The Bergoglian twist on capital punishment appears to have rattled the neo-conservative cage like nothing else has over these last sixty-four months of modernist mayhem. Some, it seems, are coming to terms with the cold hard reality that Francis (as he wishes to be known) is most certainly a heretic; so much so that some are even willing to say so aloud.
It is a rude awakening indeed for these folks; the same that have been ever so careful to avoid the “H” word when speaking of Amoris Laetitia; a text that didn’t seem to disturb their peace nearly as much as this dust-up over the death penalty has.
One wonders: what is it about the present case that has the neo-cons so hyper-agitated?
The answer, it seems, is that Bergoglio has managed to attack no less than three neo-conservative sacred cows in one fell swoop, and guess what – the death penalty itself isn’t one of them.
The first of these sacred cows is the 1994 Catechism of Catholic Church (CCC) wherein Francis’ latest departure from Catholic tradition will be “officially” published. This is a compendium that many conservatives consider to be an unassailable presentation of authentic Catholic doctrine; one of quasi-biblical stature.
Writing in the book, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which he co-authored with Cardinal Schoenborn, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
The individual doctrine which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than that which they already possess. The weight of the Catechism itself lies in the whole.
So far so good, I suppose, but Ratzinger immediately went on to state:
Since it transmits what the Church teaches, whoever rejects it as a whole separates himself beyond question from the faith and teaching of the Church.
Beyond question! This is a sinister (nay, diabolical) inversion of the Biblical warning concerning a little leaven.
In Ratzinger’s view, if one rejects the CCC as a whole (as one must in light of those parts that are poisonous), then it is to be assumed that one likewise rejects the entire faith of the Church and is, therefore, no longer Catholic!
So, in the neo-con mind: Compromise the purity of the CCC, you sully the “faith.”
Adding insult to injury, however, is the fact that the CCC was promulgated by yet another of their sacred cows – their Santo dei tutti Santi – John Paul the Great Ecumenist, who introduced the work thus:
I acknowledge it [the CCC] as a valid and legitimate tool in the service of ecclesiastical communion, as a sure norm for instruction in the faith. (Apostolic Constitution, Fidei depositum, 1994)
You see, their unbridled esteem for Wojtyla is what initially led (and continues to lead) them to believe that the CCC is an authoritative guide that cannot possibly contain error. Now that he has been “canonized” (better understood as having received the Conciliar Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Revolution), the CCC has taken on a sacred character; a sort of Wojtylan relic.
So, in the neo-con mind: Compromise the purity of the CCC, you sully not only the “faith,” but also the legacy of the Great One.
If that’s not bad enough, the Bergoglian treatment of the death penalty has the neo-cons thrice disturbed because the CCC, in the words of John Paul II, “is the most mature and complete fruit of the Council’s teaching and presents it in the rich framework of the whole of ecclesial Tradition.”
So, in the neo-con mind: Compromise the purity of the CCC, you sully not only the “faith” and the legacy of the Great One, but also the Almighty Council!
And this, my friends, is why some of the neo-cons are so up in arms over the Bergoglian twist on capital punishment.