Excerpt from an upcoming column:
In June, L’Osservatore Romano reported on a reflection given by Pope Francis.
They are today’s Pelagians who believe in the firmness of faith and are convinced that “salvation is the way I do things.” “I must do them seriously,” without any joy. The Pope commented, “they are very numerous. They are not Christians. They disguise themselves as Christians.”
It should be obvious enough that the Holy Father is once again pointing a finger directly at traditionalists, or “restorationists,” as he prefers to call them.
Compare this warning against the firmness of faith with the words of Pope Pius XI:
Now, certainly in these days when so many impediments and obstacles are raised against the true sense of Christ, and the supernatural spirit, wherein alone our holy religion consists; when Naturalism, which weakens the firmness of faith, and quenches the flames of Christian charity, holds dominion far and wide; it is of the greatest importance that a man should withdraw himself from that bewitching of vanity which obscureth good things and hide himself in that blessed secrecy, where, cultured by heavenly teaching, he may form a just estimate, and understand the value of human life devoted to the service of God alone… (Encyclical, Mens Nostra, 1929)
According to Pius XI, “firmness of faith” is precisely what we need to maintain in order to have a proper understanding man’s value relative to the God to whom our service is due. If this isn’t disturbing enough, consider the following:
With faith comes a new reliability, a new firmness, which God alone can give. If the man of faith finds support in the God of fidelity, the God who is Amen (cf. Is 65:16), and thus becomes firm himself, we can now also say that firmness of faith marks the city which God is preparing for mankind.
And from where does this contradictory treatment on the firmness of faith come? From the first Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Francis, Lumen Fidei! I think it’s safe to assume that these are the words of his predecessor.
In any event, one thing is absolutely certain, confusion and contradiction are never a sign of good things to come.