In 1994, thirteen years after Pope John Paul II promulgated Familiaris Cosortio, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful.
Addressing a gravely dangerous error that was gaining in popularity, the Letter stated:
In recent years, in various regions, different pastoral solutions have been suggested … [wherein] the divorced and remarried members of the faithful could approach Holy Communion in specific cases when they consider themselves authorised according to a judgement of conscience to do so. This would be the case, for example, when they had been abandoned completely unjustly, although they sincerely tried to save the previous marriage, or when they are convinced of the nullity of their previous marriage, although unable to demonstrate it in the external forum or when they have gone through a long period of reflexion and penance, or also when for morally valid reasons they cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.
The errors being addressed in the Letter also include the notion “that in order objectively to examine their actual situation, the divorced and remarried would have to consult a prudent and expert priest;” as if consultation undertaken in the internal forum alone could somehow open the way to Holy Communion for those who persist in mortal sin.
Sound familiar? It should.
This is precisely the “pastoral solution” put forth in Amoris Laetitia of which, according to Francis, “there are no other interpretations.”
The 1994 CDF Letter firmly rejected this proposition saying that such would be a grave violation of that which is “binding” in that it is based upon “the constant and universal practice” of the Church, and as such “cannot be modified.”
In this, the sacred Congregation was merely reasserting the teaching found in Familiaris Consortio.
Though it is hardly necessary to do so, I would remind readers that this Letter bears the signature of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the CDF.
Thirteen years later, writing as Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Ratzinger promulgated the Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, and in a section subtitled “The Eucharist and the indissolubility of marriage,” he once again restated the necessity of…
…not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objectively contradict the loving union of Christ and the Church signified and made present in the Eucharist.
Based on all of this, one might assume that it’s safe to say that Benedict is in no way supportive of the relentless assault currently being led by Francis on “the constant and universal practice” of the Church concerning Communion for the divorced and civilly “remarried.”
But is that really the case?
Speaking in June at a ceremony celebrating the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood (photo above), Benedict stood without assistance and spoke very eloquently in spite of doing so without notes.
Addressing Francis directly, he said:
Thank you, Holy Father! Your goodness, evident from the moment of your election, has continually impressed me, and greatly sustains my interior life. The Vatican Gardens, even for all their beauty, are not my true home: my true home is your goodness. There, I feel safe. Thank you also for the kind words of gratitude, for everything. We hope that you will continue to go forward with all of us on this road of Divine Mercy, showing us the way of Jesus, toward Jesus, toward God.
So, which one is the real Joseph Ratzinger?
Is it the defender of the Faith who on more than one occasion officially decreed that non-admittance to Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried is “the constant and universal practice” of the Church; is “binding,” and thus “cannot be modified”?
Or is it the man who suggested that Francis – the same who is unapologetically running roughshod over said unchangeable practice – is leading “all of us on this road of Divine Mercy, showing us the way of Jesus, toward Jesus, toward God”?
Logically, he cannot hold both positions.
Let’s be very clear – Benedict’s praise for Francis’ “goodness” cannot be separated from the rupture from sacred Tradition enshrined in Amoris Laetitia – the crown jewel of his “reign” – the controversy over which dominated (and continues to dominate) Catholic conversation, both personal and in the global media, at the time his comments were made.
So, which one is the real one?
To assert that the latter position is that of the real Joseph Ratzinger necessarily suggests that he has abandoned the Faith by offering what amounts to a public endorsement of that which he clearly recognizes as a rejection of the constant, universal and binding practice of the Church.
To assert that it is the former necessarily suggests that Benedict does not truly believe that Francis is showing us the way of Jesus, but said so publicly for some other reason.
My sense is that very few Catholics – regardless of how they might be categorized (e.g., liberal, conservative, traditional) – would contend that Benedict no long holds what he so clearly expressed in the documents referenced above.
If indeed it is true that Benedict does not really believe that Francis is leading us on the road of Divine Mercy toward Jesus, then one must ask:
What precisely moved him to say such a thing? Was he somehow pressured into endorsing what he sincerely rejects? What other statements has he made that may not represent his true intent?
While answers are few and far between, one is hard pressed to deny the existence of legitimate, and crucially important, questions; in particular those concerning the true identity of one Joseph Ratzinger.
A true Modernist changes his views with the times. Ratzinger is being faithful to what he is—a Modernist. No mystery here.
I am not a sedevacantist by any means and I don’t vouch for the accuracy of what I am offering here, but I did read a posting on Novus Ordo Watch in March 2014 that put forward some information in respect of young Ratzinger’s position on divorce and remarriage. I don’t know if it will shed any light on the subject.
The link is here:
“Ratzinger 1972 – Communion for Divirced-and-Renmarried Possible”
Apologies for my typographical errors (diabetes will do that to your eyes). The title of the piece is “Ratzinger 1972 – Communion for Divorced-and-Remarried Possible”
The link to the article is correct in any event.
I note that on June 24, 2000 Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts “Concerning The Admission To Holy Communion Of Faithful Who Are Divorced And Remarried”
The Pontifical Council stated:
“c) the manifest character of the situation of grave habitual sin.
Those faithful who are divorced and remarried would not be considered to be within the situation of serious habitual sin who would not be able, for serious motives – such as, for example, the upbringing of the children – “to satisfy the obligation of separation, assuming the task of living in full continence, that is, abstaining from the acts proper to spouses” (Familiaris consortio, n. 84), and who on the basis of that intention have received the sacrament of Penance.
Given that the fact that these faithful are not living more uxorio is per se occult, while their condition as persons who are divorced and remarried is per se manifest, they will be able to receive Eucharistic Communion only remoto scandalo.”
I’ve yet to meet a sedevacantist who can remain intellectually honest. They prefer obfuscation and always leave out half the story and relevant information. In this case they left out the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger retracted those statements at a later date., as recounted here: http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-ratzingers-retraction-the-fruit-of-theological-maturation#.V_nOaob3aEc
Thank you for the additional information. Most helpful.
I would like to offer another possible explanation (other than blackmail, drugs etc.) : Benedict XVI may not have internet access, and any information given to him could be strictly controlled. For example, he might have been given the version of Amoris Laetitia, which has been corrected by Mueller.
Is it really too implausible to suggest that the Masonic/Communist/Militant Homosexualist infiltrators could use any means to manipulate Pope Benedict, in order to make him serve their agenda?
Cor Iesu Sacratissimum miserere nobis!
It is also possible that this excessive, saccharine, effusive gushing is in itself a ‘signal’ that the precisely the opposite is intended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI?
My family and me had a sort of code of exaggerated expression to indicate danger to one another when we were apart and unable to communicate freely and openly over the telephone or e-mail, etc.
It would go something like:
“How are things with you?”
Reply: “Super! Soooooo wonderful. Never been more excited in my life. Thanks for caring soooo much about me” etc.
In short, the exaggerated rapturous verbiage was intended to convey the opposite…and a degree of danger.
I offer this as an alternate explanation of Benedict XVI’s odd behaviour. I invite too, and I think this is significant, thoughful consideration of Benedict’s October 7, 2012 (Feast of the Holy Rosary) proclamation of the mystic, St. Hildegard von Bingen, as Doctor of the Church. Her prophetic writings seem to place ours as the time of the Anti-Christ and Anti-Church.
There was also Benedict XVI’s declaration of the Italian nun and mystic, Sister Elena Aiello, as ‘Blessed’ in the year 2011. Blessed Aiello predicted much for the times we live in including the invasion of Europe by Russia and a frightening war in consequence.
When elevating these two women (read Benedict XVI’s remarks on St. Hildegard von Bingen) Benedict XVI would not have been unaware of their very public prophecies.
I have a very strong hunch that the hands of Benedikt XVI are somehow tied up (or tied down). The following are what led me to this intuition:
1. As you have very well illustrated in your article from 11.09.2016: ”Contradictory Statements by Pope Benedict XVI on his Purported Resignation”, you, or we, cannot really expect Benedikt XVI to openly refute PF for his theological ambiguity, that would not be “collegial”.
2. I recall one report; (Unfortunately I cannot find the source at this moment): upon the release of one writing from PF he had supposedly sent the writing with a piece of blank paper to BXVI to ask for the opinion of BXVI whereby the latter answered on 4 pieces of finely typed paper. Archbishop Gänswein commented that the answer of Benedikt XVI was collegial, polite but precise. What exactly the contents are is not mentioned, neither the reaction of PF. I suppose Benedikt XVI could tell PF frankly as long as it is not on public records. That is called diplomacy or reason of state.
3. On Weg Wahrheit Leben (wegwahrheitleben.wordpress.com/ by search enter „Sr. Lucia“) was an interesting article from 13th Oct 2010 titled „Die Geheimnisse von Fatima (III) : Was geschah mit Schwester Lucia?“ When you look at the photos of Sr. Lucia over the years questions will come up. Was Sr. Lucia “exchanged”? Here an excerpt:
Papst Benedikt XVI., der als Kardinal Ratzinger für die Glaubenskongegation zuständig war und Zugang zur nach dem Tod der Doppelgängerin 2005 versiegelten Zelle von Sr. Lucia hatte, scheint jedenfalls ein schlechtes Gewissen zu plagen. So äußerte der umstrittende Piusbruder-Bischof Williamson, der Papst habe einem ihm bekannten Monsignore gegenüber gestanden, dass auf ihm laste, wie das dritte Geheimnis von Fatima am 26. Juni 2000 behandelt worden sei, aber ihm seien „die Hände gebunden“ gewesen.
Why and what is binding his hands?
4. I had also been thinking, if Benedikt were given a choice between
a.) being 100% loyal to the teachings of the Church as well as being loyal to his own soul and convictions and being aware of the assignment of Jesus to “tend my sheep!” as his first obligation and
b.) succumbing to the invisible pressure which resulted in his resignation and his laudation for PF every time he is on public domain, for the sake of collegiality and diplomacy, well noted, at the price of hurting the Faithful and damaging the Church,
he had up until now, seemingly choose b), then it were perhaps, the time for his martyrdom has not yet arrived.
Maybe he is too tired to fight and so leave everything into the hands of another, expedient or not. But if he had revised his conviction, and if his health would permit it, I would expect a treatise to this effect: why he think the ideas of PF are tenable with traditional Catholic teachings. But we heard nothing of that sort, only laudation with no elaborations. Should that not also be hints as well?
I love and respect Joseph Ratzinger too much to think ill of him. I can only pray for him and his difficult situation. If he did all these out of human weakness, God have mercy on his soul.
Pope Benedict has read the entire Secret of Fatima. That didn’t keep him from actively participating in every scheme of Vatican II and later, John Paul II. That didn’t keep him from fast tracking JPII’s “sainthood”.
Pope Benedict has a real interior struggle going on. He has seen the horrors predicted in the Secret, turn into reality. He knows that he has had a major role in bringing them about.
He apparently says a lot of things he “doesnt really mean”…..and your’re worried about the intellectual honesty of other people? The BEST possible excuse for benedict is that he is a coward….and again, thats the BEST possible excuse for his life as it pertains to the Church.
I may be in the minority here, but the idea that such a duplicitous individual as joseph ratzinger can actually….in secret apparently…..be a great stalwart of the Church, seems just a tad ridiculous to me in 2016. If it walks like a duck and quack likes a duck….
I understand the affection for this guy…..he had me fooled too until only four years ago; I was also the idiot who drove around with a jp2 bumper sticker on my truck until 4 years ago as well.
Hi Rich, one thing we Catholics have in common right now is that we are all idiots, as it has been well planned. As much as we all see, I don’t think that there’s anyone out there who has this whole thing figured out. The devil still has the upper hand in his lies and secrecy. I am trying to be patient in waiting for Our Blessed Mother to end all this, as she promised she would. At the same time I am selfishly glad that didn’t happen at a time when I was steeped in mortal sin. God IS Great in His Mercy. I only imagine and hope that in this battle, another soul out there is saved. At a time like this I can’t imagine God expecting everyone to have it all figured out. That is why when Our Lady came to Fatima, Jesus allowed her to give us all a plan of things to do. I just try to do those things which she told us to do. I know Our Dear Sweet Mother is our only and last hope. Hang in there close to her, do what she has said to do, and she will always lead us to her son, even in 2016. This is just so incredible. I can’t believe I am living now. Can any of you? We have been ripped off, yes, robbed of our faith in our lifetime, for sure, yet so blessed by God, through it all to be allowed to see so much. Our Lady is our Triumphant Leader! So great to follow her! My heart is filled with gratitude and affection! God has not and will never abandon us. I pray in great hopes that I make it to Heaven. I sometimes get scared for anyone who doesn’t humble themselves to suffer through this time close to Our Lady, at the foot of the cross during this persecution of The Church. All we have to do is stand there, close to her, no matter what. Just be there, and do what she has said to do. Now is the time for Faith, my friend.
If men used as much care in uprooting vices and implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems, there would not be so much evil and scandal in the world, or such laxity in religious organizations. On the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived.
Imitation of Christ
Book one, chapter three
Thomas a Kempis
Beautifully expressed Cortez!
I’m especially gratefully to Louie for doing the research on the words written by Cardinal Ratzinger in his position as head of the CDF in 1994, and for his words written as Pope in 2007, regarding the indissolubility of marriage and the receiving of the Eucharist.
If the sentiment of the words written in 1994 and 2007 are truthful, then must be conflicted by the sentiment issued by the authors successor in 2016. He can’t no be deeply conflicted about what his successor says.
Like others have said here, I think we are living through a truly extraordinary series of events right now. We have two “popes” occupying the Vatican building. We have one “pope” contradicting his living predecessor and contradicting Church doctrine for the greater part 2,000 years. Extraordinary.
What we must remember as faithful Catholics is that God is in control of these events that we are witnessing. Naturally it is easy to become disheartened when we see reality being literally turned upside down. This upheaval is being down for several reasons. Our enemy loathes God. Our enemy loathes everything created by God. Our enemy wants to turn creation on it’s head so as to shock us in to paralysis, like the sheep facing a baying wolf. Our enemy wants to turn creation on it’s head so as to utterly dishearten us to the extent of trying to convince us that no one, not God, not anyone, can hear or much less do anything to resist. Our enemy wants us to believe that his victory is so complete that we have no choice but to join him.
We have got to be strong in the face of this attack. We have got to keep hold in our interior of that thought that Jesus rules all. We have got to keep the faith.
Father Malachi Martin said that our enemy can only work through humanity. That his power is limited where as God’s is literally unlimited. Stay strong. Say your prayers. Receive the sacraments. Pray often. Stay out of mortal sin. Beseech God’s sanctifying Grace.
As always, good to hear from you Cortez. We have our differences, but I always welcome hearing from you.
Christ’s one true church is still here (as it always has been and will always be), we just need to recognize His church and stop chasing/making excuses for the lies. I go to sleep every night without the least bit of worry or confusion simply because I have woken up to the reality of what is going on.
The vatican 2 faith is not the Catholic Faith….the sooner we come to acknowledge that fact, and totally depart from rome, the lower our collective blood pressure will be. Trying to reconcile the false faith of the vatican 2 apostate “religion” with the Perfect Faith of Christ is a fool’s errand. Please just stop trying to do the impossible.
Our Lady will end all this madness. Yes, it and all its intentions are sprung from evil. I just can’t imagine what it will be like after Our Lord scraps it all. Our Lady of Good Success speaks of “the total restoration of the Church”. This will come after she tramples the cursed old serpent under her feet as she has said. I really would love to be there. So, I also rest in peace knowing she will come.
With respect, Rich how and where will you be that day? ( if you could imagine yourself living through that moment?) I so respect a lot of your words, but where do we meet on this? I honestly don’t know where you are. Where are you anyway? You rest easy every night because you have it all figured out, and you’ve chosen to walk away from this madness. Where’d you walk too? I see the same madness you see, but I don’t make such harsh moves, as Our Lady of Fatima has instructed the faithful of how to behave, and Our Lady of Good Success has promised the “Complete Restoration of the Church”. That simply means the Church is in need of Restoration. That’s “The Church”. We both recognize this. Right?? So why don’t you force yourself to feel the pain, look it in the face and be helpless to stop it. (even if that means losing a little sleep).
I just pictures her violently striking. Could you imagine being literally under her mantle of protection at that moment? Some will be there. Even though I don’t deserve to be, I would love to be there.
Remember the priests who miraculously survived the Hiroshima bombings without any sign ever of any of its effects, all because they lived what they said they lived every day, “The Fatima message”? Remember the Complete destruction surrounding them?
Don’t you think that it was a sign to us that we too will be protected if we do the same, even when all hell is completely breaking loose all around us? I will trust and live in that Fatima House. It is our only hope.
So honestly, where will you be during the “Complete Restoration of the Church”? I’d love for you to show up. But in case we don’t live to see it, you just can’t miss out on all this suffering now, seeing what you see. That has been a gift from God to you. Maybe He wants you to stick around, silently, throughout your lifetime if necessary, suffering as you see what evil men have been doing to His Bride.
Force your obstinate face to look full on. Oh, Rich, you inspire me! You remind me to realize that I AM in the right place. Horrible, a long drawn out crucifixion of His Living breathing Bride. I’m there, and I see all that God allows me to see in this time in history where He placed me. And every time He shows me a little more, slowly in increments or sometimes quickly, it pains my heart, upsets me, but I force myself to trust that she is protecting me, and she WILL show up, violently against this evil. She will see the Church through its “Complete Restoration!”
I agree with this, too. His strange ramblings at the anniversary of his ordination, sound like a cry for help. There are too many possibilities (and combination of possibilities) that we cannot make a judgement. What is certain is that Benedict XVI is not in a good place and needs our prayers.
Sweet Cortez, how you are truly loved!
I take it you are a sedevacantist – A Catholic drop-out who would rather run for cover than stay & fight. Even when Our Lady predicted that Rome would lost the faith & that he who should speak will fall silent, She never said to turn our backs on what is happening or to stay away from the reception of the valid Sacraments & Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If they were not valid Jesus would have broken His promise & abandoned His Church. The Gates of Hell would have prevailed & there would be no narrow path to Heaven for us to follow. We would have been forfeited to Satan. However, God cannot renege on His Word nor would Our Lady tell us to keep praying the Rosary & do penance if there was nothing to be gained. Christ is sifting the wheat from the chaff; it takes time as there is a lot of chaff to get rid of & those who choose to remain will be the bulwark for the restoration of His Church. Those who choose to flee are actually turning their backs on Our Saviour just when He needs us most to show our trust in Him.
A young priest recently recounted being so appalled by the unfolding heresies, blasphemies & sodomy within the clergy going right to the top that he questioned God about his vocation during a visit to Eucharistic Adoration. He looked at God in the monstrance & said that if the Church would not support him in fighting for the Truth then he didn’t have to either. The next moment God spoke directly & succinctly – “My Church is being crucified. Will you leave her?”
I believe we all have to answer that question by unreservedly staying at the foot of the cross while faithfully awaiting Our Lady’s Triumph & the complete restoration of His Church as promised.
Yes, Cortez. Anastasia is so sweet to point out the truth — that you are so loved. It is obvious that you love so much.
May God reward you with that for which you long —- to see Our Beautiful Mother with Her Divine Son in Heaven.
May God reward us all with the same.
Thank you for the kind words Anastasia and Theresa. You are two people whose words I always respect. Anastasia, I have learned LIFE CHANGING lessons from your charitable words. Servant of Our Lady, I tremble when I imagine where I would be without your guidance.
I stopped trying to defend the insanity of vatican 2 a while ago. It wasnt until I did that I truly became Catholic. My father, who attends an SSPX chapel, says the same things to me that you are saying here. No Christ didnt lie and no the gates of hell have not prevailed. Im not sure exactly why people think that those like me feel this way. My Faith in the Catholic Church is stronger now than it ever was when I was a novus-ordo sheep. I understand your disdain for my stance because again, not very long ago, I would have felt just as you do towards a person like me.
I “rest easy” in the sense that I don’t believe for a second that Christ would ever allow His “vicar on earth” to lead souls to hell. He allows the devil to do what he may, but He is incapable of deceiving us. We do surely see the same mess (heck, thats why we come to this site) and are both disgusted by it, but one of us has stopped asking the question of “how can this be happening?” I pray for the conversion of the apostates who call themselves clerics….the true Catholic Church though has been perfect since day 1 and cannot be otherwise.
PS….I suffer every day (along with most of my family) thanks in large part to the novus ordo way of thinking. I believe I spoke to you briefly about it at some point. And yes, what happened to me personally definitely was the starting point to where I currently am.
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am sorry for whatever it is that you and your family went through. I don’t know how I would react in your situation.
What do you make of Our Lady of Good Success? I am sincerely curious of your take on what she has said so clearly. Do you know what I mean? How could she say that there would be a great crisis in “The Church” in the end of the twentieth century and that after she comes there will be a complete restoration of The Church? What Church is she talking about? It can only be the One Church, the one in “Great crisis” of which she speaks. Rich, what do you make of this? Where do you stand on this?
I have no doubt that at some point the Church will reign supreme in this world again. I do not question for a second anything that the Blessed Mother said. There is a great crisis, but the true Church remains perfect. The “crisis” is the men who have falsely claimed their membership in the Church and in turn have convinced the masses that they are its valid earthly leaders. The Church will be restored in the sense that the apostates (jorge and the like) will at some point no longer be recognized as those who speak for it.
That’s my take on the matter.
I commend your forbearance and your fortitude. However the persecution of the Church and it’s followers here in the West has not even got out of first gear yet, in my opinion. So while I commend you, I would suggest that none of us have been truly tested to the extent that the test will come.
The attempt to sift Catholics from their Church will begin in earnest. To resist this sifting is impossible in purely human terms. We can’t resist. Our enemy knows our weak points, he knows what to prod and probe so as to sift us from the vine of the Church. Only through the help and assistance of supernatural Grace can we be strong enough to resist and then overcome evil. Otherwise we haven’t got an earthly chance.
Receive the sacraments regularly. Avoid sin. Avoid especially mortal sin. Pray often. Try to remain focused on faith even when reality gets turned on it’s very own head.
I’m with you.