Last week I published a post, the title to which posed the question, “Is Francis a heretic?”
That question, one apparently being asked in ever widening circles, is making the neo-Catholics very uncomfortable, and for good reason.
You see, the man in papal whites is a demigod in the conciliar Church, and for its followers, that man can’t possibly be a heretic.
Well, because the framework for the entire house of cards is constructed of that particular man’s interpretation of modern day Rome’s magna carta – the voluminous text of Vatican Council II.
If he’s capable of peddling heresy, then what assurance do the members of the conciliar Church have that they’re dwelling in the bulwark of truth?
None, and it would seem, at least on a gut level, they know it.
In the present case, if the pope is in grave error on something as fundamentally important as Holy Communion, then everything else just might come tumbling down – ecumenism, religious liberty, the Novus Ordo Missae – and then what?
One might be forced to look to tradition to determine what is Catholic and what is not.
Oh, horror of horrors!
In any case, highlighted in the aforementioned post was an eminently lame attempt on the part of conciliar apologist Jeffrey Mirus to defend Francis’ Hell bent determination to invite to Holy Communion those who persist in a state of manifest grave sin.
Recently, Tim Staples at Catholic Answers took a similar stab at it.
You can watch Staples’ tortured attempt to defend Francis in the video below. It runs about 9 minutes, but be forewarned – it’s painful to witness a man struggle so mightily. It is embarrassing, really, and I say this with sincere compassion.
To illustrate the supposed soundness of Francis’ position, Staples proposes a scenario:
A poor, innocent woman with a couple of kids, whose husband up and walks out on the family leaving them destitute.
She has no job. She can’t raise her children. She goes into another marriage kind of in a desperate situation. She marries outside the Church. Now you got three more children come along; now you got five kids, and she has kind of a reversion back to her faith and here she is.
She wants to get right with God and the Church, but wait for it… wait for it…
The new live-in lover threatens to “drop her like a sack of potatoes” if she doesn’t continue accommodating his sexual urges, and so what’s a lady to do?
I mean, the shorties gotta eat, right?
Yes, on the objective level, what she needs to do, the right thing, you can’t continue conjugal relations if you’re going to receive sacraments, but there’s so much pressure on her…
While Staples acknowledges that John Paul II (in Familiaris Consortio – 84) plainly insists that being in the objective state of mortal sin alone “means you cannot receive sacraments, period,” he then goes on to contend that “the key” to making sense of Francis’ contrary position is this:
“But that is not a doctrinal statement; that is a matter of prudence.”
Once again, we see the papalotry of the conciliarists on display, and the “reasoning” goes something like this:
Yes, the man who was pope said X, but the man in white that we currently idolize says Y. Therefore, Y is the current answer, and since neither man can fail, much less can they contradict one another, it must be a matter of papal prudence!
Here’s the real deal:
While John Paul II (or “the Great” as Staples calls him) had many faults, on this point he was exceedingly clear:
“The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.” (FC 84)
This teaching has nothing whatsoever to do with prudence, much less particular circumstances; it’s a practice based upon Sacred Scripture – the inspired word of God – and the consistent tradition of the Catholic Church.
As such, no man has the authority to change it – not even a pope.
Staples then comes to the very heart of his error when he says:
What Pope Francis is saying, and theologically he is correct, on the objective level it is possible, a pastor can discern that this woman, in that case, is not in mortal sin.
Wrong. Theologically this is incorrect, and on a most basic point: Only God can discern such things.
Are you seeing a trend?
“A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.” – The future Pope Pius XII commenting on the messages of Our Lady of Fatima
That’s the punchline to this entire heretical debacle.
Francis and company have plainly succumbed to the temptation to believe that man has become God. Oh, they didn’t introduce this idea into the very heart of the Church – the Council did that. As I said previously, such is a central feature of modern day Rome.
Francis is simply taking the conciliar revolution to its logical end, and with staggering swiftness at that.
In the present case, he is applying the fundamental conciliar principle – that man has become God – in a grave and unprecedented way; one that demands a response.
Thus are the neo-Catholics so very uneasy…
Elsewhere in his defense of Francis, Staples says:
You can have a situation where people are objectively in a state of grave sin but because of extenuating circumstances, fear for example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that fear is a mitigating factor that can reduce culpability.
Note to Mr. Staples: The Church isn’t in the culpability business; she’s in the objective truth business.
Staples, however, believes that a pastor “in the internal forum can discern that this person [who is persisting in adultery] is not actually committing mortal sin.”
No, a pastor most certainly cannot do such a thing, and Staples need look no further than the Catechism that he cited to discover as much.
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God. (CCC 1861, emphasis added)
One of the more likely reasons why Staples finds himself so thoroughly confused is that the post-conciliar merchants of make-believe mercy, like Francis, frequently cite the necessity of entrusting sinners to the judgment of God, but only insofar as doing so might suggest clemency.
The problem is; Our Lord’s right to judge the hearts of men cuts both ways, and its exclusive.
Ours – meaning, the Church and her sacred pastors – is to judge objective offenses alone and to address them accordingly. Indeed, this is all that mere human beings, including the pope, are capable of judging.
Yes, but the priest is given the authority to absolve us of our sins, in the name and in the Person of Christ, in the sacrament of Confession!
Ah, but then there’s that pesky little requirement called a “purpose of amendment” – the same that Francis bemoans as the fruit of “a certain scrupulosity concealed beneath a zeal for fidelity to the truth” on the part of “some priests.” (cf Amoris Laetitia footnote 364, which goes hand-in-hand with the infamous footnote 351)
In the present case, we are not speaking of penitents, but rather of those who intend to persist in their sin. As for culpability, this is God’s domain alone, and this is a crucial point.
Even the dreadful Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes gets this right:
God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts, for that reason He forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone. GS 28
This is a genuine no-win proposition for intransigent neo-Catholics; for others (and may it please God to move Tim Staples to be among them), it just might serve as the impetus for conversion:
Does God forbid us to make judgments concerning the internal guilt of another or not?
The answer is clear. It always has been.
Pope St. Pius X, in his Encyclical, On the Doctrines of the Modernists, also cites this most basic of theological truths:
We number such men [the modernists] among the enemies of the Church, if, leaving out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge… (Pascendi 3)
Or consider the following from St. Augustine:
For in reference to such matters as can be done with a good and single and noble intention, although they may also be done with an intention the reverse of good, those parties wished, howbeit they were [mere] men, to pronounce judgment upon the secrets of the heart, of which God alone is Judge. (Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, Book II, Chapter 18)
In spite of the utter simplicity of the matter, in charity, it must be said that Staples seems genuinely flummoxed.
In other words, while it is obvious enough that he is dead wrong, let’s not make the same error he is making by thinking we can judge the secrets of his heart. Rather, let us presume his sincerity and pray for him.
Staples tells us that Francis is simply “building upon” Familiaris Consortio 84.
According to him, John Paul II said that “while being in that state, divorced and remarried outside the Church, would preclude you from receiving Communion, he said we have to make a distinction between cases…”
Yes, John Paul II did so speak; specifically saying:
Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. (cf FC 84)
This is just common sense, folks. It’s not a crack in the door to Holy Communion for those who intend to persist in grave sin.
John Paul II is merely suggesting that the pastor must guide the victim differently than the perpetrator – the one unto forgiveness, the other unto repentance, all while leading both along the way of sanctity.
That’s it. Nothing more.
In no way whatsoever is he suggesting that a mere man – in this case, a pastor – is able to declare the mortal sin of adultery simply venial. Staples insists otherwise.
In his confusion, he overlooks the fact that just two paragraphs later we find in FC 84:
“However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture…”
How is it that a convert from sola scriptura Protestantism is able to discount the authority of Sacred Scripture with such ease?
The answer: It is evidence of the diabolical power that lies behind the papal idolatry that we’ve been discussing; a hallmark of the conciliar Church wherein even God must defer to the “prudence” of His creatures.
And this, my friends, is precisely the reason we find ourselves in this fearful situation at this very moment:
The day is at hand when the civilized world is openly denying the Divine prerogatives, and even the Church is behaving as if man has become God.
Just as Our Lady warned us.