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Unity on Whose Terms?


In his homily yesterday, Pope Francis (again) chastised the very people who care most about Catholicism by accusing them of causing division and Eucharistic profanation (with my emphasis):

Divisions destroy the Church, and the devil seeks to attack the root of unity: the celebration of the Eucharist. That was the message of Pope Francis on Monday morning at the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, on the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Commenting on the reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians — where St Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their contentiousness — Pope Francis said, “The devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money.” And this has happened from the beginning: “ideological, theological divisions that lacerate the Church. The devil sows jealousy, ambitions, ideas, but to divide! Or greed.” And, as happens after a war, “everything is destroyed. And the devil is pleased. And we, naïve as we are, are his game.” “It is a dirty war, that of divisions,” he repeated. “It’s like terrorism,” the war of gossiping in the community, that of language that kills”:

“And the divisions in the Church do not allow the Kingdom to grow; they do not allow the Lord to be seen as He is. Divisions make you see this part, this one against the other. Always against! There is no oil of unity, the balsam of unity. But the devil goes elsewhere, not only in the Christian community, he goes right to the root of Christian unity. And this happens here, in the city of Corinth, to the Corinthians. Paul rebukes them precisely because divisions arise, right at the heart of unity, that is, in the Eucharistic celebration.”

In the case of Corinth, riches make divisions between the rich and the poor precisely during the Eucharist. Jesus, the Pope said, “prayed to the Father for unity. But the devil seeks to destroy it” even there:

I ask you to do everything possible to not destroy the Church with divisions; they are ideological, they come from greed and ambition, they come from jealousy. And above all to pray, and to keep the founts, the very roots of the unity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ; which we, every day, celebrate [in] His sacrifice in the Eucharist.”

Saint Paul speaks about the divisions among the Corinthians, two thousand years ago:

Paul could say this to all of us today, to the Church of today. ‘Brothers, in this I cannot praise you, because you are gathered together not for the better, but for the worse!’ But the Church gathers everyone together — for the worse, for divisions: for the worse! To soil the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic celebration! And the same Paul tells us, in another passage: ‘He who eats and drinks the Body and the Blood of Christ unworthily, eats and drinks his own condemnation.’ Let us ask the Lord for the unity of the Church, that there may not be divisions. And for unity also in the root of the Church, which is precisely the sacrifice of Christ, which we celebrate every day.”

Ironically, this is perhaps the most direct confirmation we’ve had to date that Francis believes that the Eucharist is Christ; it’s certainly the most overtly I’ve heard him speak about it. Which is all the more reason why he should be absolutely terrified about opening the door to profanation of the Eucharist through sacrilegious reception of Holy Communion — precisely the thing that will result from his endorsement of a plan to give sacraments to the divorced and remarried who do not live in continence.

kmo_088197_171561_1_t210Of course, it’s unsurprising that he is demanding unity, and using the scriptures to shame us into it. But on whose terms? His, of course. He does not like when people oppose his agenda. It makes him very, very upset. He cannot seem to understand the resilience and influence of his opposition. It’s as though he sees himself as the chosen one, fated to bring the reforms that the Church has perennially lacked the “humility and ambition” to accomplish.

On that note, Hilary White brings the concept of narcissistic projection (and gaslighting) to the table in her analysis of this sermon:

If you are one of those who has been aghast at Bergoglio’s ongoing attack on the Holy Eucharist over the last 3.5 years, you will likely be open-mouthed at this outrageous speech. And that’s precisely what the narcissist is looking for. You’re off balance. You’re standing there, doing the fish, spluttering a little, unable to sort out your thoughts.

It works like this.

You catch a narcissist stealing your chips.

You confront him and say, “Hey! Those are my chips!”

He looks at you steadily and with an expression of concerned sadness says, with perfect sincerity, “I can’t believe you’ve been stealing my chips all this time. I’m really, really disappointed in you for betraying my trust like this. I think to make it up to me, you’d better go to the shops and buy me some more, and we can forget all about it.”

Then he shoves another one of your chips into his mouth and walks away, leaving you wondering whether you’re losing your mind.

That is how gaslighting works.

In other words, he is accusing the faithful of planting the very seeds of division that have been the hallmark of his papacy from the beginning. He is accusing the faithful of eating and drinking the body and blood of the Lord unworthily, when it is he who wants to give the Eucharist to those living in sin, or to Lutherans, or whomever — in direct violation of 1 Corinthians 11:27.

Unity is vital. It’s one of the four marks of the Church, and one that has been sorely lacking for at least half a century, and probably a good bit longer than that. But it has to be unity in the Lord, not in some agenda that seeks to remake the Church in the image of whoever is calling the shots. If Francis and his friends want to start looking for the source of disunity in the Church, I’m sure they come across several mirrors every day. The people who push back aren’t the rebels, they’re the counter-insurgency. We’re trying to re-establish the reign of The King.

I’ve made a commitment to you not to dwell on every maddening thing he says and does, but this one merits attention. It offers an unusual insight into the working of his mind, and it’s a dark and terrifying place.

I don’t expect this is going to get better before it gets worse. It seems that the beating of faithful Catholics will continue until morale improves.

Editor’s note: The post originally credited the homily of “this morning”, but it was actually from 9/12/16. This has been corrected.

48 thoughts on “Unity on Whose Terms?”

  1. I would prefer to be unified around Christ that unified around this agenda-driven pontiff. He can travel to the peripheries of reality, but the center of the Church does not follow him there.

    • Pope Pius XII taught, “And what of a regime in which capitalism is dominant? Does it offer a prospect of real welfare for women? We have no need here to describe the economic and social consequences of this system. You know its characteristic signs and you yourselves labor under the burden it imposes: the excessive crowding of the population into the cities; the ever-growing and all-invading power of big business; the difficult and precarious condition of other industries, especially the crafts and even more especially agriculture; the disquieting spread of unemployment.” – Questa Grande Vostra Adunata

      I wonder if there would be widespread opposition if Pope Francis tried to overturn this teaching of his saintly predecessor.

  2. Looks like about 17 openings for voting Cardinals by early next year. So, if God is opposed to this Pope, we can assume they won’t be filled?

      • Awesome picture. To be silent about something is to consent to it. Therefore, the sign of God’s dissent to a papal resignation is something loud on the day of the resignation, such as lightning striking twice in the very spot that St. Peter is buried. If God dissents to a papal resignation, then it means that the gift of infallibility remains with the resigning pope rather than being transferred to the next pope.

  3. The Pope and the Devil

    A correspondent in Argentina […] writes that only three views of this pope exist:
    1) he is a modernist, but covers himself by occasionally talking of the devil,
    2) he seeks attention and power by attracting everything to himself, and
    3) he is a confused thinker but basically orthodox.
    The man adds that this last view is no longer tenable.
    Source: On Heretical Popes, by James V. Schall S.J., Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | The Catholic Thing

  4. Projection and gaslighting and I will add straw man arguments and psychoanalysis are what liberals do all the time. I have lived with liberals all my life and they do this even in their personal life.

    • I am a liberal for the most part and even the liberals are making me sick with their agenda. It is all so phoney baloney, manipulative, with out real affection to the truth. I can’t express enough how their tactics, which by the way are contrary to what a genuine liberal hopes for, have become so hate filled, demeaning, and closed minded I am starting to think a virus has infected most people. I have disavowed them in totality, as I walk the thin line between the two polar opposites waiting for sanity to return.

      • Examples please? I believe this phenomenon is much more apparent among conservatives. Heck, I was called a Marxist recently because I support the local library.

        • Well, it seems the R-word (acist) is flung around like confetti or should I say spaghetti to see if it will stick. Anyone who wants to pull back from globalism is ( add your -ism here) as well as a nativist. Anyone who is not for Hillary is (add your -ism here). They no longer have the ability to see situations, which are complex, to find solution they just use word b-ombs. They despise the right with a vengence, without even trying to understand. They are obnoxious in their methods of engagement with shouting down people. They have broke from reality in most cases. They embrace chaos without goals to bring a better society, but have resorted to tearing down another to prop up their current cause. Which by the way changes daily to the next perceived “victim” without any care to see positive change for yesterdays “victim”. Then add on top of all that like a cherry on a sundae, they are self-righteous that they alone hold the truth. So that is why I have disavowed them, will not support them, and hope again sanity returns.

      • I have come to a similar conclusion, liberalism is a mental disorder, there is always a saving hypothesis with liberal ideology to help them deny reality.

  5. “Pope Francis said, “The devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money.”

    Money? How about the pure unadulterated grave sins that has been coming out about vowed members of the RCC. Yes, I am referring to the sexual abuse crisis which has destroyed the faith of so many people like a tidal wave. Then you have the abuse in Ireland with the laundries, and the destruction of families when children were ripped from their mothers and their babies sold. MONEY as is Bishop Bling? That is so far down on my list, and perhaps others as well , of what could/does destroy this church. No it is the sheer weight of Her gravely sinful actions against Jesus/God and the faith we profess.

    • Read the official Irish government report on the Laundries. You might change your opinion there. I read the whole thing, including the interviews with the women affected, and in fact they all praise the nuns, they acknowledge they worked hard, but who didn’t in Ireland in the early 20th Century? It was a real surprise to read the actual document, as the media spun a completely different interpretation which is specious at best.

  6. Thank you, Steve, for today’s High Altar Catholic Headliner. This “reverse psychology” that serves the interests of Lucifer and one’s self has filtered down to the parish level and is infecting the world at large, inside and outside of Christ’s Catholic Churches, with the SPIRITUAL BLACK DEATH. Haven’t we felt this kiss of betrayal and don’t we carry its crushing weight on our backs
    SIDE. + + +”By My Holy Face you will work WONDERS.” ~ Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter + + +

  7. Anyone who has participated in the civil war raging wildly within Catholicism over the
    past fifty-five years recognizes this tactic. It is duplicitous, maleficent and sadistic. It is a weapon used without reservation by the left to disarm and outwit when they are without ground to stand upon. I know because I employed it more than once.
    I have participated in both sides of the battle, and was numbered among the unhinged
    delusional for many years until I eventually acquiesced to Holy Scripture, the
    Apostolic Tradition and the Magisterium under the draw of John Paul’s faith and
    The theater of ecclesiastical absurdity will end, but not soon enough, and not without tragic consequence for souls.

    • James, Thank you for your insight regarding the civil war raging within the Catholic Church. I understand all of the problems and challenges, but never have put the moniker of civil war on this. Suddenly everything is fitting into a place in my head.

  8. This is another casualty of false ecumenism – the idea that unity is something that can exist quite independently of adherence to truth.

    For Catholics unity is also something which transcends mere synchronicity. Catholic unity is diachronous as well as synchronous, and our unity with the apostles, the fathers and the saints down through the ages is just as, if not more, important as unity among Catholics living today.

    By his constant trashing of the deposit of faith Francis himself is the greatest source of diachronic disunity in the Church today. We have had some very bad Popes, but I can’t think of any who have been more divisive than this one.

    • He was at a Deanery meeting for most of the Day and then had a priest/engineer friend of his help him install three new light fixtures in the rectory and then took said priest out to dinner as a thank you.

      Besides, all I have to say is yes, the above analysis looks accurate to me: Pope Francis is and has been sowing division and all the while accusing the faithful prelates, religious and laity of being divisive.

  9. “The devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money.”

    I will not add to his burdens him with money. My local parish still has a construction debt, and my pastor will be less burdened when it is eradicated.

  10. Pretty rich for Pope Francis to accuse others of what he himself does so well. It’s source is from the devil and it is one of the ways he plays his game. Let us pray for Pope Francis. He really needs to be exorcised.

  11. The Pope’s message could equally be seen as directed to the more liberal extreme of the Church as towards the more conservative. I understand, that by many of his past statements he has confronted the traditional leaning groups more, but he has also aggravated the liberals as well. (If you don’t believe this, read their commentary)
    (Are we sure we’re not getting a little thin-skinned the Popes message?)
    Jesus saved most of his harshest criticism for those who should have known best what God wanted; I think it is important for all of us to make sure that we remember that Christ came to save sinners, not the righteous.

  12. The article quotes Pope Francis saying, “The devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money.” Even though the misuse of money is certainly a mortal sin, I have to disagree with the pope’s statement. The devil’s two weapons are division (ie. schism) and heresy. Division & heresy is to spiritual war as divide & conquer is to physical war. The divide part of the devil’s plan began with Luther, Calvin, King Henry VIII, etc. Their sects (the daughter churches) quickly fell into heresy, because they lacked the gift of infallibility. The conquer part of the devil’s plan is to infiltrate the mother church with modernist heretics, and that happened a few centuries later.


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