In follow-up to yesterday’s post, I have written an extensive, chronological review of Amoris Laetitia (AL), but rather than publishing the entire 5,000 word treatment at once, I will break it into two parts.
Even though I know very well that I risk making “part one” appear all but academic, I will begin by picking up the discussion in the final chapter; by far, the most devastating portion of the document.
So, why begin at the end? Because souls are at stake, and I dare not waste another moment before sounding the alarm.
Chapter 8 – Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness
Some forms of union radically contradict this ideal [of Christian marriage], while others realize it in at least a partial and analogous way. The Synod Fathers stated that the Church does not disregard the constructive elements in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage …
The Fathers also considered the specific situation of a merely civil marriage or, with due distinction, even simple cohabitation, noting that … they can provide occasions for pastoral care with a view to the eventual celebration of the sacrament of marriage”. (AL 292,293)
Not content to speak of “new unions” as if they are anything less than adultery, here we find a casual reference to “simple cohabitation” wherein there is no sense given whatsoever that it is a mortal sin. There is a reason for this, but we will address it momentarily.
Rather, pastors are encouraged in such cases:
…to identify elements that can foster evangelization and human and spiritual growth. (ibid.)
This is like telling the parents of a kid who is dealing crack to focus on the entrepreneurial skills the little degenerate is developing.
In the next paragraph, which I quote here in full, things go from bad to worse.
The choice of a civil marriage or, in many cases, of simple cohabitation, is often not motivated by prejudice or resistance to a sacramental union, but by cultural or contingent situations. In such cases, respect also can be shown for those signs of love which in some way reflect God’s own love. We know that there is a continual increase in the number of those who, after having lived together for a long period, request the celebration of marriage in Church. Simply to live together is often a choice based on a general attitude opposed to anything institutional or definitive; it can also be done while awaiting more security in life (a steady job and steady income). In some countries, de facto unions are very numerous, not only because of a rejection of values concerning the family and matrimony, but primarily because celebrating a marriage is considered too expensive in the social circumstances. As a result, material poverty drives people into de facto unions. Whatever the case, all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel. These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently and discreetly. That is how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:1-26): he addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel. (AL 294)
It is shameful enough that Francis makes excuses for mortal sin, but to suggest that pastors do well to find evidence of “God’s love” reflected in these situations is simply beyond the pale. What’s more, to even suggest that Jesus in any way did this with the Samaritan woman is nothing short of blasphemy!
And yet, there is more to come…
Along these lines, Saint John Paul II proposed the so-called “law of gradualness” in the knowledge that the human being “knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by different stages of growth”. This is not a “gradualness of law” but rather a gradualness in the prudential exercise of free acts on the part of subjects who are not in a position to understand, appreciate, or fully carry out the objective demands of the law. (AL 295)
Here, Francis presumes to declare that God’s law, for some, represents an unattainable “ideal” and an impossible demand – more blasphemy still!
He is quite literally taking Our Lord’s admonition against the Pharisees and turning it against Him:
“For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them … you shut the kingdom of heaven against men” (cf Mt 23:4,13).
Let’s not beat around the bush, Amoris Laetitia does not represent the life-giving words of Christ speaking through His Vicar; rather, it contains the seductive lies of the Adversary that lead to eternal death.
From here, Francis launches into full blown moral relativism with respect to “the discernment of irregular situations.”
There is a need “to avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations” and “to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition”. (AL 296)
Nonsense! Judgments as to the objective morality of a given activity is not contingent upon “the complexity of various situations.”
It is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community and thus to experience being touched by an “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” mercy. No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves. (AL 297)
No one can be condemned for ever? Has Francis never heard of Hell?
As for the way of dealing with different “irregular” situations, the Synod Fathers reached a general consensus, which I support: “In considering a pastoral approach towards people who have contracted a civil marriage, who are divorced and remarried, or simply living together, the Church has the responsibility of helping them understand the divine pedagogy of grace in their lives and offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them”, something which is always possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. (AL 297)
Apparently, as will be made clear, reminding such persons of the consequences of mortal sin isn’t among the ways that Francis believes the Church should “help them understand” the urgency of reaching the “fullness of God’s plan.”
He goes on:
The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. (AL 298)
Notice the casual reference to a “new union.” This, along with words like “remarried” and “broken marriages” is just one of more than a dozen such expressions that undermine Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the gravity of adultery and fornication.
In most of the cases presumably addressed in this document, the Church has a more accurate name for such relationships – adultery.
According to Francis, however, “mortal sin” is simply a “pigeonhole” and a “rigid classification.”
One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self-giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. (ibid.)
No, your eyes don’t deceive you: Francis actually uses the words “proven fidelity” and “Christian commitment” to describe adultery.
Worse still, he justifies persisting in this mortal sin by claiming that it may actually help the participants avoid other sins. In other words, they’re going have at it one way or another, it may as well be at home.
The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate”. There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of “those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid”. (ibid.)
De facto annulment based upon one’s own opinion. Nice, eh? Either way, it’s for the children!
Throughout the document, there are numerous calls for careful, pastoral discernment of “new unions” and “irregular situations.”
It is exceedingly clear that what Francis really intends is for pastors to enter into dialogue with fornicators, adulterers and, let’s not be naïve, homo-deviants as well – not in order to aid them in seeking a remedy to the situation, renouncing their sin, and avoiding Hell – but rather so that all concerned can craft a list of excuses as to why it simply isn’t possible to return to a state of grace.
And guess what? Whatever excuses they can come up with are entirely valid!
How so? Because, as we noted earlier, the demands of the Divine Law are just too great. They represent an “ideal” that, for many, is simply unattainable.
Clearly, as Francis sees things, God is not just! And after all, isn’t that what the Year of Mercy is all about?
All of this said, the reality is that very little if any “dialogue” and “pastoral discernment” will ever take place among pastors and those in “irregular situations;” it will simply be assumed that the excuses exist, and what’s more, they suffice.
In his benevolence, Francis even kick starts the process by supplying his own list of ready-made excuses!
Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce…
In other words, bed hopping.
We know that no “easy recipes” exist. In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Gaudium et Spes, 51). (ibid.)
Incidentally, even this reference to the Council, pathetic in its own right, is misappropriated as it was addressing those who are validly married.
At last we are drawing near to the heart of Amoris Laetitia…
I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities… (AL 299)
Keep in mind who we’re discussing here – those with unconfessed mortal sins, of whom Francis states:
Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members… (ibid.)
In this, he is half-correct. Such persons are not excommunicated, but neither are they “living members” of the Church. That’s the very definition of mortal sin.
The excuse-making continues with the claim that all cases are different:
This Exhortation could [not] be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases. What is possible is simply a renewed encouragement to undertake a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases, one which would recognize that, since “the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases”, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same. (AL 300)
The intent? All cases are excusable if only they are “discerned” carefully enough!
Useful in this process is an examination of conscience through moments of reflection and repentance … A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God which is not denied anyone. (ibid.)
Don’t let the word “repentance” fool you. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post, this does not refer to Confession with the firm purpose of amendment necessary for absolution; rather, it’s about pseudo-contrition and comforting oneself with a false sense of God’s “mercy.”
And now, my friends, we come to the very centerpiece of Amoris Laetitia – a cancer capable of spreading through every member of the Body of Christ and not simply those presently in “irregular situations,” thereby ushering souls to eternal death if the disease is not properly and quickly excised along with the heretic-in-white who authored the poisonous text.
The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin. (AL 301)
This is nothing less gravely serious than an attempt to abrogate mortal sin! And it is a bold attempt, at that.
Notice that Francis even goes so far as to eliminate the excuse of ignorance in order to assert that even those who engage in mortal sin with full knowledge do not lose sanctifying grace!
This is heresy! The question we might ask, however, is whether it is material, or truly formal?
While I am not willing to take it upon myself to make such a judgment, I find the words that have been chosen by Francis noteworthy in the extreme:
…it can no longer simply be said…
In other words, Francis seems to be saying:
I know very well what the Church has consistently, clearly and for millennia professed in this matter, I, however, reject that teaching…
This is the very definition of formal heresy.
Francis goes about trying to justify his heresy by citing factors that may limit one’s culpability in sin.
Be not fooled! While the Church speaks in the name of Christ as she judges objective sin, she does not render subjective judgement on the matter of culpability. That is for Him to do.
Once again, it is helpful to recall the words of Pope St. Pius X:
We leave out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge. (cf Pascendi 3)
Pay close attention to the following from the Council of Trent, and tell me if it does not address Francis and Amoris Laetitia directly:
In opposition also to the subtle wits of certain men, who, by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent, it is to be maintained, that the received grace of Justification is lost, not only by infidelity whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin whatever, though faith be not lost; thus defending the doctrine of the divine law, which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelieving, but the faithful also (who are) fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liers with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins; from which, with the help of divine grace, they can refrain, and on account of which they are separated from the grace of Christ. (Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter XV)
It is as though the Fathers of Trent have Francis and his poisonous screed on trial as they write! Undaunted, however, he adds to his sin by twisting the very Word of God:
In every situation, when dealing with those who have difficulties in living God’s law to the full, the invitation to pursue the via caritatis must be clearly heard. Fraternal charity is the first law of Christians (cf. Jn 15:12; Gal 5:14). Let us not forget the reassuring words of Scripture: “Maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet 4:8); “Atone for your sins with righteousness, and your iniquities with mercy to the oppressed, so that your prosperity may be prolonged” (Dan 4:24); “As water extinguishes a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sins” (Sir 3:30). (AL 306)
Apparently, Francis is not the first heretic to ever make such a claim. Once again, Trent speaks directly to his offense:
If any one saith, that, in every good work, the just sins venially at least, or – which is more intolerable still – mortally, and consequently deserves eternal punishments; and that for this cause only he is not damned, that God does not impute those works unto damnation; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon XXV)
If this isn’t instructive enough, consider:
If any one saith, that there is no mortal sin but that of infidelity; or, that grace once received is not lost by any other sin, however grievous and enormous, save by that of infidelity; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon XXVII)
If by some chance your breath has yet to be taken away by the condemnable audacity of this man, Francis actually even goes so far as to assert that God Himself asks the children for whom He gave His only begotten Son that we may live to persist in mortal sin:
It [conscience] can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. (AL 303)
My friends, we are living through an historical moment, the likes of which the Church has never endured. Sure, we have had “bad popes” in the past, but I defy anyone to point to a claimant to the Chair of Peter that was a blasphemous heretic such as he who authored Amoris Laetitia.
Let him be anathema!