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Some Specifics
Some Specifics of the Current Crisis in the Church
Wed May 9 2018  10:45amFaith/Philosophy

Having complained about "a massive, collective clerical desertion" in the Church, it would be reasonable to detail a few specifics. Let me start with some quotes from the papal press conference of 28 July 2013 following the WYD in Brazil:

A French correspondent at that meeting asked Pope Francis about concrete measures he would offer women in the Church. In part, his answer was, "...The role of women in the Church is not simply that of maternity, being mothers, but much greater... the role of women in the Church must not be limited to being mothers, workers, a limited role..."    WHAT?!?    Motherhood - that radical vocation of bringing new life into the world, and then nurturing, protecting, and teaching her children the Faith - this is now 'a limited role' ? To what 'greater' role can he possibly be alluding? No mention of consecrated virginity, and, anyway, he wouldn't be able to take credit for discovering that vocation.

He goes on to say, "...we have much more to do in making explicit this role and charism of women..." I suppose he must be thinking of some quasi-clerical role, which would necessarily be something other than full priesthood. Are feminists cheering this patronizing condescension? How about you Catholic mothers and you consecrated virgins, what do you think? I wonder what the great women saints, what the Blessed Virgin Mary would have to say about this prelate's promise to discover a new and more important place for them.

Who is he to judge?

In the same response, Francis went on to say, "...For me, the women of Paraguay are the most glorious women in Latin America. Are you paraguayo? After the war, there were eight women for every man, and these women made a rather difficult decision: the decision to bear children in order to save their country, their culture, their faith, and their language..." So - the role of Christian mothers is belittled as 'limited', while openly polygamous women are 'glorious' role models? Such confused misogyny is not only un-Catholic, it's un-civilized! (By the way, he doesn't specify exactly what faith and what culture the polygamous paraguayas were saving. It certainly wasn't Catholicism.)

In the same press conference, a Brazilian reporter asked why Pope Francis had not addressed (while in Brazil) the newly passed measures legalizing abortion and same-sex 'marriage'. Francis refused to comment, saying "it wasn't necessary to speak of it". Three times she asked for clarification, and three times he demurred. This is a clear example of a heresy of omission: deliberate silence where a clear and prophetic voice is sorely needed.

Finally, Pope Francis uttered his now-infamous "Who am I to judge?" when asked about alleged pro-gay activists within the Vatican. Which is to confess that he is not their pastor. I may have more to say later on this particular cop-out.

The above quotes are all from just one press conference, about 4 months into the Francis papacy. True, nothing was said ex cathedra. But the absence of retractions or clarifications since then is quite damning. Indeed, Francis has subsequently muddied the waters more and more with remarks implicitly or explicitly in support of a variety of heresies:

  • On contraception:
    From a 2015 press conference:

    I believe that the number of three per family, which you mentioned, is important, according to the experts, for maintaining the population. Three per couple...That is why the key phrase for responding is one which the Church constantly uses, as I do: it is "responsible parenthood". How does this work? With dialogue. Each person with his or her pastor has to try to exercise this responsible parenthood.

    The example I mentioned just now, about the woman who was expecting her eighth child and already had seven caesarean births: this is a form of irresponsibility. [Some might say:] "No, I trust in God". "But, look, God gives you the means, be responsible". Some people believe that - pardon my language - in order to be good Catholics, we should be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood.

    Here's a news flash: the Church does not constantly say "responsible parenthood". Margaret Sanger, maybe, not the Church. The true Church does say "trust in God". Natural Law and the principles of true Religion dictate that the married couple do what married couples do, and trust God for the results (Gen.1:28). None of us are masters of our own life or our own fertility. Periodic continence by mutual consent for legitimate religious or moral purposes, OK. But the very moment a couple decides to repress their own fertility - whether zero or three or any other magic number, whether in consultation with their pastor or other expert - the very second they do so they are in sinful rebellion against God's sovereignty over human life.

  • On universal salvation:
    From a August 2017 audience: "...where God will welcome all mankind so as to dwell with them definitively..." This is ostensibly a quote from Rev.21:3, but he's added the word 'all', and fails to mention Rev.21:8

    From a October 2017 audience: " that same future there will be Christ's return. No one knows when this will take place, but the thought that at the end of our history there will be Merciful Jesus suffices in order to have faith and not to curse life. Everything will be saved. Everything."

    From a homily (date unknown): "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!"

  • On evangelizing:
    In an ecumenical conference, a teenage Christian girl asked about witnessing to her unchurched friends, to which Francis replied, "It is not licit to convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path."

Nor is it just a problem of one non-Catholic pope. The college of cardinals must have known who they were electing in 2013, and by their subsequent silence and cooperation they must approve his soft heresy. Further evidence of this was the 2014 Synod of Bishops led by Francis in which they discussed the possibility of changing Church teaching on marriage. Or, even before the Francis papacy, the cardinal who publicly denied the sacrificial nature of Christ's death on the Cross! (with no reproach or discipline from Rome.)

I could go on and on. But, lest this turn into an even longer and more tedious blog post, let me be content with the above few specifics. I hope soon to return to more general opining. Like, How did this happen? and, What to do about it?

rev. Dec 4 2018  8:28pm
previous article: Crisis of Authority


I believe in God, I just don't trust anyone who works for him.

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