I’ll be away for a couple of weeks, so this will probably be the last blog post I’ll be doing for some time. I hope that when I get back I’ll be able to begin treating Pope Francis with a little more respect.
But don’t hold your breath. His off-the-cuff utterances just seem to get dottier and dottier. Recently he appears to have described priests who refuse to baptise illegitimate children as “animals”—although that, like so many of his weird and/or ambiguous remarks, has been disputed by his spin doctors. In Amoris Laetitia he returned to the semi-hidden theme of his bogus “Synod on the Family”— his attempt to facilitate Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried”.
I used to say in the Brandsma Review that when you see dodgy modernist clergy using the word “pastoral” you could be fairly sure what was coming. It would be an attempt to enable people to do, without feeling guilty, something that the Church has always declared to be gravely sinful. The Holy Father does the same thing with the word “accompany” , or “accompaniment”. As here, for example (for which I am heavily indebted to Lifesite News):
Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.
In Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis criticized the Church for often proposing, “a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage.”He added that conscience can “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.”
This flies directly in the face of Veritatis Splendor, where Pope St. John Paul II, whom Pope Francis himself declared a saint, taught that:
It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a ‘balancing of the goods in question’.
In God or Nothing, Cardinal Robert Sarah forcefully rejected the notion of watering down the teaching on the indissolubility of marriage with pastoral leniency. “The idea of putting magisterial teaching in a beautiful display case while separating it from pastoral practice, which then could evolve along with circumstances, fashions, and passions, is a sort of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology.”
Our Lord did not say: “But do that up to the point that you are capable.” In Matthew 5, after teaching the hard truths about divorce and adultery he says: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Whatever about “accompaniment”, this Pope is a people-pleaser. That’s why the world loves him.
But what the Holy Father has said about most marriages being invalid because most people are too stupid to understand what they are promising is even worse. So bad, in fact, that it’s not even worth refuting. Does he really believe that Our Lord instituted the sacrament of matrimony (the vocation of the vast majority of Christians) for people who were incapable of contracting it? Yes, I know that the Pope’s spin doctors have tried to water that one down, too. Not very convincingly.
I enjoyed these two pictures and captions from Eccles’ blog, and I think most of you will too.
“O God! I’ve just insulted my own parents!”
“Don’t worry, he only attacks Catholics.”
I’m not sure if that remark is supposed to be addressed to the tiger, or to the Holy Father.