Well, this is a way to start a Thursday. I expect extremely wide reactions to this. I will say the article quoted below is very heavy on spin, and that there are grave dangers in misunderstanding here (I add emphasis):
The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. [As I said, there is some spin........] On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.
However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ.
Francis based his homily on the message of Christ to his disciples taken from the Gospel of Mark. Francis delivered his message by sharing a story of a Catholic who asked a priest if atheists were saved by Christ.
“They complain,” Francis said, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” He explained that Jesus corrected them, “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.”
The disciples, Pope Francis explained, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong… Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation.” [OK, one comment: am I the only one getting a pretty strong whiff of Pelagianism from this?]
“Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio.
“Just do good” was his challenge, “and we’ll find a meeting point.”
Francis explained himself, “The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “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!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” [That comment about redemption is sloppy to the point of being dangerous. Christ died to save all, but we know - it is a Doctrine of the Faith - that many refuse Christ's salvific action and are not saved.]
I’ll also add this: if the “finding a meeting point” means conversion and baptism into the Faith, then this is of course correct. Christ did make pretty plain in the Gospel of St. John that not only Baptism, but regular reception of the Sacraments, including the Blessed Sacrament, were required for salvation (if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you do not have life in you).
The above statements present some question marks to me with regard to human nature. All of us do some good and some evil in our lives. There are none who are sinless, and very few who are such moral monsters they do no good. It is my conviction that, especially in our modern world, the vast majority of people commit at least one very grave sin, let us say, an objectively mortal sin, in their lives. How much good must be done to offset that sin? The Church has always believed, that there is NO amount of earthly good that can be done, that can efficaciously atone for a mortal sin. It requires the intervention of Grace, unearned, to atone for that. And thus, the Sacraments. The Church has also always believed that for works to be meritorious they must be done in the state of Grace. We have to keep in mind that God’s definition of good is very different from the world’s, and what the world considers good may at times even be gravely offensive to God.
And then one final thought: there is little doubt the Catholic Faith is the most challenging, the most comprehensive, the most life-altering of any faith on earth. Do statements like the one above encourage souls to engage in the sacrifice and self-denial that are required to live a faithful Catholic existence? Maybe so, if one defines “doing good” as works of self-denial or penitential giving, but it just seems so superficial. Much depends on what the Holy Father means by “meeting point,” but I do know that many are already taking the Holy Father’s statements and running with them, assuming he is referring to salvation. But I think he stopped short of that.
One thing I am certain of, the world will absolutely love this statement.
My post, maybe not so much.
This story has taken an unexpected turn. Fr. Gabriel Amorth, one of the most well-known exorcists in the Church and the leading exorcist in the Diocese of Rome, has reported that he performed an exorcism on the disabled man who received Pope Francis’ blessing, which I reported about yesterday, and that he, Fr. Amorth, cast out four demons:
The Rev. Gabriele Amorth, a leading exorcist for the diocese of Rome, said he performed a lengthy exorcism of his own on the man Tuesday morning and ascertained he was possessed by four separate demons. The case was related to the legalization of abortion in Mexico City, he said.
Amorth told RAI state radio that even a short prayer, without the full rite of exorcism being performed, is in itself a type of exorcism.
“That was a true exorcism,” he said of Francis’ prayer. “Exorcisms aren’t just done according to the rules of the ritual.”
It could have been one of many binding prayers, which are often used in mild cases of demonic oppression to good effect. I don’t know if that was what Pope Francis was doing, or not, but the reaction of the man to the blessing seemed very odd. But, then again, some with severe physical/neurological problems do not always have control of their bodies, and may make gestures or sounds that are quite unintentional. It’s difficult to say.
Please no comments that Pope Francis inflicted the man with demons. If you have concerns or problems with specific actions Pope Francis has taken, or things he did prior to being elected Pope, that’s fine, so long as they are reasonable and backed up by facts, I have no problem with expressing concern or respectful criticism. But no over-the-top statements regarding the Pope inflicting demons on people, he is the Pope! There is absolutely no call for that.
Any more statements to that effect, and a ban will occur.
The media is starting to freak about Pope Francis May 21, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, Papa, scandals, secularism, true leadership, Virtue.
You mean, he like, really believes in the devil? Doesn’t he know it’s the 21st century and, like, nobody believes in that anymore?
Pope Francis gave an extensive blessing to a very ill man. The man responded in a rather unusual way, audibly groaning and seeming to shudder, before semi-collapsing back into his wheelchair. Numerous media outlets immediately lept to the conclusion – ZOMG! Exorcism! Which, no way, not a formal one anyway, but certain prayers and blessings can be quickly applied with have the effect of a minor exorcism – they will drive away demons oppressing a soul lightly. I’m not saying that’s the case here, and blessings like this from this Pope are nothing unusual. But what has been unusual is the revealing reaction of the media, which seems to be increasingly upset that a man they expected to be “their guy,” or at least friendly to their conceits and worldview, is turning out to be just what they fear and loathe the most: a Catholic. He may be a Pope with very different interests and approaches to the Faith than the last few, and who knows what the future may hold in terms of his actions or emphases, but he is demonstrating such dyed in the wool Catholicism it is giving the media paroxysms of fear and doubt. To which I say, yay!
I, for one, am glad this Pope places such a strong emphasis on relaying to the faithful and the world – for the Pope is responsible not just for all Catholic souls, but all the souls in the world – the dire reality of satan and the forces of evil that are constantly prowlling around, looking for unwary souls to devour. May he continue to do so, and clearly link the amoral acts of so many of his sheep – contraception, divorce and remarriage, divorce, unnatural sex, etc., etc. – with both the influence of satan AND the consequences of sin: death for the soul, and eternal torment.
As for the world, we know it will always be against us. “But fear not,” Our Blessed Lord says, “for I have overcome the world!”
Indeed, He has.
Pope Francis joins Roman March for Life May 13, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, awesomeness, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
This is quite fantastic. Even more fantastic, would be for Pope Francis in cope and chasuble, leading the March for Life with the Blessed Sacrament raised high:
Pope Francis surprised about 40,000 Italian and international participants in today’s Marcia per la Vita (March for Life) Internazionale in Rome this morning, when he left the Apostolic Palace to greet them personally from his popemobile in the street where they were lined up.
Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews.com that for the pope to have effectively joined the March for Life was highly unusual.
….In a shout-out to the marchers from his usual weekly Regina Coeli address, the pope briefly welcomed the crowd and endorsed a European-wide pro-life petition against embryo research.
The ‘One of Us’ campaign is seeking to gain 1 million signatures as part of a European Citizen Initiative. If organizers of the campaign achieve their goal the European Parliament is duty-bound to schedule a debate on the issue.
“I invite you to keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception,” the pope told the marchers.
He also invited all to attend the Vatican’s “Evangelium Vitae Day,” which he said would be “a special moment especially for those who care about the defense of the sanctity of human life,” to take place “in the context of the Year of Faith,” on 15 and 16 June.
March organisers were delighted with the greeting and with the extraordinary surge of numbers from last year’s march, which attracted 15,000 from around the country.
“The welcome of Pope Francis represents the highest recognition for the initiative and the confirmation of the sensitivity of the Pope to the non-negotiable principles, beginning with the right to life,” organisers said.
Mons. Barreiro also described the dramatic increase in numbers, from 1000 two years ago, to 15,000 last year, to about 40,000 today. This he put down to the hard work of the organisers in helping thousands come by bus from up and down the length of Italy, and to a “renewed awareness” among the public that Italy’s abortion law “must be abrogated.”
“The people are now really certain that we have to stake a stronger position than that which has been held in the past by some Italian pro-life groups.”
Certainly, a Pope with a populist touch that rivals Blessed John Paul II. I suspect, given the Pope’s presence this year, next year’s march might top 100,000.
Video from Rome Reports, hopefully they won’t sue me:
There is an interesting article by Sandro Magister regarding Pope Francis’ not distributing the Blessed Sacrament. It’s not exactly an original thought – I’ve heard it elsewhere – but it does have some evidence behind it. The supposition is, that based on the Pope’s earlier writings, while he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he does not distribute the Blessed Sacrament in order to prevent souls from being scandalized when they see some pro-abort or other public sinner receiving the Host from a high Church authority (my emphasis and comments):
There is one particular in the Masses celebrated by Pope Francis that raises questions that have so far gone unanswered.
At the moment of communion, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not administer it himself, but allows others to give the consecrated host to the faithful. He sits down and waits for the distribution of the sacrament to be completed. [And unfortunately, as has been seen, these assistants often give the Host to some standing and in the hand. There seems to be some guidance to have people receive on the tongue, but it seems inconsistently applied]
The exceptions are very few. At solemn Masses the pope, before sitting down, gives communion to those assisting him at the altar. And at the Mass last Holy Thursday, at the juvenile detention facility of Casal del Marmo, he wanted to give communion himself to the young detainees who approached to receive it. [I pray that does not include the muslims who got their feet washed.....]
Bergoglio has given no explicit explanation of this behavior since becoming pope.
But there is one page in a book he published in 2010 that allows one to infer the motives at the origin of this practice.
At the end of the chapter dedicated prayer, the then-archbishop Bergoglio says:
“David had been an adulterer and had ordered a murder, and nonetheless we venerate him as a saint because he had the courage to say: ‘I have sinned.’ He humbled himself before God. [This is a really, really important point in consideration of so many who seem to be of the opinion that sin is OK, because we all do it. That is the line used by many homosexual advocates, for instance, who argue that since everyone sins, no one should be denied the Blessed Sacrament for their particular grievous sin. But the point is that those who sin, but repent, are of course welcome. God loves a penitent man. But God loathes the proud. Those who are proud of their sin, or ever worse, declare their particular cherished sin a "good," are vastly different from the penitent man who confesses his sin and then receives the Blessed Sacrament, which will help strengthen him against further sin. Those who are obstinate or proud in sin are rejecting God, claiming that God is wrong, that the Church is wrong, and that they, in their insurmountable pride, are right. And they re-crucify Christ when they receive Him in that state. But our world and Church are so incredibly fallen right now, many who call themselves Catholic cannot even distinguish between penitent sinners, and unrepentant ones] One can commit enormous mistakes, but one can also acknowledge them, change one’s life and make reparation for what one has done. It is true that among parishioners there are persons who have killed not only intellectually or physically but indirectly, with improper management of capital, paying unjust wages. There are members of charitable organizations who do not pay their employees what they deserve, or make them work off the books. [. . .] With some of them we know their whole résumé, we know that they pass themselves off as Catholics but practice indecent behaviors of which they do not repent. For this reason, on some occasions I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it, because I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo. One may also deny communion to a known sinner who has not repented, but it is very difficult to prove these things. [In many cases, yes, but with certain notorious individuals, such as Church-persecuting, pro-abort Joe Biden, John Kerry, pretty much any Kennedy, or Nancy Pelosi, their record, and their obstinance, are very clear. Until they PUBLICLY repudiate their many public sins, and do penance, they cannot be received. The fact that they do is one of the utmost scandals in the Church today, and probably not an insignificant aspect of their being so invincibly mired in the horrors of objectively mortal sin] Receiving communion means receiving the body of the Lord, with the awareness of forming a community. [That's one aspect. I might highlight the communion with God and becoming one with Him, but move along.....] But if a man, rather than uniting the people of God, has devastated the lives of many persons, he cannot receive communion, it would be a total contradiction. Such cases of spiritual hypocrisy present themselves in many who take refuge in the Church and do not live according to the justice that God preaches. And they do not demonstrate repentance. This is what we commonly call leading a double life.”
As can be noted, Bergoglio explained in 2010 his abstaining from giving communion personally with a very practical reason: “I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo.”
Which is a good point. And while I admire the Holy Father for denying at least this ultimate commission of this horrific scandal, I think it would be better in so many respects (I can think of 7 or 8 off hand) if certain individuals were simply denied the Blessed Sacrament and/or formally placed under interdict, if not excommunicated. For the scandal involving certain individuals has reached such epic proportions, and so many souls literally fall away from the Faith over it, that merely denying them a photo-op may not be a sufficient work of justice. It is also unjust to those who continue to receive unworthily, as they are not given, in charity, the Church’s salutary medicine of the strongest reproof, in the hope it will shock them out of their sinful actions. It also places those subordinates who distribute the Blessed Sacrament in a very precarious position, not being certain they will be supported should they deny the Sacrament to some unrepentant sinner, and leaves them with the impression they have to provide Our Lord to everyone, no matter how infamous they may be.
If the supposition is correct, then I pray Pope Francis’ current method of dealing with this scandal is just a first step, which will be followed by more vigorous actions to protect the sanctity of the Sacramentl, prevent scandal among the faithful, and stop the grave self-injury souls are committing by receiving unworthily. I pray at some point there will be a prelate, any prelate, who will demand public repentance from one of these notorious lay people, and will take some formal action to terminate their sacrilegious reception of the Real Body and Blood of Our Lord.
Pray for the Holy Father! May 6, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, General Catholic, Papa, Interior Life, episcopate, Virtue, Tradition, Grace.
We should always pray for our leaders in the Church, our shepherds, and especially for our chief pastor, the Holy Father Pope Francis. I do pray for our pope, bishops, and priests every day, almost without exception. But it is being widely reported, that Pope Francis implored the crowd at Mass last week for a very specific prayer intention – three Ave’s, and he used that word, Ave’s, for the Pope’s intentions. In case you hadn’t seen that request, I wanted to make sure I took at least some small action to further the Holy Father’s request.
Too often, I think present-day Catholics have the mentality that the Church exists to do things for them. Provide Mass, provide community, provide social services, provide schools, etc, but not so often do we hear people talk about what they owe the Church. And that is a very great deal. In addition to the 6 precepts of the Faith, the absolute bedrock bare minimum a professed Catholic must do, we must do so very much more over and above that for all those who serve the Church for us! Religious, priests, bishops, the Pope, and yes laity, too, who all serve the Church in varying capacities, all need our prayers for their sanctification and the performance of their apostolates in accord with God’s Will. In an increasingly self-centered society, we sometimes need reminders that the Church does exist for us, yes, but we also exist for the Church! And our Holy Father with the bishops in union with him, is the very personification, if you will, of the Church!
None of this is to say that the Holy Father is beyond criticism or exists on some exalted, beyond human plane. In fact, it is the fact that he is fallible in almost every circumstance and is a man just like us, that he needs our prayers all the more.
I’ve been studying more and more on this issue, and I need to write a post about the severe problem of Communion in the hand. It’s much more deep than I first imagined. I’ve written on the subject in the past, but I have learned further reasons why this practice must be stopped. One quick little nugget: the angels prostrate themselves and cover their eyes during the Consecration, and yet men are going to walk up and grab the Blessed Sacrament, the holiest object in the universe, like a cookie?
Anyway, Kneeling Catholic has reported that Pope Francis has twice denied Communion to those who wanted to receive in the hand. Unfortunately, other priests of Rome who distribute at his Masses are apparently not willing to follow the Holy Father’s example and may even be contravening a directive. That shows the rebellious spirit this entire imbroglio has helped foster.
The video below shows the refusal at 1:57:39. There is also quite a bit of Latin in his Masses, at least hte more formal ones.
This makes the foot washing even more inexplicable. But I’m glad the Holy Father is continuing the example set by the Pope Emeritus, and not returned to the Communion free for all of the 80s and 90s.
And, he apparently means The Church, founded by Christ and existing under the Authority of the See of Peter, not some generic “church” coming into existence and containing, to various degrees, schismatic and heretical churches and sects:
And so the Church was a Mother, the Mother of more children, of many children. It became more and more of a Mother. A Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity. But the Christian identity is not an identity card: Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these belonged to the Church, the Mother Church. Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: “Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy.” And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful……..
………And let us ask the Lord for this “parresia”, this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, “hierarchical and Catholic.” So be it.
That is extremely refreshing to hear, and runs quite counter to the kind of ecumenism Taylor Marshall and I (among many, many others) have decried of late.
But it does raise many questions. I could ask a million right now, like what does such a statement mean for ecumenism, does this definition of Church truly exclude separated sects (which VII and many documents and statements since imply or outright declare that protestant sects do contain many elements of Truth (Jesus) which they have retained from the Church they revolted against), shouldn’t we be refocused on conversion if this is true, etc,. etc.
But I pray this is something the Holy Father expands on and develops a great deal.
On a somewhat related note, Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam notes that on the issue of the famous picture of then Cardinal Bergoglio kneeling to receive a blessing from a protestant minister, Bergoglio did intentionally kneel to receive that blessing, according to his own biography. Many Catholic commentators had opined, quoting what source I know not, that Cardinal Bergoglio had knelt for a blessing from Fr. Cantalamessa, and the overeager protestant jumped in to provide his own $.02 worth without Bergoglio’s permission. But Cardinal Bergoglio’s own memoirs refute that – he knelt down to receive the blessing from the protestant with full knowledge and volition.
Boniface tells the above tale in relation to asking a question, a very good question: why is there so much misinformation or confusion of facts regarding this pontiff? It’s an interesting post that I think deserves to be read.
Former Papal MC takes nasty swipe at Pope Benedict? April 23, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, the return.
When I read this statement from former papal MC and newly elevated Archbishop Piero Marini (made an Archbishop just a week or two ago by Pope Francis, in what some saw as a telling move), I was shocked. Marini describes the Church under Pope Benedict as a fetid swamp, of a Church afraid of “everything.” But now, with Pope Francis, there is apparently yet another “new springtime.” This is also the statement where Marini, like Cardinal Schoenborn, endorsed civil unions for perverse homosexual relationships (I add emphasis and comments):
“It is necessary to recognize the union of persons of the same sex, because there are many couples that suffer because their civil rights aren’t recognized. What can’t be recognized is that this union is equivalent to marriage”. Archbishop Piero Marini, delegate for Eucharistic congresses, said this yesterday in an interview given during the IV National Eucharistic Congress in Costa Rica. Marini was answering a question about the secularity of the State. [rights could be taken to mean anything. But even many homosexual activists are now, in their overconfidence of final victory for same sex marriage, beginning to drop the mask and reveal that - surprise! - they aren't all that interested in monogamy, and in fact would like to see "polyamory" recognized as marriage, the better to provide benefits for their many partners. How an archbishop sees vital "rights" for a lifestyle defined by a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance is beyond me]
Marini, 70 years old, was the master of ceremonies of John Paul II for a long time and also accompanied the beginning of Benedict XVI’s pontificate. [Yes, and as papal MC, he oversaw and orchestrated some of the most disastrous liturgies in the history of the Church. The Sistine Choir under Marini was a catastrophe] In the interview he talks about his relationship with Wojtyla and the sensitivity of the Polish Pope. And he also speaks about the new Pontiff. “It’s a breath of fresh air; it’s opening a window onto springtime and onto hope. We had been breathing the waters of a swamp and it had a bad smell. We’d been in a church afraid of everything, with problems such as Vatileaks and the paedophilia scandals. With Francis we’re talking about positive things”. With the new Pope, added Mgr. Marini, “there’s a different air of freedom, a church that’s closer to the poor and less problematic”.
I don’t see how the above statement cannot be read as a huge dig at Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Certainly, Marini is known to be a progressive, and it seems he and many other progressives (Mahony, Kung, Kaspar, etc) are extremely excited at the prospect of this pope being “their guy.” I absolutely loathe how highly placed prelates of great influence continually attack the Church prior to Vatican II. Since Benedict saw the Church in continuity, he obviously brought those fetid swamps of the pre-VII Church to ruin the glorious “new springtime” of post-VII Church, the new springtime of collapsed vocations, parish closings, school closings, hundreds of thousands of lost priestly and religious vocations, religious indifferentism, mass ignorance of the Faith…….need I go on? If we ever needed a demonstration of the whole spirit of Vatican II “rupture,” this is it.
It’s also amazing how all that talk about papal deference and not criticizing the Pope goes out the window once “your guy” is in, and the “bad guy” is out.. Even more incredible is the fact that the Vatileaks and boy-rape scandals remain, and yet they are spoken of as some distant nightmare from the past. Nothing has been done, publicly, to ameliorate them at all in the past month. Perhaps what Marini means, is that he desires they simply be ignored, rather than being opposed, as they were in the last pontificate. Some breath of fresh air.
I mentioned in an earlier post regarding the papal transition the danger of wild swings from one pontificate to another. Indeed.