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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Does No One Care About the Pope's Immortal Soul? Featured

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Do you pray for him? Do you pray for him?

The other day, something in me cracked, and I posted to the Pope’s own Twitter feed, @pontifex, a call that the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, repent of his blasphemies.

I’m going to start doing this every day. It has been a shout that has been growing in my mind for some time, and one that has finally boiled over. We have been subject for three years to this Pope telling us that he believes himself to be above the Law of Christ, that he has the special ear of “the Spirit” to try to overturn the Law of Christ. He has proposed “conflict” between the Commandments, and even opposition between the very Persons of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.

All last week, we again had him insulting people like Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Müller, Cardinal Brandmüller and all who might oppose his plans because of their love of the Truth, of Christ and His Church, as “closed, hard, foolish hearts,” and “doctors of the law” who are “resisting the Spirit.” This, simply because they believe that Christ was trustworthy.

It was too much.

People in a desperate psychological condition will sometimes issue “cries for help” disguised as actions that defy reason. The nature of psychiatric illness is often that the person is not fully aware of his state, but that the instinct for survival can be strong enough that in his behaviour and words these signals can be read by those with enough patience and acuity. I am starting to wonder if an analogy to this “cry for help” could explain the increasing boldness of Pope Francis’ outrageous statements; perhaps it is some kind of signal. Somewhere under there, is there a man who wants to be confronted and corrected … saved, from whatever has him in its grip? Is it possible to think of his most common expressions in this way?

How many times have we heard Pope Francis deprecate the attempts of orthodox prelates and laymen to recall him to his duty to defend the deposit of the Faith? These “doctors of the law” do seem to be among of his favourite targets, which – good news! – must mean that they are being heard. Not heeded, of course, but at least he seems to be aware that there is growing opposition. At least, that.

We had another one again last week, during a homily at the Casa Santa Martha, in which Francis casts himself as a prophet of the Holy Ghost, someone who has heard the words of “the Spirit,” and who, no doubt, has the “humility and the ambition” to follow where this “Spirit” leads, even if it is to lead the whole Church – 1.2 billion souls – away from the actual recorded words of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

In his “Be docile to the Spirit” homily, Francis plainly claims that it is the Holy Ghost that is leading him to try to pull the Church away from its adherence to Jesus Christ. That this direction is the true “growth” of the Church of Christ. He proposes, in essence if not in words, a conflict and opposition between Christ and the Holy Ghost, a monstrous blasphemy.

“It is Him who does things. It is the Spirit who gives birth to and grows the Church,” he said.

In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit: closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit. We’ve seen things - the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; the words and the great things Stephen was doing … but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit. They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.

“The Church proposes the opposite: no resistance to the Spirit, but docility to the Spirit, which is precisely the attitude of the Christian.

“Being docile to the Spirit, this docility is the ‘yes’ that the Spirit may act and move forward to build up the Church.”

I think it would be worth parsing this out, point by point. A week after issuing his Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitzia”, Francis excoriates those who would “resist” “the Spirit”. What does he mean by it, and what does it mean in an objective sense?

1)    “In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit…It is the Spirit who gives birth to and grows the Church.”

Clearly the Pope is annoyed by the reaction to his Exhortation, and clearly he believes that the proposals in it are part of the divine will to “grow the Church” and to “move forward.” But I will raise a question: can the Holy Ghost actually want something that is opposed to the commandments of Jesus Christ?

2)    “…closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit…”

He cites the reaction by the leaders of the Jewish Temple to the healing by Peter and John of a man lame from birth. Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And, obviously, the lame man walked. Peter followed this miracle by a sermon, and a crowd of people were “filled with wonder and amazement” at the miracle and the words.

What was the sermon about? It was about how the Jews had refused to accept Jesus “whom you delivered up” to be crucified by Pilate.

“But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of Life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Peter squarely placed the healing of the lame man into the hands of that same Jesus, the Author of Life and son of God. He excuses the Jews for their deicide, because they acted “out of ignorance,” but calls on them now to “repent, therefore, and turn again that your sins may be blotted out” by the same One they had had killed.    

In other words, Peter is telling the Jews that it is Jesus whom all this is about, Jesus who is the “Author of life” and who gives healing and forgiveness of sins to those who repent. About five thousand people heard, saw and believed.

3)    “… but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit...”

Naturally, “they,” meaning the “priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees,” aren’t going to put up with this, and they arrest Peter and John, and demand to know “by what power or by what name did you do this” healing.

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else.’

So, it is clear that the miracle that was made by Peter, through the power of the Holy Spirit, came directly from invoking the name of Christ Himself. There is a oneness between the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, the Author of Life, that cannot be broken.

4)    “They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.”

“They,” the priests and Sadducees, Francis claims, were resisting the Spirit and what the Spirit wanted to do, through the pretext of “fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.” His implication is that the desire we have to adhere to the New Law of Jesus Christ, the Author of Life, for Whom and through Whom all things were made, is of the same kind.

Except it isn’t. They were adhering to the Old Law, the Law of Moses, and objecting to the followers of Christ on those grounds. But the Old Law was fulfilled in Christ, and He alone – not the pope – had the authority to change its precepts. Peter was pope at the time, and he both obeyed the commandments of Christ and was “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Christ had told the Jews that it was only for a concession, granted because of the “hardness of their hearts,” that Moses allowed “a writ of divorce,” but by His own divine authority Jesus said that this was not the case “from the beginning,” that is, from the time of Adam and Eve. Marriage, therefore, is raised by God Himself to the level of a Sacrament, and is rendered unbreakable by any act of man. Adherence to this New Law of Jesus Christ does not make us anything like those who, in the Temple that day, “resisted the Spirit.” This is because the Holy Ghost cannot contradict the will of Christ. The will of the Holy Ghost and the will of Jesus Christ are not opposed. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

Now, in Pope Francis’ Exhortation, we can see a grave discrepancy, to put it mildly. The exhortation (and we have had this confirmed yesterday in his latest airplane presser) opens the door for a change in the “praxis” of the Church in refusing Holy Communion to “divorced and remarried” Catholics, and others in “irregular” situations. In other words, his document follows the trend in the Church since the 1960s, that is itself following the secular world into the chaos and soul-eating insanity of the Sexual Revolution. Its purpose is to downgrade the gravity of sexual sin and of profanation of the Blessed Sacrament. To render this notion of mortal sin to a mere “irregularity”.

Others have examined the details about what the document contains, but yesterday the pope himself confirmed emphatically that it contains “possibilities” that had not existed before, for people in these situations.

(Go to 21:40)

The Exhortation’s purpose was, to put it in the simplest possible terms, to abrogate the commandment of Jesus Christ and to put into place a New New Law that, the pope claimed in his Thursday homily in Santa Martha, is guided by a “Spirit,” opposed to Christ.

In the airplane presser, Francis told the reporter to refer back to Cardinal Schonborn’s introductory remarks on the Exhortation. Schonborn explicitly called it a “development of doctrine,” ignoring the fact that such development can never contradict existing teaching, never turn a divine “no” into an ecclesial “yes”.

The Church, that truly follows the “logic of the Gospel,” and the warning of St. Paul, knows that to “eat and drink unworthily” the Eucharist, is to eat and drink to one’s own “judgment,” to eternal damnation. That receiving the Eucharist, far from being a “powerful medicine” for people in a condition of mortal sin, is only adding to the gravity of their condition, heaping the sin of desecration onto their existing sin against the sixth commandment.

Jesus Christ, the Author of Life, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, said in absolutely plain terms that divorce is a fantasy, and that a “divorced” man or woman who tries to marry someone else is committing the mortal sin of adultery. The Holy Spirit is not now, has never been and can never be opposed to these realities.

And to say that He could be is blasphemy. To say, moreover, that “the Spirit” is telling Pope Francis that he, the pope, has the authority to abrogate the words of Jesus Christ, the Author of Life and Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is blasphemy.

This pope, apparently hardened in his wicked ideology, is a habitual blasphemer, and, I will dare to say, given his apparently unshakable belief that these assertions are true and opposed to the teaching of the Church, is a wanton heretic, someone who believes himself to be above the Law of God, indeed, to have the power to overturn it at will.

Ask yourselves for a moment which “spirit” is the one most interested in abrogating the Law of Christ. Which spirit is opposed to Christ? It isn’t the Holy Ghost. (It is interesting, and has been commented upon before, that in addition to apparently never genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament, Pope Francis follows the odd though trendy liberal churchman’s habit of referring most often to “the Spirit” instead of specifying which one. In the Vatican Radio report on that homily, a search reveals that he spoke of “the Spirit” 22 times in his directly quoted remarks. He specifies the “Holy Spirit” twice.)

Pope Francis has decided that “the Spirit” is telling him and his followers that these words of Jesus Christ are void. That the words and commands of the Author of Life no longer apply. They are outdated. They are hard and unforgiving, unmerciful. Therefore, anyone who still wants to adhere to the teaching and commands of Jesus Christ are “resisting the Spirit”. And he blasphemously demands that we be “docile” to this monstrosity.

Is it possible that this pope does not believe that Jesus is the centre of the Catholic Faith? He certainly seems not to like Him very much. He has accused Our Lord on other occasions of committing sins, of lying, of upsetting His mother and foster father. He certainly seems to not like the very specific words and actions of Jesus that oppose what he, the pope, wants to do.

It certainly seems as though the pope is merely a member of a certain camp of prelates who do feel this way about Our Lord. Who just don’t like Him very much, and hold that Jesus was just a bit too “hard” and that His precepts are for the “heroic” only. We regular folks need an easier mercy, an undemanding mercy more like that of the world, the same world that has simply given up on marriage, and on Christ.

This was expressed outright by one of Francis’ own hand-picked new cardinals, Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan from Panama, who is recorded as having said at the 2nd Synod that the Church needs a mercy more like that of Moses than that of Jesus, a statement that had me muttering “blasphemy!” on the internet.

“Moses drew near to the people and gave way,” Lacunza was reported as saying. “Likewise today, the ‘hardness of hearts’ opposes God’s plan [to allow divorce]. Could Peter not be merciful like Moses?”

Certainly there is no record that this horrifying assertion, made right in front of the pope, was corrected or admonished in any way.

How are we to react now that this anti-Jesus sentiment, this “anti-Christ” opinion, is being openly expressed by the Pope himself? How shocking that no one was shocked! The thing that should really burn in our hearts is that his audience just sat there. The Vicar of Christ has blasphemed the Holy Trinity! Before your very eyes!

Is there a Catholic left who would hear those words, and stand up, and say, “Holy Father, that’s blasphemy! That’s heresy! You must not commit such a horrible sin!” Does no one care for his soul? Will no one spare a thought for the terrible condition that awaits him in the next life? Or call for him to repent and avoid it?

I will. I hope and pray, for the love of his soul and for the love of Christ, that others will too.

Check out Hilary's "There Is No Sanctuary: The Spirit of Vatican II v. Women’s Religious Life"-- available in our print- and E-edition ONLY.

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Last modified on Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Hilary White

Our Italy correspondent is known throughout the English-speaking world as a champion of family and cultural issues. First introduced by our allies and friends at the incomparable, Miss White lives in Norcia, Italy.