Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

The Galatians Two Moment Is Now


But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. – Galatians 2:11

It’s been almost a week since the Holy Father’s now-infamous comments about how contraception might be permissible for eugenic purposes (ie., to prevent pregnancies at risk of birth defects due to the alleged effects of the Zika virus on a developing fetus.)

In my initial analysis of the pope’s comments, I made clear that there was no other possible interpretation. He wasn’t talking about NFP or a general program of abstinence. He was referring to artificial methods of birth control. And he justified this completely un-Catholic opinion by referencing what is almost certainly a completely made up story about Pope Paul VI doing something not really very similar in the 1960s.

I said in my original post that barring some very explicit clarification and correction from Pope Francis, we have now witnessed a sitting pope publicly contradicting infallible teaching. It should also be pointed out that this goes deeper — the Holy Father not only opposed the teaching of his predecessors, but the natural law itself, upon which this teaching is based.

Well, thankfully, a clarification was issued, and it certainly did make things more clear:

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has affirmed that the Holy Father was indeed speaking of “condoms and contraceptives” when on the flight back from Mexico, Pope Francis said couples could rightly “avoid pregnancy” in the wake of the Zika virus scare.

Fr. Lombardi told Vatican Radio today, “The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience. This is what the Pope said.”

According to Lombardi, the pope spoke of “the possibility of taking recourse to contraception or condoms in cases of emergency or special situations. He is not saying that this possibility is accepted without discernment, indeed, he said clearly that it can be considered in cases of special urgency.”

Lombardi reiterated the example that Pope Francis made of Pope Paul VI’s supposed “authorization of the use of the pill for the religious who were at very serious risk” of rape.  This, said Lombardi, “makes us understand that it is not that it was a normal situation in which this was taken into account.”

So to sum up: yes, he really did say what you think he said. But it’s apparently okay, because hey: he’s the pope!

I also told you that Catholic apologists would attempt to spin this as perfectly fine. I told you that when they did this, they would be lying to you. This isn’t, of course, just a white lie, like the parent who tells his children that things are fine in a moment of danger or financial crisis in order to assuage fears over circumstances outside the child’s control.

No, saying that things are fine in this circumstance is, in my opinion, a malicious lie, because it is one that will do irreparable damage to souls. Case in point: the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has now backed Francis’ statement:

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the Pontiff’s statement is not changing church teaching on the unacceptability of artificial means of contraception.

“The Holy Father was very clear and uncompromising about the evil of abortion. And we, your bishops, reiterate Church teaching: No matter that the child in the womb may be afflicted with some infirmity or deformity, it can never be moral to bring a deliberate end to human life. It is never for us to judge who should live or die!” he said.

The Lingayen-Dagupan prelate added, “He then proffered the view that the evil of contraception was not of the same magnitude as the evil of abortion. Clearly, this was sound moral reasoning. The evil of stealing a few pesos cannot be compared with the evil of plunder.”

Villegas noted that these positions are not in any way new, saying: “They have always formed part of Catholic moral theology and belong to the treasury of the Church’s heritage in health-care ethics.”

“They have always formed a part of Catholic moral theology…”

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Lies. Damned lies. Contraception is an intrinsic evil. Intrinsic evils are not able to be made anything other than evil — they cannot be mitigated by circumstance. (I’ve reached out to some very competent moral theologians to ask for help in explaining precisely why this thinking is wrong. I hope to be able to share that with you in a future post.)

Meanwhile, the spin continues. Church Militant has suddenly found it profitable to admit that we’ve had bad popes in the past, and that not everything a pope says is infallible or above reproach. Unfortunately, they’re wielding the “he didn’t say anything ex cathedra” defense in an attempt to convince everyone waking up in the Matrix that there’s nothing to see here. Fr. Z took a similar approach, saying that the fact that this wasn’t an authoritative statement renders it “meaningless.” Jimmy Aikin, of course, issued yet another list of things “to know and share”, in which he stated that “On the subject of contraception, [the pope] did not answer one way or another. Instead, he recounted a reported incident from the 1960s…”

Meanwhile, a Google search for “pope Francis Zika contraception” turns up nearly million results, and many of those on the first few pages (beyond which not many searchers are likely to look) have headlines like this:


This is the upshot. This is always the upshot. We need to put the idea to death that just because a papal statement is not infallible it is meaningless.

Once a theological understanding of the distinctions between levels of Magisterial authority become the only way to determine whether or not the pope should be listened to, you’ve lost 99% of the world, and 90% or more of Catholics. The indefectible integrity of the deposit of faith is certainly objectively important. But on a subjective level, the only Magisterium that really matters in terms of what people believe and how this changes their behavior is, “The pope said X, so X is what Catholics believe.”

Full stop.

Get this through your heads, Catholic apologists. Your dissimulation on this issue is nauseating, and we’re way past playing footsie with the truth, or writing posts full of mental reservation. We just had the bishops of one of the most Catholic (by percentage of population) nations on earth give essentially a blanket opening to their faithful using contraception because of something the pope said on a plane.

I’ve been arguing since 2013 that a pope can do a lot of damage without changing a single iota of doctrine. Francis proves this with alarming frequency. Why are all Catholics of goodwill not on the same page? Why are so few of us lucid in our understanding that this is a pontificate which our Christian duty requires us to resist?

We must still respect the office of the papacy. We must still, barring any juridical evidence to the contrary, accept that Francis is the pope. But we have now entered a moment in history where our bishops must take action on this. We need something definitive from them about Francis. It is imperative to the salvation of souls that they tell the faithful not to follow Francis into his contradiction of Church teaching.

Pope Honorius I was posthumously anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople, and arguably for less than Francis is doing now. Honorius was condemned more for failing to act than for the deliberate promotion of heresy. Because of his failure, the council declared:

“We anathematize Honorius, who did not seek to purify this apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolic tradition, but by a profane betrayal permitted its stainless faith be surrendered.”

In later comments made to the bishops of Spain, Pope Leo II explained further, saying that Honorius was one

who did not, as became the apostolic authority, quench the flame of heretical doctrine as it sprang up, but quickened it by his negligence.

Making excuses for Francis is no longer going to suffice. Looking for semantic loopholes that can be twisted into quasi-orthodox interpretations is disingenuous. Saying simply that we need to pray for Francis isn’t good enough. Waiting to see if God sends a meteor isn’t a solution. The benefit of the doubt can only be given when there is doubt. If there has ever been a time when episcopal spine was needed, this is it.

We have not always been at war with Eastasia. We have not always believed the things Francis says we believe.

Please, bishops. Do not leave us alone while the wolf in sheep’s clothing devours the flock. Please, do your duty and defend the faith, and the faithful. If you were waiting for the right moment to emulate Saint Paul in Galatians 2:11, this is it.

441 thoughts on “The Galatians Two Moment Is Now”

  1. I agree almost entirely. When you say, “We must still, barring any juridical evidence to the contrary, accept that Francis is the pope,” I think you blur the line between the crime of heresy and the sin of heresy. The canonical crime of heresy requires recourse to “juridical evidence” and process, but the sin of heresy (and the scandal that flows from it) means that the pope is ipso facto deposed (before any juridical sentence) according to St. Robert Bellarmine:

    So this notion of “resisting a pope” according to Bellarmine is unfounded, “for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?”

      • I find it refreshing that he would reach out to canon lawyers who might also be online. There is nothing wrong with asking questions.

        • …you find it refreshing perhaps because clerics who are unaware of Church teaching allow much they should not. And while you seem to take comfort in the reality that we all sin, you do not favors to building up the Body of Christ in pretending that presuming on God’s mercy is a good thing.

          • You are big on this sin of presumption as the worst thing ever.

            Yes, it takes Hope too far. It is the opposite end of too little hope, despair. I get what presumption is.

            But you misuse it here.

            No one here is telling someone to “go sin.” The idea is that KNOWING THEY WILL SIN, the lesser sin is still better than the graver sin.

            Basic logic.

          • I am big on Catholic Faith and Morals. That and not presuming to offend God, whom I love, by purposefully engaging in that which offense Him. It’s called respect, Rich.

            That said, the Pope cannot condone sin on the pretext of preventing what he assumes is the lesser. I.E. Give glory to idols if it will keep you from killing your wife who keeps nagging you to attend her Baal services.

            Basic accommodation.

          • Nobody knows that somebody else “WILL SIN”. Sin is not inevitable, we have free will. It is never permissible to deliberately will a sin in order to achieve a good end – not that what is being considered here could be construed as a good end.

          • Agreed.

            But, if someone is absolutely sure they would abort their zika afflicted child, is it not better (simpy as a gradation of evil, not truly good) that they prevent the pregnancy?

            I do realize there are absolutists who disagree, but we live in a real world that needs a church that applies PASTORAL love in situations like this.

          • By all means avoid getting pregnant if one is really concerned about this. But there are moral ways to avoid getting pregnant beginning with abstinence.

            If the Pope was a Catholic, he would have suggested abstinence or NFP rather than suggesting to people that they should “discern” whether to perform an intrinsically evil act or not.

          • It’s been a great venue if you want to welcome the Modernists into the Church. Oh and confuse people to the point that more Catholics jump ship.
            After all, this is what the Anglicans did and look at how their growing by leaps and bounds.

          • Well, if all you value is butts in the seats, that’s a whole other ball game.

            There are going to be MORE people interested in a pope who can actually see the difference between abortion and AC.

          • And less that are willing to swim the Tiber when there is no difference on the books. (you do know the Anglicans are a bust, right?)
            It’s bait and switch. Elude to changing doctrine, then don’t. That doesn’t get people in the pews but get people moving to the rockin’ Megachurch up the street.

          • I know a number of Catholics newly received into the Church in the last 3-4 years who right now are questioning why they should remain. One is a very good friend who always sends me links to the latest papal escapade. They raise challenges to the legitimacy of any church with a head like Francis who seems intent on dismantling orthodox Christianity at its roots.

            They wonder how could this be the true Church founded by Jesus when his Vicar seeks to undo rather than pass on what has been handed down from Peter, and this is a bunch who struggled with putting that kind of value on Peter at all.

          • I entered The Church last year and I am surrounded by Protestants and it is VERY difficult to defend my conversion with this pope. Perhaps my mistake was in telling them what I felt about PF and how he is a punishment from God to His people. IDK…perhaps it would have been better for me to say nothing, as most liberals and many Protestants love this pope and maybe they would consider converting…IDK. I know that I know that I know I will die a Catholic and hopefully in God’s Grace. But I also know that I am extremely firm in my faith because I learned from fine Traditionalists such as everyone here…well, not Rich 🙁 ..sorry.

          • 30 years ago I attended our 20th high school reunion in Michigan at the Shrine of the LIttle Flower school of Father Chas Coughlin.
            At that point more than half the class was already divorced and these were LIFELONG catholic students at a catholic school. It tells me that the clergy was ignorant about marriage and sex and all those kids suffered from said ignorance of celibate men, some of whom were no doubt gay making the misogyny 2x worse.

          • And a continuing disaster for the Church every time he opens his mouth in one of these many (too, too many) off-the-cuff interviews.

          • There has been no “disaster.” Jesus was off the cuff often as well. His disciples didnt want him talking to women or Canaanites, etc. He is a fine pope.

          • He was human. He most certainly said things off the cuff. Perhaps you attach sin to that phrase, I do not.

            When a Canaanite woman wants his healing for her daughter, he basically calls her a dog, but after she persists, he sees more and shares to her that SHE has great faith.

            We dont have all the words of Jesus in the Bible. It is only logical to believe that there were certainly statements made that were quick quips like Pope Francis’. It’s amazing how much this group here, this “right and correct” part of the Church loves to hate. Both Obama and this pope.

            You guys have your ducks in a row. He will be so happy with all the specks you have been trying to clean out of everyone’s eyes.

          • Rich, it has been pointed out here and elsewhere that there is no gradation of evil between two actions which are both intrinsically evil. Actions which are intrinsically evil can never, never be done without mortal sin. Contraception is intrinsically evil. Abortion is intrinsically evil. That is it. No shades of grey.

          • I suggest it is time for a catholic woman to become acquainted with one of the saints in town…one Thomas Aquinas who would beg to differ with you on gradations of evil. There is a hugh diference between a father beating his daughter in a drunken rage OR taking her to bed and impregnating her…both evil but not equal..why is it so hard to understand? Really it’s a no brainer!

          • More than that we need a world where one knows that Idealism is prohibited by Reality…otherwise we will get a commie country in no short time….idealism is the knife that commies and religions use to eviscerate their own. Why not try on ‘love’ for size?

          • Thank you for asking. The answer is no. We may not do evil so that good may come from it. About those absolutists: our Lord enjoins us to be perfect — like him. That is the genuinely pastoral call of the genuine Good Shepherd. You seem not to recognize the voice.

          • No, you misunderstand.

            I am not saying that one may do evil that good may result. I am simply asking the basic question: is stopping a pregnancy on a par with murder?

            I agree that we should not do evil to attain a good.

            I am saying that in the face of those who KNOW they will do a more egregious evil, abortion… is it morally permissible, (even preferable) to perform an action that is less evil?

            Everyone’s answer of course is that sin is always wrong: you should do neither. All that is well and good, but there WILL be abortions, and if some of those abortions could be avoided, that is less bad. I am not saying it is GOOD. I wish people would read that.

          • Excuse me; I understand all too well. Your premise is defective. No one can “know” that he will choose to do evil. Free will is a real thing. So is grace. Sin is not inevitable, as you weirdly suggest.

          • Since so many people seem to be going to hell, it seems sin is a certainty.

            I do know that I will sin again. I know it. It is a fact. You will too. The fact that so many get twisted into knots over sexuality issues and not the self righteous scolding they do is a scandal as well.

            Of course we wont find too many articles about that here.

          • “I do know that I will sin again. I know it. It is a fact.”

            And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us.

          • To say that sin is a certainty in a general sense and to say that we are powerless to avoid specific sins are two very different things.

            No more of these shell games, if you please.

            And no more smearing as self righteous scolds those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. That’s — literally — diabolical.

          • “When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: ‘This is your sin, and I will sin again’.”

          • “Clerics who are unaware of Church teaching” Wth….why are they in the clergy…for the free food or what? Any other profession you’d be kicked out for not knowing the basics..But oh, I forgot the church is exempt from taxes too….nice game they play there. Dump the poor on the welfare system and ask Jane and John Doe to pick up the tab…way to go all you not so Christian bros.

      • I think you are being too harsh on Fr. Heilman. Great theologians of the likes of Suarez and Bellarmine could not agree on whether a Pontiff could teach heresy, and on the consequences/recourses in law if he did.

        The Church has not planned for these contingencies because few people seriously thought that a Pope would publicly contradict the moral teaching of the Church.

        • It’s also probable, considering the editorial bias at CM, that Fr. Heilman’s question was partly rhetorical, and intended to spark conversation.

          It’s not as if I can leave a comment over there.

          And considering thar Father is both a contributor and advertiser here, perhaps we have some indication of his mind.

          • I have been banned there too – for the mere suggestion that Rome was the source of the problems with the Synods rather than the solution. It is difficult to say anything on their forum unless one is a hyper-ultramontanist.

          • Me, too, Deacon. Multiple times. And for what? Speaking the truth to the moderators who already believe they hold papal authority. Today’s broadcast at CM, complete with, “… what shall we do? What can we do?” posed by religious underlines the perception of moderators that CM has ‘the’ answers and those with the collars don’t. All may now speak when MV does, but until that time, mention of the truth is strictly anathematized…. and even you, Deacon, were banned for a mere suggestion of reality.

        • The Church has planned for these contingencies, Deacon Augustine. We have had bad Popes in the past and the Church knew how to handle them – and did. Your statement here is just another display of the woeful lack of education regarding Church teaching, history, and law that is endemic.

          The Moderators at Church Militant, for the most part, are young grads with talking point cards. And yet we have priests asking them what to do. Good grief.

          • …then understand that I am a wife and mother. That’s especially why I don’t take kindly to grown men who know better playing baby numpty.

          • Playing baby numpty again, Rich. Or do you not get that you said this ‘man’ that is me should be pope. I’m a woman, friend. But hey, maybe that’s on the list of your revolving door magisterium.

          • Phil, feminism is a woman pretending she doesn’t need a man or a priest. I need and want both. But, and this is the kicker, I need them to play the role. As a stay-at-home, home schooling mom, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with having to fill in the gaps. Sorry.

            Give your tired old cluelessness a rest. Do the dang job. We all need it.

          • Fine, quote me the Canon IN FORCE NOW!!!!! AND NOT ABROGATED BY LATER LEGISLATION which allows this situation to be dealt with.

            If you are going to trot out Paul IV, prove to me that his legislation is still valid.

            Honorius I was not dealt with till after his death – and then by an ecumenical Council before his second successor condemned him. Who is going to call an ecumenical Council to condemn the clown in white?

          • Deacon, your devolving into capital letter shouting does you zero service.

            Condemnation doesn’t need to come in the form of an ecumenical Council. But it should, in fact, come in the form of Cardinals, Bishops, priests and deacons speaking out against what Pope Francis is doing in contrast to what his job entails.

            Formal proclamation is reserved for a future Pope, but not so resisting one to his face when the need arises. And that need has been present for quite some time. We all know this.

            So trot the indignation out elsewhere and the tut tutting for my being too harsh. We have all, as a whole, been far too indulgent and tepid and reserved in engaging as a true Church Militant in the defense of and propagation of the Faith…… and out of fear. That is something for which we all carry a certain level of blame.

            Perhaps you should consider that the next time you take a scandalized sheep to task over looking to one who should know what to do and have the courage to do so and wondering – why – are you looking to the sheep and asking what to do. That’s a scandal in itself. If you don’t realize that then we are truly in deep doodle.

          • I am still waiting for you to prove your assertion that the Church has “planned for these contingencies”.

            Apart from a statement of the bleeding obvious – “Cardinals, Bishops, priests and deacons speaking out against what Pope Francis is doing in contrast to what his job entails.” – you haven’t given me anything yet.

            Come on, I am waiting for you to prove that you do not suffer from a “woeful lack of education regarding Church teaching, history, and law that is endemic.” Please educate us all.

          • Please, educate us all on not scandalizing an already scandalized flock, “Deacon.”

            You may be frustrated in your waiting for proof of my assertion that the Church has planned for these contingencies. But you can keep waiting. Much like we, on the ground, have waited for action and protection from hirelings. It does not help for those in the position of authority, those who are indeed true shepherds, to pose questions of what to do on public blogs.

            Considering the bias at CM, I would posit that a priest asking leading questions of the moderators over there, even if slaking egos is the only way to spur actual discourse of reality with those folks, will only add fuel to the fire.

            You seek to correct “Rich” of the sunshine avatar right here on OnePeterFive and you will get nowhere if you establish the falsehood that there is no contingency in engaging one’s lawful authority to refute error.

            So again, do not yield to the falsehood that there is no contingency in place to refute error to its face. There is. There is, however, no formal ruling on what to do with the loose cannon. That is the issue here. Not what to do with it, but the actual cannon itself, garbed in shredded glad rags and ready to blow with the full power of how entertaining it is to be Pope

            Those who know what to do are fearing getting blown away. I got that. Much like I got it that I’m fed up with tut tuts and then what to dos? It is fear that is running the show, Deacon, and fear that needs to be dismissed in light of duty. Even if said duty isn’t written down in a legalistic contingency plan to “tell” you precisely what to do.

            Would not canon (1323) empower you to act in the case of necessity to do what needs to be done. To teach the Catholic Faith, Deacon. To counter error and carry forth. Let a future Pope make a ruling. That is not what this is about. But could not someone in the Catholic Church hierarchy issue statements countering what the Pope has to say? Each bishop could officially speak from his seat, no?

          • Friend, you are clueless. Your so-called ‘shouting” only applies to comments posted ENTIRELY in caps. What the deacon did was for emphasis, and internet veterans know this.

          • As a communications veteran, I understood the Deacon’s shouted words – for emphasis. They were out of place. Sorry, but the Deacon needs to assess his own shortcomings and perhaps ask why others are reacting the way they are.

          • I’d like to know how you think the4 Church “knew how to handle them – and did.”

            My impression is that they could not and did not do anything but suffer through such papacies to their ignominious ends. After all, nobody has ever itemized the number of bad popes who were shown the door by the Curia, at least as far as I know.

          • Phil, being shown the door by the Curia is not the only response. This isn’t bipolar land. Yes, we must suffer through a bad Pope. That is, physically, he cannot be removed. That doesn’t mean that individuals cannot use their current positions to stridently call out and be very clear in denouncing what is being said. So others aren’t misled.

            Bishop Athanasius Schneider is well on the way. We need more of that. We also need more of folks like Bishop Schneider not being thrown under the bus by those talking heads who only now are willing to speak openly about problems – while having derided others with slander and filth.

            Pray that the Bishops pluck up their courage and do what needs doing without explicit step 1, step 2, step 3. We need this. As for your previous charge of ‘feminism’, take ownership of man’s part in it. When good men do nothing or when those in positions of authority do nothing, what is to be done, Phil?

            I doubt your mother would have rolled over and let you be slaughtered, physically or spiritually, if your dad and brothers ran around clucking, “….what to do?!” A slap may have been in order. Either that or a, not in front of the kids. “Snap out of it!”

  2. “Do not leave us alone while the wolf in sheep’s clothing devours the flock. Please, do your duty and defend the faith, and the faithful.”

    Soon, soon.

    • ‘The bishops’ will not do anything. Here and there a faithful bishop might speak out but I would guess that will be the extent of it. Many Catholics contracept and think it is okay and this confirms them in that opinion. I myself had a pastor who just said it was a ‘matter of conscience’. Of course, many consciences are not well formed or dead as they were formed by our immoral society.

    • It is up to us.

      Newman’s first book had been The Arians of the Fourth Century. He turns now to one of the great lessons he had learned in his researches for that book, “that in that time of immense confusion the divine dogma of our Lord’s divinity was proclaimed, enforced, maintained, and (humanly speaking) preserved, far more by the Ecclesia docta than by the Ecclesia docens, that the body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism…” Most of this section of Newman’s article consists of quotations from ancient authorities to show that the Nicene dogma was maintained during the greater part of the fourth century “1. not by the unswerving firmness of the Holy See, Councils, or bishops, but 2. by the consensus fidelium”. – Cf. [Bl.] NEWMAN ON THE LAITY, Rev. Michael Sharkey []

  3. Look at the bright side, we’re going to dodge the chastisements of Fatima & Akita….’cause there sure ain’t no “bishop against bishop, Cardinal against Cardinal”….

    • NOT true….the cardinals/bishops of Venezuela are calling him to task for pushing the commie/democrap/socialist line which calls foul on capitalism. Like the South American clergy said, “Capitalism might not be perfect, but sure as hades
      beats the grinding poverty taking place under socialism/Marxism/communism.” I fail to see how it can be fun to have no get toilet paper like in Cuba. And YET, both obummer and Francis met with the dicktator with big havanather cigar.

      • Given the immense scope of the problems with this pontificate, particularly with regard to basic Catholic moral doctrine, the reaction of the hierarchy from Venezuela isn’t really much to hang your hopes on….at best they are the exception, not the rule.

  4. Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball, Steve, along with a few other Radical Catholic Reactionaries like Oakes, Hilary, and St Corbinian’s Bear. Meanwhile, most of the Catholic commentariat is still consumed by their need to prove or debunk the nuns-in-the-Congo story which, while important, is far less significant than the fact that the Vicar of Christ appears to be endorsing proportionalism.

    This episode is another illustration of the interlocking nature of Catholic doctrine, and the dangers of kicking out even one minor pillar. Say we tell women that, due to a conflict between the Fifth and Sixth Commandments, they may use contraceptives (after careful discernment, of course) in order to avoid a risky pregnancy. There’s no reason to suppose that such conflicts are limited to these two commandments, or to this particular situation.

    Here’s the thing: almost any moral dilemma you can think of can be construed as a conflict between one or more of the Ten Commandments. Can a woman commit adultery with a governor in order to win a reprieve for her wrongly condemned husband? Can a man dishonestly destroy the reputation of his wife in order to prevent her from depriving him of custody? Can a businessman defraud wealthy clients of their retirement savings in order to provide an African village with clean water? And so on.

    • Hear hear…and once we accept that it is permissible to use contraception when threatened only by potential birth defects, it is truly frightening to consider the myriad scenarios to which this standard could logically be applied.

      Essentially, if a pregnancy poses any risk whatsoever, to either mother or child, a logically consistent case for contraception could be made based on Francis’ teaching.

      The slope here is not slippery; it is sheer and the cliff’s edge has already crumbled away.

      • Simply if “Eugenic Contraception” becomes acceptable, it will be used as “Well being of the mother” is by the Pro-abortion people. It becomes anything they want. Depressed mom, financial well being etc.
        Sheer slope is right!

        • Exactly! Because of the eugenic cast of Francis’s thought in even deliberating on the matter, the whole eugenic mentality has now been given an entry into Catholics’ thinking. As a result, there are pregnant Catholic women in Catholic countries who will get abortions if they’ve been exposed to Zika, in part because Francis just added to the hysteria over Zika.

    • Abortion and Contraception: Fruits of the Same Tree.
      One didn’t want a child with microcephaly [supposedly cause by the zika virus] so they contracepted, nonetheless the child came … plain conclusions follow.

    • Yes, anyone who posits a “conflict” between two Commandments is already a consequentialist/proportionalist. That a Pope would do so is of course a blunder of epochal proportions. But do watch the video, whether or not you speak Italian, in order to appreciate the smug suavity with which Francis delivers his ignorant views.

      Also to be rejected here is the ludicrous attempt by the normalist commentariat to call the Zika scenario a case of double effect. No, the avoidance of pregnancy is directly intended to escape the burden of possible birth defects. One might as well argue that killing your mother-in-law was intended only to stop her nagging so that her death was the unintended consequence of shutting her up.

      • the end can never justify the means if the end (or the means) is a grave sin so, as you state, double effect does not and cannot apply here

      • This is the most ridiculous garbage Francis has ever uttered! What has he done for our children and grandchildren??! Consigned them all to hell?!

    • I believe the important word from Galatians 2:11 is Paul’s unabashed use of the word “openly”::

      “Afterwards, when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him openly; he stood self-condemned.”

      Cephas was opposed openly by a fellow Apostle. The time has come.

        • You know, Cory29, in addition to St. Paul’s instruction in Galatians Our Lord Himself also spoke of how to treat an erring brother:

          “If thy brother does thee wrong, go at once and tax him with it, as a private matter between thee and him; and so, if he will listen to thee, thou hast won thy brother. If he will not listen to thee, take with thee one or two more, that the whole matter may be certified by the voice of two or three witnesses.

          If he will not listen to them, then speak of it to the church; and if he will not even listen to the church, then count him all one with the heathen and the publican.” Matthew 18: 15-17

          • Some Cardinals have tried this (via a letter during the synod). But the Pope just ridicules them and dismisses it as conspiracy theory.
            So I suppose even if they do heed the Lord’s words, it will be turned and used against them.

          • I know about the letter, Cory29. It was evidently a quiet behind-the-scenes effort away from the public eye.

            I don’t think we have yet had any cardinals coming out and directly addressing the Faithful about any specific doctrinal, moral, or pastoral danger arising for them were they to follow Francis’ reckless and erroneous pronouncements and deeds and lose their souls in consequence.

            Perhaps it is time for the cardinals and bishops and priests of the Catholic Church to tell the Faithful to ” count him all one with the heathen and the publican”. Declare Francis anathema.

            If they face ridicule and rejection for speaking the Truth, so what? In the struggle against sin and error they have not yet resisted unto death. Hebrews 12:4

          • I think the virtue sorely lacking among the princess of the Church is courage.
            No one has had the courage of a Paul to a Peter.

  5. Dr. David Anders on “Called to Communion” on EWTN radio just repeated the Congo story and here was his explanation: because the nuns of the Congo had made a vow a chastity and therefore marriage and children were not part of their vocation, and they were in danger of rape, it was permitted that they use artificial contraception. However, he then furthered (later in the show) that contraception is immoral period and he brings the Bible and Church tradition and teaching (supposedly unbroken) into the argument, referring to Humana Vitae and natural law as well. More confusion and doublespeak.

    • Well, if you were desperate to avoid acknowledging the elephant in the room, what would you do? You might make a huge deal about the fact that someone had left the door open. That’s the purpose the nuns-in-the-Congo (hereafter NITC) story serves for mainstream apologists. They get to play detective and spin all sorts of fascinating what-if yarns about the 1960s, while diligently ignoring the massive grey posterior shoved against their face.

    • At least he said something in support of the teachings of the Church. We all need to stick together rather then find how this or that writer was bold enough. If they support the Churches teaching on contraception and against the Pope teachings on contraception, they are our allies.

  6. If only we were to be blessed with a bishop who would do his job and stand up to this Pope. But we do not deserve such a blessing. We have the Pope we deserve instead of the Pope we need.

  7. The problem is that the Pope has created a atmosphere of fear. Bishops that have made any gesture of opposition to his heretical teachings have found themselves removed from office. As with the synod, it will take private meetings from bishops to en mass make at least a statement of support for truth. How long will this take? Perhaps they are waiting for the other shoe to drop with Pope Francis’s document on the synod to come in March. We will see.

    But we must keep praying and supporting each other in our concerns.

  8. Francis cannot hide forever if he is bent on challenging truth and authority. He seems determine to disprove scripture, if he gets a political system behind him, I’m sure we would see a Francis that would not hide his true feelings & beliefs and if we have a problem with it, take it up with the ‘family’. In my opinion, he would be the worst of the worse. He does nothing to lessen my concerns.

    • “Francis cannot hide forever if he is bent.”
      He has tried, as he himself and the innovators around him have said, to “tread the middle path.” But as Jesus said, where one stands has to be clear, and if one is not with him, they are against him.

  9. Question: whose reasoning is more tortuous, that of those who still defend the current disaster in the White House, or that of Catholic ultramontanists who think it’s business as usual at the Vatican these days? Personally I think the world is much the worse off for having two such intellectually deficient individuals in high offices at the same time.

    • I am absolutely grateful for both Obama and Pope Francis. The world is immensely better off for having BOTH of them with us and where they are.

      “Intellectually deficient.” Wow. This site is filled with folks who are amazingly better at everything than the Pope.

          • If someone was certain to abort a child that is afflicted with Zika, then their use of a lesser evil is BETTER than the GRAVEST of evils. Logic.

            He was not saying “go out and do evil.” He was saying that in the face of the gravest of evils, a lesser evil is still gradations better.

          • You are confused. Both abortion and contraception are moral evils that, if unrepented of, will equally send a person to hell. In that sense, contraception is not a lesser evil than abortion, no matter how widely accepted it is.

            Further: The Church has always taught that one can never commit a morally evil act in order to achieve a good end. So, for instance, we are not permitted to commit the evil act of contracepting in order to avoid abortion. Much less can we do so to avoid the good act of bringing a child into the world. On either interpretation, the pope is contradicting Catholic teaching.

          • OK, let’s go slowly here, though it’s really pretty simple.

            It’s not what I think, it’s what the Catholic Church teaches.

            From CCC 2370 (my emphasis):

            every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil.”

            I’ll repeat the important bits: Every action which proposes, whether as an end or a means, to render procreation impossible, is intrinsically evil.

            In other words, you (along with the pope) are recommending that women take an intrinsically evil action which renders procreation impossible as a means to avoiding either abortion or birth defects, depending on your interpretation.

            Should women take your advice, they would be committing an objectively grave sin which, if unrepented, could damn them for all eternity. Again, the Church tells us this, not me. The loss of even a single immortal soul is immeasurable, and infinitely worse than any discomfort or travail that we experience in our mortal lives. Also Church teaching.

            I am sorry that I am unable to muster your blithe flippancy towards such a prospect, nor can I confect mock outrage like yours at those who speak against the gods of this world.

          • Rich, I have no idea of how old you are, but I was married in the sixties when the Cana classes first came out. Looking back I recall the disgust I felt at what they were teaching then about normal sex, or what should have been normal heterosexual sex between a man and his wife. Instead what hurt my ears was hearing that doing things that gay and lesbians did was quite okay. So wth get married if one is to play the gay game??
            Being an avid, voracious reader all my life, I was struck back then by priests writing about ‘sacred sperm’.. and that women were to be merely ‘sperm receptacles’…I kid you not. But it follows on why they always said that being gay was wrong. As they viewed gays sperm as not promoting life it was bad. In short, the sperm did not do the job it was made to do.
            Then with the nuns, they gave them latitude on lesbianism for they felt that since they had no sperm, no harm done when two lessies got together, nun or not. Again, purely disgusting on both counts and I often wonder if God cried or LHHO when he heard clergy pretending to know what was in God’s mind.
            It reminds me (as an artist) of all those curators or museum folks/ visitors waxing eloquently about what the artist was expressing in a painting….when nothing could be further from the truth. Once I heard a mother with her two sons (in 20’s) at the Museum of Art in Boston, telling them what the artist was conveying with his artwork. In fact it was a typical pos modern art having no merit, no goodness, no beauty let alone meaning..and the moron mother deigned to speak for the artist who would have probably laughed his head off at her stupidity. She actually believed she knew of what she spoke!

          • Murray deals with the substance; I’ll just point out that your even posing that question proves you have no grounding in Catholic teaching. You have no idea of core Catholic principles governing such a discussion by Catholics.

            I hope you take in what he’s correctly teaching you.

          • You didn’t strike me as a specialist of the Logos. Are you a theologian satisfied that your thought is complete and conclusive, and therefore mediocre?

          • “The Church has always taught that one can never commit a morally evil act in order to achieve a good end” Excepting of course, it is the Church determining to do an evil act by itself in order to achieve what they/Vatican sees as a good? Such as the bringing in millions of immigrants who hate America, and our Constitution and the church making millions of dollars for doing so. And worse, dumping the upkeep of said immigrants/welfare onto americans for 90% of those illegals remain on welfare. So why is it that the church is exempt from committing evil acts in order to achieve what they view as a good end..which IT”S NOT.
            Further all this talk about saving lives seems to end once the fetus is born and breathing, no? why obsess over life that might be? And not see as sacred the life that is already here. That is one thing I will never in womb precious, but life outside of womb, nah, not so much. Thus the pope has no problem with making our lives worse to take care of islime men.

          • “If someone was certain to abort a child that is afflicted with Zika, then their use of a lesser evil is BETTER than the GRAVEST of evils.”

            This is a complete interpolation on your part. Francis did not posit contraception as a means of escape for the person who would be certain to abort a microencephalactic child; instead, contraception was put forward as the means to avoid even the possibility of conceiving such children. In any event, as Murray has already noted, even your interpolation is a contradiction of Church teaching.

          • In my 55 years I never thought I would read what you wrote after you identified yourself as Catholic, Rich.
            “Eugenic Contraception” should be addressed by any Catholic with two phrases.
            1. All life has worth, even babies with Microcephaly
            2. If you don’t want to take a chance on having one, don’t have sex.

            It actually is possible not to have sex, even when you are married. I know it’s hard to belive.

          • Did you get that from “Pope Francis’ Little book of Insults”?
            I’m amazed that you give Catholics so little credit for keeping it in their pants.
            We’re not REALLY rabbits, you know.

          • Oh, but la papa thinks you should be..the more the merrier..the more mouths at the table, the more pesos in the sunday baskets and that’s what it is all about. Why do you think that the pope is all warm and fuzzy with the moes now? He knows that the patriarchal Neanderthals of Islime keep their women in their place which is either barefoot and pregnant or their heads planted above a bed of sand for the guys to stone. But for sure the moe men are to keep women pregnant to ensure that quantity reigns supreme with the males…don’t give 2 figs about quality of life!

          • “pinched scrupulosity sepulchers.” Is that the same thing as a “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagian sourpuss?”

          • And it’s not as if “don’t have sex” means a married couple needs to be celibate for years on end!!! Have none of these people ever even heard of Natural Family Planning (NFP)?! NFP is perfectly legit when a couple discerns “grave reasons” — such as the Zika virus — to avoid pregnancy. And it only requires abstaining from sex on certain days of the month. Why the heck is that treated by so many people as some sort of unthinkable hardship? What are we, dogs? We are human beings, made in the divine image, and one of the many things we are capable of is self-control. We can certainly abstain from sex for a few days. Sure, it’s difficult — especially since female libido is at its maximum right at the time of ovulation! But when a couple actually love each other, they can make that sacrifice. (And yes, I am speaking from experience, for what it’s worth.)

          • St. Paul encourages married couples to abstain from time to time in order that they may pray:

            5 Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. 6 I say this by way of concession, not of command.1 Cor 7:5-6 (RSVCE)

          • Rich, how dare you think that we have a right to use logic?
            Don’t you know that we should all go mumbo jumbo and think we are still in the jungle. In short we should all forfeit our minds?

          • I think you may have correctly spelled out the “secular “logic” utilized by the pope. Unfortunately, you also confirmed that this pope spoke public heresy.

          • Speaking specifically about contraception the Church teaches this in Casti Connubii:

            “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

            Francis on the other hand teaches that it is permissible to use contraception in order to prevent the conception of children who may be at risk for births defects vis-à-vis Zika.

            Direct contradiction.

            Care to try again?

          • Seriously Rich? That’s a total red herring; it’s not about whether he calls it good or bad. The Church teaches that contraception cannot be PERMITTED under any circumstances, but Francis says it can.

            Again, direct contradiction.

          • And, it ISN’T being permitted. He was saying that in the face of someone who would ABORT, the lesser sin of artificial contraception is a less evil act.

            It is NOT being PERMITTED. He is simply looking at things clearly.

          • Wrong again.

            Fr. Lombardi:

            “The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience. This is what the Pope said.”

            That’s an exception, i.e. permission, which was also implicit in Francis’ approval of apocryphal Congo-nun indulgence.
            Also, see Murray above.

          • Would he have included the rape of god knows how many nuns by priests especially in third world countries. ie. Africa, India? Would it have been better for those priests to have used them?

          • Right. That’s because, according to heterodox teaching of our fine clergy, and the enthusiastic support and acceptance of those who are so inclined, THERE IS NO HELL…..REALLY. Or at least not many go there. As Padre Pio’s famous answer to a young man who didn’t believe in hell……’You certainly will when you get there.’

          • None of us, probably.

            ‘Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.’ – Luke 13:23-24

            I’d reflect on that carefully. And on how the Church Fathers read it.

          • That would be the same Origen who was anathematized at Constantinople II?

            Of course, this begs the question of *which* Origen we’re talking about, since he wrote so many contradictory texts. But that should not allow us to lose sight of the fact that universalism is a condemned heresy of the Church, and not one other Church Father ever endorsed it (no, not even Gregory of Nyssa). Hell is a real place, and souls really do go there. Indeed, probably most of them, if the Gospels are to be read in their most obvious sense.

          • How sad, your idea is. That “most” go to hell.

            You posit then, that God, who is Love, created these souls knowing they would forever live in pain and agony FOREVER away from him and love. FOREVER in pain. FOREVER.


            Yes, I do believe there is a hell, I just don’t believe many go there. Some, perhaps, but I would NEVER be one to at all say that I KNOW someone is there.

            Pushing people to be good with fear is childish. Fear is useless, what is needed is faith. IF JESUS HIMSELF, can say from the cross, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do…” and the soteriological question can be answered by faith…then the chances of masses in hell is impossible.

            I feel that those who honestly think that MOST souls go to hell have a lto of healing to do. It is almost as though they wish that to be true, to validate their pain and their world view.

            Yes, hell exists. MOST do not go there.

          • Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, as we’re told; but it is also not the end of it. It should not be just fear that pushes us to toward God.

            But the hard reality of what Christ says – in red letter text! – in numerous places in the Gospel (Luke 13:23-24, Mark 20:16, Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 22:13-14, et al) put the presumption quite powerfully on the likelihood that few (perhaps even very few) will be saved. You have to do some serious acrobatics to read these passages in another way. They’re right there, in all the Gospels, and they cannot be simply ignored. They are hard teachings; and we must come to grips with them, whether we like it or not.

            There is also no getting around the fact that nearly all of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, along with nearly all of the great saints who have written on the subject, have read them that way. I have over fifty citations ready to hand, without doing any hard work. Were all of them wrong? Has the sensus fidelium of 20 centuries in reading the Gospels in their most obvious way been simply wrong? If they were, doesn’t that raid harder questions about the entirety of the Catholic faith, and the reliability of Scripture?

            We do not know the population of hell. We do not know of the fate of any particular soul (save the canonized). Nor should we make any attempts at doing so (a dangerous enterprise). But that doesn’t mean that Christ has not given us *something* to know about it.

            People assume that those who speak of the fewness of the saved most pleasure in it or feel some justification in it; that they must assume that they will be among the few. But that is not how I read Gregory the Great or St. Leonard of Maurice or Augustine or Augustine or Teresa of Avila; each approaches the subject with real trembling and sadness, and no sure sense of their own salvation (which even St. Paul warns us to work out in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12-13)). It is the same for me. I feel no sure confidence in my own salvation, though I have the hope of it.

            If in the past age there was a danger at times of emphasizing too much dread, the great flaw of our own age is that of presumption instead – a blithe assumption that nothing we have done really merits hell, and that a loving God could not possibly refuse us, no matter how little regard we pay Him, or how little effort we ever make to repent. And along with it, an inevitable antinomianism. It’s all around us, every day.

          • This is well said. I appreciate it, and the time you took to write.

            Still, I have a very hard time believing in a creator that IS love, creating beings that do not share his omniscience, who are subject to so many difficulties and limitations, then condemning them FOREVER to unimaginable suffering and pain.

            Jesus shares about a father giving to his child when he asks for a fish. Would you, as a father, ever condemn your child to a FOREVER existence away from your essential love?

            It makes no sense.

            I know there are some, few, who can be close to fully aware and desire never to accept God or love, and refuse to bend the knee, even wish that they never were. I believe hell exists for these, but redemption is attainable. If it is not attainable by faith, then it is a lie. Yes, our works should be done humbly, aware of the sheer awesomeness of God, and I get the idea of the numinous, the Holy.

            But this does not mean we need to be constantly in fear. I just wont be that way. Gratefully, there is room in the pew for all of us and I am grateful for your ministry too.


          • What do you mean, “MOST”?

            It is beautiful to think of Heaven. We will all be there together.

            All of us.

            It is beautiful, it gives strength to the soul.

          • How sure are you that Athelstane isn’t Mafia?

            Don’t you know that hell is reserved for them?

            Athelstane, if you are from the mafia, there is still time to avoid ending up in hell. That is what is waiting for you if you continue on your path. You have had a father and a mother. Think of them. Cry a little and convert.

          • Care to argue that with Thomas Aquinas?

            “The Problem of Evil How can we account for a Perfect God creating a world in which innocent children suffer? How do we account for the non-moral evil in the world such as flood, hurricane, and earthquake? (Aquinas replies, “This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.”)

            “Even if Thomas’ concepts of being and goodness were intelligible, there could be equally plausible candidates for being in the highest degree: nature, matter, existence, or even limited deities.”

            “Argument from Polar Concepts. If Thomas can argue that “for there to be degrees of goodness at all, there must be something which has goodness in the highest degree,” it would also seem to follow that analogously there would be degrees of badness or evil. For there to be degrees of evil at all, it would seem to follow that there must be something which has evil to the highest degree. Can we know what absolute good is without supposing that there is an absolute bad? Can we conceive of one without the other? Couldn’t the same argument be used to conclude that an all-powerful evil being exists?”

            “Augustine would conclude by analogy that God illumes existence. Just as shadow is the absence of sunlight, evil is the absence of goodness. Hence, evil is nothing positive in itself, it is merely the absence of goodness. Thus, absolute evil is nonexistence.”

            “Even if the Argument from Gradation were correct, Thomas would have to solve the problem that with these five ways he is proving five gods with five different properties. At a minimum, it would be necessary to prove that all five beings are actually the same being.’

            Thomas Aquinas, “The Argument from Gradation”

          • Your aforesaid piece sounded like you needed Aquinas. I don’t need to know what he says on that topic for I read all about it 40 years ago…there are degrees of evil not withstanding those who think they are brighter than the saint, Tom Aq.

          • Exactamente…My point above…seems few here have heard of Aquinas and degrees of evil…and always choosing the lesser of two evils. It appears that too many people here on this site do NOT understand that IDEALISM is prohibited by REALITY.
            God has never told any of us that we are under obligation to forfeit our god given minds…but apparently some think we must!

          • And applying basic logic he contradicted Church teaching.
            Here’s logic.
            If it is okay to contracept because of Zika, it is always okay to contracept because there is always a chance the child may have a deficiency.
            But what happens if despite contracepting the child is conceived? Here then is this undesirable child foisted upon us despite our best efforts. So what’s plan B?
            Hitler and Mengele could not have know where support for their ideas would come from.

        • Obviously a very confused stance on contraception. Years ago in Africa with the AIDS crisis, this was his story line.

          “Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, said if the Pope was serious about preventing new HIV infections he’d focus on promoting wider access to condoms and spreading information about how best to use them.
          Hodes, the director of policy, communication and research for the campaign group, added: “Instead, his opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”

          ON THAT point, she’s spot on, for it is certainly ignorant not to know the degrees of evil as Thomas Aquinas has taught…you always do the lesser evil if having to choose between two…and knowing that many African men were bi sexual doing both men and their wives, it is obviously more charitable to prevent aids in your wife, the loss of her life and being mother to children.

          “It is not the first time the Pope has made public remarks on the HIV/Aids outbreak ravaging the continent. Shortly after becoming pontiff in 2005, he told senior Catholic clergy from Africa that, while the disease was a “cruel epidemic”, it could not be cured through using condoms.” So this is why I say la papa takes a shizo take on this case with Aids, but NOW, says that using condoms is preferable to bringing forth disabled babies. Can’t have it both ways Francis….either you go along and produce human life that is harmed from conception or you do what you have to do to prevent that.

          “He also warned them that African life was under threat from a number of factors, including condoms.

          “It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality,” he added.”

          More than two-thirds – 67% – of the global total of 32.9 million people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa Three-quarters of all Aids deaths in 2007 happened there.” And yet, a demonic man tells over 20 million Africans they can’t use condoms!!!!

          “Africa is the fastest-growing region for the Roman Catholic church, which competes with Islam and evangelical churches.”

          So once again, we see the competition game going on…since the moes have their 4-5 wives and numbers of children, then it follows the rest of humanity should multiply in equal numbers to keep the global wars going on ad infinitum. War-mongering pays big-time…can’t have the Vatican losing out can we? That NWO is surely a new world ODOR…it smells to high heaven.

          • So are you of the mind to just sin big and sin hard and sin until the cows come home because one can confess? Is that it, Rich?

            What’s being sold here is presumption. Christ didn’t jump off the cliff at Satan’s bidding. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God …..or put Him to the test. Said, by Christ, for darned good reason, friend.

          • No. Your phrase about sinning big is presumption. I am not saying that.

            I am simply trying to see through the eyes of a populace that will inevitably resort to a number of evils. In the FACE of this ACTUAL REALITY, it is pastoral, and appropriate that the Holy Father address this issue.

            This group, among others, HAS to overthink things. Oh well.

          • And you, Rich, to punctuate your absurd attempt at logic need to use capital letters. That presumes a lack in your own message. Or rather knowledge ;^)

          • No it does not. There is very little in text that allows for emphasis, inflection, tone, much less facial expression. SO much of communication is non verbal. You can veil your insult at my ‘knowledge’ all you like, but your sin is presuming you KNOW me. You don’t.

          • ….since you have seemingly no issue with the unveiled insult at Catholic intelligence and Catholic Faith and Morals coming from the person of the Pope, I’ll leave to your capital letters, Rich. God’s speed!

          • Amazing…..the first really good thing you offered here for your statement is right on. FYI you should watch that video I posted above so you get your head tacked on right re: bama and pope, if you think that obummer and pretend pope are the best, that vid will set you straight on what’s going on in front of our very eyes.

          • No. Not trying to make anything “right.” They are both sinful. One is simply LESS sinful. This is not hard to see.

          • A yes, The Final solution. Let’s do the evil of contraception to avoid the evil of abortion.
            What sick mind comes up with that?

          • Rich, I assume from your name that you are a man. You might think differently if you were a woman, or if you knew some of the women I know who have indeed suffered “irreparable damage” from the Pill and the IUD — not just physical damage, but the emotional and spiritual damage they suffered when they learned the facts years later about the sometimes-abortifacient action of the Pill and the always-abortifacient action of the IUD. They were women who considered themselves pro-life, and when they found out the true nature of those forms of “birth control,” they were devastated. And that’s not even counting the young women who’ve had strokes from blood clots caused by the Pill. And it’s not counting the young women who got breast cancer after years of being on the Pill. Just because you’re a man doesn’t give you any excuse to not have compassion on women who’ve suffered.

          • My statement there was about the word irreparable. I do not believe damage to be irreparable. Some does remain unrepaired, and only God knows why in those cases where sincere attempts at healing have occurred.

            Grace transforms. Grace heals. Yes, there is a sin involved with contraception..but it is NOT on a par with murder. They are two very different things.

            Of course I have compassion. I cannot emote effusive tones in my text, but I do care.

          • …he can’t answer the question, Brian. That’s why he keeps slippin’ and slidin’ and posing as ‘believing’ in the Catholic Faith.

          • Any sinful act makes us worse off. It is implied in the nature of the act. I dont know why its a question. We are talking about gradations of badness.

        • Well apparently they can always excuse themselves with “The Pope told me so”.
          Woe to those by whom temptation comes.

      • Well, if you are grateful for B. Hussein Obama, it makes it much easier for all of us to understand why you would think the world “immensely better off” having this pope in the Vatican. You are clearly one of those humble souls who consistently sets the bar rather low in life.

        • Amazing how you can be so charitable to nonsense of the highest order…’one of those humble souls??”….or perhaps equally psychopathic in outlook as the two shown above. This is far more than setting a low bar. This is more like setting the bar before one’s eyes, so one cannot see the reality and truth…sort of like walking around with eyes wide shut.
          Johnny Curedents. you have to watch that video I posted above for I think you see the big and very real picture–most terrifying.

      • Your first line gave you away, but you get a major fail on your paltry and intellectually deficient follow-up.

        By casting those commenting here as folks who think they’d be better at being pope, you just admitted you know nothing about the various elements of what’s at stake for the Church – even after reading the article and the subsequent comments. You obviously understand zero about the unchangeable nature of Church teaching passed down from Peter to his successors.

        You have no clue that papal authority is LIMITED; that is, no pope has authority to directly contradict or undermine dogma and doctrine to suit his own agenda – the progressive agenda to which you undoubtedly are as enslaved as Francis. His authority is intended to be used to protect and preach Church teachings unadulterated and untainted by Gnostic thinking.

        I notice you failed to comment on JohnnyCuredents’ use of the phrase “Catholic ultramontanists.” Being unable to fathom an unusual term can be pretty tough on a progressive in over his head (check out the prez for a clearer image of what that looks like). Perhaps you took offense at the phrase “intellectually deficient” because you related to it so deeply.

      • I’m grateful also. A threat who fancies himself so secure as to sport horns and a tail, or at least give way to openly embrace the red fellow, is a resounding wake up call. Far better to be woken up than to be continued to sleep away while the house is robbed and the children killed in their beds.

        So grateful? You bet!

    • If you look at history, you will see that whenever the Church has become weak and corrupt, society has as a whole suffered. For example, when there was corruption among the bishops about indulgences, the reformation occurred and great tribulation for the Church. Thank God for the Council of Trent that brought much improvement to the situation. We can go on to the corruption and lack of Christian love prior to the schism with the Orthodox Church, or the Arian heresy and its disastrous consequences for the Church.

      So from my view, I would much rather deal with persecution by the government than heresy and chaos in the Church as we have experience in the Church for the last fifty years. At least with the Church we have something to hold on to, but without it we have nothing. Probably part of the reason 85% of Catholic youth no longer attend Mass by age 24.

      I am so glad I attend Mass at an FSSP parish, at least we get the truth with no confusion, we have fellow parishioners who support each other like true Christians. I can’t imagine what it must be like attending a liberal Novus Ordo parish with no support of teachings on Hell, sin, marriage with no divorce, contraception, etc. Those who attend liberal Novus Ordo parishes, yet keep there faith and practice according to the truths of the Church, are the true saints today. I tried but couldn’t keep my faith attending a liberal Novus Ordo parish.

      • “So from my view, I would much rather deal with persecution by the government than heresy and chaos in the Church as we have experience in the Church for the last fifty years. At least with the Church we have something to hold on to, but without it we have nothing. Probably part of the reason 85% of Catholic youth no longer attend Mass by age 24.”
        I suggest you think again…that perhaps both our gov’t, elites and Vatican are in cahoots…the Church has always from its earliest times, been part of the chaos of war in complicity with governments. This is of course, in direct contradiction of anything Christ ever preached. As for you saying you’d prefer ‘persecution by gov’t than heresy/chaos in the Church…I submit that both are on the same page now. No need for a nuclear physicist’s degree to see an all too obvious global greed game.

        • This deeply corrupt global game is presented in a video form. This shows the psychopathy of all those on the global stage, from gov’ts, the elites and yes, even the venom of the Vatican. This is a must see if you hope to understand what is happening now..and for how long it has been in the works. The truth shall set you free.
          Check out video which the url is not being allowed to insert here. NWO 2016 (Documentary) Obama, Putin, ISIS, Pope Francis,

      • Those who attend liberal Novus Ordo parishes, yet keep there faith and practice according to the truths of the Church, are the true saints today.
        Thank you 🙂
        It is a hard slug. It is terribly difficult when you have to go against your own priest.
        But back then, at least I knew that the Pope know what Catholic teaching is. Now, it’s not just the priest that leads you to dismay, it’s the Pope.
        Is the Pope Catholic? Well, let me see……

    • And I truly doubt that is coincidental JC. I’ve been scoffed at for thinking that there could be a nexus between the two. But considering that the pope called out Trump for badmouthing illegals and immigrants/jihadists coming into the US, I saw that as a wild response that he wanted no one to mess with his plans.

      The Vatican is making millions of dollars (our tax dollars) for aiding/abetting this destruction of our borders, and bringing in rapists/murderers and scam artists. And of course, the old bromide of helping the down and out still reigns supreme. The sheeple take it all in, for the pope, ex cathedra or not, is to be taking seriously ..NOT. Sometimes it takes a visual to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Albeit this is rather long, it sure leaves little to the imagination.

      WW3 2016 – Obama//Putin//ISIS//Pope Francis//NWO — Final Warning (Video)
      “This documentary explains it all, it is 3 hrs long with some of the best information I have read this year. I was completely floored when they discussed the Vatican and the Popes hidden agenda. I recommend this article to anyone seeking the real truth”

      WW3 2016 – Obama | Putin | ISIS | Pope Francis | NWO — Final Warning | Video

      • The church from within is only part of the plan….already the breakdown of Europe is well on its way. His part in this can’t be denied. And definitely the Vatican is getting millions of our tax dollars to bring in refugees all in the quest to break down our borders and create chaos.

    • Remember the days when we had Reagan as President and John Paul II as Pope? Together they broke the Soviet Union. Now we have a prickly, vain little communist in the White House, and a liberal Jesuit in the Vatican. God, help us!

  10. You live in your own bubble. The overwhelming majority of Catholics already practice and accept contraception routinely and you think that they’ll suddenly rally around to oppose contraception in this specific instance?

    • What is the definition of a heretic? One who accepts, practices, and promotes false teaching. This would mean that the overwhelming majority of Catholics left the faith a long time ago, they haven’t admitted it yet. I have also found that when they accept contraception, they also disagree with a many other Church teachings like the 55% who support ‘gay marriage’, divorce, etc.

      We already are in a much smaller Church, but nobody wants to admit it.

    • You live in your own bubble Those “majority” of Catholics who are practicing and supporting contraception routinely are engaging in sin, Willard. Look back at the Old Testament for a preview of what your mode of thinking leads to. Moses comes back down off the mountain and slays those who are inclined to tell God how He is to be worshiped.

      So bubble on, friend.

          • No one is encouraging anyone to sin. The pope is dealing with people who are going to abort, and saying..hey, dont do that. If you KNOW you are going to, then a lesser sin is better.

            I know you guys HATE that..but it does make sense. It is NOT presumption.

          • He cannot know people are going to abort. Much as you may want Francis to be God, complete with omniscience, he is just a man – especially when he steps out of teaching Catholic Faith and Morals.

            But keep on keepin’ on.

          • Look, its not this difficult. He is saying to the person, who knows they themselves would abort, that the lesser sin of AC is preferable to abortion.

            Man, this is not that hard to get.

          • The eighth circle of hell isn’t as hot, they say.

            But if the soul is annihilated at death, hell doesn’t matter, does it?

          • Dante Alighieri, the writer of the Divine Comedy. He who had a bit of falling out with Pope Boniface VIII back in the 14th century.

          • You can’t really mean what you say here. We do know what happens at death. We appear before The Son of God and we are judged. We enter Heaven or we enter Hell.

            What we don’t know is who goes where.

          • Understanding that no one knows whether Zika causes microcephaly and no one knows whether a woman who is pregnant will actually go through with an abortion, PF is giving license to those women who are a question mark about abortion. He can’t read hearts.

          • According to the Church, contraception and abortion are BOTH mortal sin and I don’t believe we can be forgiven of any mortal sin if we KNOW we are going to defiantly persist in it. So as horrible as abortion is…wouldn’t that ONE time sin actually be “easier” (for lack of a better word) to repent and be forgiven? Sorry if I’m being obtuse here…but this seems to me to be a King David thing as he would never have had Bathsheba as his wife had he not killed Uriah.

            Not advocating for either one of these sins….just trying to point out that for the sake of the soul of the sinner, I don’t believe that contracepting is going to “help” them in any way and may in fact, be worse.

          • No one is talking about asking for forgiveness. It is simply a look at two actions and saying one is more grave than another.

          • A non-sequitur, but its a good quip. Touche.

            I ask for forgiveness all day every day, but that is not what we were talking about.

  11. “Meanwhile, the spin continues. Church Militant has suddenly found it profitable to admit that we’ve had bad popes in the past, and that not everything a pope says is infallible or above reproach. Unfortunately, they’re wielding the “he didn’t say anything ex cathedra” defense in an attempt to convince everyone waking up in the Matrix that there’s nothing to see here.”

    You are very much correct about the part that for many it is all about “profit”.
    CM would have been convincing if they first issues an apology on their previous intransigent position of “never criticizing the pope”, and to all those they banned from their site for taking an issue with their position and what followed from it.

    • So many people have mistaken Francis’ personal simplicity for humility when in fact just the opposite is true.

      The man who assumes a truly unique office, that has existed for over two millennia, but nevertheless insists on stripping it of everything he doesn’t like – for the sake of his own personal preferences – is anything but humble. The humble man would submit himself to what he does not like out of respect for the ancient and venerable office.

      • And you, the great combox hero, you KNOW his humility? No, you dont.

        He should ride in the big limo, and stay in the big pretty house, and not eat with everyone, out of humility? No. Nice try.

        He has done for the papacy a great service in tearing down much of the power in the Curia. The Vatican bank needed his overhaul. Your “humility” would have left millions of church dollars in the use of the corrupt crime syndicates.

        • Humility is getting over yourself, thinking less of yourself, and thus being able to submit yourself to what you do not like – especially when what you do not like happens to be ancient and enduring and worthy of respect.

          Insisting that it all go away to conform with YOUR preferences, or what YOU think is a superior witness is pride not humility.

        • The big pretty house?

          Ah yes, we still have prime real estate next to the best gay bath house in the Eternal City.

          Having an entire hotel floor is pretty nice too. Not as drafty as those papal apartments. I only have one lung, you know.

          • Funny how that works isn’t it….best gay bath house next to the Vatican ..the boys with toys they use against other boys. I guess they really mean it when they say ‘when in Rome, do as the…..”

          • That bulbous gut of his does not look so austere to me. Since when is indulging the pie hole with so much food good for girth?

        • Do we know as a fact that he cleaned up the Vatican bank? If that were truly the case then why is he getting millions of our tax dollars to bring headchoppers and koranimals into our midst? DId he clean house so good that no money was left and now he has to replenish that stock of money, ‘ergo, hit up America for cash? Or did the $2 billion paid out for pedo lawsuits drain the swamp?

  12. This is the way the Church develops her teaching. If you don’t believe me look into the issues of usury and religious liberty. We are less than 200 years removed from the last time a heretic was executed with Church sanction something which is now altogether forbidden.

    • Exactly, and on point.

      Development of doctrine. Heck, it’s how we GOT to the theology of the Trinity. It took centuries to iron it all out. There is always more to know, and more complexity and nuance.

      This is a minor thing, actually.

      • And it’s how we got the Theology of the Body too — my very, very, VERY favorite teaching of St. John Paul II. And kissing the Koran. That’s more development of doctrine. And if I might humbly remind you of my own little doctrinal contribution of the Principle of Non-contradiction of the Inviolable Conscience. What a comforting doctrine it is.

        The Church of Tenderness really cares about accompanying you on your spiritual journey. Won’t you let me accompany you?

    • No, this is not the way the Church develops her teaching. Vatican I was very clear that however a doctrine is explained, it must always be understood in the same sense and meaning as the Church has always understood it.

      De fides et ratio, Canon 3.” If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.”

      • “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.” Proposition condemned by Pope Leo X in his bull of excommunication against Luther

        Do you still think it’s a doctrine of the Church that Ted Cruz can be burned?

          • Wait. Are you saying that if Luther had a son he wouldn’t have been able to be executed by the civil power as authorized by the Church? Source please.

          • The Church only has power over her own baptized members. If Luther’s son was never a baptized Catholic….

            This is why the Inquisition could bring to heel Moriscos or Marranos in Spain, because they had been converted to Catholicism, at least nominally – but not unconverted Jews or Muslims. Likewise, in New Spain, it had no jurisdiction over unconverted Indians.

      • Besides the Church has never changed her teaching against usury. As our whole economies are based on it, the Church chooses not to speak out. As for religious liberty, the Church again has not changed her understanding on this. What we see now is a complete perversion of that teaching – sold as one of the fruits of Vatican II.

    • …this is the way clerics lose all credibility. Skipping further from what has been passed down so that they can please those with itching ears.

      • No. This is how adults process stuff. It is how docrine comes to BE. It develops.

        The doctrine of the Incarnation DEVELOPED. If you want to call the early church councils itching ear people, have at it, but its a reduction beyond belief.

        • Yes, and we all know that children dream of turning 18 when they can mystically and magically do whatever they’d like and nobody is the ‘boss’ of them. That is exactly how adults think. And precisely why they don’t take kindly to being naysayed, not even by God.

        • You are not advocating development of doctrine, but reversal of doctrine…you should read Newman’s essay and discern the difference between the two.

    • If you don’t believe me look into the issues of usury and religious liberty.

      Except the Church hasn’t changed its teachings on usury or “religious liberty”. If it has, we have a much, much bigger problem on our hands.

      The Church has always held that contraception is an intrinsic evil. It cannot suddenly now say “Well, actually, it’s not really,” or “It’s evil only in some circumstances.” That’s not development of doctrine. That’s reversing doctrine.

        • That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

          That’s a condemned proposition, not a doctrine. They’re different things. To wit, if someone claims that burning heretics is against the will of the Spirit, they’re wrong, or worse than wrong. That’s as true today as it was in the 16th century.

          Nothing in the condemnation mandates that heretics be burned everywhere and at all times, so your question is a red herring.

          As Athelstane points out, the ancient teachings on usury and religious liberty remain on the books, despite modern wishcasting.

        • No – not at present.

          I’ll second what Murray says here. Be sure you understand exactly what proposition is being condemned – and what is not.

          Dignitatis Humanae in its preface clearly says that “it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” It is worth reiterating: 1) The Church – not the State – enjoys coercive power in supernatural matters of Faith; 2) The coercive power of the Church’s hierarchy extends over her baptized members; and 3) The hierarchy may delegate coercive power to the civil power — but it can also be withdrawn in view of circumstances. At present, that power has been withdrawn. Nothing in Dignitatis Humanae – which is concerned with the reach of civil power – denies these basic propositions. I recommend reading Thomas Pink’s essay, “What is the Catholic doctrine of religious liberty?”

          Dogma can be “developed” (I word I do not much care for) or rather better articulated over time; Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon all developed further Nicaea’s Trinitarian and Christological doctrines. But none of them reversed or overturned Nicaea’s teachings. If Vatican II had been intended by the Council Fathers and the Pope to make a major new articulation on the power of the Church over its baptized members, it would not have done so in an aside in a mere declaration.

          • I’m sorry but I believe this is wholly inconsistent with the Church’s teaching in Dignitatis Humanae that,

            “2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

            The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

            It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth. However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.”

            By the way, the SSPX agrees with me.

          • Well, again, the same declaration says right in its preface: “it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” The declaration could not have been approved without that language – go look through Vorgrimmler and the Council proceedings.

            The language you’re quoting applies to civil society – “coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power.” It’s not talking about the power of the Church to coerce its own members in upholding the faith. Even though it’s exceedingly unlikely for the foreseeable future, it would not be inconsistent with standing doctrine for the Church to burn a heretic (though I am sure you can find some priests who think otherwise). Dignitatis Humanae did not change that. Its concern was with the civil power.

            The SSPX is right to see tensions in the language used in DH as against the previous Magisterium. But DH can on this point be reconciled with that teaching, as Thomas Pink has pointed out.

          • I don’t doubt that ANYTHING can be harmonized. That was pretty much my whole point. If we can go from lending at interest is sinful to lending at interest is not sinful. If we can go from turning over heretics to the civil power to be burned to the death penalty cannot be used practically anywhere then the net effect on the ground is the same whether or not we can employ mental gymnastics in our attempts to “keep the doctrine”.

            And I haven’t even got into the whole Council of Florence on salvation vs. the letter of the Holy Office under Pius XII issue.

          • That was pretty much my whole point. If we can go from lending at interest is sinful to lending at interest is not sinful. If we can go from turning over heretics to the civil power to be burned to the death penalty cannot be used practically anywhere then the net effect on the ground is the same whether or not we can employ mental gymnastics in our attempts to “keep the doctrine”.

            If it’s all just an exercise in mental gymnastics, then the Church is a fraud, as are all of its claims – and the only thing we should be writing about is our farewell letters and condemnations.

            This is a common Protestant position, of course. But they’re at least fully honest and self-consistent, typically. What’s curious is when Catholics make the case for doctrinal rupture. I am left to wonder, “Why are you still a Catholic? Because you’d lose your job? Just inertia?”

          • It’s a good question actually. I’m a Catholic because I believe that the Church is always, in every era, trying to lead humanity to a better understanding of the two great commandments. All the Church’s teachings, the seven deadly sins, the 4 cardinal virtues, etc. are about those two commandments. We practice chastity because on our deathbed we’ll never regret NOT sleeping around. We avoid gluttony so we won’t get diabetes. And so on and so forth.

            I was in a com box where a traditionalist woman wrote something along the lines of ,”I hate this Pope. If I knew this was going to happen I would have got my tubes tied.” It was like she regretted her kids and missed out on so much “fun”. I feel sorry for those people and worry that Our Lord had that type of person in mind in Matthew 7:23(it certainly isn’t about liberals and atheists).

          • I’m a Catholic because I believe that the Church is always, in every era, trying to lead humanity to a better understanding of the two great commandments.

            Well….that’s nice, but it’s not enough.

            How many other Christian denomination can’t claim the same objective? What makes the Catholic Church so special? For that matter, why can’t most forms of Judaism claim the same?

            It’s possible that combox woman may have been attempting sarcasm. If not, we should pray for her.

  13. @skojec:disqus A Thought: Why don’t we get a letter, à la Filial Appeal [] asking each and every living Bishop to condemn the Pope. I volunteer to deliver a copy to my good Bishop the Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva, Bishop of Honolulu []

      • So the doctrine on burning heretics can develop and the one on usury can develop but the one on contraception can’t. That’s some of that there trad logic I’m used to.

        • Untouchable logic, Willard! And there are lot more doctrines that need developing, too . . . but I don’t want to say here what they are. I’ve given hints for those that are paying attention. You on board, Willard?

          • Nope not my place. The Holy Ghost decides which doctrines develop through the Vicar of Christ on Earth now gloriously reigning as His Holiness Pope Francis.

          • Ah, such touching humility. It brings tears to my permanently drooping eyes. Yes, it’s the Vicar of Christ who declares the new doctrines given to us by the God of Surprises. Jorge has taught you well.

          • I’d say Eugenio instead of Jorge. It was under Eugenio that the rigorist notion of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus was first condemned.

          • Eugie’s condemnation? Why certainly I can help you. Just go here:

            https ://www. ewtn. com/library/CURIA/CDFFEENY.HTM

            Don’t forget to remove the spaces.

          • Good ol’ Eugie! I’m all about removing spaces between me and my brothers and sisters.

          • …the same Sacred Congregation is convinced that the unfortunate controversy arose from the fact that the axiom, “outside the Church there is no salvation,” was not correctly understood and weighed

            Wow, that’s quite a stark condemnation.

            Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.

            Man, they’re really letting Extra ecclesiam nulla salus have it!

            Hey, hang on a sec…

            Therefore, no one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

            Wha…? Wait, what gives? This doesn’t sound like a condemnation of EENS at all!

            Well, maybe they’re working up to it. Let’s read a little further…

            But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which one is related to the Church be animated by perfect charity. Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith…

            I’m thinking I’ve been sold a bill of goods here. Hey, what’s this?

            Furthermore, it is beyond understanding how a member of a religious Institute, namely Father Feeney, presents himself as a “Defender of the Faith,” and at the same time does not hesitate to attack the catechetical instruction proposed by lawful authorities, and has not even feared to incur grave sanctions threatened by the sacred canons because of his serious violations of his duties as a religious, a priest, and an ordinary member of the Church.



            I get it.

            You see, Father Feeney was exceeding his lawful authority and displaying disobedience to his superiors, in teaching an overly rigorist interpretation of EENS–an unchangeable doctrine of the Catholic Church (yes!) which is fully upheld in this letter.

            Do you have anything else?

          • What more do I need when you just agreed with my original statement that, and I quote myself, “I’d say Eugenio instead of Jorge. It was under Eugenio that the rigorist notion of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus was first condemned.”

          • You are correct. However, since the letter has nothing whatsoever to do with any change or development of doctrine, but instead reiterates it in the clearest possible terms, it has nothing to do with your point. Another red herring.

          • That would be news to Bishop George Hay, Orestes Brownson, Fr. Michael Mueller and many others who taught the rigorist interpretation of EENS.

            Only baptized Catholics can be saved is one position.

            The other position, that of the Catholic Church under Pacelli, is “Toward the end of this same encyclical letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who “are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire,” and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition “in which they cannot be sure of their salvation” since “they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church” (AAS, 1. c., p. 243). With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion .”

            If those two positions can be reconciled, Pope Francis will have no problem in the current dust-up over contraception.

          • There’s really nothing to reconcile, and I confess myself bewildered that you seem to think your section in bold is some smoking gun.

            In another part of the same letter you quote, the Holy Office writes, Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith… And the Catholic Church teaches that it is no easy thing to maintain supernatural faith outside her visible bounds. So, in the same letter, the Holy Office both rebukes those who argue against salvation by implicit desire, and sets strict limits on what implicit desire can achieve on its own. So what?

            In any case, I really have no idea what this has to do with the price of fish. You seem to be arguing with a position no-one is holding, while suggesting that the Church has changed her position on EENS–rather than a specific rigorist version thereof–therefore contraception!

            I’m not a Feeneyite, and if I had my way, almost everyone would be saved. But it’s not about what I want, or what I think is best, or what opinion polls tell us, or whatever Whig-historical notion some Catholics happen to be carrying around in their heads. It’s about the concrete, unchanging teaching of the Catholic Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

          • Let’s put it this way. If there was a Supreme Court of the Catholic Church and an originalist like Justice Scalia was on it is there any doubt in your mind that he would say the Letter of the Holy Office under Pope Pius XII was at odds with the following teaching of the Council of Florence, “It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”?

          • …an originalist like Justice Scalia

            Here’s a problem with your analogy: Florence isn’t the Constitution; that is, it’s not the foundational document of the Catholic Church. Your hypothetical theological originalist would take note of Florence before proceeding to examine what the Church taught in the 14 centuries prior to Florence and reading the documents of the Council in that context. To take your analogy further, reading Florence in the way you suggest would be like, I don’t know, a judge being a “New Deal originalist” or something.

            And what do we find when we look at the teachings and writings of the Church, saints and Church Fathers prior to Florence?

            14 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
            – Romans 2:14-16

            He was ours even before he was of our fold. His way of living made him such. For just as many of ours are not with us, whose life makes them other from our body, so many of those outside belong to us, who by their way of life anticipate the faith, and need only the name, having the reality.
            – St Gregory Nazianzen

            God is not unjust, so as to deprive the just of the reward of justice, if the sacrament of the divinity and humanity of Christ was not announced to them.
            – St. Augustine

            The sacrament of Baptism may be wanting to anyone in reality but not in desire: for instance, when a man wishes to be baptized, but by some ill-chance he is forestalled by death before receiving Baptism. And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of “faith that worketh by charity,” whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly. Hence Ambrose says of Valentinian, who died while yet a catechumen: “I lost him whom I was to regenerate: but he did not lose the grace he prayed for.”
            – St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica III, Q68, Article 2

            Those were all before Florence–in Thomas’s case, not long before–and there are lots more where those came from. Note that though there are a great many condemnations in this document, it does not repudiate or condemn any of these ideas. This may indicate that the Council Fathers had a different object in mind when making this declaration.

            And indeed, we find this declaration following a long series of anathemas. It seems the Council Fathers were more intent on repudiating specific heresies and laying out the true ground of salvation than in providing an exhaustive treatment of salvation. Nothing in the declaration excludes, positively, the possibility of baptism of desire. It is simply silent on the topic.

            Following Florence (again, not long after), we have Trent affirming Baptism of Desire as, later, do St Alphonsus Liguori Pope St pius IX and Pope St Pius X, among many others. In other words,

            1) BoD was a longstanding theological hypothesis within the Church by the time of Florence.
            2) The Council Fathers would certainly have known of it.
            3) They did not condemn or repudiate it.
            4) It was articulated more fully in the centuries following Florence.

            That’s an example of development of doctrine, right there.

            I understand that you want to find a previous instance where the Church reversed its doctrine in order to justify your desire to see the teaching on contraception reversed. (Because reasons, I guess.) But this isn’t it.

            This combox is eating my evening. I gotta go.

        • The doctrine on burning witches didn’t develop because it was never a doctrine – it was a practice. The Church handed heretics over to the civil authorities. Burning at the stake was a severe punishment of the time.

          We must remember though that these heretics were given chance after chance after chance to correct themselves before sentence was passed.

          Civil authorities were involved too because heresy was a disruption of all of society not just the Faith.

  14. I wonder if the new sedevacantists that think Benedict was the last Pope will say the new mass in their chapels? And what will they do with the old sedevacantists that think Pius XII was the last Pope.

  15. I read this article looking for something I could disagree with. But I could not find anything. Solid, as usual, Steve. My only ‘advice’, for whatever it’s worth: don’t let your head explode. Even though when confronted with the current pope and his constant stupidities and heresies that is exactly what one is tempted to let happen. So, minus an exploding head, keep up the good fight, brother. You are not wrong on this, as some might counsel. Francis is a real problem for the church and I’ll bet our spineless bishops [and priests] are merely hoping he dies before they have to activate said non-existing spine.

      • Or, the modernists can just form their own church. The German Bishops can nail their thesis to the door and take the rest of the modernists with them.

      • I detect a note of sarcasm. Look, Friend, it’s honestly not about being more “righteous” than the pope. I myself am a sinner deeply in need of the mercy of God and in no position to judge my brother Christians. And I am, moreover, simply a layman. I have no authority within the hierarchy of the Church to oppose the pope, publicly or otherwise. And Steve Skojec is in the same canonical situation.

        But there ARE men within the hierarchy of the Church who DO have such standing. They’re called “bishops”. Hello. What Steve is recommending is not some grassroots ‘movement’ by lay Catholics to oppose this pope. What he IS suggesting [and what this article explicitly recommends, btw], is that those men with rightful authority within the hierarchy do just that: find some way to counter the baneful effects of Francis’ heresies within the Church.

        It’s not about forming “our own branch” of anything. It is about DEFENDING the true ‘depositum fidei’ (look it up, Rich; that’s Latin, btw). Not sure how that was hard to understand given the clarity of Steve’s article here. But, hey, thank you for your two-second-sarcastic-sound-bite-contribution to the conversation. Now, back under your Novus Ordo rock. Please and thank you.

  16. By the way, the capitalist boot lickers that defend the Church’s development on the doctrine of usury use the exact same argumentation that the pro-contraception folks use. Namely, that times change so that the previous prohibition is no longer needed.

  17. It is lamentably the case that what you written is true, Steve. This Pope is worthy of condemnation. He is a very dangerous man.

  18. I’m very disappointed in Fr Z. It is obvious that he fears repercussions from his superiors if he speaks out in clear opposition to this “pope”. He typifies the self-concern that has infected the vast majority of the “shepherds” in the Church in this narcissistic age. I guess we can’t expect our clergy to “lay down their life” for their flock. Make no mistake about it; the Holy Spirit is separating the faithful from the cowards as we speak.

  19. Nothing is more important right now that what this piece calls for: opposition by the hierarchy, especially the cardinals, who are as untouchable as anyone can be under the reign of Il Supremo. A few cardinals signing an appropriate declaration of loyal opposition, citing the key examples of this Pope’s false opinions and abuses of power, just might be enough to stop this juggernaut.

    At this point in the debacle, I believe further silence on the part of the upper hierarchy, leaving the business of opposition entirely to the laity, while they nod in silence, is culpable.

    • You’ve been calling for the same for many years, no? I remember reading “The Great Facade” in the early 2000’s. How’s that worked out for you?

    • Good luck on that Chris….seems to me the same could be said of the DC fraud. Why aren’t the congressmen standing up and screaming en masse? Too lazy? Too dumb? or just don’t give two hoots? In both cases something is amiss.

      • “Why aren’t the congressmen standing up and screaming en masse? Too lazy? Too dumb? or just don’t give two hoots?”
        Or many or all compromised.
        “In both cases something is amiss.” Insightful!

    • Mr, F. 100% of the Cardinal_Electors who chose Bergoglio were elevated to the Cardinalate by Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI whom, we have been assured, were two of the best Popes ever and given that Bergoglio was well-known prior to the Conclave, we have to assume they knew his personal creed/agenda and, after having selected him, they are not now going to admit they were wrong.

      It is prolly safe to say the vast majority of them are fully in-line with his heretical ideas/statement on contraception, and nearly everything else. Look, we know we have an anthropocentric shadow church which has made its peace with al; of its enemies – Protestants, Messias-Deniers, Marxists, Masons, etc and that its sole sworn enemy is Tradition so don’t expect the impossible.

      Popes, Princes, and Prelates have no problem admitting Tradition and Ecclesisiatical history is riven with error; but they and their errors?


      Ain’t gonna happen. Many Bishoprics come with great perks and little demand vis a vis the Faith once delivered.

  20. Cases of “special urgency” = as in, “I absolutely don’t want to get anyone pregnant!” And, “I absolutely don’t want to catch an STD!”

  21. I’m a parish priest and I have a simple question to ask all those who are acting like Pope Francis can say any ridiculous, scandalous and heterodox thing he wants to and it doesn’t matter unless he try’s to officially change doctrine.

    If I get up and preach this Sunday at that it is morally permissible, for the parishioners who are concerned about the real possibility of a serious birth defect in a child who may be conceived through their sexual relations, to discern what is best to do, even if that means employing a condom or other means of contraception during their sexual relations to prevent conception. Would all of you say, that’s not a big deal, after all Father hasn’t changed Church doctrine?
    I think not. Most of these same people would be calling for my head on a platter and writing letters to my Bishop the next day telling him that I needed to publically apologize and be removed from my office because of the grave scandal I caused in contradicting Church Doctrine on contraception.

    I am beyond tired of hearing the BS argument that there is nothing to see here, Church Doctrine is untouched, when the truth is that it has just been spat upon and blatantly contradicted. As if the only thing a Priest, or Prelate or Pope can do to harm the Church is to try and change Church Doctrine! If that is the case, then all of these same people who lament without end about the scandalous behavior of Priests and Bishops who permit Doctrine to be contradicted or ignored in their Parishes and Diocese need to put a sock in it. After all, its no big deal, Doctrine hasn’t been changed it’s only be contradicted and ignored.

    The higher authority one has in the Church, the greater responsibility that one has in holding to the Deposit of Faith, Defending the Deposit of the Faith, legislating according to the Deposit of the Faith and faithfully Handing the Deposit of the Faith in it’s magnificent fullness through clear Teaching and Preaching. And the greater accountability they have for failing to do so.

    • Thank you, Father!!! VERY well said.

      My own pastor this past Sunday (two days after Francis’ comments were reported) loudly and clearly condemned contraception from the pulpit. It was not a sermon about contraception, but when he talked about the moral decay of our society, contraception was the first evil he named in a list of several.

      As the days roll on (it is now Day 5 since what I call the Earthquake — when the successor of Peter tossed out 2,000 years of Catholic teaching), what bothers me more and more is the eugenics aspect of the whole thing. This overturning of church doctrine was occasioned and “justified” by the mere PROSPECT, the mere CHANCE, however small, that a baby might be born with a congenital defect. It is a eugenic mentality. Allowing the eugenic mentality a foothold in the Church is so ghastly, it makes me tremble. However much you dress it up with compassion, or try to justify it via “the common good,” eugenics comes straight from Satan.

    • ….the lie that there is ‘nothing’ to see here is the psychological means of removing the requisite need to ‘do’ something to counter the supposed ‘nothing’. Pretend there is nothing wrong, breathe deep three times, and I don’t have to respond to the reality that something must be done.

      Thank you for preaching clearly.

        • …this mentality happens everywhere: family, business, society, just about anywhere there are people looking to move forward and damn the disconnects. Sadly, however, those who come afterward are often stuck cleaning up the rotten fruit, complete with flies and bad smells.

    • The Bear’s most recent point, exactly, Father. For too long he held the “reasonable” position that if doctrine wasn’t changed, it was no big deal. No longer. It is a big deal for the Pope and his apparatus to mislead Catholic on sensitive matters of moral theology to the point where mortal sin is openly taught.

    • So very well put! Bravo!

      I love this part particularly: I am beyond tired of hearing the BS argument that there is nothing to see here, Church Doctrine is untouched, when the truth is that it has just been spat upon and blatantly contradicted.

  22. This post is 100% correct. The Pope’s statement was in open contradiction both to all Tradition, and to the natural law. The situation has indeed reached a crisis point, although in truth this point was already evident in the way that the Pope organized and led the two synods on the family (i.e., actively trying to push the synods to reject the explicit words of the Lord on marriage and divorce). I am not a Church historian, but I am not aware of any parallel to the present situation (i.e., a Pope speaking doctrinal error publicly even if not in his papal letters, and encouraging a cult of personality).

    If a small contingent of bishops tries to confront the Pope, they will be dismissed as part of a fringe of “Pharisees.” Even a few hundred would not be enough. A quick Google search indicated that there are about 5,000 bishops in the world; what is needed is at least 1,000 bishops, from many regions of the Earth, making a joint statement.

    Everything is at stake. The intrinsic evil of contraception is not some isolated moral “issue.” It touches on the core of marriage (i.e., because there is no true union without an openness to procreation — the real doctrine of Paul VI, contrary to fables and lies). Marriage is the making-visible of the great mystery of Christ and the Church. The reality of the Incarnation is at stake in the Church’s teaching on marriage; this is not in any way an exaggeration. Thomas More died in witness to this truth.

  23. At some point, probably this year, some brave prelate will speak out and then there will be the full blossoming of the schism mentioned in the Akita prophecy. You will then have to decide – follow Francis or the Remnant Church. Which side will you be on? You won’t get an ecumenical council to condemn Francis. Will prelates posting in comboxes , perhaps Cardinal Burke or Abp Schneider, be enough?

    Oh yes, we will also get the asteroid / meteor, along with volcanoes and tsunamis and earthquakes to a degree never seen before.

  24. Wow, CMTV is so ridiculous about this. So, I guess Proverbs 21:23 doesn’t apply to popes. “He that keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from distress.” Everything’s fine. The Magesterium is intact. That’s all that matters.

    • Or, for that matter, perhaps this part of James, Ch 3 does not apply to Pope Francis, either?

      Be ye not many masters, my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment. For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body. For if we put bits into the mouths of horses, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also ships, whereas they are great, and are driven by strong winds, yet are they turned about with a small helm, whithersoever the force of the governor willeth. Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.

    • ….perhaps you could tweet the above to Pope Francis and, learning from your he wisdom, will cease to muck up the understanding of clear magisterial teaching with off-the-cuff mile high stabs in the dark.

  25. Excellent work Steve. What we have here is a pope, following the disaster of Vatican II, making Protestantism even more acceptable to Catholics. But most Catholics will say that Pope Francis is now wising up and finally getting with the contraceptive program nearly all of them practice. We are coming to a point that, like Judaism, where there will be Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Secular Humanist branches.

  26. Setting aside for a moment the Pope Francis/Fr. Lombardi error ([condoms and]contraception in the wake of the Zika virus scare), what is the reconciliation of the following with perennial Church Teaching? And where might the error be in this apparent exception to Church Teaching on contraception?

    “36. Compassionate and understanding care should be given to a person who is the victim of sexual assault. Health care providers should cooperate with law enforcement officials and offer the person psychological and spiritual support as well as accurate medical information. A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” – Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services Fifth Edition United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

    From this Sandro Magister article Paul VI and the Nuns Raped in the Congo. What the Pope Never Said [], it seems to me that this is from arguments of moral theoligians Pietro Palazzini, Francesco Hürth, and Ferdinando Lambruschini in 1961, and Martin Rhonheimer in 1995.

    • The USCCB has no magisterial authority. They cannot change anything. But again, with the breakdown in the Church over the past 50 years, each individual, family, church, diocese, nation, etc., does their own thing according to their ‘conscience’.

          • I am not out to “prove” anything but to refute. I am not the originator of these arguments. This is from whence the confusion as regards Church teaching has arisen and unless the error is detected and refuted, I am afraid this is what is now passing as Church Teaching and from no less an authority than the pope himself.
            “USCCB statements enjoy no presumption of authenticity.” Not the issue here and the statement is aunthetic if you clicked on the link I provided.
            1) US Bishops Conference teaching and allowing Emergency Contraception.
            2) So are the German Bishops [cf. The Emergency Contraception Question (

        • Once man opens up any so-called exception to a moral law, there is no stopping the breakdown of that specific moral law, while spreading to other areas as well.

          Also, the Catholic Church existed for over 1900 years without any national conferences. These conferences have have led to regional churches throughout the world within the Catholic Church. Instead of getting a clear, unitive Catholic messsage throughout the world, we get conflicting messages as the ‘new normal’ today. We look for compromise, which can only lead us away from the truth, as there can be no compromise with the one truth.

          • All very well said. Now the refutation to what seems to be an argument for the exception? [cf. the bolded words]
            I believe I can refute, just wondering whether anyone else can see what I think I see. I believe the error lies here:

            “[…] should be able to defend herself against a potential conception.”

          • This is true, and any time we see the word “should/shouldn’t”, with regards to settled doctrine, not can or cannot, it is the opening of error away from the truth.

          • Also potential conception is not enemy nor is the rapist’s seed the rapist nor is her egg her. My take on Church Teaching is that once the seed is sown, nothing should interfere with the procreation process in which according to our Faith, God is also involved, and the person born of such circumstances is still an object of God’s love who enlightens every man coming into the world and who wishes to spend eternity with them.
            St. Maria Goretti [pray for us] is an example of how a rapist should be resisted.

          • As a person who knows someone who was raped and conceived a child, the child is innocent and this Mother could not imagine her life without her. Also, I agree with the suffering aspect of us on earth, as it is a big cross the woman has to bear, but God permits our suffering. If the Mother could not bear to raise the child, there is always the option of adoption.

          • The act of rape and the marital act are completely different. While this would normally go without saying, it is important to emphasize this point: A woman who is raped is under no obligation to let the act result in pregnancy. She did not participate in a sexual act, she was assaulted, and thus by using a barrier method of contraception would have no intention (no object) of having contracepted sex.

            The married couple who uses contraception to prevent pregnancy is engaging in an entirely different act. As the Church teaches, if there is legitimate concern about the health and safety of the mother and child, this may well constitute a serious enough reason to use natural methods (fertility awareness/periodic abstinence) to postpone conception. But unnatural hormonal and barrier methods are never licit, and cannot be approved by the Church. – The Wanderer

            What is in the emphasis and the arguments based on this are what are being pushed via the Wanderer [] and Janet E. Smith [] and The Catholic Thing [], and N C Register [], etc, etc.

  27. Thank you Steve. The only thing more confusing than the current Pope are the papal apologists. The Vortex you mentioned made some interesting and good points (I thought) but yet missed the obvious fact that precisely because we live in a day and age where words travel immediately, the Pope needs to be extremely careful.

    • Will, CM has finally opened their door to speaking the truth, at least part of it. Prior to yesterday’s presentation, all who expected the one holding the Papal Office to behave accordingly, for the benefit of the flock, was excoriated as a spiritual pornographer who must be shunned or banned from CM for ‘fear’ of scandalizing the flock.

      So, yes, absolutely the Pope needs to be extremely careful. CM knows this. And so, too, does the Holy Father. He is a Jesuit and in full possession of his faculties.

      Francis is running his papacy as ‘he’ sees fit. To include trial balloons passed off as gaffs. Don’t forget. The Vatican has a PR firm. That itself should tell us that all of this “nonsense” and “mess making” is part of the approach.

  28. Not to play the devil’s advocate, Steve, and fully agreeing with you that Francis has contradicted divine, ecclesiastical, and natural law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses at 1735 the individual culpability of the sinner thus:

    “Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.”

    Notwithstanding imputability, the matter is grave and must be addressed in the confessional or beforehand with a traditionally- minded priest.

    • ….a manufacture of invincible ignorance from the Vatican administration should be discussed in all honesty by those prelates who still hold the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Devolving into we cannot say or we do not know is disingenuous. It is to play the part of Pilate, questioning Truth to His face and offering Him up for slaughter.

      Is that what we’re really doing here? Is this the new schema? To “willfully” and with eyes wide open, force the Church to crucifixion?

      I’d personally like some open discussion about that.

      • You know PGMGN I have really really wondered if there is (crazy as it sounds) some plan to deliberately misinform mankind about Jesus Christ and His Church so as to allow the many to be ‘wilfully ignorant’ of the Faith and thus in their bestial blindness escape Judgement. Presenting God with a ‘fait accompli’.

        • When you have the leaders of the Catholic Church hiding Jesus under a tarp and chastising those who get close enough to peek under it, what can you think. The result is, do you “choose” tarp number 1, number 2, or number 3. They’re all the same and you can’t blame “your” choice on anyone.

  29. Two articles, one at Catholic Culture by Phil Lawler and the other at LifeSite News by two moral theologians (Janet Smith and Monica Milller) pointing out the errors in the Pope’s reasoning or lack thereof. Was surprised to see these reactions especially by Lawler who has been a relatively strong apologist for the current occupant of Peter’s Chair.

  30. Thanks Steve for bring this up. It seems very grave for us in the Catholic Church when the Vicar of Christ has to make a Lie about how Pope Paul VI allowed nuns in the Congo to use Contraception. Then Fr. Lombardi doubles down on this which is amazing. This is an intelligent Pope, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and very educated mind you. What is grave it seems is the Pope is making a sudden compromise on Contraception which he expects the people in the Catholic Church to accept. He seems to be using a Hegelian Dialectic by moving a little bit on Contraception that eventually over time the Catholics who would normally would not budge on Contraception would be pushed to accept it. Again over time. It seems to be the tactic used for the Divorced and Remarried at the Synod. Its also been used for most Catholics in America to accept Homosexual Priests as a norm in the Church. Its interesting that this tactic is being used more and more to advance the Traditional Church to a more Progessive Church.

  31. Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI elevated to the Cardinalate 1005%of the Cardinal-Electors of the last Conclave that elected Bergoliiol that is, he is who they are and who wants to stand publicly against Pope and Princes.

    The Laity. As for the silent minority in the Hierarchy who are not fully on board with the personal Creed/Agenda of this AntiChrist, the prolly fear what might happen to their Bishoprics and all that goes with it.

    Even though Francis’s is directing the barque into the shoals, they will not track the Barque by standing for the Faith.

    IANS urges everyone to read the latest addition to Mr. Larson’s great website.

    You think it is bad now, just wait until Lund, baby.

    O, and you are on your own and have been for the past fifty + years

  32. So what does this say to couples who must use NFP for GRAVE reasons because the life of the wife & mother is in serious danger, as is the child’s with each preganancy? (Not talking about the couples with 2 perfect children & annual trips to Disney World.)
    It’s a slap in the face to 20 years of this cross!
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

  33. If you’ve been having a problem with certain posts at 1P5, you’re not alone. We’re working on a solution. Until then, we’ve turned off Disqus, which seems to be the culprit. This is why things now look weird.

  34. Steve, are you still taking the position that sedevacantism is absolutely ridiculous? I read these articles and seriously wonder why you censor such conversation on your site. Makes no sense.

    “We must still, barring any juridical evidence to the contrary, accept that Francis is the pope.”

    That is simply false. If a heretic is ipso facto deposed, then what would make it necessary for the Faithful to continue to view such a person as holding an office he manifestly cut himself off from? Equally problematic for your view, a presumptively valid pope is not to be subject to the judgment of any man.

    The case of Honorius is a good example of something false traditionalists point to as some sort of evidence that we must wait for some later council to render a decision. Interestingly, you are actually referring to Honorius as reason to attack Francis. Importantly, you admit that Honorius was never condemned as BEING a heretic–he was condemned for not acting to stamp out heresy. THIS IS CATEGORICALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE PRESENT SITUATION WHERE THE CLAIMANT TO PAPACY IS THE ONE SPEWING THE HERESIES. This really is not hard to figure out.

    For those that believe that the case of Honorius supports the conclusion that only a formal canonical decision can depose Bergoglio simply fail to realize that Honorius is entirely distinguishable from Bergoglio and absolutely DOES NOT suggest that a council must declare a Pope to be a heretic–indeed the See of Peter is judged by no one. It’s nonsense.

    Even St. Francis DeSales (Doctor of the Church)–in speaking explicitly about Honorius–teaches exactly the opposite:

    St. Francis De Sales (17th century), Doctor of the Church, The Catholic Controversy, pp. 305-306: “Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church.”

    The teaching of the Church (as referenced by St. Francis) is clear: an explicit heretic falls IPSO FACTO (by that very fact) out of the Church. No declaration is needed.

    The other facts regarding Honorius which make him a poor foundation upon which to build the theological view that potentially heretical popes must be declared such by an ecumenical include:

    1. It is not entirely clear whether Honorius was a manifest heretic or was merely guilty of not stamping out heresy. The Third Council of Constantinople was confirmed by Pope St. Leo II who only confirmed the condemnation on the latter issue.

    2. Honorius reigned for only 3.5 years after the instance of potential heresy occurred and he issued no dogmatic decrees in that time.

    3. Honorius’ lapse was not widely known as his potentially heretical letters were sent to Sergius. Indeed, Pope John IV (640-643)–the second pope after Honorius–defended him against the charge of heresy as a misinterpretation. Pope John IV said that Honorius was not saying Christ only had one will but, rather, that Christ did not have conflicting wills.

    Thus it’s wrong to think that Honorius is some justification to still regard Bergoglio as pope when Bergoglio’s heresy is so manifest, so widespread, and so undeniable. He JUST denied the papacy (again) with his Joint Declaration with the schismatic Eastern Orthodox. As this article points out, he is EXPLICITLY teaching the direct opposite of Pius XI in Casti Connubii. It’s absurd to regard this man as Pope.

  35. All uncertainty has been removed now. The pope has taught that contraception is acceptable if we don’t want any of those unpleasant malformed babies around. For anyone to say that is not the takeaway is ridiculous. There is so much fear. What else can account for such cowardice as we are seeing today? What lousy examples we have in how to defend Christ and his church. Lousy! Here all this time we’ve heard about martyrs in the faith, and come to find out most of the power players in the church won’t even take a chance on having their appointments change to one less favorable, let alone red martyrdom. For priests this is simply not as easy, we get that, but Bishops have the responsibility for the sheep. They are the ones who must speak up! It is not enough that we have a few, there needs to be a loud and vocal counter to this madness from more than the “faithful three or four”.
    If there is not, the only reasonable conclusion one may arrive at is this.
    Our Catholic church is gone, and it has been replaced by the World and Satan.

    • “Our Catholic church is gone.”
      I think I can guess what you intend to mean but accurately and from Our LORD’s promise, the Church is indefectible and hell can never prevail against it.

  36. My Catholic Mom had 15 children. The most I see sitting in the pews nowadays is 4-5. Are we all going to hell? There’s a lot of folks taking communion. NFP is contraception too, for married couples. Wish I could have afforded Catholic school for my children. Adultery and promiscuity are enabled by contraception, quite tragically, but that isn’t what the Church is saying. Catholics vote for abortion and Catholics abort at a ghastly rate. So when will our Church help Catholic families fill the pews little gifts from God instead of acting as an NGO for illegal immigration or AIDS in Africa?

  37. For the love of God, can we get some petitions going to Cardinal Burke, Bishop Shneider and anyone else who might be able to sort out this mess? Much as I think we will quite simply see worse and worse things happening all the time, we ought to do what we reasonably can.

  38. I have just been bathed in CLARITY – firstly by Steve Skojec’s above article and secondly by Fr.RP’s comment below. THANK YOU SO MUCH and may Almighty God bless you both and continue to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you, giving you that discernment you have displayed and which is – alas – so sorely lacking in many in the Church!

  39. As a P.S. – I saw on Church Militant that the Birth Defects might have been caused by the addition of a new LARVACIDE to the water, rather than the mosquito. Of course, this is being poo-pooed by many, despite doctors and scientists publishing it! What say you, anyone?

    • This has been quashed by the pro-death media, but the Vatican envoy to the UN actually pointed this out to the W.H.O. (which has the audacity to call the Pill a class one carcinogen and still advocate for its use. Hey, if the potential mother can be killed with cancer while contracepting, then all the better for population control…)

  40. Last Sunday, at the end of the Holy Sacrifice, I apologized to the people for Pope Francis rash words against building walls and for his serious error in saying that Contraception could be used in cases like the Zika virus. I also firmly reminded everyone that what the Church teaches about contraception hasn’t changed an iota and that the Pope doesn’t have the authority to negate Catholic Doctrine. I also took the opportunity to explain why the Church teaches what She does about contraception.

    Later in the week (this past Thursday), I received a letter from a concerned parishioner. His primary concern is that the Church has become far too liberal (in the false political sense) and was heading for some very bad times. This parishioner is in their 90’s and has seen it all happen before his watering eyes. All I could do is to say to him is that the Church Herself had not done so, but that many of Her shepherds had and that they are bringing about the difficulties that She faces. And then assure Him that God is not blind and that He is still in charge and that He will see His beloved Bride through these evil times.

    Please pray for our dear elderly faithful, they have seen far to many evils befall Holy Mother Church from within and I fear that they are suffering from a great depression that could lead to the loss of their Faith. (I know it isn’t just the elderly faithful, I’m just saying that they have had to bear the lions share of this so far.)

    PS: And this week I talked about Hell a lot. Its real and populated and both Jesus and St. Paul warned their people about it severely in the scriptures for this Sunday. I used cycle C, not the option of A.

  41. It is time to do something peaceful and constructive.

    I am seriously thinking about writing Cardinal Burke a letter imploring him to consider writing a statement of fraternal correction to the most egregious statements made by Pope Francis. While I understand my letter is just one letter and he is just one bishop, there is a principal involved – and it could spread. What if the thousands of readers of 1 Peter 5, Remnant, Catholic Family News, Rorate Caeli, and Catholic World Report started participating?

    What if the the letter writing campaign was expanded to include Cardinals Sarah, Pell, Mueller, Bishop Schneider, and all known faithful bishops? It is time for faithful Catholics to do something constructive but peaceful and let said prelates hear en mass from faithful Catholics. They need to know Church faithful are behind them in large numbers and that, perhaps, for the sake of their flock and for future generations, they do have a moral obligation to publicly correct scandalous papal behavior – just as St. Paul did.

    And now for the hard part..Cardinal Burke’s mailing address..


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...