True reconciliation means that God in Christ took on our sins and He became the sinner for us. When we go to confession, for example, it isn't that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: 'This is your sin, and I will sin again.' And Jesus likes that because it was His mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us.
This truly heretical teaching is a grand example of the need for all Catholics of good will to reject new concepts and resist the changes coming out of Rome. For one cannot serve two masters, and with the words of this homily, Francis clearly reveals which master he has chosen to serve. And anyone who follows him down this path, follows the one "who comes in his own name," as opposed to the One "who comes in the name of His Father", our Lord Jesus Christ.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church
In order to fully comprehend the grave insults Francis leveled against Christ in this homily, as well as the danger to those faithful who choose to follow his instructions, one must begin by considering scripture. As 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 was the reading for the day, we can assume this is the scripture he used to support his sermon. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, St. Paul stated (according to the Douay Rheims version), "Him, who knew no sin, He hath made sin for us." While the verse may seem rather vague, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, (in his Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians), it can be explained in three ways, all of which are in harmony with the scriptural concepts regarding Christ as sacrifice.
1. It was the custom of the Old Law to call a sacrifice for sin "sin": "They feed on the sin of My people" (Hos 4:8). In this sense, Christ became the Victim of sacrifice for sin.
2. Sin is sometimes taken for the likeness of sin or the punishment of sin: "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh" (Ro 8:3). In this sense, God made Christ assume mortal and suffering flesh.
3. Sometimes in scripture a thing is said to be this or that, not because it is so, but because man considers it such. In this sense, He made Him (to be) regarded as a sinner: "He was numbered with the transgressors" (Is 53:12).
Christ Who Knew No Sin Cannot Be the Sinner
With the help of this explanation, Francis' errors become clear. For when he said that Christ "became the sinner for us", stated as simple fact with not so much as a mention of the extreme nature of His sacrifice, he stated a contradiction. Christ who "knew no sin" cannot be the sinner; to call him such is to deny His divine nature. And St. Thomas Aquinas assured us that this is not the case at all. Rather, Christ became the Victim of sacrifice for sin, coming in the likeness of sinful flesh in order to condemn sin in the flesh for which He, though sinless, became regarded as a sinner, thus bearing the shame due to us. The extreme nature of this sacrifice is perhaps best described in scripture by the prophet Isaias, who called Christ the "man of sorrows", despised, hidden, poorly esteemed, appearing much like a leper, struck by God and afflicted (Is 53:4).
The Faithful Must Reject the Ways of the Flesh
As Isaias also proclaimed that the faithful are healed (of their transgressions) by the bruises Christ endured (Is 53:5), it is important to consider the next erroneous and damaging statement Francis made in his homily. For he said that Christ "likes it" when the faithful sin, and even that they should tell Him, (when they confess), that they will sin again. Yet St. Paul made it very clear that this is not possible for those who wish to obtain the inheritance as sons of God, for he stated that while believers are indeed justified by Christ's extraordinary sacrifice, that this is only true when they in turn become like Him, walking in the ways of the Holy Ghost and rejecting the ways of the flesh (Ro 8:4). And again, St. Paul stated that while believers are indeed justified in Christ, and though this justification was not purchased by merit (Gal 2:16), nevertheless, they are expected, by the reason of this justification, to turn from the ways of the world and sin no more (Ro 6:6) because Christ is not a "minister" of sin, and will not build up again that (sin) which He has destroyed (Gal 2:17-18). These concepts—the unfathomable act of charity performed by Christ in His Passion, and the importance of our obedience to the laws of God (out of love and reverence for Him) directly contradict the careless and even frivolous teachings of Francis in his homily. So whose teaching should we choose to obey? The words of St. Paul cannot be taken lightly or misconstrued. No one who practices sin has an inheritance in the Kingdom of God. He also warned believers not to heed anyone who teaches otherwise:
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. (Eph 5:6-7)
A Chilling Example from the Old Testament
While the New Testament instructs Christians in matters pertaining to the faith, the Old Testament experiences surrounding the Babylonian exile, as chronicled by the prophet Jeremias (Jer chapters 1-18), offer a chilling example of what must occur when God's chosen people determine to disobey His laws, much as Catholics are now apparently encouraged to do by Pope Francis. This example helps clarify in some small, dim way the love God has for His people and the consequences which must occur for the good of the just, the helpless and the innocent when God's commands are not obeyed.
This article appeared last month in the Print/E-edition of The Remnant. Isn't it time to see what you're missing every two weeks?
According to Jeremias' testimony just prior to the exile, the people of Israel had fallen into a dire state of apostasy. Yet even while they stood on the brink of disaster, they did not know and/or refused to believe the seriousness of their situation—although they were clearly and repeatedly warned. The just accusations leveled by God Almighty through the prophet against the Israelites were great, and are especially chilling when compared to the far worse state of the world today—a sinfulness against God, nature and mankind magnified to a great extent due to the advances in science—which in the hands of sinners become imagined advances in the power of man. But while most of mankind is lulled into believing in this worldly power, the greatest apostasy—or at least the most important apostasy—comes from changes in the Church. For when the Novus Ordo Mass replaced the Mass of all time, the meaning of Christ's sacrifice was obscured and Catholics were desensitized to the holiness of God, thus easily encouraged to compromise and be more at peace with the world. As such, the Lord God's description of the sins of Israel back in the days of Jeremias sound painfully familiar: They adored the work of their own hands and strengthened themselves upon the earth, trusting in man instead of God. The heart of the people had grown hard; they no longer feared God, rather, they had "gone backwards" refusing to hear His words. They cast away His laws, prostituted themselves with many lovers, sacrificed to strange gods and filled the land with the blood of innocents. In the analogy the Lord used to describe the result of the lifestyle choices made by the Israelites, He said they had forsaken Him, the Fountain of Living Water, and dug for themselves broken cisterns that could hold no water.
The Lord also described, through the prophet Jeremias, the sins of the religious leaders and explained how they used their power to influence the morals of the people. It was they who encouraged and indeed led the people of Israel into apostasy. The Lord God referred to them as "wicked men", lying in wait as "fowlers setting snares and traps to catch men". God further stated that the prophets who prophesized peace (while leading people in the sinful ways of the world) prophesized falsely, speaking not the word of God, but rather, speaking lying visions by divination and deceit, crying "peace, peace" when there would be no peace. The Lord God then described how He viewed the role of the pastors and the disaster that resulted, proclaiming that many pastors had trodden His portion underfoot and had destroyed His vineyard, leaving what had once been His Delightful Portion a desolate wilderness.
And how, in this desolate wilderness, did God show His love for this people? In the midst of the chaos, despite the blasphemies and insults directed against Him, God actually pleaded with them to return to Him. "Yet even now", He said. And what were His requirements? He did not ask for great and valiant deeds or burdensome sacrifices (for the yoke of the Lord is sweet and His burden is light). He asked only that they return to the just ways of His commandments. He told them if they would turn from their sins with sorrowful and contrite hearts, with minds bent to the amendment of their ways, that He would forgive them and stop the violence.
He further instructed them to "ask for the old paths" and "the good way", and to "walk in it". If they obeyed, He promised they would find refreshment for their souls. He also listed His expectations: If they would follow His just laws and "execute judgment" between a man and his neighbor, "oppress not" the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, and refrain from walking after strange gods (to their own harm), He would dwell with them in Jerusalem; He would remove the stumbling blocks and His people would not be moved. And if they would go so far as to be converted and separate the precious from the vile, He promised to make them strong; the enemy would not prevail. All this was God's gracious promise to a dreadfully sinful people. But the people of Israel refused to listen. They refused to be converted because they believed that they deserved deliverance. The cause of this rebellious attitude was the result of listening to their false teachers and prophets; the ones who taught them to compromise the laws of God and to worship false gods in the "high places" erected by their evil kings.
They Made the Covenant Void
And so the hard-hearted Israelites, who refused all the gracious offers of God, faced the wrath of the One who had tried, out of his infinite Love, to bring them to justice. He withheld the good things previously bestowed upon them; His peace, mercy and commiseration. He pronounced the calamity that would soon fall upon them, stating that because every man was a "fool for knowledge", that all his vain works would perish, along with his "spiritless" graven images. He instructed them to gird themselves with haircloth, to lament and howl because His fierce anger would not be turned away. He told them to put on sackcloth and ashes because the destroyer would come upon them suddenly. And Jeremias reminded them that they had not disobeyed a small and insignificant ruler, but the true and living God, the Everlasting King, and that at His wrath, the earth would tremble and the nations would not be able to abide his threatenings. Still, they would not listen. This stubborn people refused to hear. They gave up the most precious gift ever offered to mankind up to that point in time; their exclusive covenant with God Almighty. For God proclaimed that by their own great and persistent disobedience, they themselves made the covenant void.
So Here We Are Today
The Lord God has given Christians much more than He ever gave to the Israelites of the Old Testament. He has given us everything; his Only Begotten Son, the spotless and pure Victim. How much greater must be the Father's anger, along with that of His Son and of the Holy Ghost, when those charged with instructing the faithful disregard this greatest act of charity, and teach them falsely, twisting Holy Scripture and Church Tradition in order to serve the world and enable Catholics to walk in their sins without shame? And what of the Catholics who approve and even insist on these unallowable changes? If the Israelites made their covenant void through disobedience, how much more will the Everlasting Covenant in Christ's blood be made void to those who obey false teachings and follow the ways of the world, obeying a heretical pope instead of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely God will not be mocked.
Our Lady and a Path Forward
As in the days of Jeremias, God has again pleaded with His people, requesting that they "ask for the old paths" and "the good way." In 1916, the three children of Fatima were visited by an angel who identified himself as the Angel of Peace. He came to prepare the children for the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On his third and final visit, he appeared bringing a chalice and a bleeding host, explaining that Christ was "horribly outraged by ungrateful men." He then instructed the children to make reparation for the crimes of those men, and to console their God. Then, with head bowed to the ground, he said the following prayer:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and by the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners."
At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady appeared to the same three children. As the Lord, speaking through Jeremias, had called His people Israel to repentance and penance, so also Our Lady called her children to the same and requested that they practice a few simple devotions. Yet it seems few have taken her requests seriously. This is perhaps because as in the days of Jeremias, many Catholics have been deceived and lulled into a sense of false peace by the world-centered teachings of Vatican II, the protestantization of the Novus Ordo Mass, and now, by Francis' teachings of (false) mercy that requires neither repentance nor penance. But if our Lord was (rightfully) horribly outraged in 1916 and 1917, who can imagine His just outrage today? Now, as we approach the 100-year anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, it is time to obey our Lady's simple instructions.
Perhaps in some small way, we can console our Lord and intercede for poor sinners who are so (seemingly) hopelessly deceived. Perhaps we may even be able to witness the inevitable triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart. Recently, as many are aware, Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, began a Rosary Crusade to prepare the faithful for the upcoming anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. The main intentions of the crusade are those requested by our Lady of Fatima, along with a request for her protection of the faithful of our day; the communities of Tradition. May we all join him and the Society in offering this small act of reparation in grateful thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior. And by the grace of God, may we be given the strength to resist the confusion of the world and the conciliar church, and follow the One True Shepherd wherever He may lead us.