Pope Francis: Orthodox and Pro-Tradition (Dan Marcum)

Pope Francis: Orthodox and Pro-Tradition (Dan Marcum) January 22, 2015
Caricature of Pope Francis by “DonkeyHotey” [Flickr / CC by 2.0 license]


Edited by Dave Armstrong on 1-22-15, from Dan Marcum’s manuscript.


This was originally posted in the Catholic Answers forum on 9 January 2015 and then expanded later on. I modified the title of #11 and deleted one quotation from it (which I felt was off-topic), and shortened many other titles.

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1. Tradition

“We must put ourselves in line with the great Tradition which [is] under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and of the Magisterium.” source

“[T]he Tradition of the entire People of God over the centuries…cannot be mistaken in belief.” source

“The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the ‘servant of the servants of God’; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church…to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim.” source

2. No Salvation Outside the Church

“[Do not] fall into the temptation of thinking…that we can get along without the Church, that we can save ourselves on our own… On the contrary…you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church.” source

“It is not possible to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church.” source

“Consequently, one cannot understand a Christian apart from the People of God. For a Christian is not a monad, off somewhere alone. No, he belongs to a people, to the Church, so much so…that a Christian without the Church is a pure ideal, not a reality!” source

“It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Christ without the Church, of following Jesus outside his Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church.” source

3. Church Infallibility

“[W]hen the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err.” source

“[A]bove all faith is required of the Catholic exegete — [faith] received and shared with the whole believing people, which in its totality cannot err.” source

“The faith of the People of God…is a simple faith, a faith that is perhaps without much theology, but it has an inward theology that is not wrong, because the Spirit is behind it.” source

“[T]he Tradition of the entire People of God over the centuries…cannot be mistaken in belief.” source

4. Papal Infallibility

“[T]he presence of the Pope is the guarantee for all and the safeguard of the faith.” source

“The Pope, in this context, is…the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ.” source

“Everything happened cum Petro et sub Petro, that is, in the presence of the Pope, that is a guarantee of freedom and trust for all, and a guarantee of orthodoxy.” source

“And, as I have dared to tell you, [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.” source

5. The Universal Jurisdiction of the Pope

“The Pope…[is] – by the will of Christ Himself – the supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful and [enjoys] supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church.” source

“Pope Francis, Supreme Pontiff…with a final and unappealable decision and subject to no recourse, has decreed dismissal from the clerical state is to be imposed on said priest for the good of the Church.” source

6. The Reality of the Devil

“[In] this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him. Paul tells us this, it’s not me saying it! The Word of God is telling us this. But we’re not all convinced of this.” source

“[T]he Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.” source

7. Traditional Marriage

“[T]he complementarity of man and woman…is at the root of marriage and family.” source

“The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage.” source

“The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis… Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But…[as] the French bishops have taught, [marriage] is not born of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life.” source

“May this colloquium be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies.” source

8. Opposition to Abortion

“It is must be therefore reiterated the strongest opposition to any direct attack on life, especially innocent and defenseless life, and the unborn child in the womb is the most concrete example of innocence.” source

“From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.” source

“[So] many times in my life as a priest I have heard objections: ‘But tell me, why the Church is opposed to abortion, for example? Is it a religious problem?’ No, no. It is not a religious problem. ‘Is it a philosophical problem?’ No, it is not a philosophical problem. It’s a scientific problem, because there is a human life there, and it is not lawful to take out a human life to solve a problem. ‘But no, modern thought…’ But, listen, in ancient thought and modern thought, the word ‘kill’ means the same thing. The same evaluation applies to euthanasia.” source

9. Opposition to the Ordination of Women

“[As] far as women’s ordination is concerned, the Church has spoken and said: ‘No’. John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That door is closed.” source

“The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion.” source

“Women in the Church must be valued not ‘clericalised’. Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism.” source

10. Opposition to Communion for the Divorced and Remarried

“About the problem of Communion to those persons in a second union, that the divorced might participate in Communion, there is no problem. When they are in a second union, they can’t. I believe that it is necessary to keep this within the entirety of pastoral care of marriage.” source

“The exclusion of divorced people who contract a second marriage from communion is not a [punishment]. It is important to remember this.” source

“People who are divorced can receive communion, people who are remarried can’t.” source

11. The Exclusiveness of Christian Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

“You can follow a thousand catechism courses, a thousand spirituality courses, a thousand yoga or zen courses and all these things. But none of this will be able to give you the freedom as a child (of God). Only the Holy Spirit can prompt your heart to say ‘Father.’ ” source

12. Condemnation of Media Distortion of his Papacy

“Look, I wrote an encyclical, true enough, it was a big job, and an Apostolic Exhortation, I’m permanently making statements, giving homilies; that’s teaching. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think.” source

“[S]ome people are always afraid because they don’t read things properly, or they read some news in a newspaper, an article, and they don’t read what the synod decided, what was published. What was worthwhile about the synod? The post synodal connection and the Pope’s address. That is definitive.” source

13. The Reality of Hell

“[M]afia crimes [produce] blood money, it is power soaked in blood, and you cannot take it with you to the next life. Convert, there is still time, so that you don’t end up in hell. That is what awaits you if you continue on this path.” source

“God of infinite mercy… May none of your children be lost to the eternal fires of hell, where repentance is no more.” source

14. Opposition to Contraception

“[O]penness to life is a condition for the sacrament of matrimony. A man cannot give the sacrament to the woman…if they are not in accord on this point of openness to life. If it can be proved that he or she married with the intention of not being Catholic [on this point] then the matrimony is null. [It is] a cause for the annulment of the marriage, no? Openness to life. source

“[About] Humanae Vitae…[the] genius [of Pope Paul VI] was prophetic, as he had the courage to go against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to apply a cultural brake, to oppose present and future neo-Malthusianism.” source

“Paul VI was not antiquated, close minded. No, [he was] a prophet again who with [Humanae Vitae] told us to watch out for the Neo-Malthusianism that is coming. This is what I [want] to say.” source

15. The Limits of Papal Infallibility

“If the Pope says that the earth is the centre of the universe, and not the sun, he errs, since he is affirming something that ought to be supported by science, and this will not do.” source

“I’m not a specialist on bioethical arguments, and I’m afraid of being mistaken in my words. The Church’s traditional doctrine states that no one is obliged to use extraordinary methods when someone is in his terminal phase. Pastorally, in these cases I have always advised palliative care. On more specific cases, should it be necessary, it’s appropriate to seek the advice of specialists.” source

16. The Limits of Free Speech Rights

“[F]reedom of expression must take account of the human reality and for this reason one must be prudent. … Prudence is the virtue that regulates our relations. I can go up to here, I can go up to there, and there, beyond that no. … For this reason freedom must be accompanied by prudence.” source

“We have the obligation to speak openly, to enjoy this freedom, but without offending others. … That is, there is a limit. Every religion has dignity; every religion that respects life, human life, the human person…I cannot make fun of it. This is a limit and I have taken this sense of limit to say that in freedom of expression there are limits.” source

17. The Doctrine of Just Warfare

“With terrorism one must fight, but I repeat what I said in my previous trip: when an unjust aggressor must be stopped, it must be done with an international consensus.” source

“One nation alone cannot determine how to stop an unjust aggressor. … To stop an unjust aggressor is a right of humanity, but it is also a right of the aggressor to be stopped in order not to do evil.” source

“In reaffirming that it is licit, while always respecting international law, to stop an unjust aggressor, I wish to reiterate, moreover, that the problem cannot be resolved solely through a military response.” source

18. Condemnation of Recreational Drug Use

“Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs’, are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon. Here I would reaffirm what I have stated on another occasion: No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that.” source

“I am delighted to welcome…the families of young people from San Patrignano, whom I join in saying no to every form of drugs. And perhaps it will do some good for everyone to say this, simply: no to every kind of drugs!” source

“Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs! Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem.” source

19. Condemnation of Euthanasia

“The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a ‘false compassion’, that which believes that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to ‘produce’ a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs presumably to save others. Instead, the compassion of the Gospel is that which accompanies in times of need, that is, the compassion of the Good Samaritan, who ‘sees’, ‘has compassion’, approaches and provides concrete help.” source

“The same evaluation applies to euthanasia… [T]his is to say to God, ‘No, I will accomplish the end of life, as I will.’ A sin against God the Creator! Think hard about this.” source

“But there is also the reality of the abandonment of the elderly: how many times we discard older people with attitudes that are akin to a hidden form of euthanasia! The culture of discarding human beings hurts our world. We discard children, young people and older people under the pretense of maintaining a ‘balanced’, economic system the center of which is no longer the human person, but money. We are all called to counter this culture of poisonous waste!” source

20. Condemnation of Syncretism in Ecumenism

“In this [ecumenical] dialogue, ever friendly and sincere…[a] facile syncretism would ultimately be a totalitarian gesture on the part of those who would ignore greater values of which they are not the masters. True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity… What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says ‘yes’ to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another.” (Evangelii Gaudium 251) source

“Christians often do not even know the core of their Catholic faith, the Creed, so as to leave room for a certain syncretism and religious relativism, without clarity on the truths to be believed and the salvific uniqueness of Christianity. The risk is not far off today of people building a so-called “do-it-yourself” religion. Instead, we should return to God, the God of Jesus Christ, we must rediscover the message of the Gospel.” source

“We must be careful not to fall prey to conciliatory syncretism which, in the end, is empty and a harbinger of a totalitarianism without values. … This invites us, first, to return to the fundamentals.” source

21. Economic Subsidiarity

“[T]he social doctrine of the Church teaches us that the principle of solidarity [should be] implemented in harmony with that of subsidiarity. Thanks to the effects of these two principles, processes should be at the service of human beings and of the increase of justice, without which there can be no true and enduring peace.” source

“We [should] also learn to appreciate more fully the important values inspired by Christianity, such as the vision of the human person, the nature of marriage and the family, the proper distinction between the religious and political spheres, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, and many others.” source

“[T]he ideals which shaped Europe from the beginning [included] peace, subsidiarity and reciprocal solidarity, and a humanism centred on respect for the dignity of the human person.” source 

22.  Support of Catholic Apologetics

“[In] professional, scientific and academic circles…[we should be] developing new approaches and arguments on the issue of credibility, a creative apologetics which would encourage greater openness to the Gospel on the part of all.” (Evangelii Gaudium 132) source

“[Confirmation] gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith… to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of his Cross.” source

“[A] dialogue is not doing apologetics, although sometimes you must do so, when we are asked questions that require an explanation.” source

23. Support of the Mass in Latin and Ad Orientem

“By the celebration of the sacred mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite…may [the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter] contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better comprehension and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.” source

On January 12, 2014, Pope Francis celebrated Mass ad orientem. source

On October 31, 2013, Pope Francis celebrated Mass ad orientem. source

During his January, 2015 trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Latin. source

On December 24, 2013, Pope Francis celebrated the traditional Latin Mass. source

24. Condemnation of Progressivism

“[The] spirit of adolescent progressivism” says, “[We] cannot become isolated or remain stuck in our old traditions. … And this is what we call apostasy; the prophets called it adultery. … Still today, the spirit of worldliness leads us to progressivism, to this uniformity of thought.” source

“[There is] a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the ‘do-gooders,’ of the fearful, and also of the so-called ‘progressives and liberals.’ ” source

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