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.