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Canon Law and the Confessional: Another Conflict With Amoris Laetitia

(Image: St. Nepomuk, martyr of the Seal of Confession)

As was to be expected, the first cases are now coming up where priests are being punished for not going along with the new “spirit” of Amoris Laetitia. That is to say, for not willingly administering the Sacraments (especially Penance and the Eucharist) to the “remarried” divorcees who do not themselves intend to change their habitual way of life, yet still wish to have open access to the Sacraments.

We have now a case in Colombia, the case of Father Luis Alberto Uribe Medina, who “was admonished and suspended by his Bishop because he criticized in public the new doctrine invented [sic] by Pope Francis on Marriage and the reception of the Blessed Sacrament,” according to the Catholic website Rorate Caeli.

This case has already been reported on internationally, by Marco Tosatti and Professor Roberto de Mattei in Italy and Guiseppe Nardi in Germany, among other sources. The German author, Mathias von Gersdorff, had raised, already in April of 2016, the issue of a possible forthcoming pressuring of priests to follow obediently the new rules stemming from Amoris Laetitia. In a private communication, he has reported to us that his older article has now received much attention, in the context of this Don Uribe case.

The title of von Gersdorff’s own earlier post is: “Will the [German] Bishops’ Conference Force German Priests to Commit a Sacrilege?” Von Gersdorff raises there the issue as to whether those conservative Catholics who still claim that Amoris Laetitia has not at all changed any doctrine, will come finally to resist when they, too, as priests, will be personally required to commit a sacrilege, by admitting those “remarried” divorcees to Holy Communion and also to the Sacrament of Penance. Thus von Gersdorff concludes: “They would thus be confronted with the alternative: either to commit a sacrilege or to go into public resistance against their own bishop.”

Von Gersdorff, in a piercing way, points out that these priests in Germany who potentially will be pressured to give Holy Communion to some (or even many) “remarried” and divorced couples will not, most likely, then be able to receive sufficient support from Rome:

They [these loyal priests] can of course turn to Rome, but nothing indicates that there they would receive help. The pope has declared after the publication [of Amoris Laetitia] that he will not make further statements on this issue. In an interview, he said that Cardinal [Christoph] Schönborn had interpreted Amoris Laetitia in a correct way. However, this Viennese cardinal belongs to that party which especially promoted the idea of admitting the remarried divorcees to Holy Communion.

The pastors who consider it to be a sacrilege to give Holy Communion to the remarried divorcees will not be helped by the fact that numerous theologians have written in the last weeks statements which ruled out there being such a change in the Church’s teaching. They thus stood in front of the alternative to either commit a sacrilege or to go into open resistance against their own bishop.

Von Gersdorff also raises, in a side comment, the question as to whether a priest who sacrilegiously gives absolution to such “remarried” couples who live as husband and wife, and have no intent to change their sinful lives, would not also put his own priesthood at risk.

Indeed, there is actually a paragraph in Canon Law that prohibits a priest from encouraging in any way a penitent in the confessional to violate the Sixth Commandment. For such a priest would then have to be punished with suspension or worse. For example, Canon 1387 of the Catholic Church’s Canon Law says:

A priest who in the act, on the occasion, or under the pretext of confession solicits a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is to be punished, according to the gravity of the delict, by suspension, prohibitions, and privations; in graver cases he is to be dismissed from the clerical state. [my emphasis]

Thus, in spite of the current pressures that might now or soon be put on priests world-wide (and not only in Germany) to go along with the new laxity of “pastoral care” flowing out of Amoris Laetitia, Canon Law itself still puts under grave penalty such priestly indulgence and leniency towards a “remarried” divorcee who wishes to receive Absolution – in spite of remaining in a sinful state of life – a penalty so grave that it is even unto his dismissal from the clerical state. That is to say: No priest on earth is permitted to give absolution to a person who is constantly and habitually violating the Sixth Commandment without any sincere intention to amend his life. On the contrary, such a priest risks losing his office as a priest.

The knowledge and application of this particular paragraph of Canon Law could thus be especially of great help to beleaguered priests who can now quote it in defense of their conscientious refusal to grant absolution to habitual violators of the Sixth Commandment.

In this context, there is added another gravely serious fact, namely that, should a loyal priest now deny such a penitent absolution in the Sacrament of Penance – due to the unwillingness of that penitent to change his own sinful conduct as a “remarried” divorcee – he might very well then be sued himself by that penitent, and even before an ecclesiastical court! Moreover, in such a case such a loyal priest could not even defend himself, inasmuch he is still bound by the Seal of Confession. Thus, it shows the intrinsic dangers that could threaten the Seal of Confession if one were now to make such promiscuous or sentimental “pastoral” use of the Internal Forum.

Much is at stake, not the least of which is the salvation of souls and the sanctity of the Catholic priesthood. May we all together work unto the greater good here – to include, our defense of Holy Mother Church’s wise and beautiful teaching on marriage.

118 thoughts on “Canon Law and the Confessional: Another Conflict With Amoris Laetitia”

  1. The moral fibre of the CC is in tatters, its clergy being persecuted, not by governments or anti-Catholic fanatics, but by its very own leadership, & still no news of the formal correction. How long do we have to wait?

    • I personally tend to the opinion that the formal formal corrrection of the four cardinals will never come. Cardinal Burke is under fire now because of the Pope’s conflict with the Order of Malta. I don’t exclude that the Pope will use his position in this conflict to force Burke into withdrawing his signature from the Dubia, or else…

      • The four Cardinals must know they speak for a very large amount of Traditional Catholics who are fed up to the gills of this Papacy’s total disloyalty to the Word of God. It is PF’s own obstinacy & disregard for the Deposit of Faith, which he is bound to uphold as Supreme Pontiff, that has led the Cardinals to this impasse. He demonstrates every day that he is not fit for purpose. He must be released from his duties immediately & those he keeps demoting will live to assume their positions when he has gone to receive his justice.

      • Cardinal Burke is only the patron of the Order. He doesn’t have any say in the government of the Order.

        Fr. Gerald Murray, who is a chaplain of the SMOM, talked with Raymond Arroyo on The World Over tonight about the SMOM, made the point noted above.

      • I don’t think so. Cardinal Burke is a tough cookie. Personally I think he is in the process of getting signatures to the Dubia from Cardinals and bishops all over the world. It is my prayer and hope that Bergoglio’s days are numbered.

        • All our days are numbered. Pray for God’s will because it’s God’s will. The prayer for a Pope’s demise is reckless.

      • Burke couldn’t care less what this Pope does with regard himself. He is far smarter than the Pope. He understands perfectly well that he, like the Pope, is at the wrong end of his allotment. Now is not the time to abandon a life time of faithful service to appease a traitor or a heretic for any reason. I would certainly feel more comfortable standing in Burkes shoes than those of our supreme Pontiffs!

          • You’re a genuine half wit you poor sod. None will truly understand what truth really is until they face the omnipotent truth. You yourself will one day you poor dope. Good luck, you will need it! It is not a win position for those who know the truth, but rather a lose position. Christ died for you as if you were the only one on Earth. If you are lost because you’re an idiot, that is a loss for all the children, your brothers and sisters. You really should tremble!

    • I will presuppose this moral question of refusing the Holy Eucharist to persons living in ‘irregular/adulterous unions’ equally would bind the many many lay ‘Eucharistic Ministers’ to be found in any given parish. Might not a ‘communicant’ simply avoid the possibility of refusal by the priest by queueying-up for reception from the lay Eucharistic Minister?

      This article states:

      “In this context, there is added another gravely serious fact, namely that, should a loyal priest now deny such a penitent absolution in the Sacrament of Penance – due to the unwillingness of that penitent to change his own sinful conduct as a “remarried” divorcee – he might very well then be sued himself by
      that penitent, and even before an ecclesiastical court!”

      I thought confessions were heard privately with only priest and penitent present. Such being the case, the priest is bound by the seal of confession and would be utterly defenceless in court whether the priest denied absolution OR if he did not, i.e. the penitent lying in order to sue for alleged ‘damages’.

      • Nothing has ever actually stopped them. The issue isn’t so much that people in a state of mortal sin are receiving communion and thus committing sacrilege (even though that is terrible) but it’s the church supposedly teaching that it’s fine.

        • I understand that fully, but the thrust of this article (as I took it) was the violence that is done to a faithful priest’s conscience and soul were he to be forced to choose between distributing the Holy Eucharist to an unrepentent person living in an adulterous relationship or being suspended from his priestly faculties.

          I would suppose this dilemna in a more complex form presents itself for the lay Minister of the Eucharist. Let us suppose that Father X. observes an unrepentant civilly married person approaching the lay Eucharistic Minister for reception of Holy Communion. Would the priest be obligated to advise the Minister that that party approaching him/her for reception was about to receive sacrilegiously?

          There innumerable permutations of this grave moral problem.

          • That’s just another problem with the Pope saying it’s ok for these adulterers to receive Holy Communion. Of course, whether or not there even should be Extraodinary Ministers of Holy Communion at all is an entirely different conversation (spoiler: it’s not ok.)

          • This situation is covered by Canon 915. To be denied Holy Communion, the person must be “persisting in manifest, grave sin.” If the sin is not manifest to the minister of Holy Communion, then that condition is not satisfied. And no, the priest cannot intervene. In fact, if the person’s state of grave sin is known to the priest but not manifest, the priest himself cannot refuse Communion.

          • You offer that in respect of Canon 915:

            “In fact, if the person’s state of grave sin is known to the priest but not manifest, the priest himself cannot refuse Communion.”

            May I suggest that your take on Canon Law would permit virtually anyone and everyone to be entitled to receive the Holy Eucharist. For example the priest who had just refused absolution before the start of Mass must give the unrepentent adulterer the Holy Eucharist as the unabsolved sinner may have made a perfect act of contrition in the line waiting to recieve the Sacrament.

            Even the forgiven adulterer living in a brother-sister relationship must partake of the Eucharist in remoto scandalo.

            The common meaning of the term ‘manifest’ is something that is ‘obvious to the eye or mind’.

            In addition, may I offer you the thoughts of the distinguished Canon Lawyer, Ed Peters, for your reference?


          • I don’t see that anything in Dr. Peters’s post conflicts with what I said. It not even on point. You could do a little more research. You will find that my “take” is correct. Why do you think that Canon 915 requires that the grave sin be “manifest”? What is the alternative? Only that a priest who knows of a hidden sin would be required to refuse Holy Communion and subject the communicant to public exposure. It is obvious that anyone can receive Holy Communion in any place where he is not known to be obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin, though his sins be red as scarlet. That doesn’t mean he isn’t commiting sacrilege and violating Canon 916, but that’s another issue. The Church deems that anyone who presents himself must be considered by the minister to be entitled to Holy Communion unless the conditions of Canon 915 (also includes excommunication and interdict) are satisfied.

            Please note that making a perfect act of contrition after having been refused absolution for a mortal sin does not entitled one to receive Holy Communion, unless perhaps you are on the point of death and cannot confess. That possibility is not why the priest would have to administer Holy Communion. Even after a perfect act of contrition (I would be terrified to claim that I have ever made one and rely on that to avoid sacrilege), the sinner is still obliged to confess and be absolved.

            According to many surveys in the U.S, the great majority of Catholics approve of contraception and have contracepted, do not recognize the Real Presence, and have not been to confession for more than a year. Yet at every Mass virtually the entire congregation troops up for Holy
            Communion. Maybe the numbers are better for every Sunday Mass-goers, but they are still horrific. How subjectively culpable they are cannot be known because they are also basically uncatechised. We need to be worried about the divorced and remarried, but I wish someone would think about catechising everyone.

          • Thanks for the suggestion that I ‘do a little more research’, a rather breath-taking presupposition on your part. Rash judgement is never useful to any exchange of ideas.

            I assure you I have done so in respect of the specific topic of the article under discussion as was my wont when I was an adjudicator and trier of fact for over 25 years. I stand by my assessment and the relevance thereof. Peace.

        • Jafin, Yes everything that you say is a reality but could I suggest that this is why at Fatima the Holy Mother of God introduced the prayer. Oh My Jesus forgive us our sins and lead all souls into heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy. Why have such a powerful prayer whereby it is the responsibility of those with faith to pray for those that have either been misguided or given up. The list could be longer but we have to accept imo that satan is attacking everyone with any faith and he wants us to lose the faith, get pi**ed off, not bother praying etc.

      • If the penitent brings a charge in court, mightn’t it be a public confession? And wouldn’t that be public apostasy? And wouldn’t he be between our Lord and Caesar?
        Who lies in confession and goes to receive other than a madman?

    • How do you know it hasn’t already been given? It was stated that it would likely be done privately since its purpose is not to extract a pound of flesh (which some are hungering for), but to correct error. Cardinal Burke, et al have more than proven themselves to be faithful sons of the Church, so I don’t think there’s any question that they know what they’re doing and exactly how to go about doing it. I imagine you’ll have to wait as long as they see fit.

      • I agree with mrc628 – I believe that the ‘correction’ has most likely already been given; Cardinal Burke mentioned after the Epiphany. Going by the last round between the Cardinals and the Pope, they gave him sufficient time (2 months?) to reply, and when it became clear to them that he had no intention of addressing the Dubia, only then did they go public. I would also add, that imho, as far as I know, there is nothing in place in Canon Law or elsewhere to remove a Pope against his will. This is all new territory. Pope Francis answers only to one Man, and of course we all know that He promised not to leave us orphaned. Pope Emeritus Benedetto is also suffering right along with us, but he also can do nothing, but suffer and pray which is what we’re all here to do anyway.

        • The Four Cardinals (the actual number is closer to 30! Many cardinals have not gone public with their support of the Four) must first issue two formal, public warnings to Francis. If Francis will not recant, he will have judged himself a formal, manifest heretic and apostate, thus, losing the papacy. At that point, yes, the Church will go into uncharted territory. A major schism would most definitely happen. I can foresee Francis and his supporters claiming Francis is still the pope while the other cardinals will elect a pope and claim that man as the true pope.

          • Al The Silent Crusader said: “…must first issue two formal, public warnings to Francis. If Francis will not recant, he will have judged himself a formal, manifest heretic and apostate, thus, losing the papacy.” Is this the Robert Bellarmine solution to “What If..” or is there something to this effect in Canon Law? I hope with all my heart that there is a lawful, documented procedure as to how to do this and that it’s done correctly. I’ve got as much faith as anyone can have in Cardinal Burke and also, from what I’ve learned of the other 3. Cardinal Sarah is silent, and I consider him a rock solid pillar, so there is much likelihood that there are several others, but I doubt if there are many.

          • According to Mr. Michael Matt of the Remnant this past week, he said on his most recent YouTube video that Cardinal Burke has at least thirty other cardinals with him. Many of those thirty have chosen to remain silent in the background.

    • Come on Ana, You have been in the fight a great deal longer than i, Christ will win. It has to happen and it will happen these that wish to turn the church into a christian federation will fail or hopefully convert!

      • Of course Christ will win, but how many souls will be taken to Hell (the existence of which PF doesn’t acknowledge) by this pope? That is the worrying question we must all confront & get what has to be done and over with as soon as possible. I sense the correction has been made, hence PF’s vitriolic response to Order of Malta & priests of Malta. Some definite news would be welcome at this stage.

        • Dear Ana, I don’t know the answer but why did the Holy Mother of God give us the prayer? “Oh My Jesus, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls into heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy” Maybe this prayer was to counteract the future of what the faith would become…. the nice, kind, do what you want type of disgusting faith that is floated in the majority of places today.

          • That prayer goes away way back to my childhood when we used to say it after each mystery of the Holy Rosary, which I continue to do and even in between times. It is supposed to have great weight against secularism citing Jesus as Saviour of the World. Most probably that is why Our Lady asked us to recite it often.


        • Management, micromanagement
          Free will
          Mary undoer of knots
          Pray for the Holy Father
          And for us

  2. The ‘take-home’ from Our Lady’s message at La Salette is that we have not reached bottom yet. The rot will deepen and real, daily persecution will overtake us – sad to say we are fooling ourselves when we seek help from the upcoming Correction – it will fall on deaf ears and Francis and his successor will continue to drag the visible Church into the ditch.

    Let’s concentrate on praying for our own souls! Each of us must be a light on a stand so that the darkness is not complete.

    • I understood from Cardinal Burke that if the formal correction was ignored they would call for an imperfect council & that numbers didn’t matter, only Truth. If that is correct, the four Cardinals & their silent supporters, have the obligation of proceeding with their plans & informing us, the laity, of that progress.

    • Are you that sure of yourself?
      You don’t seem hopeful or happy.
      Francis might be a little better off than that. And his successor.
      If you want to be a light on a stand, noone’s stopping you.
      Just don’t go out.

  3. We need a qualified canon lawyer to interpret c. 1387. I have seen it presented as a prohibition against a priest enticing a penitent to violate the 6th Commandment with the priest, not just generally. For a priest to encourage a penitent to engage in any sinful activity is wrong, but this particular abuse is singled out as deserving the most severe penalties.

    The overall point, that faithful priests cannot expect protection from Rome, is horrifyingly true. And don’t think that an abusive bishop’s fellow bishops will correct him.

      • Dr. Peters does indeed help. The prohibition is general, whether the penitent is solicited to sin with the priest or with a third party or alone.

    • I personally know a highly qualified canon lawyer who does indeed interpret Can. 1387 in just that manner. It actually surprised me. I did a little research myself in a canon law commentary (not helpful, as it did not speak to the issue), and in the old Catholic Encyclopedia, which defines the crime of solicitation thus:

      The crime of sollicitatio ad turpia is defined as the soliciting [of] any person to carnal sin, to be committed with himself or another, by any priest secular or regular, immediately before, during, or immediately after sacramental confession, or on the occasion of or under pretext of confession, or in the confessional itself or in any other place generally used for hearing confessions, or in a place chosen by the penitent to make a confession, and this whether a sacramental confession be actually made or not.


      The concept is much broader than I had thought.

      Maike Hickson, the author of this piece, is a friend of mine. I know her well enough to know that she would not practice Canon Law without a license. I also know that she has an impressive network of exceedingly well informed people who are competent professionals in a variety of disciplines, including numerous ecclesiastics.

      If she did not consult a professional canonist for that opinion she is advancing, I’ll eat my capuche.

  4. We laity need to be very clear about what is happening. Some of us are going to lose faithful pastors who refuse to go along with the regime. That is already happening and being threatened. Probably most of us will be in parishes and dioceses that go with the flow and stay with the regime. There will be a schism and it will be the faithful who will be called schismatics. If the Sacraments are available only in the places that join the regime, we will be in the position of the faithful whom St. Athanasius encouraged: “They have the buildings but you have the Faith!”

    • “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” – St. Anthony the Great
      Anyone who think st. Anthony the Great did’not mentioned these times, where we are living in right now, then he belongs to the ‘first ones’ from his quote.

    • Faithful priests can never be lost, if we stand strong and faithful.

      All I can think of right now at the present moment,, is Christ standing before Pilate, silent….yet standing.
      If our Lord can take it…….so can we.

      Clean your basements, prepare for the Mass to be offered without embellishments of fine altars and altar rails in those basements of homes, hotels, or wherever they may be. Be prepared to be scorned, jeered and ostracized for standing strong in the faith.

      May God protect and bless the many faithful.

      • As long as faithful priests keep in contact wth faithful laity then there will be the Holy Mass & Sacraments offered on a daily basis. It’s when contact is lost through fear of further persecution that the faith is endangered. It will initially be up to the priest to decide on the support he has within his parish & organise a rota basis if he has to leave. When parishes go entirely with the flow an effort must be made to contact those within such parishes who would wish to join with their like-minded brothers & put their names on the rota list. It could leave our churches & their collection plates quite empty but the faith flourishing.

        • Dear Ana, the poison is here in France. Recently we had a nice surprise of a parish council being introduced. As a badly formed catholic i looked up what is necessary to be chosen to be on the council the word virtuous seemed to be the key. When i looked up the word virtuous it stated honest / truthful. Well i can say that at least two of the 5 are dishonest and we are for the sake of our young children trying to find another parish within a sensible distance of where we live. Edited, maybe we will stand and fight, I don’t see why we should leave.

      • as soon as they begin to punish faithful priests we the faithful should withhold finances. When they see the bankbalances decrease maybe then the individual parishes will pay attention to the faithful.

    • Up to now I could not see how a schism could take place. Faithful Catholics must hang on in, pray and wait, perhaps with a great deal of silence as recommended by Cardinal Sarah. Good will triumph. However if we see a number of priests relieved of their duties is there then not a possibility of schism? This is very worrying and we must tread very carefully; first of all pray for guidance.

    • The true Catholic Church will go underground. Faithful priests who will lose their canonical faculties will offer the Mass in homes and elsewhere secretly just as priests did during WWII.

      • Do you really know the future?
        I’m amazed… As St Clement put it when a Lutheran attacked the Church for being so rife with human scandal and wondered what would happen to her: “And so it shall be”.
        The Church is indefectible!

        • No, I do not know the future or else you would address me as God! The entire argument has NOTHING to do with the Indefectibility of the Church. You can follow me if you wish. My profile is not private. Spend a little time reading other posts and learn why others and I write what we do.

        • Perhaps this will also help…

          From the Baltimore Catechism: “When we say the Church is infallible we mean that it can never teach error while it lasts; but when we say the Church is indefectible, we mean that it will last forever and be infallible forever; that is will always remain as Our Lord founded it and never change the doctrines He taught.” (Baltimore Catechism Three, Question/Answer 544, pg. 112).

          Therefore, if the pope is teaching a doctrine that is contrary to what Our Lord gave the Apostles and their successors, let him be anathema!

  5. The point about Fr Luis that everyone sidesteps is this point:

    5th. That on January 2, 2017, Father Luis Carlos Uribe Medina, without notifying his Bishop or any diocesan authority, abandoned the Parish of Santa Cecilia, in Pueblo Rico

    What does that mean? In all cases of priest personnel, the chancery is bound by discretion. It may very well be that they hounded him from the parish grounds, but no one has offered an explanation. I am well aware of the dangers, the injustice, and the tragedy of our perilous situation overall, but this may be a mitigating factor. Until we know more (and that may be impossible) I’m uncomfortable rallying to this particular case.

      • Maybe. But there are two precedents for this kind of thinking: the fake hate crimes that fit a widely-perceived imaginary template but have yet to materialise; and Dan Rather’s infamous “fake but accurate” news story. We have to avoid such pitfalls.

    • Let me propose the concept of “constructive abandonment.”

      IOW, perhaps Fr. Luis may not have *physically left* (“abandoned”) his parish. However, by virtue of his “disobedience,” he disqualified himself as the priest of the Parish of Santa Cecilia and, in effect, “abandoned” the parish — in the eyes of his bishop, that is.

  6. So, what is keeping the hierarchy from submitting a change to canon law? How does that work? Can you just change canon law at will… because it’s not doctrine?… obviously it’s been updated before… what’s to keep them from scrubbing all of paragraph 1387 or adding enough footnotes to make it irrelevant? Then – hey, now there’s no problem! Change the law and everyone wins, right?

      • My thought is that, regardless of what Canon Law currently says, the pope can choose to ignore it. What a mess. And a tragedy.

        • Technically, the pope is above canon law and is thus not subject to it. So he can, lawfully even, ignore the law. Doesn’t mean he should. Canon law exists for a reason. But he can.

          • The Pope may be above Canon Law. But an individual priest is not. I await some clarification from a canon lawyer on how impossible is the position of an honest priest.

          • Very true, but the comment here is that the Pope could just change canon law. The Pope himself can do more or less what he wants (within the bounds of divine and natural law).

  7. I am praying for wisdom. In my parish church’s sanctuary there is a mural of various saints, one of whom is St. Sir Thomas More. Recall. He was in a similar position. I believe he resigned without comment. Kept, as best he could, his internal forum intact. Is he the Man of this Season?

    • I don’t think Sir Thomas More’s situation was parallel to that of Fr. Luis. St. Thomas was councillor to King Henry VIII and Lord High Chancellor of England from 10/1529-05/1532, not a priest of the Catholic Church. When he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

      St. John Fisher, an English bishop whom Pope Paul III created Cardinal Priest of the church of San Vitale, in Rome, also refused to take the Oath and was martyred. The other English bishops took the Oath, but St. John was faithful to the principle of papal primacy, so his situation is not exactly parallel to Fr. Luis’s situation.

      May God grant to you and Fr. Luis the strength of these two great saints, Fr. Sauppe!

          • Again, thanks for the prayers and remember, you didn’t read this from me. I was never here! ;). Although, I would not have used the word “henchmen”; a henchman is someone who acts as a heavy handed enforcer of some superior’s ideological position, for example, lets say “moral subjectivism” which would allow, say, abortionists, adulterers, sodomites, mafioso types, to discern in their hearts if they are “right” with God, to take (note: not receive) Holy Communion. No these prelates who are involved are not henchm.., er, a, never mind.

        • It is better to have your priestly faculties removed then to cooperate with leading souls to hell.

          I am so sorry you and other priests are going through these trials.
          May your reward be that of eternity with our Lord.
          You shall always be His priest.

          • “Faculties removed” is definitely been broached in Malta (see story by and excommunication has now been broached in Columbia. In our common experience of Pope Francis over the last four years, (remember the manipulation of two synods and a ghost written post-synod apostolic letter by an Archbishop who “cut and pasted” paragraphs of his own earlier article into AL) which avenues of mercy will he take for compromised faithful priests?

          • You will know what to do Father. Forgive me if I seemed to harsh in my previous post.

            I am but a mere laywoman. You are so much more and know so much more.

          • And I always thought obedience to the Holy Father was a distinctly Roman Catholic charism!
            It’s never too early or too late to pray for God’s will and then, let it.

          • Okay, but remember “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future…” said, well, er, said Saint, well, actually it was Yoda. But you from your other responses, you know what I mean. But yes, God’s will and Divine Providence is always a factor.

        • You’re welcome, Father.

          The lack of parallel I had in mind: Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher looked to a papacy worthy of their loyalty. These days, the clergy must ask, in a sense different from Peter’s, “Lord, to whom do we go?”

    • St. Thomas Moore kept quiet for a time, but spoke when he had to. He was martyred for it. Don’t cave in to supporting sin, no matter what the pressure.

  8. Francis is doing what he was hired to do – establish Catholi-Schism. It is rather disturbing to hear him warn about the rise of another Hitler, when he himself uses the tactics the Nazis made infamous. Just ask the members of The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta about the most recent application of those tactics. This is the year that his, and the efforts of those who hired him, bear fruit. Freemasonry writ large. The Third Secret of Fatima, fulfilled 100 years after they were given in Fatima, July 13, 1917 to be exact. Mark the date, July 13th, on your calendars. The Church might be unrecognizable to the faithful by then.

    • I hope you’re not serious. Since when did you become a prophet? It’s the future. Anything can happen. Have no fear and pray for God’s will.

      • Hi bob – I am quite serious. As serious as the times befit and as aware of the consequences of not heeding the warnings delivered at Fatima should make all of us who know that those who comfort themselves with statements like “anything can happen” only fool themselves. Listening to the Words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels and His Blessed Mother at Fatima don’t make us prophets, they make us capable of reading the signs of our times. And indeed I have no fear and do pray that God’s Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, including listening to those sent from heaven to deliver His Message. Those of us who are alarmed by the actions of Francis know that he is the most disturbing of signs, of course there are none so blind as those who refuse to see, bob.

  9. The bottom line up front: Priests who remain faithful to Church Teaching in these matters, and who resist their bishops and Bergoglio, could face severe canonical penalties either way. It is a NO WIN SITUATION. Many priests will become the primary martyrs in this doctrinal crisis, with the laity following close behind. Soon, I fear, we will have nowhere to go. Schism…thanks for nothing Bergoglio and your prelate henchmen.

    • Based on the Henry VIII persecution, most priests will cave in and support grave sin. Recall that only one bishop withstood the pressure, St. John Fischer. Get to know the traditional priests in your area now.

      • Just one bishop, St John Fisher, the learned bishop of
        Rochester, perhaps similar to how very, very few spoke up properly for the Faith and Mass at Vatican II. Coetus Internationalis Patrum was not large, and eloquent critics of the New Mass like Cardinal Ottaviani were assuaged with a rewriting of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Most priests and bishops, even those seemingly friend to Catholic Tradition, will take the path of least resistance, if history is any guide. Thank God bishop Fellay did not sign any deal with the lawless Pope Francis.

  10. Oh my gosh. (See posts below) Sorry about wrong use of grammatical tense, but things are rather fluid. The National Catholic Register is reporting new news about the Knights of Malta. See story here….

    Thank God I am not a Knight of Malta! Oh wait, what was that quote of Rev. Niemoller: “When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. Then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

    What was that recent quote from the Vatican Secretary of State about removing Cardinals? Oh yes, but he retracted it somewhat, I think he was just saying that it could happen as he lifted his coat up with his shoulders and slightly raised his hands.
    It is almost like the Pope doesn’t know that there is an internet.

  11. Why is anyone that is an observant or a practicing catholic is called a traditionalist is beyond me. The correct word should be Catholic.

  12. Ya, you are not a canon lawyer and are not even in the arena of canon law… have misinterpreted and been misinformed about your unique interpretation of canon 1387. You are making a mountain out of your misunderstanding of canon 1387. It is not about the priest giving absolution, it is about the priest using “confession” to seduce the penitent into having sex with him(The priest)! This whole article is shallow.

    • Yes, my understanding of Canon 1387 is that it applies to the delinquent priest who is trying to seduce a penitent. The problem is that long established laws can be reinterpreted to apply to new circumstances in ways which the original author of the law never imagined.

      The classic recent example in English law concerned the application of the very old anti-slave-trading law to the modern practice of paying a woman to bear a surrogate child. The judge correctly described the financial arrangements as a pernicious attempt to buy a human being and declared the contract null.

      Now we have the previously unimaginable circumstance where a Papal document can apparently be interpreted to allow Communion to adulterous couples. Are there any Canon Lawyers out there willing to bet their careers on a new interpretation?

  13. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee. Amen.


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