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How Many Fingers is Francis Holding Up Now? Amoris Laetitia and Submission

We are hearing more complaints of division. Why, goes the lament, is the Church divided? Why can we not simply “put our differences aside”?

Simply, because two logically opposed things can’t both be true.

This week, we have been offered two interviews that very helpfully delineate the main divisions in the Church today and the reason the Church is now divided into two utterly, implacably opposed camps, currently struggling for ascendancy. These, of course, are the same two sides that have been engaged for fifty years in a protracted Cold Civil War that has, with the publication of Amoris Laetitia, burst into the public consciousness, guns blazing.

In fact, the two divergent worldviews of the interviews also illustrate the great gulf that exists in all aspects of social discourse throughout the lands formerly known as Christendom. They give us an insight into exactly why Amoris Laetitia – and the shrill demands of submission to it – is so important as a line of demarcation between the remnants of the old world and the Brave New Paradigm that has been struggling for control of our civilization since the start of the 20th century.

Father Antonio Spadaro, the pope’s close friend, published an interview recently in La Civiltà Cattolica with Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the prelate whom the pope has said is the authorized “interpreter” of Amoris Laetitia. On the same day, we have another interview with Cardinal Burke by Michael Matt, editor of the venerable Remnant magazine.

In the first, Spadaro asked Cardinal Schönborn:

Some have spoken of “The Joy of Love” as a minor document, a personal opinion of the pope, without full magisterial value. What value does this exhortation possess? Is it an act of the magisterium? This seems obvious, but it is good to specify it now, in order to prevent some voices from creating confusion among the faithful when they assert that this is not the case.…

His eminence replied:

It is obvious that this is an act of the magisterium: it is an apostolic exhortation. It is clear that the pope is exercising here his role as pastor, as master and teacher of the faith, after benefiting from the consultation of the two synods.

In the Remnant interview, Mike Matt asked Cardinal Burke essentially the same question: is Amoris Laetitia “authoritative” in the sense of a requirement by the faithful of consent.

The American cardinal responded:

“As I stated from the beginning, the very form of Amoris Laetitia, and, actually, the words of the Pope within the document, indicate that it is not an exercise of the papal magisterium. And the way the document necessarily is read, as with every document, is in the light of the constant teaching and practice of the Church. And so the statements in AL which are in accord with the Church’s constant teaching and practice certainly are very fine. But there are a number of statements that are at best confusing and they must be clarified and that’s why four of us cardinals posed, according to the classic practice of the Church, five questions to the Holy Father having to do with the very foundations of the moral life and the Church’s constant teaching in that regard.”

Look carefully at these two responses to discern the vast difference in the underlying understanding of what Catholicism actually is. Burke has addressed the nature of the document’s contents, asking us to consider whether what it says is objectively Catholic.

Schönborn is concerned only that the document itself has come from the pope. It is Catholic teaching because the pope says it is. Its contents are irrelevant. If it contradicts 2000 years of practice, if it contradicts even the words of Christ in Scripture – irrelevant. It is the pope, therefore it is authoritative.

It is only after establishing this as the highest criterion that he bothers to address the document’s content, saying, “I have no doubt that it must be said that this is a pontifical document of great quality, an authentic teaching of sacra doctrina, which leads us back to the contemporary relevance of the word of God.” But even here he gives away his positivistic mindset, implying that a contradiction – yes, adulterers can now receive Communion – can be somehow justified simply because it is 2017.

Truth, reality, human nature, God’s intentions – and therefore Catholicism – are all mutable, and it is the job of churchmen (well, some churchmen) to figure out what it is now. Schönborn again:

“We are led in a living manner to draw a distinction between the continuity of the doctrinal principles and the discontinuity of perspectives or of historically conditioned expressions. This is the function that belongs to the living magisterium: to interpret authentically the word of God, whether written or handed down.”

This, by the way, is a textbook expression of Neo-Modernism; the idea that Catholic doctrine must be “reformulated,” that is, expressed in new ways to suit “modern man”.

In his next paragraph, Schönborn is even more explicit about the pope’s intentions of abandoning traditional Catholic philosophical foundations about the nature of reality, including human nature, as immutable:

In this sphere of human realities, the Holy Father has fundamentally renewed the discourse of the church—certainly along the lines of his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” but also of Vatican II’s “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,” which presents doctrinal principles and reflections on human beings today that are in a continuous evolution. There is a profound openness to accept reality.

We are not told what, exactly, these “doctrinal principles” are. But we are being told every day that no matter what they are, we are obliged to submit.

The contrasting statements in these two interviews illustrate that our divisions are based on two irreconcilably opposed understandings of the nature of reality, and therefore of Catholicism, at the very highest levels of the Church.

The first of these two divergent universal worldviews is:

Positivism [1] – Truth, reality, is whatever we perceive it to be; therefore the Catholic religion is what we say it is. It has no relationship at all to external reality – which itself may or may not exist and is, in any case, irrelevant. Catholicism can and must be changed, even in its essentials, to suit the changing needs of society, of contemporary men and women or whatever criterion we decide. Not only is there no such thing as an immutable human nature that remains subject to the same moral laws throughout human history, but there is no analogous nature to truth or even to God. God can change His mind, and it is up to us to discern, through examining the “signs of the times” or the trends of history (or whatever) what His new will is for human beings.

The idea that there is an unchanging nature to Truth and that it applies equally in all times to the unchanging human nature is inherently oppressive, regressive and unjust, legalistic, rigid and “unpastoral”.

The one thing we need to know is that this mutable will of God is conveyed through the pope, and only the pope, and/or his chosen proxies. “Do as you’re told” shall be the whole of the law for the likes of us.

The second worldview is:

Epistemological Realism [2] – Reality exists in a particular way outside our perceptions and apprehension of it. The proper use of the human intellect is to discover and articulate that reality, including the ultimate reality of God and His relationship to man. Therefore Catholicism is nothing more than an accurate description of objective, immutable, external reality and cannot be changed by human fiat. Catholicism, to the Epistemological Realist, has the same quality of value in relation to objective reality that mathematics and physics have.

This is the “classical” philosophical worldview that formed the foundation of what we now call “western” thought and civilization. In this paradigm, it is not possible for the Church to one day say something is forbidden, and then claim that through “development” or “pastoral discernment” that thing is now allowed. A “no” cannot “develop” through the mere passage of time or cultural differences into a “yes.”

Under this paradigm, Catholicism, including in its “pastoral practice” in “concrete cases,” is a unified whole that is rational; it never contradicts or conflicts with itself – including with its past – or with observable phenomena.

Epistemological Realism is, simply put, the idea that “reality is a real thing” and that it can in some respects be apprehended by human perception, through reason [3]. It appeared in recorded history in Greece and was developed in a continual stream through the medieval philosophers and has informed Catholic thought since the Church’s foundation. It is also the foundation of all modern natural science from Euclid’s geometry to Galileo and Copernicus’s astronomical observations, to medical and biological sciences to NASA. Its application in Catholicism rests on the premise that there is such a thing as a Divine and a human nature that are both the same in all times and places.

We are seeing, increasingly, that in the Church it is Positivism that is the philosophical foundation of the post-conciliar revolution. This is why we who write about this situation have started using the term “Papal Positivism” for the idea that the pope can, through some kind of mystical power granted by his office, decide that it is time to change Eucharistic practice to oppose Eucharistic doctrine.

Moreover, the furious response to the Dubia by many prelates in favour with the pope — with hysterical accusations of “schism” being flung at the four cardinals — shows us where Positivism leads. Amoris Laetitia demonstrates that as a guiding principle, Papal Positivism reduces to an exercise in sheer political power, predicated on an assumption of a pope’s godlike capacity to change, or just ignore, the very nature of reality.

One might say that Amoris Laetitia is the Orwellian four fingers being held up before the whole Church, with the demand that we all say it is five. The actual content, the actual number of the fingers, is irrelevant. The only thing that counts is our eagerness to submit.

A few days ago, just before he published this interview, Spadaro told the whole world on Twitter that the new theology doesn’t have anything to do with objective reality, and that to insist that it must is wrong-think.

The fact that the new Anti-Rational Paradigm has not yet received proper submission was demonstrated by the pointing and laughing at this absurdity in his Twitter feed. He was rather mercilessly raked over the coals for it.

This manifestly anti-rational statement was taken, quite rightly, as a sign of a half-deranged mind, or of one so intellectually deformed as to be incapable of mature thought, still less of any kind of valuable comment.

Moreover, astounding though it might seem, Spadaro didn’t remove the post in embarrassment, as one would if one had been caught carelessly posting something silly that would hurt one’s cause. Instead he doubled down, trying in further posts to justify and defend this “position”. It was apparent that he saw nothing wrong with it, could not grasp why it had received such a reaction, and learned nothing at all from the many corrections – some apparently not derisive – that he received in response.

When we wouldn’t stop laughing, he responded in the only way a Positivist can: through force. He blocked everyone who had commented. The fact that he thought his post made some kind of sense, was willing to try to defend it, and then responded with force, while being the most hilarious part of the business is also the most telling.

As I’ve been saying, one of the most helpful and fruitful effects of this pontificate has been to reveal the intellectual, doctrinal and formative failings of modern Catholic prelates. Keep talking, guys, so all the world can see and decide. We are in the time of the Great Clarification.

Today, thanks to Spadaro and Schönborn telling us what they really think, we are able to understand even more clearly than we did last week why Pope Bergoglio has put them in charge of interpreting and disseminating his ideas. This is the pope who sees no difficulty proposing wildly divergent and logically opposed ideas from one day to the next. Who has no qualms about simply changing 2000 years of Catholic teaching and practice, of re-writing Scripture to suit this or that homiletic point (No, your holiness, the miracle of the loaves and fishes wasn’t about “sharing,” nor was it a “parable.”)

What people who have decried these incomprehensible contradictions have failed to understand is that “meaning” is irrelevant. The purpose of these communications has not been to inform the Catholic faithful of the pope’s thought or reflections on Scripture. Content is irrelevant; only submission counts, only power. This means the more ambiguous, the more contradictory, the more vapid, the more illogical, the better.

And this is what people are missing. He has been perfectly consistent in all his responses, since he is always saying the same thing: submit. Indeed, we have had a report recently that he knows full well that his work to change the Church’s ancient teaching must rest exclusively on the pure exercise of raw power. When Cardinal Müller of the former Holy Office asked why Francis had demanded the abrupt dismissal of three of his best priests, the pope is reported to have responded as all tyrants do: “I. AM. THE. POPE. I don’t have to answer to anyone.”

Positivism, the denial of an objective reality, must lead ultimately to authoritarianism. If there is no objective reality, there is no need for any rules that regard it; any notion of a Rule of Law is meaningless. What have we seen happen throughout history when the Rule of Law breaks down? There can only be Rule of the Strongest, Rule of Power. This is why, now that the make-reality-up-as-you-go-along principle is firmly in place in the papal office, the pope must clamp down so furiously on “dissent,” even the softly diplomatic “dissent” of asking politely for a clarification.

What does Amoris Laetitia mean?

“It means what I say it means. It means shut up.”

Francis is the pope of many “firsts” but none of them so important as being the first pope to use the papacy to demolish Catholicism from its most elemental, philosophical foundations. He is the first pope to use the papacy as a means of injecting the new Anti-Rational Principle into the Church, an exercise of almost incomprehensible hubris. One, moreover, that he could not possibly have got away with 50 years ago, but now made possible by the near-universal triumph of the same philosophical vacuity throughout our entire civilization. We have been told all our lives that objective reality doesn’t count and we can all decide it for ourselves.

What we failed to grasp was that in a reality-vacuum, he who has the most power will decide for us.

The Anti-Rational Principle is ascendant in the Church, but because it is an untenable proposal, it must be enforced through brute force, a situation that cannot be maintained indefinitely, as the emperors and tyrants of the past all knew. In the face of this anti-rationality, a quiet, even reticent man like Cardinal Burke can strike terror into the heart of a tyrant merely by stating the obvious truth.



[1] Positivism is the philosophical theory of knowledge that asserts: “information is derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, [and] forms the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.”

[2] “Truth consists in a correspondence between cognitive representations and reality.”

[3]Reason” is the application of logic to observable phenomena to accurately perceive reality. It presupposes, therefore, that there is an immutable, objective reality to be perceived.


This post has been updated.

147 thoughts on “How Many Fingers is Francis Holding Up Now? Amoris Laetitia and Submission”

    • For the Brits those two fingers, held in that way, signify the same obscenity which that central phalange, standing alone, means in the U.S.

      I think the photo was chosen in part because of that significance, and I find it wholly appropriate.

  1. Bergoglio-Spadaro Through the Looking-Glass: Hegelian hermeneutics meets Humpty-Dumpty theology, reality-denying dictatorship results:

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

  2. One wonders what exactly would happen in our Church if particularly heterodox priests, bishops, cardinals and a pope turned their full attention to our Lord, Jesus Christ, put down their masks of intellectual prowess, and worshiped the Lord of the Universe instead of their own mirrored image. So much could be said, but after the last three — almost four — years the stench is getting to me.
    I can’t breath.

  3. Great analysis as usual, Ms. White. You again put your finger on the center of the problem, and help it be better understood. It is critical we all understand this, the men in charge deny there is an objective reality to which THEY must submit. One often looks at these men and wonders what THEY believe. No one but God knows, but surely they do not believe what we believe or what Catholics have believed for 2000 years. Surely they do not! Else why would they work so hard to undermine it. They want a libertine church, and you and I stand in the way. If they can hang in there, 30 years or so, they may get what they want, since there will be precious few Catholics who are able to remember or defend the Catholic faith as it has been passed down for 2000 years.
    It all strikes me as an amazing coincidence. America suffered Barack Hussein Obama for the last insufferable eight years, who did very much the same thing to our nation that Francis and his minions are trying to do to the faith. Obama certainly understood our Constitution, he was reportedly some kind of a Constitution “scholar”. But he trampled it. He used his “pen and phone” to circumvent it when he didn’t agree with it, which was often, and we can see how inspired his drones and zombies are, even though he is leaving in nine days (who’s counting) his worker bees are demonstrating disruptive and fascistic tendencies that were never seen before in American culture or politics. But presidents can get voted out, thank God. And we got rid of our tyrannical pipsqueak.
    What we have is the Four Cardinals. I hope they realize we are counting on them to right this ship. May God help them.

  4. “How many fingers is Francis holding up now?”

    The answer, dear readers, is quite simple. They are not fingers at all. They are toes.

    True, perhaps a fundamental knowledge of human anatomy and reason prior to today would have told us they were indeed fingers. But that was before today, you see, dear readers. For our understanding of human anatomy has “developed” to the point that what we formerly called “fingers” we now recognize as “toes”.

    And, if that is not enough to convince you, the Pope said so. End of discussion. So stop staring at me in confusion and just accept it. He’s “God’s mouthpiece” after all.

    (sarcasm off)

    • He is holding up one finger. The other finger is there as camouflage, to aid the Pollyannas in maintaining their equilibrium.

    • This flagrant altering of the definition of words is taking place everywhere all of the time now. I just read the other day where the definition of the word “sodomite” has been changed to include heterosexuals. ALL dictionaries & all textbooks now carry the revised definition of the word. When you alter the definition of a word, everything connected with that word is changed (eg. sodomite laws, etc). Ask yourself, “WHO has the power to do this?” The obvious answer of course is the entity described by Jesus as “the prince of this world”. Everyone remembers President Bill Clinton, the “lawyer’s”, testimony before the Grand Jury re: the LIES he told regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, “That depends upon what your definition of the word is is.”

  5. What does a bride become that has been adulterous to her spouse? A harlot. Francis is leading a church, long since a harlot; from John Paul II’s & Benedict’s adulterous Assisi prayer meetings to Francis’ normalization of physical adultery. It’s simply becoming more apparent that she and her people are being led willingly into prostitution.

    A new, false church needs a new type of priesthood. It needs new rites of sacraments. It needs a new mass. A new evangelization. A new orientation toward the world.

    • If they don’t believe in God they don’t need any of those things. They only want power. They are no better than the worst dictators this world has thrown up during its entire history. It is critically important that they are prevented from taking anything with them as they are booted out the Holy Door of Mercy. The silence of most of our prelates is deafening – even those we were relying on e.g. Cards. Sarah, Pell, Bishops Gadecki & Lenga. The seeming withdrawal from the scene of the SSPX & other Traditional Orders doesn’t bode well. Can we ever trust them as they lie in wait for the eventual outcome, unwilling to stand up to the Argentinian autocrat in the Vatican. They & their followers are OK Jack. Why should they rock the boat. After all, the hundreds of millions that have never see their priests will be no worse off than they are now. Heaven may, after all, only be for the elite.

      • They aren’t “OK Jack.” They’re in the same boat as everyone else, victims of the culture watching their friends and family fall prey. God carved out a special place for the Society, one that is protected, withdrawn and within the Church at the same time. Almost all resistance began in their camp and trickled outward. Don’t knock the ones that stood firm.

        Find a holy priest that offers a dignified Mass and do the same.

        • All their followers (like the Sedes) can say to those of us who also stood firm but are not in the way of getting to a Traditional Order Church is that we should travel long distances every week (in my case by plane) taking more than several hours there & back not caring a darn what our circumstances are. If you don’t you are deemed outside ‘the club’ & don’t deserve to be counted as Catholic. They talk all the time of taking to the catacombs for fear of losing the faith instead of being prepared to proclaim it from the rooftops. Well neither the SSPX nor any other priestly order have been prepared to give us TLM in this part of the world either in the catacombs or in a church because they are all afraid of the Bishops & they might lose what they hold if they did. Why should God carve out special places for certain of His followers – we are all the Children of God. At least Bishop Schneider is aware of our problems but getting others to acknowledge them will take forever. Europe is almost in ashes. When the Islamists come in their droves & are welcomed the native Catholics must put up & shut up.

          • Ana, yes. The SSPX must join us in canonical regularity now, even under Francis. Spare me the ‘its a trap,’ usual commenters, please. I know what is happening. The time for unity and its consequences (which may be more of the Cross than we’d like) is now, I truly believe.

          • Infiltrate the infiltrators. SSPX can help expose the freemasons.
            SSPX has a traditional Catholic ethos. Freemasons have been infiltrated into the clergy, papacy and priesthood for over 100 years. Catholics believing in the One Holy, Catholic Apostolic faith need support. We won’t get it from freemasons in the church. SSPX clergy and members can aid in infiltrating a Catholic ethos back into the Catholic church. But the church must be purged of masons, satanist heretics.

          • Sorry I don’t understand why the Society must regularise now. Sorry the good Archbishop held his ground until the doctrinal problems were ironed out. They weren’t ironed out, and so the Society held out as a lifeboat to the Church. The situation of the Church is far worse now than in Lefebvre’s time. Why does His Excellency Bishop Fellay wish to sign up now with no doctrinal solutions. Has freemasonry entered into the Society in it’s rush to join their fellow brothers? Is the cat about to swallow the mouse?

          • mary_podlesak below and Ana Milan above both offer points for your consideration. I just don’t have time today to answer more fully. Probably couldn’t convince you anyway and we will have to disagree in peace.

          • If we are to be guided by PB’s prophesy on the future of the CC (as follows) we will need the SSPX & other Traditional Orders more than ever. If they are not regularised – & I don’t believe Bishop Schneider would send them down a dark alleyway – they will not be of any benefit. We need complete Apostolic Succession that only comes from Rome, even Modernist Rome. Bishop Schneider has suffered under such tyranny himself & knows more of the background to our present crisis than any of us as there is always more detail that only prelates can pick-up on.

            “From today’s crisis will emerge a church that has lost a great deal. It will no longer have use of the structures it built in its years of prosperity. The reduction in the number of faithful will lead to it losing an important part of its social privileges. It will become small and will have to start pretty much over again. It will be a more spiritual church and will not claim a political mandate flirting with the Right one minute and the Left the next. It will be poor and will become the Church of the destitute.”

            Jesus came to save all who would hear & not just a relatively elite few. We are in a time bomb that is going to explode soon. We still trust in Our Lady’s Triumph in the centenary year of Fatima.

          • But Ana, please be fair – how many true faithful priests are there to go around? In Canada the whole Maritime region in the East is without the TLM. How can the Fraternity and the Society spread? It is a numbers game. You say they are afraid of the Bishops – it’s more likely simply impossible to set up shop in some places.

          • They can’t set-up without faculties & they won’t gain them until they accept the Personal Prelature which has been offered them. Bishop Schneider is on their side & actively working for them in the background. He would not lead them astray. He has had experience of living under oppression & it is the same from whatever source it comes from. The argy bargy between Rome & SSPX has not enhanced the CC one bit & the longer it goes on the less interested the locals will become, as to date all our efforts have failed. There is a time limit on ones patience – about 50 years I would say. Most of the population has grown tired of it & fallen away. Instead of getting married they just cohabit & don’t have their children baptised. No homilies on this fact & no real interest in getting people back.

            As Pope Benedict did not mandate the TLM no-one here is allowed to say it. We in Malaga asked for this to be available throughout the Diocese but those churches who did comply were soon told to stop, even though the numbers were sufficient & would grow even further if continued. If Traditional Orders were to be able to minister freely in Europe & run parishes the vocations would grow. As it is, Malaga have a good crop each year anyway, but I feel this would greatly increase if Tradition returned. Our local church is crying out for their services. We don’t have daily Mass, the doors are shut all week, Protestants use the Church for their services & catechesis but don’t pay anything towards its keep. We cannot have the Tabernacle in the centre because it might offend them & of course there are no confessions, no holy water font, no stations of the cross & no crib.

            Both sides in this dispute need their heads knocked together. Realism must succeed. It is highly unlikely that any future Traditional pope or ecumenical council is going to revoke VII – maybe facing up to the disaster it brokered & dealing with the outcome is as good as it will get. Neither side really has shown it truly has the interests of the faithful at heart – it is a political battle within the CC which has been allowed to fester. It could be remedied if both sides could find it in their priestly calling as successors to the First Apostles to compromise for the sake of Christ’s Word being heard in these dreadful times. I don’t hold out much hope of that ever happening bar a miracle, of course, it being Fatima’s Centenary Year.

        • Easier said than done in the Archdiocese of Chicago. (Cupich) Guess some of us could travel into Wisconsin since we’re not THAT far away, but…….. that’s not very easy to do in the Winter.:)

    • Could not have summed it up better. I recall a so-called liturgical expert saying that the Mass had to change because our ecclesiology and understanding of the Church had changed. The response was “That is the most polite and clear expression of modernism that I have ever heard”

  6. And then there is the corollary to this: liturgical positivism. Any liturgy or practice officially approved by the Vatican must, ipso facto, be good and beneficial. And to deny otherwise, regardless of the actual results on the ground, is to “go against the Church.”

      • Exactly. Who are we to judge whether the Holy Spirit is guiding this man? He’s the pope, and de facto, he has the benefit of all doubt regarding doctrine, liturgy…whatever, regardless of how outrageous his statements and actions are. That’s the end result of papal positivism. We traditionalists are the haters. It’s very distressing to watch this unfold before our Catholic eyes. And it’s not happening in slow motion either.

    • I’m wondering that too. I shouldn’t be too surprised if he did. It’s a favourite explanation that Marxists give when asked for one.

  7. “Epistemological Realism is, simply put, the idea that “reality is a real thing” and that it can in some respects be apprehended by human perception, through reason [3]. It appeared in recorded history in Greece and was developed in a continual stream through the medieval philosophers and has informed Catholic thought since the Church’s foundation…….. Its application in Catholicism rests on the premise that there is such a thing as a Divine and a human nature that are both the same in all times and places.”

    Hilary, the primary reason why epistemological realism has informed Catholic thought since the Church’s foundation is that this is the philosophy which stands behind all of Sacred Scripture. It is precisely this realism which made the Jewish cult of the Nazarene and its Scriptures comprehensible to the Greek philosophical world when the two cultures encountered one another with an almighty creative bang. It is the Scriptures which give inerrant, inspired testimony to the fact that God is a Being “in whom there is no shadow of change or alteration.”, “Jesus Christ, the same today, yesterday and forever.” etc.

    The Anti-Rational Principle is not only a rejection of the Greek philosophical tradition, but it is a rejection of Jesus Christ Himself, Who as we know from John 1 is Reason/Rationality Himself: “En arche en o Logos….” He is the Logos, the Word, Reason. As such these fomenters of the Anti-Rational Principle are in fact (small ‘a’) antichrists in the truest sense of the term.

    In Frankenland the real God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has been usurped by his false “god of surprises”, and as you so rightly say, the only recourse he has to impose the worship of his idol is raw power.

    • Yes, obviously it long pre-dated the Greeks, whom we mostly credit with systematizing and writing it all down. But of course it was the foundation of Jewish thought as well. It was the foundation of everyone’s thought, for all the history of humanity. If it weren’t, the pyramids would never have been built, the Babylonians would never have worked out a calendar, the Sumerians would never have worked out how to make words stick to clay. It is uniquely a product of our modern absurdist, suicidal, nihilistic world. I guess some other civilization some time in the lost depths of human history may have come up with something like it, but we’ll never know because such a system of anti-thought can do nothing but make the people who try to adhere to it destroy themselves.

  8. Or, as Ulysses observes in Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida:
    ‘Take but degree away, untune that string, and hark what discord follows…
    Force should be right, or rather right and wrong…should lose their names,
    and so should justice too.
    Then everything include itself in power,
    Power into will, will into appetite,
    And appetite, an universal wolf
    So doubly seconded with will and power
    Must make perforce an universal prey
    And last eat up himself.’

  9. I read what it seems the loudest-mouthed prelates and heresy-supporting “Catholic” sites have to say and I admit, I am left with compassion for anyone, especially Protestants, who believe that the “Catholic Church” believes in nothing, teaches nothing, values nothing, is willing to die for nothing and from God possesses nothing.

    I believe that the great calling of our generation is to start turning that around so that CCC 1697 isn’t a laughable and lofty, pie-in-the-sky pipe dream, but a simple reality of day-to-day Catholicism.

  10. “What we failed to grasp was that in a reality-vacuum, he who has the most power will decide for us.”

    Loved this line – absolutely the truth. Francis is all about power and his formation in an ironically named “Liberation” Theology and Latin American populist dictatorships gave him the tools to be the one that made him the chosen one for the Rhine contingent behind VII.

    The thing that most called down the VII wrath on BXVI (although I know he is also hated by many traditionalists here) was the Regensburg address – where BXVI dared to state that Islam was anti-rational and believed in a capricious, irrational God – in contrast to Christianity, which is rational and believes in a God who is rational, consistent and accessible to human reason.

    This is the showdown between these two visions, and we must resist, no matter how humble, unimportant or even lousy Catholics (like me) we may be. The future of the world literally depends on this.

    • J. Ratzinger, BXVI isn’t ‘hated by many traditionalists here.’ I still love the man for the father I thought he was. There’s a great deal more to his legacy than the Regensburg address, and even its implications vis a vis the Islamic conception of God.
      Enough for now, but that insult shouldn’t get a pass.

      • I get sick and tired of people on traditionalist websites telling me what a Modernist BXVI was. He wasn’t. BXVI did enormous things for the Church and tried to keep JPII on the straight and narrow (JPII was very devout, in a Slavic and totally emotional way, but he sure wasn’t the guardian of orthodoxy). But try mentioning BXVI on traditionalist websites, and you’ll get unbelievable vitriol.

        I think history will judge BXVI very harshly for having abandoned his post, although perhaps whatever reason was behind his action will someday be revealed and will prove to be the best choice he could have made at the time. I don’t know.

          • There is evidence that he was a modernist but there seems to be done evidence that he changed. He certainly is an enigma.

        • I didn’t write anything demonstrating “unbelievable vitriol.” You and I could disagree on certain aspects of his theology and still love him and pray for him, as I suspect we both do.

          • Sorry, I didn’t mean you! I just meant that I have read awful comments about BXVI – who followed a rather doctrinally squishy and administratively weak but popular pope – that attack BXVI as the source of evil. The source of evil is VII, and the fact that various weak popes followed it, probably intimidated by the death of JPI, who had announced his plans to reverse some of the changes, shouldn’t make distract us from the source of the problem.

            We need to have a new Syllabus of Errors, put a couple of irredeemable VII documents in their entirety on the no-no list, and go through the others passage by passage. I hate to say it, but BXVI by his resignation may have totally betrayed the Church (to which I think he was very devoted). But that wasn’t what he thought he was doing, he defended orthodoxy while he was Pope, and maybe he was just too weak to go on. Maybe we didn’t pray enough for him to “resist the wolves,” as he said in his first papal address.

  11. “Reality is a real thing” is also the base line for scientific research (of course there are the jump-the-gun scientists, but I’m talking about real science. We have to go forward according to what is real, not imposed. Truth is Truth and can only be truth because if it is not true, it is false. There’s no getting around that. That’s our spiritual reality which always tests us to find and live Truth. It wasn’t Jesus’ thought mentally pervading hungry people and tricking them into being fed, but in truth and reality, they ate real physical bread and fish He gave them. He said He is, was, and will be the Truth. I believe Him and people in power who do not point to Him/Truth/Way/Life are deceivers in Reality and I do not believe them. He will take us through this.

  12. Let’s distinguish, to some extent, 1.) true religious obedience from a kind of 2.) false obedience of a slave. I will not explain the first so much as the latter.

    1. True obedience: the religious obedience of all faithful Catholics to Church authority, it actually sanctifies our will and liberate us as persons by ordering and uniting us to God through His Ministers, by obeying lovingly, therefore freely, informed with the truth. “He who hears you, hears me.” said our Lord Jesus Christ.

    2. Slavish obedience: the obedience of a slave is the submission of a person to another A.) out of coercion, and B.) the command is given at the complete exclusion of the spiritual good and sanctification of the person.

    This is very important…since true obedience is not the abdication of our spiritual good, then obedience is not the abdication of our right for clarity on such grave questions proposed in The Dubia.

  13. Clueless. My Catholic friends are simply clueless. We like him. He is bringing people back to the Church. My doctor wants to be Catholic because of Francis. He is misquoted. He is misrepresented. He speaks from a different culture — as the first pope from a South American country. He is so holy. He is so humble. It’s only the Traditional Catholics who don’t like him. That’s why we pray for him. (Obvious discomfort on their faces at any mention of chaos, confusion, uncertainty and division. Is it time to change the subject now?) Lord have mercy!

    What will it take? I think the man could deny Jesus as the Son of God and folks would still say, “He’s Awesome.”

    • You’re not alone. I am in the same position. My pastor speaks of him with such reverence and love. With everyone around me saying he is wonderful, it has made me question myself. Am I a rigid Pharisee? One of those awful rad trads?

      The only thing that keeps me going is reading the words of Our Lord and praying that I may have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth. You are blessed because you do.

      I will be praying for you, Susan.

      May God bless you,


      • The problem with the whole schema is that Pope Francis DOERS say many things that are good, Biblical, CATHOLIC and worthy of emulation.

        It’s just all that other stuff that gets in the way.

      • Dear Terra,

        You are not “rigid” it was as far as I understood a comment aimed at people that think they are above others and have an amazingly “deep spirituality”. They exist in our Parish and are like wolves in the sense that they form clans, circles and clubs. They need to be chiefs and usually have the priest’s ear, nobody is allowed to challenge them but after going to confession one day after confessing a lack of courage and tolerance thought “hey, time to stop letting this lot discourage, divide and affect us” I’m happier knowing the dejected, rejected and unaccepted in our parish. So the battle commenced and at the moment it continues, I call them among other things “the sour faced saints” but i do pray for them.

        I may be wrong but that was my interpretation and have had the same thoughts that you shared in the sense “am i rigid?”

        Will keep you in my prayers.

        • Kind Christopher,

          Thank you. I can tell that you are a gentle and loving person. You are living out the will of our dear Lord by sharing your hope with others. I pray you will remember your own words and hold on to that hope when life is difficult.

          I pray for you by name.

          Your friend in Christ,


    • In effect, he has done so already, several times. Fortunately for most conservative Catholics much of what he says does not make it into the English language press.

        • His implicit denials of the divinity of Christ are innumerable, though of course, as always, expressed with enough ambiguity and nonsense verbiage to make them plausibly deniable…if you close one eye and squint the other one hard enough. Perhaps most blatantly he has several times said or implied that Jesus was a sinner.

          Most recently, this week he was at it again. In a homily he said:

          “Jesus served the people, He explained things because the people understood well: He was at the service of the people. He had an attitude of a servant, and this gave authority. On the other hand, these doctors of the law that the people… yes, they heard, they respected, but they didn’t feel that they had authority over them; these had a psychology of princes: ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey.’ Jesus never passed Himself off like a prince: He was always the servant of all, and this is what gave Him authority.”

          Of course, anyone who has read even only the Gospels, even once, knows what utter nonsense this is. Our Lord’s authority comes from being the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father, for whom and through whom all things were made.

          Isaiah 9:6
          For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

          Matthew 28:17
          When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,…

          Matthew 11:27
          All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.

          Matthew 26:64
          “You have said it yourself,” Jesus answered. “But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

          John 3:31
          The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The One who comes from heaven is above all.

          John 3:35
          The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in His hands.

          John 10:36
          then what about the One whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? How then can you accuse Me of blasphemy for stating that I am the Son of God?

          …in fact, just about the entirety of the Gospel of John was about the Divinity of Christ and the origins of his authority.

          Now, I will note that I happen to know some of the people who work in the English section of Vatican Radio whose task it is to translate what Francis says, and they will confirm that this is a very difficult task. Quite simply, he doesn’t speak in sentences, has no rhyme or reason to his speech, frequently devolves into mumbling or one-word “sentences”. It’s pure emotivism, and is clearly an exercise in what Mao described as using words as “little sticks of dynamite” intended exclusively to procure an emotional response. What I didn’t get into at all in this essay was the fact – verifiable just by watching videos of him speaking – that he has absolutely no interest at all in conveying any meaning.

          There is, simply, no content at all to the things he says most of the time. This of course is one of the the tricks he has learned in order to cover his actions. It’s a very common technique, apparently, of
          Peronists who (again like Mao) understood that to be a populist demagogue, it is extremely important to appeal emotionally to the masses without nailing oneself down, at least publicly, to any one opinion.

          Moreover, he has a habit of using terms and figures of speech that are very, very close to Catholic teaching. The presentation of Christ as the Suffering Servant is, of course, well known in Catholic theology. But he garbles them so badly they become at best incomprehensible. The difficulty then is that people will recognise these figures and, because of the universality of very poor formation of Catholics – even of priests – will say, Oh! but that’s Catholic teaching because they recognise a few words.

          However, the sheer volume of his speech makes it impossible to avoid the occasional slip and he often does say what he obviously thinks, and quite plainly. One of the ways to tell if he really does hold this or that idea personally is to look at how often it comes up as a theme. He changes his tune so often – I’ve taken to calling him “Papa Banderuola”, Pope Weathervane in Italian – that it can be very confusing. I developed the Francis Rule early on: don’t like something he’s said? Wait 24 hours, he’ll say exactly the opposite tomorrow. But if you listen long enough and closely enough, you will find themes that repeat. And Jesus the sinner (as well as Our Lady the sinner… though I’m horrified even to type such a thing!) is one of these themes.

          All of this has been meticulously recorded and refuted with many, many citations of saints and doctors correcting him at the invaluable website Denzinger Bergoglio that is linked below. (But I’m afraid I find the way they have organized their website makes it very difficult to figure it all out.) This group of priest thelogians have been recording nearly everything he has said and done, and meticulously comparing it all with the authentic teaching of the church, from his earliest days in office. I do recommend it.

          • I am familiar with the denzingerbergoglio site and Denzinger itself. Regarding the latter, I believe every Catholic should possess a copy and and study it along with the Bible and the Catechisms, etc.

            I was curious as to whether you had material of which I was unaware. Thanks for responding.

        • Here’s another, again with all possible rigorous examination and correction. This one stands out as an example of the many times he has said or implied that Our Lord was a sinner. In this case also a good example of his weird garbling and conflating of various bits of scripture and doctrine. It’s as if he half remembers something he read once years ago, but doesn’t really understand.

          “The Son of Man, who like a serpent, became sin,
          is raised up to save us. Let us look at the Cross, a man tortured, a
          God, emptied of his divinity, stained by sin”

          • That last quote is one of the most repulsive and chilling I have ever heard uttered by that man. Why can’t people do him the justice owed to him and take his words at face value? He does not believe people – look at his actions more than his words.

          • In fact they don’t look at his actions at all. They see his publicized gestures. His actions as a governor have been appalling, but most do not hear about them.

    • “I think the man could deny Jesus as the Son of God and folks would still say, “He’s Awesome.” ”

      Does a replacement of God with man count?

      Check out paragraph 161 Evagelii Gaudium.

  14. Blessed Joachim (died 1202): “Toward the end of the world Antichrist will overthrow the Pope and usurp his See.”

    St Paul tells us that the one who holds back the advent of Antichrist is both a thing and a man. It has been mentioned variously as being the Roman Empire, Christendom and the Papacy. With the dissolution of the Catholic empires in World War I the Papacy was the last sovereign left that represented the old order. It is about to be displaced by the “mystery of iniquity”. Francis may or may not be proven to be a usurper, Benedict may or may not flee the Vatican as many believe. I certainly do not think Francis is the Antichrist. But I know this – the Church and the world were blessed by wise and holy Popes from the 19th century until the middle of the 20th, warning us of what was coming and what the battleplan was. It has now come to fruition and the true Church will soon be in “eclipse” as Our Lady said at La Salette. Sister Lucy said that the 3rd secret was contained in Apoc chapters 8 through to 13. JPII cited Chapter 12 at Fatima (which deals with the apostasy of Catholic clergy – a necessary precondition for Antichrist to appear). We have seen this apostasy play out for the last 60 years. Now we wait for it to be formalized and the beast to appear (Chapter 13). Is Francis the one to rubber stamp the apostasy that already exists, the same one that conservatives are desperate to deny? Time will tell.

    • I had previously asserted that the papacy was usurped in 1914, FMShyanguya asked – evidence for this?

      Evidence: Part I the deaths:

      On June 28th of 1914 16+ freemasons conspired in the murder of the crown prince of the

      Austro-Hungarian empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The conspirators attempted suicide by cyanide pill, I recollect, but the pills did not work. They were captured, investigated and tried.Investigation uncovered their Masonic affiliations and the conspiratorial direction of a muchlarger organizaton. All the defendants had terminal tuberculosis. The reward for their participation in the conspiracy was to be death benefits applied to descendents. While the Austro-Hungarian empire could not be strictly considered a Catholic confessional state,nevertheless the Catholic faith was the faith of the Monarchy. The treaty connections of European nations assured that war would be inevitable.

      On August 20th, 1914, Pope Pius X died supposedly of a broken heart. Not 24 hours before,the Superior General of the Jesuits, the black pope, Father Wernz, a German, died, also, allegedly of a broken heart. Pius X was frantically attempting a reapprochment between the disputing parties, to no avail, when he suddenly, unexpectedly, died. At first, the press reported that they died of broken hearts, then later reported that they may have died of a cold, or a heart attack or a stroke. Whatever. The press treated their amazing simultaneous deaths as a natural occurrence, after all old men die. But these old men died after a paralysis of the body that spread from the legs to the trunk of the body and finally to the head. The last remaining faculties were eyesight and cognition. These are not the symptoms of a broken heart, pneumonia, a heart attack or a stroke. They do match the symptoms of hemlock poisoning. These old men were in the way of a money man’s good war. That is why they were murdered.

      • Evidence: Part II: Messing with Pius X’s Apostolic Constitution:

        The rules of the conclaves (the meetings that elect the popes) are set by the previous reigning pope in an Apostolic Constitution. Pius X’s rules for the next conclave were set in January of 1905 — and most unusually were to be held in secret until the death of Pius X. As my husband put it, rules made in secret can be changed in secret. Never before had the proceedings of a papal conclave been proposed to be held forever in secret. And that I believe is exactly what happened.Catholics have an obligation to follow a true and validly elected pope. The proceedings of the conclaves prior to 1914 were publically known, before, during and after the conclaves. Beginning with the 1914 conclave, all the proceedings, before, during and after the conclaves were supposed to be held in strict secrecy. Pius X crafted several oaths in order to maintain Catholic loyalty to the faith. One of those oaths was the oath of a cardinal. No where in that oath is any mention made of maintaining secrecy during a conclave. If conclave secrecy had been of paramount importance to Pius X he would have mentioned it in his Cardinal’s Oath. Freemasons live by secrecy, especially at their meetings. The present Oath of secrecy of the Cardinals does not satisfy any of the criteria of moral theology for keeping a secret. St. Alphonsus Liguori qualifies a secret of trust, the highest ranking and of the greatest stridency of obligation, by saying that it would not hold true if the breach of faith were to work grave injury to the common weal. Faithful Catholics cannot possibly know whether the canonical rules were followed at the conclave of 1914 to elect a true and valid pope. This election effected all subsequent elections, to this very day. This form of secrecy has the potential to hide moral wrongdoing and results that harm the commonweal.

        I believe this change in the Apostolic Constitution, that is, perpetual secrecy of the conclave proceedings and results, was made without the knowledge or approval of Pius X. It was therefore illegal and invalidates the results of the conclave of 1914.

        • Evidence: Part III: The Takeover:

          Anyone paying attention to Msgr. Jouin in 1903 and the conclave following the death of Pope Leo XIII, would be alerted to attempts by freemasons to infiltrate the papacy. Msgr. Jouin is said to have been the investigator who approached Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian empire to veto the nomination of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla to the papacy , at the conclave of 1903, due to his discovery of Rampolla’s freemasonic connections. Cardinal Rampolla died in December 1913. His understudy, Giacomo della Chiesa, became Pope Benedict XV in September of 1914, at a conclave whose secrets will forever be held by the participants but unknown to the people for whom the knowledge is most necessary – the Catholic faithful.

          There is documented evidence of Rampolla’s masonic membership. He was listed by
          freemasons as a freemason by the testimony of Msgr. Jouin. Della Chiesa being a close associate of Rampolla would have known this and likely was a mason himself. The history of his papacy and the rollback of Pius X’s initiatives against modernism are sufficient smoking gun evidence for a direct takeover and usurption of the papacy by freemasons, a satanic heretical criminal cult.

  15. Galileo was wrong, the Church was right. Copernicus was wrong, the Church was right. This was one of the first attacks on the Church by Satan, and one that weak-willed minds have come to accept. The popes condemned Galileo and his heliocentric theory and stuck to the traditional teachings of the Fathers. The Church’s pronouncement has never been rescinded. We should rejoice as traditional Catholics that the world is geocentric as God created it. It is even being proved so by modern scientific discoveries today. Alleluia, God is Great!

  16. Thank you Hillary for the clear definition of what ails the Church today, i.e., the replacement and control of God by Man. This is similar to Islam where God can do anything–even contradictory and irrational things. What do we do about all of this? Very simple. Pray but don’t obey the Pope; obey God. Ask our Lady of Fatima to suggest to her son that it may be time to intervene considering the blatant disobedience of the Popes beginning with Vatican II.

  17. In this year of 2017, the 100th anniversary of Fatima, will there be another fulfillment of the third secret? Could Pope Francis be the man in white?

  18. I wonder whether nominalism is not a part of this scenario. Pope Francis seems to continually come out with certain words that lead one to wonder what he means by them and indeed whether he attributes any meaning to them. I have been reading Mgr Ronald Knox’s analysis of the character of the Jansenist St. Cyran and he found some suggestive parallels: ‘charlatanisme devote’ is one description he found but there are many others too long to reproduce here.

  19. Not only is the attempt to destroy 2000 years of Catholic belief being made but also 1500 years of Jewish law (the Ten Commandments…adultery etc.). So, 3500 years of God given teaching , knowledge and faith are being attacked.

  20. How many fingers is Francis holding now?

    a) as many as Francis Bergoglio says that he is holding
    b) two
    c) one (the one that sends a message)
    d) fingers? what fingers? (said with eyes tightly shut)

  21. All of this boils down to Pope Bergolio not believeing the Church contains the Truth. The Universal Truth which is God and the Universal Truth that saves.

    He believes Truth is found in all other religions too and peoples experiences lead to them to their personal truths.

    You bring down the Truth in Catholicism and mix in an egomaniac leader…you get chaos.

  22. the motivation for this push to permit Catholics in illicit situations to still be in full communion with the church is money. The German Catholic Church receives billions, yes billions, of euros every year as part of a taxation law ( see 2+2 can equal 200, if billions of euros are at stake. Germans who feel excluded and leave the church, no longer pay the church tax to the Catholic Church. It’s that simple.

    • There’s something to that, at least in the German-speaking countries context.

      But even these maneuvers will only buy them a little time. The number of officially declared Catholics drops by a couple hundred thousand every year, and the rate seems to be accelerating – and that is to say nothing of the dying off of Silent Gen and Boomer Catholics (the last generations retaining any Catholic habitus en masse). At some point within the coming decade, that is going to create sufficient political impetus for revisiting and modifying the Kirchensteur.

      But even a short term fix has value to them. By the time the push comes, they’ll be dead or retired anyway. Apres moi, le deluge.

  23. He is the first pope to use the papacy as a means of injecting the new Anti-Rational Principle into the Church, an exercise of almost incomprehensible hubris.

    I really do think that Paul VI deserves some credit along these lines as well.

    Indeed, Papa Bergoglio is impossible without Papa Montini.

  24. If one subscribes to Epistemological Realism, then what to make of the following contradiction?

    1917 Code of Canon Law regarding Communion for heretics and schismatics:

    Canon 731.2

    It is forbidden that the Sacraments of the Church be ministered to heretics and schismatics, even if they ask for them and are in good faith, unless beforehand, rejecting their errors, they are reconciled with the Church.

    1983 New Code of Canon Law regarding Communion for heretics and schismatics:

    Canon 844:

    §3. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.

    §4. If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.

      • With all respect Hilary, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you have to say that because the wet paint on the floor has you cornered. Is there an approved theologian or canonist from before Vatican II or the 1983 New Code who says that?

        The pope has the Divinely delegated power to bind and loose, that is, to make laws.

        So now, since Vatican II, we are to believe that the Church can promulgate an evil law that contradicts a prior good law (which was based upon Divine Law); that the new law is based upon errors of religious indifference and false ecumenism, and all of this is done on Divine authority.

        No canon law can contradict Divine Law where it touches upon the Faith and the administration of the Sacraments, because the Church teaches when she officially acts.

        The final cause of canon law is the salvation of souls. Since 1983 and Pope St John Paul II the Great’s promulgation of the New Code however, a law be applied that does not lead to the salvation of souls, but to sacrelige, religious indifferentism and an increase of mortal sin.

        If we admit this, then what’s the point of the Church and the Papacy again?

        I must have forgotten. No wonder so many have apostatised since Vatican II.

        • Mike:

          These are indeed troublesome. I’ll pass on the explanation that has been given to me. I believe ED Peters has commented on this.

          In the 1917 Code we see referenced “heretics and schismatics” who are barred from communion but the operative words are not those you italicized. The important words are “unless beforehand, rejecting their errors, they are reconciled with the Church”.

          In the ’83 Code the operative words are a restatement of those same words using a different phrase: “are properly disposed”.

          A schismatic who is “properly disposed” is thus the same as a schismatic who “has rejected their errors, and is reconciled with the Church”, in short, a Catholic. Meaning, they must affirm all the teachings of the Catholic faith in order to receive. Why might this happen? Let’s say it is a “battlefield commission” of sorts, a conversion on deathbed or in other extreme conditions where normal procedures of reception cannot occur.

          There is thus no difference between the two Codes.

          Now such an explanation might be acceptable but the problem I have with it is this. It follows the exact same “model” that has tripped us up over and over since Vatican 2 {and has come to fruit with Pope Francis}: Use of language that can be described and defined in an orthodox way in order to accept and promote heterodox practice. That is, ambiguity.

          A Priest can easily read the ’83 code citation and administer according to a rigorous standard, that is, the correct standard.

          However…another priest can use the same language to push the envelope. Why? Because “properly disposed” doesn’t include the exact same qualifying language that the longer version of the ’17 Code does.

          When I sign a contract in my business, “You know what I mean…” isn’t good enough language to define the contractual obligations, and neither, for me, are the words “properly disposed” clear enough. ESPECIALLY TODAY. And even in ’83, what was needed was not LESS clarity, but MORE clarity. {See CCC 1697}

          As a convert, it strikes me how much of a different religion the Catholic faith can appear to be when certain easily made and face-value interpretations of post-Vatican 2 documents are compared/contrasted with pre-Vatican 2 documents. At the VERY LEAST we desperately need a new Syllabus of Errors pertaining to interpretations of Vatican 2 {and subsequent documents}.

          • Thanks very much for taking the trouble with that explanation.

            It clarifies things to a point, but, as I said to Hilary, the final cause of Canon Law is the salvation of souls.

            The attempt by Ed Peters to explain this away is admirable, but unsatisfactory.

            The law says that they only have to believe in the particular Sacrament they want to receive. They do not have to profess the Catholic Faith, whole and entire, and be subject to the Pope and the legitimate pastors of the Church. They do not have to renounce their errors,, schisms or heresies. Pope Pius XII taught in Mystici Corporis that these, as well as Baptism, are necessary to be a member of the Church.

            “Whoever eats the Lamb outside this House is profane.” – St Jerome on Sacraments outside the Church.

            The Divine authority to bind and loose, i.e. for the Pope to promulgate Law, is directed towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The Great Commission is the basis of the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church. Therefore, canon law, where it touches the Faith and the administration of the Sacraments, is protected from error.

            Now when a law is solemly promulgated, it must therefore lend itself to an objective interpretation, not a variety of inherent possible contradictory ones. Thus, an ambiguous law is no law at all. It is a deception. “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no; anything above this is of EVIL”. I believe St Thomas discusses this.

            The Church cannot possibly deceive, or lead souls astray.

            “She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has borne for the kingdom. ”
            – St Cyprian

          • I, too, am troubled by this but I do not understand what you are saying here:

            “The law says that they only have to believe in the particular Sacrament they want to receive. They do not have to profess the Catholic Faith, whole and entire, and be subject to the Pope and the legitimate pastors of the Church. They do not have to renounce their errors,, schisms or heresies. Pope Pius XII taught in Mystici Corporis that these, as well as Baptism, are necessary to be a member of the Church.”

            The explanation I have read does not agree with this statement. What I have read on the issue indicates that yes, indeed, they MUST affirm the faith in whole, not in part.

            Now PRACTICE is another thing entirely. I have serious doubts about how closely the intent of the law is adhered to. In fact, I struggle with total cynicism at times about the Catholic faith as practiced and affirmed by Her prelates almost in toto in current times. Yes, we are for sure experiencing a nadir of holiness, piety and discipline.

            But I don’t think that nadir of practice condemns the Law itself.

          • Sorry, when I said “the law” I meant the 1983 Code, not the 1917, nor the unchanging teaching and practice of the Church since the Apostles.

            The old law says they have to become Catholic. The new law does not require it. It can mean anything, which in practice means nothing, and is thereby inlalid.

            There is a rupture here. I am being asked by someone to believe that holding up four fingers is actualy five fingers, just because they say so. The Church doesn’t do that.

          • OK.

            Just to be clear, the explanation I have been given is in disagreement with what you’ve said here. That being that the ’83 Code requires the same thing of a non-Catholic as the ’17 Code did, with the specific wording being the only difference. The meaning is supposed to be {supposed to be!} the same.

            As I read it, I can see that and have no problem with that as a valid interpretation.

            HOWEVER… problem is that I can see how the ’83 lingo is possibly more easily given an heterodox interpretation if a priest so wanted to do that.

            BUT THEN…..the truth is, if we had the exact same wording as the ’17 Code, I can see how an heretic priest could interpret THAT however he wanted to as well, giving whatever meaning he wanted to give to “reconciled with the Church”. I mean, seriously, with today’s fast and loose word games, “reconciled with the Church” could mean ANYTHING.

            While I agree that the wording is less clear in the ’83 Code, I do not agree that it represents a clear change from the ’17 Code. The truth is, our crisis today really isn’t a crisis of wordings, it is a crisis of FAITH and DISCIPLINE.

            Priests, prelates and “faithful” have wholesale walked away from the faith and no matter HOW clear the words are in the Canon Law their disregard is manifest. Take Canon 915 for example:

            “Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

            Could anything be made more clear as a bar to communion for various abortion-promoting politicians? Yet they are communed!

            THAT isn’t a documentary language issue. It is a discipline issue.

            We have had rotten, weak, pathetic and effeminate “fathers” for many years and it should be no surprise their kids are running wild and “making a mess” of the House {of God}.

          • Ok thanks again for the time and effort you took in your reply.

            I think the problem is the ambiguity. If there was no change in the law, then why was there a change in the law?

            Same as the Novus Ordo defenders. If there was no substantial change between the theology of the old and the new rite, why was there a substantial change in the theology?

            Hilary’s article gets its title from a line in George Orwells’ classic, must-read novel, 1984. The same theme runs all the way through the veins of the “conciliar Church”, as they call it.

          • ” If there was no change in the law, then why was there a change in the law?”

            At this juncture, somehow this point needs to be rammed down the throat of every priests and prelate and RCIA director in the whole Catholic Church.

          • “I think the problem is the ambiguity. If there was no change in the law, then why was there a change in the law?”
            I think the official response is that the only change is the “wording” and the “form of expression” so that contemporary people will understand it better. Well, as McLuhan said, the medium is the message.

  25. The defeat of arrogant men who wage war against Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart Mary and those consecrated to their service is certain. The day and hour is know not yet known to us draws nearer with every mass and rosary offered for cleansing and sanctification the Church Militant.

    It was on Saturday, October 13, the
    anniversary day of the last Apparition of the Virgin Mary to the three
    children of Fatima, that Mary gave to Sister Agnes Her third Message,
    the most important and serious one:

    “If men do not repent and better
    themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all
    humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one
    will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe
    out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing
    neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so
    desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain
    for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite
    the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the
    Bishops and the priests.

    “The work of the devil will
    infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see
    Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. The priests
    who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other
    priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of
    those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and
    consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    “The demon will be especially
    implacable against the souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss
    of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number
    and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.

    “…Pray very much the prayers
    of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities
    which approach. Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved.”

  26. Ask yourselves: how is this keeping the teaching authority of the Church unimpaired by error, untained, and kept holy?

    If you’re thinking as you should, the answer will not be long in coming.

  27. Don’t know about anyone else, maybe someone can put me right but so far I haven’t seen any of this AL circus reported in any of the mainstream news. I’m in the UK and none of the major channels or newspapers have said anything (apart from individual writers doing their blogspots or columns here and there).

  28. Francis is behaving according to the Protestant cartoon of the Papacy: an absolute monarchy that exercises irrational and arbitrary power and ignores the plain sense of the Scriptures.


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