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Monday, December 8, 2014

Pope Francis to La Nacion: Divorced and “Remarried” Must be “Integrated” into the Church

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For nearly two years now Pope Francis has conducted a para-Magisterium in the form of interviews given to left wing, anti-Catholic newspapers. The most notorious of these (“There is no Catholic God…” etc.) was given to the militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari and published in La Repubblica.

The same interview was also posted on the Vatican website as one of the Pope’s speeches, removed from the site, posted again in multiple language versions and then removed again. Defying all efforts by neo-Catholic apologists to explain away the many appalling statements Scalfari attributed to Francis, the Pope has had the interview republished definitively in book form by the Vatican publishing house, along with other interviews and conversations with journalists, Scalfari included.

Francis continues to drop bombs in interviews with secular newspapers whose editors despise traditional Roman Catholicism. The latest, in La Nacion, removes any doubt that Francis is intent on “regularizing” the divorced and “remarried” in the Church—just as he did when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. After declaring that we must not be “[a]fraid of following this trail, the road of the synod,” Francis complains about the disqualifications imposed upon those whom Our Lord Himself called adulterers, clearly indicating his desire for a radical change in practice (while paying lip service to the indissolubility of marriage):

We must move forward…. In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution. The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptized, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact! Thus, let us open the doors a bit more.

Why can’t they be godfathers and godmothers?
“No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?” The testimony of a man and a woman saying “my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on.” Anything more Christian than that?

And what if one of the political crooks among us, corrupt people, are chosen to be somebody´s godfather. If they are properly wedded by the Church, would we accept them? What kind of testimony will they give to their godson? A testimony of corruption? Things need to change, our standards need to change.

First of all, there is the insulting suggestion, really an implied calumny against all his predecessors, that the Church made no provision for the divorced and “remarried” before Francis arrived on the scene to begin to set things right—with the help of Cardinal Kasper and the corrupt German hierarchy. So much for looking to the “peripheries” of the Church for inspiration in the Faith. Recall how the “peripheral” African prelates were virtually shut out of the Synod process until the outcry over Kasper’s denigration of the Africans’ conservatism (a “taboo” he called it) forced Francis to appoint a token African, Cardinal Napier, to his progressive-dominated group of Synod controllers.

Secondly, incredibly enough, in this interview the very Vicar of Christ evinces the logic and even something of the language of a child in favor of allowing public adulterers to be “integrated” into the life of the Church: “But look at those corrupt people over there! They’re allowed to be godparents just because they were married in the Church. But divorced and remarried people can’t? Come on! Let them be godparents! Anything more Christian than that?”

Does the Vicar of Christ really have to be told that two wrongs don’t make a right? Is he really unaware that the solution to abuses of the institution of godparent is not to institutionalize the abuses by accommodating a vast category of public sinners who would like to be godparents too, reducing the role of godparent to a pro forma honorific distributed without discrimination? Is the Pope really so naïve as to think that public adulterers serving as godparents will be sending the message that they are sinners who made a mistake, as opposed to the message that the Church now excuses their sin? Why not insist on the integrity of the institution by enforcing the traditional requirement that godparents be faithful Catholics who can serve as role models for their godchildren? Here, one must say, Francis continues a veritable program of pandering to the spirit of the age, which he dresses up as “the signs of the times.”

Please Help Us Resist the Madness! 

Another question: Can Francis really be unaware of the disastrous implications of his casually tossed-off suggestions for “reform” of the Church’s discipline? To take one small of example of the effects of Francis’s wrecking ball, suppose a couple living in an adulterous “second marriage” were allowed to be godparents and then wished make an overnight visit with the godchild’s family during the Christmas holiday? Would they be required to sleep in separate rooms, seeing that they are not really married, or would the natural parents be expected to treat them as a legitimately married couple, thus ignoring the very teaching on the indissolubility of marriage Francis professes to uphold? And what would the godchild make of all this were he old enough to understand that his godparents are actually married to other people who are still alive? What if, in fact the godchild knows the real spouses of each of his godparents because they live in the same community?

Perhaps Francis is indeed unaware that his radical ideas have consequences. As he told La Nacion in the same interview: “God has bestowed on me a healthy dose of unawareness.” I am not making this up. We have a Pope who actually says such things about himself in all seriousness, making sure they are published to the world in newspapers as if they were important for the world to know.

Now if public adulterers—again, this is what Our Lord Himself called them—can be godparents, then why not relieve them of all the other impediments Francis deems intolerable, including the Church’s bimillenial prohibition on reception of Holy Communion? The neo-Catholic spin machine is already in operation, assuring us “what the Pope really said” in the same interview was that “Holy Communion is not the solution” for the divorced and remarried. Please re-read the quotation above: the Pope said that Holy Communion alone is not the “solution.” But he clearly thinks it is part of the “solution”—the “solution,” by the way, to a problem that does not exist in the first place.

Accordingly, when asked specifically whether he approved of Cardinal Kasper’s lunatical proposal to admit public adulterers to Confession and Communion with no commitment to cease their adultery, Francis made it clear to La Nacion that he favors it. He even adopted Kasper’s equally infantile argument that if one can make a spiritual communion while living in a state of adultery then one should be able to receive the Blessed Sacrament as well:

Kasper´s hypothesis is not his own. Let´s look into that. What happened? Some theologians feared such assumptions and that is keeping our heads down. Kasper urged us to seek hypothesis, i.e., he made the first move. And some panicked. And went as far as to say: Communion, never. Only spiritual Communion. And tell me, don´t we need the grace of God to receive spiritual communion?

And yet it is Francis who tells us in the same interview, respecting the upcoming 2015 Synod, that “the Pope is the ultimate guarantor, the Pope is there to care for the process.” With a “guarantor” like this, who has publicly expressed such scandalous opinions in a secular newspaper, what confidence can we have that the Synod will not disastrously alter the constant practice of the Church, inseparably linked to the indissolubility of sacramental marriage and defended a mere 33 years ago by John Paul II? I would say little to none, barring an extraordinary intervention of the Holy Ghost, which of course is always possible.

There is much more to say about this profoundly disturbing interview, which constitutes a major addition to the already monumental embarrassment of this pontificate. But I will save that for another blog post.

Meanwhile, suffice it to note that, speaking of the rising opposition to his program from “conservatives” in the Church, Francis said: “Resistance is now evident. And that is a good sign for me, getting the resistance out into the open, no stealthy mumbling when there is disagreement. It´s healthy to get things out into the open, it´s very healthy.” That is what the Remnant has been saying since the course of this radical pontificate became apparent.
Last modified on Monday, December 8, 2014
Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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