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Friday, February 2, 2018

Aborting Humanae Vitae: How Can the Church Deal with the Bergoglian Quantum Leap?

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The conventional wisdom is that “this disastrous papacy” lies on a continuum of post-Vatican II ecclesial decline on which Francis represents but the lowest point yet reached.  This is true, but only superficially.  If we look more deeply into the phenomenon that Antonio Socci has dubbed Bergoglianism, we see an actual break with the continuum, a quantum leap into the chaotic realm of the mind of one badly formed Jesuit, fascinated by his own disordered thinking.

An analogy to atomic physics struck me as helpful in assessing the effects of the Bergoglian quantum leap. When an electron orbiting a nucleus makes a quantum leap (a transition to a higher definite energy level) its distance from the nucleus increases, the attraction of the nucleus weakens, and the atom becomes less stable, meaning more likely to combine with surrounding atoms by way of ionization. When ionization occurs, a new stable electron configuration is reached.

By analogy, the Bergoglian quantum leap is inducing the human element of the Church to reach a different “energy” level with respect to the nucleus of Tradition, moving even further away from the nucleus than it was at the previous energy level, thereby reaching a new level of instability and thus even greater susceptibility to being combined with worldly thinking in a more “stable” absorption into the world. If we pursue the analogy in terms of quantum mechanics, the theology of this Pope can be likened to electrons existing in superposed energy states at the same time, both higher and lower, but with the probability distribution always favoring the quantum leap to a higher, less stable, energy state, and by analogy a greater distance from the nucleus of Tradition, in any measurement of the macro outcome.

The quantum leap in question is an attack on the natural law, particularly with respect to the Sixth Commandment, of which there was not a hint in the pronouncements of Bergoglio’s immediate predecessors at the lower “energy” state of the ecclesial crisis, when the human element of the Church was closer to the nucleus of Tradition.  There is, in this respect, a fundamental discontinuity  between Bergoglio and his immediate predecessors, even if the conciliar Popes had introduced an already unprecedented state of ecclesial instability.

To carry the physics analogy even further, we can say that this outcome was eminently predictable by means of what we can call a Bergoglian. Like the mathematical operation known as a Lagrangian, which enables one to predict the final state of a system of particles in motion from its initial coordinates, a Bergoglian enables one to predict the final state of Bergoglio’s theological system from his initial utterances. Compared to the use of Lagrangians (which is completely beyond me), use of a Bergoglian is eminently simple:  x(t) = y, where x is the initial Bergoglian utterance, t is time and y the final state of the system. 

For example, based on nothing more than the initial statement of praise for “the Kasper Proposal” back in 2013, to which we assign the variable x, the Bergoglian function was able to predict final outcome y: implementation of the Kasper Proposal by the admission of public adulterers in “second marriages” to Holy Communion based on “discernment” of their “complex situations.” This outcome was formally announced in Amoris Laetitia (AL), but it was easily foreseeable by application of the Bergoglian. Both of the rigged Synods were merely what mathematicians call “holonomic constraints,” which eliminate variables that do not affect the movement of the (Bergoglian) system as it unfolds over time.  (The classic example of this is a pendulum, whose motion strictly along an arc is known in advance, which knowledge eliminates all other variables of motion).

In like manner, given Bergoglio’s first reference to contraception,  uttered within six months of his election (“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods”), or his later statement that contraception is permissible to avoid spreading the Zika virus (“Don’t confuse avoiding pregnancy with abortion”), a Bergoglian allowed us to predict the system’s final outcome: a “reinterpretation” of Humanae Vitae according to which “discernment” of “complex circumstances,” already applied to the admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion according to AL, would also allow for use of the Pill in “certain cases.”  

That “reinterpretation” is now underway via a semi-secret commission and trial balloon statements by Bergoglio’s collaborators in line with Chapter 8 of AL.  One such trial balloon was launched by Bergoglio’s appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life, the so-called moral theologian Father Maurizio Chiodi, who declared during a designedly conspicuous public lecture at the Gregorian on December 14 that there are “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8 — that precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception.” Chiodi further declared that when “natural methods are impossible or unfeasible, other forms of responsibility need to be found” and that “an artificial method for the regulation of births could be recognized as an act of responsibility that is carried out, not in order to radically reject the gift of a child, but because in those situations responsibility calls the couple and the family to other forms of welcome and hospitality.”  (Chiodi, by the way, was appointed to the Academy after Bergoglio had purged its entire membership, ordered its statutes to be rewritten, and abolished its pro-life oath. Here too use of the Bergoglian permitted a simple calculation that the Pontifical Academy for Life would reach the end state of being the Pontifical Academy Against Life.)

As Bergoglio himself has declared: “Everything depends on how Humanae Vitae is interpreted…. The question is not that of changing doctrine, but of going deep and making sure that pastoral practice takes into account the situations and what persons are able to do.”  In other words, situation ethics.  In order to accomplish his “reinterpretation” of Humanae Vitae according to situation ethics Bergoglio will, of course, have to lie to us.  But as Sandro Magister has observed, this deception will not be so easy to pull off:

[I]t is evident that Pope Francis’s intention is to bring about the reversal - which means in practice to legitimize contraceptives - in the most soothing manner, as if this were a matter of a natural and proper evolution, devoid of rupture, in perfect continuity with the preceding magisterium of the Church and with the “true” profound dynamic of the encyclical itself. But if one looks just a bit behind it, this artifice does not by any means appear easy to realize.

Magister is referring to the teaching of both Paul VI and John Paul II on the intrinsic evil of contraception. He quotes John Paul II’s 1988 address in defense of Humanae Vitae in particular and the concept of intrinsic evil in general against false claims of the primacy of conscience:

During these years, following the contestation of ‘Humanae Vitae,’ the Christian doctrine of moral conscience has itself been brought into question, accepting the idea of conscience as creator of the moral norm. In this way has been radically broken that bond of obedience to the holy will of the Creator in which man’s very dignity consists….

Paul VI, qualifying the contraceptive act as intrinsically illicit, intended to teach that the moral norm is such as not to admit exceptions: no personal or social circumstance has ever been able to, can, or will be able to render such an act ordered in itself. The existence of particular norms in reference to the intra-worldly activity of man, endowed with such obligatory force as to exclude always and in any case the possibility of exceptions, is a constant teaching of the Magisterium of the Church that cannot be brought into question by the Catholic theologian.

Bergoglio clearly does not consider himself bound by the constant teaching of the Magisterium or even “the holy will of the Creator,” from which he is orchestrating the departure that constitutes his quantum leap. But it must be stressed again that this is a leap from the previous level of ecclesial instability.  At the previous level the novelties of an ill-defined “responsible parenthood,” introduced by Vatican II, and the practice of NFP as positively virtuous and even obligatory had already weakened adherence to the teaching against contraception, even if an approval of this intrinsic evil still required a radical break via the situation ethics Bergoglio has introduced in Chapter 8 of AL.

The formal expression of the final state of the Bergoglian system is found in paragraph 303 of AL, which condones intrinsically evil conduct as “what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God” and “what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits.”  Concerning this, Professor Josef Seifert has rightly concluded that the “purely logical consequence of that one assertion ofAmoris Laetitiaseems to destroy the entire moral teaching of the Church.”

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A Bergoglian calculus likewise readily predicted this final state, which amounts to a denial of the natural law as such. For example, from x as the statement in the Instrumentum Laboris of the rigged Extraordinary Synod in 2014—i.e., that “The concept of natural law today turns out to be, in different cultural contexts, highly problematic, if not completely incomprehensible”—the final outcome y was already determinable. That outcome has just been expressed by Professor Gerhard Höver, another Bergoglio appointee to the subverted Pontifical Academy for Life. Citing Bergoglio’s own dictum that “time is greater than space”—a curious application of physics to process theology—Höver declares that the notion of intrinsic evil is altered by time, so that “theological reasons lead Pope Francis to refuse to go on accepting this restriction.”  Or, as Bergoglio’s “mouthpiece,” his fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, had earlier declared: “We must conclude that the Pope realizes that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and ... [a] praxis of integration in a rule that is absolutely to be followed in every instance…”.

That is, as Bergoglio would have it, one can “no longer” speak of exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law from which no one is exempt under any circumstances.  He has subjected morality itself to a time scale variance, precisely as a Lagrangian would with, say, fluid dynamics in a vector field.  For him, truth is not abstract but wholly concretized and thus subject to a kind of morphological change over time.  Hence his dictum, a typically Modernist conflation of one thing with another, that Catholic doctrine is the flesh of Jesus:

“Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, inquiries, but it is alive, knows being unsettled, enlivened. It has a face that is not rigid, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: Christian doctrine is called Jesus Christ.”

[La dottrina cristiana non è un sistema chiuso incapace di generare domande, dubbi, interrogativi, ma è viva, sa inquietare, sa animare. Ha volto non rigido, ha corpo che si muove e si sviluppa, ha carne tenera: la dottrina cristiana si chiama Gesù Cristo.]

Bergoglian theology, in which “time is greater than space,” has produced the Bergoglian quantum leap in a quantum field of theological flux: i.e., a denial of the existence of intrinsic evil as such. The exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law are replaced by a series of ideals or benchmarks to which God would not require strict conformity and would even positively approve disobedience in certain situations.

In sum, we have a Pope who feels himself entitled to declare nothing less than the destruction of morality in principle. I say in principle because, given the superposition of contrary ideas in the roiling quantum foam of his thought, Bergoglio thinks he can confine his proposed obliteration of a moral order absolutely forbidding intrinsic evils to the sphere of sexual morality while insisting on its continued existence as to other sins. The remaining intrinsic evils would include not only murder and theft (I do not believe there are sufficient data points for a Bergoglian calculus as to abortion, despite Bergoglio’s appointment of abortion-condoning members to the Pontifical Academy for Life) but also those of his own devising, such as contributing to “climate change” or the imposition of capital punishment.  As to the latter, Bergoglio declares, absurdly enough, that capital punishment is “per se contrary to the Gospel” and “inadmissibleno matter how serious the crime”­—thereby contradicting not only the Gospel itself but the entire teaching of the Church before his tumultuous arrival in Rome.  According to Bergoglio’s topsy-turvy moral theology, a punishment whose morally correct application does depend on circumstances is denounced as intrinsically evil and never permitted, while intrinsically evil sexual conduct that can never be permitted is excused based on circumstances.

What are the faithful to do in the face of the Bergoglian quantum leap?  At this point it should be obvious that the new level of ecclesial instability this pontificate has provoked, the likes of which the Church has never before witnessed, not even during the previous fifty years of the post-conciliar revolution, calls for an equally unprecedented response: a formal declaration by members of the upper hierarchy that Bergoglio has departed from sound doctrine in these matters, that his teaching is not to be followed, and that if he persists in his errors he will have called into question the validity of his own pontificate. 

The duty of such opposition should be clear to the few cardinals and bishops who have expressed alarm about the state of the Church under Bergoglio but have so far confined themselves to timid requests that he “clarify” what they know he has already made perfectly clear.  It is really quite astonishing that not one of them has had the fortitude to state unequivocally that Bergoglio is in error and that his errors, not merely the errors of those who follow his lead, must be opposed as a threat to the integrity of the Faith.  Such candor has not been wanting from priests and members of the laity throughout the Catholic world, yet the entire upper hierarchy seems incapable of uttering the truth about this disastrous papacy. What accounts for this silence of the hierarchs? Is it simply a fear of reprisal, or is there a deeper mystery of iniquity at work?

Unless members of the hierarchy are willing to resist this Pope “to his face (Gal 2:11),” as Paul did with Peter, there would appear to be no prospect, humanly speaking, of repelling his astounding attack on faith and morals,  short of his death or resignation. The continued failure of the hierarchy really to join issue with Bergoglio, even as his errors spread throughout the Church, invites a divine judgment by default. And that will very probably involve a resolution of the Bergoglian debacle in the midst of devastating circumstances for both the Church and the world. 

One is reminded of the vision connected to the Third Secret of Fatima, wherein a future Pope and members of the hierarchy are executed on a hill outside a ruined city filled with the dead.  One is reminded also of Pope Benedict XVI’s revelation concerning the contents of the Secret in its entirety: that “the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church…”. And now we have a Pope whose very mission seems to be the institutionalization of precisely sin within the Church.  If the hierarchy will not call a halt to his madness, then we can only pray that Heaven will.

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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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