Two American bishops, Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and James Conley of Lincoln, are getting high praise for letters they sent to their clergy clarifying norms for the reception of Holy Communion in their respective dioceses.
Specifically, both men reaffirmed the immemorial practice of the Church as based upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition:
The Lord calls those who are divorced and civilly remarried, or who are cohabiting, to continence … like every person who is conscious of grave sin, divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who engage in ongoing sexual relationships may not approach Holy Communion. – Bishop Conley
Hip, hip, hooray!
Unfortunately, when the ordinary of a diocese says or does anything even remotely Catholic, it’s newsworthy. Such are the times in which we live. I get it.
That said, while Chaput’s and Conley’s letters are somewhat better than a stick in the eye, much of what they had to say, at best, falls squarely into the category close-but-not-quite, and that’s being overly charitable.
Consider: What exactly moved these bishops to write a letter to their priests addressing the proper disposition for approaching Holy Communion in the first place?
The answer; Amoris Laetitia.
OK, fine, but let’s be perfectly honest:
The divorced and civilly remarried, the cohabiting, and others conscious of grave sin were answering the cattle call to Communion in Philadelphia and Lincoln (like pretty much everywhere else) long before Jorge Bergoglio arrived on the scene.
The point is simply this: Amoris Laetitia represents a danger so grave and so immediate that it simply cannot be ignored; much less can it be praised.
And yet, Chaput and Conley – the latest paper heroes of American neo-Catholcism – found it expedient to do just that.
The very heading of Chaput’s letter set the tone:
Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia.
Really? What exactly does Amoris Laetitia provide that merits implementation in any Catholic parish anywhere?
The answer is obvious; absolutely nothing.
Chaput apparently sees it differently, writing:
Amoris Laetitia has sections of exceptional beauty and usefulness on the nature of family life and marital love.
Nonsense. Anything in Amoris Laetitia that manages to reflect the truth about marriage and family was stolen from Catholic tradition in order to give the appearance of legitimacy to the blasphemy and heresy that follows.
According to Chaput’s measure of “usefulness,” he would do just as well to issue guidelines for implementing the Qur’an and the Talmud in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia!
But wait, it gets worse.
Chaput goes on to lie (and frankly, I can think of no other word to describe it) about Amoris Laetitia:
The Holy Father’s statements build on the classic Catholic understanding, key to moral theology,of the relationship between objective truth about right and wrong – for example, the truth about marriage revealed by Jesus himself – and how the individual person grasps and applies that truth to particular situations in his or her judgment of conscience.
He can’t be serious.
In Amoris Laetitia, Francis does extreme violence to the classic Catholic understanding of the relationship between objective truth and mortal sin, and ultimately, the truth about marriage as revealed by Jesus Christ Himself!
If not for the fact that Amoris Laetitia serves as Exhibit A in the matter of Holy Catholic Church v. Jorge Mario Begoglio, the entire text belongs in an incinerator. It serves absolutely no good purpose whatsoever to speak of it any differently lest some poor fool give it a moment’s worth of serious consideration.
Bishop Conley, who once served as an auxiliary under Chaput in Denver, was not to be outdone by his former mentor, writing of Amoris Laetitia in the letter to his own priests:
[The text contains] insightful reflections on family life in the modern world, and on the meaning of mercy and charity in pastoral ministry … the Holy Father calls us to discern the hearts of those entrusted to our care, and to facilitate meaningful encounters with Jesus Christ, who loves us, and who calls us to love, uniquely, exclusively, and irrevocably.
I suppose Bishop Conley failed to notice that Amoris Laetitia urges the faithful to imagine such “meaningful encounters with Jesus Christ” as those wherein one “comes to see with a certain moral security” that adultery and fornication “is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits.” (cf AL 303)
That, my friends, is unadulterated, in your face, rend-your-garments blasphemy.
Bishop Conley apparently thinks otherwise:
In recent weeks, some of you have asked me about media reports of controversy and disagreement about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.
Disagreement and conflict in the Church can be unsettling. Yet moments of sincere disagreement provide the occasion for the Holy Spirit to bring deeper clarity to our understanding and proclamation of the faith. The questions being posed to the Holy Father are intended to help achieve clarity.
The Church teaches that the All Holy God calls us to reflect His holiness that we may have life everlasting, and what’s more, He gives us the grace to achieve it. Francis, by contrast, insists that He asks us to persist in mortal sin as we skip up to Holy Communion…
It’s all just a “sincere disagreement.”
I would venture to say that neither Chaput nor Conley actually believe half of the flowery praise they heaped upon Amoris Laetitia; they’re just not shepherd (nor man) enough to speak the truth plainly. In this sense, they are worse than the truly ignorant among us who simply don’t know any better.
In any case, it’s time to cease with all of the pretense.
“The questions being posed to the Holy Father,” (the dubia) are not “intended to help achieve clarity;” not with respect to Amoris Laetitia anyway. That ship has long since sailed.
In reality, the dubia poses but one question to Francis, and one question alone:
Are you Catholic?
The answer to this question has been perfectly plain to readers of this space for quite some time. May the grace of God enlighten those still refuse to see it.
Somehow the Church Militant has morphed into the Church Snowflake.
I detect some “Red Mocchetto Fishing” here by these two “NEOCONS.”
I think Burke et al, plus the entire concilior church need to answer that question too. Are they Catholic? Are there any concilior clergy left who adhere to the pre V2 faith. Perhaps I am too harsh but I cannot see how a priest who says the Novus Ordo can be considered Catholic in the traditional sense.
This is nothing more than a theological condom being distributed by bishops of the Catholic Church in order to offer some pathetic protection to the Faithful so as to lessen the chance of contracting venereal disease from an “exceptionally beautiful” whore.
Not even the SSPX bishops adhere fully to the the teachings of the Catholic Church prior to v2. If you discount the “evil” sede bishops and priests, then the answer to your question is a resounding NO, as in NO current bishop or priest, who is communion with francis’ church, has stood fast entirely to the tenets of the Church as we knew it prior to the council. Every last one of them is a traitor in some sense.
Churches empty, then they close, the faithful apostasize and the Bishops keep putting on their happy faces as if all was fine.
Folks like rich would find reasons to criticize the Twelve Apostles, had they lived back then.
My experience when obligations force me to attend the N.O. “mass” is that 100% (or nearly 100%) of the congregation receive Holy Communion. Considering the fact that Confession lines have disappeared, it is possible that all of these Catholics are in the state of Sanctifying Grace. This is not a judgement. It is an observation. AL merely puts the stamp of approval on this behavior which has been the norm after V2. Now we are ecstatic when a Catholic bishops says something which actually appears to “be Catholic”. It is not cause for celebration…… It’s pathetic!!!
“it is possible” should read “is it possible”—-sorry!
In an interview posted November 24, 2016, Charles Chaput had the following exchange with Jim Graves of The Catholic World Report (CWR).
CWR: It seems that there is a growing concern among some Catholics about certain actions and statements by the Holy Father, not only about aspects of Amoris Laetitia but also regarding liturgy, doctrine and more traditional expression of the Faith. Are such concerns justified? Or are critics misunderstanding what Francis is trying to communicate and accomplish?
Archbishop Chaput: The Holy Father is the first Pope from the global south. He was formed by realities in some ways very distinct from the issues prominent in Europe and North America. There are going to be differences in the way he leads and the priorities he focuses on. This is normal and healthy. Some elements in the life of the Church aren’t set in concrete, and criticizing the Pope is never a good idea.
In my view, this response is a cop-out on Chaput’s part. There is nothing normal or healthy about Bergoglio’s relentless attack of the Church and its members. And it goes beyond heresy as a chronology of quotes and headlines during his papacy can attest. He is exhorting people to make “a mess,” create chaos and accept sexual liberty indifferent to whether the related acts are morally defensible or not. ‘Do what thou wilt.’ And he continues to drive a wedge between us, God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. How else can one make sense of his constant criticism that (moral) rigidity is sin and doubt is the key to a life of faith? It’s clearly nonsense intended to loosen the faithful from their moorings.
Unlike Chaput, I think now is absolutely the time to criticize and push back on this pope. Their are dozens if not hundreds of events, other than Amoris Laetitia, one can utilize to point out his agenda.
“…criticizing the Pope is never a good idea.” —for your career!
Your obligation never forces you to attend a heritical rite. You have no obligation to attned a NO worship service. One day you will recognize this fact.
Unless hes not the pope…
“The divorced and civilly remarried, the cohabiting, and others conscious of grave sin were answering the cattle call to Communion in Philadelphia and Lincoln (like pretty much everywhere else) long before Jorge Bergoglio arrived on the scene.”
Right. The only people I know who go to Mass and DON’T receive communion are people who are a) Faithful Catholics. And b) Not in the state of grace.
Of course, that’s a big problem. A contradiction. But at least they’re not sinning against the Eucharist (1 Cor. 11:27). Which is something. And way more than we’re getting from Pope Francis and his followers.
Tom A- I understand and recognize what you are saying. However, when I do attend I am there very passively as an observer without taking active part in the so-called “liturgy”. I always walk away with a renewed and profound appreciation of the TRUE Mass (TLM). I sometimes wonder if Traditional Catholics who attend the TLM exclusively should attend “mass” at a N.O. diocesan church on occasion (not to fulfill a Sunday obligation) so that they can fully appreciate and not take for granted how blessed we are. One of our Traditional priests gave this suggestion from the pulpit.
I have attended several NO funerals this last year and yes, it leaves me with an even greater sense of appreciation for the TLM. Like you I now find it very hard to “participate” in the “celebration” and no way do I approach any minister for communion. But this is a recent development. Just two years ago I still went to a reverent NO and did not see it as a problem. The move from Modernism to Traditionalism is often slow and painful because it affects families and friendships. But at the end of the day I could no longer say to myself that the NO was Catholic.
I am in full agreement, Tom A.
Vox Cantoris is reporting another Bergoglian blasphemy:
That decision is way above your pay grade.
Its above everybody’s paygrade.
Dang. That comment deserves a “well done!” Very apt metaphor. God bless~
That’s a bold declaration. You personally obviously don’t have the power to abrogate the Sunday obligation so, unless you can reference an ecclesial source that does have the power, I’d say you were encouraging others in mortal sin. Not good.
I’m as disgusted by that concoction of a mass as the next guy. But when there’s a Holy Day of Obligation, and that mass is all there is, you must go out of obedience, love for God, and for Holy Mother Church, despite Her current infestation.
Your defense of these sons of the vatican 2 religion is getting really tiresome.
Yes (smh)….we have to wait for the rest of the vatican 2 heretics to tell us that the vatican 2 council was heretical. I wont hold my breath for that to happen, and why people like you do makes me sick. This is why we have the supposed “crisis” in the Church.
We actually have NO crisis….we just have a bunch of very stupid/willfully ignorant people who call themselves Catholic who try, impossibly, to justify the vatican 2 religion.
There is no defense. Everyone admits, especially the progressives, that Vatican 2 was a dramatic departure. Its only the neo-Cath conservatives who are trying to hold two different faiths together. In order to do so, logic and reason must be abandoned, past Popes need to be tarnished, and the faithful need to start believing in a defectable church. It is my opinion that conservatives and even some trads have done more damage to the Church than all the revolutionaries of V2 combined. The Modern Schism occurred at Vatican 2 and ahould have been made formal by all those who held to tradition.
Agreed completely. Those trads who lend credence to the protestant faith of the vatican 2 religion (in any way), and do their utmost to justify the legitimacy of their (vat 2) phony popes, are most assuredly the largest threat to the salvation of souls. Basically, if you support ANYTHING that the protestant vatican 2 religion has to say, then you ultimately support the devil as he is the KING of lies.
People who refer to themselves as “Catholic” have to make a choice. In 2016, with the internet at our disposal, ignorance of the Catholic truth can not possibly be a defense at our judgement when that time comes.
JTLuizza-I respect your opinion. However, I find it difficult to believe that attending a protestantized man-centered liturgy could satisfy our obligation to adore and worship Our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Personally, it is very upsetting to witness the desecration of the Holy Eucharist. I am not convinced any graces flow from this man-made invention. Those who have access to the TLM are truly blessed. Let us pray for those who are not so blessed.