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With Pope Francis, Self-Contradiction is Par for the Course

A number of people have sent me some version or another of the story on Pope Francis’ meeting with the Chilean bishops last month and asked me to comment on it. According to the bishops of Chile, Francis told them what appear to be some very self-contradictory things. I didn’t have time to commission a human translation of the Spanish, nor do I particularly want to waste any of our translators’ time on it.

Why? Because it’s essentially meaningless. Like listening to static and hoping to find guidance. One of our readers from Latin America graciously provided us with a translation on condition of anonymity*:

Among the topics discussed between the Pope and the Chilean bishops was the progress of the decriminalization of abortion in the South American country. Mons. Ramos [the Secretary of the Conference of Bishops] explains this in El Mercurio :

” The Pope was very clear: abortion understood as the quest to eliminate a human being is always a murder, and must not be confused with accepted medical practices to save a life ».

And Bishop Silva [the President of the Conference of Bishops] added:

“Abortion is a well-known issue for Francis. Being Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was very hard on President Mauricio Macri when Macri, as governor of Buenos Aires, regulated ‘non- punishable abortions’. Moreover, he [Francis] stopped a ‘medical guide’ that Cristina Kirchner tried to spread.

Francis spoke in the same way to the Chilean bishops and he made especial mention of Catholic politicians who vote in favor of the legalization of abortion:

“He insisted that they cannot take communion and that they must receive help in order not to continue committing sins. The Pope is much stronger than he looks.”

As for the possibility of ordaining married men as priests, Bishop Ramos explained the position of the Holy Father and of Cardinal Stella. When asked “Is it true that the Pope was thinking about ordering married men?”, raised as a consequence of the interview given by the pontiff to the German newspaper “Die Zeit”, the auxiliary bishop of Santiago answered:

“No, it is not true. And in that very interview the Pope says that voluntary celibacy is not on the agenda.”

And then Ramos explains that the Pope was asked about the possibility that the “viri probati,” married men of proven Christian life, would help in secluded places. The topic was also addressed by the Prefect of the Clergy, Cardinal Stella, and he was categorical: “that is not the way .”

Faced with the question of the communion for “remarried” divorcees, the bishop [Ramos, Secretary of the Conference of Bishops] explains that the Pontiff denied that his goal in calling for the Synod on the Family were to authorize communion for the divorcees. He told the Chilean bishops that there is no “moral situationism,” say other sources [translator’s note: in both El Mercurio and Infocatólica this is a very strange way of writing: it seems that Ramos says that “other sources” state the last sentence. Unintelligible]. “It’s hard for us to see gray tones,” Francis reportedly told the Chilean bishops when he referred to a personal case, a case in his family:

“I have a niece married to a divorcee, a good man, a Catholic, who attends Sunday Mass. When he confesses he tells the priest ‘I know you may not give me the absolution, but, please give me your blessing.’

People are latching on, in particular, to this bit:

Faced with the question of the communion for “remarried” divorcees, the bishop [Ramos, Secretary of the Conference of Bishops] explains that the Pontiff denied that his goal in calling for the Synod on the Family were to authorize communion for the divorcees. He told the Chilean bishops that there is no “moral situationism,” say other sources. “It’s hard for us to see gray tones,” Francis reportedly told the Chilean bishops when he referred to a personal case, a case in his family…

So why do I say it’s meaningless?

First, because — as our papal positivist friends like to say whenever we report a second-hand account of the pope’s words — this is hearsay. Only in this instance, it’s actually out of character for him to say it. It goes against the conduct of the Synods, Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s letter to the Argentinian Bishops, his praise for the German bishops’ guidelines, the policy enforced by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, the Vatican’s promotion of the Maltese bishops’ guidelines, Archbishop Coccopalmerio’s book (and it’s associated Vatican press conference), and so on. The evidence is piled high and deep that Communion for the divorced and remarried is exactly what he wanted. One little anecdote from a Latin American bishop does not a reversal make.

But the second point — one you probably won’t hear anywhere else — is that self-contradiction is all part of the big, confusing game plan for Francis and company. Hilary White explained this months ago:

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

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

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

What does Amoris Laetitia mean?

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

Whether or not he said what he is reported to have said to the Chilean bishops is irrelevant. The Dictatorship of Mercy continues apace.

NOTE: I’ve published an addendum to this piece with another important point of consideration.

*We originally used the Google translation of this report, but have replaced it with a reader-submitted human translation.

95 thoughts on “With Pope Francis, Self-Contradiction is Par for the Course”

  1. I have only one comment: that cartoon made me laugh. But only because I have somewhere in my files a photo I took in Venice of a very beautiful sign, engraved on brass, that said, “Piazza San Marco” underneath which were two arrows pointing in opposite directions. I thought it perfectly summarized everything about Italy.

  2. Now, about Francis and abortion, I think I can say with some confidence that he genuinely doesn’t like it. But note carefully how I phrased that. He doesn’t have strong, principled opposition to it in the sense of the opposition of the Pro-life movement. That is, he finds it regrettable and personally undesireable. Even repugnant. He has never really shown any indication that he would approve abortion personally.

    But this of course is nothing like what a Catholic holds about it. His mind is so manifestly confused on such things that it’s dangerous territory to try to predict what he “really thinks” (because as I pointed out above, what goes on in his brain seems to bear little relationship to rational thought), but so far what we’ve seen from him is nothing but subjectivism. He doesn’t like it. Doesn’t approve of it. Which puts him at about the same level of opposition as the 14 year old girls one sees sometimes at the March for Life wearing t-shirts that say, “Abortion is mean.” About the level of the CINO politicians who also genuinely “don’t like” abortion personally, but would never dream of trying to impose their personal beliefs in law.

    It is extremely important for Catholics and other pro-life people not to call this a “pro-life” position. It isn’t. A pro-life position is one that is wholly in keeping with objective, external reality. Abortion is the taking of innocent human life. It is murder, and the most foul kind in which a helpless and totally innocent victim is cornered and torn to shreds or burned to death. If it was done by Islamic extremists to a born child, the headlines would be screaming. To say of this horrific, inhuman act that it is “undesireable” or “mean” or that you personally wouldn’t “choose an abortion but can’t stand in the way of another person’s choice” is to completely abandon any pretense of moral authority.

    And as Mike Matt said on the night of the Conclave four years ago, when certain news services were busy pronouncing the new pope “pro-life” because he once said something mild about how he didn’t like abortion or that it was “regrettable,” … “I need a little more from a pope than that he doesn’t approve of killing babies.”

    We have set the bar so low for being pro-life that it has effectively disappeared if we say that Pope Francis’ waffling, weather-vane treatment of the slaughter of 50 million innocent people a year makes him a pro-life paragon.

    And if this is where the bar is for holiness in a pope, then I suggest we need to dig a trench.

    • I have always been surprised little commentary was made on paragraphs 213 and 214 of Pope Francis’s first document Evangelii Gaudium, the program for his papacy, in which he makes the pro forma statements against abortion, but then says on the other hand who can be unmoved when a woman aborts due to rape or poverty. Since when does a Pope or any Pro-lifer speak about “on the other hand” about abortion, and seems to apply compassionate acceptance that abortion was understandable in the circumstances? Yet little notice was taken of this betrayal by a Pope in an official Apostolic Exhortation concerning abortion, two little paragraphs tucked towards the end of the lengthy document, and still written in such a way as to undermine even what little was said on the most important moral and social justice issue of our time. If you want an example of Bergoglio ambiguity and doublespeak even on abortion, paragraphs 213 and 214 of Evangelii Gaudium are worth revisiting review and analysis

      • Actually, no other (deep) analysis is needed, after those “on the other hand” . That’s exactly what every false prophet do, ‘yes but no’,… or ‘no but yes’ statements are from the devil. For certain things, for the truth or lies, for good or evil, there can be always, only and just: ‘YES.’ or ‘NO.’.
        Demagoguery is not allowed for true Christians. To emphasize this, I noted both words, YES with the period, and NO with the period after.

        • Reminds me of the “fake news’ L’Osservatore Romano where they said he answered the dubia with a ‘yes and no’ to each one.

          • “Let your yes mean no and your no mean yes. Or both. Or neither. Just listen to the Holy Spirit!” #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

      • Evangelii Gaudium is riddled with nonsensical and anti-Catholic statements. My favourites are:

        Para 32 where he floats the idea of devolving doctrinal authority to Bishops’ Conferences (i.e. instant disintegration of Church, as we are seeing with different approaches to Amoris Laetitia)

        Para 253, where he describes Islam as a religion of peace, thus contradicting basic sanity, the Koran, 1400 years of history and any number of current news stories.

        • I’m with you on Paragraph 253 (though Pope Francis is not the first pope to make such statements). How can a Pope write something like this — “for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”? Authentic to what exactly? To the false prophet Muhammed? And how could any reading of the koran be “proper.”? Francis must just as well pontificate on the best translation of the “Book of Mormon” or publish a list his top ten favorite Hindu deities.

          • There is no “proper” reading of the Koran but only in the original Arab text.
            Once the original text is translated in other languages, this leads to endless contestations about the true meaning of problematic surates, since there is no such high authority like in the Catholicism, a magisterium, to state definitively and clearly which translation is right.

          • Islam is ‘not’ even a religion but, its a “Political Ideology..!” I also do agree that no pope has the authority nor the legitimacy to make statements about another religion especially a so called religion that espouses killing another human being because of their beliefs. When the pope elevates another religion or a political ideology, that means that the Catholic faith is no better then Paganism, Atheism, or Protestantism. When Bergoglio knelt down and washed the feet of some Muslims, Transvestites and others, in reality he was telling the World, ‘see, Catholicism is just the same like another other religion or Ideology!!

        • Sure. He, but also any other pope has no authority nor the legitimacy to make statements about another religion. Especially positive remarks about Islam! A pope is vicar of Christ, the first bishop of Catholic Church. Those who equates the only true Christian religion with anti-religions, can only be a kind of spokesman for some united religions, which is highest betrayal.
          About devil spoken, let’s see it here… about that kind of “teaching of morality”… and religion of ‘peace’!
          We are really not stupid. The “book-of-peace” is written in many languages. And if we able to read it cost a little effort to see it and understand it fully, so that we know what we are (he is) talking about.

          Take a look here:…
          Read mentioned quotes below. But there are many more which are everything except peaceful…
          sura 2. 191, sura 2. 216, sura 2. 217
          sura 3. 10, sura 3. 131, sura 3. 195
          sura 4. 66, sura 4. 74, sura 4. 76, sura 4. 89, sura 4. 91
          sura 8. 12, sura 8. 17, sura 8. 50, sura 8. 59, sura 8. 60, sura 8. 67
          sura 9. 5, sura 9. 29, sura 9. 30, sura 9. 41, sura 9. 73

      • I’m no fan of Pope Francis. (Chapter 8 of Amoris Latitia is riddled with heresy). But I don’t see any real problem with paragraphs 213 and 214 of Evangelii Gaudium. Paragraph 14 is not the most precisely written paragraph one could imagine, but I don’t think it could fairly be read as undermining the church’s teaching on abortion. The “on the other hand” language in paragraph 14 doesn’t mean “abortion is sometimes okay.” In my reading, what paragraph 14 is saying is that: (1) the Church will never change its message that abortion is always wrong, but (2) “on the other hand,” the Church should do more to accompany women who find themselves pregnant due to rape or while in extreme poverty. Those are entirely orthodox sentiments.

        Admittedly, there is some ambiguity as to which previous statement in the paragraph the “on the other hand” language is contrasting. But I think the fairest reading is this:

        “214. Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question …. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations ….”

        And Francis does not say “who can be unmoved when a woman aborts due to rape or poverty.” What he writes is “who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” And the “painful situations” are not abortions but situations where women find themselves pregnant due to rape or while in extreme poverty. He is saying that the Church needs to do more to accompany these woman because to them “abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish.” There is no implication that it would be okay for these women to kill “the life developing within them.” He’s not endorsing the “quick solution.” And he says nothing at all in this paragraph about women who actually have an abortion.

        • In Evangelium Vitae Pope John Paul 11 also addressed the issue of women in painful situations, but added NEVERTHELESS abortion is never justiified. That resounding NEVERTHELESS is missing from 214 of Evangelii Gaudium and should have been there to affirm Catholic teaching with no possibility of ambiguity. If it could be read the way I suggested that is a fault in Francis on this very important topic.

        • The very fact that we are discussing what these sentences mean is the problem.

          Head over to any Papal document meant for public consumption prior to Pope Pius XII and you’ll see the difference: clear, plain (even tho old-fashioned to our eyes) language which says what needs to be said – let the reader take the consequences. All that is gone now that Holy Church is run by Marxist barbarians.

    • Being a liar is an inevitable consequence of his advice: “Don’t worry too much about following the commandments.” It is reasonable to assume that he follows his own advice.

      • …or not – he could have been lying about the commandments…

        Problem is that for anybody who places no importance on truth and brands it as mere ideology, nothing that they say is worthy of belief even when it does accord with the truth.

    • To illustrate, let’s recap:


      Pontiff denied that his goal with the synod he called upon the family was to authorize the communion of the divorced.

      Whilst before:

      [1] In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039). – Cf. Footnote 351 [paragraph 305], Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016).

      [2] “Naturally this poses the question: what does the Pope say in relation to access to the sacraments for people who live in ‘irregular’ situations?”, continued the cardinal. “Pope Francis reiterates the need to discern carefully the situation in keeping with St. John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio. ‘Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits. By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God’. … In the sense of this ‘via caritatis’, the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given in ‘certain cases’. But for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy’ and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’”. – Presentation of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia: the logic of pastoral mercy, 08.04.2016

      [3] Expressing his appreciation for the ‘pastoral charity’ contained in the bishops’ document, Pope Francis insists “there are no other interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation which he wrote at the conclusion of the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015. – Pope endorses Argentine bishops’ document on Amoris Laetitia

      [4] And a few days later, during the flight from Lesbos to Rome, Francis once again proposed Schönborn as the main exegete of the post-synodal exhortation, he being a “great theologian [who] knows well the doctrine of the faith,” as the pope described him. To the question of whether for the divorced or remarried there now is or is not the possibility, formerly precluded, of receiving communion, the pope responded with a peremptory and for once unmistakable: “Yes. Period.” But he recommended that none other than Schönborn be consulted for a more detailed reply. – The German Option of the Argentine Pope

      And what started it all:

      “Yesterday, before going to sleep – although I did not do this to put myself to sleep – I read or rather re-read the work of Cardinal Kasper, and I would like to thank him because I found profound theology, and even serene thinking in theology. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what Saint Ignatius told us about, that ‘sensus Ecclesiae,” love for Mother Church. It did me good and an idea came to me – excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you – but the idea is that this is called ‘doing theology on one’s knees.’ Thank you. Thank you.”

      And what does cardinal Kasper have to say about all this?

      ‘I, instead, [spoke] twice with the Holy Father. I agreed upon everything with him. He was in agreement.’

      If the Pope is now denying – what is he taking us to be? – that communion for the divorced and civilly remarried was not a (if not the) goal of the Synods on the Family, then he hasn’t even embarked on the path to orthodoxy if that’s the impression he now wants to portray.

  3. It’s getting harder and harder for Pope Francis to maintain his plausible deniability. He is becoming a joke but few are laughing.

  4. Of doublespeak Frankie’s the master
    Which is why his reign’s a disaster
    His logic is zero
    Power’s his hero
    The mark of a man who’s no pastor

  5. What I find surprising is that people have actually latched onto this story as a oh-look-francis-is-orthodox-like-we-always-said moment. Sure, he may have said something that actually is orthodox here… doesn’t mean everything else he’s done is undone. Around in circles we go… at least there haven’t been any huge bombs recently, unlike the last few months. It’s almost like we’re getting a reprieve during Lent… maybe he’s given up press conferences and plane interviews for Lent?

    • Until he answers the dubia, what he says in private conversations or even from the pulpit is…..well, gab. He’s spoken so often off the cuff that he’s cheapened the notion that every papal word is loaded with significance. He seemed from the beginning to want to lessen our attention to a pope’s every word by deep-sixing all the traditional pontifical trappings. It’s perhaps the only aspect of his papacy where he has scored a stunning success.

      • Think positive Comrade dude! This stunning success of his might at last puncture the false demigod view of the Papacy formed in the aftermath of Vatican I which is now being used by the neo-Modernists to posit a Faith that is dependent on the whims of whoever is the Pope at the moment.

          • I leave it to Steve Skojec and the site’s Moderators as to whether your comment, making such a grave accusation, should stand; and separately, whether such an obvious troublemaker should be allowed to continue commenting here.

          • Duke it out. Queensbury rules.

            FWIW, I tend to agree with Komrade Joseph in this instance. What followed Vatican I as regards the papacy was essentially a form of idolatry. You can see this playing out across the spectrum from the cult of papal personality contemporary Catholics to the sedes at Novus Ordo Watch. They all seem to think the papacy is magical and that the man in the office can never be wrong.

            It really grinds my gears.

          • The man in the office is very wrong on an entire array of matters. Yes, the extremes of papal worship at one end and an empty chair at the other end are to be avoided. I truly believe the Catholic Church is the Church that Christ himself established. Unfortunately, the ecclesiastical hierarchy seems to have abandoned Church teachings and the Deposit of Faith. And few of the faithful clergy are speaking out against what is happening.

          • Hi Stalin – Can you give me your definition of a heretic? This might help – 1John2:19
            “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

          • Maybe this will help you:

            Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

          • Hi Stalin – Ok, it’s clear you can’t make the case. It is not surprising you choose the equivalent of sticking your fingers in you ears.

  6. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and distressing prophecies about the Church

    “She said to see, in the future, a Church with two popes, protestantized and unfaithful: “And I saw the relationship between the two popes … I saw what would have been disastrous consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of all kinds were in the city (of Rome). The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness “(13 May 1820); “I see the Holy Father in great distress. He lives in a different building from the one before and admits there only a limited number of friends close to him … I see that the false church of darkness is making progress, and I see the tremendous influence it has on people “(10 August 1820) ; “Then I saw that everything about Protestantism was gradually taking the upper hand and the Catholic religion was falling into a complete decline. Most of the priests were attracted by alluring doctrines, but false, young teachers, and all of them contributed to the work of destruction. In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved only in a few places, a few houses and a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars “(1820). And again: “I saw that many pastors were generally get involved in ideas that were dangerous for the church. They were building a big church, strange, and extravagant … Everyone had to be admitted in it to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics and seven of every denomination. So it had to be the new church … But God had other plans “(22 April 1823).”

  7. Let me play the theme once again that I’ve mentioned frequently here: This pope’s strategy mirrors almost perfectly that of the Democrats in the United States. Objective reality plays little or no role in their thinking. What is important is that THEY and not some other party be in power. The chaos all about them, the Mohammedan terror attacks everywhere for instance, is not part of their narrative; the phony Russian nonsense, though, most certainly is. Fantasy, not reality, is the theme of the day both at the DNC and the Vatican. Depressing.

    • Progressivism within and without the Church: seeking power, gaining power, wielding power, eternally warring to maintain power.

  8. Who coined the phrase ‘word salad’? That’s all we ever get. Now this bit of Google-translated hearsay is momentarily orthodox, but not for long. There is an immediate contradiction in the hearsay itself. You can’t put lipstick on the pig, because it’s not even as formed as a pig.

    Our help is in the name of the Lord Who made heaven and earth.

    Our Lady of Quito, pray for us.

  9. Our response to Francis should be the response we give to all tyrannical Popes: YOU. ARE. NO LONGER. THE POPE. You must answer for your heretical teachings which disqualify you as the Successor of Peter. Let’s give that a try. After all, at this point it is merely a formality.

    • That should not be our response, as he is still the pope. We should be calling on the competent authorities (bishops and cardinals) to continue the course begun by the dubia. If we as Catholics refuse him as our pope now, then we are little better than the Protestants and cannot hope to be saved.

      For your own good, please remain steadfast in acknowledging Francis as our pope for as long as he remains so. Don’t let him push you into schism and damnation. It’s not worth the price of your soul.

        • He did, yes. Perhaps you could expand on your reply. Are you warning me away from some particular hypocrisy which you would care to name?

          • Hi Matt – No, it is the hypocrisy I would be exhibiting to conform to your appeal concerning Francis. I just can’t make myself not see what I see. But, that in no way means I don’t respect your way of dealing with Francis.

          • Hi Matt – I enjoyed this presentation, but I must point out that it did not lessen my conviction that Francis is a Formal Heretic. It is his unshakeable will to introduce these heretical understandings, the past 50 years can not be discounted when considering the mission that Francis pointedly brings to fruition. Francis knows what he is doing and is well aware that he is leading souls away from the Church guided by the Holy Spirit. We must not presume to waltz to an ancient tune, while the ballroom burns to the ground. Jesus said it best when dealing with another who failed to trust Him – “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew16:23

          • I’m glad that you enjoyed the presentation. Within my own realm of authority (my family and my classroom, for instance), I too regard some of Pope Francis’s teachings to be a stumbling block to the people to whom I am responsible for teaching the Faith. I do not read these teachings myself, nor do I recommend or teach them to others. Catholics would do well to contest and avoid his problematic teachings and work to mitigate their damage, in the same manner that a son may have to work against his father while at the same time acknowledging his authority. It strikes me that while Our Lord had the authority to speak to our first pope in that way, I wouldn’t presume that I do.

            I admit, though, the extreme gravity of these circumstances. Lay people should not be left to our own resources in trying to determine how we are to deal with a pope who teaches error. We are ill-equipped and require strong leadership that we are not being given. In a better world, you and I would not even be having this conversation, obviously. It may provide little consolation, but I believe such an extraordinary and unprecedented state of affairs will probably not last long. Christ will shorten these days for the sake of the little ones, lest we go astray.

          • Hi Matt – I hope you are right. Yet some day this will come to pass – “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Best to prepare for that day as well. Let’s hope the Vultures of today aren’t the ones circling the Bride of Christ on that fearsome day

          • May you and all you love be found righteous in God’s sight on that great and terrible day, brother. God bless.

  10. It’s tough being Catholic these days
    With our doctrine immersed in a haze
    Our clergy supine,
    So few possess spine,
    And a Pope who seeks the world’s praise.

    • Hi Cornelius –
      Jesus promised while here below
      One way that we would surely know
      That His brothers we would be
      By comforting His Bride on Her Calvary

  11. It’s the Tango from Argentina – one step forward (orthodoxy today), two step back (heretical the next day). It’s just a game with Jorge.
    He said that being a Pope is “entertaining to him.” Yes, it is entertaining for him to see how far he can destroy the Church with his stupid heretical homilies, filthy documents and putting evil men in charge of key positions. IT A GAME OF CHESS. So, ofcourse, it’s “entertaining.”

  12. Conservative Catholics will take any crumbs thrown out about PF and then proclaim him to be solidly in line with all Church teaching. These crumbs aren’t even from PF himself, but second hand. The problem is post VII conciliarism has proven rotten to the core and any attempt at window dressing PF or the modern Church as a whole is like putting lipstick on a pig.

  13. About the 8th paragraph it is ordaining married men, not “ordering married men.”

    And about the 11th paragraph I think that you mean “I know that HE cannot absolve me… but gives me HIS blessing,” not, “when she confesses she tells the priest ‘I know she can not absolve me, but give me her blessing.”

  14. This chaotic approach of contradicting earlier statements is fully consistent (or inconsistent!) with the whole history of Francis’ “teaching”, if you can call it that. Logical thought, moral coherence and basic sanity seem to be irrelevant.

    There was that interview in 2013 where he seemed to minimise the moral gravity of abortion, saying that we do not need to talking about it all the time. After the worldwide uproar this provoked, he rushed to denounce abortion forcefully.

    Then there was the address to a conference in 2014 where he declared that the death penalty was morally impermissible and that a life sentence was a kind of death sentence. If you deny the possibility of life imprisonment, the case against the death penalty collapses.

    And the time where he remarked that the arms industry was not a fitting place for a Christian to work. Apart from this fatuous statement implicitly denying the right to self defence, he asked why the WW2 allies had failed to bomb the railway going to Auschwitz. How were they supposed to bomb it without warplanes and weapons made by overwhelmingly Christian American and British workers?

  15. Hillary White asserts that our Pope is a “Moral Positivist”.

    I don’t think that definition, accurate as it may be, does full justice to the gravity of the charge. “Moral positivist”, on its face, sounds like something a Pope should be; an affirmer of morals.


    A “Moral Positivist” is one who believes that sense and “reason” alone, no God, are the exclusive source of authority and reality; thus a Leftist, a Darwinian, an Atheist. In the case of the Pope, that would also make him a heretic.

    To make a case, IF that is the case, you need an accurate, relatable label.

    A “moral positivist” does not believe in the transcendent or theology to explain the natural world. That would make such a person a Leftist Darwinian Atheist by definition.

  16. If this is Pope Francis’s true position, then it must be taught in a clear and very public way, and erroneous interpretations that have sprung up among a number of the bishops must be corrected in an equally clear and public way. Until such time, reports such as this have no validity. The Holy Father’s magisterial authority over the Universal Church is not exercised by comments made to bishops that are in turn reported second-hand to the media.

    The bishops to which he purportedly spoke do not have the authority to clarify doctrine for the whole Church in this matter, and thus even if valid their words do not carry the pope’s authority. Even if authentic, we must disregard these comments until they are confirmed and restated by the pope himself in a way that is in keeping with his teaching authority.

    • “Even if authentic, we must disregard these comments until they are confirmed and restated by the pope himself in a way that is in keeping with his teaching authority.”
      Imagine, if that even happens, than still it will be just a once, for that, we must say, important matter. But! There are much more matters in his orations, deeds, etc… So many important matters which are still suspicious, suspect, questionable, fishy, doubtful, shady,…
      As someone below said, even his homilies, if you listen or read them carefully are almost always at least ambiguous.

      • Without a doubt. And for the good of souls each and every error must be corrected. The greatest and most damaging of errors, that of communion for the divorced and remarried, would be the appropriate place to start. You’re not wrong, though. The Holy Father’s teachings on Our Lord, Our Lady, St. John the Baptist, et. al. that appear in his homilies are in themselves sufficient reason to demand clarification and retraction.

        We are a long way from Pope John XXII, whose heretical teaching, while perhaps obscure to many Catholics, was nevertheless very serious and undoubtedly in need of correction. At least several of our Holy Father’s teachings (regarding the erroneous theory of universal salvation, for example) would seem to rise to that level. Understandably, though, the four cardinals are focusing on the teaching with the most obvious and immediately present danger to souls, which is communion for the divorced and remarried. There should be more questions asked later, I agree.

  17. And the recipe for the last four years is….

    4 tablespoons of Erroneous Teaching
    3 cups of Conformity to the World
    1 teaspoon of Faux Humility
    2 ladles full of Quack Psychology
    3 kilos of Confusion
    2 jugs of Heresy
    4 drops of Insult
    …and with just a dash of Orthodoxy added.

    Et voilà, we have a Pope-pourri, beautifully presented but thoroughly indigestible to any Catholic with eyes to see and ears to hear.

  18. And it is ALSO very Jesuit.
    There is a widespread understanding that Jesuit humility is akin to a soldier just DOING WHAT ONE IS TOLD and even to the point of conceding the superior’s reasoning better than one’s own. So once he became the top “General” of the Church, everybody below him must simply abnegate asserting his own reasoning.
    No surprise, really, since St Ignatius was a soldier and purposely established a military chain of command for his Order.
    But the ecclesiology of the hierarchy can not be reduced to a military model. We have no image that the 11 Apostles and St Paul saw St. Peter’s place among as superior to their own; rather he more like a team captain, ELECTED BY SQUAD for his leadership qualities, and the rest of the team voluntarily go along with him. IT IS NOT A SIMPLE PYRAMIDAL IMAGE. (that was the error of Malachy Martin’s understanding of Church as a whole in his book on the Jesuits; the synod or collegiality is hardly thinkable in this understanding).. It’s OK for the Jesuits, but for St. Philip Neri the model it the DIRECT OPPOSITE. Both kinds of priestly life are good for the Church. But PRIMACY and SYNODALITY FOR THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE IS DEFINITELY NOT the Jesuit model.

  19. I am deeply confused and demoralize. I was born in 1960, and more I rd about V2, new mass, innovations. More I rd about Assisi, exhortation. See Catholic institutions that are not Catholic. How is in Rosary

  20. I have always understood that there is not much love lost between Argentina and Chile. Could it be that the Chilean Bishops are trying to undermine Pope Francis’s clear teaching that anything goes?
    I liked your cartoon at the top – reminded me of the saying that “All roads lead to Rome”

  21. So when your pope is reported to say something heretical, it’s… “oh wow, we better get the translators and comment on this ad nauseum and take this very seriously and be scandalized!” But when the pope is reported to say something opposite (orthodox), it’s… “meh, whatever. He MAY or MAY NOT have said it. It doesn’t matter [insert gratuitous incredulity and a highly suspicious attitude toward second hand reports all of a sudden].”


    But it does matter. Very much so. This is proof that Pope Francis is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. It is also proof that he wants to promote his agenda not by officially changing Catholicism’s teachings but by causing confusion. And I say let him do it, because it actually works in your favor. Let people be confused as to what the hell he’s talking about. That way, although he creates confusion, by his contradictory remarks he in fact is saying nothing at all — which you guys should consider a blessing with this loud mouth. It will be the perfect set up for a disgruntled curia to push forward a very conservative candidate for the next conclave. It will also be a perfect excuse when a future pope clarifies this matter (“we don’t know what our previous predecessor thought because he said contradictory things, but this is what the Church really teaches…).

    So yeah, this is very important. You should emphasize this story. Unfortunately, you trads are still stuck with trying to stick it up to the neo-Catholics and papal positivists, hoping that with every scandalous story you’ll eventually make them see the light. It’s the wrong fight. I say give up on that, and concentrate on pushing the narrative that Pope Francis says contradictory things and so we don’t know what the hell to believe about the crazy guy.

  22. Well I personally do not believe Bergoglio made the above statements. He has never spoken out so forcefully against abortion and everything he’s been doing thus far, is undermining holy mother church. By the way, has anyone read about Bishop Felley with the SSPX and Bergoglio..?? I’ve read that Pope Francis is getting ready to accept the SSPX and it would be under the same umbrella as the FSSP…? I have a funny feeling about this and maybe it isn’t true


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