Though the letter was written just over one year prior to the publication of Amoris Laetitia, the exhortation of Francis makes it perfectly plain that Fr. Gruner had it right.
A video of my presentation is below, but for those who prefer to read, a transcript follows.
Fr. Gruner’s final newsletter in light of Cardinal Pacelli’s commentary on Our Lady’s warnings
It should be rather clear to anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Nicholas Gruner, or attending one of his conferences, or reading any one of his books or articles, that in no way could it be said that he was like a babe in the woods; a Pollyanna who lived a sheltered and naïve life.
Far from it.
Fr. Gruner knew very well the malice that sometimes fills the hearts of men; even churchmen. In fact, for Fr. Gruner, that malice most often manifested itself in the way he was treated by priests and bishops.
Persecution was his daily fare for decades on end.
In other words, this was a man who came face to face with the diabolical. He understood evil better than most. He wasn’t easily shaken.
And yet, in spite of this, in what would be his final Newsletter of March 2015, Fr. Gruner told of a conversation he recently had with Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the well-known longtime chief exorcist of Rome, writing:
“His words shook me as few things ever have!”
I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to get my attention! Fr. Gruner went on to reveal, and again I quote:
“Father Amorth told me that we have but a Short-Time left before the chastisements predicted by Our Lady of Fatima begin to rip our world apart in ways we can hardly imagine! How Long? Less Than 8 Months!”
Fr. Gruner continued:
“Father Gabriel Amorth told me that unless the consecration of Russia is performed as our Lady had asked that by the end of October 2015, the dark prophecies of Fatima may well come to pass any day after that!”
For an article that appeared in the latest issue of the Fatima Crusader, Fr. Amorth was asked about the timeline he mentioned to Fr. Gruner about a coming chastisement. He said :
“I think it is early. I think we are close. More and more so. The Lord will make Himself heard…”
So, according to Fr. Amorth, we find ourselves in the early stages of the “dark prophecies of Fatima.”
It is early…
It bears mention that when many of us think of a coming chastisement, we imagine an all-at-once event that will make the nightly news. Now, that may well come to pass, but there is a gradualness to the “dark prophecies” of which Our Lady warned.
Among those who had firsthand knowledge of those warnings as written in the Third Secret was Fr. Malachi Martin, who often said of the early days of the chastisement:
“God will withdraw His grace.”
How can this be? Well, it certainly does not mean that the Church will cease to exist. Nor does it not mean that grace will no longer be received in the sacraments.
Rather, it means that those who are charged with feeding the Lord’s sheep will be left to their own devices. God will allow them, by their own disobedience, to close themselves off from the graces necessary to persevere in the Faith, to defend the Faith, and to teach the Faith with clarity and conviction.
Elaborating on what that withdrawal of grace might entail is no less a figure than the future Pope Pius XII, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who wrote of the Fatima message:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her ornaments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past.”
That scene sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? Cardinal Pacelli continued:
“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. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?’”
This is no ordinary warning about weak priests, and worldly bishops. Indeed the Church has been saddled with such men at various times throughout her history. No, the future Pope Pius XII goes a step further than this. He’s telling us that Our Lady’s warning of such faithless men as given at Fatima extends even as far as the Bishop of Rome, and the Office of Peter!
How do we know this? Cardinal Pacelli is warning us about what he calls “the suicide of altering the faith.” It has to include the pope. It must.
What is suicide? It is death self-imposed at the hands of the very one who rules over the body. If the head is not willing, the hand cannot act.
In the case of the Church, “suicide” refers to a threat that comes from within; a threat that involves the very head itself , and that is, of course, the occupant of the Office of Peter.
At this, let’s examine Cardinal Pacelli’s warning a bit more closely with the question in mind:
Does it concern future events alone, or are we living through those events right now; just as Fr. Gruner warned in his letter of last year following his conversation with Fr. Amorth?
Now, if we were to attempt to go through Cardinal Pacelli’s commentary on Our Lady’s messages given at Fatima line by line, we would be here until midnight.
Volumes have been written on the matter of altering the liturgy alone. So, in the interest of time, I want to focus on two lines in particular:
“A day will come when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.”
Before we move on, we need to be very clear that when Cardinal Pacelli warns us about the Church doubting as Peter doubted, and the Church being tempted to put man in the place of God, properly speaking, he is pointing to those men who speak and teach in the name of the Church, up to and including the pope.
He isn’t speaking of Holy Mother Church herself. She could never so doubt or be so tempted. We know that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. She is, in other words, indefectible.
Many sincere Catholics struggle to reconcile the indefectibility of the Church with the obvious loss of faith witnessed in our day among those who speak in her name; most especially the pope.
On the one hand, this is understandable. We are predisposed to trusting in our shepherds – most especially Peter’s Successor. That’s a good thing. But it can also be the sign of a faith that lacks a firm foundation in Sacred Scripture which tells us very clearly that these two truths are not mutually exclusive. The Church is indeed indefectible and there will come a time when her leaders will lose the faith and have but the appearance of religion or godliness. (2 Tim 3:5)
So, with all of that having been said, let’s consider what it might mean for the Church to doubt as Peter doubted?
How did Peter – he who made that magnificent proclamation of faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” – doubt?
Well, we might immediately think of what happened just after that profession of faith. St. Matthew tells us:
“From that time Jesus began to show to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things … be put to death, and the third day rise again.”
And Peter replied:
“Far be it for you, Lord!”
And I’m sure you recall Jesus’ response:
“Get behind me Satan!”
There’s quite a bit to discover in this scene about Peter’s doubt. For one – his doubt is two-fold, in a sense.
On the one hand, he doubts that Jesus is to suffer and die. This is plain enough, but what this also necessarily means is that he doubts the resurrection. If Jesus is not put to death, how can He rise again?
Indeed, apart from Our Lord’s death there can be no resurrection, and no one single event in the life of Christ proves His divinity more clearly than this.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Before moving on from this passage in Matthew’s Gospel, there is one more thing to be discovered about Peter’s doubt, and that concerns the origins of that doubt.
Our Lord told us from whence it comes when He said, “Get behind me, Satan.”
This is important. It means that when we consider the ominous words of Cardinal Pacelli – a day will come when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted – we’re not talking about the all-too-human tendency to struggle in faith.
Every single one of us can, and probably has, repeated the words found in Mark’s Gospel, “Lord, I believe… help me in my unbelief.”
All of us struggle in our belief to some degree at certain times, but that’s not the kind of doubt that Cardinal Pacelli and Our Lady have in mind.
The kind of doubt that they have in mind is nothing less than a deliberate operation of Satan.
Surely, there are many liberal and even “conservative” Catholics who would consider us a bunch of kooks simply for entertaining the notion that Satan may have managed to infect the Church, even to the highest places, with the kind of doubt that is truly diabolical…
Blessed Mother would disagree. I am sure many of you may recall her warning to Sr. Lucia that a diabolical disorientation would infect the Church even to the highest places.
You may also recall the words of Pope Paul VI:
“Through some fissure, the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary…”
These words of Our Lady and Pope Paul will take on more meaning as we proceed here today.
All of that having been said, for as much as there is to learn about this diabolical doubt from the account in Matthew chapter 16 that we just examined, there is even more to discover a couple of chapters earlier.
In Matthew Chapter 14 we read that the Apostles are in a boat when a storm hits and begins to toss the boat about, and off in the distance they see Our Lord walking on the water, and they’re afraid.
St. Matthew tells us :
“And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: it is I, fear not. And Peter making answer, said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters.
And he said: Come. And Peter going down out of the boat walked upon the water to come to Jesus.
But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why did thou doubt?”
Why did thou doubt?
Here we get an even clearer view of the nature of Peter’s doubting, and what is it?
It’s not that he doubts that it’s truly Jesus toward whom he is walking. He knows that it’s Him. Jesus identified Himself – once by name, and then a second time when He beckons Peter to come.
Peter, for his part, confirms that he knows that it’s Jesus when he calls out in fear, Lord, save me!
The nature of Peter’s doubt is simply this – and this is very important for us to recognize as we consider the prophetic warnings issued by Our Lady, commented upon by Cardinal Pacelli, and mentioned in Fr. Gruner’s final newsletter:
Even though Peter addresses Jesus as “Lord” – twice no less – he doubts that He is God.
In other words, Peter knows very well that it is Jesus the man toward whom he is walking, but he doubts that Jesus is Lord indeed, even as his lips profess it.
And this even though Peter had already witnessed Our Lord’s power over creation when He calmed the angry seas. I’m sure you recall the scene:
The disciples are once again in a boat, this time, together with Jesus, and a wicked storm kicks up and tosses the boat about. As the disciples are fearing for their lives, Jesus is sleeping.
When they awaken Him, He says, “O’ ye of little faith,” and He commanded the winds and the seas and all became calm.
In the aftermath of this great miracle, a miracle performed with the intention of verifying who Our Lord truly is, the disciples, Peter included, questioned among themselves:
“What sort of man is this that even the seas obey His commands?”
Yes, Peter knew that Jesus was a man, but he doubted that He is the Lord of all creation. This was the nature of Peter’s doubt.
A day will come when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.
These two warnings go together. You see, the corollary to being tempted to believe that man has become God, is the temptation to treat Jesus Christ as if He is but a man; it is doubting as Peter doubted.
And so now we return to the question at hand:
Can it be said that Our Lady’s warning of a coming chastisement – the early stages of which according to Fr. Malachi Martin concerns the withdrawal of God’s grace from His Church – is unfolding right before our eyes at this very moment as Fr. Gruner suggested in his final newsletter?
Or asked another way in light of Cardinal Pacelli’s words:
Has Peter’s doubt as to the divinity of Christ in some way managed to infiltrate and infect those who speak in the name of the Church, up to and including even Peter’s successor?
One might well ask: How we will know if this doubt has infected the pope? What should we look for?
These are good questions. Remember the source of Peter’s doubt: Get behind me Satan. We’re talking about the diabolical here! Surely the Devil, the master deceiver, is far too wise to make the deception perfectly plain.
In other words, it would be naïve for us to expect the pope to issue a decree plainly espousing the Arian heresy. Right? He isn’t likely to hold a press conference to declare that Jesus Christ was but a man.
Rather, if and when the chastisements about which Our Lady warned begin to take shape, we should expect Peter’s doubt as to the Divinity of Christ to become evident in the words and deeds of his successor in more subtle ways, but, in ways that are certainly discernable.
Our Lady didn’t come to present us with an unsolvable riddle. She forewarned us so we would be able to recognize what is happening, and we can.
Recall what we first said of Peter’s doubt as expressed just after Our Blessed Lord said, “You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church.”
Far be it for you, Lord!
On the one hand, we noted that Peter was expressing doubt that Jesus is to suffer and die, but do you recall what we observed that this also necessarily means that he was doubting?
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what Pope Francis has to say about the resurrection to see if there is any evidence of Peter’s doubt.
Consider if you will one of his many homilies lashing out at tradition-minded Catholics wherein Francis said:
“This group of Christians in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and want to make theirs a more majestic resurrection than that of the real one. These are the triumphalist Christians.”
This raises some questions. First, what exactly is a “triumphalist”?
In his Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon provides a very useful definition:
Triumphalism: a term of reproach leveled at the Catholic Church for the claim that she has the fullness of divine revelation and the right to pass judgment on the personal and social obligations of humankind. (Etym. Latin triumphus, public rejoicing for a victory.)
We might also ask, what precisely is this “real” Resurrection that Catholics like us supposedly tend to exaggerate?
According to Pope Pius XI, writing in Quas Primas, it was the Resurrection from whence Our Lord:
“Took the opportunity to call himself King, confirming the title publicly … solemnly proclaiming that all power was given Him in heaven and on earth … words that can only be taken to indicate the greatness of His power and the infinite extent of His kingdom.”
That’s the real Resurrection, and I’d say it’s pretty majestic, wouldn’t you?
In fact, we might wonder how it is that Pope Francis can believe that it’s even possible for the human mind to imagine something that’s more majestic still.
The answer, I’m afraid, is because his view of the resurrection is one that pales in comparison to the “real one” – the singular event in the life of Jesus Christ that proves His divinity more clearly than any other.
This is doubting as Peter doubted, but it’s infinitely more tragic.
Remember, Peter’s doubt was strictly momentary. Our Blessed Lord had yet to undergo His passion, death, and most importantly, His glorious resurrection. Pentecost had yet to take place. Peter wasn’t even a priest in his moment of doubt, much less was he the pope.
So let’s be sure to keep Peter’s moment of doubt in perspective relative to the doubt of his current successor, and likewise, the impact that this doubt has on the Church, the world, and every soul in it.
You see, when the temptation to overlook the divinity of Christ takes hold even in the slightest in the mind of His Vicar, and creeps its way into his words and deeds…
This is what it means for the Church flirt with suicide. How so? It is suicidal because the pope is the visible head of the Church on earth, and the divinity of Christ is the very Life of the Church!
You see, apart from a solid embrace of the Divine Life of Jesus Christ, in particular on the part of His Vicar, the Church is imagined to be, and is treated in practice, as but a human organism; an organization with a mission that is earthbound and therefore tends to focus on man’s temporal needs and his natural ends; to the near exclusion his spiritual needs and his supernatural ends.
We can also well expect that when doubts as to the divinity of Christ take hold in the visible head of the Church, that is then when the doctrines of our Holy Catholic faith will be treated as mere rules and regulations that need to be crafted and re-crafted in order to meet the exigencies of modern men.
It is then when we can well expect that the doctrines of the Faith will no longer be presented to the world as what they truly are – namely, the timeless decrees of He who rose from the dead in glory unto Divine Kingship; the same decrees that invite man into communion with Jesus Christ who is true God.
Let’s be very clear about the cause and effect relationship at play here:
If one has no doubt that Jesus Christ is God, and that He came from Above, then it is understood that Divine Law as expressed in the doctrines of the Church that speaks in His name are not only liberating and life-giving; they are non–negotiable.
Because we’re talking about the commandments of Christ the King! They are gifts that come from He who said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Who are we to negotiate these good gifts from Above, or God forbid attempt to change them?
Consider what we heard in the Epistle reading at Holy Mass this morning:
“Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change nor shadow of alteration.”
This is easily applied to the doctrines of the Faith if one truly believes that Jesus Christ is true God.
If, on the other hand, one harbors serious doubts as to the divinity of Christ, and doubts that He came from Above, and doubts that He is the face of the Father made visible; then one is tempted to see the decrees of the Church that speak in His name as coming not so much from God but from a man. In which case, one may believe that they are subject to change and alteration at the hands of other mere men.
But that’s not all. Recall the second part of the warning that we’re discussing:
A time will come when the head of the Church will be tempted to believe that man has become God…
If one believes that man has become God, then Divine Law is no longer above him; man is imagined to be on par with the divine, and so Divine Law itself is subject to being rewritten by mere men.
My friends, if there is any doubt as to whether or not this is the nature of the crisis that is plaguing the Church at this very moment, one need look no further than Amoris Laetitia – the recently released exhortation of Pope Francis on the family.
I refuse, by the way, to refer to this document as an “Apostolic” exhortation. The Apostles would not recognize it as coming from a Catholic high school student, and a poorly catechized one at that, much less a Successor to St. Peter.
So, what does this document say that would cause one to wonder if our current pope harbors doubts as to the divinity of Christ?
During his in-flight press conference from Greece to Rome, Pope Francis was asked whether or not, in light of Amoris Laetitia, new concrete possibilities for access to the sacraments now exist for those in “irregular situations.”
In other words, he was being asked about changes and alterations to the application of Divine Law in the life of the Church; something previously unheard of.
Now, keep in mind that “irregular situations” refers to those characterized by adultery, fornication and homosexual activity as we listen to Francis’ answer.
He said concerning the existence of changes allowing access to the sacraments for such persons :
“I can say ‘yes,’ period, but it would be too small a response. I recommend all to read the presentation that was given by Cardinal Schönborn, who is a great theologian … In that presentation, your question will be answered.”
OK, then, let’s take a look at some of what Cardinal Schönborn had to say. He tells us :
“Pope Francis’ Exhortation is guided by the phrase ‘It is a matter of reaching out to everyone’ (AL 297) as this is a fundamental understanding of the Gospel: we are all in need of mercy!”
And then he quotes Our Lord from Sacred Scripture:
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone.”
In Amoris Laetitia we find the following references to stones when Francis states, and here I quote:
“Rather than offering the healing power of grace and the light of the Gospel message, some would “indoctrinate” that message, turning it into dead stones to be hurled at others.” (AL 49)
“A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in “irregular” situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives.” (AL 305)
Indeed, we can be thankful to Cardinal Schönborn for making it entirely plain that in so speaking of stones, Pope Francis had in mind the Gospel passage about the woman accused of adultery.
So let’s take a look at this passage, shall we:
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?”
I’m sure you recall Our Lord’s answer:
“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
The passage continues:
“But hearing this, they went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? She said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more.”
Upon reviewing this passage from the Gospel according to St. John, one may rightly observe that Our Blessed Lord was “simply applying the moral law” when He said, “Go, and sin no more.”
This invites a terrible question:
Is Pope Francis accusing Jesus Christ Himself of withholding grace and casting dead stones?
If one is to take Amoris Laetitia seriously, it certainly appears as such.
Does this sound like the words of one who believes that Jesus is God, or does it sound like one who doubts as Peter doubted?
Cardinal Schönborn went on to shed even more light on exactly what has been changed and altered with the coming of Amoris Laetitia, saying:
“For me Amoris Laetitia is, first and foremost, a ‘linguistic event’ … Between the two Synods of October 2014 and October 2015, it may clearly be seen how the tone became richer in esteem, as if the different situations in life had simply been accepted, without being immediately judged or condemned.”
Cardinal Schönborn could hardly have been clearer:
He is telling us that the tone coming out of Francis’ Rome expresses esteem for recalcitrant practitioners of adultery, fornication and homosexual activities; not in spite of their sin; not because they have repented and have amended their lives, but because these sins have simply been accepted without judgment or condemnation!
As Mr. Ferrara mentioned yesterday, Cardinal Schönborn also stated in his presentation on Amoris Laetitia:
“My great joy as a result of this document resides in the fact that it coherently overcomes that artificial, superficial, clear division between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular.’”
Did you get that? The division between the mortal sins of adultery, fornication, homosexual activity and the state of grace is now considered “artificial” and “superficial.”
Does this sound like the teaching of faithful men, or does it sound like the confused ramblings of men from whom God has withdrawn His grace – the withdrawal of grace being one of the clear signs that we have entered the early days of the dark prophecies of Fatima just as Fr. Gruner said?
Bear in mind, this reflection on Amoris Laetitia given by Cardinal Schönborn is Pope Francis’ answer to the question: Has anything changed with the coming of the exhortation? Yea, I’d say something has changed alright.
Throughout this document, Amoris Laetitia, Francis uses words like “remarried” and “new unions” to refer to the civilly divorced. He even speaks of “irreparably broken marriages.”
The Catholic Church, aided by God’s grace, by contrast, teaches that no marriage is irreparably broken apart from the death of one of the spouses.
When one talks about “new unions” arising from so-called “broken marriages,” that’s what the Church calls adultery, but Francis doesn’t call it that; much less does he call those who are in it to repent of it. Rather, he says, “We know that no easy recipes exist.”
Confession. Contrition. Firm purpose of amendment. Mix them all together, and what do you get? Sacramental absolution.
This takes effort for the sinner to be sure, but there’s all of three ingredients here, folks. Our Lord is very forgiving. I think this qualifies as an “easy recipe.” Francis doesn’t seem to agree.
Now you tell me based on our conversation thus far:
Would it be a stretch to consider this evidence of a “suicide of altering the faith” as Cardinal Pacelli called it?
Or put another way, does this sound like the chastisement of which Our Lady warned, the same to which Fr. Gruner alluded in his final newsletter? Does it sound as though this chastisement it’s unfolding even now?
If you still don’t know how to answer, consider this gem from Amoris Laetitia – and this is a direct quote – one that Mr. Ferrara mentioned yesterday as well but bears repeating:
“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.”
Please allow me to rephrase this so we’re perfectly clear:
Pope Francis is telling us that it can no longer be said that those who insist upon persevering in adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts are in a state of mortal sin, which by definition means a loss of sanctifying grace.
It is a difficult reality to look square in the face, but face it we must:
This exhortation of Pope Francis does not represent the grace-filled, life-giving words of Christ as expressed by His Vicar; rather, it contains the seductive lies of the Adversary – the same that lead to eternal death, published on Vatican letterhead, no less, and disseminated throughout the entire world.
In face of this heresy – and let us not be afraid to call it what it is, heresy – let’s look to the Council of Trent for dogmatic clarity.
It is to be maintained, that the received grace of Justification is lost … by any mortal sin whatever … 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 … [that is, those who engage in homosexual acts.] (cf Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter XV)
Notice that the Council identifies this teaching as “a defense of the doctrine of the Divine Law.”
So what moves Pope Francis to boldly contradict this teaching by declaring that fornicators, adulterers, and liers with mankind are not necessarily in mortal sin and deprived of sanctifying grace?
The answer is at once simple and tragic. We alluded to it earlier:
Those who doubt as Peter doubted; those who doubt the Divinity of Christ are tempted to imagine that the voice of Christ speaking through His Church, such as it did at the Council of Trent, is but the voice of a mere man.
As for the Fathers of Trent – the popes, bishops and cardinals who so carefully formulated its dogmatic decrees?
They are seen as but a collection of mere men who met at a certain time and place to address the issues of their day, and so whatever they stated is thus subject to change by other mere men with their own challenges to face, and their own ideas about how things should be done.
This is the kind of false belief that moves Pope Francis to boldly declare that those who persist in adultery, fornication and homosexual activity – or what he deceptively calls “irregular situations” – can no longer be said to be living in mortal sin.
That, my friends, is heresy – plain and simple; not because I say so. No one cares about my opinion, nor should they. It is heresy because the Council of Trent – protected from error by the Holy Ghost – says so.
If the contradictory, heretical teaching of Francis is not evidence enough that God has withdrawn His grace, I don’t want to see what is.
Oh, but what about those who persist in such sins in ignorance, one might object.
Pope Francis even went so far as to include those who persist in these sins knwowingly! Again, I quote directly from Amoris Laetitia:
“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 the paragraph that Mr. Ferrara very rightly called a bombshell. It is nothing short of diabolical.
Francis is telling us that when one persists in relationships involving adultery, fornication and even homosexuality – even when they “know full well the rule,” even then it cannot be said that they are in mortal sin deprived of sanctifying grace.
This is heresy.
Notice the words that are used. They’re chosen deliberately and they matter.
What Francis calls “the rule,” is what the infallible Council of Trent tells us is really nothing less than the doctrine of the Divine Law.
A day will come when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted …
You see, if Jesus is but a mere man, then Divine Law is really nothing more than a man made rule, one that can be changed in certain “concrete situations” as Francis calls them.
It is doubt as to the divinity of Christ that lies at the very heart of this crisis!
And did you notice what Francis said of these so-called “concrete situations” involving adultery, fornication and gay sex?
He said the persons involved in them may not be allowed to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.
How does that work? Imagine telling your confessor:
Sure Father, I’d like to stop having sex outside of marriage, but if I do that I’m afraid I’ll end up robbing a bank, or cheating on my taxes, or killing my boss.
What one suspects he really means is that if those who are involved in an adulterous relationship were to cease their sinful sexual activities at home, well, they’re probably just going to go out and “get it” somewhere else.
Forgive me, but that’s how base this treatment truly is.
And what exactly is missing from this way of thinking?
God’s grace, that’s what is missing – the grace to overcome sin, and the grace to persevere in holiness.
This doesn’t seem to cross the mind of Francis. And why not? Could it be that God has withdrawn His grace from such men as part of the chastisement of which Our Lady warned?
If you think all of this is bad, get this…
Speaking of those in so-called “irregular situations,” Francis proposes :
“…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)
Note here that Francis speaks not of the rules, but “the law.” This is noteworthy. He is speaking of Divine Law here. On some level, he gets that.
He is telling us that God’s law, for some people, represents an impossible demand; i.e., they simply aren’t in a position to fully carry out its objective requirements.
Pope Francis is quite literally taking Our Blessed Lord’s admonition against the Pharisees and turning it against Him! Jesus said to and of the Pharisees:
“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).
Think about it: If, as Francis says, some people simply cannot carry out the demands of God’s law. If His grace is not sufficient to help them do so; then God has laid insupportable burdens on men’s shoulders, and if God has done this, then God is not just!
It is as though Francis is standing on the balcony of St. Peter’s pointing an accusing finger skyward and shouting at God, “You shut the kingdom of heaven against men!”
It is enough to make a holier man than I rent his garments! If the Lord had not spared Fr. Gruner the horror of this exhortation from Hell, he may have actually done so.
Can it get any worse? I mean, can this pope give us more evidence still that we are being chastised at this very moment?
Unfortunately, yes, he can. Before moving on, however, let us recap a bit.
Thus far – simply by taking Pope Francis at his word – we’ve seen that he considers the infallible doctrine of the Divine Law concerning mortal sin to be nothing more than rules that are subject to change.
We’ve seen that he believes that in certain so-called “concrete circumstances” mortal sin is the best we can do; as if God’s grace is insufficient to help us overcome sin.
We’ve also seen that Francis has declared that God is unjust, every bit as unjust, in fact, as the Pharisees that called for the death of Jesus Christ.
And now, as you’re about to see, he even goes so far as to say that Almighty God Himself asks us to persist in the mortal sins of adultery, fornication and homosexuality!
Let me repeat that: Francis actually claims that to persist in these mortals sins, at times, is to do God’s will!
Specifically, Francis says that the consciences of such persons as those persisting in these sins:
“…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.” (AL 303)
Yes, you heard that correctly. In an exhortation addressed to “BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS, CHRISTIAN MARRIED COUPLES, AND ALL THE LAY FAITHFUL” – in other words – the entire Church – Pope Francis not only said that adultery, fornication and homosexual abominations are at times “the most generous response which can be given to God,” as horrible as that is, he even went on to say that God Himself is asking for that response!
This is sheer, unadulterated blasphemy. God in His Holiness never asks us to sin.
As you know, and as Christopher Ferrara demonstrated so clearly in his presentation yesterday, the punchline to the heresy and blasphemy contained in Amoris Laetitia is to open the way for unrepentant, public sinners to approach the sacraments; in particular, the Eucharist in Holy Communion, and all of this under the guise of a change in so-called “pastoral practice” while allegedly keeping the doctrine intact.
So, how does this relate to the doubt of which Cardinal Pacelli spoke?
It relates rather directly. You see, if indeed one doubts that Jesus is God, then it is all but impossible to believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.
Does this apply to the present pope? As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, I for one would have to say that the evidence speaks for itself.
Think about it: If Francis really believes that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist, would he issue a document ordered toward overturning nearly two thousand years of teaching and discipline ordered toward preventing the sacrilege of having unrepentant, public mortal sinners invited to receive Holy Communion?
No, but that is precisely what he has done.
We might also ask: If Francis really believes that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist, wouldn’t he genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Mass?
Of course he would, but guess what? He doesn’t.
Oh but he’s an elderly man with bad knees, his defenders will cry!
Oh, really? He doesn’t seem to have a problem dropping to his knees when the Humblecam is rolling; in other words, when the media is present to film or to photograph him kneeling before mere men, washing their feet, or in the act of going to confession in the middle of St. Peter’s.
If Amoris Laetitia and all that we’ve discussed here today was presented to a Grand Jury of pre-conciliar popes as evidence that a Christological heresy, wherein the divinity of Christ is in doubt by the current occupant of the Office of Peter, they’d return an indictment in mere seconds.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who recognizes as much.
Speaking in 2014 following the Extraordinary Synod on the family, wherein Francis’ intentions were becoming ever more clear, Cardinal Gerhard Muller – Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – said of the attempt to separate doctrine from so-called pastoral practice:
“Each division between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ of the faith would be a reflection of a subtle Christological heresy.”
Well, I have to disagree on at least one point. The days of subtlety have passed.
Let me be clear:
I’m perfectly willing to repeat after Pope St. Pius X and say that I leave the internal disposition of every man’s soul to God who alone is judge, and that includes, of course, Pope Francis.
But I am not willing to ignore the obvious, and the sum total of everything we’ve talked about here today is plain enough:
The day when the Church, meaning, her visible head and others who speak in her name, will doubt as Peter doubted is here. The day when her visible head and others will be tempted to believe that man has become God is upon us.
Fr. Gruner forewarned us when he passed on the words of Fr. Amorth.
And what would Fr. Gruner say if he were here at this very moment?
I think it’s fair to say that he would repeat the words that he used to close what would be his final newsletter. Fr. Gruner writes:
“Our Lord’s wrath must be great and growing!!! And each day that Our Lady’s words are ignored brings us closer to a chastisement terrible beyond imagination!
Truly, the Church’s leaders, by failing to obey Our Lady and consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, have placed the world and billions of souls at risk!
We Have To Warn The World! Father Amorth’s words should resound in our hearts. We must act now. The clock is ticking!”
My friends, you came here this weekend in part to remember and to honor Fr. Nicholas Gruner, and the best way to pay tribute to his legacy is take up his charge:
We Have To Warn The World!
How, you may ask? I know the feeling; I’m just one person…
While that is true, collectively we’re much more than that. And so it’s important to support the Fatima Center both spiritually with your prayers and sacrifices, and also financially – not just so Fr. Gruner’s legacy can continue to exist in some way, but so this apostolate can grow and thrive.
If you haven’t already done so, consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ask Our Blessed Lord to open doors that will allow you to spread devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Believe me, if you do this, He will open doors for you to do Our Lady’s bidding in ways you never imagined possible.
And all of this we must do with urgency, remembering Fr. Gruner’s parting words:
Indeed, the clock is ticking.
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