Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Francis against 'orthodoxy'?

For those who have a little theological insight or understanding of the history of theology in the last 150 years it is pretty obvious that what is commonly described as orthodoxy has been struggling for existence against a pragmatic approach to belief. Really, the big difficulty many of us have with Pope Francis' theology is that he seems to be an advocate of pragmatism and disfavours orthodoxy. In the previous papacy orthodoxy seemed to be triumphing over the theological approach Congar, Rhanner and the greatest of all proponent of this new approach to Catholic theology Hans Kung. Now, under Francis, orthodoxy is becoming a dirty word. the 'formlessness' of Kung seems to be on the rise.

My Italian is pretty poor, with 'google translate' I can with a bit of difficulty begin to make sense of something. Have a look at this article, which tries to understand Francis' theology The significant paragraph is this - my translation.
....the formulas and dogmas cannot be understood in terms of historical evolution, but every problem must be placed in its historical and socio-political context. The concept of orthodoxy must be overcome, or at least reduced, because it is used as a "reference point to stifle freedom of thought and as a weapon to police and punish" ... They define orthodoxy as "a metaphysical violence."The primacy of doctrine should be replaced by that of pastoral practice ... " (Concilium, 2/2014, p. 11).
Is this why the Franciscan Friars are being dealt with apparent harshness - because they were seen as the thriving proponents of 'orthodoxy'? Is this the reason why we seem to be into a 'hermeneutic of incoherence' - because those who equate being Catholic with being 'orthodox' suddenly find themselves in a Church where they are no longer at home or even belong?


Long-Skirts said...

"Behold, your house is left to you,
A house uninhabited." St. Matthew 23:38

gemoftheocean said...

I just read the link you posted, Father (also with Google translate) and it was well worth the read. I was especially shaken by the bit about the "offending the social body of Christ" business. As many of you might recall the parish I went to in San Diego for some 34 years and assisted at 5:15 Mass for year had come under the pastorate of a liberal priest. For the first few years I was unaffected by him as he never said the Mass I assisted at (with the Saintly 80ish Father Shipley.) Father Shipley became injured, then ousted by the pastor. Under this new regime of Father Pastor...who shall go nameless here) I was assisting at Mass and the Deacon was not at the Mass, so I was the EM who also assisted with Communion. The Parish is in a tourist area, and we got many visitors from all over the world, and some not Catholic. Fr. Shipley and I were always vigilant that people who received in the hand ALSO put Communion in their mouths and would "call people on it" on the very rare occasions they hadn't and started to walk off more than a few steps without doing so. While standing next to liberal Pastor giving out Communion, a woman I had given Communion to started to waltz off with it to start to turn back down the aisle. I followed her and told her to consume the Host. She then did so. As soon as I got back liberal Pastor turned to me and said "you embarrassed that woman, don't ever do that again or you're gone." Without hesitation I turned to him and said "I quit." I put the ciborium on the altar, took off my alb right there, and walked out of the sanctuary and never went back to the church I had so faithfully served for 34 years as EM, lector, server, and catechist. No thank yous, no nothing. Just. Gone. It was painful. But the RIGHT thing to do. And I don't regret it. The bishop knew about it but DID NOTHING. Sorry. If a priest can't defend the Body of Christ and doesn't approve of others doing the same, he has NO BUSINESS being a priest and should be ashamed of himself. Now maybe this woman had no bad intentions and was absentminded. Well, damn it. I bet she never did it again. But it was a big price to pay or her stupidity and laxness. I had already been going to St. Anne's TLM Masses in SD for daily mass as they were quite close to wear I worked so I slid into that parish easily enough...but Fr. Shipley at that point was doing his own masses at home on a Sunday, so I also then always went to assist him at Mass. He knew how very painful it all was. I'd do it again. No question. The persecution of the orthodox HAS to stop.

Genty said...

What a very sad story, Gem. I think the only thing we can do now is pray - and wait - for a time when orthodoxy and pastoral care are not regarded as mutually exclusive.

gemoftheocean said...

Sorry. "Wear I worded" - "wear I worked." I'm not usually this illiterate. Just still incensed after the remove of 5 years now that it happened in the first place. The pastor in this question was in his early 60s at the time. That dangerous age. ( I was in my early 50s) And at least assisting Fr. Shipley at home was a treat. Always took him out after the Mass for his favorite KFC treats, because he couldn't drive on account of the hip injury. So we both enjoyed that fellowship. BTW, the pastor hadn't even just "said" what he said, but yelled it loud enough the 1st few rows heard it. I wasn't embarrassed for me, but for the pastor in displaying his lack of concern for the Eucharist. Angry I was but even then I was distressed that his liberalism had caused him to put Christ second rather than any discomfort on the woman's part. I pray for his soul that he "saw the light" even though he never apologized or admitted it to me. I pray he saw his error.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

The ideology of the modernist seems intent on creating a self-made means to get to heaven; or maybe heaven (and also hell) aren't even things that exist for them. Christ is the only means whereby souls get to heaven. Good and faithful parents and priests are crucial in bringing souls to Christ. We have a 'church' undermining or even destroying the priesthood and a society undermining parents with marxist mockery of God, and instant mortal sin access technology every moment of the day. And the indifferentism and universalism being preached by so-called Catholics is excused or worse lauded continually. The Word of God did not become flesh so that rabbis or mohammet or krishna or marx or self-satsfied-atheism could get us to heaven - they don't and can't - yet this is more or less what Catholicism now teaches. 'Watch and pray,' Christ tells us.

August said...

I had a strong impulse to patriotism that I eventually had to shed, due to the reality that my country is a sham of its former self. That which was important has been stolen and/or broken- the name and the flag are not the nation.
Orthodoxy feels similar to patriotism, does it not? And aren't the bulk of 'our' children already not going to Church? If we are to defend someone, perhaps we should defend them. Maybe that's the whole point; Benedict kept us in, thinking we were getting somewhere, so God tells him to retire. He needs the workers to go to the right garden.

David O'Neill said...

Talking of Pope Francis and orthodoxy; what about the headline in Catholic Herald on the subject of same-sex 'marriages'. They don't even use quotation marks & we are told (supposedly by the Vatican) not to oppose too strongly this aberration. Surely the Pope knows what is being put out to Catholics &, if he authorised this, then I would question his orthodoxy

Anil Wang said...

I think Pope Francis is a bit more complex than this. There are a few things that are apparent:
(1) He wants to be liked and seems to try to play to all sides and loves photo ops.
(2) He trusts his bishops and doesn't rebuke them.
(3) In the past he has worked with neo-marxist priests which other bishops hand problems with and found a way to bring them into the fold.
(4) He likes to put liberal neo-Anglican "Catholics" in key places. Is he trying to bring them into the fold? Encourage discussion? Attempt the Paul VI of getting the best arguments from "the other side" before soundly rejecting each one of their arguments?
(5) He has an odd relationship with the Prosperity Gospel, preferring giving audience to Prosperity Gospel leaders rather than other Protestants while himself rebuking the Prosperity Gospel as a false gospel.
(6) He has come down brutally against the Franciscan Friars yet hasn't touched anyone else. Why?
(7) He seems to admire the SSPX.
(8) He seems to trust that no matter what he does, the Church will be fine, so he's free to make deep changes.

I don't yet know what to make of him, but I would feel a whole lot better if he didn't place liberal neo-Anglican "Catholics" in such key places. Even if he's trying to convert them or do a Paul VI, it is causing serious confusion and is resulting in a persecution of TLM. If he didn't have these key liberal appointments, he'd be an uneventful popularist Pope that occasionally gave a bad spontaneous interview and occasionally had an earthy way of getting people to understand the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

To take Concilium's arguments as Pope Francis' arguments seems like a bit of a stretch. Remember that Communio split from Concilium precisely because of the disturbing theological drift of Concilium. I have read my way through (or at least almost completely through) Evangelii Gaudium, and I don't see any indicaton within that document that Pope Francis wishes to relativise doctrine. For instance, in paragraph 36:

"All revealed truths derive from the same divine source and are to be believed with the same faith, yet some of them are more important for giving direct expression to the heart of the Gospel. In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead. In this sense, the Second Vatican Council explained, “in Catholic doctrine there exists an order or a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith”.[38] This holds true as much for the dogmas of faith as for the whole corpus of the Church’s teaching, including her moral teaching."

The phrase "All revealed truths derive from the same divine source and are to be believed with the same faith" seems to be a clear endorsement of doctrinal orthodoxy.

In p. 243 he writes, after maintaining that scientific truth and dogmatic truth cannot contradict, he says: "believers cannot claim that a scientific opinion which is attractive but not sufficiently verified has the same weight as a dogma of faith." This indicates that he believes there is a truth, and it matters.

One might quibble that in p. 41 he says that orthodox language sometimes communicates unorthodox ideas, and urges people to "never forget that 'the expression of truth can take different forms. The renewal of these forms of expression becomes necessary for the sake of transmitting to the people of today the Gospel message in its unchanging meaning'" and to express the Gospel in language people can understand, but this presupposes precisely that there is an orthodox doctrine, and it recognizes the importance of theological language to understand it. We can debate whether we should explain doctrine using simple terms readily understood, but everyone does this, even the SSPX.

In p. 194, the Pope acknowledges the importance of avoiding "falling into error", but states that it is also important to put into practice the biblical injunctions to perform works of mercy. Far from being a condemnation of attempts to avoid falling into error, this is an exhortation to BOTH avoid sin and error AND do works of mercy.

In 236, he says: "Even people who can be considered dubious on account of their errors have something to offer which must not be overlooked." Perhaps we might squabble over whether this is true. Perhaps it is better to anathematize errors in the promotion of orthodoxy. What seems obvious, however, is that the Pope believes it is possible to fall into error, even if he does not believe that this means they have nothing good to offer.

Finally, in the most controversial passages, pp. 35 & 221, for example, the Pope does not deny the truth of every doctrine (quite the contrary), his concern is to put them in their evangelical context. He believes that the doctrine of the Church cannot be understood apart from the centrality of Jesus Christ and the cross of Christ. He seems concerned that Christian doctrine can take on the appearance of disjointed teachings unless we always return to Christ in our preaching.

We might not much like Pope Francis' pastoral approach. We might this it obscures doctrines that should be clear and tolerates errors that should be condemned; but it goes to far to say that he is a doctrinal pragmatist who shares in the opinion of Concilium that Orthodoxy is metaphysical violence.

M. Prodigal said...

Many priests have it in mind to never ever refuse anyone Holy Communion, no matter who they are such as declared homosexual activists, etc. And many bishops mandate this. The priests go along or else have to face persecution or ouster from the bishop. A number of priests do not believe in the Real Presence and there is that too. No, we are all supposed to be welcoming, tolerant (even of evil and sin) and leave people in their sins so as to not 'judge'. But that is not Christlike to be so afraid of human respect that the sinner is confirmed in sin. A dangerous game with eternal consequences.

Unknown said...

I'm pretty sure the quote from Francis that you posted is heretical, objectively heretical.

Less important, but pertinent, this approach does not draw people to Christ. If there is no orthodoxy then there remains only individual opinion. This leads to idolatry as each person, if they bother at all, creates their own Christ i.e., Protestantism

Religion, true Religion must at least claim to be the truth, to hold the truth. Why would anyone normal, reasonable person bother at all if it is down to their own opinion, which is what he's ultimately proposing? He's already said publically that he does not believe there's such a thing as truth, "even theological truth"

The honest question for Catholics is: "What do we do when we find the seat of St Peter occupied by a public and unrepentant heretic?

Православный физик said...

A number of his statements have been questionable, while I'm not willing to brand Pope Francis a heretic (I'd like to think he doesn't know)...a number of his statements have been horrifically worded, and he's had a number of good statements as well. The problem is that he's not precise as to exactly he means, and this lack of precision has led to confusion of the faithful as such so it seems that orthodoxy is no in.

Damask Rose said...

It's all becoming nightmarish.

Pope Francis said he wanted "a mess", well, here you are.

People forget the supernatural.

But it seems as though something supernatural heard the Pope's "mess" comment, and, well...

Anonymous said...

One can find words of Papa Bergoglio that seem to day the opposite of these: he is contradictory at best. Followers of traditional teaching need to strip down their regard for papal utterances to the barest bones of Pastor aeternus at the moment, I'm afraid. Rather than trying to cover over or correct his wilder speeches, shouldn't we just ignore him (sorry) and preach the truth as clearly as possible & while making it clear why the truth is "pastoral" i.e. good for the flock?

Lepanto said...

Before this Papacy, I rarely prayed for the Church or the Pope. I now pray for both avidly. There must be millions like me, so perhaps this Pope is serving a very necessary purpose that he never intended.
I suspect, from several of his comments, that he believes that almost all are saved (except the Mafia, arms manufacturers and maybe the FFI) and so what has a Pope to do if God saves all those who hold a vaguely 'Christian' outlook except lobby for the poor and attack those who disagree with his basic premise (the orthodox) which is what he does, to the world's delight.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a form of Communism. Whatever it is, it isn't Catholic.

Pelerin said...

'Every problem must be placed in its historical and socio-political context ...'

Is this another way of saying that the Church must move with the times? In other words accept divorce, abortion, euthanasia etc because that is what the world wants? Surely not?

JARay said...

Very disturbing!
As are some of the comments above.
I feel for "Gem".
I too feel the need to pray for the Pope and indeed I do so especially as I am uncomfortable with his tenure of the Office.
However, I also feel encouraged that there are numbers of fine young men in our two Seminaries here. I have had some contact with several from each Seminary and these give me hope that the future will be in good hands.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I suspect Gryniewicz is right. It is difficult enough understanding direct reporting of Pope Francis's sayings when they are in Argentinian Spanish which is a mongrel language at best. But here we are being referred to fourth hand reporting of what he is supposed to think. It should be ignored. Indeed I have given up trying to be certain about what he says where there is direct reporting - translation from one language to another is full of pitfalls.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

here's a nice quote: 'modernism originates in bad philosophy'. And this is the why:

Jacobi said...

This is good time to step back and look at the Catholic Church. Some 50 years after St John XXIII called Vat II, the Catholic Church is in deep crisis, in a complete and utter mess.

It’s not as though there was no warning. St Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, foresaw it. Laymen such as Belloc warned quite specifically about it in 1937, as did Ottaviani and others, yet the Council went ahead and was brilliantly exploited by the liberals and more importantly the Relativists within the Church.
The “pragmatism” or rather Relativism of Rahner has done its work.

Even more sobering is the extent to which secularism has seeped into the laity. Five popes have failed to stop this and for the most part, even understand it.

The objective of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Successor of Peter is to preserve and deepen understanding of Scripture, Revelation, Tradition and the Magisterium, to assist the Faithful to achieve Salvation and avoid Hell. In the last 50 years it has not done this.

The Church cannot fail, but it will be smaller and beset for a long time. We will have to choose where we stand. Remaining loyal clergy must be prepared, as instructed in today’s Gospel, to walk away from those who reject Church teaching, and to shake the dust, from their sandals

Murray said...


I made it through the entire article, and the Google auto-translate certainly made it a tough slog! I'd love to see a properly translated version.

You write:
But here we are being referred to fourth hand reporting of what he is supposed to think.

I sympathize with your point here, but one of the central arguments of the article is that the Vatican's refusal to clarify or explain is a feature, not a bug--and if this is correct, it would neatly explain the confusion and disorientation experienced by many faithful Catholics since March of last year.

From the translated article:

The key point of [theology bergogliana] is "not to give explanations." Hitting, purge, insult, remove, without saying why ... Having "passed" the dogmas, no longer has to justify the punishment that imposes accusing the victim of a violation of dogmatic or doctrinal; otherwise it returns the old system, where orthodoxy was used as a weapon to monitor and punish. Today, it punishes without the express reason - the necessary consequence of the excess of the doctrine is that the punishments continue flocking, but in silence. You can not, you should not motivate why.

In short, if I'm understanding correctly, faithful Catholics are well and truly through the Looking Glass. Those charged with custody of the "old" orthodoxy were slow to act and painstakingly methodical, and they always, always provided cogent, heavily footnoted explanations of the reasoning behind their decisions. One thinks of the Council of Trent, or of St. Pius X, or--more recently--Cardinal Ratzinger at the CDF.

But (so the argument goes), today's leaders have moved "beyond orthodoxy", which they see as inherently oppressive, and which they accuse of hindering the movement of the Holy Spirit (to the "peripheries" or wherever). As such, they are no longer bound by the old ways. The orthodox remnant who persist in their obsolete ways must be cajoled, berated, insulted, and even persecuted, but there is no need to explain anything. Any attempts to explain or clarify would provide an opening for a refutation, a counter-argument or a rational defense--you know, those tools of the old orthodox.

Yes, it's just speculation, but if the argument is correct, it does explain why so many faithful Catholics have felt like they've been climbing a greasy pole for the past 16 months. How many times have we read anguished people asking But why doesn't the Vatican clarify? Or, Why don't they explain? Or, Why do Cdls. Maradiaga and Kasper (et al) go unrebuked for their outrageous statements? And so on.

But maybe that's the point. Orthodox Catholics are now a house divided. Some use the Holy Father's nebulous ambiguity to mount heroic defenses (58 things to know and share! Reading Francis through Benedict!). Others vituperate those who question the current state of affairs (Hello, Patheos!). But overall, we mill around despondently trying to make sense of the new order of things--and lacking explanations, all we have left is speculation.

Katalina said...

How does this article square with the Pope insisting at least two times that he shares the Pope Emeritus and a certain Bishops interpretation of Vatican II. Michael Voris on the Pope earlier this spring. One thing that is certain to CMTV is that whoever is translating his English is doing a terrible Jo. At least John Thavis does not believe this

Jacobi said...


If they say “we have moved beyond orthodoxy” and if they mean that Catholic teaching prior to Vatican II is defunct and replaced, then they are heretical, in heretical schism, and are not part of the Catholic Church – whoever they are!

Sadly, the split is coming. Apostasy is with us, I fear.

However, mustn’t get downhearted, must we?

Nicolas Bellord said...

mgl: My understanding of the argument is that orthodoxy (law) is regarded as oppressive. Therefore you abolish orthodoxy (the law).

It is rather like saying that the law against murder should be abolished because sometimes people are wrongly convicted of murder. Instead of concerning oneself with why or how a law is being used oppressively you just abolish it. Having abolished the law you still have to deal with murderers in a pastoral manner. To me this just means chaos, and acting on hunches leading to mob lynches rather than following time-honoured legal procedures which ensure fairness.

Whether such foolish ideas can really be pinned on his Holiness I do not know. I have only skimmed the article and my Italian is poor but it seems to go through all the incidents which have given rise to concern such as the treatment of the FFI. I just do not know what to make of it all.

But let us look at just one incident. "Who am I to judge?" in response to a question about the appointing of a Mgr who had been involved in some kind of homosexuality. It seems to me that somebody should have told His Holiness then and there who he was to judge. Incidentally I thought Jesus had given some guidance on this to Peter!

But let us suppose that a mother writes to a Bishop to inform him that her teenage son has complained that a priest has put his hand into her son's trousers. Does the Bishop then say "Who am I to judge?" and put the letter in the bin or more likely just file it as often happened in the past? And when the police take an interest does the Bishop suggest that a shredder might be the best solution? This is what happened when Canon Law was ignored and pastoral solutions were invoked and a priest perhaps sent on the mission to Africa presumably because little black boys did not matter so much.

As to the Vatican not commenting or clarifying I can only wonder whether they are just as bemused as we are? Or are they perhaps too divided to respond.

In the specific case of the Mgr it was alleged that he had accommodated his boyfriend in his nunciature. Is that not indicative of a certain financial irregularity. Was he then a suitable candidate for being appointed to some position in the Vatican Bank? Who am I to judge?

One is tempted to ignore it all; after all there are masses of other useful texts written by Popes and other Catholic writers over the centuries to help one along. But can one ignore the damage that is being done by the present confusion?

But there is so much waffle in the world to-day written by third rate academics where obscurity and prolixity is used to hide the absence of coherence in their thinking. At some point though I suspect there will be some form of catharsis and a big crisis.

E. G. Lewis said...

A telling quote "Yes, I know Bergoglio. He’s a person who’s caused a lot of problems in the Society and is highly controversial in his own country … As Provincial he generated divided loyalties: some groups almost worshipped him, while others would have nothing to do with him … He left the Society of Jesus in Argentina destroyed [and] we have spent two decades trying to fix the chaos that the man left us … It will be a catastrophe for the Church to have someone like him in the Apostolic See."
God punishes the unfaithful by sending them lousy shepherds.

NBW said...

Pray, pray, and pray for Pope Francis.

Gem, I am sorry to hear what happened.You did the right thing by making sure the Body of Christ was consumed.

Jacobi said...

When the Holy Father commented to the reporters and photographers on the aircraft “who am I to judge” he was not speaking infallibly, or indeed with any authorative intent or function, nor with authentic Magisterium. He was however speaking injudiciously and as such his statement in no way requires assent of faith from Catholics.

As the successor of Peter, charged with loosing and binding, it is, repeat is, his job to judge. That is what he is there for. Additionally, as a priest in the Confessional, it is his job, acting “in persona Christi” to judge the penitent. And not just the sin, but very much the sinner, and to thereby to judge to grant absolution, or to judge to withhold absolution.

My first reaction when I heard that remark was that it would be quoted back at us by our enemies a hundred years from now. I might have been wrong. More likely a thousand years from now.

Oh we do have fun don’t we?

J said...

I would like to say to Mr Nicolas Bellord here that I find his words absoluely disrespectful. Not to Pope Bergoglio, (that believe me, he is worst of your worst nightmares), but to me personally in his reference about our supposed "mongrel language" (at best)
We here we have been suffering Bergoglio for too many years, and we still digging about what he says, he thinks, or he does, and that is not because he uses our "mongrel, at the best, language.
But, now, its not our fault that he is there: he was voted by the Germans, the Dutchs, the English (yes, the English), Frenchs and North American Cardinals with the mandate to do exactly what he is doing.
So please, be kind, and stop insulting us in total, not for the sake of political correctness but for the sake of rationality. If he is there is because of our sins. And not argies sins exclusively.

I tend to read English speaking blogs cause atmosphere here has no oxygen, but Ive been noticing posts and comments like this one (Mr Bellard´s) and I really find them very unfair. At last, Liberation Theology was (is) a european invention, same as Bergoglio is a european invention. So please, be fair, and mind your words, and stop hurting and ashaming us for this situation which is not our fault exclusively. The same we dont judge England for Cromwell or Henry VIII, or France for Robespierre, or Germany for Hitler.

Nicolas Bellord said...

J: Language again! The word mongrel just means of mixed origin. I believe Argentina has many more people of Italian descent than Spanish and as a result the Spanish language has been heavily influenced by Italian speakers. I have heard Argentinians say they speak Castilliano but then pronounce it Castigiano! I suspect Pope Francis uses a lot of colloquial terms peculiar to Argentinian Spanish. Thus anyone, who knows a reasonable amount of Spanish Spanish as I do, has some difficulty in being certain about the exact meaning and nuances of what he says. I suspect that official translators of the Pope's speeches have the same problem as certainly the English translations have on occasions come up with some oddities.

Anyway all languages are mongrel in their origins - English: French, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Old High German, Icelandic, Norse and a few others just to start. So don't feel insulted!

Nicolas Bellord said...

Lewis's quote and what Jacobi says suggest that we are in for a very erratic time and a lot of confusion. Yes we should respect the papacy and Pope Francis but at the same time we should continue to seek the truth. As so often the day's first reading (St Benedict's feast) is particularly apt:

My son, if you take my words to heart,
if you set store by my commandments,
tuning your ear to wisdom,
and applying your heart to truth:
yes, if your plea is for clear perception,
if you cry out for discernment,
if you look for it as if it were silver,
and look for it as for buried treasure,
you will then understand what the fear of the Lord is,
and discover the knowledge of God.

geoff kiernan said...

Lepanto 10/7/14:

I must say I agree. Before this Papacy I felt no need to Pray for the Holy Father or the Church. Now I feel compelled to do precisely that and with much fervour... In that sense we can be grateful for Francis. I struggle to find any other reasons to be grateful...

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

"Is this why the Franciscan Friars are being dealt with apparent harshness?"

Someone recently said when comparing Bergoglio to his immediate predecessors, 'at least they used a somewhat delicate scalpel' when doing plastic surgery on the body of Christ, to which a priest said, 'yes, Bergoglio is like the Vatican chainsaw massacre.'

The days of finessing faithlessness are no longer needed, you see.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas Bellord, "orthodxy" doesn't mean "law", although laws can be framed which derive from or protect what is orthodox. Orthodoxy means right belief, literally "straight thinking", or "straight talking", even "right praising" in Greek. It means to embrace the truth as God gives it to us through the Church and give praise to God by speaking the truth about him. In short to humbly what the Church has defined. To accept the truth is not oppression but liberation, because the truth sets us free. Truth is not abstract but the living fact of God and the reality of my self and my world. So if I refuse his truth and his Word in any way I am refusing to let him conform me to his being in some way. I see heresy as a refusal to be healed by the Word of God. There are many things I have found difficult to accept at first, but once accepted in faith I have come to realise that the difficulty lie sin some damaged part of myself, not in the teaching of Christ through his Church.

On another point if I may. The infamous words of Pope Francis, "who am I to judge?" were not in response to the appointment of an individual in the Vatican, but to a question about whether there was an organised homosexual pressure group in the Vatican. The Pope said that is a man is gay (experiences homosexual temptations) but seeks God (lives a life of chastity), then who am I to judge. But when you talk of pressure groups an organised cliques, then that is a real problem. I am paraphrasing ever so slightly, but that is the context of what he said. I know it has been widely taken out of that context and used against orthodoxy inside and outside the Church, but the fault seems to lie with never clarifying what he means and not speaking with much clarity in the first place. I don't believe in his heart he is unorthodox. The big problem is the way the truly unorthodox are making use the atmosphere confusion.

Deacon Augustine said...

I'm surprised to read that people did not feel the need to pray for the Pope or the Church! In the intercessions of the Divine Office - the prayer of the Church - there is regularly a prayer for the Pope. In particular the Church asks us to pray for the Pope - that his faith will not fail!!!

The Church does not ask us to pray useless prayers, so applying the rule of "Lex orandi, lex credendi", the unthinkable must actually be quite thinkable.

The Way of Dodo said...

What's this? Not praying for the Pope before Francis?

You mustknow Catholics pray for the Pope at every Mass - focus. And Our Lady asked us at Fatima to do likewise when we say the Rosary.

Come on 'traditional Catholics'. Are you forgetting too?

Anonymous said...

It is wrong both factually and morally to describe a person in terms of a disordered desire that they have, a desire to do that which is intrinsically evil - to relate in a sexual way to another person of the same sex. One ought not to accept others' erroneous identifications of certain persons with disordered desires or intrinsic evil. It is an attempt on the part of those who promote such evil to mislead people into the erroneous acceptance of homosexual desire as natural and intrinsic. This false, evil notion has been allowed to become widespread with little opposition from the bishops, priests. Pope Francis is spreading this false notion by describing a person as "gay".

Anonymous said...

The parish of Blessed John Henry Newman here in Melbourne Australia,in their latest newsletter has an interview with Bishop Schneider well worth the read . his comments about Who is the Head of Church are very pertinent.

A D Ryan said...

I made a decision about my Church allegiance at the beginning of 2o13
whenI was told that a document I produced based on years of reflection on Marian prophecy was very much in line with material put out by visionaries I had never heard of before. This decision of mine preceded the change of popes
by several months and I see no reason to alter my decision. In the cataclysm to come in the Catholic Church I am sticking with the Catechism of the Catholic Church as issued under the authority of St John Paul II.
A D Ryan

Nicolas Bellord said...

Thomas: Thank you for your comment. I agree law and orthodoxy are not synonymous but I rather got the impression from the article that some were treating them as almost synonymous. Thus "Thou shalt not kill" or "Thou shalt commit adultery" were regarded as examples of orthodoxy with which someone was oppressively upbraiding someone guilty of such and that this was wrong; you must treat them pastorally and do away with the orthodoxy or laws of the ten commandments.

But where would you place the commandments and law of which Christ spoke? Are they not part of orthodoxy whose primary meaning is surely right teaching?

As to Mgr Ricca according to the English translation at:

the question was:

Ilze Scamparini: I would like to ask permission to ask a somewhat delicate question: another image has also gone around the world, which is that of Monsignor Ricca and news about your privacy. I would like to know, Holiness, what do you intend to do about this question. How to address this question and how Your Holiness intends to address the whole question of the gay lobby?

The Pope then makes a distinction between sins of one's youth being forgiven and forgotten and crimes. My point is that if Mgr Ricca housed his boyfriend in the Nunciature at the expense of the Nunciature then that is financial misbehaviour which might make one think twice about appointing him to a very senior position in a bank.

Whilst we are asked to forgive the trespasses of others are we always bound to forget them when we should be acting with prudence?

Jacobi said...

If I may make a purely personal reflection. It concerns the different treatment of two people by the Church, namely Cardinal O’Brien, harsh, and Mgr Ricca, shall we say forgiving and understanding.

Now O’Brien may have patted a few bums, probably consenting bums, and way back in the early nineties or whatever. Ricca, so I understand, led an outrageously open homosexual lifestyle in Montevideo roughly about the same time.

Ricca is still in Rome, in some sort of comfortable job. Oh yes, he was demoted a bit but still life cannot be too bad for him. O’Brien is disgraced, dismissed and in shameful exile somewhere.

Odd is it not?

Could it be that O’Brien made the fatal mistake of reforming and speaking out publicly against the whole movement of “accepting “ active homosexuality, and in doing so upset some lobby in the Vatican?

John Nolan said...

According to 'Crimen Sollicitationis' (1962) the 'foulest crime' (crimen pessimum) is for a priest to have sexual relations with another man. The other crimes in this category are bestiality and abuse of minors of either sex.

A dalliance with a woman, provided she is not seduced as a penitent, is less serious (and has been no means uncommon in the history of the Western Church).

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

A D Ryan. Who cares what one chooses to align oneself to? The catechism of JPII, the famous modernist and public scandaliser against the first commandment, or the catechism of Pius X, the famous, or nowadays, infamous, anti-modernist? I knew - or thought I knew - that becoming Catholic would mean fighting the world outside me and inside me. I didn't expect I'd be fighting the shifting Catholic faith outside me and within me in order to make peace with the world outside and within. If Christ's shepherds are speaking with the Holy Ghost when they make peace with Christ's enemies exhorting us to do the same - the Church yesterday is now wrong - I guess that means the Church today can be wrong tomorrow. Orthodoxy, as understood prior to Bergoglio's, 'it's black when i sat it's back', was not an of the moment thing. But I guess that can change too. At any rate, the last priest who turned his back on me because I sought to convert was right, in that case, and so was the catechist who wryly told me 'well, ya got ya wish', when i was baptized and confirmed. They believed my seeking conversion was the sign of an immature soul. I think I'm beginning to grow up, though.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

p.s. when i say 'grow up' - that from the point of view of one of the arrested development gen-x; it's a pity so many cradle catholics think one is delicate in the noogin for choosing Catholicism - and then get really perplexed if one does not want to become a defacto priest. I was brought up a protestant mongrel - all the women kept strict silence and wore some form of doily or teacosy on their heads; but then men would wear sandals and knee-length socks and polyester shorts exposing the most unfortunate knees whilst proclaiming the most strange new dogmas each week; born usually of that weeks personal experience. I must say, one of the knee high sock and sandal polyster-short-presiders could pick a pretty mean banjo at youth group though. I recall that 'brethren' babies are very careful not to make a peep for a whole hour every Sunday.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

p.s.s. noggin, obviously. I know that the most vulnerable/innocent souls are an addiction to satan. I know that too many of those ordained to be bulwarks/true and safe havens against this diabolic hunger - don't get it or don't give a tinkers.

George said...


On the heels of Pope Francis' purported statements to a delegation of Evangelicals, I have one major concern about criticizing this, or any Pope. When the time comes for us to coalesce around him over a highly controversial matter, we will not be united -- specifically among we the "orthodox" Catholics, we will be divided in how or when to unite behind him.

I would offer as evidence what happened in 2003, when Pope John Paul II denounced the US/UK war against Iraq. The American and British Catholic worlds pretty much blew off the Holy Father. By that time in his pontificate, JP II had done and said so many strange things that many, if not most, faithful Catholics (Conservatives and Trads, alike) brushed off his denouncement as another in a series of merely prudential judgments that should be treated as suspect, rather than given immediate assent.

Pope Francis is already done this road. We could take his comments in the best light possible. His comments on the moral (or immoral) economy are largely condemned by American and British Whig Catholics. His comments on matters such as the meeting with the Evangelical delegation are treated as soft apostasy by conservatives and traditionalists. How many of these same conservatives are standing outside Protestant Churches, Jewish Synagogues, or Islamic Mosques waiting to evangelize the various congregants as they depart their worship services? NONE. Yet, we criticize Pope Francis for stating the obvious -- we live in an era when conversions through direct proselytization is at the best imprudent, and probably highly counter-productive. At any rate, why not give *some* time to examining Francis' comments through as generous lens as possible? Like I stated above, the less than generous approach may come back to bite us when we need unity behind the pope and it is not there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Viterbo, for not giving in to the terrible, all-pervasive pressure from apostates/heretics within the Church, our family, to mock Our Lord God, and acquiesce to, or cooperate with Satan and his minions. Blessed Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle [and it is raging "within" the Church] . . . We must be prepared to be hated by many, including priests, bishops and those we love especially, as family members.

Supertradmum said...

All this verbage will end in a heap of ash and dust. Orhodoxy is merely the adherence to a set of ideas, and in the case of the Catholic Church, these are the ideas of God.

Those who want over and over to change the Mind of Christ, to depart from the Revelation of both the Old and New Testament, as well as from the Tradition of the Church, will end up in great disappointment.

Those who are worried about this pope being an apostate are mistaken. What is said in a sound bit, purposefully misconstrued by a hostile Vatican and Italian press is NOT the same as something said from the Chair of Peter.

I, for one, trust in the Holy Spirit, who runs the Church.

Anonymous said...

Pope Francis is responsible for giving these terrible interviews with Scalfari and other enemies of God and His Holy Church. These statements do not uphold the truths of the Faith, and the Natural Law, but undermine them.

As for calling people "paedophiles", this is again an obfuscation of the truth. There are priests who have been accused of rape or sexual assault of minors (many of these have not had any due process, some accused after death or when very infirm and unable to defend themselves, there are others who maintain their innocence, and against whom there is no corroborative evidence, Many, if not most of these have never been formally charged by civil authorities.)

Then there are those who have actually been convicted under various civil jurisictions' criminal justice systems - these are very few. However, we know that many of these trials took place in a very hostile and biased environment. In some cases, it is apparent this bias contaminated the proceedings. Fr Gordon MacRae is one priest whose trial was clearly unfair, and where there was not only not sufficient evidence to convict but enough to show that the purported acts which comprised the actus reus of the alleged crimes never occurred. Twenty years later and this innocent priest is still in prison - a most egregious continuing miscarriage of justice.)

No person, including a priest, "is a paedophile". Rather, there are persons, including a very small number (though one is too many) who have sexually assaulted children, including by rape. (Those who have been accused, maintain their innocence, and where there has been no due process or any corroborating evidence cannot reasonably, or justly, be stated to be guilty.] No person has been created with a desire to sexually assault a child (or anyone) - objectively evil acts are done by abuse of one's free will. Of course, there may be facts that tend to mitigate an individual's culpability, where the intellect and the will have been damaged.

As for "solutions", the solution is for the Church leaders to teach, govern and sanctify in accordance with the unchanging and unchangeable truths of the Deposit of Faith, of objective morality. It is the same solution for the crisis of the Church as a whole, of which significant numbers of ordained assaulting children, without the proper moral response, without the operation of Divine or canonical law, procedural and substantive, etc. is just one of many, many rotten fruits.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, the Pope ought not to have mentioned celibacy in a conversation about child molestation by members of the clergy. The only relationship that the gift of celibacy could have to the evil of sexual assaults by priests would be that true celibacy, inextricably connected to a virtuous life, would make the latter very much less likely to occur among priests as a whole. As for the individual priest, if he is truly celibate and leading a virtuous life, he would never intentionally sexually assault anyone, never mind a child. On the contrary, a priest who rejects, or is lax in respect of sexual morality is not one who can be practising celibacy in its fullness, as it involves the whole person.

Celibacy as taught by the Church, is a beautiful profound gift, which can only make the one who adopts it a more holy person, and a more holy priest. That, of course, is not to say, that a married man cannot be a good priest. Celibacy, as understood by the Church (not as erroneously portrayed by the world that hates the Church) is never a problem that needs a solution. Rather, there are problems of immorality, disobedience, heresy, and apostasy among priests, there are problems of seminaries that teach or promote immorality, heresies, that oppose the Deposit of Faith, and there are problems of a shortage of children brought up to know and love the Faith and who are willing to respond to their vocation (needless to say, there is just a fraction of the children that there ought to be across Catholic families). Many who are priests, including bishops, ought never to have become priests, as they never were true to the full Deposit of Faith. Many of the heretical or apostate "liberal" priests describe why they became priests in such terms as makes it clear that they did not ascribe to the true Faith, but a false one of their own making, and perhaps promoted at their seminary.

Aussie said...

"All this verbiage will end in a heap of ash and dust .... I, for one, trust in the Holy Spirit, who runs the Church."

Thank you Supertradmum. You have stated my thoughts and stance as well. Attacks on the Pope by members of the Church are shocking and painful, and leave me almost speechless.

Holy Mother, protect the Pope.

Nicolas Bellord said...

George: You wrote "I would offer as evidence what happened in 2003, when Pope John Paul II denounced the US/UK war against Iraq. The American and British Catholic worlds pretty much blew off the Holy Father. By that time in his pontificate, JP II had done and said so many strange things that many,..."

Well I think a very large proportion of the public in the UK, regrettably not myself being fooled by Blair, actually agreed with JPII in his denunciation.
And what are those "strange things"? I seem to have missed them. Give us one or two examples.

Pelerin said...

Why oh why is Pope Francis continuing to give interviews to a journalist who neither takes notes, nor records what is said? Does the journalist have a photographic memory? I very much doubt it.

People have pointed out that what he is quoted as saying is not 'ex cathedra' but the harm is done when the world's press extracts quotes from these interviews to suit their own agenda.

George said...

""Well I think a very large proportion of the public in the UK, regrettably not myself being fooled by Blair, actually agreed with JPII in his denunciation.""

Nicolas, people may have agreed with the pope's position, but very few people saw JPII's position as in any way binding on the faithful. We had been deluged with so much from him that was treated by the Catholic world as prudential judgments requiring our attention at the most, but not strict obedience.

""And what are those "strange things"? I seem to have missed them. Give us one or two examples.""

Obviously, the extreme stuff would be Assisi. But even his position on Capital Punishment. It wasn't "traditional". Not only was it not traditional (in accordance with the perennial understanding of the state and capital punishment), but he also failed to enforce his teaching. Catholics were free to believe or not believe it. We were encouraged to believe it, but not made to believe it. It all and all established an environment which met his 2003 denouncement of the war as just another "opinion" from the pope.

Aussie said...

Criticism of the Pope is un-Catholic. It is something Protestants have historically done.

Father John A. Hardon SJ has highlighted that TRUST in Christ and LOYALTY to His Vicar on earth go hand in glove. He offers St Joseph Pignatelli SJ to us as an example of fidelity whose witness might also be a source of consolation, inspiration and encouragement for the Franciscans of the Immaculata in their present sufferings.

Of St Pignatelli and his fellow Jesuits, Father Hardon says: " ... what loyalty! Loyalty to the hand that stabs you. Provided that you believe that hand is guided by the hand of God ... Out of the 23,000 Jesuits put out of existence in 1773 ... there is not a single evidence of a public criticism of the Pope ... One of the providential reasons for the suppression of the order with such dire consequences, was TO GIVE THE WORLD THE LESSON OF FIDELITY, even under duress." (Emphasis mine). The whole article can be read at

Pope Francis was validly elected to the Chair of Peter. Hence he is not an anti-pope but our Holy Father owed filial love and respect.

Nicolas Bellord said...

But George was he not making a prudential judgement which is not binding on the faithful? It seems to me that a Pope can make a prudential judgement on particular facts and say that to act in a particular way would be very wrong. But it may be that he has got the particular facts wrong and therefore such a judgement cannot be binding on the faithful. Of course his judgement should be regarded with the greatest respect but I do not think we are bound in obedience to him in the way a religious or cleric could be. Ann Frost mentions the suppression of the Jesuits but they were bound in obedience. But even then it would have been perfectly proper for a lay person to criticise the decision of the Pope. Of course one should not attack the Pope personally but we are entitled to discuss what he says and comment thereon. A Pope's infallibility is strictly limited and he is therefore not above making mistakes particularly where he might be misinformed as to the facts of a situation.

John Vasc said...

Having already granted an atheist newspaper editor one interview whose words were misquoted and caused grave scandal, to give a second such interview to the same man, with no notes and no recording made, is downright bizarre. It was naturally bound to cause further scandal, misunderstanding and harm to the Church, and it has done so.
Whatever Pope Francis's motives, his judgement is now definitely in question.
The Pope is the Vicar of Christ in that he embodies the visible unity of the Church, which is Christ. To sow discord and doubt about the deposit of faith or to set one political party or area of the globe or liturgical form against another, contradicts this role.

Anonymous said...

There is no fidelity to anything which is in opposition to the unchanging and unchangeable Deposit of Faith and morals. On the contrary. The Faith does not change. Morality does not change. Catholics are bound to stay true to Faith and Reason. The Faith is never unreasonable, though it is much more than reason. There is fidelity due to the unchanging Magisterium, and a particular pope insofar as what he says or does is not in opposition to the doctrine of the Faith, to Sacred Tradition, to the truth, and He Who Is Truth. To support something that is true as a matter of reason or Faith because it is said or done by a pope, is to be disloyal to the Church, the unchanging Holy Faith, and to contribute to bringing it into disrepute.

George said...

Nicolas, I see where you are going. But I still have concerns. In teaching on matter of Faith or Morals, surely the Pope can use practical examples. Is his power limited in merely defining what an unjust war is? Or does it extend to pronouncing the imminent start of an unjust war? It would seem to me that he can do the latter. He could excommunicate any Catholic for participating in a certain conflict which he declared as an unjust war. He could censure of place under interdict any nation going forward with an unjust war.

Would you agree?

geoff kiernan said...

Ann Frost: So true ann. I just wish he would top making these confusing statements

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Re: Bergoglio - How validly elected is this:

“I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism...There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those."

The mission of Christ is something that Bergoglio calls 'solemn nonsense'. This alone should be enough to have us wanting to to cry out 'anathema'; rather than murmur pleasantries. But alas, who has the faith anymore? We would rather, these days, politely stay on-side with satan, than look like an 'addict' of that outdated fashion the Rock of Christ.

p.s. "Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!"

"I also think with affection of those Muslim immigrants who this evening begin the fast of Ramadan, which I trust will bear abundant spiritual fruit."

“It was very simple," replied the priest. "On the first day I took him by the ear and said pointing to the crucifix, 'That was a Jew like you, if you misbehave, you will end up the same.'" End of a Bergoglio joke.

"Pelagian current. It's like turning back 60 years! They count rosaries... Please, don't laugh." After Bergoglio was gifted rosaries by faitful 'pelagian' 'catholic bats' and 'old maids'.

p.s.s. the list of what an utter enemy of the Faith Bergoglio is, is ridiculously long and growing everytime he opens his mouth in public; this list is also something we just aren't willing to take seriously. Why?

Nicolas Bellord said...

George: First of all I would say that whilst JPII's denunciation of the Iraq war may have had little effect at the time I think many people will have thought about it subsequently. It has certainly led me to think he was right and I was wrong! Next time I hope I will pay more attention.

I would agree with you that a Pope could denounce something and even excommunicate someone for disobeying him if he had made it clear that he would do so. However there is the primacy of conscience as to the facts (not the doctrine) and if I genuinely believed after thorough inquiry that he had got his facts wrong then I could still disobey him. After all there must have been occasions when excommunications were wrongfully applied.

geoff kiernan said...

To all who Make comments like, "The Holy Spirit runs the church and because he ensured the Election of a pope they can do no wrong", "Loyalty to the Holy Father is essential, "I cant believe people would doubt the Holy Father.

Not withstanding that the Holy Father is the vicar of Christ on earth, it must be remembered the he is only infallible when speaking 'ex cathedra' (from the Chair of Peter)on matters of Faith and Morals.
He is not impeccable and therefore quite able to , make mistakes.
What of the likes of St Catherine of Sienna (Doctor of the Church) She made no bones about criticising the Pope of her time.
And what of Pope Alexander. He was the one that led the church for a number of years with his girlfriend and his harem and his mistresses in the Vatican with him all at the same time. Even when 'saying Mass' and giving audiences to priests and bishops and the laity.
Where was our Lord when this was going on.? I can just Picture our Lord sitting up there just shaking his head and with tears in his eyes Don't get me wrong on this. I believe Francis is properly elected and the vicar of Christ on earth and we pray daily for him and the Church. But what if he started trying to preach/teach heresy?? We as faithful and informed Catholics have an obligation first to the Church to protect her doctrines as handed down from the apostles
I always thought one had to die first before one could be canonised.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

p.s. given my peasantish powers of deduction this is what I think I can safely conclude regarding the POV of Catholics when it comes to enemies of the faith from high up to the bottom rung: Catholics who hold to the position of sedevacantism say that an enemy of the Faith can in no wise be pope; whereas pretty much all other Catholics are agreed - an enemy of the Faith can most certainly be pope; then the more pharisaic Catholics say that it cannot be concluded whether one is an enemy of the Faith without a great high-ranking Church declaration with much fanfare - yet no one seems at all bothered in the aggiornamento heirarchy to declare that the Faith has any enemies left at all (unless they be rosary counting Catholic-bats, torturers, WMD makers, and the mafia); therefore, if the nominee for enemy of the Faith is also a nominee for pope, no one can conlude that a pope, even if he be an enemy of the Faith, is, in fact, an enemy of the Faith; because, it's not his actually being an enemy to the Faith which counts but the declaration regarding his being an enemy to the Faith. As far as I can tell, therefore, a papal claimant could, in theory, openly promote every error and openly suppress every virtue and unless there are some virtuous, but probably already suppressed, Cardinals willing to make any sort of declaration - no one has the right even to notice that he is enemy of the Faith.

Anonymous said...

Correction required in my last comment, third-last line (obviously): substitute "untrue" for "true". Professor Robert de Mattei, in his letter to the Director of Radio Maria, Fr Fanzago, described very well our duty to oppose error wherever it comes from (14 Feb, 2014). Rorate Coeli, amongst others published text in English. The truth is still what it was before Pope Francis became pope - it hasn't changed.

geoff kiernan said...

Ann Frost:

So when St Catherine of Sienna criticised the Holy Father she was being un-Catholic.
And when st Thomas of Aquinas criticised the holy Father He too was being un-catholic???????

TLMWx said...

Well Father Ray is Pope Francis against Catholicism?
I think he is simply for everything except Catholicism when Catholicism does not agree with his heterodoxy. I suppose you might say he is for Catholicism when it agrees with his own opinions and against Catholicism when it does not. Is that a fair summary? In short he's a nightmare in white!

Aussie said...

Geoff, St Catherine of Sienna spoke to the Pope in person and through personal correspondence. She didn't publish her concerns and advice publicly. If someone in a family does something of concern, one approaches that person privately, as St Catherine did, rather than airing one's brother's perceived faults on the internet for the world to scoff at him. We Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ and should not take part in character assassination. If someone has a concern about the Pope he or she should pray for him and could also write to him, as St Catherine did, and set out those concerns and what the writer believes the Pope should do to remedy the perceived problem. As for St Thomas Aquinas, when did he publicly criticise the Pope? I have no knowledge of this.

TLM said...

If your translation is accurate (and the key word here is 'if' the reporters?..I don't think so) it goes beyond heresy, in my opinion, it is diabolical.

First of all, these 'off the cuff' spontaneous interviews that Francis is giving, NEED to STOP. Does he not realize that they are causing much confusion among the faithful? Someone needs to tell him in no uncertain terms that he is causing damage within the Church, presuming of course he is being manipulated by the secular press.

As for me, I will wait for the Synod to see what will be determined. I think that will be our barameter.

groovsmyth said...

I've come to the conclusion, like Timothy Graham, that it is best to ignore Francis. We have been spoiled in our recent lifetime by having pontiffs who were prolific in wisdom. Conversely, it can actually be dangerous to hang on Jorge's every word. As others have said, watchfulness on ex cathedra statements is another matter. And we can be sure all eyes and ears will be focused on the outcome of this upcoming synod.

Unfortunately, damage of *expectation* has already been set in place regardless. If and when Familiaris Consortio is confirmed and reiterated, like the aftermath of Humanae Vitae, dissenting blowback will uptick exponentially.

Thus the overall scenario is decline. Can we work through the 5 stages of grief to acceptance? This is the glide path to prophesied mass apostasy. The reality of Judas wasn't a pretty picture. Neither is the winding down of the temporal era. Each individual's goal should be being numbered among the remnant. Plead for Grace and do whatever it takes to remain in the Ark.

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