The Pope has Spoken and I Accept It.

The Pope has Spoken and I Accept It. December 7, 2016
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Aleteia Image Department
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Aleteia Image Department  Aleteia


I’ve been standing on the sidelines, watching the hate-Pope-Francis movement tear into the fabric of the Church with destructive glee for a long time now.

I have absorbed the meaning of the venomous comments, malicious misinterpretations of what he says and deliberate destructiveness without remarking on it. I’ve been silent, hoping it would run its course and wear itself out, that the obsessed people who are focusing their internal rage on Pope Francis would find another target.

But that is not happening. In fact, the disrespect and hatred directed toward the Holy Father appear to be growing. It is even overtaking Catholics who normally are more rational.

This began as the usual projections of angry people who are trying to deal with their mental health issues by turning a hapless public figure into the object of what they hate about themselves. It has morphed into a growing push to convince people to ignore and vilify the pope in favor of whatever bishop, priest or lay blogger lights the internal fires of self-deification that burn inside them.

Given that, I’ve decided that I need to take a public position of my own. I want, as I usually do, to make it clear where I stand. I don’t want anyone to be confused about me and my loyalties.

I am standing with the pope.

Schismatic individualism has overtaken and is destroying simple faithfulness in many quarters of our Church. Catholics of every sort are taking it on themselves to proclaim that they will not accept the authority of the pope to govern this Church.

They are justifying this outrageous behavior by vilifying Pope Francis, using what appear to be deliberate misquotes of what he has said. They juxtapose this with other misquoted teachings from earlier popes to “prove” their point. They weave tangled skeins of canon law, misquoted papal statements, footnotes and endnotes, like a spider, spinning a web to catch its prey.

The leaders of the rageful faithful movement range from cardinals who should know better, to priests who also should know better, to bloggers looking for something inflammatory to say that will spin their view meters. The wayward cardinals and priests enjoy a kind of tribal adoration from the pope-haters.

In this upside down world, criticizing one of them results in a wave of insults and claims that the person who did the criticizing is a every kind of lowlife imaginable. This is usually followed with attempts to silence the person by attempting to get their publisher to fire them or stop publishing their work. All this is done in the name of “protecting” the Church.

The core problem here, is, as the core problem with human failings always is, a matter of sin. In our society today, slander, lying and amorality are as acceptable to most professional Christians as they are to nihilists, atheists and satanists. It just depends on who is doing it.

Atheists, nihilists, satanists and professional Christians alike loudly proclaim that what they are doing is righteousness. They are equally committed to the idea that anyone who disagrees with them is subhuman trash that they can treat any way they want.

The sole difference seems to be that when professional Christians paste a bandaid of pious self-righteousness over the oozing slime of sin and proclaim that it is, in fact righteousness, they choose a bandaid that quotes canon law or Scripture. That way, they “prove” that what they are doing is of Christ.

I have been convinced for a very long time that satan is active in our society in a way that he never dared to be in years past. Time was, satan triumphed by convincing people that he didn’t exist. Now, he’s taking off his mask and coming right out front in satanic masses and satan worshipping.

At the same time, he has, it seems to me, taken over our public discourse. There is no sin which is unacceptable to professional Christians if it is committed by someone they want to support. The election just past proved that rather decisively.

We kicked God to the curb in the name of God.

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the newest object of hatred and vilification is Pope Francis. After all, who else has the authority, the moral and prophetic voice, to speak against an utterly amoral, the-biggest-and-the-meanest-make-all-the-rules zeitgeist? Who else besides the pope can correct this plunge into the pit by a whole society?

There is no one except the pope who can do this.

The pope is, as he has always been, satan’s great nemesis. He is the Vicar of Christ. He is Peter.

A good deal of the anger I’ve seen directed at Pope Francis is the anger of people who have been called on their sins which they have no intention of giving up. When Pope Francis speaks of the poor, the disenfranchised the littlest of these, he gets hit and hit hard by those whose real god is their politics.

These people have conflated Jesus Christ with their politics for so long, they have fallen so deeply into the sin of this idolatry, that when they hear the Gospels spoken by the Pope, they don’t change. They condemn the pope.

The latest hook to hang pope hatred on appears to be Amoris Laetitia. I was too sick to read when this was published, and, to be honest, I haven’t bothered to read it since. I think the reason I haven’t read it is because of all the crazy carrying on about it.

I opposed the notion of opening the Eucharist to people who had not been allowed to take it up until now. I wrote about it quite a bit during the synods on the family.

But I was wrong.

Here’s how I know I was wrong.

The Holy Spirit told the first Peter in a dream that the free gift of eternal life was open to all of humanity and not just the Jews. This was a revolutionary thought at the time. A lot of people, including Peter himself, had, based on their own reasoning, held the opposite opinion. But the Holy Spirit instructed Peter, and Peter instructed the faithful and that was that.

Pope Francis is Peter. He is not saying that Christ should be shut away and shared only with a special few who come to him trailing incense and wearing lace. Pope Francis is saying, like the first Peter, that Jesus in the Eucharist will be available to more of the people that He made, the people that He came to save.

That, my friends, is just as consistent with the Gospels as the prior way of doing things was. I believe that it is a new revelation for our times, an extension of the Covenant of grace.

I don’t believe this because I have had a vision or dream like Peter did. I believe it because Peter has said it.

Pope Francis is Peter. He is the fisherman.

I am a pew-sitting sinner who does not decide who may or may not partake of the Eucharist. I am simply blessed and grateful that I can go forward and encounter the Risen Lord in the Eucharist myself.

I do not have to make these decisions. I don’t even have to worry about them.

All I have to do is follow Christ and Him crucified. It is not my job to determine who gets to take the Eucharist. It is my job to make sure that I don’t walk past Lazarus.

The pope has spoken, and I accept it.

If you want to find me, it will be easy. I’ll be standing with the pope.




Above Photo, courtesy of Aleteia

"I didn't state that very well, sorry. Nothing wrong with the link, I just couldn't ..."

The Fallout: How to Help Women ..."
"You don't remember Lyndon Johnson doing any such thing because he didn't do any such ..."

Dr Christine Ford in Hiding Because ..."
"I haven't had the opportunity to read the FBI investigation. I'm not in the habit ..."

The Fallout: How to Help Women ..."
"Was there something wrong with the link?"

The Fallout: How to Help Women ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

176 responses to “The Pope has Spoken and I Accept It.”

  1. Interesting. I grew up in a part of the Rocky Mountain West with a large contingency of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had much the same outlook of their President that you seem to have of the Pope: The truth is whatever the current prophet says that it is regardless of what previous prophets might have said. The Truth is in service of the prophet, not the prophet in service of the Truth. If this Pope says that divorced and civilly remarried couples living more uxorio can approach for communion, then they can. If the next Pope says that they cannot then they cannot. As a convert I find your candor refreshing, because this is not the ecclesiology that I signed on for when I was received at the Easter Vigil of 2008.

      • I really don’t understand this response. No, you’re right, I didn’t sign on to follow you. I signed on to follow Christ despite the fact that following Jesus into the Catholic Church put me at odds with my Evangelical Christian family. The cost was substantial but seemed worthwhile at the time. But now I discover that the Catholic Church is exactly what I had argued to my family that it was not: a papal personality cult. Which is fine. I miss things from the Evangelical Christian background that I came from. Now I can return, content that the Catholic Church was no more interested in revealing eternal truths than my rabid family members suspected they were. Hurray (?)

        • I’m sorry if I came across as dismissive. I was too flip and I apologize.

          I took quite a few hits when I joined the Catholic Church, too. There is always a cost for following Christ, and the reason I converted was the Christ in the Eucharist called me to the Church. THAT, and not the pope, is what the Church is. The Church IS the Eucharist and the Eucharist is the Church. I don’t see how anyone can leave the Catholic Church for the simple reason that no one else has Jesus Christ the Lord, freely available and right in front of us every single day.

          Think about it. If Jesus was going to be at a big convention center somewhere, you would travel thousands of miles, cross oceans and continents to be there and see Him. Well, He IS there, every single mass, at your local Catholic Church. More than that, you can, like the woman with the hemorrhage, reach out and touch Him and be healed. YOU, little ole you, can partake of Christ in the Eucharist.

          As I understand it — and I truly have not read Amoris Laetitia, so I’m going by the yelling and screaming, denouncing and condemning — the argument is about undershot circumstances individuals may partake of Christ in the Eucharist. I gather that the Holy Father did not open the gateway, but simply relaxed the method of discernment a bit. I may be wrong about that, since I’m not sure.

          Notice how cavalier I am about these rules. The reason is simple. I don’t have to be sure about them because I don’t have to monitor who does or does not partake of the Eucharist. All I need to do is thankfully, gratefully partake of it. I am blessed.

          As to the Church being a cult of personality, if you got that impression, then it’s because I gave it to you with my loyalty to the pope. That is certainly not Catholic teaching. That’s just me. That’s what I was trying to convey with my flip answer to you. There’s no reason to go off and leave the Church because of something I said. I don’t know nuthin’.

          • I appreciate your response and the grace with which you delivered it. And I agree with all of the beautiful things that you have said about Eucharist. I agree that it is the uniqueness of Catholicism that it has the Eucharist that is the reason that we keep coming back. But we believe in Our Lord’s presence in the Eucharist because of the unique teaching authority of the Church. It is not through the perceptions of taste, sight, or touch that we perceive that that which had previously been bread is now the very body of Our Lord. It is not by putting the elements under a microscope that we know that Our Lord is truly present, but because He Himself has said so and we belong to a Church that has kept faith with what he sought to pass along. But this same Jesus that said that his body is real food also said that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. If we want to keep faith with Jesus how do we retain His words about His presence in the Eucharist, but dispense with His words about divorce?

            • As I’ve said, I haven’t read Pope Francis’ document on this, but from what I’ve heard, I don’t believe that is what he has said at all. He is not disputing the Lord’s teaching. He is simply exercising his authority as Christ’s Vicar to determine Church rules.

              Also, I differ from you that we know that Christ is present in the Eucharist because of the Church’s teaching. The Eucharist is real. It is as real and as present as the Holy Spirit. It’s healing, strengthening power manifests every time you partake of it. Stick around after Church on Holy Thursday this year. Go into the sanctuary after the priest has removed the Host. You will find that it’s suddenly just a big, echoey room. That Presence is gone. Go into any Protestant church and, even though it has been a place of prayer, you will not feel that Presence. Go sit with Him alone at night when things are tough. He is there.

              I know. His Presence got me through a lot of long nights this past year when I went alone to a local church that has the Host exposed 24/7.

              You don’t need anything to “teach” you Christ is in the Eucharist. He is there, and you recognize Him there.

              • I’m not sure you and I are really that far apart actually on the experience of the real presence. One need only experience the jarring reality of the empty tabernacle on Good Friday to understand what you mean. And I don’t want to chase this much further because I find myself deeply saddened by our exchange thus far, but I would note that my herding my Christ-loving, Evangelical family members in front of the Blessed Sacrament has not resulted in their conversion. Nor has it been sufficient to mend the division between Rome and Constantinople. Again, I don’t want to chase this too far, because I don’t want to misrepresent the fact that I not only believe in the Real Presence, but have experienced the Real Presence, but perhaps some discernment is essential. And perhaps that discernment comes by submitting ourselves to authoritative teaching.

                • Don’t herd your family members; just pray for them and trust Jesus. It will work out. As for healing wounds, we were created in the Likeness and Image of God, and that means we are free moral agents. We can chose to do evil or we can chose to do good. We can follow God, or we can reject Him. Most of the time — and I truly believe that is part of what is happening now with this unreasoning hatred of the Pope — is that people get into trouble when they try to deal with the pitfalls of life by following their own reasoning rather than just following God.

                  We are very fortunate as Catholics because we have a more clear understanding of what we should do. The trouble is, the near-schism which is being pushed by little wannabe popes who have developed tribal followings on the internet and using their power with these people to attack the Holy Father and create unnecessary divisions in the Church. Several of our cardinals have also fallen into this trap of pandering to their followers rather than leading them to follow the Holy Father.

                  I honestly think the real motivation behind this is the politics of the people who are doing it. Pope Francis has been attacked viciously and unreasoningly from the start by certain right wing factions. The ring leaders in this — what I call the puppemasters — want to exploit the poor to make fortunes of themselves. These little wannabe popes are just following along because they’ve fallen so deeply into the political heresy that they actually think that it is righteousness and turn their backs on the real righteousness.

                  I’m surprised this conversation is making you sad. Why so?

                  • Why does this exchange make me sad? Well I guess first and foremost sadness is not really a movement of the intellect and so might defy attempts at explanation. So I can only say tentatively that our exchange has left me feeling like my embrace of the Catholic Church might be inauthentic to other Catholics. See, I didn’t first fall in love with the Eucharist. I was not overcome by the sense of the Real Presence. That came later. My conversion grew out of seeking to understand what the earliest Christians believed. How the Fathers of our faith experienced the Christ Event. See I grew up in a family of committed Evangelical Christians. I had a profound conversion experience as a senior in high school. In my college years (1994-1998) I was active in the parachurch group InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. After graduation I watched as the Evangelical Churches of my youth buckled under a relativistic approach to truth that left our pastors stuttering and tongue-tied to present a “Catholic and orthodox” faith to a people desperate for truth. I had a notion that if the Holy Spirit had worked as promised and was indeed faithful to discern scripture as promised that we should be able to see that work itself out in the history of Christianity. I was struck by the degree to which the Catholic Church had weathered millenia of heresies and flawed philosophies and retained a faith still grounded deeply in Scripture and the very earliest patristic writings. Why it was almost supernatural! It was this realization that opened my heart to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, having grown up with Zwinglian approach to the Lord’s Supper.

                    But now everything seems to have shifted under my feet. I feel like I am one of your “little wannabe popes” because I want to understand how Amoris Letitia fits in with Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendor. I feel like I am a right wing hater who should just be content in the Real Presence and leave all that complex theological stuff to the boys in the birettas. This makes me sad because it makes me think my fellow Catholics regard me as inauthentic at best, and more likely a malefactor seeking to undermine the Pope.

                    • I think that the issues which you are concerned about do not represent the calamity you fear, but are instead the Holy Spirit, working to bring the Kingdom through the person of this pope. Remember: St Paul didn’t condemn slavery or the murders in the coliseums. That application of the Gospels came gradually, as the mustard seed of faith worked through Western civilization. It is still coming to places where Christianity is relatively new, and is in fact receding as we in the West drift away from Christ.

                      What we are experiencing is a mass loss of the faith in the lives of ordinary people. Widespread divorce is a manifestation of that. The Church has always ministered to everyone, and it has always sought to bring sinners back within the fold. That is its role since Christ told Peter “Feed my sheep.” I do not believe that the Pope has in any way denied either the sacramental nature of marriage or the teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman. What he is doing is what the good shepherd always does, what THE Good Shepherd taught him, and indeed all priests, to do. He is seeking out the lost sheep to bring them home. He is also welcoming the prodigals back into the family of God.

                      Jesus was extraordinarily harsh with one group of people: Priests who used the law of God to imprison and overburden the people. He called them so many names I don’t have space to enumerate them here, but some of the top ones were hypocrites and blind guides leading the blind. He said that they followed the letter of the law but ignored the spirit of the law, which was justice and mercy and faith.

                      I believe that these attacks on the Pope are based in real malice and a desire for gain by the people who are leading them. I also believe that at their true genesis they are a function of politics and trying to weaken the Church’s voice for the poor. In South and Central America a generation or so ago, priests, bishops and nuns were kidnapped, tortured and murdered for standing with the poor. Oklahoma’s own Father Stanley Rother was murdered for refusing to abandon his flock of poor Indians. The Pope is a little too conspicuous for that, so he is being harried, baited and attacked instead.

                      I have resisted reading Amoris Laetitia because, frankly, I don’t care what it says. I do not decide who takes the Eucharist. I am just grateful that I can. I trust the Pope to administer this Church. I also trust that he will not teach that which is contrary to the Gospels and 2,000 years of Church teachings. To be honest, he can’t teach other than that. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit would let him.

                      As for these wannabe popes, you’re not one of them. They are the folks running these schismatic blogs and Facebook pages, and the big-name media pundits who have attacked this Pope since we first heard Habemus Papen. The motivation for this is power and $$$$. The Pope has power, real power, to touch people’s minds and hearts. If the Pope stands, then evil will not have a free way with the world.

                      Old scratch has taken control of a lot of things in the West. I believe that is why people are so unsettled and irrational as to be persuaded by these malicious attacks on the Holy Father. it goes with the other crazy things they are believing just now.

                      My advice to you is to stop trying to be holy by searching for failings in the Pope and instead just trust Jesus. You can not achieve righteousness by your own actions, and you will destroy your own soul by trying to live by a faux righteousness based on making invidious comparisons with other people.

                      Trust the Pope, and if you don’t feel comfortable with that, trust the Holy Spirit. Trust Christ.

                      This is His Church.

                      Now say Amen and let it go.

                    • Well I certainly appreciate your graciousness in this exchange. But look, you have grouped cardinals into your rage-filled movement of people seeking to undermine the papacy and thereby cut off the Pope’s mission to the poor. You refuse to see the possibility that the four cardinals could be well-intentioned followers of Christ seeking the good of the Church. I think the Pope feels a deep wound for those who are the victims of a culture of divorce. I think he is determined to do whatever he can to include and walk beside them. Faced with a nigh intractable problem he has asked some of his bishop theologians to try to find a way to minister to and include good people who find themselves in very difficult situations. I think that Cardinal Schonborn did his best to come up with an approach that would keep intact all of the teaching of the church and include new sacramental possibilities for these deeply hurting individuals.

                      But I also think that those four cardinals are well-intentioned disciples of Christ. I think that they see dangers in the Pope’s approach to this problem that will ultimately damage people in the future. They see any attempt to de-emphasize eternal truths as boding particular ill for the poor and the week of future generations. They are not accusing the Holy Father of having bad intentions. In my mind they do not see themselves as undermining the Pope, but doing the exact opposite: they are seeking to preserve and protect the teaching authority of the Pope by seeking to protect the teachings of past Popes. They are seeking to protect not only Familiaris Consortio, but Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, and, yes, even Amoris Laetitia by protecting all of the teachings of past Popes. They are laying down a marker that says surely Peter has not intended to overturn anything written by his predecessors as doing so would be to turn his own teachings into emanations limited to only his time in the Chair.

                      You have painted a picture of a good Pope wearing a white hat and a handful of sinister black hat wearing cardinals. But I don’t see why all involved doing what they think is right for all of the Church and all of the world. I would urge you to try to see that there could be more good people in this tension than maybe you had imagined.

                      I know that your advice to me comes from a good place. I do believe that you want what is best for me. But when you say, “This is His Church” I think, “But that is exactly the crisis I am in, no?” Yes, I believe that the Catholic Church is the church that Christ founded, that Christ intended a visible role for Peter as the head of His Church. But when I first met Christ ‘in the breaking of the bread’ in Catholic Communion, it was because I already knew Him from my years of walking with Him as an Evangelical Christian. Understand that for me saying Amen and letting it go may very well mean embracing the Christ that I have long known and sighing and accepting that my Christian brothers from other traditions were right that the Pope is not Peter as the Catholic Church has claimed. I am not willing to do that yet.

                    • Actually, it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this discussion what the cardinals’ motivations might be. Their actions are what matter, and their actions have sown divisions in the Church and fed a tidal wave of downright satanic attacks on the Holy Father and the teaching/governing authority of the Pope. If they were sincerely trying to do good, then they messed up and need to say so. If they were trying to do damage and cause trouble, well, they got what they wanted.

                    • I think the divisions were already there. Different bishops have interpreted this document differently. I think what the Cardinals were trying to say to the Pope is that he needs to clearly teach the faith.

        • Check out Sue’s comment above. She makes a good case that this is not a statement subject to infallibility.

          Which doesn’t mean it’s not serious. I watched Anglicanism disintegrate over what seemed a small thing like this. So I take it seriously. I also became Catholic responding to an authentic teaching authority. At this point, however, I’m willing to give it more time before doing anything drastic.

  2. “Pope Francis is Peter. He is not saying that Christ should be shut away and shared only with a special few who come to him trailing incense and wearing lace.”

    Ah, this is the rub. In my opinion there are many “faithful” Catholics that don’t want to share the pew with people who have messy sins. They feel like they are so right that they miss the mess of sins they commit. It is almost like they want to save all the Catholicism for themselves.

    In my opinion again I think there are many who are lusting to have a holy war. They are using the Francis hate to further their cause.

    I don’t understand it.

  3. People like to know The Rules. The Rules tell them who they can be awful to and how to “technically” escape sinning and where to build nice, tall walls to shut others out. Having a Beatitudes Pope, rather than a legalistic Pope, makes it difficult because you can’t be awful to people, or escape on a technicality, or build walls to shut others out. A Beatitudes Pope makes it hard to be Righteous and stand above others and people don’t like that.

  4. Yeah so let’s just go ahead and vilify everyone who might have some concerns/criticisms for the Pope. It’s not like *any* of them could possibly be coming from a place of sincere faith and loyalty to the Church.

    Seems legit.

  5. ‘In our society today, slander, lying and amorality are as acceptable to
    most professional Christians as they are to nihilists, atheists and

    I am astonished at this statement. You are boldly saying that atheists accept slander, lying and amorality? I’m no atheist – but what is your justification for such a blatantly bigoted remark? I know atheists, and while I disagree with their viewpoints, they are moral people. You believe otherwise?

  6. The Pope has spoken however the question is “what did he say?”.

    Also – this seems like a stretch

    “Schismatic individualism has overtaken and is destroying simple faithfulness in many quarters of our Church. Catholics of every sort are taking it on themselves to proclaim that they will not accept the authority of the pope to govern this Church.”

    Do you have any examples of that?

  7. “In this upside down world, criticizing one of them results
    in a wave of insults and claims that the person who did the criticizing is a
    every kind of lowlife imaginable. This is usually followed with *attempts to
    silence the person* by attempting to get their publisher to fire them or stop
    publishing their work. All this is done in the name of “protecting” the Church.”

    Yes, “attempts to silence the person.”
    I know how that feels.

    I’ve been banned by a number of authors on the Catholic Channel, and this post probably won’t be published. At a minimum, it will go into ‘Review by Public Catholic’.
    “These people have conflated Jesus Christ with their
    politics for so long, they have fallen so deeply into the sin of this idolatry…”

    That reminds me of something I’ve said, only half in jest:

    I think many Catholics would vote for Satan himself, as long he was running on
    the Democrat ticket.
    “I opposed the notion of opening the Eucharist to people who
    had not been allowed to take it up until now. I wrote about it quite a bit
    during the synods on the family.
    But I was wrong…
    Pope Francis is saying, like the first Peter, that Jesus in
    the Eucharist will be available to *more* of the people that He made, the
    people that He came to save.”

    The more the merrier! Who’s next up for Communion?
    Protestants, atheists, active abortionists? God came to save them, too.

    • You’re not going to be banned from Public Catholic. I don’t ban people. I do, however, sometimes delete comments. As for “going into review” everyone does on Public Catholic. That’s how I keep profanity and ugliness off my blog. From what they tell me, long-time readers appreciate the slime-free zone I try to provide.

      Now lessee … I agree that many Catholic would vote for satan if he was on the demo ticket, but i do it with the caveat that the reverse is also true. Voting for either the candidates in the election just past was making a choice between two versions of satanic thinking, so a lot of people ended up voting for the dark fellow, mainly, I think, because they had been bamboozled into thinking that NOT voting for either of them was some kind of mortal sin. This was just politically motivated types, driving the vote, but … sigh … it worked with a lot of people. Truth told, there are times when you can’t or shouldn’t chose between evils but just say no to both.

      As for putting political party ahead of following Jesus, that is a full-blown heresy that is one of the things driving the hate-Pope Francis rhetoric.

      Who’s up next for communion? I don’t decide. And neither do you. Instead of trying so hard to take over the pope’s job, maybe we all should spend a bit more time doing our own, which is to follow Christ in our lives. If you are doing that perfectly, then move on to bringing others to Christ. Don’t worry so much about keeping sinners out. Think more about converting them.

      • I think someone, only half in jest, once referred to the
        U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the Democrat Party at prayer.

        Anyway, in 1996 the USCCB issued “Guidelines for the
        Reception of Communion” which still appears in most, perhaps all, missals
        today. It includes these words for Catholics:
        “In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion,
        participants should not be conscious of grave sin… A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession.”

        I wonder if the USCCB will be revising the guidelines.
        Maybe something along the lines of
        ‘For divorced and remarried Catholics, as to that “grave sin” part, good news, maybe! Read Amoris Laetitia and decide for yourself!’

    • “I think many Catholics would vote for Satan himself, as long he was running on
      the Democrat ticket.”

      I would agree. I’d also point out that I think many Catholics would vote for Satan himself, as long he was running on the Republican ticket.

      In this past year where we saw the major parties nominate a pair of spawns of Satan Himself, we saw 98% of Catholics vote for one branch or the other of Satan’s plan.

  8. A new revelation? As someone who agrees AL is orthodox and stands with the Pope, could I suggest defending him with errors he himself would reject in the strongest possible terms, is not standing with the Pope or helpful at all.

    There can be no new public revelation until the 2nd coming. The Pope does not receive messages from heaven, as he made clear in his criticisms of those who purport to do so at Medjugorje.

  9. Wow. I had no idea that so much displeasure has been generated against Pope Frances. Is part of it because he is being more inclusive of some folks who have not been included before? (did that make sense?). I may be very wrong, but is he trying to change the rule about civilly divorced Catholics being able to receive Communion, even if they didn’t have the marriage annulled? I think I read that somewhere. I guess he is too liberal for the conservative followers of the faith? The 10 years teaching in the RC school taught me a few things, but by no means all the “rules” of the faith. I’m just confused that that seemingly kind, caring man is causing such a stir among the faithful, and apparently even among the Cardinals, and priests etc. IF I were Catholic, I think I could follow Pope Francis.

    • Jesus was a kind, caring man, but He caused quite a stir, too.

      Pope Francis is preaching Christ to people who want their own limited and controllable hrist created according to their own convenient definitions of what He should be. They want support for their politics and defense of their sins. They want to use Christ as a club to beat people with, not convert and save them.

      They do not want the Christ of Calvary. Jesus Christ is a scandal to them, and they become irate because without the defense of their anger, they would be forced to change. If the Pope is right, then some of the things they are doing are wrong. So, the Pope is under attack. It’s always been this way.

      Jesus said it best: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For those literalists among us, I don’t think He meant for us to pick up weapons and start killing people. I believe He was speaking metaphorically. 🙂

      • Thank you, Rebecca. I know Jesus caused problems for the powers in charge at that time—do remember my Methodist upbringing and the years teaching in Catholic school—but I never really thought about it in relation to the daily life of the leader of the Church. Yes, I agree, I think Jesus as speaking metaphorically. 🙂

          • We don’t attack people personally on this blog. You’re new here, so I’m warning rather than deleting. Stick to the issues. Tell us why you know that abortion before 12 weeks kills a living child. But do not attack another commenter.

            • I’m confused if you’re talking religiously or scientifically?

              Scientifically it’s a separate living organism – seperate DNA, and exhibiting all the signs of life. So scientifically I know this is a living human (although not a child). The question is whether you believe the stage of development (or degree of independence) gives moral significance. (Or indeed – whether it’s oneself or another?)

              Religiously, early Christians held to the Pythagorean thesis (soul at conception) rather than the Aristotlean (soul develops gradually through various phases) – and I would say the bible supports the Pythagorean thesis, primarily in the fact that John the Baptist leapt in the womb (recognising Jesus) when the newly pregnant Mary arrived. If Jesus was not ‘ensouled’ until some months later this would not make sense. There is also Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”. Whereas Islam teaches the Aristotlean theory: “The Prophet said, “Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, ‘O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.’ And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, ‘O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female?” …. so Islamic Relief (to give an example) will help to provide abortions up until 120 days after conception (ie about 17 weeks), whereas a catholic charity would never provide abortion (and be heavily criticised for signposting people etc).

              When we chose to disassociate the philosophical nature of being a human person (and having human rights to life etc) and the physical nature of being a distinct being (ie seperate DNA) to allow abortion to be morally acceptable, we opened the door to removing rights from all distinct humans who fail to pass a test of “personhood” (I think this is currently self identification?).

              We now see ethicists saying that it is permissible to kill babies as they are not human persons (until about 15 to 24 months) and it would be kinder on the parents by providing closure rather than worrying about an adopted child coming to find them. In some countries (ie Belgium/Netherlands) this logic is used in practice – although only on disabled babies.

              What Christians believe about God has shaped what we believe about ourselves and our relations between each other. I believe in universal human rights because I believe all of us were created “in the image and likeness of God” – we do not earn our right to life, and we are none of us more worthwhile than the other. The Romans didn’t believe that – theirs was a society with abortion, infanticide, a lack of charity towards the stranger and a lack of individual rights (the family was the primary unit – the father of the family even held the power of life and death over his children). It is not primarily the passage of time that changed that – it was knowing the Truth, and as society slips away from the Truth then the roman beliefs return…

            • Well, Rebecca, fairness is a two-way street, is it not? Why do you give a platform to Pagan Sister to speak evil against babies 12 weeks old and younger? HAVE YOU EVER “WARN” HER THAT BABY KILLING IS EVIL? Their lives mean nothing to her and her small evil brain doesn’t understand that she was once at the same stage as those babies. She should have been banned for promoting baby killing in your blog!

              Isn’t baby killing of 12 weeks old and younger PERSONAL? I think attacking an entire group of 12 weeks old and younger is quite PERSONAL!

              You can delete my comment Rebecca, but I will screenshot you and post your hypocrisy on Twitter.

              • I’m not sure what your point is except that you want to make a jerk out of yourself by threatening to slime me as punishment for insisting on civility on this blog.

                How that relates to fairness, only you would know.

                I repeat: I do not allow people to call one another names on this blog. I also do not allow them to be uncivil to one another. If you really, truly care about unborn babies, then you should speak of that; of the reality of their lives, that they are human beings who die a terrible death in abortion. Just calling people names does not save one baby’s life, and it besmirches the noble cause of advancing the sanctity of human life. As for making this kind of vicious little threat — that speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

                If you want to post this on Twitter, get on with it. Be my guest and I don’t care.

  10. Maybe I’m misinterpreting the nuances of your article. But if I am understanding your article to mean the Pope is opening up reception to the divorced and remarried, then I think you have misinterpreted the Pope. His Papacy seems to be about bringing sinners back to God and His Church. But in his 2/18/16 press conference he said:

    “Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration.”

    So I don’t think the analogy of St. Peter works. The Pope wants to open doors so they might turn back to Our Lord, but not tell people they don’t need to change.

    But, if it turns out I’ve misinterpreted you, then feel free to ignore/delete this and accept my apologies.

  11. I’m not angry at the pope and certainly don’t hate him. But it’s a fact that for 2000 years, Catholics have understood matrimony to be a bond that can be broken only by death. This understanding is based on the words of Jesus himself. Pope Francis has changed this universal doctrine to a matter of private opinion. That’s all.

  12. I seem to spend a lot of time explaining Pope Francis to both sides.

    Technically, the divorced and civilly remarried (DCR) have always been able to take communion. To do so, they had to live as “brother and sister”, not “man and wife.”

    So, yes, the DCR have been able to, and still can take communion. What Pope Francis seems to be saying is that the proper job of a pastor in such cases is to accompany such a couple on their journey towards such a state, giving guidance where useful, the sacrament of reconciliation when necessary, connecting them to resources that may be helpful, and yes, the Eucharist during those times when they are in a state of grace.

    The problem with letting the DCR take communion in the past is not that they might harm themselves by taking the body and blood when in a state of mortal sin, the problem in the past has been the sin of scandal: that of appearing to be in violation of the requirements for proper reception.

    This is answered by the admonition to offer communion to such a couple privately, or “in such a way as to avoid scandal.”

    No good, however, can come from simply telling the DCR, or any other sinner that they are not welcome in God’s Church, or to give them the impression that there is no other option but a civil divorce. While the harder path (near occasion of sin, and all that), living together as brother and sister is a viable response, and one that does address the real world concerns that a civil divorce may occasion.

    Nobody, and that includes Pope Francis, is saying that the DCR may commit adultery on Saturday night, then stroll into the communion line on Sunday morning and take communion with the rest of the (we earnestly hope) faithful who have made the necessary preparations to receive properly.

    • Not quite nobody- Bishop McElroy of San Diego and Cardinals Kasper and Marx have suggested EXACTLY that adulterers are quite welcome within the church with neither confession nor repentance. But they’re not Pope Francis.

  13. When Pope John XXII publicly denied the beatific vision a number of times, the Cardinals rebuked him until he recanted. The Pope is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra, which he did not do in Amoris Laetitia. So the Pope may have been in error on the issue of civil marriage and reception of Communion. It is the responsibility of the Cardinals to act if they believe he is in error. It is the responsibility of the rest of us to let the hierarchy deal with the problem without exacerbating it. And we need to respect all the parties involved until the situation is rectified .

      • No, in the late middle ages the Cardinals acted like the court of the ruler, the Pope. They were his advisers and cabinet, so to speak. That made it their job to speak to him in this highly unusual case in which he erred.

    • exactly; all francis has to do is declare officially that doctrine has changed and that will end it all; but until he does that he bears some responsibility for not acting like a pope should ie as a true Shepard to the flock.

    • What Pope John XXII discussed was not yet defined. His successor defined the issue. John XXII made reference to it in homilies, not in teaching. There was some fear he was making an official ruling.

      The people who tried to make him out to be heretical were the “Spiritual Franciscans,” whom John XXII had ruled against previously, and they did so to undermine his rulings.

      So, I don’t think a parallel exists between John XXII and Francis.

  14. This is a sincere and intelligent article. I have had the privilege of performing within the Catholic Church and knowing Father Jorge very closely. During the Cáritas retreats he taught us that going out to the periphery to seek and comfort the lost sheep was more important than arranging the flowers inside the Church, to prevent the Church from suffocating and becoming sick. Their bishops and priests in Argentina usually live lives without luxuries, coherently with the preaching of Jesus, and you can find them traveling in public transport like Father Jorge did. I myself, as a volunteer of Cáritas in prisons, have seen him wash the feet of prisoners looking into their eyes, making them feel valued and loved by God. It is true that within prisons and other places of extreme pain the liturgy can not be perfect, but I have seen many hearts being perfected thanks to the acceptance of God’s unconditional love, repentance and conversion. Father Jorge lived always with total coherence, risking himself in many ways, but always being a living image of what Jesus would be walking among us. Even in his own country
    people of small spirit tries to pigeonhole and criticize him when he receives people who have insulted and offended him, showing the most perfect form of love. Of course, his actions, which are so absolutely Christian, annoy those who want an elitist church, where many prelates want to continue to enjoy privileges and material luxuries.
    I think it is time to leave for a moment the profound theological studies and Byzantine discussions and to read the Bible with modesty and open hearts, for the whole truth is there. Pope Francis is not on the right or on the left, he is nothing more than CHRISTIAN. He acts as Jesus would have done, teaching with his words and actions.
    Sometimes I think that those who hate and criticize him (I suppose they consider their lives to be immaculate) would also reject, criticize, and crucify Jesus himself when he returns. Without being satanic, believing themselves to be perfect Catholics capable of judging their neighbor, with their pride and malice they are helping to organize a feast in Hell. Pope Francis is a clean mirror and sometimes it is not comfortable to see the truth of who we are, but it is the only way to be more and more perfect in following Jesus. And this is the most important task we have on this earth. May God bless Pope Francis, for teaching with love and steadfastness, for being so genuine, for not seeking the approval of anyone but God.

    • We don’t consider ourselves to be immaculate. We cling to the Truth of Christ in a world that wants us to not be faithful to Christ. I’m incredibly depressed by what has transpired. We deserve our feast in Hell, because we are the Pharisee, no longer deserving of Divine Mercy or the Love of God.

    • Marta, Are you Argentine?
      Just one comment, PF seems to criticize those who tend to traditional and embrace those who are heterodox or outright sinful. That’s part of the personal reaction you see.

  15. Rebecca do you not think that the four Cardinals deserve a right of reply from the Holy Father instead of this constant demonizing? You say that ‘the Pope has spoken’. But the real problem is is that the Pope hasn’t really spokrn attall. Instead he just leaves a trail of moral confusion.

    • I think that the four cardinals should have posed their questions privately, if they seriously didn’t know, which, to be honest, I kinda doubt. What they are doing is akin to a general, publicly attacking the authority of the commander in chief. I think, to be honest, that this a lot more personal than people realize. I also think that there are lot of people out there who have made a cult of personality of at least one of these cardinals and placed him above the Church itself; all in the name of the Church, of course. The cardinals are sowing division in the Church, feeding what is becoming openly schismatic behavior from some of their fanatical followers on the blogs and feeding the hatred and vilification of the Vicar of Christ.

      • Rebecca, Cardinal Burke is the foremost canon lawyer in the world. They stated in the letter with the publication of the Dubia that they had sent the Dubia privately to PF months ago, made a couple inquiries to the office asking when they could expect a response and waited. In the meantime PF had made a lot of comments about rigidity, but never responded at all. The next step, canonically, is to make the Dubia public.
        And they are still waiting for a response. From what I’ve read, it isn’t unusual to have questions regarding papal documents and the Pope usually answers. He has to answer to the Cardinals, the Church and the Lord.
        That’s what concerns me, not the sedevacantists, or apocalyptic watchers.

        • I once had a problem with the liturgy and copied the appropriate congregation in Rome. I received a response from Rome 2 years later. On the other hand, I’m not a cardinal.

      • This actually shows an unawareness of basic facts: they posed it privately and when Francis refused to respond they felt an obligation to go public. Your argument has various other errors: it is basically an ad hominem attack, demonizing the cardinals and trying to (hypocritically) judge their motives, although perhaps you can read souls. There are many bishops, priests, scholars who have publicly submitted such questions also; even among cardinals there are actually six that submitted the dubia while there have been prior groups, including 13 at one point, which raised questions about these issues when they surfaced at the synods. You will then have to demonize all these folks, too. Others are afraid to publicly say something due to the atmosphere of fear and intimidation that has been created. Francis could stop any divisions immediately by answering the dubia and his refusal to do so is bizarre. Instead he and his minions launch vicious, passive-aggressive public attacks on people. The burden is on him to clarify something regarding which there is clearly a problem, & if you claim there is no problem why do we have one bishop or country saying one thing and another the opposite, each claiming to be validly interpreting Amoris L? Francis is obviously allowing this to happen, so who is the one sowing division and confusion? Furthermore, please tell me, if my bishop teaches something opposite of what Francis seems to be and my bishop says he is properly interpreting AL, and Francis refuses to declare this correct or not, to whom should I give my allegiance? (And the answer cannot be that it is precisely because Francis is allowing different approaches, as Francis himself has stated there is only one possible interpretation.) The elephant in the room is that we all know why he doesn’t reply: because certain replies constitute doctrinal error, including heresy for at least one of them.

      • I see no grounds for the speculation that there is a ‘public feud’ among the men. Many Catholics are worried, and we deserve clarity and peace about what Pope Francis truly believes.

        The cardinals did pose their questions privately through a letter to Pope Francis. They received no response after several months and only then made their dubia public, but it was not to ‘attack’ the Holy Father. Within AL are areas which strongly appear to be contradicting Church teaching. Out of spiritual concern for the Catholic faithful, that we are not caused to be conflicted or wrongly led, the four cardinals have said that they may have to make a formal correction if the pope does not explain whether he believes in church teaching on the reception of Holy Communion for the divorce and remarried or whether he doesn’t. It’s not that the cardinals do not know church teaching, of course they do; but authority has to be challenged if it appears that church teaching is being contradicted. This is not malice; this is adherence to truth.

        *None of what I have set forth now and in my prior comments indicates a sanctioning of the comments you have had to delete. Those who write viciously and hatefully toward our pope I would think are that way in their lives generally. It doesn’t take much to light the pilot light of certain folks’ invective. That kind of adverse behavior is not the same as seeking answers in good faith and respect. And for all anyone knows, those vicious people could actually be anti-Catholic.

        • There are pretty big web sites that basically have made their bones on disrespecting the Holy Father for several years now. They also hero worship others, among them one of the cardinals in question. There has been a cult of personality that has grown up around one of these cardinals, in particular.

          As for any posts of yours that I may have deleted, I don’t remember them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t delete them. It means that I’ve gotten a bunch of posts that were unbelievably abusive and over the top, all in the name of how righteous they are for attacking the pope and how I’m a moral ingrate because I won’t attack the Pope.. In addition to being disrespectful of the Pope, many of them were misogynist and downright vile in the way they attacked me personally. If yours got accidentally deleted along with them and didn’t deserve it, I regret that. Sometimes I make mistakes.

          I will say, however, that if the things residing in my delete file are an example of what good faithful Catholics have fallen to … then we do need conversion on a mass scale, and not just of the liberal side of the fallen, but the uber conservative, as well. This vitriol has nothing of Christ in it.

          As for all these vicious people being anti-catholics pretending to be Catholic just to make the rest of us look bad, I wish it was so, but it’s not. They are pathetically lacking in discernment as to who they follow, and they truly are an embarrassment to the rest of us, but they are our vicious sickos and no one else’s.

  16. I agree with your position of obeying the will of the Holy Spirit through the Pope. The difficulty is we don’t know if the Pope intends to open up communion to the remarried or what this means. He won’t clarify. Is he telling us that there are instances where living in mortal sin cannot be assumed, that mortal sin is relative, that living in sin should no longer require repentance before partaking in full communion? It’s not hateful for the faithful to expect an answer to legitimate questions and not remain in utter confusion and division over these questions.

    • I am talking about the vicious things I’ve heard said about the Pope. I’ve just been deleting them, one after the other. 🙂

      BTW, I just now got to your comment Mike!

      • I see that too. What I’m suggesting is that it seems the cardinals are asking necessary questions and only asking the Pope to clarify what is definitely confusion. For example, I don’t know whether your interpretation of the Pope’s position is correct. And if it is correct then how does this square with the issues raised by the cardinals?

  17. Pope Francis was chosen by the Holy Spirit. He deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt. As Marta Yantorno has pointed out, he has walked the walk his entire life. He has the ‘smell of the sheep’ and has gone into and lived in places of danger and poverty that I would guess few of his critics have. He is in a position to be slightly more in tune with the mercy of God than his critics. If your focus is on who should be in the communion line, then please look at your own unworthiness and stop judging others. If you say with your heart “Lord I am not worthy…” as we all do before communion and then say to yourself “even though I am not worthy, I can still receive but I know others are less worthy than I and should not receive” then you should be the one to get out of the communion line. The only human being who was ever truly worthy to receive Christ’s body and blood was our Blessed Mother. We are allowed to receive, despite our unworthiness. The Pharisaical spirit that Christ had to combat is still being fought in the person of Pope Francis. The Pharisees didn’t like their false piety being called out, so they hated Christ. They hated the sinners He associated with and demonstrated His love and mercy to. The Pharisees “knew” who were the unworthy, and in their smug pride condemned themselves to hell by crucifying the One they deemed most unworthy of all. Those who think they “know” better than Pope Francis might want to consider the power of pride to deceive. The clergy who think they “know” better than Pope Francis might want to also consider why the Holy Spirit hasn’t chosen them for the papacy. The Holy Spirit tends to find people who are happy being humble and unseen and unheralded, which is the way Pope Francis lived his life until God chose him for a higher calling.

  18. I sure wish I could still stand with the Pope. But the apparent hatred of the victims of divorce scares the heck out of me.
    There are already many priests, bishops, and Cardinals that no longer believe in the indissolubility of marriage. There are many more who believe in the indissolubility of marriage, but think that Amoris Laetitia changes it.

    It was vague, but it was there- the call to confession, the call to reonciliation. It was not a call to repentance and it was not enough, sadly, to change anything at all- marriage in the world is dying. We are losing the sacramental nature of the sacrament, and there are many who now will blame Pope Francis with what he had nothing to do with- the poison of divorce and homosexuality has done the job it was designed to do after 80 years- the destruction of the Sacramental nature of the Church,

        • Stop judging the Pope Ted! Just, as you say, clean up your own mess. That’s really more than enough for each one of us if we do it honestly.

            • None of this “causes” people to get divorced. It is rather a response to the fact that so many people have tossed their marriages aside that the Church has to find ways to reach out to them and minister to them. It is just the shepherd, seeking the lost sheep.

              • The shepherd seeks the sheep to bring them to the truth, not compromised doctrine, Rebecca. Even Our Lord let those who would not take the hard teachings walk their way.

                Please, don’t use your position as moderator to silence the voice of those who are doing nothing more than pointing out the truth of the situation that is too easily glossed over as hate mongering. It’s not.

                This is serious business.

                • I’ve let through a ton of comments on this, PGMGN. But there are limits. I silence no one. They just can’t put filth on my blog. I say quite plainly in the blog rules that Public Catholic is not a forum for attacking either the Church or the Pope. I meant it. Those who wish to do so are free to crawl back to the cesspools which promote that sort of thing and do their worst.

                  You are using the Lord’s reaction to those who walked away from Him when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life in a way that doesn’t really run parallel to this situation. First, so far as I know, the Holy Father is NOT keeping anyone prisoner if they want to “walk away.” Second, you are making the assumption that the Holy Father is teaching compromised doctrine, which means that you are putting yourself ahead of the Pope in determining what is correct doctrine. That’s a rather spectacular bit of self promotion.

                  Again, I’m not sure how you think this part of Scripture is analogous to this situation. What I see is that the internet Pharisees are attacking Peter in what amounts to self-righteous self-promotion, and their followers are going around hissing and spitting and attempting to degrade both the Pope and anyone who defends him. This is not faithful disagreement, confusion or doubt. It is a deliberate attack on the authority of the Pope, and the Church.

                  Yes, it’s serious business for a Catholic to attack the Holy Father with slander, name-calling, and denial of his teaching authority as the Vicar of Christ. That is in fact the serious business I am addressing.

  19. I’m not sure if you’re still reading and responding to comments on this article as a few days have passed, but here’s how I see it.

    There is a legitimate discussion over the role of the Eucharist – is it medicine for the sick, or do they “eat and drink their own damnation”? (But if this is the issue then we should also look at the general applicability of Canon 915 – why are the divorced & remarried a special case?)

    The most shocking thing about the issue is what some of the German bishops and cardinals have said, effectively that it is impossible to follow God’s law – even with God’s help. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden light. He also said that anyone who loves him will keep his commandments. However Cardinal Kasper said (in relation to the divorced and civilly remarried living as brother and sister) that “it’s a heroic act, and heroism is not for the average Christian”.

    This is what worries me. Not “who receives communion”, but “what are we called to do”. Are certain actions always wrong or can everything be made good by circumstances? (Current teaching is that the action may always be wrong, but circumstances can mean that doing the action isn’t always a sin)

    It should be possible to live out the vocation of marriage with the support of the church, but we are told that maybe 50% of marriages are invalid and some are repeating the words of the disciples “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”.

    • Paul, this weekend was my anniversary. we had a miserable anniversary last year, due to illness, so my husband and I really went all out this year. That’s why I haven’t been around.

      On another note, thank you for making a rational comment. Evidently, some nut job linked my post to their blog and I’ve been deleted one attack comment after another. That made your comment a breath of fresh air. Thanks for talking about the issues and doing it intelligently.

  20. This is why some are upset, or part of it, “And since people have a tendency towards coprophagy, it can be very damaging,” the pope insisted”
    The interview was in Spanish and makes more sense in Spanish than English.

  21. This is the other big concern.1) The way it presents the role that mitigated culpability should play in pastoral care

    2) Its inconsistent notion of “not judging” others

    3) Its account of the role of conscience in acquitting persons in objectively sinful situations

    4) Its treatment of moral absolutes as “rules” articulating the demands of an “ideal” rather than binding moral duties on everyone in every situation.

    5) Its inconsistency with the teaching of Trent

  22. The only ones I have heard him make disparaging remarks about are traditional Catholics. Others he does not want to “judge”.

    • I think what you’re heard is a back-and-forth with the cardinals who are making a public show of “questions” in order to attack the teaching authority of the pope. The pope is talking about them by indirection, not you and your friends.

  23. Rebecca, while you rightly call out those who take joy in pope bashing – respectfully – your premise that one should blindly recognize such an outright novelty as a “new revelation” for our times, regardless of the contradiction with tradition is inconsistent with the documented history of the church. This premise is easily proven false beyond a shadow of a doubt multiple times in church history; see case of pope Honorius, declared a heretic by the infallible 3rd Council of Constantinople. Those who took his embracing of the Monothelite heresy and embracing of all the as a “new revelation” were (objectively) in error, and later declared as such. We have to at minimum consider the historical facts, especially when members of the hierarchy begin to speak up in such a way that is unprecedented in recent history.

  24. This statement of yours is absolutely false: ” I believe that it is a new revelation for our times, an extension of the Covenant of grace.” The Catholic church does not believe in “new revelations” as it teaches that all revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle. The proposition in fact was condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his decree Lamentabili sane. It lists 65 proposistions of which the following is listed as no.21: “Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.” (Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane, 21:
    Also in Vatican II: “The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Tim. 6:14 and Tit. 2:13).” That is in Dei Verbum, no.4

  25. The correct (non-heretical) answers to the Five Dubia are: no, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    To refuse to answer each of the questions is to declare oneself, publicly, as radically dishonest.

    • There is no basis for that assumption. I think in this instance the issue is that fact that the questions were asked in a manner that is a deliberate attack on the pope and the papacy rather than being honest questions. A refusal to answer — and so far as I know, the pope has not “refused” anything — is a zero sum game. It is not dishonest; or honest. It is a no answer. To refuse to answer what is in fact something other than an honest question and is instead a radical and very public attack is probably just simple intelligence.

      These cardinals don’t appear to be asking honest questions — which would not have required this kind of public attack — they are fomenting a rebellion against the pope.

      • According to several reasonable commenters Dubai are rather common. PF has an obligation to answer according to tradition. Part of the teaching office.

  26. The pope is, as he has always been, satan’s great nemesis.

    Actually no, this is theologically wrong. Mary is satan’s great nemesis. The pope, as a yet-unsaved human being, can become a marvelous ally of the devil. When he teaches what the Church teaches, he’s a great nemesis. When he contradicts what Christ teaches, he’s in error, full stop. The Cardinals who published the Doubia are asking for positive affirmation of Christ’s teaching, and the unchangeable doctrine of the Church. To label them as “rageful” is calumny in its own right.

    These people have conflated Jesus Christ with their politics for so long, they have fallen so deeply into the sin of this idolatry, that when they hear the Gospels spoken by the Pope, they don’t change. They condemn the pope.

    Don’t conflate those who are deeply troubled by AL with those who have political idols to worship.

    Here’s how I know I was wrong.

    The Holy Spirit told the first Peter in a dream that the free gift of eternal life was open to all of humanity and not just the Jews. This was a revolutionary thought at the time. A lot of people, including Peter himself, had, based on their own reasoning, held the opposite opinion. But the Holy Spirit instructed Peter, and Peter instructed the faithful and that was that.Here’s how I know I was wrong.

    It was a revolutionary thought because the Jews didn’t have anyone to explain the Old Testament teachings to them — see how Stephen lectured the Pharisees all over again now that he could understand Moses and the prophets through the lens of Christ. If they understood that the Messiah wasn’t going to be an earthly king, Jesus would not have been crucified (“Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”) God didn’t “change” or “revolutionize” anything. He’s had one thought since the beginning, and He’ll have one thought until the end. To imply that the Holy Spirit changes things up or plans to overturn what He has already revealed is blasphemy. Either Christ said divorce and re-marriage is adultery, or He didn’t. This isn’t idolatry, it’s faith.

    Pope Francis is saying, like the first Peter, that Jesus in the Eucharist will be available to more of the people that He made, the people that He came to save.

    This strikes me as distasteful. The Eucharist isn’t “available”, like it’s a bottle of Tylenol off the shelf. I may be wrong, but it reads as though you’re implying that the Eucharist is nothing more than a utility. “If we can’t get people to stop sinning, here, maybe the Eucharist will get them to stop sinning.” What’s puzzling about the whole idea behind this proposed remedy coming from the prelature, is that it roundly ignores the unchangeable dogmatic truth that If someone is in obstinate mortal sin, there are exactly zero benefits to receiving the Eucharist. None. Zilch.

    to be honest, I haven’t bothered to read it since. I think the reason I haven’t read it is because of all the crazy carrying on about it.

    I’m sorry, can you explain this statement? How can you rail against people for their concerns when you won’t even avail yourself of what they read?

    • The things I’ve read that people are saying about the pope are vicious, malicious and deliberately disrespectful. Many of them flat-out deny his teaching authority as the pope, his administrative authority as had of the Church and his personal integrity as a man. To be honest, this goes beyond the verbiage of any document. It strikes to the heart of Church itself. And it is being fed by blog sites written by people who claim that their teachings supersede that of the pope. At last one of the cardinals who is currently making a public attack on the pope via this “question” has a cult-like following on these same blog sites.

      One of the comical things in this — it happens all the time, on every issue, btw — is the number of people that I don’t know and have never heard of who are jumping up and thinking I’m talking bout them, personally. I didn’t say anything about anyone in particular. No one. Not one. As in I did not name anyone. If someone thinks I’m talking about them, I can only take that as a confession of guilt. 🙂

  27. you’re just really confused about how the church develops doctrine but i get why; you really badly want this pope to be ‘cool’ and ‘hip’.

    anyway why doesn’t he just declare officially that doctrine has changed and settle the matter; then all this will come to an end.

    it really is that simple.

  28. I think you’re ignoring the limits of Papal Infallibility. The Pope cannot contradict Scripture. If the Pope is indeed saying that obstinate adulterers can now receive communion, then one of the following must be true:

    – Adultery is no longer a grave sin. — This statement would contradict the words of Christ.

    – Remaining in a state of obstinate sin is no longer a barrier to receiving communion. — This would contradict the words of St. Paul.

    If the Pope is indeed saying that obstinate adulterers can receive communion, then he must necessarily be saying that one of those two statements are true, which would then mean that the Pope is preaching a grave error.

    Sorry, the Papacy is not a blank check to overturn whichever teaching the Holy Father so desires to overturn.

  29. Note: This blog is not a forum for attacking the Pope or the Church. Comments which do that will be deleted. I try to allow honest discussion, and as this particular topic is so close to the line I may delete a comment that I feel is attacking the pope which was intended as commentary. If that happens, bear with me and try again, but a bit more gently.

  30. Thank you. I disagree with Pope Francis on a number of issues but none of them have to do with doctrine. I will always stand with the Pope. I may think he’s wrong (man-made global warming?! really) but I’ll stay with him.

  31. I’m letting this through so that you have more to screenshot. I wouldn’t want your readers to miss the whole show.

    I hope that no one replies to this individual.

  32. Note: We’ve had a couple of comments in which the commenter threatened to “screenshot” another commenter (or me, I’m not sure which it was) and put them on Twitter. This, supposedly, was supposed to be a threat of some sort of punishment for wrong thinking. I let the comment through, basically because the behavior is so crude and outlandish that I thought it needed to be aired. i have no truck with threats. I also have a rather low opinion of slander and sliming people as a way of punishing them for expressing their own opinions in a courteous way. Name-calling, slander, sliming other people or threatening to do that to them won’t fly here people. There are plenty of hate blogs where you let out your inner jerk. But this isn’t one of them.

    • I got the threat too, on another blog, read it a few minutes ago. You’re editing is appreciated. I attempt to not rant, and that post was certainly a rant, a very crude one.

  33. Hey Rep. Hamilton, looks like a lot of people here are in Crisis mode…

    Myself, I don’t get why so many people who aren’t themselves responsible for dispensing the Sacraments and themselves aren’t in ‘complicated’ marital situations seem so passionate about this topic.

    Maybe it is so much easier and satisfying to expend energy on Those Other People than it is to work on ones own personal issues.

    • We need clarity, John, and we want to have faith that church teaching is being followed. This is our security, how we know what is right and correct and clear, and it is this which helps us to deal with our own personal issues.

  34. I admire your simple faith and by calling it simple, that is not a put down. As for Amoris Laetitia, I did not find the material all that difficult to comprehend but then again, I am aware that our Pope is a Jesuit and was using a method of case-based reasoning about as old as Seneca and one his Order once used with a greater frequency. I refer of course to casuistry. The particular subject matter its being applied to is new but the method is not -you can read some on the subject here if interested:

    • I’m not trying to refute anything Manny. I’m just making a statement of where I stand and where I am going to continue to stand. If I ever doubted that things had gotten out of hand among the hate-the-pope fringies, the utterly crazy things I’ve been deleting have made the case. It’s time to put away criticisms and support our Pope. We can all look at things in critique mode when — but not before — the destructive schismatics have found someone else to try to hate to death.

      • Be careful where you stand, Rebecca. We are to be loyal to Christ, that includes those elected to the See of Peter.

        What is “fringie” is to believe that we can now be more merciful than Christ in calling adultery good somehow – even if it is “for the sake of the children.” Such doublespeak is disturbing. But even more disturbing is the complacence of those who fancy themselves loyal to the Faith while not vetting what they’re hearing and being expected to believe.

        The Papacy is not a game of Simon-Says.

        • You’re saying that the Pope calls adultery good? Seriously? That is your position?

          You also seem to be saying that I need to be careful by standing with the Pope because … I dunno … that would be denying Christ. Again, seriously? Standing with the Pope is denying Christ?????

          I am aware of the Breitbart claptrap trying to twist the Holy Father’s comments about the woman taking in adultery into something sinister. That, my friend, is politically motivated because the Pope differs from the alt right on certain issues. It’s also a good example of someone twisting the Pope’s words to try to slander him. It’s not about faith. It’s about $$$$$$.

          Here is the full text of what the Pope actually said. It’s, you know, about forgiveness and stuff. You do realize that the Pharisees twisted Jesus’ words in exactly this same way and for these same purposes?

          Dear brothers and sisters,

          Good morning. The Gospel on this Fifth Sunday of Lent (cf. John 8:1-11) is so beautiful, and I love to read and reread it. It presents the story of the adulterous woman, and highlights the theme of the mercy of God, who never desires the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live.

          The scene unfolds on the Temple Mount. Imagine it there, on the doorstep of St. Peter’s Basilica. Jesus is teaching the people, and some scribes and Pharisees arrive, dragging before him a woman caught in adultery. The woman finds herself in the middle, between Jesus and the crowd (cf. v. 3), between the mercy of the Son of God and the violence and the rage of her accusers. In reality, they did not come to the Teacher to ask his opinion — there were bad people — but to ensnare him in a trap. In fact, had Jesus followed the severity of the law, approving the stoning of the woman, he would have lost his reputation for gentleness and goodness which so enraptured the people; had he wished to be merciful, he would have gone against the law, which he himself had said he did not want to abolish but to fulfill (cf. Mt 5:17). And Jesus is put into this situation.

          This evil intention lay hidden under the question they put to Jesus, “What do you say about her?” (v. 5). Jesus does not answer. He is silent and does something mysterious: “He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground” (v. 7). Perhaps he was drawing; some say he was writing the sins of the Pharisees … in any case, he was writing, as though he were somewhere else. In this manner, he invites everyone to calm, not to act in haste, and to seek God’s justice. But those bad men insisted and expected an answer from him. They seemed blood-thirsty. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7). This response takes the wind out of the accusers, disarming them all, in the true sense of the word: All of them laid down their “weapons,” that is, the stones they were ready to throw, both the visible ones against the woman and the hidden ones against Jesus. And as the Lord continued to write on the ground, to draw, I don’t know …, the accusers went away, one by one, head lowered, beginning with the eldest, who was more keenly aware of not being without sin. How much good it does us to know that we too are sinners! When we speak ill of others — all things we are well acquainted with — what good it would do to have the courage to drop the stones we have to throw at others, and think a little about our own sins.

          Only the woman and Jesus remained there: misery and mercy, face to face. And how often this happens to us when we stop before the confessional, with shame, to show our misery and ask forgiveness.

          “Woman, where are they?” (v. 10), Jesus says to her. This statement, and his gaze full of mercy, full of love, were enough to make this person feel — perhaps for the first time — that she has dignity, that she is not her sin, that she has dignity as a person; that she can change her life, that she can leave behind her slavery and begin to walk down a new path.

          Dear brothers and sisters, that woman represents all of us who are sinners, that is, adulterers before God, betrayers of his fidelity. And her experience represents God’s will for each one of us: Not our condemnation, but our salvation through Jesus. He is the grace that saves us from sin and death. He wrote on the ground, in the dust of which every human being is made (cf. Gen. 2:7), God’s sentence: “I do not desire that you die, but that you live.” God does not nail us to our sins, he does not identify us with the evil we have done. We have a name, and God does not identify this name with the sin we have committed. He desires to liberate us, and he wants us to want this together with Him. He wants our freedom to be converted from evil to good, and this is possible — it is possible! — with his grace.

          May the Virgin Mary help us to entrust ourselves completely to the mercy of God, in order to become a new creation.

          • Uh, PGMGN was talking about Amoris Laetitia and the example of the wife having to submit to sex to her second husband for the economic welfare of the children of the first husband. It just occurred to me that you went straight to Breitbart, but PGMGN was only talking about Pope Francis’s own hypothetical.

              • It is the classic example from the synod, the “exceptional case” of why Cardinal Kasper wants “Discernment” on cases of the divorced and remarried to begin with.

                The hypothetical scenario is this. You have a woman who has reverted to Catholicism. Her first Catholic marriage ended in divorce after she left the church and has not been annulled. Her first husband left her and the kids, she remarried her second husband to get an economic provider for the kids. He is not currently practicing or is not Catholic, and is unwilling to cooperate with either the annulment process or marital continence necessary for her to receive communion. She is not free to choose not to have sex in the marriage- if she withholds sex, the second husband will leave and the children will starve.

                It is this case that in PGMGN’s words are “we can now be more merciful than Christ in calling adultery good somehow – even if it is “for the sake of the children.” Such doublespeak is disturbing.”

                It’s the ultimate hard case- and as we all know, hard cases make for bad law. We cannot call the adultery in this case good. Anywhere in Europe or America, it would be called a case of Marital Rape. And yet, AL indirectly instructs the confessor to hide such a case- allow the woman to take communion, and to avoid the scandal, never even imply the situation might be sinful.

              • Everything you have said in your last post is true: God wants us to be saved; he wants us to be converted from evil to good and with his grace and mercy it is possible. But that isn’t the issue being discussed here. A lack of clarity from the Holy Father about receiving Holy Communion while in a second adulterous marriage is what is being discussed. It has come across from Pope Francis that while adultery is not good of course, but his seeming approval that some people in adulterous second marriages could possibly receive Holy Communion, and that goes against Christ’S teaching on marriage. That has been the subject and that is what some of us are trying to become less confused about from Pope Francis. It is not hatred and character assassination to expect and ask for clarity in a respectful manner.

              • What he’s saying is probably that the Pope appears to say that adultery is okay if the spouse is only having sex to keep the other parent there for the children of the new marriage.

      • Don’t you think, perhaps, calling faithful Catholics who care about the definition of marriage as being indissoluble and one man one woman ” destructive schismatics” might be a bit flame throwing on the part of those defending the Pope?

        • I’m not talking about faithful Catholics who care about the definition of marriage as indissoluble and one man one woman. I am one of those Catholics myself. I am talking about people who are attacking the Pope and deliberately attempting to undermine his authority as the Vicar of Christ with what is basically character assassination. I don’t see how someone who does that is a “faithful” Catholic. This has become so virulent that it certainly is destructive and is also verging on schismatic.

          What you’re missing here Ted is that I’m not talking about you and others who are sincerely concerned and confused. I am talking about the crazy means who have formed into internet tribal hate groups with the motivation of inflicting pain on other people. The Pope is their target now, but it could be anyone, and it will always be someone. These attacks on the Pope are not just an expression of concern or even disagreement. They are sinful and evil as calumny, slander and character assassination are always sinful and evil. When they are directed against the Pope, they take on a more sinister, supernatural smell.

          • And yet, you keep bringing up the Cardinals and their dubia- which is an example of what faithful Catholics who want to defend marriage against the ilk of Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Marx and Bishop McElroy DO. They’re not “attacking the Pope”, they’re trying their best to defend the Sacrament of marriage against a very real schism in the church. Perhaps you should look at it through their eyes- through the eyes of a cradle catholic whose history is being rewriiten:

              • The destruction is equally caused by those who threaten the “existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions”. Bishop McElroy no longer acts as if divorce is sinful. The Canadian Bishops have used Chapter 8 to expand the argument to claim that suicide is not a sin. And you’d claim that those who would prohibit intrinsically evil acts, are just Pharisees complaining about nothing.

          • Here’s one of the guys who is supposedly with the Pope:
            “It must be recognized that “judgmentalism must be radically banished if we are to deliberate in a manner reflective of the God whose mercy knows no limits and a church made not only for the pure, but for all,” the bishop (McElroy) told delegates.”

          • “…I am talking about people who are attacking the Pope and deliberately attempting to undermine his authority as the Vicar of Christ with what is basically character assassination.”

            The Pope is undermining the true nature and authority of the papacy by not being clear in his teaching. That is the problem, Rebecca. Catholics look to the Pope, as they should, to be clear in teaching.

            When the Pope deliberately “makes a mess” or surrounds himself with yes-men, not those who are looking at the reality of what he says and the conflict it presents with Catholic doctrine (Christ’s own words), he is the one opening himself up for censure. Why? Because Catholics have an obligation to hold the Faith, even if an Angel of Light should come and preach a different gospel under the auspices of attempting to be more merciful.

      • I agree, things have gotten out of hand. It’s partly a failure of Pope Francis’ leadership. Perhaps mostly a failure of leadership. You can’t blame the troops for a leader alienating them.

        • The trouble with that analogy is that there is such nasty negative leadership out there. Honestly Manny, I am appalled by what I’ve seen on some of these blogs and FB pages. I think that followership is just as much an act of intelligence and character as leadership.

          • I don’t read Facebook or political blogs. They are nasty no matter what side and what issue. It’s amazing how nasty humanity is when left to their own devices.

            But there is an intellegent argument for and against Pope Francis. I try to stick with that.

  35. Rebecca;

    I read through this and I agree with nearly all of what you write. I have seen exactly what you describe and I think it’s absolutely deplorable – the flat-out hatred directed towards him, the misquoting and misreporting, the refusal to defend him when he ought to be defended, the invalid criticisms… All of it I have encountered.

    Having said all of that though, I myself do have some criticisms of the Pope and many sane, charitable people do as well; Scott Eric Alt, for example. I think it’s of the utmost importance to distinguish rational criticisms with irrational hatred, or else the former will be mistakenly lumped with the latter. I feel that some of Pope Francis’ shortcomings have contributed to this environment. Does that justify all or even most of it? Of course not. I don’t think this is reflective on his character either, at least significantly. I have no doubt that he cares deeply for his flock and for the poor. However, he has, in my view and many others’ views, a serious ambiguity and lack of clarity problem that has helped breed this toxic environment. It’s less of a character flaw than I mentioned and more of possibly an intelligence flaw. But he does have a responsibility to know his words are being received. We’re three and half years into his papacy, and it seems he still is not catching on. Part of the problem he is misquoted so often is because his words lack clarity and are easily misinterpreted. These are problems that probably aren’t going to go away. Therefore, we as Catholics have a responsibility to hold *everyone* responsible, that includes the Pope when it is necessary and the insane reactionaries who sow the division we are seeing.

    • I agree with you in a general sort of way. However, given the outright malice that is being directed at him, I don’t think we can afford to brook criticism, even constructive and faithful criticism. The reason I say that is that the vitriol has sunk to such a level that these folks grab onto any handle they can get to attack the Pope, and thus, our Church. You should see this post’s delete file. You’d need asbestos gloves to handle it.

      • If your second sentence is meant in a way that we can’t afford to criticism him, then I’d have to disagree. We’re called to speak the truth at all times. The fact that some poor sinners hate Pope Francis doesn’t give him a pass, and it doesn’t absolve us from speaking the truth. The Church needs faithful voices who constructively criticize the Pope when he needs it but still respect and defend him when he needs that as well. Otherwise Pope Francis’ actual errors will become acceptable.

      • Thank you for sparing the rest of us from having to read this stuff. Although I must say that Mark Shea allowing the alt-right bigots onto one of his threads was a real eye opener. I suspect that if you let a few of the hate the Pope bigots on here, those of us who wouldn’t dream of reading those sites would understand.

  36. “He [Pope Francis] is not saying that Christ should be shut away and shared only with a special few who come to him trailing incense and wearing lace.” With comments like this, I question the validity of your entire post.

  37. Rebecca, you are right to say that many extreme traddies seem to relish having a go at Pope Francis. What they do cannot be seen as building up the Church,
    However, it cannot be denied that that many of us are deeply perplexed by what has been going on these past three years. Maybe the right think to do is just shut up, pray, and fast. But don’t ask me to say that things are all ok when in my heart of hearts I am troubled.

  38. I don’t “hate” the Pope. I do have a great deal of empathy for those who have had limited catechetical and theological education who are trying to keep both their conscience “informed” and those of their children as part of faith formation.

    Ambiguous communications coming from Rome do not help anyone’s efforts to live our cherished Faith.

  39. It’s hard not to see those criticizing Pope Francis for preaching mercy, love, forgiveness and not-judging — hard not to see them as Pharisees, strict legalistic law-followers who judge others and show little or no love, mercy and forgiveness. If Jesus returned he would repeat his gospel message as Pope Francis is doing. It was a tough sell in Jesus’ time on earth and is today.
    When it comes to sin, each of us has more than enough to do looking after our own. The sacrament of reconciliation is there for us. Hard, though, if we are obsessing about others’ sins to look after our own.

  40. St Thomas Aquinas wrote that “self abuse,” otherwise known as masturbation, is a WORSE sin than adultery. (not to mention gross and lonely.) If you whip out your handy CCC, you will find that the Church teaches that all those who masturbate should *not* be judged as being in a state of mortal sin. It lists the reasons. They are compelling.So while it is still considered “serious sin” for many, it is most certainly *not* considered a *mortal* sin all of the time. Go read it for yourself and then do a little extrapolation about people who find themselves living with a real flesh and blood person whom they love. If I was told that I had to live as a sister with my husband, I would practically need to be in the confessional as much as at my own house. People should leave the discernment for whom is or is not in mortal sin to the guy sitting in the box (and to “Peter” who has been doing triage in that box for decades.)

    P.S. Ted and Manny, you seem like likable guys but I find all of the derision for Francis extremely ugly. I wouldn’t give you the free pass that Rebecca gave you.You’re all over the place spreading doubt and distrust like house imps.

  41. Rebecca, do you think that Pope Francis is hated and being derided by Cardinal Burke and the the other three cardinals who are very concerned about a section of Amoris Laetitia which reads as being opposed to Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage? I have not ascertained that that the cardinals have “hatred” in any manner for Pope Francis, but if they have concerns about the seeming contradictions in part of Amoris Laetitia with prior papal teachings, they have a right to question it. You said, ” Pope Francis is saying, like the first Peter, that Jesus in the Eucharist will be available to more of the people that He made, the people that He came to save.” Available on whose terms? Ours, if we choose not to follow the teaching of Christ on the indissolubility of marriage and expect to receive Holy Communion anyway while in an adulterous second ‘marriage’? When Jesus made it clear that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacrament which reflects His love for and relationship with His Church, thus it may not be torn asunder as Christ and His Church will never be separated? Therein is the confusion which the cardinals believe is murky at best and directly oppositional to Christ’s teaching at worst. I wholeheartedly have respect for the Holy Father, but when something is unclear and sounds worrisome, I depend on other Church fathers to help. I agree that we may not decide who may or may not partake of the Holy Eucharist. Christ Himself decided that.

    One of the many things I have read on this issue follows.

    “Each of the dubia is aimed at eliciting from the Apostolic See clarification on key parts of the document, most notably whether it is admissable to allow any remarried divorcees without an annulment holy Communion.
    Due to varying interpretations of this and other parts of the apostlic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), some of which appear to contradict previous papal teachings (those of Pope St. John Paul II in particular), the cardinals said they chose to highlight those points in “charity and justice,” for the sake of Church unity.”

    • To be honest, I think this is a personal feud, between the men themselves, which, due to the unfortunate actions of the four cardinals, has gone over into a public feud and is doing damage to the Church, creating divisiveness and feeding hate blogs which tend to lead those with extremely bad followership capacities;, i.e., people who are drawn to bad leaders.

      • Ted explained it well in a post further down this thread:

        “And yet, you keep bringing up the Cardinals and their dubia- which is an example of what faithful Catholics who want to defend marriage against the ilk of Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Marx and Bishop McElroy DO. They’re not “attacking the Pope”, they’re trying their best to defend the Sacrament of marriage against a very real schism in the church.”

        The four cardinals are not against their brother bishop. It is compassion for the pope that they wish not to see him in error when he is leading the salvation of souls.

  42. I think the problem with some of Pope Francis’ outpourings (and hardly a day goes by without one or two) is that they can cause confusion. He is good at saying things that upset the apple-cart but then leaves it in a mess (and he says he likes a mess!).
    It is for the members of the Church and the clergy then to put the apples back on the cart but in what order? This is what is causing the arguments….I think.
    Also Pope F has a habit of using fairly insulting words and phrases which doesn’t seem how the leader of the Catholic Church should speak (or any Christian leader should speak).

  43. There is not necessarily anything wrong in disliking the style of Pope Francis and I do not know anyone who would resort to calling him names

  44. My personal view is that Jesus (the word of God incarnate, interpreting the law of God) said “whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery”.

    To those who say “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Francis should say “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”.

    I’ve always wondered why the church doesn’t allow remarriage after adultery though (canon law allows divorce here – see seperation with the bond remaining I’m no canonist, but I think it may be reasonable to allow remarriage where the canon law currently allows seperation with the bond remaining.

    (This is completely ignoring the question of whether those not in a state of grace should approach for communion – or whether the church should withold communion from public sinners [like mafia members who Pope Francis told not to come to communion – even though there’s usually more at stake in leaving the mafia than there is in leaving a second marriage])

  45. But has he spoken? The document itself is unclear and the Holy Father has refused to make an authoritative interpretation. There are directly contrary interpretations of the document and there is no authoritative clarirfication of which is the correct.

    The Holy Father has not spoken ex cathedra. He hasn’t even spoken clearly. And there is also precedent for Pope to mispeak or speak with insufficient clarity only to later correct himself or be corrected. If only it were so easy to side with the Holy Father. The whole problem is: what “side” is he on really?

    See Edward Feser for a thorough explanation of the Historical precedents and a lucid explanation of the current controversy.

    I too unequivocally condemn the trash-talking and hatred toward the Holy Father, but I respectfully agree with many Cardinals, Bishops, Theologians, and Priests who request clarification at an authoritative level. The worst part of all of this, this Amoris Laetita controversy undermines the many necessary and beautiful calls to conversion he has given us before on simplicity, love for the poor, care for the environment, and having a missionary spirit.

    • I’m going to let your link through because you are new here. I made the mistake of allowing a lot of links through earlier in this discussion, then I realized that some of them were links to sites that trash the Pope. Yours does not fall into that. But I decided to just stop all posts with links until this cooled down a bit.

      So, if you would, don’t use links when you comment here in the future, at least for a while.

      BTW, welcome to Public Catholic.

  46. For what “IT” is worth Rebecca, I’ve read many of these comments during the last week or so and I agree with you that talking hatred toward our Catholic Papa is wrong. Many people might say that I’m basically just a simple man and don’t understand a LOT of what is truly happening in our Catholic Church. nowadays.
    Long story short, I hope that maybe next year His Holiness Pope Francis will create a small booklet for people like myself who still believe that Jesus will always be The Official Leader of our holy church and longer story shorter, our Papa is only trying to be kind to most people and at this time too many just don’t understand what he wants to do and/or are happy to destroy our Faith.
    Merry Christmas and God Bless

  47. Note: I’ve never done this before, but I have decided to shut down comments on this post. I got a number of comments that were abusive, and now I’m getting arguments and jibes about the way I run the blog. I’ve dealt with this stuff in the past without shutting down comments. But, frankly, I don’t put up with as much as I did before I got sick. I’m tired of reading insults and complaints, so I’m shutting comments on this post down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.