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A Surprising German Editorial: A De Facto Schism in the Church

Out of Germany there now come to us some newly unexpected and surprisingly strong words. For, the candid source is that same national Catholic newspaper, Die Tagespost, and that same Rome Correspondent – Guido Horst himself – whom we had just a few days ago politely criticized for his claim that the debate about Amoris Laetitia is – and should be – now over and closed.

To do justice to this new important 16 January editorial statement from Germany, I shall therefore present a translation in full of Horst’s somewhat short but incisive statement concerning the current situation in the Church:

Editorial: A De Facto Schism

by Guido Horst

Whoever these days walks through the Vatican and speaks with individual clergymen about the broadening of the conflict concerning Amoris Laetitia meets with speechlessness; it is a speechlessness which also can – depending upon the intuition of the individual clergyman with regard to theological succinctness and the weight of doctrine – even broaden itself out into a complete bewilderment. With his own vote – as he presented it on Italian television – according to which certain ambiguities of the eighth chapter of the post-synodal document are “not a danger to the Faith” and thus a correction of the pope is impossible at this moment, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has likely made a quite consequential decision. There will not be any answer now coming from Francis to the questions, respectively as to the doubts of the four cardinals. Otherwise, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith would not have spoken so unambiguously. But the answers are coming now from other directions. The Church of Malta is a small local church at the periphery of Europe, but the Archbishop of Malta, Charles Scicluna is a respectable man who as a leading collaborator with the Congregation for the Faith had a decisive role at the time of the abuse scandals. When he – together with the bishop of Gozo – now instructs the pastors of his own small island state that every remarried divorcee may deal himself with the dear God as to whether he may go to Communion (see page 5 [of Die Tagespost]), then that means very clearly that each local church may now do as it pleases. The furrow grows deeper. Florence against Rome, Poland against Argentina, Malta against Milan. That is what one calls a de facto schism.

The Vatican which once was able – for example, in the case of the German system of counseling pregnant women in need – and after a long struggle to implement a decision dedicated to the clarity of the witness – at the time for [the sanctity of human] life – is now not any more capable to ensure such clarity. The pope is silent concerning the letter of the [four] cardinals and thus indirectly refuses to give a clear statement according to which the controversial paragraphs of Amoris Laetitia must be read in light of the proclamation of the previous popes. That, too, is an answer. And the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith declares that the debates concerning the requested papal clarification is now at an end. Rome is not any more a clarifying authority, but a quiet observer who silently keeps watch on how – and while – the unity of the Church’s pastoral care breaks into pieces.

As so often happens, this takes place on the back of the “small people.” In this case, there are the many pastors who will have to explain to the faithful – and then also to those standing at a distance from the Church – what exactly has now changed. The morality, the Sacraments, the pastoral care? The good intention of the pope – namely that sinning and weak people do not excommunicate themselves any longer, but now recognize that there is also still a place in the Church for them – thus threatens to drown itself in the midst of the cluelessness of the pastors and with an increasingly venomous ongoing controversy between theologians and bishops. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra (see page 5 [of Die Tagespost]) is right when he says that this is especially a burden for the priests – a burden which they cannot bear. But, now they are left alone. [my emphasis]

We wholeheartedly commend Guido Horst for such a loyal witness to, and such a courageous defense of, the truth.

In a similar vein – and as an addition to Horst’s words – Carl Olson, the editor of Catholic World Report, also criticizes Pope Francis for his causing so much moral confusion. Olson says in a 14 January article:

The current papacy of sentimentality has produced confusion and conflict. As Cardinal Caffera states in a recent interview, “Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church.” The clarity that Cardinal Müller speaks of so strongly is not just lacking, it seems to be absent altogether. There are directly competing interpretations of Amoris Laetitia: some by “conservative” prelates who refer to the perennial teachings of the Church and some are by progressive bishops who refer only to Amoris Laetitia and are published in the Vatican newspaper. The Pope’s Exhortation may not always be clear, but his intentions and goals are increasingly so. [my emphasis]

In light of these forthright and stirring comments written by Guido Horst and Carl Olson, it might be noteworthy to make reference also to an article published today on the official website of the German bishops, The article is written by Björn Odendahl and rebukes the conservative Catholics for their perceived moral resistance toward Amoris Laetitia, saying quite assuredly that their words “are becoming more and more absurd.” He even sees “hatred” coming from that direction. (In one rather indirect quote, he even seems to refer to Guido Horst’s own above-translated article.) The importance of this polemical article, however, lies in its last paragraph:

In one aspect, the conservatives are right: the words of the pope are not always clear enough. He should raise once more his voice and soon put an end to these goings-on which damage the Church.  [my emphasis]

While Odendahl – who himself not long ago had made a stir because of his demeaning remarks concerning the African Church’s opposition to any permissive laxening of the Church’s moral teaching – might now also wish that Pope Francis put an end to the irritant conservative resistance, we do actually agree with him on at least one essential aspect: It is up to the Vicar of Christ on earth once more to raise his authoritative voice and to clarify Amoris Laetitia. Here Odendahl even effectively agrees with the three bishops of Kazhakstan who have just made an eloquent public appeal for exactly that same intention.

160 thoughts on “A Surprising German Editorial: A De Facto Schism in the Church”

  1. Interesting that Björn Odendahl should ask for PF to clarify AL whilst at the same time upholding that Papal Exhortation. Surely he is aware that if PF does that he will be outing himself as a manifest heretic & will lose the Papal Office as a result which is, of course, what we are all hoping for.


    Spadaro Axiom. 2 + 2 = 5.

    Corollary 1. 0 = 1.
    2 + 2 = 5 (Spadaro Axiom)
    ==> 2 + 2 – 4 = 5 – 4
    ==> 0 = 1.

    Corollary 2. -1 = 1.
    0 = 1 (Corollary 1)
    ==> 0 – 1 = 1 – 1
    ==> -1 = 0;
    then, applying Corollary 1 again,
    ==> -1 = 0 = 1
    ==> -1 = 1.

    Theorem 1. There are no Commandments.
    God gave to Moses
    10 = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1
    = 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 (by application of Corollary 1)
    = 0 Commandments.

    Theorem 2. Evil is Good.
    Evil = -Good (definition of Evil);
    but -Good = -Good x 1 (definition of multiplication by 1).
    But -1 = 1 (Corollary 2);
    and so -Good x 1 = -Good x -1.
    But -Good x -1 = Good (definition of multiplication by -1).
    Therefore Evil = -Good = -Good x 1 = -Good x -1 = Good.

  3. Just this morning, at daily Mass, our homilist castigated an unnamed fellow priest for praying for the Holy Spirit to guide the pope back to the CC doctrinal and dogmatic roots as taught by Jesus Christ regarding AL. Fuming, I could not wait to get home to write a rebuttal. As I was placing it in the mailbox, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far down the road our beloved CC has come in such a short time. “May the Holy Spirit guide Pope Francis, his cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and consecrated lay ministers to the true teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles.”

    • I want to second the message of lorimav below. You have done what more of us should be doing, protesting against anti-Catholic priests and letting them know they’re not going to get away with their heresies, which we all see. Good job!

      • Imagine if you will a group of faithful Catholics protesting outside of every diocese in the world with signs that said they will not support nor attend any parish, any diocese, or any organization that does not return to teaching the true Catholic faith and reinstating the true, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

        Imagine the Irish Catholics in the past who fought against the English invasion of their country, persecuted them, stole their land and property, impoverished them and murdered them. Did they sit idly by while the Protestants, even the King, tried to force them to be Protestants? Why have the majority of Catholics in the world sat idly by while the leaders of their own Church have done everything outside of murdering them to force them to become Protestants, or worse, agnostics or atheists?

        We moderns have no faith. We whine and complain but are not willing to do anything that might require a little bit of sacrifice.

      • Yes, snail mail can be very important. If the priest’s secretary opens his mail she may read it even if he won’t. At least one mind may be opened.

    • Being forced to pay such a tax could be argued as going against one’s human rights these days. When so many Catholics are involved I’m sure both church & government complicity in this could be argued in court or even EU Human Rights Commission.

    • Eternal life is more important than temporal life. Thinking of this always makes me shudder to think that I act in a manner displeasing to God or to do anything that supports His enemies.

    • Ditto. However here in Germany, not paying it means you are excommunicated. I never give any money here voluntarily. We have started a small apostolate ourselves, and also give to some other causes we feel worthy. For instance there is a newly re-started order of Priests in Poland ”The Order of The Holy Spirit”, which is supporting prolifework and has flourishing vocations. We were fortunate to meet with many of them in their premises little outside Krakow last year on the Sunday after Easter. So, I would just say, give only what you have to in kirchensteuer, and to other orthodox Catholic places more.

  4. Anyone who is not blind realizes now that Bergoglio is set on tearing down the Catholic Church as it has existed for 2,000 years. Don’t just be alarmed by the issues dealt with by AL – realize that it’s very ambiguity and sleaziness will allow any change made to Church teaching – pastoral or theological – as if the two can be divided. Just praise tradition and look for unusual circumstances where the conscience (considered independent of formation by the Church) will demand accompaniment and conversion. (Anyone getting a belly-full of Bergoglio’s buzz-words?)

    We won’t have long to wait either. There will be outrageous and humiliating remarks made in interviews and vicious attacks launched against enemies (loyal Catholics) coming on a regular basis. Bergoglio will be scouring the planet for weak priests to be made bishops. And at the very least, there’s going to be a synod on “Youth” in 2018 – do you think it will be about the economic or pastoral challenges facing the young? Forget it. It will turn into yet another craven capitulation to 21st century secularism.

    Anyone who knows an iota about the German Church knows it’s a spiritual wreck kept alive by financial aid from the state. And it is the men who have run this once vibrant Church (as was the Church in Holland, Belgium) into a spiritual slum that have brimming with advice to render Bergoglio.

    Pray for the Church.

  5. Let it be said loud and clear: Pope Francis is the Martin Luther of our time by destroying basic doctrines of the Catholic faith. Accordingly, Pope Francis should no longer be considered the Pope but an excommunicated heretic.

    • There are ways to speak about what’s going on right now in the Church, AL, things the pope may have said in interviews, etc. etc…with due reverence for the pope, as such, expressing your concerns, without so much arrogance as to take it upon yourself to judge him excommunicated.

      I can’t believe the absurdity of some of you…It is as if you have no fear of God.

      If you want to know how to respond maturely and as a Catholic ought, learn from the example of Cardinal Burke.

      • This is how one speaks when wishing to speak the truth. This is how Christ did it. So that’s how we should do it. Get over it. And pray for Pope Francis.

        • And where in Scripture does Jesus say (or has the Catholic Church ever taught) that the laymen of His Church have the authority to judge the pope as excommunicated? Of course, you are not able to provide such evidence.

          • So Canon 212 answers my question? Can you quote exactly where Canon 212 says that laymen have the authority to judge the pope as excommunicated? Again, you cannot provide such evidence from any Catholic authoritative source.

            I have been following this papacy almost every week since he has taken office.

            Im not going to waste my time responding henceforth if you answer again with another red herring.

          • I will pray for you Pablo that you will see the light. Here is something for you to meditate on:
            Pope St. Felix III:

            Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend
            truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men,
            when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.

      • Yes, in a material sense. No, in a formal sense. This is what the dubia business is all about; to formally determine if Pope Francis is a heretic. By the fact he will not answer the four Cardinals it would seem reasonable to say he is a heretic. But we must wait and see what happens with the dubia interrogation for a while. But the time will come…..

        • I dug up this quote from prior to his selection as Pope:

          “Whether Bergoglio catches fire again as a candidate remains to be seen; one Italian writer quoted an anonymous cardinal on March 2 as saying, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Given his profile, however, Bergoglio seems destined to plan an important role in this conclave – if not as king, then as a kingmaker.”

          It would seem that four years has indeed been enough and a resignation would save the Church from the pain of action by the cardinals to declare him a heretic.

          • I agree. A resignation would be most graceful on his part. Let us pray that he is given the grace to do it.

  6. I don’t understand Mr. Olson’s final remark that PF’s “intentions and goals are increasingly [clear]”. Increasingly? They were clear a long time ago in this pontificate, if you had eyes to see. Where was Mr. Olson? Head buried in papolatrous sand?

    The Carl Olsons in the Church really frustrate me. They make the illogical step from the fact that only the Pope can fix this to the assumption that he will fix this (he’s just, ummm, taking his time). No, he’s CAUSING this. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  7. Message to Pope Francis via Fr Spadaro and his media trolls: Pope Francis has effectively fulfilled his own expressed fears – he has caused a split in the Church. In addition, he is also fulfilling the following prophecies: “The final battle will be about marriage and the family” (Sr Lucia dos Santos); “Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop” (Our Lady of Akita). As disastrous as this Pontificate has been (and expect worse to come) I have peace knowing that Pope Francis’ Kasperite agenda will fail, TOTALLY FAIL, and that orthodoxy and orthopraxis will triumph, just as it did in the days of St Athanasius. The real tragedy is the number of souls that will perish because of the current folly.

    • You forgot to mention what Card Ciappi said about the Third Secret, the hidden part of Fatima, which he had read, since he was the personnal theologian of 5 successives popes: “In the 3rd Secret it is foretold, among other things that the great apostasy (in the Church) will begin AT THE TOP”
      Which better confirmation could we have that the 3rd Secret was only partially unveiled in 2000 notwithstanding what the officials strived making us believing?
      Certainly no pope could dare revealing what is now ongoing under our saddened eyes: The apostasy spreading at full speed from the highest places of the Vatican.

      • A thought just entered my mind. At the Last Supper when Jesus told the 12 that one of them would betray him, Judas said cunningly to try to avoid suspicion…”Is it me Lord?”

      • He is the head of the schismatic Vatican II, New World Order Church of Modernism. He wants to destroy the Catholic Church or the people faithful to the Sacred Deposit of the Faith and Sacred Tradition.

        • Sedevacantism states there have been no valid Popes or Hierarchies for simply yonks (centuries) & none that were valid are still alive, so how on earth can they claim Apostolic Succession? The Gates of Hell would have prevailed at least more than a century ago. They have no faculties to administer the Sacraments of the CC, nor to celebrate a valid & licit Mass, nor do they have the authority, infallibility or indefectibility to do anything let alone licence or ordain priests. They cannot prove that God hasn’t sustained His Sacraments (ex opere operato) even if VII was invalid nor can they direct us to where the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church exists, ie. the visible Church of Christ on earth & not the unscriptural invisible one of Protestantism. As faithful Catholics our only necessity when all this mess is eventually clarified is to know which side will come out holding Apostolic Succession intact, for that is where God will reside & not in any wild imaginings of the Dimond Brothers.

      • I think he’s a madman. If you try to read any of his long-winded speeches, homilies, or official writings, you won’t find any coherent thoughts. It’s almost like reading the writings of someone suffering from a brain injury. “Since ‘time is greater than space’, not everything has to be settled by the Magisterium”. What? “Reporters foment coprophagia”… “People have a tendency to coprophagia”… Well now we know what he thinks of everyday people, Catholics among them. But he’s clearly mentally deranged.

    • They are not his fears, Bob. It is his intention to split and ultimately destroy the Catholic Church. That has been clear for at least two years now.

      Great message!

        • Prior to that. When Pope Pius XII changed the Holy Week Holy Sacrifice of the Mass under the influence of the Liturgical Reformist’s (wolve’s in sheep’s clothing Modernists), effectively beginning its destruction. If you haven’t yet read the ongoing exposure of who the main characters of the destruction of the Mass and the subsequent abominable Novus Order were, it is found here:

          • You obviuosly know nothing about liturgy, as what Pope Pius XII did in restoring the authentic tradition of the Church regarding the celebration of the Easter was a return to the way things should have been and not badly changed. Learn something about how the Paschal Mystery was celebrated in the early Christian centuries.

          • Read this excellent eight-part series on Modernism which is what co-opted the Catholic religion and one of their tactics, used by all “reformers” is they simply wanted to return to “the ways things should have been” or “the way things were done in the early Church.”


    • You said it so well. What terrible times for our Church; this was all foretold in various apparitions of the Blessed Mother and also by various Saints/Mystics. Also, at Akita, the Blessed Mother warned “the Church will be filled with those who accept compromise”. We are going through the “Passion” of the Church; in the end, though, the “Resurrection” will come, with the promised Triumph of The Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart. In the meantime, we pray and pray. God bless.

  8. The schism began hidden and unheeded with the modernist heresy infiltrating and poisoning the Church and peculiarly in the Vatican.
    It began splitting the Church through the immediate aftermath of VAT II council. A sham unity was hardly kept by the post conciliar popes until now.
    Francis recently acknowledged being the pope who will probably succeed in making the schism effective:
    “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church”

    • Puffed up to the gills, this arrogant man keeps shooting his mouth off. He is strangling himself. It’s almost like a death wish, that he’s begging the bishops to evict him before he does even more damage.

      That’s the most charitable thing I can say about him. The rest is profanity.

  9. The powers of the heavens are being shaken. Looks like St Malachi was right after all. Petrus Romanus is the last Pope before “the Dreadful Judge will judge his people” — As we speak, earthquakes are inching towards Rome.

    In persecutione extrema Sancta Romana Eccleasiae sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & judex tremendus judicabit populum suum. Finis.

  10. If “conscience trumps all” is the new principle on matters of sexual morality and sacramental discipline in the Vatican, then, obviously, it cannot be limited to these matters exclusively. It is a universal principle which is also applicable to Papal authority. So no traditionalist should have any pangs of conscience anymore for vehemently opposing Pope Francis. This principle gives us the freedom to hit hard! We are now able to decide for ourselves that Amoris Laetitia should be withdrawn and Francis removed from office, because this document and the guidelines of the Pope go against our conscience! It is amazing how the Pope and the bishops don’t see how they are undermining their own authority in a really self-contradictory and suicidal way.

    As I have said on multiple occasions, the pontificate of Francis is not (in the first place) an attack on the faith and the supernatural, it is an attack on reason and nature. It is exactly what Benedict XVI warned against: the dictatorship of relativism, i.e. the incarnation of irrationalism.

    • Yes, exactly. That is the basis for my question (above). If it is a matter of “my own conscience” (four aces to beat all other), then it is not just a matter of “my own conscience” with respect to sexual morality and the sacraments. It is a matter of “my own conscience” with all matters of the faith. The Pope and the bishops have totally undermined their own authority in a self-contradictory and suicidal way. Yes, exactly.

      • Right on the money! If individual conscience can decide for itself what is right and wrong, then one has embraced not Catholicism, but Protestantism.

        • And the Vatican & all Dioceses around the world can be sold off & the money given to the poor (but not Muslims). Soros’s money will then dry up so what are these mavericks going to do then?

    • The attack on the faith and the supernatural was begun by Popes Paul VI, JPII, and Benedict XVI and they were extremely successful.

      The faith and the supernatural were attacked primarily through implementation of the Novus Ordo Mass, which is primarily a Protestant theological service worshipping man above God.

      The attack on reason and nature simply follow when the faith is corrupted.

  11. Like Honorius, Bergoglio will sit and watch and do nothing to clarify the mess he deliberately intended and orchestrated . He will simply permit heretical teaching and practice to flourish alongside orthodox ones till his agenda receives enough support by the majority. This is a strategy that the great LeoXIII indicated in the words attributed to him: ‘ The worst kind of heretic is the one who, while teaching mostly true Catholic doctrine, adds a word of heresy, like a drop of poison in a cup of water.’ Make no mistake about it, in the coming storm and purification, the faithful Catholics who will resist his agenda will be a persecuted remnant. My greatest hope remains in the promise of our Lady that her immaculate heart will in the end triumph.

  12. I am awaiting for Cardinal Burke to speak to the faithful regarding the private formal correction.
    I assume him to be the spoke person for these most courageous prelates.
    As I wait, I continue to reflect on the most holy words of Bishop Schneider, Cardinal Caffarra, and of course Cardinal Burke.

    Many years ago, when Mother Angelica was alive, I happen to catch Bishop Schneider being interviewed by her.
    Of course, I had never heard of him, but there was something about him that glued me into the interview.
    He spoke gently, but with great faith of the Eucharist and the importance of receiving our Lord on the tongue.
    Previously, as a teenager, I had been chastised for receiving on the tongue, as I was not being in communion with the Body of Christ as Mass. So, one can only image how this bishop greatly effected me.
    And he still does! Knowing he is right there for Christ’s Church and all of us, brings great comfort during these days. I put my trust in him and the four cardinals. I await their statements regarding the
    private formal correction and their counsel as to how to proceed. I pray it comes soon and let us begin once again.

    Let us pray for Pope Francis with all we have!

  13. What does all of this mean for the average lay person? In a practical, day to day sense, what changes? Am I supposed to go interview my local priests — what is your position and your counsel on divorce, remarriage, confession and communion? If he answers: “communion for those continuing in adultery is permissible as long as it is done in good conscience and for good cause” … then I should find another priest and another parish?

    Do I just ignore any changes, any statements and/or any publications of the church after 2013 when Francis was declared Pope? Because now who knows what is right or wrong? Is it best to trust what I know for certain has not been tainted? Do I just do whatever my conscience dictates (with prayer of course) and decide for myself? Do I just ignore Francis and all of the conflict and chaos? Am I now Protestant under the guise of being Catholic?

    I get … pray for Francis’ soul and conversion to Catholicism and Christianity. I get … pray the rosary. I get … read the scripture. I get … trust that Mary and Christ’s Church will prevail in the end. Christ wins; Satan loses.

    Do I have a responsibility to know where my pastor stands on AL? Do I sin by not knowing his stance/ position? To wit, ignorance is not bliss, but sinful, when it comes to something that is a public sin and scandal? To ignore or to keep silent is itself a wrong? If I ask and the pastor tells me that “divorce, second marriage, no annulment and communion” are perfectly acceptable practices under certain circumstances, then what?

    Do I now have a responsibility to confront him? Argue with him? Try and convince him that his interpretation of AL isn’t Catholic teaching and belief? And if he digs in and won’t change his mind, then what? Do I find another Catholic church with a priest whose beliefs and practices are more in line with what I think Catholic teaching is?

    If I continue to attend church there, do I sin by disregarding the pastor’s sin and by being under his leadership?

    I have no idea where the priests at my parish actually stand on AL. When I raise my concerns, they tell me that Catholic doctrine and teaching have not changed. But that isn’t a satisfying answer because it seems to me that AL is double speak and ambiguity. Some priests interpret AL as no change in doctrine and no change in practice. Others interpret AL as a change in practice but no change in doctrine. (How can that be? It can’t.)

    If that is the case (i.e., change in practice but no change in doctrine), then are there any absolute — line in the sand — moral stances? Is there objective truth? right or wrong? Or is it all relative? As in, it all depends!

    Then I am asked why I am concerned about it — and then I am told I shouldn’t be concerned. The answer goes along the lines of: “yeah, the Pope is the Pope but don’t be too concerned about what he does. Don’t pay too much attention to him.” or “we have had much worse situations (heresies, scandals, etc.) over the 2,000 year history of the Church. It will all work itself out in the end. And this isn’t nearly as bad as the Arian heresy!”

    Ideas? Suggestions? Advice? (I am already praying for Francis, praying the rosary, reading scripture, etc.)

    • What does this mean for the average lay person? What it is always meant when one is exposed to the lies of the Devil. Remove yourself. Get away. Have nothing to do with heretics and schismatics. Stop practicing a false religion. Stop supporting the enemies of Christ. This is what the Catholic Church has always taught.

      • So we’re back to taking a two-and-a-half hour plane flight every week plus car journey both ends to get to a Traditional Order church. Even God cannot expect that of us.

        • During times when there were few priests so people did not celebrate Mass daily or even weekly, or Catholics were persecuted and would be murdered if found celebrating Holy Mass, what do you think they did? Go to the nearest pagan temple or Protestant church? Doesn’t God expect us to believe in and follow Him and not to participate in nor follow the teachings of false gods? Does he approve of the sin of idolatry? If you have no place close by to worship God as He deserves, stay home and follow a true Mass on the Internet. Get a Roman Rite Missal with the true Mass and follow at least the Sunday’s and Holy Days of obligation this way.

          • There was never anything like this before in the Church. In countries where Catholics were persecuted for their faith it was done by governments, not by the Pope & Hierarchy of the CC. There were more than sufficient Catholic priests to say Holy Mass & administer the Sacraments, if not in churches or public places then in private homes. As I said before, we will need to be told who holds Apostolic Succession when the rift comes (which will be soon). Even Traditional Orders aren’t fully licit yet, but they will have to be made so, but not under Cardinal Müller as he has gone against them. It is imperative IMO that a Council (of whatever name) is called to determine the way forward, this time with the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity in charge of proceedings.

          • Ana, I know you mean well and are trying to make sense of things as we all are but it is not true that in all times there have been sufficient priests to celebrate the Sacraments, not even in private homes. But that is not the most important issue right now. You say that “there was never anything like this before in the Church” where it is “the Pope and Hierarchy that is persecuting the Church.” Tell me, how is it possible for a true pope and hierarchy to persecute the Church? Did Christ tell St. Peter that he expected him and his successor’s to be His enemies? That somehow, the pope could be both the Vicar of Christ and a servant of Satan? How is it possible that the spotless Bride, the Catholic Church, could dirty Herself in such an abominable way?

          • I am not a sedevacantist as you apparently are. Sedes never answer the difficult question of Apostolic Succession which forms the foundation of the CC. At least the SSPX always recognised the Papacy, but this one is certainly not in keeping with the Papal Office & must be enabled to resign quickly.

            Sedes follow the Protestant view of the unscriptural invisible church, which is heretical. Your Most Holy Family Monastery was founded by Joseph Natale a self-proclaimed Benedictine monk who left left the monastery after less than a year without having taken any vows. On his death he was replaced by one of the Dimond Brothers who were converts & not validly or legally ordained. It is a shame that you promote them!

            Historically when persecution occurred in Europe there were sufficient priests to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass & hear Confessions but they did so in secret, usually in private houses, my own family included. They were hunted by armies on the instructions of governments, usually due to civil strife & a thorough dislike for the True Faith, but not by Bishops appointed by the Vatican.

          • Catherine,

            You wrote: “Tell me, how is it possible for a true pope and hierarchy to persecute the Church? Did Christ tell St. Peter that he expected him and his successor’s to be His enemies? That somehow, the pope could be both the Vicar of Christ and a servant of Satan? How is it possible that the spotless Bride, the Catholic Church, could dirty Herself in such an abominable way?”

            The answer is simple and straightforward: Francis is not the true pope. He is the anti-pope. Benedict is the true pope. He resigned under substantial error and his resignation, as such, was and is not valid. We are watching multiple prophesies unfold. If one accepts Ann Barnhardt’s premises, then everything we are witnessing makes complete and total sense. All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

            I do realize that folks do not want to think along these lines or accept Ann’s premises. But that (denial) is an entirely different matter. I find great comfort and understanding in these premises. The Church (Christ’s Bride) is undergoing her passion. Benedict is the true Pope and Francis is the Crown of Thorns place upon the Church’s head as a mockery of her — to attempt to shame and embarrass her before the whole world.

            Satan will not succeed. In the end he will be defeated. It is 2017 — 100 years since the visionaries of Fatima. Our Lady, just like Christ himself, keeps her promises.

          • Again, how can a true pope be both the Vicar of Christ and a servant of Satan? The pope, the Vicar of Christ, Christ represented on earth who practices idolatry? How can you not be aware that Benedict was one of the most influential and prolific proponents of Modernism and with his absolute fidelity to false ecumenism, like JPII, made it a practice of praying to and worshipping false gods. How could a pope ever do such a thing?

          • Catherine,
            If we are going to be critical of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II then we would be hypocritical to single the two of them out and not evaluate every single pope all the way back to St Peter himself. How could Peter be both the Vicar of Christ and a servant of Satan (to deny Jesus three separate times)? How could Peter as Pope ever do such a thing? Do you not see the problem here? We will find a number of popes who were unfaithful, neglectful, morally suspect, greedy, bad examples of character and the like.

            How far back do you want to go? And why stop at that particular point? If you really think about it, the continued existence and survival of the Catholic Church is nothing short of a miracle. Any and every scandal, difficulty, challenge, trial, tribulation one can imagine — and yet she stands as a light and as a beacon of truth and faith.

            How could a Pope do such a thing? Every single pope through out history has been human and imperfect, sinful and weak. As are all of us. There is a difference between impeccable as a man and infallible as a pope. There may well be popes who safe guarded the faith and morals of the Church but end up losing their eternal salvation and finding themselves in hell. Remember the Apostle Paul talked about running the race so as not to be disqualified himself after he preached to others. That is how!

          • St. Peter denied Christ before he was given the Keys to the Kingdom and conferred as pope; thus he did not yet have the powers given to the pope of infallibility, defined as the pope cannot err in matters of faith and morals.
            Blasphemy is a grave mortal sin against the First Commandment. St. Paul wrote, in Romans 1:32: “They who do such things are worthy of death: and not they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”
            There were “bad” popes in the Church but none of them prior to JPII ever sinned against the First Commandment by praying and worshipping false gods. None of them ever went to the extent that JPII, Benedict XVI, and now Francis have gone to deny the perennial teachings of the Church as well as reverse some of the teachings of previous popes, such as those on religious liberty, liberalism, Socialism, the separation of Church and State, and the Social Reign of the Kingship of Christ. Nor would any of them, I would argue, allow the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to become a form of sacrilege and blasphemy that the Novus Ordo is.

          • Catherine, Jesus gave St. Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and made him “Prime Minister” or “Vicar of Christ” in Matthew 16: 13-20 (Peter’s profession of faith and his primacy). Peter denied Christ three times in Matthew 26: 69-75 (Peter’s denials). As scandalous as it was, Peter denied Christ — committed blasphemy, a grave mortal sin against the 1st Commandment — AS POPE — AS VICAR OF CHRIST — WHEN HE WAS IN POSSESSION OF THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM.

            In other words, Peter, as Pope sinned against the 1st Commandment. And Jesus after his resurrection forgave Peter (with the three affirmations of his loyalty to Christ — “do you love me?” “feed my sheep”) and restored him to ministry and position. Unless you want to claim that the gospel narrative lacks continuity (i.e., that Peter’s denial of Christ happened before Peter’s profession of faith), your argument does not work.

            If there has been and if there is no valid pope and no valid apostolic succession since before Vatican II (the breaking point of SSPX), then the gates of hell have, indeed, prevailed against the Church. Christ lied, his promise to the Church has failed and we all might as well be atheistic hedonists (eat, drink and be merry) because tomorrow we die. There is nothing else: Scripture is wrong, there is no God, no heaven and no hell. I can tell you with clarity and certainty, the Protestants do not have the answers.

        • Doesn’t God expect us to love, worship and serve Him as He deserves? Or did He teach us that if we find it inconvenient for some reason to do so, He won’t ever be offended? Did He give us the right to decide for ourselves what level of sacrifice or inconvenience we are satisfied with and demand that He be satisfied with our decision? Why is it that millions of Catholics in the past would practice extreme mortifications, fasts, acts of reparation for sin, pray and pray and pray, putting everything in their temporal life secondary in worshipping God but it is too difficult for us to make even a small sacrifice to honor and worship Him as he deserves?

      • Catherine, I suspect your answer would mean that I would attend no church at all — neither Catholic nor Protestant. I have not yet done “due diligence” and met with the various priests (there are over one hundred Catholic parishes in my local diocese), and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not going to like the answers I receive. One hundred plus interviews? How could the good Lord want no church and no mass at all? Ann’s comment below about multiple hour plane flights, car rides and massive expense cannot be an answer either. Is any of this reasonable? or even doable?

        • Susan, the good Lord certainly instituted a Church-the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. He gave His chosen leaders the authority to develop a means of offering a re-presentation of His Sacrifice upon the Cross that would not only be pleasing to God, but as a means of teaching the faithful the true religion, for all times. Not until Vatican II was there ever an abominable, sacrilegious Mass in our Holy Catholic Church. Which should make it evident to all that this cannot be the work of the Holy Ghost but that of Satan.
          There might be a true Catholic Church near you but you don’t know it. This website has a directory for every State:

          If there are no true Catholic Church’s that you are willing to or can reasonably attend and support due to the circumstances in your life which you have no power to control, the only thing to do is follow the teaching of the Church and have nothing to do with heretics and schismatics, particularly do not sin against the First Commandment by praying and worshipping with them. If it means you must stay at home most of the year, that would be more pleasing to God than partaking of an unholy liturgy that in effect, denies the Catholic faith.
          You could also log onto to the Internet and attend a true Mass “virtually”. If that is not possible, obtain a true Catholic Church Missal for the Roman Rite Liturgy prior to 1962 and read each Sunday’s readings and perform a spiritual act of worship which is better than a practice of idolatry. In addition, there are many websites that offer sermons and meditations on the true Catholic faith. Here are a few:

          Although they are attached to the Modernist Church, the priests here are FSSP I believe but their sermons seem to be orthodox:

          This website also has the daily readings of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass rather than the Novus Ordo and good Sacred Scripture commentaries:

          As long as Catholics continue to support the heretical and schismatic Vatican II church, it will continue destroying souls.

          • Catherine,
            If there is no valid apostolic succession from 1962/ Vatican II, then Christ was wrong in his promise and the gates of hell have, indeed, prevailed. You are telling me that the Catholic Church has been heretical and schismatic for 55 years? Your answer to Francis and the crisis of AL is to urge people to become Sedevacantist?

            I do not have an issue with the form of the liturgy; I have attended Novus Ordo, Traditional and Latin Masses and each has its own reverence and beauty.

            The problem as I see it with Sedevacantist beliefs:

            No pope + no bishops (for 55 years) = no apostolic succession
            No apostolic succession = a key mark of the church is missing
            A key mark of the church is missing = the church has collapsed

            What, then, would be the difference between my going to a protestant church where there is no apostolic succession and a “Catholic” church where there is no apostolic succession? I see no difference at all. When I hit the wall in my Protestant wanderings, I saw my choice as Catholic or atheist. What you are suggesting is nothing or atheist.

            I am sure you are 100% sincere and have the best intentions. I am not a Sedevacantist.

            For me to become a Sedevacantist would mean I accept the gates of hell have prevailed.

            What I am coming to believe, however, is that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is the real pope and Jorge Bergoglio (called “Pope” Francis) is the anti-pope and a lead contender for the end times False Prophet. I do not find the point-counterpoint arguments of aka.Catholic (cited in a post above) convincing. I still think Ann Barnhardt is right.

            Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your response to me. I will continue to pray and seek the Holy Spirit’s leading. I have come this far; I will not be abandoned.

    • Oh did you speak volumes? It is like the elephant in the room……what is a FAITHFUL Catholic to do????

      I am hoping that soon we will get holy direction on this from one of the cardinals involved in the formal correction. I wish I had answers, but frankly, I do not trust my own. That is why it is so crucial that
      we hear from Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider regarding the private formal correction, and soon.
      The seminarians and priests too, need this as well!

      It seems you are doing what you and all of us should be doing, while we prepare and wait upon Cardinal Burke or whomever it is to be, to inform of us the formal correction and give us all holy direction.
      I am praying for their wisdom to guide us and somehow, by the grace of God, to prevent us from splintering away in factions.

  14. It seems to me that it all boils down to paragraph 298 with footnote 329 understood in the following ways:

    AL footnote 329: In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 51).

    AL’s version of GS 51 appears to be this (AL298/329-GS-51):

    ….. But where the adulterous intimacy of married life is broken off, its adulterous faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of adulterous fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.

    Therefore, AL footnote 329 should, it seems, read:

    In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of the adulterous intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that the adulterous faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 51).

    Someone in another posting which I cannot locate presently, proffered.

    Bottom line.
    Be like Jesus.
    Be merciful and loving.
    Then, “Go and sin no more.”
    Pretty clear to me.
    “Brother and sister,” for the sake of the kids.
    Then, “Go and sin no more.”
    For my eternal salvation.
    Do I understand it correctly?

    So looking at AL, this Teaching of the Holy Spirit before and in Saint John Paul and Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, AL 298 appears to change to this:

    Be like Jesus.
    Be merciful and loving.
    Then, “Go and sin no more.”
    Pretty clear to me.
    “Brother and sister,” for the sake of the kids, no longer.
    Then, “go and remain in the sin”, for the sake of adulterous faithfulness and fruitfulness.
    For my eternal salvation.
    Do I understand it correctly?

    This is why clarification is being asked, because some are taking it this way for their dioceses.

    This is not rigid, this is merciful saving Truth.

    Come Holy Spirit, Mercy for all in the Immaculata Your Spouse!

  15. We need to return to precise language. When you start saying “irregular union” instead of “adulterous union”, you end up with this. And when you start saying “separated brethren” instead of “heretics”, you end up with the Vatican’s stamp of approval of Luther.

    • You are fooling yourself if you think the Modernist heretics will ever print or say anything clearly and precisely. Their advantage is in ambiguity. It leads to doubt and to falsifying the truth, both of which are tools of the Devil.

      • You point out correctly Catherine that ambiguity is a significant weapon, used by the unfaithful. These enemies of our great Church of Christ, use ambiguity regularly to produce more and more dust clouds to confuse Catholics, mislead us from the holy narrow path. – Jesus Is Truth –

    • YES! We really do need to use the proper, meaningful words we have always used. We seem to speak like the enemy – and modernists are the enemy – so let’s call an adulterer an adulterer!!!

  16. I really do not know for the life of me why the Four Cardinals do not proceed hastily to the public fraternal correction, and issue to Francis the necessary warnings. Why the foot dragging? If these Four Cardinals fear making the informal post-Vatican II schism formal, then what good can come of their efforts? Most of us who blog here and on other traditional Catholic websites have already come to the conclusion that Francis has lost the papacy by remaining an obstinate, unrepentant heretic. The Sense of the truly Faithful already know this intellectually, and spiritually. Francis will not change. With every passing day he condemns himself.

    • Perhaps they drag their feet because they don’t believe the kingdom of God is at hand and follow the path of Card. Muller. I’ve had a friend tell me that if the pope changes doctrine (however that may be), then “we’ll have to understand a new meaning of Christ”. This is the path we are on. They will not stop. Is it not heretical to say we don’t follow the pope? This is becoming our only option, though we can’t say that because it would be wrong, so the next best case is there is no pope. Which is madness. Aside from divine intervention, this may not be resolved.

      • We badly need direction from the four Cardinals, & those that support them should reveal themselves. We are approaching the Gates of Hell now. Our Lady’s Triumph must be close at hand.

    • Ann Barnhardt just recently penned a piece on her website — 32 Questions with Blunt Answers. The more I read and understand, the more I think her assessment of the situation is the correct one.

      • I hear you. In fact, over on the NovusOrdoWatch website, the editor is praising her for nearly coming over to the Sedevanctists side. I must say, I am coming very close to agreeing with their position.

        • Beware of the Dimond Brothers.
          There is no point to Sedevacantism. If what they allege is true (& I don’t support that stance) then the CC ceased to be the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church over a hundred years ago.

          • Of course, I agree with you. I guess the real question is whether or not any pope can remain pope and not lose the papacy if he remains an obstinate heretic. Inquiring minds want to know.

          • And our patience is very close to evaporating completely, but moving away from the Church St. Peter founded in Rome at the behest of Jesus Christ is not up for wheeler dealing

        • And would anyone ever know it, assuming Benedict XVI were to make such a “death bed confession”? If a man dies surrounded by people who have every reason to suppress his last words (and make sure that such words as what you describe — a forced resignation — never see the light of day), were those words ever spoken in the first place?

      • Her assessment is incorrect. Read the point/counterpoint between Siscoe and the guy who runs We have infallible certitude that Francis is the legitimate pope because the Church universally acknowdleges him as one.

        • I will look at these articles and pray and study. Truth is truth and it will stand no matter what. If Ann is correct, that will prevail. If the counterpoint is correct, that will prevail.

          I am not so sure the statement “infallible certitude that Francis is the legitimate pope because the Church universally acknowledges him as one” is such a great argument.

          I am not a canon lawyer or a church history scholar. I am a well-educated lay person who is trying to understand what is happening in the Church and why and how to respond.

          With the Arian heresy, didn’t the Church universally acknowledge heresy as truth? And then the heresy was disavowed. And what happened during the time of multiple popes?

          So it seems to me on the basis of my limited understanding and research that we can have “universal acknowledgement until there isn’t universal acknowledgment.”

          And the whole world can agree to something and if it is wrong, it is wrong. All that being said, I will keep an open mind and a clear head and read articles.

  17. “Florence against Rome, Poland against Argentina, Malta against Milan. That is what one calls a de facto schism.” True enough Mr. Horst, true enough. Our fearless leader is fearless in fomenting schism, but that is not all, he certainly is fearless in staring down and shouting down Jesus Himself through Amoris Laetitia. By citing his infallibility he is attempting to make himself God. By attempting to abrogate part of the moral law, as anyone who has ever knit will know by pulling one thread, it is easy to pull apart the entire garment. The moral law is no different. Contempt and indifference for one part will not lead to greater holiness but greater contempt and indifference for the entire moral law. The greater our sins, the greater will be our divisions. That Odendahl guy is a real piece of work.

    Yesterday, by God’s good graces, I was able to pray and fast for the 1st day of my novena for families. Unfortunately, I only ate 1/2 a clove of garlic, Bad girl. Today I pray to keep up the good work. Most Holy Jesus Infant of Prague, Have mercy on us, and Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.

  18. Come on. There was a schism of monumental proportion, when the leaders of the Church abandoned and denied the Sacred Deposit of Faith and Sacred Tradition in the unheard of in history, “pastoral” Second Vatican Council which actually in practice, in reality, is the dogmatic and practical Council of the schismatic church.

    Another Protesting sect was born and its rotten fruits are visible to all who truly open their eyes.

  19. I’m not hoping for the Pope to be proven to be a heretic, I’m praying that he converts.

    Do you know that during the French revolution when Priests and Nuns were rounded up, they were instructed by their captors that they were not allowed to pray. That’s a fear of prayer in action and shows that even the hardest heart, the biggest non believer fears our prayers.

  20. Pope Francis: “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”
    So, Francis acknowledges that there is a high probabiliy for a schism to be on the way of which he would be the main actor if not the only one.
    He knows that he is also the only one who can stop it immediately by giving a clear reply to the “dubia letter”, but he has chosen to remain silent.
    Therefore in my opinion he is satisfied with this sad situation and he looks like being joyfully assuming its main consequence: A schism.
    Am I wrong ?

  21. There is nothing the Faithful can do. This is what comes of the Ultramontane over-exaltation of the Papacy before V2. A notion of the Papacy that makes the Pope into the omnicompetent, unaccountable, unchallengable sovereign lord of the Church – in effect, the Pharaoh of the Church – makes the Pope able to trash the Liturgy (done that), or to practice indifferentism (done it), or to confuse the discipline of the Church (done that). The Church has built itself a Frankenstein monster that it can’t control – and the monster is running amok.

    I have no idea what the Church teaches, and I have given up caring. The Papacy is for ever casting doubt on what used to be taught as something beyond doubt; IOW, the Papacy commits mind-rape. No, JP2, the Assisi Abominations are abominations, as you would know if you had not been Hell-bent in creating the Faith in your own, pifflingly and laughably inadequate, image.

    • The Modernists certainly created the modern day papacy. However, we must remember that Jesus Himself gave us the papacy by bestowing the office and ministry on St. Peter and his successors. Granted, I have many questions since Pope St. Pius XII died about the modern day era of the papal office. However, the office itself does serve a divine and much needed purpose. It confirms the brethren in the Faith. I feel the same frustration as you. However, the Petrine Ministry is part and parcel of the Catholic Church.

    • I believe what we have endured for over sixty years (& beyond) has been a political Marxist/Masonic takeover which successive Popes & Hierarchies have been unable to deal with due to Papal Infallibility & the innumerable steps that have to be gone through before manifest heresy is pronounced. These Marxists have used the authority of the Pope magnificently for their own evil intent which was never countenanced when Canon Law was being drawn-up. It will be imperative for such a loop hole to be closed & the Pope’s role more solidly defined so that any future deviant cannot circumvent Church Law & teaching in the way AL does but must be authorised directly ex cathedra. I’m sure the four Cardinals would be of a similar mind. We hope to hear from them very soon.

    • I agree with a lot of what you have said. The over-exultation of the Papacy was well-meant (because these short-sighted people couldn’t conceive that a pope might ever be a heretic and use his powers to impose heresy) but Newman and many others saw the potential for misuse. All of which came true with Vatican II, of course, when the weak and foolish Pope was then used by the (mostly German and some French) forces behind VII to impose and enforce their heretical agenda.

      And JPII, whatever the merits of his personal piety and heroic death (growing old and sick publicly in a culture that wants to put an end to people like that), was a terrible pope. He was weak on discipline, sentimental, negligent on doctrine until Ratzinger shaped him up, and appointed terrible bishops selected by the heterodox nuncios and bishops’ conferences bequeathed to him by Paul VI. BXVI initially did some clean-up (getting rid of sex offenders, such as Maciel, unaccountably protected by JPII) and slowly replacing the nuncios with good ones, who actually did give us a few good appointments. The problem is that BXVI was too unassuming and non-authoritarian, and he wanted to abide by the system, go slowly and wait for bad bishops or clergy to die or retire rather than ripping them out of their chairs immediately, and in general adopt a non-confrontational mode and hope he was appealing to their better natures. Well, they didn’t have any, and we can see how successful his approach was.

      And now we have a lunatic and a heretic making use of every real or imagined papal power in the book, and nobody knows what to do.

  22. Francis as a bishop in Argentina, celebrated a false hanukkah with at least one pagan man who worshiped the earth. Lost souls, false jews hosted this sacrilegious event. This is one of many actions of Francis’ that blatantly show that he is NOT a Christian.
    – Our Lord Jesus stated, to love Me is to obey Me. –

  23. We are all Protestants now.
    The progressives are the new Lutherans.
    The conservatives are the new Protestants protesting the current papacy.

  24. I am flabbergasted! I personally do not see anything changed by AL. I watched for years as non-annulled received(in one case distributed) Holy Communion. Also, the rich could get annulments while the average person was refused on any grounds. Most Catholics do not understand their Catholic Faith. It has been chaos run amok since the 60-70s. People receive communion with no belief in the True Presence. People receive when the whole town knows that they are in mortal sin but, hey, they do not care. Come on, how many people keep receiving Holy Communion and have not been to confession since their very first one? Through this all many a priest just let all this slide. AL is certainly nothing to split the Church over. Catholics who know their faith will be just fine. Stick with True Church teachings for yourself and do not worry about judging others. We lived through this before. Popes come and go. Give Pope Francis his due respect as our pope. Do not slay his spirit by bad mouthing him-it is not worth sinning over.

    • It’s true that there have been abuses for years – but you miss the fact that this abuse now appears to be officially approved by the Church. That’s what people are upset about.

      Well, that and the fact that this little “exception to the law” basically destroys the whole moral edifice of the Church and replaces it with “if it feels good, do it.” But again, the thing that is causing distress is that it seems to have become the new official teaching of the Church, approved by the Pope himself. So if you thought it was bad before, just wait…

    • “Also, the rich could get annulments while the average person was refused on any grounds. Most Catholics do not understand their Catholic Faith. It has been chaos run amok since the 60-70s. People receive communion with no belief in the True Presence. People receive when the whole town knows that they are in mortal sin but, hey, they do not care. Come on, how many people keep receiving Holy Communion and have not been to confession since their very first one?”

      I’m a bit confused. You make valid points concerning the indifference that borders on sacrilege of many Catholics. But when Pope Francis solidifies this sacrilege under the auspices of AL, your reaction is “do not worry”, “do not judge”, and give the Pope some respect. And pray tell, when did a past pope ever attempt something like this?

      • I simply did not articulate myself well at all. It seems that Catholics think this is the end-they are getting really out of sorts about AL. I understand that it is not in line with years of Catholic teachings. I wonder how we got to this point. Could it be because some in the Church have used the teachings(rules)of Church to suppress and control certain groups in the Church? Or is it because there are certain groups who have used Matrimony as a weapon? -to hurt a certain Catholic-a Catholic can not reproduce if the first marriage ended by the other person and annulment was not granted-then a Catholic must live the single life (too lonely for most). Do not think for one moment that I am making these situations up.Pope Francis is fighting these circumstances with AL. The world has changed. Catholics are under attack (even by fellow Catholics). I believe Pope Francis simply wants to help the Catholics that are under attack.

        If Catholics could get through the years we have still faith filled. Can Catholics not be understanding/merciful towards one another? If Catholics were we would not be here.

        • Tammy,

          In the post above, you said that Catholics do not know their faith. I agree, and I don’t think you know your faith either. If divorce and remarriage is against God’s commands, it doesn’t matter if it is inconvenient or difficult or if the world has changed or if there are evil people who use marriage as a weapon. It may be that the Pope and many in the Catholic hierarchy (as well as the Catholic laity) don’t believe any of this stuff and want to “update the faith” to be in more keeping with the ways of the world. But sin is still sin.

          If “do not commit adultery” is God’s command and if it is part of the deposit of faith, the rule cannot change. Jesus did not give any leeway here. It was a line in the sand. Yes, Christ forgave the woman caught in adultery, but he also said, “Go and sin no more.” If unrepentant and non-reformed adultery is a sin that one can forfeit one’s salvation over, then it is NOT merciful to counsel and accompany someone into hell. Nor is it merciful to lie and tell someone it is NOT a grave matter when it will cost the person his or her soul.

          The road to perdition is broad and many will travel it. The road to heaven is narrow and few will find it. Folks may not believe any of this stuff. Many don’t. Folks may think they can make up God’s commands to suit their own fancy. Many do. All of this is as old as the Garden of Eden: Did God really say? Yes, He did! If your conscience or my conscience is the final answer about marriage, divorce, confession and communion, then it is also the final answer about every other matter of faith and belief.

          What we then end up with is private judgment, individual conscience and mere human opinion. If I submit as long as I agree, the person to whom I submit to is me. The authority of the Church and the Magisterium is completely undermined — meaningless. Once that happens, we are all Protestants (only we still call ourselves Catholic). This path is suicide for the Church. There is no authority except that quoted by Martin Luther. Each person will do what is right in his or her own eyes and no one can say otherwise.

          Because conscience ….. Because peace …. Because mercy …

          • I know the Catholic Faith. I also know that there are members of the hierarchy who seem to have their own agenda. I have seen people with legitimate reasons for annulment get turned down. People who are good Catholics- rule followers to the core, who had spouses leave them. What options do these people have against bad hierarchy? Not all can live the single life. Is AL the answer? The answer against bad priests? I used to think it was not. But the spiritual battle is happening now. How else can these people be helped? What options do they have? I do not have the answer. I think AL was the only way the pope could find to help these people-when bad priests would not help them. I am not talking about good priests. It appears to me that there are certain priests who are playing God by believing that they can use their power to grant annulments according to who they decided shall go to heaven. The whole thing is just sad;heart wrenching sad.

          • Tammy, I am very sorry for your friends. No doubt we each have personal experiences that influence how we view this matter. My understanding is the majority of requests for annulments are actually approved. I do not know enough about the annulment process to know if there is an appeal/ review process as well as the initial application.

            However, I do know this: The basis for an annulment is not whether (or not) one is a good Catholic, or whether (or not) one follows the rules or whether (or not) a spouse left the person. The basis for annulment is whether there was a valid sacramental marriage and whether all the elements necessary for such a marriage were present.

            Bad facts make for bad law. I am sure there are many heart rending stories of people who, through no fault of their own, had marriages fall apart. I know a woman who was married to an abusive alcoholic — a real *!#& in every way. They were both Catholic and they had a valid marriage. There were absolutely no grounds for an annulment.

            She left him (for her own safety) but she did not divorce him. Obviously, she did not and could not remarry. He later died under very tragic circumstances. But if she had divorced him and if she had applied for an annulment, it would not have been granted to her. Was it hard? Yes, absolutely. Did she deserve him? No. Was it fair? Probably not.

            It is possible your friends were denied annulments that should have been approved. It is possible that within the Church hierarchy are clergy with their own agendas. It is possible there are “bad priests” and it is possible there are unfair and downright wrong decisions. Life itself isn’t fair and God gives us the grace to live with all manner of difficulties.

            I don’t know what the answer is or if there is an answer. If you give an annulment to every person who asks for one, then there is no such thing as sacramental marriage. If you allow individual conscience to be the determining factor, then there is no such thing as sacramental marriage. If you eliminate all annulments, that too has its consequences.

            The comment you make about “granting annulments according to who (the priests) decided shall go to heaven” has me completely perplexed. Could you please explain?

          • Susan, it comes down to this- I think there are few valid marriages in the world. As for priests who think they can decide who goes to heaven-that’s going to remain a secret.

  25. How much longer will God allow his bride to rent into factions, one truly Catholic and one a part of the bride only in name? Haven’t their heresies “pierced the vault of the heavens”? When will God act? “By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept”… There was no answer apparent. But for every minute lost, souls pour into Hell. Won’t God shorten these days? Is there nothing to do but pray?

  26. How can PF come out and clarify the dubia without having to “east his words ” in Al, or else claim that he has changed the traditional teaching of the Church, and thus contradict the teaching of Veritatis Splendor and even that of the Council of Trent which comes with an anathema? He probably thinks the cardinals have set him up so that he either contradicts what he has implied in AL or he teaches outright heresy. He will stick to his guns and not answer, whether they come out with a correction or not.

  27. Good. Let’s call a de facto schism a de facto schism. Make the correction and let’s get on with getting the church back on track and bringing many more sinners into the envelope of Christ.

    AL has been a costly little experiment for the Church. Time to get back to the business of saving souls.

    I also though equating Trump to Hitler today was His Holiness intentionally poisoning the waters with the new Administration. In combination with the rush to lionize Fidel Castro at his death, this is just plain weird.

  28. How does a ‘de facto’ schism differ from a ‘de jure’ schism? What will a de jure schism look like? I could see heretic PF requiring Bishops to sign an Oath to the New Mercy. If your Bishop signs it, then – voila!- you’re in a schismatic diocese! Good luck getting the sacraments.

    Schisms are breaking out everywhere: as I watch the post-election monkeyshines in America, I realize that the U.S. is in a de facto schism, between Blue States and Red States, and even blue and red neighborhoods.

  29. Jiminy Christmas. I know it’s a male priesthood, Horst, but you still get to use periods. (Is stacking prepositional phrases a German thing?) OK, I’m going to go reread it, slowly. I may have to parse some of the sentences, but I’ll get through it somehow!


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