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6 Reasons Why Lutheran Intercommunion Isn’t Possible

The joint proposal to work towards shared Eucharistic communion, signed yesterday in Lund, Sweden, by Pope Francis and the President of the Lutheran World Federation (whose member churches, by the way, generally support abortion and same-sex “marriage”), is extremely troubling. For the following facts must be remembered:

1) Lutherans do not believe in the Sacrifice of the Mass (which Luther himself constantly and virulently execrated as a diabolical abomination). This disbelief is condemned infallibly with anathema by  the Council of Trent (DS 1751-1759 = Dz 948-956) – a judgment solemnly confirmed by Pope Paul VI in his 1968 Credo of the People of God (“Solemn Profession of Faith”).

2) Nor do Lutherans believe in the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This denial is also solemnly anathematized by Trent (DS 1652 = Dz 884). Again, Paul VI solemnly confirms this point of our Faith in his 1965 Encyclical Mysterium Fidei and in the 1968 ‘Credo’.

3) They believe the Body and Blood of Christ become present in what remains bread and wine, but that this type of presence in any case ceases as soon as the distribution of Communion is over. Condemned with anathema by Trent (DS 1654 = Dz 886), and also again by Paul VI in MF and  the 1968 ‘Credo’.

4) Following logically from the above, Lutherans reject the reservation of the remaining Hosts in the tabernacle after Mass. Condemned with anathema by Trent (DS 1657 = Dz 889), and also again by Paul VI in MF and  the 1968 ‘Credo’.

5) With equal consistency, Lutherans reject Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass and Eucharistic processions. Condemned with anathema by Trent (DS 1656 = Dz 888), and also again by Paul VI in the aforesaid documents.

With at least five anathemas against Lutheran heresies regarding the Eucharist, there is no condemnation by the Council of Trent of the idea ofintercommunion with these separated brethren. But that’s simply because the idea would have been considered so utterly outlandish and totally unthinkable at that time that in fact, well, . . . nobody on either side did even think of it, as far as we know – much less propose it.

Nevertheless, intercommunion with Lutherans (and other Protestants) is indeed strictly prohibited by the present Code of Canon Law. In a ruling which is clearly linked inseparably to divine law about the importance of receiving the Body of Christ worthily (cf. I Cor. 11: 27-30), canon 844 #4 rules that not even in danger of death may any non-Catholic Christian be given Holy Communion unless he/she “demonstrates the Catholic faith in respect of [this Sacrament]”.

Pope Francis’ words and actions yesterday in Sweden therefore raise extremely grave questions. To me they are beyond comprehension. How can they escape the charge of constituting a betrayal of our faith in the central mystery of Catholic worship?

89 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why Lutheran Intercommunion Isn’t Possible”

  1. The words of Our Lady are coming true as we who are awake watch in horror. It will become much, much worse before it becomes better. Prophesy is being fulfilled. Look up, for our redemption draws nigh.

    • Agreed Susan, May we all fight the good fight and stay true to the faith until our end. I’m sure that my fear is no different to anyone else’s here, e.g. having two small children that are growing day by day and hoping that they take up the mantle of the faith and do not sell out to the world.

  2. Common faith and beliefs don’t account for much anymore. Remember, we Christians of multiple denominations are united by Pope Francis’ “ecumenism of blood”.

  3. Oh, Francis doesn’t care about what can or cannot be done, Father. He’s the Pope, so, in his mind, he can do whatever the hell he wants. Like, for example, create the following “beatitudes for modern Christians” (since the ones Christ gave us apparently aren’t good enough):

    —Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart. [You mean, like us who are trying to endure your pontificate, Your Holiness?]

    —Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.

    —Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.

    —Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home. [Laudato Si is now a beatitude! Isn’t that lovely?]

    —Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others. [Francis the Humble apparently is exempt from this. He can live in a posh hotel, but the rest of us, well . . . turn off your damn air conditioning!]

    And, here it comes . . .

    —Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians. [You see what Francis did there? If you are against intercommunion, then you are defying Francis the Humble’s revised, updated new beatitudes, you Pharisaical hater, you!]

    I’m beginning to think his next step will be to rewrite Luke 1:37 (“Because no word shall be impossible with God”) to read, “Because no word shall be impossible with Francis.”

    (Francis’s beatitudes from

    • … enduring evils inflicted on them by others … [You mean, like us who are trying to endure your pontificate, Your Holiness?]
      Or like the evils caused by the muslims immigrants [where are the Christians?], whose [this-does-not-make-any-sense-] immigration into [formerly] Christian Europe you support?

    • “Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.”

      Ahhhhh, Jorge the MASTER OF CONTRADICTION! Didn’t he say this a few weeks ago:

      “It is not right to convince someone of your faith.” – Francis

      Here’s the FULL CLOWN VERSION:

      “The last thing [THE LAST THING?] we should do is say: You should live as a Christian—chosen, forgiven and growing in virtue. It is not right to convince someone of your faith. Proselytism is the great poison against the path of ecumenism… ‘Why does this man or this woman live this way?’ And this [silent Christian witness] will prepare the ground so that the Holy Spirit, who is the one who works in the heart, will do what He must do. But He must speak, not you!” – Francis.

      (Francis spoke to the Lutheran pilgrims from Germany at the Vatican on October 13, 2016)

    • Father, are you able to explain number 3. Number 2 says they don’t believe in transubstantiation, so number 3 means what? (Edit: Thanks Father. No need to answer. I get it. Took a while. Due to have a baby in the next few weeks you see. That’s pregnancy brain for you. God bless!)

  4. Francis has swept out all the conservatives from the CDW. A new “mass” is just around the corner that will accomodate Lutherans. I for one will be happy to see the end of the Novus Ordo. The new rite will be even more heretical than the NO.

  5. Father, why do you use the word “troubling” in describing an apostasy?

    After reading your opening statements, I could not read on, so perhaps you were clearer about this apostasy or is it a heresy? This man, Francis, is going to cause the Church to fragment into bits and pieces like a cheap glass that hits the floor, if no prelate sees this for it is and calls out the pope.

    Is there not two or three cardinals on the face of this desolate earth who can do that?

    No one stayed awake with Jesus that night. And the same thing is happening again, but this time, it is His Church that is about to be crucified.

    • You know what CS, I’m actually glad that these sorts of Vatican stunts are going on because the modernist rot surfaces more and more each time. Say we didn’t have “mercy mania” or “Laudato si” or “Amoris Lust-itia” and now “Lundumanism”, then the neo-conservatives would say that everything’s is good as gold and the Trads would be struggling to make convincing arguments against the Modernist revolution. If Bp Fellay is correct (and I have no reason to doubt him) then there are many bishops and cardinals (Fellay says around 30) who approached him and who are deeply troubled by what’s going on. They seem afraid and feel powerless. Sure, as individuals their influence is limited but as a collective they could really whip up a storm against these forces of evil. For now however, they’re huddling together in the “upper room” hiding in fear of the Modernists.

  6. I’ve an idea. Let’s judge the Pope’s praxis, preaching, and proposals by the standard advanced by the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    He is to be the principle of unity, of stability, and of increase. He is the principle of unity, since what is not joined to that foundation is no part of the Church; of stability, since it is the firmness of this foundation in virtue of which the Church remains unshaken by the storms which buffet her; of increase, since, if she grows, it is because new stones are laid on this foundation.

  7. For all those familiar with the tactic of the enemy, this follows script. Break the real union and replace it with a faux union. Cause the reformation but instead of undoing it, create a false semblace of what was broken in its place. Since the relationship between husband and wife ought to be like that between Christ and his Church, why should all this be suprising from a Pope who holds that “great majority of sacramental marriages are null”, but some cohabitations are real marriages?

  8. The Lutheran faithful is not a Church because it does not have Apostolic Secession, Holy Orders, Eucharist, Holocaust (Holy Sacrifice of Mass) and so please stop identifying it as a Church for such use tends to confuse (at best) and corrupt (most likely) the intellects of the faithful.

    We do not identify seahorses as being part of the horse family/Equus Genus and so, please, stop labelling the Lutheran faithful a Church.

    Seahorses are a genus of fish belonging to the fish family, Syngnathidae, while Lutherans are a genus of christians born into a false religion which also includes other heretics who were also born into false religions.

    We have been seduced by Ecumenism (The Universal Solvent of Tradition) to think only of what unites us while forgetting to remember the crucial things that divide us.

    If we were to extend this praxis to other areas of life, we’d soon see of how little value such a praxis is.

    Fact; A man’s lung is comprised of the virtually the same amount of water as is a pear.

    Ecumenism among the species:

    My, God!!! My lung has the same amount of water as a Pear!!!! Do you know what that means? In Creation there is virtually no difference between a lung and a pear. O,O, and get this !! I have two lungs. A Pair of lungs. A Pair. O, my God…Can’t you see? A Pear is a pair is a Pear!!!

    That means that Jesus could have been born a pear and still have redeemed us and it would have even made more sense for He saved us by dying on a tree and where do pears grow? That’s right. And we haven’t even gotten to the tree in Paradise….

  9. The bottom line up front: The Council of Trent took care of all of this centuries ago. Additionally, it is NOT Catholics who need to cross the bridge to our “separated brethren” (as VII documents call them). Rather, it is they who must renounce their heretical beliefs and the apostasy that Protestantism keeps alive.

    That Francis is even in Sweden for this “commemoration” is SCANDALOUS in and of itself. Rather, Francis should have went ONLY to admonish our “separated brethren” in the fashion of St. Paul to return to the one, true Faith.
    Post VII ecumenism is rolling right along…
    We, as Catholics, can NEVER compromise our infallible teachings- not even Francis. Yet that is what he is doing in Modernist fashion.

    • Additionally, it is NOT Catholics who need to cross the bridge to our “separated brethren” (as VII documents call them). Rather, it is they who must renounce their heretical beliefs and the apostasy that Protestantism keeps alive.

      The fact that we even have to state this simple truth—and the fact that if you, Al, were to say that in 95% of the Catholic Churches in the West (by my estimation), you would be accused of being “judgmental”, “triumphalistic”, “Pharisaical”, or even “heretical”—shows just how little understanding the majority of Catholics actually have about their faith. ‘Cause don’t you know: All religions are the same, anyway, and Jesus never, ever judged anyone, or anything like that.

  10. “..And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren”

    • Dave, we’ve been trying that for 50-some years now. How’s that approach working out?

      The mainline Protestant denominations—what is left of them after their total capitulation to secular society on abortion, et cetera—have no desire to “reconcile” with the True Church except on their terms (i.e., a complete capitulation on the Catholic Church’s part). Many fundamentalist “non-denominational” Protestants (who don’t even call themselves “Protestant”) hold nothing but contempt for the Church, as they see it as the whore of Babylon, wholly corrupted by pagan Rome. So what incentive do they have to even try to rejoin a Church that refuses to stand firm on the Truth but instead equivocates and apologizes for any and all perceived grievances?

      • I understand the concern. Of course, there are Protestant broken extremists, just like there are Catholic broken extremists; but Christianity is not about that, but about Christ. So we can’t blame anything negative in the church or culture on Prots any more than Caths.

        The main point of Francis is to see Christ in the other, acknowledge the differences between brothers and sisters and allow Jesus to magnify the Holy Spirit unity already present within. The encyclicals (e.g., JP2 Ut Unum Sint) have said the way to do this is common, experiential prayer. That’s what Francis is doing and it clearly is having hugely positive impact on not just the church, but the world. The Love of God never fails.

        • Wow. You just spouted off a Modernist-laced response and I don’t think you even realize it.

          Pius XI specifically forbade, in keeping with immemorial practice, Catholics from worshipping with Protestants and non-Christians in Mortalium animos. So how do you square this with your position?

          The larger point is that Francis did not go to Lund to guide Lutherans into turning from their errors; rather, he has affirmed their break with Rome, to the point of praising a man (Luther) who was formally excommunicated for his heresy. If you don’t see a problem with that, then this isn’t the forum for you, sorry to say.

          • Thx for the response. The church has always said common prayer is the central love — because it’s God who does the converting.

            And Pope Francis is simply being a good Father first. It’s not complicated. That’s why he’s getting the massive positive response.

            Christ said our first focus wasn’t about our doctrines of the mind; but the presence of the family being together. In other words Life comes before doctrines of life. It’s about real people first. Because Love is not an abstraction or unreal; it’s God’s essence, His very presence.

            (Feel no obligation of course, but since the audio and article spell this out in more depth, it would be helpful to me if you could identify something in the Kreeft dialogue or link by Jimmy Akin that could be addressed more specifically.)

          • Christ said our first focus wasn’t about our doctrines of the mind; but the presence of the family being together.

            Where, exactly, do you find that anywhere in Scripture, the writings of the Fathers, St. Thomas, or any other element of received Tradition?

            And Pope Francis is simply being a good Father first. It’s not complicated. That’s why he’s getting the massive positive response.

            No. The “positive response” is coming from the secular media, non-Catholics, atheists, and apostates who view Francis as a useful tool, nothing more. And when the world and all its evils praise a pope, not for adherence to Truth but for his social justice warrioring, we laymen have the right to be justifiably concerned. This is the exact opposite of Christ’s word, namely:

            If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. (John 15:18–20)

          • Thx for the specs LB236. It helps.

            the answer to Q1 is from Jesus — his life.

            E.g., the greatest commandment is love God w/ your mind; not to first use your mind to get to love. Truth is a dimension of Love; not the other way around. Love produces understanding; not the other way around. For instance, a person can know facts about w/o being close. And experiencing the presence of Christ in people makes you love them more. That’s all over the Gospels and NT. It’s the central theme.

            And whenever we are truly in love we know it’s about the actualized covenant first, and then the books on marriage come second. (Else, we fall into Modernism unconsciously worshiping our own thinking!)

            And the encyclicals on ecumenism all fortify this position. (Also note: Christ is bigger than Catholicism; Jesus is also saying this on the Prot side.)

            Response to Q2: Jesus said the Kingdom could be pictured as a tree; and so if we think of the Catholic church as the tree trunk; and Protestants as like tree branches (which really happened in history), then it’s easier to *see* the life of the tree.

            And there are millions of Christians both Cath and Prot who aren’t secular atheists who see the life of Christ in Francis and love him for it. (I”m just one.)

            As far as I can tell, the main critics of Francis seem to be coming from the Caths (who may even be unaware that they are wounded) who view the Christian tree primarily as the tree bark on the tree trunk. I suspect it’s for the same reason that Prots go extremist — it feels safer to say “my group is the righteous one”; instead of saying Christ is the righteous One.

            Blessings to you! Good conversation. I’d love to hear your feedback on the audio if you get a chance. There’s so more depth there.

          • Christ is bigger than Catholicism.

            That is a heresy condemned by countless pre-Conciliar pontiffs. Christ’s Church is the Catholic Church. Period.

          • Hey LB236. I’m sorry if that pushed a button.

            That’s actually not Christ’s position (and not Rome’s either). That’s the misunderstanding of a particular subset within Roman Catholicism called Traditionalism, which ironically, is a heresy — it’s basically says “Christ = Tradition.”

            It’s like saying the tree is the tree bark.

            Cheers bro. Thx for the input. Holy Spirit blessings to you! Dave

          • Dave, don’t presume to lecture me or anyone else here on what the Church teaches or doesn’t teach. While we are not theologians, I guarantee that every single contributor to the Disqus forum to a man has read more papal documents, excerpts and compendiums of the Summa, writings of the Fathers and other saints, et cetera, than the majority of Catholics in the pew. We rely upon those, Dave, rather than videos sourced off YouTube, as they have actual authority.

            Dave, I hope you understand that “traditionalism” is nothing more than Catholicism as it was practiced and believed prior to 1965. So, if traditionalism is wrong today, then the Church was wrong for nearly 2,000 years. Whether you want to admit it or not, Dave, the ideas you have put forth here were all condemned by—to name but a few—the Church Fathers (St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, Pope St. Gregory the Great), the Fourth Lateran Council, and, more recently, Popes Pius IX and Pius XI.

            The problem you have, Dave, is that you act as if the Church was started sometime circa 1962. You, and so many in the modern Catholic apologetics profession, rarely, if ever, cite pre-Conciliar documents and teachings in defense of your positions, whether willfully or out of ignorance.

            I asked you before, and you sidestepped the issue, so I will ask again: How can you square your position with that explicitly laid out in Mortalium animos, which has never been formally abrogated? Until you can answer that question, we are not going to make any progress in this forum.

          • Hi LB 236. Yeah, I don’t presume to be an authority. I’m simply pointing at something I see in authorities like Francis and echo it.

            However, I do question any authority foundation for Christianity that’s other than Christ. There are plenty of traditions that have slants, and they don’t always agree and that’s ok. If one has something good to offer (like being solid tree bark) that’s great, but not when it says the tree bark is the whole tree.

            (From the view of Rome, excepting Orthodox, there were no major tree branches that early on before Protestantism, so those church Fathers weren’t responding to that. Also the tree trunk was in a different state. That doesn’t mean we can’t garner great and timeless stuff there, but we need to integrate what the Spirit was doing then, with what He is doing now.)

            So that answers the issue of Mortalium animos, which I thought I already brought up before. Sorry if I wasn’t clearer. That document is not the foundation of Christ! In fact, in the 1930s the Vatican excommunicated Father Feeney for misinterpreting Mortalium animos in the way that some Trads do today. So there’s ironic humor there. In fact, Dr. Kreeft has a funny comment about that in the audio.

            And BTW, I don’t appeal to YouTube as an authority, of course. I’m just trying to paint a common picture. I like the way Jesus taught in images — they explain things so fast!

            God bless ya

          • There are plenty of traditions that have slants, and they don’t always agree and that’s ok.

            Are you even Catholic? If you are, how can you possibly make that statement unless you are absolutely clueless about the Faith?

            Protestants deny the existence of Purgatory. Does that mean Purgatory only exists for Catholics? (Hint: It doesn’t.)

            Lutherans deny that the bread and wine completely and in substance change into the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration, choosing instead to claim that the Christ is present within the bread and wine while they simultaneously remain bread and wine. Does that make them right? (Hint: It doesn’t.)

            Protestants believe that men are justified by faith alone and that works have no bearing on their justification. Does that make them right? (Hint: It doesn’t.)

            These are not trivial theological issues, yet you act as if it is no big deal that Protestants choose to deny these basic truths. How many Protestant souls, if they are saved, are in Purgatory right now who lament that they have no one in their Protestant families to pray for them and to have Masses offered for them in order to reduce their time of suffering? How many Protestants have died with mortal sin on their soul and are in Hell bewailing and cursing Luther, Calvin, and their ilk for taking away the sacrament of confession from them? How many Protestants who still live sense an emptiness inside that can only be filled by partaking of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist, and instead choose to fill that void with drink, sex, drugs, gambling, or any number of vices?

            However, I do question any authority foundation for Christianity that’s other than Christ.

            That about sums up your position, it would seem, and how it is irreconcilable with Catholicism.

          • Ok, thx for the input LB236. You’ve raised a ton of issues that are great to get into. But for this article I think we’ve traded our main foundational points. Nice chat.

          • I think we have to give Dave a little bit of credit here. He’s given us a very accurate and useful analogy. Christianity is like a big tree. Catholicism is only the bark.

            Interestingly enough, the only living part of a tree is the bark. The rest of the wood material of the tree is all dead xylum, serving as little more that support structure. The bark is alive, contains the phloem, nurtures the buds, and grows the tree, little by little, upward and outward each year.

            So yes, the Catholic church is the only living part of Christianity. Every other part of Christianity appears to be dead and decaying. Someone is actively ripping the bark off the tree. If they rip the bark off all around the circumference, making a clean gap in the bark, then the tree, the bark, will die.

          • Thx Cetera. Apprec.

            Jesus gave the pic of the tree, and my part is just a commentary.

            I would say roughly (seeing this in history) that Roman Cath acts like the trunk (not just bark) and has some branches; but that Prots are all branches. Dead wood can happen on the trunk or branches and falls off when no longer living. But the whole tree has the life DNA, even though each part may sometimes appear “foreign” to the other — esp. when there’s not a connection. Francis is trying to reconnect the Life.

            Blessings! –Dave

          • Also note: this idea is very hard for some Prots to acknowledge — that Cath is the tree trunk; usually because to them it may not always appear alive, flexible, fruitful, etc.

          • You really appear to know as much about biology as you do about religion and/or Catholocism and Christianity.

            The wood is all dead. The bark (Catholocism) is the only part keeping that is living, and keeping the “tree” alive. When the bark dies around a branch, that branch may indeed rot and fall off. The inner wood of a tree may be exposed through trama and damage, be hollowed out, decay, etc, while the tree goes on living, due to the bark.

            There are a great many good Protestants, and a great many evil Catholics. That has absolutely no bearing on the state of affairs of Christianity. Protestantism is dying and in much worse decline than even the Catholic Church, all throughout the world. Their wood is dead, and trying to fix what is broken is self-evidently impossible. They have lost the Faith, the spark of the Divine, in their churches. They are replaced it with whatever was at hand and seemed convenient at the time, giving them crisis upon crisis and leading their churches ever more to be directly opposed to the teachings of Christ himself. Specifically, and directly, opposed to Christ.

            Trying to graft a dead piece of wood onto a living tree, even for the most dedicated tree surgeons, is literally barking up the wrong tree.

          • Thx for the info Cetera. I understand that a tree has very little metabolizing tissue. From a forester Steve Nix: “The major living and growing portions of a tree are leaves, buds, roots and a thin film or skin of cells just under the bark called the cambium.” But that’s not the point; it’s just a pic of how things have grown through history and it explains a lot. (If we zoom in too much and miss the image, then by the same logic most of the Catholicism would be dead too, which I think we would agree isn’t true, of course.)

            But I would disagree that Prots are not growing. Most denoms worldwide are slightly declining but there is astonishing growth in the charismatic and Pentecostal churches. 8 of the 10 largest churches are charismatic. And numbers have way increased even from this 2006 study:

            I see these worldwide Holy Spirit experiences as like the miracle grow for the whole tree. (BTW, Pope Francis and the Papal preacher for the Vatican, Fr. Cantalamessa, are both strong encouragers of the Spirit’s presence via the charisms.)

          • This is the problem. There is no ‘let’s agree to disagree’ here. Dave, you have made some statements that are in error. Yes, it is difficult to get into more and more here as space and time are limited. But you can’t just go away feeling that some of the things you have said, which go against traditional Church teachings, are ok to hold. They are not. Please see that there is no contradiction in the Faith. There is a right way and a wrong way and it is NOT unkind to point out as some have here, that you are wrong. As you state over and over that love conquers all, we are truly loving you by not letting you persist in your errors.

          • Thx for the input Barbara. I don’t believe I’m saying anything against Catholic church, but simply trying to fill out the picture of how we see it, and encourage us to love it more, not less.

            I was also trying to encourage us to love Prots more (and everyone, of course). That’s first and main way to truly connect to anyone.

            My only argument was that “traditionalism” is not true Catholicism, as we talked about above.


            This image may help: but the church has always viewed itself as organic (living), and not (inorganic) dead. Therefore some things can never change and some must. (I’m obviously therefore not saying everything is changeable. And I don’t get that from Francis at all. I just notice, like Christ, he seems to prioritize loving people.)

            This post has had a long series of good dialogue, and I believe the key ideas were exchanged. I wasn’t trying to bow out of discussing things like Purgatory!

            The main question is “what are the highest things?” And I think Christ made it clear that love comes before doctrines of love. That’s what the church is about. That’s all. And I was actually trying to be loving! Still growing. 😉 Cheers

            Bless you! –Dave

          • NO! Christ does not equal tradition and no one here or in the traditional movement has ever said that. Tradition seeks to preserve what Christ has taught through the One True Church. Modernists seek to make a new church that changes Christ’s teachings according to circumstances, and according to how man has evolved over the past 2,000 years.

            There are no sub-sets in the One True Church. There are Catholics, and heretics and apostates.

          • Thx Barbara. I agree with you Christ doesn’t equal tradition. Yes. I was just saying that “traditionalism” is not true Christianity, if we try to define it as the foundation of Christianity. Tradition, of course, is an aspect of that life, just as it is with anything living.

            I just notice that certain viewpoints tend to see Christ only in the past, not ever doing anything new in the future — but they integrate.

            It’s like this: whatever I did as a kid is unchangeable. But that doesn’t mean I don’t continue to grow; and it normally means or sometimes need to go back and correct or re-interpret my understanding of what was going on when I was a kid. E.g., babies don’t come from storks.

            So keeping in step with the Spirit is essential for being with God, because some things will never change, but some things must in order to grow.

            Blessings to you Barbara. — Dave

          • You can not love another person apart from truth.

            (edit: Dave, I hope you don’t mind that this is my one and only comment. I write it out of charity for you. I’m due to have a baby soon, and I am tired. I can say no more. God bless you Dave!)

          • Hey Sharyn. Yes, of course. I agree.

            This is my take based on classical Christianity. Tell me what you think.

            Truth, goodness, beauty, one-ness, etc. are dimensions of love. E.g., Love is God’s essence. That’s why Jesus says love God will all these things. I.e., love with all you are, with whatever you have.

            For instance, when married, you love what you know — but you never know the person completely. Yet we can love the spouse with all our heart. Same with God. Love is the greatest.

            The problem comes when our knowledge for truth becomes more important than the love (unitive, self-gift in all those avenues). This easily happens in certain religious environments (both Cath and Prot); and I believe Francis is right on target when he promotes the center love of the person (self-gift from our spirit) over our knowledge of doctrines. That’s not to say doctrines don’t have a place, but they are secondary. It’s similar to the difference between reading a book on marriage vs. being married.

          • You were so quick to reply lol. Either you are a fellow Aussie, or a night owl. I edited my my original message very quickly to add in something (see above) but you had already replied.

            I will add a bit.

            If we leave truth out of love we no longer have what is truely love. God does not reside outside of truth. “If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him” 1 John 2:15

            The more we love the truths of God, the closer we are to truely loving God Who is all truth, the more we are able to truely love the beloved of God.

            But this involves sacrifice because the world does not love truth. To love in this world is not easy. It is the Cross. There is no other way. Christ said, ”If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” Matthew 16:24

            Sorry this doesn’t cover everything.

            God be your guide always!

          • Thx for the good spirit and comments Sharon! Congrats on your baby.

            I don’t think I disagree at all with what you said.

            However, for the love to be full, it has to be good, true, beautiful and one. The more full those aspects, the more the love is manifest. That’s why Jesus says love God with all you have, as the greatest commandment. The key word is all.

            I just notice that depending on our gifts, culture, upbringing, calling, etc. there can be a tendency to falsely view God by emphasizing only one of these dimensions, especially out favorite. Francis is about the unity/one-ness first.

            The less something is united, the less life it has, whether it’s a baby, a marriage, or a rugby team!

            I just make this observation because the criticism of Pope Francis is that he’s emphasizing this center. I don’t understand that. Jesus talks about this and shows us this over; e.g., parable of the Prodigal — the Father doesn’t give the son a doctrine quiz before he celebrates his return. It’s what those who love do.

            Not being a mom you can correct me, but no mother that I know requires that the baby pass a theology test to receive and give love. It’s that type of love that God has for us, not the false “truth-only” love! 😉

            Cheers and blessings to you as well! I hope you can get some rest — Dave

          • one teeny tiny comment… Take out the truth and love is no longer good, beautiful and one. Just pretend you didn’t see that comment 😉 Must go!

            Thanks for your congratulations and blessings Dave 🙂

          • Absolutely. Thx. Yeah I agree. (But note that also works for the other dimensions of love, e.g. take out the goodness and truth is no longer any good.)

            It’s like marriage: you can’t just have the truth alone for it to be a marriage. Marital life also needs unity/joy/beauty/goodness and the fruit of those, etc. They’re all important to the exchange of lives.

            But if a person’s first gift is to deal with truth, then it’s natural they will look at marriage through that lens at look at everything else through that lens. The goal for the person who’s gifted with truth is to fill it out with the others. It becomes a problem when we start to say that truth is the main thing or only thing. Love is. (I Cor 13)

            If it’s not the truth of love first then it’s false, of course. 😉

          • Your example of a tree is interesting. Jesus said, too, that branches that are cut off are DEAD. There is only life in the tree, not the branches in this case.

          • Thx. When Jesus said the Kingdom of God grows like a tree, we can see this happened in history. But not all branches are cut off, any more than with a normal tree. It’s part of the DNA. Same with the church.

            Tree trunk bark (like some Cath) and tree branches (like some Prot) that lose the life connection, then fall off.

          • Sorry, the Catholic Church has NEVER said “common prayer is the central love –because it’s God who does the converting.” Of course God provides the grace for those outside the Church to convert. However, the Catholic Church stands UNMOVABLE, and the convert LEAVES his sect, and MOVES towards the Catholic Church.

            The novelty Francis brings is that the Church moves, and the sects move, and we meet somewhere in the middle – and he expects God to approve – because unity is the most important thing. Well, sorry, unity is NOT the most important thing. The TRUTH is MORE important.

          • Hi Barbara. Thx for the feedback. Actually the action item of the JP2 encyclical was common prayer (Ut Unim Sint) who called for a “gift exchange” with Prots. But the notion is promoted by Jesus (esp. last chapters of John) who his united and comes form a united Trinitiy, of course.

            I agree with you that the church does stand immovable (like a tree trunk) but it also needs to be united with the tree branches.

            There’s a lot more input from me to comment on, on the topic of unity, in my response to Sharon on this Disqus, if you’re interested, but I”ll just repeat this one bit: as far as I know, no baby needs to pass a theology test to receive and give love. That is, life comes before doctrines of life.

            To me, this seems to be the primary focus of Francis and the reason God is rewarding his ministry with so much life.

        • Dave, thank you for posting the audio of Dr. Kreeft, I will try to listen when I have time. The comment above concerning 50 years of (failed) ecumenism since the Second Vatican Council might be responded to by saying both sides are failing to start at the real basics where we can agree and THEN take one small step (almost as if someone did not want it to succeed). I believe the first point has to be that (after believing in God) every minister of every faith should enthusiastically encourage (and admonish) all laity that they should be seen (ALL THEIR LIVES) eagerly working to know and believe all the Truths that God wants everyone to know and believe. I believe the “true love of all truths so that we may be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10) is the key to true ecumenism. If people do not want to know and believe all the truths that God wants everyone to know and believe, are they not IMPLICITLY turning their hearts and backs to God???? Does this not sound like it would please the devil? But, if they truly want to believe all the truths that God wants all to know and believe, but for a time they are in error as to how to understand these truths, will God not overlook their error because their heart is in the right place? As long as they do not get complacent and say “that is all I need to know. Now I can do what I want to do and enjoy life.”
          You talked above about the love of God and we should love God. BUT, if we do not love (seek) all the truths that God wants everyone to know, do we really love God?
          As to praying with our brothers in faith: I wonder why there is no mention of the teaching of the Church in the Catechism of the Catholic Church at (2741) concerning “if we resolutely unite our prayer with the prayer of Jesus….we receive the Holy Spirit”?
          Should not our brothers also believe that Jesus’ prayer on the cross for all sinners at all points of space and time is the perfect prayer and we do not need to add or delete anything from it and that we should trust His prayer in all things? Should we not just ask Jesus to pray HIS prayer in us, for us, for every sinner, through us, just as Joseph and Mary must have done for thirty years in the sure faith that Jesus was true God and true man, in complete trust in divine providence????
          Do you think the devil would try to do all he can to keep all ministers of all faiths from encouraging their followers to honestly seek all the truths that God wants everyone to know and believe and to prevent them from asking Jesus to pray HIS PRAYER, His Name, “Jesus” for us, in us, for all sinners, through us?

          • Thx Douglas, for the ideas and encouragement. My thoughts:

            1. I totally agree with your comment about both sides wanting the unity first and then taking the next step from where they already agree. According to Dr. Kreeft, because of that spiritual desire there has been more ecumenical progress in the past 50 years than in centuries. But for some reason there can be a temptation to blame sin on unity? Jesus said the wheat and weeds grow together, not that the wheat causes the weeds. Unity never causes sin; it always makes us stronger. (John 17) And as you pointed out, it always starts with the spirit desire to love the other and see Christ within them. And you can tell the fruit when it’s successful when people want to be with each other more. This has happened.

            2. Yes, of course, we must seek truth. But what’s hard for me is see that interpreted as things like memorizing the catechism. It’s really more like a wife and husband seeking to “know” each other. It’s personal.

            3. I don’t think I can disagree with what you said at the end. But I do think we have to follow the Spirit. I agree 100% with you that we have to really be actually supernaturally led by prayer and not unthinkingly act out of a harsh attitude that is easily disguised as orthodoxy. Love is patient, kind, not proud, not pushy, not arrogant, always trusting, etc. You can tell the source by the Spirit behind it. It’s either from Love or not.

            It’s something the Holy Spirit is cleaning out within us and is replacing it with more of His Presence. That’s exciting. And there’s a ton more miracle power along with it. Because true power (not just talk) comes from intimacy with the Spirit. And it’s happening. I’m really excited about that.

            I have so many friends, Cath and Prot, who have seen angels more and more. And they are almost always the ones who love each other best. It all goes together. Love is pure and simple.

          • Dave, I understand your reluctance in saying, “But what’s hard for me is see that interpreted as things like memorizing the catechism. It’s really more like a wife and husband seeking to “know” each other. It’s personal.” But, maybe it should be both, personal and the seeking of truths. Thirty some years ago I was trying to correspond with someone concerning what the Bible says and their response to my questions was , “The Pope has written to you, the Catechism of the Catholic Church”. I did not want to take the time to read it. I wanted to just get to the answers I wanted. So I understand all the things that have to be put aside to study, to honestly seek the truths that God wants everyone to know and believe.
            If someone is in error in their understanding, is it “loving them” to be silent? Should we not first focus on the question: Are they still seeking with their whole being to know and believe all the truths that God wants everyone to know and believe and understand them the way God wants them understood?
            Loving the person does come first, but loving them does not allow us to be silent if they APPEAR TO US TO BE IN error.
            I have an idea that I believe all members of all faiths, (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, even atheists) should enthusiastically support to help all seek to know and believe all TRUTH. It is on my blog under the title: Poster and slip of paper idea to help all parents of all faiths be better parents
            Off topic questions: Does God love all that exists? (see Wisdom 11:24, CCC 301) 2. Does God love the devils? 3. Should we love the devils for the love of God? 4. Does God “by the Holiness of His Name, save and make holy all creation? (CCC 2814) 5. Is God infinitely good and powerful enough to reconcile (save, CCC 457) those in hell for ever and ever and ever and…. so that they have the peace, love, joy, thanksgiving, and sorrow for sins that Jesus had on the Cross?

          • Hi Douglas. I agree with you. We should seek the truth, but personal and impersonal, because they are both aspects from God. However, the personal is always closer to God’s heart and there is a tendency for certain temperaments, church groups, culture streams and countries to value the outside more than the inside; and the objective more than the subjective. So in general it’s important to know your leanings and the forces around you; and in specific, it’s best to led by the Spirit because in this life we cannot know all truth, but we can love with all our heart. In my case, I tend to lead toward impersonal truths and God is constantly telling me to start with intimacy, like Mary of Bethany. It’s hard, like breaking an addiction. There’s a word from prayer on this below.

            Regarding the off-topic questions which are all related, Obviously, they need more treatment than my little paragraph; and I am not an expert and only have opinions. Some of this I get from Dr. Kreeft and Aquinas. Someone who knows more can correct or augment this:

            Evil is not technically a “thing” that has existence but a deprivation of existence, like light being the absence of darkness. So demons have existence, but only in the sense of properties, like a shadow, but no real substance. In a sense, they are like masks without a face; like echoes of their former selves as angels. So yeah, since God is love, God loves everything, but God doesn’t love evil because to him it doesn’t exist. Only He exists and what is in him. Mysteriously it only exists in our realm to the realm to the extent that we choose to allow it.

            Here’s some words received during worship. use what you want. Blessings to you! Enjoy all the truth God has given you. –Dave

            I ask of you your whole spirit, soul, and body, yet so often I get what’s in your mind. Do you think too much about your prayer? I’m looking for your heart more than your head. At times, your thinking can be an enemy to the spirit that I have ingrained in you. Though I have created all of you, it is the balance of all I made you to be that brings out one area to its greatest fulfillment.

            Unlike exercising a muscle repeatedly where it gets stronger with extended use, exertion of your mind in prayer will concentrate too much power to your known faculties and may cause less reliance on what your spirit is saying. Lead in with your spirit. Experience the wisdom of praise.

            I can reach your depths when you enter in to My presence in holy surrender. Your depths of your spirit know far more in time of praise than hours of pondering and
            questioning. Your most profound insight is most often the product, or byproduct, of the deepest times of prayer.

            Once your mind grasps what the spirit is telling it, now you have true direction. It
            never works in reverse—mind first speaking to spirit. The mind is too finite to probe the deeper things of God.

            So, again, I say, lead in with your spirit and connect with My Holy Spirit. I will show
            you truth.

            I can only give you more when you take hold of less. I have abundance from My throne that only those who love Me from their heart can know.

            Mine is a Kingdom of light and I shine where I am free to be steward, to call the shots and nothing short of total surrender will do. God is and always will be your source of hope. Don’t pretend that this earth is capable of offering or providing a substitute. The earthly things only offer a reflection of Me for I created it all and am the source. How could anything created hold any real hope? Why cling to it?

            You have no reason not to be joyful for My presence is Joy. I have conquered it all; I have won the victory; I know how the game ends and we have won. I call the shots in this life from Heaven. Remember all I do is infused with My joy and there is no cause ever for despair. Despair is so foreign to My kingdom; it is strictly the creation of man out of communion with the King of Kings. It does not exist in Heaven, your true Christian home. In essence, it is not real, only real to the extent that you include it in your realm. Do you not exist in the Heavenly way when all is said and done? Keep ever focused on Me and you, too, will never know desperation.

            More on hearing in prayer:


            More from Dr. Kreeft on evil:

        • If you watch fruiterers sort through their fruit in the shop, they are looking for fruit which is bad which will corrupt the rest of the load. They pick out the bad fruit and throw it otherwise they are in danger of losing the whole lot. One bad idea fiercely clung to and defended which goes against the truth which Christ spoke, has to be given up…jettisoned.

  11. I was thinking what if what the Pope meant by communion with them would be setting up an oridinariate like Benedict did with the Anglicans. Where they need to get ordained they need to accept the moral law they need to accept all Catholic Theology but can keep some traditions. I would like to think that that’s what he meant and blame the media. Although even that would be difficult because the divide is much larger than it traditional anglicans

  12. To me they are beyond comprehension.

    They are beyond comprehension only if you believe that Francis is Catholic, and believes in Christ, the Eucharist, the Mass, and the Church. If you conduct a thought experiment where he doesn’t believe any of that, suddenly everything he’s done all make sense.

    How can they escape the charge of constituting a betrayal of our faith in the central mystery of Catholic worship?

    It can’t. It is a betrayal. See the above point. Its very easy once you understand he doesn’t believe in it, or is actively opposed to it.

  13. Here’s one interesting Christian paradox that came to me as I pondered this topic: the more one disagrees with the other person, the more necessarily it is to love them. (Jesus, Matt 5:44) I think this explains a big part what Francis is trying to do. Because:

    1. in the natural realm, it’s only when people are lovingly relating that true dialogue happens — otherwise it can be just hate disguised as orthodoxy. It’s not the truth about love; then it’s actually false. And further, practically, it just makes the other person’s walls go up anyway and then it’s harder then for a true Spirit-led exchange.

    2. in the supernatural realm of the Kingdom of God, nothing really changes without love. It amounts to waste. (I Cor 13). There is no real advance from our angels onto our enemies w/o a true treating the other person a Christ.

    And of course, that’s what I’m asking God to increase in me! 😉

    Mercy and blessings to all — Dave

  14. “How can they escape the charge of constituting a betrayal of our faith in the central mystery of Catholic worship?”

    They can’t. Pope Francis is a Judas pope.


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