Monday, 16 February 2015

False Messiahs

These words are from the Gospel reading on Tuesday of last week...

And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?" And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."

And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die'; but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) -- then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."

The 'reforming' movement in the Catholic Church, starting now from the top, working its way down, is very keen to emphasise a depiction of Jesus Christ which departs significantly from the Church's 2,000 year understanding of Him. And oh how subtle this public 'reappraisal' of Jesus Christ can be. It is an understanding which can no longer be called 'new'. It's probably been around quite some time, but it is an understanding - or rather a (let's give these prelates the benefit of the doubt) misunderstanding - which is deployed very cleverly and with great cunning by those who wish to overturn the Church's teachings. In this depiction of Jesus Christ, all law - even divine law found in the Ten Commandments - is emptied of its abundantly blatant meaning and loses all relevance to man.

The above Gospel reading was used by Pope Francis to highlight this very impression of Jesus. And so what we receive is a truncated version of the message of Christ and a distorted image of the God-Man, as follows...

"In the Gospel, Jesus meets people who are afraid to set out on the path [in search of their identity] and who “content themselves with a caricature of God. It is a fake ID. These lethargic people have silenced the restlessness of their heart, they depict God with commandments and forget God: 'You, by neglecting the commandment of God, observe the tradition of men', and in doing so they turn away from God, they do not journey towards God and when they are insecure, they invent or make up another commandment".

Do you see what happened there - I say 'happened', because I do not want to say, 'Do you see what the Pope just did?' Jesus does not criticise the true commandments of God nor his interlocuters for depicting God with commandments, because God really does give us commandments (which Jesus follows 100% perfectly). Nowhere, in fact, does Jesus, in any of the Gospels, criticise God's commandments or those who uphold them. No, in this instance, Jesus says precisely this, concerning purely human traditions, to his interlocuters:

By "teaching as doctrines the precepts of men..." 
"You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."
"You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!"
"...thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on."

Oh and what a choice of words these are.

"Making void the word of God" just so happens to be what Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Marx and the whole 'Team', along with their supporters, wish to do through a programme of 'pastoral provision'. What Christ Himself (the 'Word of God') has said and teaches is no longer important to these Churchmen because a vague, human, pseudo-ecclesiastical liberal tradition dominating the minds of these persons is more important - or expedient - than God and His Commandments.

Jesus wants those who follow Him, and indeed all, to uphold and live and proclaim the commandments of God. He wants us to love Him and keep the commandments. These two things are not mutually exclusive at all. They are bound together. He does not want human ways, human traditions and human customs to be used to find shrewd ways of cleverly getting around God's commandments, or replacing them, so that they are null and void. This is precisely what liberal catholicism does.

Pope Francis (hopefully accidentally) says precisely the opposite of what Jesus says and then suggests that Jesus has said it, even though He has not.

...they depict God with commandments and forget God'You, by neglecting the commandment of God, observe the tradition of men',

This is a direct inversion of what Jesus has literally just taught! Jesus rebukes his 'enquirers' not to tell that that His enemies should not 'depict God with commandments', but because through purely human traditions (read: not God's law) - the tradition of the elders - they neglect God's commandments (read: they do not obey God) and instead observe something else, a tradition that makes God's commandments unimportant or which sidelines them entirely.

In fact, what Jesus's enemies do is pretend to love God while shrewdly neglecting his law. Just this tendency is aptly pointed out by Our Lord in his discourse on marriage, in which He says that Moses permitted divorce because of the 'hardness of heart' of those entrusted with the law. However, this is not what God wanted. Jesus then unveils not the law of Moses, but the whole truth concerning God's loving plan for marriage and its covenantal meaning and guess what? His hearers do not like it one bit! So what's new? Nothing at all, it seems. Modern man hates the same message preached 2,000 years ago.

So we see that modern Catholic prelates enjoy creating an impression of Christ who is war with those who strive to uphold God's law on marriage, divorce and remarriage, when, in fact He is anything but. They like to cast these people as Jesus's enemies when the opposite is true. Jesus's enemies were affronted not just by His teaching on mercy and compassion, but His teaching by preaching the whole Law of love of God and neighbour, including keeping those commandents, instead of doing your best to slyly circumnavigate them.

It would be very convenient for these prelates if Christ had said what they say, but He did not. In doing so, they fulfill Our Lord's prophecies that "false Christ's and false prophets and false messiahs will arise". They don't have to appear in person, in the flesh. They just have to appear as a fake depiction of the real Christ, the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord and God - a Jesus who, like Pope Francis, changes his mind or contradicts Himself within the very same week, the very same day, or even in the same hour. This false Jesus does not convict us of sin or show us the way to Salvation. We're left unsure if He is different to any other preacher or messenger. Perhaps He does die for us, but we are really left unsure why and, in any age, that is really quite disturbing.


Liam Ronan said...

Very thoughtful writing, Bones! We're awash with False Messiahs these days. God help us.

Perhaps though one or more has had their comeuppance, in part, just now.

Rorate Caeli has a 'breaking news' piece regarding the Commissioner to the FFI and the outcome of a libel/defamation suit taken against him.

gemoftheocean said...

Pope Frankie is just SO IRRITATING. You think to yourself: How can someone have reached that high of an office and be this inept? Then you remember Obama. The trouble is those who elected Obama will still be around after he's gone from office...and then you remember the infected pool that came up with "Father Bergolio" as an answer. and then you think: It's a darn good thing the cardinals in the conclave can't talk about the voting and factions, because if it was known who voted for whom, there might well be a few cardinals who would get sucker punched right in the snout. Two words: Groundhog Day

Barbara Jensen said...

I do not think that the Bishop of Rome, as he prefers to be called, is as inept as he appears. I found very insightful the comments of Jack Tollers, an Argentinian prosecutor, who knows Bergoglio from long ago, quite helpful in assessing our present pope. His interview has been on Rorate Ceoli and other sites. Tollers indicates that Bergoglio's ambiguity and flippancy are purposeful,and are directed forward to Francis' desired 'reforms'. The Tollers interview points out the deceptiveness inherent in the present leadership of the Catholic Church via Bergoglio and friends. Francis' constant name calling of faithful Catholics thwarts real discussion. People stop thinking. This is why articles such as Bones' present one helps us each to be more critical in thinking. We become more sensitized the te egregious manipulation coming from the top in Rome. Those who adhere to the true, traditional teaching of the Catholic Church are now branded, by the Bishop of Rome and his cohorts (read Kasper and company) as narrow-minded, insecure, and closed to sinners. This is all prep work for the upcoming 'Synod on the Family' Part 11 in October. It is a purposeful campaign of blatant manipulation, and it indicates the danger we are in regarding the loss of our full and true Faith. Deep prayer, radical education about the true doctrine of Catholicism, and alliance with those who follow the true teaching of Christ's Church are all necessary. Bones, keep the quality articles coming. We need them to help us think.

Deacon Augustine said...

The Pope performed a similar misinterpretation of this exact text in his closing address to the Extraordinary Synod. If you look it up you will see that he branded those who clung to the commandments as Pharisees - deniers of the "spirit" of the law.

The truth, of course, regarding the spirit of 6th commandment is taught by Our Lord: "Anybody who looks at a woman with lust in his heart has already committed adultery." The spirit of the law is far more rigorous than the letter of the law. But what would He know - He is only Jesus Christ? Who is He compared to the all-wise, all-knowing Caiaphas Bergoglio?

jacobi said...


The danger now is that "Man" will prevail over God.

In the run up to the second session on the Family, we have a planned, thought-out, deliberate attempt to ensure the instincts of Fallen Man prevail over the Commandments of Christ.

Why I do not know why, or rather would prefer to leave to another discussion, but the attempt will be made.

We live in extremely interesting, (and perplexing, did the ancient Chinese curse include that?),times.

susan said...

"If you love Me, keep My Commandments."

Remnant Clergy said...

Be ready for the schism, as prophesied at the approved Akita apparition, cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop. Be ready to become the faith Remnant Church once Francis declares heresy as the new dogma.

Marie said...

Great post, Bones, thanks and God bless.

We're being conditioned to think that its pharisaical to cling to the Law. Yet if you read the Gospels more closely, you'll see that the Pharisees were those who try to break the commandments.

The Pharisees were the ones who asked Jesus if it were lawful for a man to leave his wife and marry another. Jesus answered not just NO, but also emphasized that "from the beginning, God made them man and woman," [clearly denouncing gay homosexual "unions."]

The Pharisees were those who wanted to evade paying taxes, so they tested Jesus if it were lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.

The Pharisees were those who excused themselves from caring for aged parents by saying they gave all as "Corban."

So you see, it's the Pharisees who break the Law, not the followers whom this Pope denounces for their faithfulness.

Therefore, the real Pharisees of our time are: Cardinals Kasper, Maradiaga and their ilk. And of course the Pope himself who scolds faithful Catholics and uses his power to violate liturgical [Holy Thursday] rubrics, degrades doctrine, embraces sexual deviants, pagans, and atheists, and encourages young people to make a mess of the Church.

TLM said...

Remnant Clergy,

There are still some who do not see the writing on the wall. Traditional Catholics who have 'blinders' on. In denial I suppose. They truly think the Holy Father will uphold Church teaching. I just wonder how long they are going to hold out for hope in him, or how they may spin the situation once he declares heresy. Interesting. This Lent we have much to sacrifice for.

M. Prodigal said...

What are we faithful to do? Is there any man worthy of trust? I do not trust this pope. One can tell a lot by the men he surrounds himself with. We will do our best to keep our eyes on Christ but His vicar leaves much to be desired--he persecutes the faithful and lets the heterodox spew with impunity. Confusion reigns. Evil is called good.

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