On August 15, 2016, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Francis created a new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life via an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio; thus replacing the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Two days later, Francis similarly ordered the merging of four Pontifical Councils – for Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and for Health Care Workers into a single Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
The statutes for each new Dicastery (available via the hyperlinks provided above) are, needless to say, entirely earthbound. Neither text mentions Jesus Christ even once, even though the latter text finds cause to give “circus people” a shout out of their own.
For those who are not deceived by Francis’ occasional use of words and phrases borrowed (stolen, perhaps better stated) from tradition, both sets of statutes read far more like U.N. program initiatives than anything even remotely “Apostolic.”
As the name of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development alone suggests, its focus is largely anthropocentric; that is, when it’s not emphasizing “the care of creation.” In fact, in order to ensure that Mother Earth gets the attention she deserves, Francis decreed the creation of a “Commission for Ecology” within the Dicastery itself.
Just as one might expect, the task of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has nothing whatsoever to do with the ultimate in “human development;” namely, the salvation of souls as promoted by means of teaching and baptizing, otherwise known as the mission that Christ gave to His Church.
That said, it appears to me that the more dangerous of the two new Dicasteries is the one aimed at the Laity, Family and Life inasmuch as it can be likened to a bomb planted within the very foundation of the Church itself; a key component of which concerns the implementation of Amoris Laetitia.
As its statutes indicate, this Dicastery will focus quite a bit on marriage:
This Section [on family] in light of the Papal Magisterium … discerns the signs of the times and considers the best way the family can face with confidence and Gospel wisdom the challenges that confront it, and to apply, at this moment in history and in today’s society, God’s plan for marriage and the family.
Let’s not be naïve…
There can be no doubt that “Papal Magisterium” in this case does not refer to such texts as Familiaris Consortio or Sacramentum Caritatis or any such thing, but rather refers most especially to Amoris Laetitia – the same that serves to overturn the bi-millennial doctrine and discipline of the Church with respect to the indissolubility of marriage, the nature of mortal sin, and the proper disposition for approaching Holy Communion.
It is for this reason that the choice of U.S. Archbishop (now Cardinal-designate) Kevin Farrell to head the new Dicastery is so significant.
In an interview Crux just two days after news of his appointment was made public, Farrell was asked about the “marching orders” he received directly from Francis in a two-hour long face-to-face meeting that took place between the two men in June.
First of all, on an overall basis, the Holy Father would like to see lay people much more involved in the administration of the Church in Rome. That’s one point he commented on to me several times …
[The Pontifical Council for the Laity] became clericalized. The pope wants to change that, in all the departments. He spoke to me about how in general, in the Roman Curia, he would like to see lay people in more prominent positions. He wanted to make sure I was going to do that, so it’s written into the statutes.
Written into the statutes it is indeed. For instance:
The Dicastery has its own members, among whom there are lay faithful, men and women, celibates and married couples, coming from different areas of expertise and from different parts of the world in such a way as to reflect the Church’s universal character. The Dicastery arranges for its own Consultors.
While it isn’t stated explicitly, one can reasonably expect that those in so-called “irregular unions” and even active homosexuals will be included among the Consultors who, according to the statutes, will exercise “an active and responsible presence in consultative bodies of governance present in the Church at both her universal and particular levels.”
In any case, it is of particular note that Farrell went on to say:
When it comes to the family, what he [Francis] wants, and I do too, is to see Amoris Laetitia be the guiding force of that Dicastery.
In a recent interview with National Catholic Reporter, Farrell expounded upon his understanding of Amoris Laetitia saying of the heretical and blasphemous text:
I honestly don’t see what and why some bishops seem to think that they have to interpret this document. I believe that the pope has spoken.
According to the interviewer, Farrell was “referring to news last month that Francis wrote a letter praising a group of Argentine bishops who had drafted concrete guidelines about circumstances in which divorced and civilly remarried couples might eventually be allowed to receive Communion.”
He is, of course, correct.
Francis has indeed expressed his intent loudly and clearly; both in Amoris Laetitia and in the aftermath of its publication.
Farrell didn’t stop there, however:
I think it’s very important that we all understand that this is the Holy Spirit speaking [in AL] … Basically this is the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
Yes, you read that correctly. Cardinal-designate Farrell sincerely believes that the Holy Ghost has revealed to us that God no longer considers adultery a mortal sin, and that He even wills that we should persist in it! (see AL 301, 303)
Truly, my friends, men such as Kevin Farrell, to say nothing of his humble boss, worships a false god.
Just to underscore the degree to which he intends to treat Amoris Laetitia as tantamount to Divine Revelation, Farrell went on to ask a series of rhetorical questions:
Do we believe that the Holy Spirit wasn’t there in the first synod? Do we believe he [sic] wasn’t in the second synod? Do we believe that he [sic] didn’t inspire our Holy Father Pope Francis in writing this document?
If the Holy Spirit was present in any of these instances, He most certainly wasn’t welcomed; rather, the will of devious and sinful men most certainly prevailed. Of this there can be no doubt whatsoever.
As for the stark contrast between Amoris Laetitia and that which preceded it, Farrell insisted that there is continuity, saying:
I think that the document Amoris Laetitia is faithful to the doctrine and to the teaching of the church … It is carrying on the doctrine of Familiaris Consortio of John Paul II. I believe that passionately.
If perhaps what has been said thus far isn’t cause for concern enough, consider that among those whom Farrell considers role models are men of such soaring fidelity as Theodore McCarrick and Donald Wuerl.
In conclusion, as I had suggested in a previous post, it is important to keep an eye on the way in which Francis is using decrees issued motu proprio to steer the direction of the Church – and this in spite of so much talk about collegiality, synodality, and empowering the laity.
At the end of the day, it is clear: Francis intends to get his way, and if dictatorial action is required to accomplish as much, he is more than willing to take it.
In the present case, with the creation of the two new Dicasteries, Francis is building an infrastructure of evil in the very heart of the Church that, barring a miraculous turn of events, promises to create havoc for generations to come.