissolution of a “valid marriage,” have suffered in the resistance, but later on experience connubial happiness? Do you actually believe that a just God will ajudge them guilty of “mortal sin”?

          • Ad Orientem

            Yes, I actually believe that, because the Church teaches that. Don’t you?

          • Woman In White

            Many many sins procure a sense of “happiness”.

        • Woman In White

          That sort of utterly mendacious rhetoric is perfectly despicable, and it very basically gives you license to think that whatever imagination you might come up with constitutes “truth”.

          You describe the annulment process in its reality not in the slightest, and indeed you adopt as your own the **exact** Error of Henry VIII (apart from the murdering and serial adultery).

          The only real cause of annulment is lack of intent to do what the Church intends, howsoever the circumstances may exist on a case-by-case basis. Your own views constitute refusal of what the Church intends, notwithstanding that some local Diocesan Courts might also refuse the same thing.

          You also implicitly deny the Dogma of Free Will, in your claim that man-made laws cannot be created contrary to the Will of God for mankind.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Did not Christ claim his own execution was willed by God, despite it being a travesty of justice?

            I fail to see how direct first hand experience constitutes “mendacious rhetoric”.

            The Tribunal decided after considerable deliberation and referral to the Defender of the Bond that both my then-wife and I failed in our intention to uphold a Sacramental marriage, or even the spirit of a natural marriage (since neither of us were baptised at the time of the wedding), and that any sins I may have committed then were wiped upon my baptism nine years after the civil divorce.

          • Sanctimony

            Don’t bother yourself, Jeremy M… she is a vacuous, babbling know-all and airhead… uses long words, but has a very limited intellect ….

          • Woman In White

            a vacuous, babbling know-all and airhead… uses long words, but has a very limited intellect

            and an anorak.

          • Bruce Lewis

            She’s also a Pharisee, and as a Jewess of Christ’s time, probably would have howled for his blood.

          • Woman In White

            Your howlingly nonsensical inventions are always good for a giggle.

            They can be taken as seriously as your notion that pro-divorce, pro-adultery, pro-homosexual left-wing political ideology is “catholic”.

          • Sanctimony

            Hey, blabbermouth, where have I said that my notions are pro-divorce, pro-adultery, pro homosexual and are “catholic” ????

          • Sanctimony

            Sitting at the foot of the guillotine, with her knitting in 1792, would also have been a good career move in one of her earlier incarnations….

          • Woman In White

            That’s extremely objectionable, even by your despicably low gutter “standards”.

          • Sanctimony

            I take it that you are not a fan of the French Republic, then …..

          • Sanctimony

            To continue with your education… you have now shown yourself to be guilty of tautology…. gutters are neither high nor low… they are gutters and you should have accused me of my gutter standards or behaviour… always happy to assist and educate….

          • Woman In White

            Ah yes, I was forgetting about the lofty gutter of your alpine anorak’d intellectual orangeness, shining high above the insults that you so graciously bestow upon us in the wisdom of your shining trollness.

          • Sanctimony

            Nah, she’d have ordered the serpents in her Gorgon tresses to have done the job….

        • Sanctimony

          Congratulations on your successful use of a Catholic loophole

          Did your annulment cost you a bundle… ?

          My experience is that it is only very rich or prominent Catholics, or members of the Royal family, who have their annulments breezed through. The promise of a £ 50,000 bung to the local diocese and your case, regardless of merits, is generally fast-tracked to Rome…. while a dustman must consider his only option is an eternity on the spit-roast …

          • jeremy Morfey

            No. It cost a fraction of what I had to pay through the civil courts for something I did not initiate – a few hundred pounds. Nor did it require a fast-track to Rome, just two sessions of extensive questioning to me, one session to my then-wife (which she only partly co-operated with in a spirit of rather bemused humourisation) and one session with a witness at the wedding, a Baptist friend who was both curious and interested how papists did these things.

            They decided in the end that neither of us were able to appreciate what we were taking on when we got married – my obligation to get a decent career and support her and the family in the manner expected, and her obligation to stay faithful to me when things started getting difficult, rather than falling into the arms of someone better.

            She made quite a play that she, at 20, was far too young to get married, and that I was abusing a young girl by putting her through it. The truth was that I wanted to wait another two years, until she had got her degree, but she left uni after just a year to get married and finished off with the OU, which is where she met her other husband.

          • Sanctimony

            I never realised that the Open University was a dating agency ….

          • jeremy Morfey

            The summer schools are notorious for it.

            I remember reading an article in the Open University newspaper in the summer of 1985 by one K.Malone describing this very phenomenon. He put it into practice at the Social Studies summer school with one very attractive 21-year-old married student.

          • Sanctimony

            I’m genuinely sorry to hear about that and know where you are coming from…. I hope you gave K. Malone a good thrashing… I would have ….

          • Louise

            Annulments are not expensive, whatever else they are.

        • Woman In White

          Is the husband who took a a Sacramentally valid marriage still bound by it if his wife sleeps with another man, has his child, sets off civil divorce proceedings on the grounds of the husband’s “unreasonable behaviour”, denies him contact with the children of this marriage, changing their surname (now renamed “family name” by officialdom) without consent, and then civilly marries this other man?

          Yes.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Didn’t stop her though.

          • jeremy Morfey

            How?

          • Sanctimony

            You are such a forgiving, understanding and caring soul… God bless you ….

        • Louise

          God’s omnipotence does not mean He will prevent evil from happening. As you know, this is because He values our free will. Apply that logically to your own arguments above.

          I can’t see what baptism had to do with the annulment in question. I’m sorry for your bad experience and am sorry for all such sorrowful cases.

          If the marriage was declared null, then the man in question is free to marry someone else and is not bound. If the marriage is held to be valid then he is bound.

        • Ad Orientem

          I put up a more lengthy reply somewhere on here but it seems to have gone missing.

    • Netmilsmom

      That’s why we have an annulment process. To find the facts of the case. If a marriage is annulled for adultery.

      • Louise

        Marriages are never declared null in case of adultery. The marriage is either valid from the start or not. Precambrian, your reading of Mt. 5 and 9 is inaccurate.

  • Food_Stuff

    St Pio said, re Paul6, that “Freemasonry has already reached the Pope’s slippers.”

    • Sanctimony

      Ahhh, Padre Pio, the geezer whose receipts were uncovered for all the pharmacists’ bills for the acid to keep his stigmata on the go….

      • Food_Stuff

        As if you knew anything about it. You know, you should try religion, it might help you to give up your sadistic, trolling ways, to which you are clearly addicted.

      • Desert Sun Art

        Reading all your comments. I am sorry that you are so full of anger and hate. How awful to be in so much misery. I pray that things get better for you someday and the pain you are feeling will heal.

        • Sanctimony

          Thanks, old buddy… I’ll have a creme de menthe frappe and a packet of crisps, please….

  • victimmentality

    Pope Francis didn’t break the Catholic Church. This did.
    “The Catholic Church in the US has paid out more than $4bn (£2.6bn)”. Latest research carried out by the National Catholic Reporter.

    Nobody gets over that. Nobody wants to pay out in church on Sundays to compensate victims of abuse but that’s what you do if you go to Mass these days.

    • Two2trees

      Genius!

      Bet that took you weeks to think up.

      Your conclusion, however, to utterly exclude homosexuals from even remote proximity to the priesthood ought to be taken under advisement.

    • Mara319

      Four…three…two…one…Bam!
      How did I know this subject would come up sooner than later?

      • Sanctimony

        I would assume that you would prefer to have it swept under the carpet… Yes, all those impoverished peons in the Third World putting their precious pesos into the collection plates to get a revolting bunch of paedophiles off the hook ….

        • Woman In White

          Do you wear anti-Catholic slogan badges on your anorak, Moany ?

          • Sanctimony

            No, it is unadorned except for for a high mountain guide insignia….

          • greencoat

            Oh, you like goats then?

          • Sanctimony

            Of course I do, chamois and Ibex…. they have evolved much better than the average fruitcases on this blog… and encounters with them in the extremes of the natural world provide a far better connection with whatever afterlife there might be than the pusillanimous dictators on this site…

            Rarely have I read so much bigoted prejudice and ill-informed discrimination on a supposedly Catholic and Christian site….

    • greencoat

      We Catholics will do anything to help our Church – even if forced to pay tithes to the snakes and hypocrites who persecute her.
      Their real reward is coming – and all the money in the world won’t save them from it.

  • PaulBrownsey

    “No pontiff in living memory has awakened the specific fear now spreading around the church: that the magisterium, the teaching authority vested in Peter by Jesus, is not safe in his hands.”

    Yep. The ordinary Catholics in the pews in the West of Scotland tremble with that fear to the exclusion of any other feelings whatsoever.

    • Jacobi

      My experience, not in the West I hasten to add, the oldies at any rate, is that getting into the parish hall for coffee and a chat seems to be the dominant pre-occupation.

  • Grace Ironwood

    Do Roman Catholics need a global Obama, on a mission to “transform” (destroy) it?

    • Mara319

      Popes come and go. And when this one goes, there will be another one to heal [or exacerbate] the damage.

  • BronxLady

    What’s all this weirdo blathering about heresy and antipopes? Is this some kind of satire- a medieval version of the Spectator or something? And no matter what these other commenters say, there is actual data is out there: most Catholics all around the world are happy with what Pope Francs is trying to do.

    All of this end of days, Chicken- Little-Sky-Falling is creepy.

    • Two2trees

      It is splendid how much more sophisticated this generation is than all the previous!

      Jesus didn’t even have an iPad!

  • Grant Melville

    Almost every article in this magazine by Mr Thompson illustrates how false the Roman Catholic Church’s claims of unity actually are. The divisions among the bishops are as wide as that of the politicians of most democratic countries. In UK terms, the RCC is about as united as a coalition of the Labour Party and the Conservatives. There’s more than a tinge of hypocrisy added to the mix when there’s talk of the fragmented state of Protestantism – the RCC fails to see the beam in its own eye.

    • Two2trees

      I think that there may be better guides to the Church than the author in the event that he has lead you to or supported that conclusion.

      • Grant Melville

        I take any and all journalism with a pinch of salt, and Mr Thompson’s with a larger than usual measure, because he doesn’t make any attempt to hide the fact that he has an agenda. He’s scarcely an impartial observer. But, the devil is in the detail, and what’s revealed about how the RCC operates really confirms my conviction that it’s nothing more than an organisation of man, operating according to man’s mind and principles, and has been so for a good many centuries. The evil results can be seen in the more shameful episodes of the history of the Roman Church. The same can be said for the denominations of Protestantism, and of the notion of Protestantism itself – it doesn’t come from the divine source. However good the intentions are, what flows from it is bound this be mixed. The mind of man – however cultivated and enlightened by theology and philosophy – is still the mind of man, not the divine mind.

        • James M

          The reality of the human side of the CC is no denial of her Divine Foundation, or of her Divine Life. The Church is human and Divine, not one or other. That last sentence is true, but is no denial of the two Natures of the CC.

          • Grant Melville

            I hope you don’t misconstrue me here – I’m not trying to be deliberately antagonistic – but where in the scriptures do we find the idea of the Church having two natures?

          • James M

            We don’t. But as she has a Divine aspect, and a human aspect, and as they seem to be related much as the Two Natures are in the Hypostatic Union, ISTM the analogy is justified.

    • Mara319

      “…how false the Roman Catholic Church’s claims of unity actually are.”
      That’s how she appears and it may be true for its leaders for now. But Catholics faithful to the teachings of Christ know her to be one [united], holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Bridegroom does not leave His Bride at the mercy of the wolves.

      • Louise

        Very well said.

      • James M

        Well said. Since all of us, whatever our sympathies, are at one in praying “…forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us…”, ISTM that takes care of the squabbles between us. The Unity of the CC is no fiction. Catholics acknowledge the one and the same Holy Trinity, share the same seven sacraments, are subject to the same Successor of Peter, and acknowledge the same Mother of God as their Mother. We have the same faith, the same hope, the same charity, in the same Holy and Indefectible Church, animated by the One Spirit. The Catholic Church in all her diversity is most definitely One.

    • Woman In White

      Almost every article in this magazine by Mr Thompson illustrates how false the Roman Catholic Church’s claims of unity actually are

      Thompson is a wrecker, whose words should not be taken as gospel truth.

      The VAST majority of Catholics would be completely bemused by his somewhat paranoid rantings.

      • Sanctimony

        And you speak for the VAST majority, do you ?

  • Grace Ironwood

    How does one become an Antipope, Catholics?
    A sincere question.

    • Two2trees

      Teaching heresy, for example, excommunicates. One nit connected to the Mystical Body cannot be

      • Grace Ironwood

        And if the Pope qualifies are thereany legitimate avenues to have him )them) excommunicated?

        • Woman In White

          The Roman Pontiff, the College of Cardinals, or an Ecumenical Council in Communion with the Roman Pontiff all have the Authority to formally excommunicate an ex-Pope who is guilty of heresy.

        • Two2trees

          There is automatic excommunication which operates better than trying to excommunicate a pope. Then there is the Church formally recognizing this, which is removal. That involves a court composed of bishops. I dont know the rules for that. There are two schools of thought on this. Both, i believe, involve this latter step – and it makes sense. There needs to be an earthly finding of the factual.

          • Grace Ironwood

            thanks for your answer

      • Grace Ironwood

        And if the Pope qualifies, are there any legitimate avenues to have him )them) excommunicated?

        • Two2trees

          If he does it, he is excommunicated. The next step is verification of the truth, which involves the bishops and then, of course, a new conclave.

    • Mara319

      An antipope is a false pope, not canonically elected, and is pits against the true one in the Vatican. Not to be confused with a heretic pope, who is a true pope but has lost his way.

      • Sanctimony

        Hocus Pocus !

      • Grace Ironwood

        Thanks for your answer, Mara.

    • Woman In White

      An antipope is a Pope who has been elected by a group of dissident Electors.

      The Popes of the Orthodox Church are technically antipopes.

      • Sanctimony

        Well, if it’s a technical problem, better get Quik Fit in pronto …

      • Sanctimony

        The most Christian and spiritually-uplifting Masses I have been to were in Corfu, at a Greek Orthodox church….

      • Grace Ironwood

        Does the Kaspar faction qualify as “dissident” electors or did the Cardinals, at the time of his election, have no idea?
        Is Francis , like Obama, doing the “Big Reveal” ?

      • Grace Ironwood

        Thanks for your answer. Does the Kaspar faction qualify as “dissident” electors or did the Cardinals, at the time of his election, have no idea?

        Is Francis , like Obama, doing the “Big Reveal” ?

        • Woman In White

          No, I mean dissident Electors in a separate Conclave of their own.

          • Grace Ironwood

            How does that work/happen?

          • Woman In White

            What happens is that a group of Bishops, Patriarchs, and/or Cardinals, in a state of rebellion (whether justifiably or not is a different question) against the Pope and the Conclave that elected him, decide to gang up and elect one of their own in opposition — so that you end up with several Popes/antipopes.

            That hasn’t happened in the Western Church for centuries, but there’s a living antipope of the Orthodox in the person of Theodoros II of Alexandria. (last time I looked at this they had two)

            There has been one antipope of the Western Church who abdicated as part of a deal to restore a single Papacy, and then some years later was legitimately elected as Pope — it’s important to realise that antipopes can end up being elected as much for reasons of dissent and disagreement among the Cardinal-Electors and Bishops as for reasons of formal and material schism dividing the Church from more serious causes of heterodoxy.

          • Grace Ironwood

            thanks for your answer wiw.

  • Odin’s Raven

    Is the Pope a politician in search of popularity, or the guardian of rules supposedly received from divinity? Is the church a group of people following what they take to be god’s rules, and trying to refine their understanding of them, or is it a means by which people seek worldly success and compete with other such groups?

    The long series of Papal scandals in recent decades, to which has just been added a book about Avarice in the Vatican, suggests that Robert Conquest’s Third Law is in operation, ‘the behavior of a bureaucracy is best explained by supposing it to be run by a cabal of its enemies.’

    The venom with which Catholics on this thread address each other shows how fortunate we are that they can no longer kill the rest of us.

  • Michael McGeary

    The group of “ordinary Conservative Catholics” to which the writer belongs is a tiny, but very vocal and dangerous, minority.

    • Two2trees

      The Catholics of the last 2000 years were indeed very dangerous. Thank Gaia for Francis to make the world safe!

    • James

      Exactly, and Pope Francis wouldn’t be doing his job right if he didn’t upset Damian and the US wingnuts. They are never going to accept a Pope with such a strong social conscience. But of course that’s also why the rest of us find him such a truly inspiring man

      • Bruce Lewis

        You’re right and the Pope, as well as most of the world’s Catholics, perceive THESE matters to be far more important than the “wedge issues” of abstruse theological “conservatism” that Damian Thompson wished to harp on about.

      • James M

        It is possible to be a traditional Catholic with a “strong social conscience”, and to accept Pope Francis as the legitimate Pope. Just in case that’s not clear.

    • Jacobi

      As indeed were the Apostles

  • hockeydog

    http://tinyurl.com/lv3vtv8

    The pope’s job is to increase his company’s bottom line.
    abusetracker

    • Cradle Convert

      The scum who made this video actually had children singing, “Mother *****ing pope” Speaks for itself.

      • hockeydog

        Answer me this then?
        http://youtu.be/LKg4HLsu5gE
        Is Satan a Catholic?

        • greencoat

          So according to this man Hitler murdered the Jews because the Pope told him to – and the Catholic Church killed Jesus before it was even in existence.

          No wonder the guy looks demented.

          • hockeydog

            Never mind GC. Go back to drinking your kool-aid.
            I hear Guyana is lovely this time of year.
            popecrimes
            abusetracker

          • Sanctimony

            He actually makes more sense and is more lucid and rational than most of the Catholic apologists and fruitcakes on this blog….

          • Woman In White

            fruitcakes

            I’d ask what fruit’s in your own cake, but we know already that it’s oranges.

          • Sanctimony

            Stick to the day job… a comedienne you ain’t….

          • Bruce Lewis

            I don’t agree with “Woman in White” about almost anything, but I’d be proud to be numbered with her as a “Catholic apologist.”

    • Bruce Lewis

      Disgusting!

  • Mauro C

    Eugenio Scalfari isn’t just “one of the country’s most celebrated journalists”: he writes for the weekly magazine “L’Espresso”, which directed in the 1960s, and forty years ago founded the daily newspaper “La Repubblica”. These are the most important reference points for the secular and liberal opinion in Italy.
    In layman’s terms, Scalfari works for a kind of “New Statesman” and is the father of the Italian equivalent of “The Guardian”.

    • Jacobi

      That could tell you something about his country’s press standards.

  • theThinker

    I am very involved with my Catholic Church.
    Yes, there are a couple of homophobes and hate-driven people. They somehow think God will be happier if some people aren’t allowed the Eucharist. They have a serious “Us and Them” mentality.

    Then there are a bunch of wonderful people of all ages that know God’s true message of inclusiveness and love above all else.

    The only good news is that old age will, in the next fifty years or so, claim most of the haters.

    • Mara319

      “Yes, there are a couple of homophobes and hate-driven people. ”
      You mean, Jesus Christ and Saint Paul, yes?

    • Two2trees

      And you look forward to the death of these “haters”…. Jesus was one of those you call a hater.

      At some point, you’ll have to burn a bit of scripture to make Jesus the way you want him.

    • Louis E.

      You are not a very clear “Thinker” if you think that “inclusiveness and love above all else” suffices to create a church…or fail to understand that true love must at times forbid “inclusiveness” even at the cost of being labelled “hate” by those who demand undeserved “inclusion” of their wrongs.What means a “Eucharist” if there are no criteria for worthiness to receive it?

      I am not religious myself,but reason rests exclusively with negative views of homosexuality,and those prone to that disorder are harmed by being led to believe they do no wrong in gratifying it,and helped by pressure,however resented,against doing so.

    • Jacobi

      There are, I am sure those in, your parish, I am assuming you are not in some already separate catholic church, who think from a knowledge of Catholic Teaching that active homosexuality is a mortal sin barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion and who are driven by a desire to ensure that Salvation is available to all so that all can choose Salvation if they are so inclined.

      • theThinker

        There are a whole lot of single heterosexual people in my church, and I don’t scowl at them as if they are guilty of mortal sin.

        Heck, we’ve got a whole congregation with only two children in the family. Nobody has any room to claim the other guy doesn’t belong in the Communion line.

        For consistency sake, Jacobi, should we prohibit Communion from families with fewer than seven children?

        • Jacobi

          I don’t scowl at anyone. I mean who am I to judge?
          As for fewer than seven children, you must be a bit randy, and even then you have to allow for NFP you know!

          • Bruce Lewis

            OK, so I think I’ll address you and your responses to the “Thinker,” in support of what the “Thinker” has to say:

            According the Christoloigical definitions of the Apostolic and Catholic Church, Jesus Christ is “true man and true God.” However, if He was, during His time on earth, “true man,” He may not have been fully omniscient, and, PERHAPS, might not have been able to foresee modern developments. That MAY mean that we really should read ALL of His pronouncements in their spiritual and ethical consistency–that is, holistically, and tending to be a HISTORICAL (that is, time-bound) Revelation of the Nature of God. And this SHOULD, if we honestly believe what He promised, pose no threat or obstacle to faith for REAL “Catholics” who actually understand the Petrine Commission, or the promise to send a “Holy Spirit” to guide His “synagogue.”

            So, with those things in mind, can’t we take a reasoned, as well as a Tradition-informed look at the prohibition of divorce, in the Gospel of Matthew, and come up with a conclusion that does NOT compromise the indissolubility of Sacramental Marriage (which belongs ONLY to the orthodox Churches, and never has to Protestantism)?

            The Muslims claim that their Prophet’s allowance of four wives was actually a defense of women’s rights in marriage, knowing, they say, that no man could love four women equally. The Muslims insist that their Prophet’s allowance of ONLY four wives was actually a defense of women’s rights in marriage. Mightn’t it be that Jesus’s prohibition of divorce may have been, in its historical context, a defense of women’s rights against a patriarchy that would have defended ONLY the man’s right in the dissolution of the connubial state? In very many instances, Jesus appears to be far more benevolent toward women than His culture. And to the claim that Jesus Christ MUST have been, in all cases, as “omniscient” as His Father in Heaven, I would argue that that comes right back to the Nature of Christ’s divinity, apparently an ancient dispute that is historically unresolved. If you claim that Christ was omniscient in ALL cases, including this one, it seems to me that you are verging on Monophysite heresy–the heresy that the Incarnation was ONLY a god. Why, then, did Jesus Christ cry out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me”? Is that supposed to have been a joke?!

            What we are left with, in my humble opinion, which I hope and trust Pope Francis shares, is the need to read the prohibition of divorce in Matthew, as a defense of the rights of those less powerful in the connubial relationship–that is, of women–and not an everlasting injunction against divorce, including even in a time when women’s rights are slowly coming to be in line with what Jesus Christ favoured. I do not, for the life of me, see why such a change in the “discipline” of “indissoluble marriage” should become a threat to the “doctrine” of “indissoluble marriage.” All who go to the Catholic Church asking for a “sacramental marriage” SHOULD understand that they are asking for something fundamentally different from what the prevailing culture highlights as “marriage.” IF the “prevailing culture” were to insist that sacramental marriage, conducted before a Catholic priest, after hours and weeks of instruction, must mirror the serial monogamy of secularist and Protestantized society, and if any pope were to maintain such a position (which Francis manifestly does NOT), then I promise the concerned–but, I think, overwrought–“Traditionalists” writing on here, then I’d join their ranks in opposing such an “innovation” of “doctrine.”

            What Pope Francis proposes, in my opinion, is an innovation of “discipline” relating to pastoral care of many who’ve been wounded in their marriages, in the hope of bringing them to a greater and more realistic appreciation of what sacramental marriage actually is. I support it, and I believe that the teachings of Christ, taken as a WHOLE, do as well. Those Catholics who wish to pick apart the teachings of Christ, and set up one in opposition to another, and gloat over the contradictions, really need to understand that Biblical Fundamentalism is a HERESY.

          • Jacobi

            I’ll try to be brief.
            He was always True God and True man. e.g., He went to the loo lioke the rest of us, but also knew Creation.
            The Tradition informed Magisterium says Marriage is Indissoluble.
            Not interested in what the Muslim heresy thinks only in how they intend to incorporate us onto the Caliphate.
            No one has to be a Catholic remember. Plenty of other sects . Matter of choice. But have your arguments ready when you arrive at the Pearly Gates.
            Lastly, (like to get this in from time to time ) I am not a traddy or whatever. Just an ordinary Catholic who accepts, but did not make up, the rules!

          • Bruce Lewis

            He may have “known Creation,” but that “knowledge” may have been a distant memory, when he was “imprisoned” in a human body, and “knowing Creation” does not necessarily signify fore-knowledge of all of human history.

            “Sacramental marriage” IS indissoluble, except in the case of adultery, but WHOSE “adultery” is the greater issue. My ex-brother-in-law attended ALL of the classes the Church demanded, repeated his vows before the priest who wouldn’t have married him to my sister, if he hadn’t attended those classes. (The priest was a family friend of long-standing), and, supposedly, as a “cradle Catholic,” should have known what he was getting himself into. Nevertheless, he is forcing my very devout sister into a divorce that she doesn’t agree to, and which she knows probably cannot be followed up by an “annulment,” because of how formally and meticulously the marriage was sanctified. You would say that my sister is condemned to a life that cannot ever include an interest in another man. If my sister finds herself a new husband some day, NO ONE in my family of fairly strict Catholics will EVER say her “nay.”

            The “Facebook personality” Mrs. Betty Bowers, “America’s Best Christian” has a comment today about the weird form of Catholicism that you people want either to shove down people’s throats or use to banish them from the pews. It goes something like this, “You say that a woman running a business licensed to serve the public can refuse to bake a cake for someone marrying legally, but that she CANNOT refuse to carry a rapist’s baby.” Do you lunatics have ANY conception at all of how many people you are driving out of the Catholic Church with these arcane, frankly uncharitable and cruel requirements that take no cognizance of how people live TODAY?!

          • Jacobi

            “May”, ” you people” ,”Best Christian”, “shove down peoples throats”, and boy oh boy, I like this, – “lunatics”.
            Oh, Mr Lewis, tut, tut, do you really suppose that today is any different from AD 33, or AD 5033, or AD 1033, or AD 2033.
            OUT!

          • Woman In White

            when he was “imprisoned” in a human body

            That’s formal, material, and objective heresy, just FYI

            except in the case of adultery

            You have been corrected on this point, in some great detail, by several people, and yet you persist in your proclamation of this doctrinal and canonical Error.

            This too constitutes formal heresy.

            condemned

            This characterisation is intrinsically blameworthy, as it characterises the solemn Vow of Matrimony before God and Church as causing evils.

            you lunatics

            Calumny of this sort is mortally sinful.

          • Sanctimony

            You, you rabid raving know-all, bigot and proselytising whited-sepulchre, are guilty of pride in the religious sense… which from memories of my Catechism is most certainly a mortal sin…

            See you at the eternal hog-roast… you dreadful humbug….

          • Woman In White

            Thanks for confirming that your trolling is motivated by spite and hatred.

            BTW, have you discovered any more flaws in Christ that you’d like to apprise us of as a means to convince anyone other than yourself of your “superiority” and “christianity” ?

          • Sanctimony

            As usual, no acceptance of your own shortcomings… just a completely yah, boo, sucks response….

          • Woman In White

            Why should I “accept” some insults that you have typed as having resulted from anything belonging to me ? It’s your keyboard, not mine.

            The number of people who think you’re a troll is proximate to the number of those you’ve directly insulted, and experience shows that it is a very large number.

          • Sanctimony

            Quick, throw her a lifebelt…. she’s out of her depth….

          • James M

            He was – and Is – True God and true man; but does it follow that He was Omniscient *on earth* ? I don’t think so. And the gospels don’t favour the idea either. This controversy seems to be overlapping with the question of what a humanly credible Incarnation of the Divine Word entails.

            The Church can hardly deny that a consummated sacramental marriage is indissoluble, without completely trashing her credibility. Dogmas that can be cancelled and dropped are pretty odd dogmas.

          • Jacobi

            1. Do not limit Christ, whether on this particular lump of rock tumbling around in space we call earth, or anywhere else.
            2. In particular do no constrain Christ with time, which remember does not exist in the real world, the next world.
            3. Doctrine cannot be cancelled or dropped, only deepened in understanding.
            Now as always we are beginning to repeat ourselves, so
            OUT!

    • James M

      IOW, there are zealous young Catholics around. Excellent. Unless your parish is home to many centenarians.

  • Food_Stuff

    PF has highly praised Kasper and his new book. That book claims that accounts of the Resurrection are “ambiguous,” capable of different interpretations. This view has been condemned by previous Popes. The reason people defend blatant heresy like this is that they are on board with PF’s New Church project. They, like him, wish to scrap the truths the Church has defended for 2000 years. This isn’t even arguable. It’s in your face. That’s why the project’s defenders use bad theology, illogic, obfuscation, and false piety to defend it.

    • James M

      But a lot depends on what Kasper actually said. When Cardinal Mueller was first appointed, three extracts from his works gained some notoriety on the Net. He was accused of denying the Virginal Conception of Christ and the Resurrection of Christ, IIRC. A close reading of an English translation of his text did not justify the (very serious) criticisms of his orthodoxy on these points. It would not be a surprise if Kasper has been unjustly criticised as well, even if some criticisms are well-founded.

      • Food_Stuff

        I don’t think Kasper’s reputation is based on bad translations into English.

        • James M

          Not among those who are on the same “wavelength” as he is, no.

  • jeremy Morfey

    I’m getting rather bored with how Conservative dislike of Pope Francis is blowing this up into the major schism it isn’t. We had the same with Prince Charles apparently laying to ruin centuries of stable monarchy, forgetting that it survived the antics of his Nazi-sympathetic great-uncle, who posed a much graver threat.

    In fact, both Francis and Charles are rather endearing eccentrics, with their own foibles, and I am sure most people have got to grips with them and take on board the best they have to offer (which is substantial), without having to take too seriously the times when they go off the rails politically.

    • Woman In White

      I’m getting quite perfectly sick and tired of the outrageous barrage of “liberal”-progressive opinion claiming that this Pope will turn Catholicism into Protestantism, and “conservative” opinion claiming that he’s some kind of antichrist.

      Both camps are simply instrumentalising the media circus that surrounded this Synod in order to promote the values of their own schismatically-inspired factionalism.

      Neither proposal is however at all realistic, nor at all Catholic as such.

      The orthodoxy of the Faith is not some kind of ideological monolith where each must agree with all about every single item of minutiae. Liberals and conservatives have so politicised their religious beliefs that they imagine the exact contrary.

      • Bruce Lewis

        OK, but the morality of a culture that continues to destroy the planet, to commodify life (and, yes, that DOES include abortion, but it also includes “for profit” wars)–those things DESERVE to be questioned by orthodoxy, and questioning those things is, in my opinion, more a part of this pope’s agenda than the “wedge issues” of communion for the divorced or pastoring gay couples. (Those things are, of course, important to some, but not so much to most whilst the planet, for instance may be dying or whilst Christianity is being extinguished in its homeland, etc.)

        • The Pope’s first duty is to shepherd soul’s to salvation by defending and promoting objective truth on faith and morals – not speculating about science, the planet or economics.

          • Bruce Lewis

            I believe that Jesus Christ had something to say about the “economic” practices of the Temple priests.

          • He did indeed …

      • PlushGrizzly

        It gives me no pleasure to respond to you, and I am almost certain that I am not going to find a lot of support here for my view. I wanted to leave this experience (the comments to this article) behind me as soon as possible, without looking back, but I did return.
        Followers of Jesus Christ calling themselves Catholics believe Him to be God, unchanging. It would take a very long article to tell you about my experiences in, after I left, and then when I returned to the Catholic Church. All the possible “arguments” progressivists and modernists within the Church use against the pharisaic, hardened traditionalists, I too used.
        But I did it after I left the Church with her teaching, because of her teaching.
        The Catholic Church is built on the Word of God and the holy Church Tradition. The Catholic Church promotes core dogmatic pronouncements, whose understanding may deepen as history unfolds, but can never change. To be a Catholic is to accept all Catholic dogma in full, no exceptions. To be a Catholic is to believe Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life.
        Jesus Christ taught humanity many things, which the current pope is rejecting.
        For example, marriage is a sacrament, it is something supernatural, it involves God’s will for the couple, which is – among other things – for them to stay together as long as they shall live.

        You are free to reject the Church teaching, you are free to mock and despise (as the pope does) Catholics who have enough integrity and intellectual honesty to stand by the teaching of Jesus and Church Tradition even as the world prefers to worship humanity and its so called progress.

        But to call yourself a Catholic, when you do it, is a shame. A Catholic, who like the pope, despises dogma, is intellectually and morally challenged, indeed.

        • maumauko

          Another frightened Christian… Well, how about reciting (or singing :”Credo in Unum Deum”) the Creed instead of this long angry treatise on nothingness “et unam sanctam Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam…” If you can still sing it would bring you deep mystical joy….

          • PlushGrizzly

            You think that you have made a valuable contribution as one unique voice among many equal voices? We are bigger than the sum of our parts? Unity in diversity, out of diversity unity? – No, I am convinced that you have said nothing of value.

        • Woman In White

          Your accusations are groundless, as you’re simply projecting some imaginings of your own onto me.

          I adhere to none of the more “daring” gibberish contained in your post and that you’ve arbitrarily claimed me as proposing, despite the complete absence of any such nonsense in my posts..

          • PlushGrizzly

            I am addressing what you said in one single post, the one above. In case I misunderstood it, please explain, and support with Church doctrine, what you meant by the statement: “The orthodoxy of the Faith is not some kind of ideological monolith
            where each must agree with all about every single item of minutiae”. You said it in a comment to an article about the synod, which points out the departure of many church fathers from Church doctrine. Please, if you could, expalin which parts of the Church doctrine are minutiae and which are non-negotiable.
            I ask for it while I am convinced beyond any doubt that a Catholic is a person who accepts the entire Church doctrine, no exceptions, or they cease to be a Catholic,

          • PlushGrizzly

            I am addressing what you said in one single post, the one above. In case I misunderstood it, please explain, and support with Church doctrine, what you meant by the statement: “The orthodoxy of the Faith is not some kind of ideological monolith where each must agree with all about every single item of minutiae”.
            You said it in a comment to an article about the synod, which points out the departure of many church fathers from Church doctrine. Please, if you could, explain which parts of the Church doctrine are minutiae and which are important enough to be considered non-negotiable. Would the insolubility of marriage be up for discussion?

            I ask for it while I am convinced beyond any doubt that a Catholic is a person who accepts the entire Church doctrine, no exceptions, or they cease to be a Catholic.

          • Woman In White

            Please, if you could, explain which parts of the Church doctrine are minutiae and which are important enough to be considered non-negotiable or not open to re-interpretation in face of new expert evidence

            It simply is not that black and white, as there are multiple degrees of Authority, not just infallible versus changeable at will.

            You should look at the examinations of a professional theologian (preferably NOT one who is ideologically biased) on the question of the various degrees of Church Authority instead of seeking advice from people on the internet.

            Language is a living thing, isn’t t?

            Yes, but so is the Living Word, and He does not change, and nor does the meaning of His teachings, just because language does.

            I’m sorry if I gave you any impression that I might think that the Revelation is anything other than indefectible — but to disagree with those who view Church teaching in its entirety, including the MANY teachings having much lesser degree of Authority than the Revelation, as being some sort of absolute monolith is NOT to agree with those who claim the diametric opposite, that doctrine should be defined solely by political consensus.

            I am convinced beyond any doubt that a Catholic is a person who accepts the entire Church doctrine, no exceptions, or they cease to be a Catholic.

            I agree, but not everything in the Church is of the Doctrine.

          • “You should look at the examinations of a professional theologian (preferably NOT one who is ideologically biased) on the question of the various degrees of Church Authority instead of seeking advice from people on the internet.”

            And that would be who, exactly? Kasper or Marx? Kung?

            There are many ‘professional’ theologians who are openly opposed to the Magisterium of the Church. They have no authority, none – the Church does.

          • Woman In White

            I suggest consulting theologians who are NOT ideologically biased, and then you ask me if I mean consulting three of the worst ideologues of our day ?

            LOL

          • Well, we’re agreed on your assessment of these men, anyway.

        • James M

          The criticisms you make, *especially if they are justified*, are precisely why we must pray for the Holy Father, and, for those we disagree with, or who in any measure reject the Faith or the Church’s discipline. Good Catholics can always apostatise – and *vice versa*. Catholics ought to support each other, not tear each other apart.

    • Jacobi

      Schism now seems likely, indeed it de facto already exists.
      It has nothing to do with blowing up or exaggerating. It is there.
      The question is, will it be accepted in which case we do indeed have a loose agglomeration of churches and sects, one of which will be the Catholic Church or will order and orthodoxy be restored.

      • Food_Stuff

        We’ve been in a de facto schism for decades. It’s just a question of when it’s out in the open for all to see. PF is trying to avoid this, because then he loses influence over some indeterminate % of Catholics, and prestige. He wants to drag the “conservatives ” along with him. He’s already lost the “trads.”

  • Mara319

    “At times he resembles a motorist driving at full speed without a map or a rear-view mirror. And when the car stalls, as it did at the October synod on the family, he does a Basil Fawlty and thrashes the bonnet with a stick.”
    How apt and how funny!

    • grennachio

      I just think that Damien is really Manuel chasing his pet rat.

  • Philip

    “….he [Pope Francis] refuses to say how far he is prepared to go.”

    The Holy Father is a mystic with a mission. He is prepared to go as far as it takes to untie the knots.
    Jorge Bergodlio was transformed by his experience in Germany. Nothing and no one will prevent him in this mission to reform the Church.

    • Mara319

      “Jorge Bergodlio was transformed by his experience in Germany.”

      Tell us about his experience in Germany and how it sets “his mission to reform the Church”.

    • Woman In White

      The Pope is a mystic, just as his three immediate predecessors, but that’s a scary word that not everybody understands — not that it can easily be defined.

      But it’s precisely because he’s a mystic that the various factionalists in the Church have so much difficulty with this Pope, because any ideological certitude produced by such error is hard to reconcile with that form of Spirituality.

      • Sanctimony

        Just how do you define a ‘mystic’ ?

        • Food_Stuff

          À mystic! Laughable! They should actually read the works of a few mystics and then make that claim.

          • Woman In White

            I DO realise that it’s hard to accept — if it helps, he’s not a significant mystic, just an “ordinary” one (no such thing) …

          • Food_Stuff

            It doesn’t, but thanks for trying.

          • Woman In White

            I could bore you with commentary about the two types of Jesuitism, but won’t 🙂

          • Food_Stuff

            Thanks again.

      • maumauko

        Someone, it is mostly women, who come with a great dose of common sense, very close to mystical understanding. If more people would read his profound homilies on the Daily readings at Santa Marta we would not have these thomson & co blabbing nonsense!

    • JTLiuzza

      Bergoglio is a garden variety leftist, a peronist, nothing more. He doesn’t have the intellectual firepower to “reform” anything. Destruction he can handle, though.

      The ultramonatism really has to stop.

      • maumauko

        Mr Liuzza: “Ultramontanism” !!? it seems that you are “ultra”=beyond… your spelling capacities… As for the “montanus”=mountain, you need a good breath of air to refresh your Latin and come down from the mountain of your ill-literate arrogance.

        • Desert Sun Art

          Hmmm, ultramontanism is a word. Look it up. It has to do with thinking that the pope has absolute authority in the Church.

      • James M

        Excessive monetarism ? Couldn’t agree more.

    • Ludovicus

      The pope’s mission is not to “reform” the Church, but to serve her. He is the servant of servants of God, not their master. And to be honest, I cannot find anything in the world which is less mystic than a Jesuit.

    • “The Holy Father is a mystic with a mission.”

      Ever watched the film “Being There” ?

  • robert

    Thompson just makes it up as he goes along and does not retract when he is wrong like earlier this week when he quoted Francis saying something about divorcees which the Pope did not say. It is this trashy spiv journo who is out of control. As for criticising the Belgian cleric, does he really want clergy to be coppers’ narks.

    • maumauko

      Agree completely. Thomson must have an agenda (ego-financial) to trash the pope. You build on the pope’s popularity to raise your readership and make money this way like the Temple’s merchants! 4th rate journalism! Shame on the Spectator to allow this kind of easy slander with no foundation to prove it!

    • carl jacobs

      As for criticising the Belgian cleric, does he really want clergy to be coppers’ narks.

      No. Not at all. Who would think such a thing? The clergy should cover up the matter, and shuttle the offending priest around to different parishes without telling anyone about the abusive behavior. That way the church can destroy its moral credibility, pay out billions in damages, and (oh by the way) leave a trail of broken lives in its wake.

      Yes! Yes, we want clergy to f__ing dime out criminal behavior. We want them to pick up the phone, call the police and say “Father Bob is sexually abusing this kid I know.” It’s called common decency, and common sense. This is not a hard concept.

  • robert

    We would be better if Thompson did leave. His scabrous defiance of authority would make him a good Anglican.

  • Ludovicus

    Francis, Francis… but who are you to judge those who have ‘closed hearts that hide behind the church’s teachings’?

    • Food_Stuff

      Seems to be the only group he judges.

      • Ludovicus

        It’s also interesting to note (e.g. from the comments to this article) that after all the “cure Francis”, the bigots anti-Catholics remain bigots anti-Catholics.

        • Sanctimony

          What on earth are you gibbering about ?

          • Ludovicus

            What on ea

            Shut up, troll

          • Sanctimony

            Troll…. a word thrown about when the intellectually arid run out of the skills of reasoning or cannot comprehend the reasoning of the blind faith to which they are expected to adhere….

            To arrive at the truth in all things, we ought always to be ready to believe that
            what seems to us white is black if the hierarchical church so defines it
            St Ignatius of Loyola (Founder of the Jesuits … need one say any more about them…?)

          • Woman In White

            Troll : a word that is accurately used to describe the actions of those whose only purpose on an internet forum is to engage in insulting behaviour towards other forum participants.

            It fits you precisely, Moany, as you have demonstrated copiously over I’ve lost count how many years of doing exactly that.

          • Sanctimony

            People in glass houses spring to mind…

          • Woman In White

            You are indeed such a person, in your ludicrous claims to some kind of lofty intellect of which everyone else in here is devoid.

          • Sanctimony

            That’s a simplistic answer, not a logical one….

          • Woman In White

            Aristotle: “Nature operates in the shortest way possible.”

            Aquinas : “If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments where one suffices”

            Occam’s Razor : “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity.”

          • Sanctimony

            Wow … some high-powered philosophers there… and I believed William of Occam believed in keeping things simple and concise…. not in any way skills that might be attributed to you…

          • Woman In White

            You would be incorrect — simplicity is appropriate for simple statements, but not for the expression of complex ones. Occam, and the others, advised keeping the elements of logic to the degree appropriate to the simplicity or complexity of an analytic.

            Anyway, you can’t both denounce my “simplistic answer” and then blame me for not having simplicity, except by displaying your own cognitive incoherence and failures of basic syllogism — yet again. And a deeply abiding irrationality.

            Your interventions in these web forums seem not to be too far removed from the reverse inferiority complex and/or the narcissist complex. I’d tend to suspect the latter rather than the former.

          • Sanctimony

            I imagine you to be the product of a seriously redbrick university where you graduated with a third in theology….

          • Woman In White

            See ? Intellectual snobbery of the worst imaginable sort, and you’re confirming your social snobbery too.

            I am very unlikely to provide you with any of my biographical details, and I will refrain from boasting about my CV.

          • Sanctimony

            I always thought you had an inferiority complex about your lack of intellect… hence all your hectoring and dogmatic pronouncements on anything relating to the Catholic church… and it is almost exclusively with you that I have engaged in any response or dialogue …. because, from reading the first of your pronouncements, I saw you as an arrogant, didactic and tunnel-visioned bigot who claimed to have the last word on any Catholic doctrine or orthodoxy….

          • Woman In White

            Missed this particular expression of your grotesque hatred, Moany.

            I actually feel sorry for you — when the only avenue available for personal affirmation is to denigrate others whilst contributing nothing of one’s own, no thought nor spirituality nor philosophy nor religion nor individuality, but only insults, hatred, and the self-aggrandisement of delusion and trolling, one is in the presence of somebody who is lost.

          • Sanctimony

            Stop trying to drag everyone else into your sinking canoe ….

          • James M

            St. Ignatius was using hyperbole to make a point about the value of the virtue of obedience, a virtue not exactly unchallenged in that age. Or in the present, which would be the better for rediscovering obedience to God and His Christ. St Ignatius could not have been patronising falsehood, because lying is a sin. This Saint is one of the greatest glories of the Church, and a Divine answer to the revolt against her God-given authority. St Ignatius Loyola is one proof, of many, of God’s Faithful Love for His Church. The glory of the Saints will be radiant as ever when the earth their critics walk on no longer exists; Our Holy Mother the Church takes the long view, so such insinuations have very little weight.

          • Woman In White

            No, it’s just straightforward classical Pro et Contra rhetoric, but don’t expect Moany to even consider imagining that his orange anorak’d loftiness could ever be instructed by anyone so lowly as a Saint.

          • Sanctimony

            Puuuurleeese… my poor ginger anorak has suffered enough… give it a break…. you can buy one at a discount from Killy Sport, in Val d’Isere, if you are quick…

          • Sanctimony

            I trust you took that scolding from the Camp Kommandant, Rosa Klebb, to heart Pussycat…

          • Sanctimony

            Or even a Gauleiter, like you, Frau Klebb …

          • Ludovicus

            Tro

            Be quiet, troll.

  • Jacobi

    Let’s wait and see if Francis did say what Scalfari says he did,

    All we can say at this stage is what an awful shambolic, confused, incompetent and un-Catholic mess.

    • Food_Stuff

      PF did say that one should make a mess. He’s the master.
      (Watch some troll demand that I prove he said that, with links and citations.)

      • Jacobi

        I’ll have to google troll, never been quite sure what that means, and besides it’s getting late!

        • Food_Stuff

          It’s just someone who looks for online comments to ridicule and irrationally argue about. Chaos in human form. Low-life, no-life types. Sometimes they have half-baked knowledge of a subject and pretend to be sincerely discussing something. Both types have made an appearance here.

          • Jacobi

            There is always an opposite. That is one who occasionally uses the internet to tell the simple Truth of the Resurrected Christ. They are called Catholics.
            Right time for breakfast. Porridge I think!

          • Sanctimony

            Try hogwash, instead ….

          • Jacobi

            Tried that a long time ago at Uni, but soon grew out of it.
            By the way, trust you have a decent ice axe with you in that picture. your balance looks wobbly, and can’t see any rope to catch you should you slide, which is highly likely!

          • Sanctimony

            I do indeed…. but grew out of climbing ice waterfalls a while back when I came to terms with my sense of mortality, which a load of dudes here have obviously not considered…..

            Theology is far too nebulous now for me to worry about…. were I a Buddhist, should I be aspiring to coming back as a flea or a magnificent tiger… or even Jean-Paul Sartre….

            A Muslim… should I get in touch with the selection committee in the ether about the quality of the 77 virgins I am to be allocated when I die for the cause… Definitely don’t want any mingers….

            I asked me mate, the Dali Lama what his bunch had to offer, but he told me that the best he could offer me was a squat in downtown Lhasa where i could join Prince Charles in verbal intercourse with rare Tibetan poppies….

            It’s all a bit confusing

          • Jacobi

            Yes I can see you are getting on a bit.
            Personally, I have always been a “scardie”, so my climbing career was limited to winter gullies, with plenty of pitons, or with a reliable leader, and alpine ridges, nothing really difficult, but exciting and sometimes in stunningly beautiful surrounds .
            As age encroaches, the “latest ” cancer cure is of less and less interest. A certain preoccupation with the dangers of the next world grows.
            But do remember that Christ offers Salvation. And note the word, offers! It is up to you to choose!
            Godspede!

          • Sanctimony

            Thanks, Jacobi…

          • Sanctimony

            I presume you mean ‘Scaredie’, not that you are a rap singer…

          • Jacobi

            Maybe I should have said “feardie”. I don’t speak my local dialect much these days. It’s the odd people I mix with now!

        • James M

          Trolls live under the bridges they offer to sell 🙂

          • Jacobi

            That does not surprise me. This afternoon we both had a visit back to the place of our early years, to a part of the city which contains gloomy bridges, and yes that is where I would expect them. Mark hou in spite of the bucketing rain, didn’t see any sheltering there!

          • James M

            I think they hail from Scandinavia, which might be why. Or Mordor, which some identify with the area round Moscow.

    • pobjoy

      Perhaps Catholicism has always been an awful, shambolic, confused and incompetent mess, but brute force and ignorance disguised the fact.

      • Jacobi

        Ignorance, yes. Do remember instant communication is a relatively recent thing.
        Brute force? well what’s wrong with a bit of that occasionally. You are going to see a lot of it in the near future so you had better get used to it
        But you are right Catholicism being concerned with Truth has always attacked by heresy, a synonym for confusion, that is why we need the Holy Ghost to keep us on the straight and narrow.

        • pobjoy

          Do remember instant communication is a relatively recent thing.

          So now that Catholics have mobile ‘phones, will the institution finally gel?

          Brute force? well what’s wrong with a bit of that occasionally.

          Life in a one-inmate high security cell? Presumably you’re posting from one of them.

          You are going to see a lot of it in the near future so you had better get used to it

          You’re planning a break-out?

          But you are right Catholicism being concerned with Truth

          That’s not something I would ever say, though obviously Catholic moral code allows you to say that it is. As it happens, it has always seemed to me that most Western Catholics don’t give a monkey’s cuss about truth. They are only interested in suppressing truth, that is, the gospel.

          we need the Holy Ghost to keep us on the straight and narrow

          See what I mean. That ‘Ghost’ idea seems like one of the Devil’s.

          You sure know how to hang yourself!

          Maybe a spot of hard labour, breaking stones, dry rations, for a few billion years, would make a grand introduction to eternity for the followers of the Vatican.

          • Jacobi

            You are becoming a bore.
            Most “Western Catholics” possibly don ‘t even think about the Truth, too interested in joining in the hedonism which is modern society, but then are they Catholics? Think about that over your porridge
            You’re not a Muslim are you? Heaven forbid!

          • pobjoy

            You are becoming a bore.

            Come on. A small ripple of applause, surely.

            but then are they Catholics?

            I do believe they are. The word ‘catholic’ in any applicable social sense must mean ‘of the world’, therefore ‘worldly’; and there’s only a shade of meaning between ‘worldly’ and ‘hedonist’.

            Most “Western Catholics” possibly don ‘t even think about the Truth

            I think their own consciousness of truth is what impels them to be Catholics; as it is with Mormons, JWs and yes, Western Muslims.

          • Desert Sun Art

            Catholic means universal, not of the world. Jesus said that while we are in the world we must not be of the world, ie. worldly.

          • pobjoy

            Catholic means universal, not of the world.

            Premeditated lie.

          • Desert Sun Art

            Excuse me? I’m sorry you are so frustrated. I hope you find the peace of Christ soon.

          • pobjoy

            😀

          • Sanctimony

            Not on this blog, he won’t…..

          • Ludovicus

            Premeditated ignorant.

          • Jacobi

            pobjoy,

            Sorry about my response, but with a paper such as the Spectator I expect a reasoned response and not the sort that would be more appropriate in the Guardian.

            All right then I will spell it out in simple terms for you!.

            Instant communication I take it you can comprehend.

            Brute force is part of Fallen Human Nature, and won’t go away. Fortunately we have the Resurrected Christ to help us choose otherwise

            And less digs at those in prison please. Don’t you know that in the Sermon on the Mount Christ called for us to visit and care for the imprisoned. It is one of the great works of mercy.

            As for trouble in the near future, as the Muslim push for dominance gets going, you will look back fondly to the days when you had only nice Catholics to deal with.

            Now that is it. Busy day in of the ghastly weather here.

            OUT!

          • pobjoy

            Instant communication I take it you can comprehend.

            Like when you get a confirmatory text from your bank. Yes. Catholics have had to wait for six whole days before getting ‘texted’ by their local priests! No wonder they have been off message for 1700 years! Thank God for Protestants and their modern science, eh!

            Brute force is part of Fallen Human Nature, and won’t go away.

            Not among the worldly, the carnal, no. But, ‘if anyone is in Christ, he
            is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ 2 Cor 5:17
            (NIV)

            But then Catholics attend Mass because they are not in Christ, so it was silly of me to look up that verse.

            And less digs at those in prison please.

            So does Jacobi say that thugs are respectable as long as they are Catholics? Well, we must suppose that Catholics have no option but to say so.

            Part of your own Fallen Human Nature to falsely accuse, anwyay!

            nice Catholics

            It’s Catholicism that justifies the killers of IS. After the Vatican is pulled down and turned into something legal and useful, it will make a lot more sense to give Islamists a stern look.

          • pobjoy

            Busy day in of the ghastly weather here.

            Catholicism has always been an awful, shambolic, confused and incompetent mess. 😉

          • James M

            Not unlike the Crucifixion, then. The Church always “carries about the dying of the Lord Jesus”, for as long as it is in this world. But whether it is a mess or not, is as nothing compared with what use God sees fit to make of it. The atrocious weakness of the CC may be a better testimony to the Grace and Power of Christ than an outwardly strong, disciplined, confusion-free, unshambolic Church. The greater the Church’s weakness, the more evident the power of God’s Grace in her. So all these accusations, true or false, against the CC, are powerless to harm her. All they do is testify to the Grace of God by which she is sustained.

          • pobjoy

            Not unlike the Crucifixion, then.

            The crucifixion of Jesus was a shambolic, confused and incompetent mess? They should have crucified Barabbas?

            So does that go for Catholic Masses? Masses are messes?

          • James M

            Only in French.

            As for Barabbas, I never said or implied a thing about him. A death that involves a savage flogging, being stripped of one’s clothes, nailed to a piece of wood that is then planted in the earth for the mockery of the crowd, and several hours for the death to occur, sounds pretty “shambolic [and] confused” to me. And “incompetent” sounds like a fair description of the accusers of Jesus.

          • pobjoy

            So the accusers were Catholics?

          • pobjoy

            Only in French.

            Then the French have a unique insight.

    • Sanctimony

      Really…. I’d call it a typical Catholic mess…

      • Jacobi

        I would not disagree with that.

      • Arvis

        What chaos Frank is really hoping for is an extra-terrestrial invasion so he can baptize all of them (his statement from May 14, 2014). In 2010, at the British Science Festival, one of Pope B’s astronomers commented, ‘Any entity, no matter how many tentacles it has-has a soul’. Synod 15 must have been a jolly good party.

  • Food_Stuff

    PF is the only Pope in history and current public figure who repeatedly didn’t say what he’s quoted or cited as saying and doesn’t deny that he said. Strange phenomenon. Smells fishy. Could it be that he said some of it?!
    Btw, anyone interested in acquiring a bridge?

  • Ringstone

    When I read Thompson and the comments on these threads, I can not express how glad I am to be a [mainly lapsed] Protestant. Probably not representative of the church at large, but what a bunch of judgemental, holier than thou, incense sniffers are here assembled.
    The bible was finalised some 300 years after the event having been altered and amended by who knows how many hands for who knows what purposes within a conservative and tribal society. Many of the venerable traditions of Catholicism have little, if any, basis in scripture; for example veneration of the Virgin is little more than Mother Goddess worship adopted in the Middle Ages. But one man who actually knew Jesus and his teaching first hand, the rock upon whom the church was built, is known to have written as follows:
    “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
    now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
    but the greatest of these is charity.”
    Many of the posters here could maybe do with joining the current Pope in showing a bit more charity to those who have fallen, as we all do, from the highest standards. There is a higher authority who may some day judge them, as He will us all; maybe we should just leave it to Him.
    “Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.” Proverbs 26:23.

    • Jadissock

      You are confusing St Peter “who actually knew Jesus” and St Paul (1 Corinthians 13:12).

      Not a very good start. And as for veneration of the Virgin Mary being an invention of the Middle Ages – you should perhaps check out Papyrus 470 (dated to the 3rd Century) in the John Rylands Library.

      • Arvis

        While he’s there, he can peruse the writings of Sts. Irenaeus, Ambrose, and Jerome.

      • pobjoy

        dated to the 3rd Century

        ‘Since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them.’ Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

        How can it make a grain of sense to rely on a novelty that is two centuries too late?

        • James M

          Because the New Testament contains the beginnings of Mariology ?

          • pobjoy

            If Luke’s gospel holds that beginning (and it takes gross mistranslation to get it), why is there no trace of it in the apostolic letters? Why nothing of it until the 3rd century?

            ‘They invent ways of doing evil.’

          • James M

            Actually I was thinking less about St Luke than St John and St Matthew. And what is the “gross mistranslation” in St Luke 1.42 ?

            As to the other issue: why should a subject mentioned in one set of NT writings, have to be mentioned in any others ? Thay

          • pobjoy

            What were you thinking more about in John and Matthew?

            why should a subject mentioned in one set of NT writings, have to be mentioned in any others ?

            It doesn’t have to be. But if a text open to two or more interpretations is the only source of a doctrine, it may not even justify a subject for mention. That is the principle of hermeneutics, which is egregiously missing from cultic theologies, so-called; and the Vatican’s is the earliest example of those. It is characterised by confirmation bias as exemplified in almost every Catholic post on the internet.

            That Christ is the Son of Man is mentioned in some books, and not in others. Some things are not mentioned at all. One of them is any mention of Jesus’ mother remaining a virgin. As Jadis wrote, the John Rylands Library provides the first implication of that, and it is dated to a very, very long time (250 CE) after Paul wrote ‘they invent ways of doing evil’ (c. 58 CE). So how quick-witted do false teachers need to be if they need 192 years to think up a heresy? Surely, those taught by demons need little more than 192 seconds, for that. So anyone who accepts as Christian later notions than the teachings of the NT, and uses them to attempt political control, probably deserves capital punishment, as deserves a clear and present sociopathic threat.

            Why was the NT canon not finalised within the NT ?

            If one includes Paul’s Letter to Romans in the NT (and surely, the Vatican can hardly avoid doing so), one must conclude that his strong words (and the similar warnings of John, Jude and Peter) finalised the NT. All of them wrote of dangerous people within the church as they wrote . So the third century AD ? Let’s at least try to be serious.

    • Louise

      Committed Catholics do not care a jot what heretics think of our beloved Church.

    • You seem to have never considered the possibility… that the rest of the world really is “holier than thou.” Welcome to the 50% who are below average.

    • Arvis

      Ringstone, so what you are saying is you’ve gone from a puffed-up Protestant Pastor to a (close to the edge) heretic Novus Ordo Pope.

    • johnhenry

      Protestants only choose to believe what appeals to their subjective so-called consciences. Catholics, on the other hand, believe what the Church teaches, even when they don’t like it.

      “Now, you may regard Roman Catholic teaching on

      [for example] homosexuality as wrong, amounting to a declaration that it’s okay to be left-handed but not to write with your left hand, but it is at least clear.”
      Damian Thompson on his Daily Telegraph blog, 25 September 2010.

      • pobjoy

        Protestants only choose to believe what appeals to their subjective so-called ‘consciences.

        People who ‘choose to believe what appeals to their subjective so-called consciences’ call themselve Protestants. That does not mean that there are none who believe the Bible in the only intelligent way to treat it, as a scripture with a single, clear message. It could be that these people are the sole cause of pseudo-Protestantism and Catholicism.

        Catholics, on the other hand, believe what the Church teaches, even when they don’t like it.

        It’s quite hard to get Western Catholics to admit belief in transubstantiation. Even priests have described it as a medieval superstition.

        • johnhenry

          “It’s quite hard to get Western Catholics to admit belief in transubstantiation. Even priests have described it as a medieval superstition.”

          Never mind your so-called “priests”. Many of Our Lord’s living disciples left Him when He spoke of offering them His flesh to eat and His blood to drink. John 6:66 (sign of The Beast or what, eh?)

          But to get to what (I think) is your main point: Yes it’s true that many Catholics disbelieve or ignore Church teachings on contraception, abortion, adultery, etc. So what? Many Catholics also live their lives in almost complete opposition to the very pith and core of Christian doctrine, which is to love thy neighbour. Does any of this mean that the Church is likely to change its doctrines on any of these things or that it should do so? I think not.

          • pobjoy

            Never mind your so-called “priests”.

            They are your priests, and maybe they will yet save your face.

            Many Catholics also live their lives in almost complete opposition to the very pith and core of Christian doctrine.

            As can hardly be denied! And yet you wrote:

            ‘Catholics, on the other hand, believe what the Church teaches, even when they don’t like it.’

            Trying to find them, in Western society, is a bit like trying to find hen’s teeth. When their own priests tell them that transubstantiation is a medieval superstition, that is unsurprising.

            But your libel is offensive. The fact of the matter is that there are today many who teach Catholic doctrines, who consciously pose as Protestants, who tell bare-faced lies that are greeted with utter hatred when challenged. But there are others who also claim to be Protestants who reject all such appalling people, as well as all Catholics, and they reject all who do not behave as the NT requires. So it is very irresponsible to write:

            ‘Protestants only choose to believe what appeals to their subjective so-called ‘consciences.’

            A lengthy prison sentence would teach you a necessary lesson.

            But of another matter.

            Many of Our Lord’s living disciples left Him when He spoke of offering them His flesh to eat and His blood to drink.

            So why did the twelve who remained not eat him?

          • johnhenry

            You’re too childish to spend anymore time on. Out to the playground with you now.

          • pobjoy

            Why did the twelve who remained not eat him? Who’s the child, or the backward adult?

          • James M

            Trying to find believing Catholics is not as difficult as it may seem, if one knows where to look. *Everything* is impossible to find, if we fail to look in the right place. There are *plenty* of them.

            I don’t understand that final question. (It *is* getting late…) Can you please clarify ? Thanks.

          • pobjoy

            Trying to find believing Catholics is not as difficult as it may seem, if one knows where to look.

            Bolivia? You may be the exception, James, but look at the responses of Catholics to my posts in this thread. They are plainly mendacious and even boorish, and sufficient to make any right-minded person regard the RCC with disdain.

            There were twelve disciples who remained with Jesus when he said that it was necessary to eat his body. So why did the twelve who remained not eat him?

          • Woman In White

            They are plainly mendacious

            A self-defeating lie.

          • Sanctimony

            Mendacious… your favourite word, isn’t it…. please define it for us, in connection with your multiplicity of pronouncements…. some divine endorsement, perhaps…. infallibility even….

          • James M

            His Body is eaten and His Blood is drunk, not in a “gross and carnal manner”, nor cannibalistically, but sacramentally. Unsurprisingly, this vital distinction tends to be overlooked. John 6 is a Eucharistic text – that Jesus impresses on His hearers the importance of eating His Body, does not make that occasion a Eucharist. It imay be more accurate to regard the occasion as prefiguring and looking to the Eucharist – bearing in mind that St John does not have a Last Supper narrative of the kind we find in the other three gospels. His gospel refers repeatedly to Baptism and the Eucharist, but his method of dealing with the material found in those gospels is different from theirs.

            There are plenty of believing Catholics in the UK – it has been my privilege to associate with some of them, which is how I know. A lot of what sounds like disbelief may very well be ill-expressed orthodoxy, of which there is plenty, if Facebook and YouTube are any guide. God is more patient with our unorthodoxies than we are.

            It doesn’t matter too much if the CC is regarded with “disdain” or not. The only regard that matters, is God’s. Though the Church’s mission is is in some ways easier to discharge if she does “make a good impression”. But she is to be faithful to Christ, Who is Faithful to her, no matter what. Catholics are, of course, commanded in Scripture to “be at peace at with all men, as far as possible”. But on certain issues such peace seems to be possible only at the cost of being false to Christ. No peace with our fellow-men is worth that. Thanks for the reply, BTW.

          • pobjoy

            His Body is eaten and His Blood is drunk, not in a “gross and carnal manner”, nor cannibalistically, but sacramentally.

            The twelve disciples could not have known that, then. The only two ways they could have understood Jesus then was either that they must eat him literally, or that ‘eating’ meant having faith, which is what Jesus had just said was their lack. Having faith meant doing as Jesus did, and that meant coming up against the fearsome Sanhedrin. In Jn 5, ‘the Jews tried all the harder to kill him.’ That’s why the rest walked away in Jn 6. Nobody walks away if asked to eat a bit of bread; but they do if they risk their lives. And of course Peter and John in due course did get the fierce, painful reaction of the Sanhedrin.

            Why do internet Catholics deny transubstantiation? Because they have now realised the above, due to the internet, and due to Protestants, who actually read and understand the Bible. Of course they get upset if they are reminded of the Tridentine canon that insists on transubstantiation, and will even deny its existence. Very understandable.

          • Woman In White

            The twelve disciples could not have known that, then

            That is can astonishingly idiotic statement.

            Is your rejection of Truth so great that you cannot imagine that even the 12 hand-picked by God Himself, in the direct living Presence of the Lord, could not know something simply because you have personally decided to reject it ???

        • James M

          Pope Paul VI wrote a very clear defence of the dogma of Transubstantiation in 1965

          http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium.html

          and Transubstantiation is included in his 1968 “Credo of the People of God”. It is not outmoded or superstitious, but true and therefore, liberating. The word *transubstantiatio* is mediaeval – it is first recording in 1140, in the writings of the future Pope Alexander III – but the truth expressed by the word is ancient. I think Christians should be less concerned by the superstitions of the Middle Ages, in which none of us lives, and a lot more concerned by the many superstitions of the time in which we do live: body-worship, the cult of celebrity, neo-pagan cults, an unfocussed vague religiosity, and the like. BTW, calling something a “mediaeval superstition” tells one almost nothing about it. Do such people not know that faith in Christ and in the Divine authority of Holy Scripture has also been branded “superstition” ?

          • pobjoy

            Pope Paul VI wrote a very clear defence of the dogma of Transubstantiation in 1965

            Not clear enough to stem the tide of unbelief in his following, half a century later. Catholics have not found this dogma liberating, they have found it an embarrassment. A few months ago, a dozen or so internet Catholics could not admit to belief in this dogma, and became abusive when the question was pressed.

            it is first recording in 1140

            How many Catholics lived and died without ever knowing that they ate Jesus’ body?

            Do such people not know that faith in Christ and in the Divine
            authority of Holy Scripture has also been branded “superstition” ?

            Of course they do, but they are aware that those who say such things are obvious liars, who often prefer papalism to Christianity, precisely because eating bread is far easier than real faith. They are also aware that Catholics no longer hang garlic on their doors to keep out demons. And very much else that is unthinkable today, but was once taken for granted.

          • James M

            Papal teaching cannot prevent heresy or disobedience, any more than the Teaching of Christ could prevent rejection of that teaching. The Pope made clear what the Church teaches – which is what he is meant to do. The disobedience of Catholics is on their own heads, whether they be many or few. People have to be willing to accept Papal and other Church teaching – and for that, an act of the will is needed. Merely to know the teaching does not ensure obedience to it. In speaking to Catholics, a Pope should be able to count on their obedience to the teaching he gives them, and on their love of Christ and His Church.

            It is very sad to hear that Catholics have denied transubstantiation, but in no way new, or surprising. Are you quite certain that what they denied was the Church’s dogma, and not a polemical distortion or simple misunderstanding of it? It is easy to misdescribe the dogma. Apologies for the typo BTW – “recording” should be “recorded”.

            Since the Church has taught since the Apostles that the Body of Christ is eaten in the Eucharist, one hopes that most Catholics will have known they were eating His Body. The Fathers were not slow to affirm that the Eucharistic Gifts become His Body.

          • pobjoy

            Papal teaching cannot prevent heresy or disobedience

            Not among non-Catholics. But those who disobey a pope cannot be Catholics. A Muslim says that one who disobeys the Qur’an is no Muslim, a Christian says that one who disobeys the Bible is no Christian, and so on. But Catholics somehow seem to think that they can be rebels and still Catholic. And they point at Christians and say that their lack of a leader leads them to varied opinions!

            Are you quite certain that what they denied was the Church’s dogma

            Tridentine canon, copied and pasted, referenced.

            Since the Church has taught since the Apostles that the Body of Christ is eaten

            That’s not the same as transubstantiation; all of the Reformers believed that, but with varied meanings.

          • James M

            “Disobedient Catholic” is not an oxymoron, because:
            1. Disobedience to a lawful superior, though regrettable, is sometimes justifiable, or even morally obligatory.

            2. One is made Catholic through Baptism, or through being received into the Church – not by how one behaves. Excommunicates are still, fundamentally, Catholics.

            The first Protestants were no longer in communion with the CC – so their Eucharistic theologies, though interesting in themselves, are beside the point when one talking of the Faith of the CC.

          • pobjoy

            Disobedience to a lawful superior, though regrettable, is sometimes justifiable, or even morally obligatory.

            For many centuries, Europeans were taught that disobedience to papal commands was equivalent to disobedience to divine authority and command. Is disobedience to divine authority and command, if regrettable, sometimes justifiable, or even morally obligatory?

            The first Protestants were no longer in communion with the CC

            But were Catholics in the 900 years before transubstantiation was declared in communion with the Vatican? Was the Vatican in communion with the Vatican in all that time? Because any interpretation of ‘This is my Body’ was perfectly permissible in the Vatican before transubstantiation was declared. Transubstantiation was declared in order to prevent such varied interpretations. Then, as now, the Vatican was very prepared to be ambiguous when conditions suited ambiguity.

            When one states that ‘the body of Christ is eaten’ it may mean that a person decides to tell someone a truth, rather than a lie, because Jesus died.

          • Woman In White

            A few months ago, a dozen or so internet Catholics could not admit to belief in this dogma, and became abusive when the question was pressed.

            Don’t you mean that people utterly rejected your warped and heretical Protestant parody of the true doctrine ?

          • lwhite

            Nothing written by Paul VI or any other pope since the Second Vatican Council is anything a faithful Catholic can depend upon to be orthordox, and thus, should be avoided like the plague.
            There are so many other writings on Transubstantiation by truly orthodox Catholics-Saints, Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Holy Popes, orthodox theologians-that Paul VI should be the last person a faithful Catholic looks to for true dogma, doctrine, and Catholic theology.

          • Woman In White

            Nothing written by Paul VI or any other pope since the Second Vatican Council is anything a faithful Catholic can depend upon to be orthordox

            That is an extremely blameworthy statement, and insofar as it seeks to justify rebellion against the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs, it is objectively schismatic and uncatholic.

          • lwhite

            Please read this:

            http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10pasce.htm

            Encyclical of Pope Pius X – “On the Doctrine of the Modernists” – September 8, 1907

            and then listen to this sermon:

            http://www.reginaprophetarum.org/#/

            “Do We Still Have the Faith of Our Fathers?” – November 01, 2015

            I want to have the Faith of Our Fathers.

          • Woman In White

            I’ve read that (BTW excellent) Encyclical more than once, and no sermon can justify the rebellions against the Roman Pontiff that you have recommended.

            Traditionalists sometimes confuse traditionalism, which is a political ideology, for Orthodoxy, which is not.

            Traditional Catholicism and Catholic traditionalism are not one and the same thing.

          • lwhite

            I suggest no such thing. No faithful Catholic can justify rebelling against the Truth of Christ. Refusing to accept a false teaching is not rebelling against the Roman Pontiff. Finding ambiguity and confusion as the norm from a Roman Pontiff is more than unusual and should concern all who wish to follow Christ.

          • Woman In White

            No faithful Catholic can justify rebelling against the Truth of Christ.

            Thank you for saying something we can agree with 100%

            I think you’re confused by the distinction, in a Christian Monarchical system, between the Sovereign and the individual person occupying the Throne.

            Fr Jorge Bergoglio is distinct from Pope Francis.

            The one has personal opinions and a personal life that are distinct from his awesome Duty as the Roman Pontiff, but this requires that as a man he must be viewed as Fr Jorge, so that the many flaws and qualities and virtues that he has do NOT belong to his Pontificate.

            Including if he should decide to give the Mass and a Homily as a simple Parish Priest in his personal Parish, as of course he can.

            It is unreasonable to expect in a Pontiff the perfection that exists only in the Saints in Heaven, so that a clear distinction must be made between the personality and action of any Pope.

            His pastoral guidance will either remain or it will go away — and it will either help or hinder the Church — but as Pope, we should consider him from what will remain, not from what won’t.

            As a man though, Fr Jorge does not deserve the sort of hatred that so many people love to direct against him.

          • lwhite

            I do not “expect in a Pontiff the perfection that exists only in the Saints in Heaven” but according to Sacred Scripture, the Doctors and Fathers of the Church, Sacred Tradition, and our past Holy Popes, we should expect in a Pontiff to teach and preach the Truth, contained within the Deposit of Faith and in Tradition, handed down through Christ to his Apostles and their successors.

            In other words, a pope ought to be Catholic!
            In the case of Francis, in his writings as the head of the Church, has only wrought confusion and introduced into the minds and hearts of Catholics a diabolic theology and misunderstanding of God, man, Jesus Christ, and the one, true Church.
            He surrounds himself and appoints to positions of power and influence those whose theology and philosophies have been condemned in the past and who are working as servants of the Prince of Darkness.
            His personal opinions are clearly not based on the teachings of the Catholic Church and they have influenced his so-called papacy, without question.

          • Sanctimony

            I’ve read that (BTW excellent) Encyclical more than once….

            Is there anything you haven’t read or know about…. you are, quite seriously, the most self-centered, blindly authoritative, patronising and arrogant person that I have come across….

            Is there a Mr Man In White who has to suffer you… if so he’s in line for an immediate sainthood when he carks it as a result of otalgia….

          • Woman In White

            Not everyone is like you and your personal library of fewer books than you have fingers.

          • Sanctimony

            At the last count I had just over 2300 books… I am also a published author and have not included my own scribblings (few) in that collection….

            Please put a little more thought into your replies and taunts to me…. and your personal library of fewer books than you have fingers…. is such a facile, puerile and toe-curling response….

          • Woman In White

            2300 books and 6300 internet comments, and not an ounce of wisdom from all of them ?

            You spend all of your time trolling, then act all surprised when you get contempt in return for the contempt that you provide.

            You have the worst manner of intellectual + social snobbery, and it is risible of you to discover your own deep flaws of hatred, arrogance, and self-centredness in others. The malignant nature of your activities of anti-Catholic religious hatred over I’ve lost count how many YEARS, Moany, is indicative of a personal character of worst pedigree.

          • Sanctimony

            Your obsession with my flaws, as you perceive them, are becoming beyond tedious and your comments are becoming increasingly personal and hysterical, not to mention puerile, facile and asinine…

          • Woman In White

            I can’t help it if you dislike your own medicine.

            Stop acting like a troll, and you’ll stop being treated like one.

          • James M

            Point taken, but that is unfair to Paul VI. Those others were not Popes in 1965 – he was.

      • James M

        And “believ[ing] what the Church teaches, even when [we] don’t like it”, is part of being obedient to the Church. Obedience is not optional. As Frank Sheed pointed out many years ago, obedience was a virtue of Christ (Hebrews 5.7). Without obedience to the Authority of Christ, salvation is impossible. The great difficulty of being obedient in heart and mind and deed to an authority exercised by sinful men is an indicator of how great and precious this virtue of obedience really is. Even perversions of it, like the Hitlerite obedience that was no excuse at the Nuremburg Trials, witness to the value it has in God’s eyes.

  • TX Ken

    So much, so much.

    First, if “pedophiles” includes those who abuse any underage person, child or adolescent, 2% is low. It’s more likely 3% to 4%.

    Perhaps that sounds like a quibble, but it’s indicative of the sound and fury that surrounds everything surrounding this papacy. Whatever a “conservative Catholic” might be, a real Catholic, has a God to worship, prayers to pray, a Lord to follow, a family to care for, neighbors to love, enemies to pray for, a parish to serve, a pastor and a bishop to honor. This obsession with the bishop of Rome seems to me a diversion from the duties in front of me. It’s much more fun to consider the sins of the Vatican than the sins I ought to confess.

    Not that some concern is not warranted. The appointment of Card. Danneels is a serious worry. There are manipulations in the synod process a reasonable person can question.

    But really, aren’t there limits to this Roman obsession?

    • Woman In White

      First, if “pedophiles” includes those who abuse any underage person, child or adolescent

      It doesn’t — the term refers to sexual abusers of the under-12s, so that 2% is grotesquely high.

      • Sanctimony

        Rubbish… and how on earth would you know?

        • Woman In White

          Because I read, learn, and remember, contrary to the constant anorak’d aping postures of your blinkered a priori trolling.

          It’s at least a hundred times a larger % than that of paedophiles in the general population, so that it’s grossly unrealistic in an obvious manner.

          It’s far more likely to be a estimate of the % of priests having committed at least one act of sexual abuse of a minor, which is most likely to involve teenagers, not under-12s, given that 90-95% of such crimes involve teens.

          • Sanctimony

            Your reasoning and logic are completely specious… and it almost sounds that you are saying it is not so serious to violate those aged 12-15… your sophistry is laughable…

          • Jadissock

            Oh dear – replied to this but it has gone into moderation as it used a couple of technical terms

          • Desert Sun Art

            Maybe I can repost it here, from my email:

            “No, Sancti. Play the ball – not the man. WIW is pointing out that there
            are different technical terms used for two deeply unpleasant crimes. The
            inconvenient fact is that the vast majority of abuse cases among
            Catholic clergy have been homosexual attacks on teenage boys. There is a
            game of “bait and switch” going on with the stats, to hide this
            unpalatable fact, as it would reflect badly on the gay subculture
            encouraged or tolerated in seminaries in the 60s and 70s. “gay
            marriage” apologists are of course in denial as well.”

            Well said!

          • johnhenry

            Was “fundament” one of them, Jadis?

          • Jadissock

            No, but twinkie was.

          • Sanctimony

            Do you mean the only descriptive word for a body part which is allowed by the moderators to describe people like you…

          • johnhenry

            You must be confusing me with Denis Leary, as others have done, alas.

            https://youtu.be/G_KDAicF0Yo
            Don’t know why people can’t spell his first name correctly. Just like the hicks around here who refer to Thompson as “Damien”.

          • Sanctimony

            Brilliant… I much enjoyed your tribute, even though I’m not a fan of American cars… but you’ve got me to a ‘T’…. well done… Which one were you… the skinny guy, or his short, fat sidekick ?

          • johnhenry

            I think I’ll plead the Fifth if you don’t mind.

          • James M

            No “deplorable words”, surely ?

          • Jadissock

            Desert Sun has wisely edited out a phrase relating to the type of material featuring very young men which is presented without the least shame in mainstream gay publications.

          • Sanctimony

            What a shame… your posts are usually salient, funny and worth reading ….

  • Tanyi Tanyi

    Francis is an incompetent Pope who is more of a politician than a man of God. Shame.

    • pobjoy

      Tanyi really, really wants it to be known that ‘popes’ were not political appointees from the first of them.

  • pobjoy

    If Simon ‘Peter’ was correctly described as ‘the Rock’, what description aptly suited the rest of Jesus’ disciples?

    • Sanctimony

      Perhaps we should start with Judas Iscariot… The Son of God certainly was not a good judge of character….

      • Woman In White

        Ah yes, the mark of a true “christian” is to denigrate the Christ.

        • James M

          “Pobble who has no toes” v. Moany = “amazing bouncing ferret[s] in a sack 🙂

          • Sanctimony

            A bit too obscure for me, Pussycat….

      • pobjoy

        If Jesus knew that his purpose was atonement, then Judas Iscariot was ideal. So how would he have described the others?

        • Sanctimony

          Sycophantic acolytes, perhaps….

          • pobjoy

            The Pharisees might have described them in that way. But what word or words would loyal Catholics say that Jesus would have used to describe his followers who were not ‘the Rock’?

  • Ludovicus

    This article was very much liked by many Italian opinionists and bloggers who don’t have access to mainstresm media, where this pope is constantly depicted as the good guy who is in a mortal fight against the bad guys within the Church (of course the latters are those who “uphold the doctrine”, nedlees to say that). No mainstream newspaper in Italy ever tries to criticize him: not even a single word. Contrary to the treatment they reserved to poor Benedict XVI (he, the real “good pope”) who was insulted by the Italian press virtually every day. But since more and more people also in Italy are starting to realize the disasters this pope is bringing about to the Church, critical voices are starting to raise loud, at least on the blogosphere (not in the mainstream media). This article is having in these very hours a huge success on italian blogs.

    • lwhite

      Benedict XVI was, and is, an enemy of Christ. Unlike Jorge, he was the sly fox in the hen house, the devil in disguise, who through his use of language, disguised his utter hatred of the truth of Catholicism and like the Serpent, the Prince of Darkness, cleverly portrayed himself as orthodox while spouting the lies of the Devil in carefully crafted language of the “synthesis of Modernism” to fool the uninformed, apathetic, unrepentant sinner into believing his lies.

      • Bruce Lewis

        You are being ironic, of course, parodying the lunatic above– who apparently doesn’t understand that Francis of Assisi’s prophecy was “fulfilled” by both the Babylonian Captivity of the Church and by the corrupt Renaissance papacy. Even if Francis were a betrayer of Christ, a ” wolf in sheep’s clothing,” it wouldn’t be much of a change. However, instead, he’s the restorer.

        • johnhenry

          “You are being ironic, of course, parodying the lunatic above…”

          I don’t think Ludovicus is a lunatic, but I wonder if you might be. You don’t express yourself very clearly. As for your friend “Iwhite” – he wasn’t attempting to be ironic; but if he was, neither of you has any inkling of what irony means.

    • Woman In White

      That’s actually not a bad film.

    • Woman In White

      That’s actually not a bad film.

    • Catholic_Dad_of_4

      This film is prophetic.

  • Catholic_Dad_of_4

    Funny thing. You think of Pope Francis, then that makes you think Francis of Assisi. Hmmm, did St. Francis say anything about the future??? Oh my, he DID…

    “The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

    Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

    There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

    Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

    Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. But the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head [Jesus Christ], these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish [physically] rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

    Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”

    (Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, [London: R. Washbourne, 1882], pp. 248-250; underlining and paragraph breaks added.)
    Consider that, when Pope Benedict resigned, Lightning struck the Vatican twice, then Francis was elected, he took the name FRANCIS which in my mind refers us to this prophecy, and THEN the media itself is calling him a destroyer… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f0c5ab0bc552fb5e7c9032dab906ddddda062b778f71c81069d0c29091a36cf.jpg
    The circumstantial evidence and innuendo is disturbing. Think about it.

    • lwhite

      An apostate can be a valid pope? Is that a teaching of Christ or of the Catholic Church? Is there anything in Sacred Scripture that tells us Christ gave the keys of the Kingdom to Peter and established His one, true Church on a knowledge that the successor of Peter could be Christ’s enemy?
      Is there any record in history that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that any truly Holy Pope, that any true Saint states an enemy of Christ-a heretic or an apostate-could possibly be the representative of Christ on earth-the Vicar of Christ? Of course not!

      • Catholic_Dad_of_4

        Actually Pope Honorius was a private Material Heretic, and was condemned as Such by the 6th Ecumenical Council, and he never ceased to be Pope.

        • lwhite

          He wasn’t an apostate. He did not publicly practice idolatry which all of the popes since the Second Vatican Council have. Did he publicly teach doctrines that were opposed to the Deposit of Faith? The popes since the Second Vatican Council have.
          Beyond that, various saints, canonists, and both Pope Pius IV in his Apostolic Constitution “Bullcum ex Aspotolatus Officio” of Feb. 15, 1559 and which was reinforced by Pope St. Pius V in his Papal Bull “Inter Multiplices” of Dec. 21, 1566, declare that if a Roman Pontiff, prior to his elevation has deviated from the Catholic faith or fallen into some heresy:
          “#6 (I) the promotion or elevation, even if shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;
          (II) It shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, or subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;
          (iii) It shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way;
          (iv) to any so promoted to be Bishops, or Archbishops, or Patriarchs, or Primates or elevated as Cardinals, or as Roman Pontiff, no authority shall have been granted, nor shall it be considered to have been so granted either in the spiritual or the temporal domain;
          (v) each and all of their words, deeds, actions and enactments; howsoever made, and anything howsoever made, and anything whatsoever to which these may give rise, shall be without force and shall grant no stability whatsoever nor any right to anyone;
          (vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power.
          An apostate cannot be a true pope of the Catholic Church by divine law. That is why as noted above, if one is an apostate prior to his elevation, he automatically (without any ruling by the Church) excommunicates himself from the Church.

          • Woman In White

            You’re so convinced of the absolute truth of your sedevacantist position that you don’t even care that your positions are completely incoherent with each other, with the Tradition of the Faith, and with the Law.

            Pope Honorius I was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, after his death, so that the very provisions of this Bull (not Exhortation) require his election to be viewed as null and void.

            But there we are, aren’t we ?

            You deliberately omit the opening words of the article in question, instead presenting a twisted paraphrase designed solely to support sedevacantism.

            6. Adding that if at any time it will be found that some bishop, even conducting himself as an archbishop or patriarch or already mentioned cardinal of the Roman Church, even, as shown, a legate, or even a Roman Pontiff, before his promotion or assumption as cardinal or as Roman Pontiff had deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy”

            Except that ordinary Catholics, neither lay, nor religious, nor clergy, do NOT have ANY Authority to declare any such thing, and the personal opinions of such people are utterly irrelevant for the establishment of any such heresy or deviation.

            It is in fact completely Modernist if any such people should consider their own personal judgements as being sufficient cause for disobedience against the Roman Pontiff in matters of Faith and Morals.

            And that is even without considering the fact that the Bull of Pope Pius IX Apostolicae Sedis Moderationi completely restructured the Law regarding Excommunication, including Excommunication for Heresy, as well as reserving certain penalties to the Diocesan Bishops, the Holy See, or the Roman Pontiff.

            It is very ironic that practically the only thing that prevented the SSPX clergy in its entirety being excommunicated automatically for schism or heresy are the very reforms that the Gallicanists, traditionalists, and sedevacantists have been fighting against for the past 600 years and more.

            Many sedevacantists would do well to heed the words of Pope Martin V : “To avoid scandals and many dangers and relieve timorous consciences by the tenor of these presents we mercifully grant to all Christ’s faithful that henceforth no one henceforth shall be bound to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration or reception of the sacraments or in any other religious or non-religious acts whatsoever, nor to avoid anyone nor to observe any ecclesiastical interdict, on pretext of any ecclesiastical sentence or censure globally promulgated whether by the law or by an individual; unless the sentence or censure in question has been specifically and expressly published or denounced by the judge on or against a definite person, college, university, church, community or place.” Ad Evitanda Scandala, 1418

          • lwhite

            I will not follow a valid pope or a false pope down the road to perdition.

          • Woman In White

            In other words, “non serviam” ?

            It’s Protestantism in a nutshell.

          • lwhite

            No. It isn’t. What is Protestantism is the reform of the institutional Church. These reforms transformed it into a mish-mash of modern theology/philosophy “isms”, which all attack, deny, and destroy the true faith. By their fruit ye shall know them and the fruit has been rotten to the core. If the Holy Ghost inspired the minds of the men who instituted this transformation, then He was either absent for over 1900 years, or is a liar. I do not believe either because then God is a liar and I know that is not possible.

          • lwhite

            No. It isn’t. What is Protestantism is the reform of the institutional Church. These reforms transformed it into a mish-mash of modern theology/philosophy “isms”, which all attack, deny, and destroy the true faith. By their fruit ye shall know them and the fruit has been rotten to the core. If the Holy Ghost inspired the minds of the men who instituted this transformation, then He was either absent for over 1900 years, or is a liar. I do not believe either because then God is a liar and I know that is not possible.

          • Woman In White

            What is Protestantism is the reform of the institutional Church

            That is what you seek.

          • lwhite

            No, I seek the return of the institutional Church to the Truth – as Christ commanded.

            The Novus Ordo is Protestant.
            Collegiality is Masonic/Protestant
            Religious Liberty is Masonic/Protestant
            Claiming the Catholic Church is merely a part of Christ’s Church is Protestant
            Forbidding the conversion of Jews, heretics, schismatics and atheist’s to the one, true faith is diabolical
            Prolific, public idolatry is diabolical

          • Woman In White

            I seek the return of

            I’d suggest you look up the definition of “reform”.

            The Novus Ordo is Protestant

            Your statement is blameworthily contrary to Trent, Vatican II, the Roman Pontiff, orthodoxy, and the Communion of the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

            Collegiality is Masonic/Protestant

            This is a very ignorant statement, Collegiality is of the Communion of the Apostles, and of the Church of the Christ.

            Protestantism rejects it, and the Masons seek to destroy it.

            Religious Liberty is Masonic/Protestant

            This statement is a heresy against the indefectible Dogma of Free Will.

            Religious liberty is of both our created and our fallen nature.

            The wrongful use of our religious liberty is central to our Original Sin, but it is utterly wrongful to portray ourselves as foreign to sin through Baptism.

            Our liberty to choose the Catholic Religion is the precondition of our hope for Salvation.

            Claiming the Catholic Church is merely a part of Christ’s Church is Protestant

            Yes indeed, but there is no Catholic doctrine claiming any such thing.

            Forbidding the conversion of Jews, heretics, schismatics and atheist’s to the one, true faith is diabolical

            Yes indeed, but you are very very strangely mistaken if you think that these ghastly evil ideas have ever been promoted by the Holy See.

            Prolific, public idolatry is diabolical

            I can see no evidence of any such thing, except among some obscenely heterodox clergy locally.

            I would be VERY dismayed and compassionate if I were to learn that you must contend with such evils locally.

            One or two VERY blameworthy actions of one Pope do not however amount to what you allege.

          • lwhite

            Might I suggest you look up the definition of “Catholic”?

          • Woman In White

            I am unlikely to discover that it was authored by lwhite.

          • Sanctimony

            Of course not… it’s patently obvious it was authored by the Woman in White…

            Incidentally, is your moniker and avatar a less than subtle hint that you consider yourself a privileged handmaiden of the BVM, rather than the Caesars in Rome… you are certainly far too voluble and opinionated to have been considered for membership of the Vestal Virgins….

          • lwhite

            I agree that I did not define the definition of what it is to be Catholic.
            Unlike you, however, I believe that definition cannot change as the wind blows in different directions.

          • lwhite

            Your posts reveal the success of the devil in his quest to destroy the true Catholic faith in the Church of Christ.

          • Sanctimony

            Yeah, you know everything….

          • Sanctimony

            You’d better get on the bus, then… there will be a bundle trying to flee from the road to perdition… would you like an introduction to any particular angel… there are a multitude up there in the firmament, getting pretty p…. off on their fluffy white clouds with only their harps for company…. I’m sure the WIW can fix up an appointment….

          • Sanctimony

            Oh my Gawd…. more hectoring and opinionated self-righteousness…. !

          • Woman In White

            Your own self-righteousness is totally lacking any opinion at all

      • Catholic_Dad_of_4

        I don’t deny the apparent Heresies. In fact, here’s a good one:

        From Evangeliuum Gaudium: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html
        “We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Rom 11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word.”
        This is just flat out heresy. Flat out.
        Denzinger 712, 714 Old Numbering, Sources of Catholic Dogma: http://patristica.net/denzinger/#n700
        ” It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began;”
        And again,
        714 “It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
        THis is apparently flat out contradictory heresy on multiple levels. BUT what to do with it??? That’s the question.

        • Woman In White

          This is just flat out heresy

          No, it isn’t — though I’d disagree with its fairly crude presentation of the nature of the Covenant.

          However, a Profession of Faith is not a Dogmatic teaching, but it is a text derived from Dogma, Doctrine, Discipline, and in that particular case for the affirmation of truths and the rejection of errors that those needing to make that Profession were at risk from. It is NOT a Dogmatic, and most certainly NOT “infallible”, declaration of that which every Catholic must believe on pain of “heresy”.

          Furthermore, whilst a Papal Bull could be used as a means to promulgate infallible Dogma, the language of the extracts that you provide does no such thing in regard to the doctrines that you arbitrarily declare Evangelii Gaudium to be “heretical” against.

          The text of a Bull of this sort is NOT then “infallible dogma”.

          Furthermore, the degree of Authority of a Papal Bull is not so great that it overcomes the Authority of a Roman Pontiff to teach in matters of Faith and Morals.

          (once more you argue from a position of sedevacantism, and so your protestations that you’re discussing the opinions of others in regard to that schismatic Error are looking weaker and weaker)

          712 has nothing at all to do with the contents of that extract of Evangelii Gaudium. “The matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament” is not of the matter of the Covenant itself.

          714 is more difficult to address, because the Latin text of the Bull is difficult to locate on the internet. I do not trust that translation. You are mostly, however, alleging falsehoods regarding the Degree of Authority of that text compared to the Dogma provided by the Deposit of Faith proper, and where the Bull contradicts the Deposit of Faith, it’s the Bull that’s in error, not the Faith. It is true that Salvation is found only in the Catholic Church, and it is true that good works alone are insufficient for Salvation. Neither of these truths however are Dogmatic statements concerning the Nature of the One Covenant between Man and God.

          More importantly, the conclusions that you, personally, have drawn from that text are wrong, because you have neglected to moderate those conclusions with regard to the Baptism of Desire and the possibility of Salvation of the unbaptised, according to the Sovereign Will of God, particularly if they may be in a state of invincible ignorance with regard to the teaching of the Roman Church.

          Just as importantly, a text whose subject is NOT the Covenant cannot be used to deny doctrines concerning that Covenant.

          The notion of separate covenants, old and new, is BTW condemned as heretical.

          • Catholic_Dad_of_4

            NO, it contradicts the Universal Ordinary Magisterium. Again, Pope Pius XII sets it forth even more plainly:

            Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis:

            “29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area – He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] – the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “*was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.*” [35]

            30. *On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death*, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. ”
            -Mystici Corpis Christi-
            The Old Covenant was revoked by Christ and abolished.
            An 712 is TOTALLY relevant, because Pope Francis says the Jews aren’t just like IDOL worshippers, called to convert in the same way! And yet, the Infallible teaching of the Church is that, Objectively, they cannot be saved without conversion, and WITH the Pagans, WITH the Idol Worshipers, they are called to conversion.
            I don’t hold much hope for Baptism of Desire for members of a religion whose sole purpose is to proclaim that Jesus Christ is a false Messiah. Talmudic Judaism is the religion of Antichrist.

          • Woman In White

            Mystici Corporis contradicts not a jot of Evangelii Gaudium, nor vice-versa.

            You confuse your personal interpretations as dictating to the content of that text of Pius XII.

            The transfer of the Covenant from the Jewish to the Christian Faith, and its fulfilment in Christ, are not a “revocation”. There is only one Covenant.

            Objectively, they cannot be saved without conversion

            Evangelii Gaudium does not claim the opposite — BTW, are you aware that the English-language translation of Evangelii Gaudium is so atrociously bad that its text is unusable as a reliable tool to examine this sort of question ?

          • lwhite

            If the English-language translation of “Evangelii Gaudium” is so bad, who translated it that way and why? If it is so bad, why don’t you educate us and write a proper English translation for us so that we can see for ourselves whether or not your claim that is does not contradict “Mystici Corporis” is true?

          • Woman In White

            If the English-language translation of “Evangelii Gaudium” is so bad, who translated it that way and why?

            I don’t know, except that I know for a fact that those responsible for such things don’t give a fig about outsourcing work to commercial translators.

            My own brother, who is one of the more obnoxious sort of ideological Church-hating atheists, has translated for the Vatican, and has boasted to me of inserting atheist “jokes” into his renderings.

            The antics in the English-language Press room during the recent Synod do not however provide any hope that English-language fidelity to contents provided by the Magisterium is likely to be forthcoming any time soon.

            I mean — HOW many **years** did it take for even a SEMI decent English translation of the Novus Ordo Missal to be available ? Oh sorry — **decades** ?

            The trouble isn’t in the technical abilities of individual translators, it’s that there’s a manifest desire among the English-speaking clerics with their fingers in the pie of being responsible for presenting the Catholic teaching to the World to do so in a deliberately warped, biased, and faithless manner.

            If I had to guess, I’d say that there’s a destructive homosexualist and masonic and demonic influence at work in the activities of those people.

          • lwhite

            So you are saying that no document from the pope, a synod, council, interview, meeting, homily-anything coming from the Vatican-can be trusted as accurately translated?
            If the English-speaking clerics deliberately present warped, biased, and faithless translations of Catholic teaching and there is a destructive homosexualist and masonic and demonic influence at work in the activities of these people, why are you so quick to defend them? Do you honestly believe the pope has absolutely no knowledge of this?
            Whether or not a “decent” English translation of the Novus Ordo Missal took decades ought not to concern you or anyone who accepts the transformations of the institutional Church since Vatican II. It can’t be translated into a Catholic Mass no matter how many decades one tries to do so.

          • Woman In White

            So you are saying that no document from the pope, a synod, council, interview, meeting, homily-anything coming from the Vatican-can be trusted as accurately translated?

            No — if that’s what I thought, then I’d say that a state of emergency existed, and I’d ignore the Law, and provide my own translations and etc.

            I’m saying that a certain degree of serious caution is needed, and that working knowledge of Latin, Italian, and/or French — the three official languages of the Church — is desirable among English-speakers.

            But to answer some detail questions, yes, serious translation errors can be discovered in English-language versions of Vatican II Council documents, Papal homilies, Encyclicals, Exhortations, interviews, and so on right down to the detail of pastoral documents provided by the secretariats of the individual Dicasteries. The major exception to this form of “language event” corruption appears to be the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, even though some of Cardinal Muller’s early unguarded personal public comments when he was new at the job were mis-translated in the same way.

            I don’t think you fully realise the implications of what I’m suggesting — Church teaching is NOWHERE near as decrepit as these ghastly English renderings might make it appear to be. You are being deliberately lied to by English-speaking clergy in the See of Rome.

            Do you honestly believe the pope has absolutely no knowledge of this?

            Generally yes, though your use of “absolutely” in the question is unwarranted. It’s not the Pope’s job to personally ensure accuracy in every detail of translations. What we can be sure of from the linguistic point of view from the Pope is that the Italian and Spanish will accurately represent his thinking.

            It can’t be translated into a Catholic Mass

            That statement is a blasphemy, and it contradicts the teachings of Trent concerning the Roman Rite.

            If the English-speaking clerics deliberately present warped, biased, and faithless translations of Catholic teaching and there is a destructive homosexualist and masonic and demonic influence at work in the activities of these people, why are you so quick to defend them?

            I cannot recall ever having done so.

          • Sanctimony

            What on earth are “Dicasteries” ?

          • Woman In White

            And then you accuse **others** of ignorance, stupidity, and ill education …

          • Sanctimony

            I have no idea… please enlighten me …

          • lwhite

            So, you are simply saying that those who do not understand Latin, Italian or French and depend upon receiving accurate information about what the pope, a Synod, or Council has de, might as well close their eyes and go to sleep until the Second Coming of Christ?

  • whatever name

    Francis is a right clown, his heresy is as obvious as a tart’s make up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_BbhvZrkl4

  • Brilliant article!

  • lwhite

    Let us make one thing clear now and forever. There are no “conservative” Catholics. There are Catholics and non-Catholics. Period. If one does not believe all of the true teachings of the Catholic faith, handed down by Jesus Christ to his Apostles and their valid successor’s, you are not Catholic.

    • johnhenry

      Are you a grocer?

  • Bella

    Francis wants a “less rule-bound” Church. So do most priests and Catholic women.
    “Anger at the “systemic oppression of women within the Catholic church” has prompted a group of 12 Irish priests to issue a statement of protest calling for a free and open discussion of the exclusion of women from decision-making and the priesthood in the church.”

    http://ncronline.org/news/global/irish-priests-statement-calls-free-open-discussion-churchs-exclusion-women

    • Woman In White

      systemic oppression of women within the Catholic church

      This is a ludicrous fantasy.

      • Sanctimony

        The fundamental oracle says so …. ergo, it must be true…

      • Sanctimony

        Your whole existence is a ludicrous fantasy !

    • lwhite

      So start your own church. If you simply refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, and His rules (made because He created you and knows what is good for you) are too difficult for you, why make yourself so uncomfortable in His Church?

  • Denzinger Bergoglio-EN

    Queries and doubts occasioned by Francis’ words…: http://en.denzingerbergoglio.com/queries-and-doubts/

  • Philip

    Who said in 2013, “Staunch traditionalists will be in his debt”?

    Who asked optimistically, “What if Francis succeeds in decontaminating the Catholic brand?”

    Who? Damian Thompson.

    This article has a different tone from a previous one where the author commends Pope Francis for his reform.

    “It is one thing for the Church to face hostility because it challenges fashionable and comfortable ways of life; quite another for it to become synonymous with evil.
    If Pope Francis can create an atmosphere where Catholics are judged by their actions today rather than by the abhorrent crimes of a minority of their clergy, then even the most staunch traditionalist will be in his debt.”

  • I reach for my Browning

    Pope Francis is clearly the Holy Spirit’s choice. We can only hope that his heath holds out long enough for him to achieve his aims.

    • Louise

      The Holy Spirit does not choose Popes.

      • pobjoy

        That leaves only Satan as the chooser.

        • johnhenry

          Losers can’t be choosers, joystick.

          • pobjoy

            Humans do either as the Holy Spirit guides, or as Satan guides. There is no alternative.

          • johnhenry

            You’re obviously unacquainted with that thing which makes us human. It’s called free will.

          • pobjoy

            Agreed, humans have free will, and they choose to follow the Holy Spirit or Satan.

          • johnhenry

            …er, you forgot neither, which is camp most people fall into.

          • pobjoy

            There is no ‘neither’. If a person refuses to do as the Holy Spirit desires, that is rebellion, it is sin, it is obedience to Satan, who does not care what people do as long as it is not what the Holy Spirit wants. It may be very ‘virtuous’, apparently pious and commendable, but it is still of Satan.

          • johnhenry

            “If a person refuses to do as the Holy Spirit desires, that is rebellion, it is sin…

            Not necessarily. Are you unacquainted with the doctrine known as “invincible ignorance”?

          • pobjoy

            False attribution of statements is liable to criminal prosection.

            Public Warning

          • Woman In White

            Posts by pobjoy are liable to public ridicule.

          • Sanctimony

            Not as much as your own loquacious, garrulous, verbose, wordy, prolix and pseudo-intellectual and doctrinal rantings and ravings…. too many of your ilk and the pews in Catholic Churches throughout the globe will soon be empty…..

          • Woman In White

            Cripes, and then you complain about *my* writing style …

          • Sanctimony

            And you have absolutely no sense of irony…. your foam-flecked, dogmatic ravings would be laughed out of court in any other internet forum less dedicated to all the ludicrous postures taken up by some many tunnel-visioned Catholic apologists…

          • Woman In White

            I have a sense of adapting language to purpose, whereas it is clear that you have a notion that continual expressions of the same clichés of visceral hatred are something other than contemptibly despicable.

          • Sanctimony

            Whenever you open your opinionated trap, I have to use a demister spray to clear my computer monitor…

          • Woman In White

            Absence of opinion is not a virtue, but your hate-filled spitefulness is a positive vice.

        • Louise

          No. It leaves a bunch of cardinals.

          • pobjoy

            … who must be the ministers of Satan, who ‘presents himself as an angel of light’.

            See if you can find any instance of Catholic teaching where ‘popes’ are said to be chosen by people who do not possess the Holy Spirit. If that cannot be found, Catholics who reject Bergoglio as their leader may have a very hard choice to make.

            Or it may be a very easy one.

          • Louise

            No. It is possible for human beings to make errors. The error here is that Francis is a terrible Pope. They chose poorly, IMO. That’s it. How many anti-popes have we had? More than 40 I think. How many bad popes? A few at least. Nobody is suggesting that the Holy Spirit was not living in those people of the conclaves, only that He does not guarantee the outcome of the election.

          • pobjoy

            Nobody is suggesting that the Holy Spirit was not living in those people of the conclaves

            Surely, your statement that ‘The Holy Spirit does not choose Popes’ is more than suggestion of that. It means that no pope has ever been appointed by the Holy Spirit, including Peter. Now if it is admitted that Peter was exceptionally appointed by the Holy Spirit, it has to be asked why he was the last of them to be appointed by the Holy Spirit. And if not one of them, including Peter, was appointed by the Holy Spirit, was Jesus manifestation of Satan, and is the RCC his demonic agency?

            If the Holy Spirit motivated the electors, and that now seems to have been admitted, then the result of the election must be the work of the Holy Spirit. And if any Catholic thinks his or her leader is ‘terrible’, he or she must be in opposition to the Holy Spirit; and sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.

          • Woman In White

            was Jesus manifestation of Satan, and is the RCC his demonic agency?

            Protestantism = Blasphemy and Evil

          • Sanctimony

            I’ll pass your opinions on to Justin Welby when I see him next in the Dog and Duck in Canterbury….

          • Louise

            Peter was appointed by Christ

          • pobjoy

            Does that mean that Peter was appointed by the Holy Spirit?

          • Louise

            Yes. That does not mean that all the rest were. Did the Holy Spirit appoint Alexander VI? Or the anti-popes etc?

          • pobjoy

            That does not mean that all the rest were.

            Does it mean that any of the rest were?

          • Louise

            Why would they be? There were, as far as I know, all elected by bishops/cardinals.

          • pobjoy

            Why would they be?

            So that it is clear that the following is of Christ, is Christian. If that is unclear, there is no duty to follow it, or even safety in following it. Peter may have been the last pope. Assuming that he was one.

          • Louise

            Your theology is sorely lacking.

          • pobjoy

            🙂 You wish. You spent all day thinking up that? Oh, dear.

            I take it that demonstrating that Simon Barjona was indeed the
            first pope is well beyond you, as you seem unable to provide a reason for Jesus appointing him as such, or to get your priest to provide an explanation.

            We seem anyway to be agreed that it is clear that the Vatican’s following is not of Christ, is not Christian, because one cannot expect a credible deity to obey a Vicar who cannot prove title. So it is not as though the RCC may be fraudulent. It must be fraudulent, because to claim apostolic succession when one cannot prove it is dishonesty, and the dishonest cannot represent an honest agent like Christ. We may not know who the church is, but we do know that it is not the RCC.

            Louise, had you made the statement that ‘The Holy Spirit does not choose Popes’ in a convent of fifty years ago, the question of your continued Catholic education would have put before your parents in a manner that would have forced you to apologise very fully, or to be taken away with all despatch. You have been indulged here, as a silly child; an embarrassing one, to more mature Catholics. Largely, because you are the only apologist left on offer here! At least you have not made abusive comments, altered quotes, or commended violent acts, as almost all others have.

          • Woman In White

            We seem anyway to be agreed that it is clear that the Vatican’s following is not of Christ, is not Christian, because one cannot expect a credible deity to obey a Vicar who cannot prove title. So it is not as though the RCC may be fraudulent. It must be fraudulent, because to claim apostolic succession when one cannot prove it is dishonesty, and the dishonest cannot represent an honest agent like Christ. We may not know who the church is, but we do know that it is not the RCC.

            I’m almost at a loss for words — you’ve written an entire paragraph of sequential illogic, category error, and unsupported allegation, and yet seem to think that it demonstrates … something.

            Describing all that’s wrong in there simply on the formal basis would be a good subject for an essay or dissertation, and that would be without even mentioning the theological howlers.

            because to claim apostolic succession when one cannot prove it is dishonesty

            You have not proven, and cannot prove, your own position, so aren’t you dishonest yourself by the same standards, or does your own “logic” somehow not apply to yourself but only to those whose positions you’ve decided to attack ?

          • Louise

            I have no problem in showing that St Peter was the first Pope (Mt. 16:18-19), but your theology is certainly lacking. There is a thing called Free Will. What this means in a conclave is that cardinals can vote for whomever they each wish. The outcome will be the result of many men exercising free will. The Pope who is elected by these men is the Vicar of Christ and Christ is the Head of the Church. This does not mean that the man elected will be the perfect leader, or even a very good leader, but he will be the leader all the same.

            “We seem anyway to be agreed that it is clear that the Vatican’s following is not of Christ, is not Christian, because one cannot expect a credible deity to obey a Vicar who cannot prove title. ”

            We are agreed on no such thing and why would God obey his own Vicar?

          • pobjoy

            I have no problem in showing that St Peter was the first Pope (Mt. 16:18-19)

            The word ‘pope’ does not occur in that passage (nor in any other in the Bible). Neither is there mentioned, or implied, the word ‘first’. So you have two problems to solve. With an apology to make if you cannot solve them, of course.

            And of course you have provided not one word of explanation of why Jesus chose Simon Barjona. So let’s see some evidence of theological expertise to justify your accusation.

            There is a thing called Free Will.

            Who did the ‘thing’ play for? Why is he permanently out of contract?

            When people capitalise improperly, they are trying to make a point that is not there to be made.

            As explained, there is a thing called free will. It can be used as properly directed, i.e. by the Holy Spirit; or not, i,e. by the carnal mind/Satan.

            What this means in a conclave is that cardinals can vote for whomever they each wish.

            But who are cardinals? What do they have to do with Christ? Surely, if Christ has a Vicar, only that Vicar is qualified to appoint a successor. The very fact that there are ‘cardinal’ bishops (a category of hierarchs not found in the Bible, Old Testament or New) declares that the whole idea of papacy is nonsensical.

            But even if we accept this laughable nonsense, of mere men deciding which of them is to be God, there can be no great deliberation, because the Holy Spirit cannot be in two minds. There will be a) rapid unanimity, and b) no doubt that the ‘winner’ is truly vox Dei.

            ‘He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, ⌊growing⌋ into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Ephesians 4:11-13 (HCSB)

            So what its this? The blind leading the blind? If successors to the apostles have not reached unity in the faith, how can they build up the body of Christ? And how in hell̵