Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

We Cannot Insist Only On...?

Or we cannot insist at all?

Let's recall what Pope Francis said in an interview six months into his papacy which was published by America Magazine.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.'

For a moment, for a very brief moment, when His Holiness made his address to the US Congress, I thought that after he made this statement...

"The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development..."

...that a rallying cry in defense of the unborn was in the offing. Let's recall that at the current time there is a huge, epic culture battle going on in the US with the Senate voting on defunding Planned Parenthood, the biggest industrial killing machine of human beings the entire continent has ever seen. Incredibly, as if to plunge a knife into the hearts of the massive pro-life movement in the US, he followed his statement with this...

"This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of..."

You can almost hear the pro-life movement watching, thinking, 'He's going to say it! He's going to say it! Say abortion! Say abortion! Please, say abortion!' And then it comes, from out of nowhere, disjointed because it has nothing to do with a 'stage of development' but rather the application of statutory justice for criminal offenses...

"...the death penalty."

US Congress speech word cloud courtesy of CMR
And you can hear the hearts of millions breaking. He's not going to champion the unborn because the unborn are just an 'obsession', it would seem, that has held back the Church. Neither is he going to rebuke the judicial arm of Government, the Supreme Court, for having legislated same-sex marriage into the law of the land. No.

So what to make of this? I find it unfathomable. I cannot understand, when the dragon of Planned Parenthood, exposed for the evil that it is, placed at the top of the political debate in the US, there is Pope Francis in Congress. With one word, one sentence, His Holiness, like St George, can slay this accursed beast.

Yet, he doesn't. Pope Francis's US 'pastoral' visit so far makes it strikingly clear that Francis's 'new' Church does not 'only' insist on' the defense of the unborn or the sanctity of marriage and the family. No. So far, his visit it making it clear that the Church does not insist on these issues at all. But it does insist on some and here are those recurring issues on which His Holiness does insist, openly and fearlessly, at great cost to souls, at great cost to the Church, its ministers and Her mission and here they are...

  • Dialogue
  • Fraternity
  • Solidarity
  • Climate Change
  • Poverty
  • Immigration and Refugees
  • The Death Penalty


There may be others so I apologise if I have forgotten them. Neither during his first address at the White House or at the US Congress has the Successor of St Peter dared to say the Holy Name of Jesus, so it goes to show that Francis cannot even 'insist upon' the Name of the very Man he represents on Earth as Vicar! Remove a little of the religiosity and religious sentiment from his speeches so far and you could be forgiven for thinking that Ban Ki-Moon or his predecessor was visiting the corridors of power in the US. His Holiness says that...

'The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.'

However, unless the Holy Name of Jesus is mentioned without fear, unless the sanctity of life in the womb is championed in a country whose powerful representatives are reeling from videos exposing this brutal evil upon the nation's unborn children, unless the sanctity of marriage and the family is defended by the assaults made upon it by the militant homosexual movement in the United States, in what manner is the Gospel proclaimed. Neither is it really proposed concretely to his hearers. A new gospel, a false gospel instead is proposed which is no less obsessed with issues than the real one advocated by those who believe, quite rightly, that every unborn life matters to God, that marriage matters to God, that the Salvation of souls matters to God. It is just unfortunate, for you, as a Catholic, if his issues, the issues he thinks the Church needs to focus on, aren't your issues or if you think that while his issues are important, the Salvation of souls, the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage and the family must be the highest priorities in the mission of the Church.

We cannot insist only on social and environmental issues while re-iterating masonic conceptions of a harmonious society in terms of fraternity...

Abortion and same-sex marriage are important issues as well. 


If the Pope cannot join his VOICE to the millions in the US who are protesting and campaigning for the defunding of Planned Parenthood then I ask you, in what sense is this Pope's visit 'pastoral and to whom, precisely, is he a pastor'?


If at this 'critical moment in our civilisation' the Successor of St Peter cannot bring himself to stand publicly in defense of the unborn in a nation that murders them systematically, at a particular time and peculiar context, when the US media and its politicians are being literally forced to confront the issue because of one brave Catholic investigator and his assistants, then it isn't the case that the Catholic Church shouldn't, in his view, 'obsess' about these 'issues' unduly. It is that these issues, rather, do not matter any longer at all. They are not 'as well' they are, in reality, replaced entirely. Nothing else can explain the semantics with which these issues are studiously and craftily avoided.

Baby parts for sale: The backdrop to the Papal Visit to the United States
I hope and pray that having said all that can be said about the issues listed above which appear closest to the Pope's heart in the houses of temporal power in the United States, His Holiness can redress the 'balance' a little and give new heart and new energy to those who, for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, wish to build a culture of life in the United States and do everything possible to discourage the culture of death which, to this day, throttles a beautiful, but now quite beleagured nation.

"Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life."

That is an interesting use of words of the Pope today. Is that a veiled, quite innocuous assessment of the Supreme Court's ruling? You could be forgiven for not getting it. Pope Francis says he 'cannot hide' his concern but why would a Pope want to 'hide' his concern for the family from anyone? It is just incredible how a Pope can speak so boldly in declaring his opposition to the death penalty, but can dance so gingerly around the words 'abortion' and 'same-sex marriage' as if the power of speaking these words alone could ignite a fire in the building. Was he talking about the US or the Synod in Rome? With millions of viewers, what 'can' he do? What 'can' he say?

'I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life'. 

No, your Holiness. The media and the powerful of this world are all applauding you and they are all at your feet. You can say and you can do a lot better than that. The question many Catholics in the US will be asking is why you don't seem to want to do so. You 'can' say, if you should feel so inclined, with utter conviction, with the certainty and bravery of Martin Luther King, that marriage is between one man and one woman for life and no court on Earth, no earthly power, can ever, ever change that. I still hope that during this trip His Holiness will do so, but this may be a hope in vain. After all...

After that speech: Buy your copy today!

"There is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners."

...which might go some way to explaining why not only his Congress speech, but the upcoming Synod on the Family, spells such doom for the Church and the acceleration of evil in the World. That little quote will be music to the ears of relativists both inside and outside Congress. If it isn't the Pope's responsibility to speak every now and then, especially to the mighty, of good and evil and the difference between the two, I ask you seriously, whose responsibility is that?

27 comments:

Mark Wharton said...

I just cannot fathom what is going on. its just beyond imagining that John Paul II, or Benedict XVI for that reason would visit the biggest abortion country in the world and never mention it. Lord have mercy on us all.

Joe Potillor said...

If it isn't already clear, we're being chastised through this pontificate. God have mercy on us....May his pontificate be short, and Cardinal Burke or Ranjith take his place, Amen.

Joe said...

And when Pope Benedict (hurrah!) came to Britain - arguably an abortion capital for the world - and spoke in Westminster Hall (he didn't refer to abortion here) ..... or, if I recall correctly, at a home for the elderly the next day .... his reference to abortion was as indirect as was Pope Francis' reference when addressing Congress ...."..the Church seeks to fulfil the Lord’s command to respect life, regardless of age or circumstances... "

So in this respect, Pope Francis is in absolute continuity with Pope Benedict ... Please explain to me why it is obligatory, not only to distance ourselves from Papa Francesco, but to treat him with such disregard.

Romulus said...

He does not insist on Jesus either. Not a single utterance of the Holy Name at the White House or before Congress.

Unknown said...

Dude--neither JP2 or Benedict were the orthodox wonders they were painted to be. I suggest you go to Novus Ordo Watch and check out their stats. They're both just V2 afficionados who like Francis occasionally said something orthodox to keep us conservatives salivating. I used to slather over both of them, even hopped on the Fr. Paul Kramer "Benny is still the pope" train. I am no longer ignorant.

Seattle kim

The Bones said...

It is about context 'in real time' of the Supreme Court decision and the Planned Parenthood expose, the real culture battle that is going on in the US and the need to strengthen the brethren. At no point did I feel 'let down' by Benedict XVI's excellent speeches in the UK. If he didn't condemn abortion by name, he did do what Francis has not done and condemn the moral relativism in which evil has flourished in the UK.

Francis, if you read the post, did precisely the opposite.

Joe said...

Bones - I'm sorry, but if you didn't feel let down by Benedict XVI it utterly defeats me to understand why you should feel let down by Francis. Benedict XVI didn't address context "in real time" either during his visit to the UK ... but spoke from the same kind of principle as did Francis today. And I don't think you are correct to suggest that Pope Francis does not resist the moral relativism of our time. Doesn't his opposition to "ideological colonisation" of the family do something of this, and with a vigour that would does him considerable credit?

Oh, and to understand Francis, am I not entitled to rely on reading Francis himself rather than his misrepresentation?

The Bones said...

Pope Benedict led us in prayer, talked about Jesus Christ, the dignity of conscience, warned about the ideology that dismisses God that Britain fought in Nazism and warned of the dangers of moal relativism. Pope Francis did none of those things. He told people only what they wanted to hear, including Pelosi and Biden.

The Bones said...

His trip abroad to Cuba and the US can be summed up thusly: strengthening tyrants while undermining the Faithful.

The Bones said...

His trip abroad to Cuba and the US can be summed up thusly: strengthening tyrants while undermining the Faithful.

Joe said...

"He told people only what they wanted to hear, including Pelosi and Biden." I don't think that is true at all.

"...strengthening tyrants while undermining the Faithful...". And that, too, isn't true.

The Bones said...

What in that speech could possibly offend the liberal Catholics who vote for abortion and same sex marriage and who actively defend it?

Anyway, if you want to take the pulse of the US pro life movement you can do so here and check out their more frank commentary on the speech.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-popes-address-to-congress-not-a-word-about-abortion-only-the-death

Barbara Jensen said...

I am astounded that anyone would liken either Pope Benedict XV1 or Pope John Paul 11 to the likes of Bergoglio. The first two popes mentioned in this comment were orthodox and wrote beautifully and deeply about the truths of the Catholic Faith. The present 'bishop of Rome' as he prefers to be called, is neither orthodox nor faithful to his proper mission of defense of the Catholic Faith. His snide and mocking comment in Cuba that he is not 'leftist but Catholic' adding that he could 'recite the Creed if it would help' is disgusting. In case anyone wants to open their eyes, he has trashed the Sacrament of Matrimony, and he is just getting started. Wake up people. His false dichotomy regarding 'love' and 'doctrine' is all preparation for what we will see at the upcoming Synod. The devils within the Church want to change homosexuality from being a 'disorder',as the Catechism teaches, to an 'orientation'. If you do not understand the significance of that change, no wonder you liken Bergoglio to the giant intellects and spirits of Pope Benedict and Pope Jphn Paul 11.

Mark Thomas said...

For those who said that His Holiness Pope Francis had failed to mention abortion during his Apostolic Visit to the United States...

Please note that during his address yesterday to our bishops, Pope Francis condemned abortion by name.

I quote from His Holiness Pope Francis' address yesterday to the Bishops of the United States of America.

"The innocent victim of *******abortion*******, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature – at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters."

"It is wrong, then, to look the other way or to remain silent."

Pope Francis declared yesterday that it is unacceptable to "look the other way or to remain silent" in regard to "abortion."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

epsilon said...

Isn't 'the death penalty' an accurate description of 'abortion'?

Unknown said...

He is the visible head of the Vat 2 church---nothing more. And as a spokesman and politician for the Vat 2 church---he's doing a fine job. Quite sure Frank doesn't give a flying fig about the Syllabus of Errors, Quo Primum , Mortallium Animos or any pre-Vat 2 document. Clearly his 2 predecessors were no different only they uttered a bit more orthodoxy than Frank does and that keeps conservative Novus Ordites and some traditionalists pining over the good old days with JP and Ben.

I'm done with all of them. Even threw out my beautiful coffee table display book of JP2. Actually I recycled it so Frank should be proud of me.

Seattle kim

Unknown said...


http://www.novusordowatch.org/pope-saint-john-paul-ii.htm


http://www.novusordowatch.org/benedict.htm



Seattle kim

Joe said...

Barbara:

I beg to differ. I do not believe the statement that Pope Francis " is neither orthodox nor faithful to his proper mission of defense of the Catholic Faith" is true. Such a stance seems to me the outcome of "reading into" and/or "reading out of" Pope Francis' words. That false dichotomy, for example ... is that from Francis or from the interpreters?

I am firmly of the view that, listening to Pope Francis without a filter (and being aware of his engagement with movements like the Charismatic Renewal and Communion and Liberation) he stands in continuity with Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI. And I suspect that if you approached these latter with the same selectivity that you approach Pope Francis ..... you would be just as unhappy with them....[Just to be clear: I am delighted with all three, convinced that we have been gifted with exactly the Popes that we have needed at exactly the moments we have needed them: a philosopher, a theologian and now a Bishop.]

Pope Francis on abortion during his visit to the USA? See address to Congress and to the United Nations. What is to misunderstand about his remarks there?

Mary Kay said...

Sedevacantism is not a Catholic option. I've been a 'Trad' Catholic my entire, rather long, life and I've seen a big influx to their ranks every time a pope does anything uncatholic, then gradually the noise dies down. I have never seen them grow in number, establish a firm base for worship (how can they?), or even get along with one another. I have noticed the ease with which they pronounce excommunications on one another, all Catholics, all of the hierarchy, etc. The whole business of sedevacantism is basically just another manifestation of American Protestantism and of the need for instant gratification. The reality is that things may not change for another 50 years. One should work with the SSPX (my choice), or FSSP, or ICK, or sincere indult Churches, pass the Faith on to family and friends, and develop a strong prayer life. If everyone worked at that, we would surely see results.

God Bless You said...

Thank you!

HereticsCan'tBePope said...

Mary Kay: "Sedevacantism is not a Catholic option." Why don't you go follow Luther if following heretics is a 'Catholic' option? Oh, that's right, you're following Bishop Fellay who is following whatever he thinks Bishop Lef would have done (btw, how many priests has Fellay "excommunicated" from SSPX?). Bishop Lef died excommunicate from the NO but Fellay can't wait to make a deal w/the sodomite-abortion-communion for adulterers-annulment church who is also reaching out to the Lutherans on the 500th anniversary. So maybe you will get to worship w/Luther and the Iman and the Rabbi & Bishop Fellay and I'm sure you'll convince yourself it's Catholic and you're passing on 'the Faith' to family and friends, but I wonder if what your not passing on is hatred of Jesus Christ and his small band of followers (12)? Make sure you're not one of those 'holy' Pharisees who killed John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, St. Stephen, St. Paul and 11 of the apostles (their descendants are still doing the same today).

TiredofLies said...

Mary Kay: "Sedevacantism is not a Catholic option." Why don't you go follow Luther if following heretics is a 'Catholic' option? Oh, that's right, you're following Bishop Fellay who is following whatever he thinks Bishop Lef would have done (btw, how many priests has Fellay "excommunicated" from SSPX?). Bishop Lef died excommunicate from the NO but Fellay can't wait to make a deal w/the sodomite-abortion-communion for adulterers-annulment church who is also reaching out to the Lutherans on the 500th anniversary. So maybe you will get to worship w/Luther and the Iman and the Rabbi & Bishop Fellay and I'm sure you'll convince yourself it's Catholic and you're passing on 'the Faith' to family and friends, but I wonder if what your not passing on is hatred of Jesus Christ and his small band of followers (12)? Make sure you're not one of those 'holy' Pharisees who killed John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, St. Stephen, St. Paul and 11 of the apostles (their descendants are still doing the same today).

Joe Potillor said...

The reason we give Pope Benedict slack, even for his various shortcomings, is that we knew exactly where he stood on the issues of the day. His writings are accessible, and it's clear whenever his words were taken out of their context. Pope Francis has for the most part been a mystery and speaking in ambiguities (with some exceptions of course), and so, had he been more vocal on the issues of the day, he would get the same slack as his predecessor, but alas, while he has toned down the Book of Insults ™ , he's still very loose in the way that he speaks.

Pope Benedict in his speech to the UN also didn't mention a lot of things. But we had confidence, and knew exactly where he stood, so it was not necessary. Pope Francis does not give off that same confidence.

Pope Benedict also loved the poor as well, but never made himself the center of attention, when he did these types of things.

Barbara Jensen said...

Joe, I can only conclude from your comment, 'Such a stance seems to me the outcome of 'reading into' and/or 'reading out of' Pope Francis' words. You are very wrong. I read no interpreters of Francis in order to come to my own understandings. I read him and I can only conclude from what he writes that he is either a lame brain or a masterful manipulator. Francis is an artiste of false dichotomies, and ambiguous platitudes. Above all, he is heretical in his theology. I know this because I have had a lifetime of learning in the true theology of the Catholic Faith. For example, his call for 'mercy' is erroneous, because, while God's mercy is infinite and also 'above all His works', it can only be received by one who acknowledges his or her sin and decides to sin no more. (The Church calls it 'firm purpose of amendment'.) Those in adulterous relationships, in order to receive God's mercy, must decide to refrain from sexual relations in their union, since their unions are not blessed by God due to former valid marriages to which they have not been faithful. We do not hear anything about that from Bergoglio and his ilk. And we won't. He has trashed the Church's great sacrament of Matrimony with his imprudent and precipitate changing of rules which all popes before him have followed. You give evidence of a very poor and distorted comprehension of Catholic doctrine. This would make you a product of the teachings of the last two generations of Catholic catechesis. The bishops of the last 50 years have a lot for which to answer.

Joe Potillor said...

Barbara, don't get my words confused, we're on the same team here. I'm by no means defending Pope Francis from the obvious,..Precisely what you're explaining is the reason Pope Francis does NOT get any slack whatsoever. Objectively heretical, but to what degree, he's learned the Catholic Faith, I am not in position to weigh in (SJ + 50' & 60's = my doubts)

I'm simply saying, the previous pontiff had a record from which anything questionable could be measured. (His books, his writings as head of CDF, etc). Think back to the condom comments, and how everyone flipped. Probably the most questionable thing Pope Benedict ever said, but one could easily see where things were in context, and everyone knew of his love of the Faith. The present pontiff is a collection of questionable theology, horrible sarcasm, and insults good enough to make a book out of.

Joe said...

Barbara:

I would again suggest that much of what you are asserting about Pope Francis simply isn't true.

As far as your suggestion about the quality of my comprehension of Catholic doctrine is concerned ... I am not aware that I have shared my CV, theological or otherwise, in my comments, and therefore think that you are not in a position to judge one way or the other.

Joe:

I suggest that, if one wants to see Pope Francis in his context, look to a hermeneutic of continuity with his predecessors rather than a hermeneutic of rupture.

Barbara Jensen said...

First to Joe Potillor: I was not referring to you in my post, but rather to the blogger who goes by 'Joe'. Yes, you and I are on the same team.
Now to Joe: You can suggest that what I asserted simply isn't true, but that does not change the fact that there is evidence galore out there that what I stated in my last post is indeed true. You need to refute me with evidence Joe, and I do not see you doing that anywhere on this blog. You throw words around, but you do not present facts to substantiate your opinions.
I question your understandings of Catholic doctrine because you seem clueless as to the significance of the outrageous and heretical statements made by the present supporters of Bergoglio, the bishop of Rome. For example, can you explain to me why changing the word 'disorder' to 'orientation' regarding homosexuality as is proposed by the 'shadow synod' in Rome (remember, Bergoglio considers Kaspar's theology 'profound and serene', especially when 'done on one's knees'), would be disastrous and heretical according to Catholic doctrine? In addition, can you explain to me the fallacy of putting Catholic doctrine in opposition to LOVE (This would be a false dichotomy) according to authentic Catholic doctrine? I am willing to bet that you will not be able to explain these two points to me because you have never been taught true and deep Catholic doctrine which is peerless. I have no evidence that you understand that much of what Bergoglio says borders on, or is, heresy according to Catholic doctrine. My purpose is not to offend you, but it is clear from what you state that you are not grounded in fundamental understanding of Catholic doctrine.

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