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Truly an Ash Wednesday? Pope suggests same sex civil unions OK? March 5, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, shocking, the return.

I wasn’t going to cover this kind of thing very much (if at all) over Lent, but it is absolutely exploding in the secular media (which is how I found it, I was browsing for some secular news, and this is what I see.  I’m going to cry).  Pope Francis gave another of his famous “wide-ranging” interviews, and hinted that the Church might be OK with civil unions for same-sex couples.  So much for a sin that “cries out to Heaven for vengeance:”

Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with “much mercy.”

Pope Francis’ words appeared in an interview published March 5 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera…..

……..”Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” [It is almost a cliche’ among Catholic progressives to suborn doctrine in favor of ostensibly more “pastoral” solutions, solutions that always tend towards materialist concerns.  Is this what the Pope is doing?] Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.” [Doctrine is clear.  Christ spoke in terms of black and white.  The devil loves shades of grey.  In practice, “looking at diverse cases and evaluating them” has involved a whole lot of grey]

In the interview, Pope Francis praised Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which prohibited the use of contraception.

In contradicting contemporary pressures for population control, Pope Paul’s “genius was prophetic, he had the courage to side against the majority, defend moral discipline, put a brake on the culture, oppose neo-Malthusianism, present and future,” Pope Francis said.

But he also noted that Pope Paul had instructed confessors to interpret his encyclical with “much mercy, attention to concrete situations.”

“The question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do,” Pope Francis said. [To, in effect, absolutely neuter the doctrine by giving carte blanche in “pastoral” situations?  Has this not been the practice in most of the Church since Humanae Vitae was released, and has that not led to mass apostasy from a formally defined doctrine?  Contraception is an intrinsic evil. You either use it or you don’t.  What “pastoral situations” can there be that would permit the use of contraception?]

The pope said birth control, like the predicament of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, [How is sin a “predicament” for the Church?  The Church has been healing souls for two millenia. Sin only becomes a predicament when we don’t want to call it sin anymore] would be a topic of discussion at the Vatican in October at an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. [I dread this synod more and more.]  He said the synod would approach all such problems “in the light of profound reflection,” rather than casuistry, which he described as a superficial, pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases[In other words, a theology hung up on “rules”……does Pope Francis consider St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, “pharasaical?”  ]

The pope said he had welcomed the “intense discussion” at a February gathering of cardinals, where German Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a talk suggesting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might sometimes be allowed to receive Communion even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

And Pope Francis heaped great lauds on Kasper both during and after this gathering.

Wow.  I know people will say “nothing’s happened yet,” and “it’s just an interview,” but so much of what we’re seeing from this pope confirms time and time again that he plans on enacting – or is at least very favorable to – those items the progressives really wanted in Vatican II but could not get.  It’s a veritable laundry list of progressive dreams for a notional “Vatican III.”  I’m sure I’ll hear I need to calm down (and perhaps I do), but I’m actually feeling quite dispassionate at the moment.  It’s not like this is the first time the Pope has made statements that cause Catholic hearts to palpitate.  I’m just reviewing very public statements dating back nearly a year.

As if we needed more motivation for this Lent, but this Synod is shaping up as the most critical, pivotal event in the history of the Church since the Council.  We must do penance for all those lost in sin.  And for the good of our Church, and for our own sins and failings that have brought us this leadership in the Church we apparently deserve.



1. Lynne - March 5, 2014

It is shocking (in a “this can’t continue” kind of way).

2. Michael Jarman - March 5, 2014

I’m going to pull a Mike Voris here. Not out of “Pope-olatry,” but because the fate of the Church Universal, as opposed to any diocese, is part of God’s divine purpose. God has plenty to be angry about. If this Papacy is a spiritual chastisement, we deserve it. Heck, I alone deserve it. Per Saint Augustine: “If Thou spare us, we correct not our ways: if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.”

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

Certainly,I agree with that. That’s why I mentioned penance at the end of the post, but should perhaps a blurb about penance for our own sins. I was thinking of others because of what a priest said last night, about souls being lost because of lack of people to pray for them, sot that was kind of stuck in my head. But I think I will add a blurb about our own role in this crisis.

3. Nonvenipacem - March 5, 2014

This is Modernism, pure and simple. No no no we don’t want to change the doctrine, we just want to act in complete disobedience and yet say we are still following doctrine on a “deeper” level.

4. Martina - March 5, 2014

It seems that the Pope is in line with what his teacher, Juan Carlos Scannone SJ thinks who invented the Argentine strain of liberation theology, the “theology of the people”:

“On moral issues such as abortion and marriage between persons of the same sex, I believe that natural law should be defended and also the rights of the unborn, but through more dialogue with secular society. In the case of the Law on the Equality of Marriage if among the bishops those who wanted to accept civil unions had prevailed instead of the radical opposition, then I think we could have avoided having the relations of homosexuals raised to the level of “marriage”, by guaranteeing rights to all people such as inheritance, pensions etc. In my view, the hierarchy is still not accustomed to dialogue with the postmodern society, which expresses a kind of cultural relativism.”

What are the characteristics of this “theology of the people”?
Just as with liberation theology, it uses the method of “seeing-judging-acting”, it connects historical praxis and theological reflection, and makes use of as intermediaries the social sciences and humanities. But it favors a cultural-historical analysis compared with the socio-structural Marxist type. It is a form of thinking that emerged in the immediate post-conciliar period,


5. Michael P. Mc Crory. - March 5, 2014

You really don’t know better than Pope Francis. When will you wise up to the fact?

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

Enjoy your contraception.

6. Michael P. Mc Crory. - March 5, 2014

Sorry, your constant negitive Pope comments are just all too much for me. I think you’re banned.
You are still in my prayers. And sincere thanks for all the good stuff you HAVE put up over this past year.

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

Look, I get it. I understand some folks just can’t accept any criticism of the Pope. And I would not do it if I did not have a grave fear that all the rhetoric that is so disturbing/scandalizing has not been accidental, but has a point. Undermining the sanctity of marriage by floating ideas about civil unions between two people of the same sex, who constantly engage in acts so heinous they cannot even be mentioned in decent society – it’s really simply beyond the pale. Is there any limit to what he can say that will not be apologized for or swept under the rug? And if it does happen, if we all just happily ignore the warning signs, and the worst does occur, then what? Is it God’s Will that we do that? Or are we just going along the easiest path because we don’t want to believe that a pope can be destructive for the Church and souls.

Another factor in my publicly pointing out these very unhappy events is to assure others who don’t know Doctrine very well – and they come by every day – that these things really cannot change. That what is being floated or discussed is a departure from Catholic belief and practice. From there, I don’t know what to say or do, all I can do is ask questions, point things out, and provide clarifications.

However, I also think if we pray and engage in enough penance, we can, if God is so pleased, avert disaster at this Synod.

You’re a very good guy. I have a lot of respect for you. And I have a huge amount of respect for Michael Voris and a few others who feel, in conscience, that it’s not right to criticize or strongly question the Pope. That’s a position I won’t challenge. But unfortunately, I feel it is necessary to point these things out and, if only to keep people abreast of what may be coming and hopefully, to energize them to make massive efforts to avert it. In happier times, I wouldn’t have to do anything of the sort, because people (including myself) would have such strong interior lives of prayer and mortification they wouldn’t need any motivation, but that’s not where we’re at. I also do try to keep things reasonable and primarily ask pointed questions, while not drawing any final conclusions.

7. john - March 5, 2014

I’ve complained about these statements, which happen to be littered throughout the catechism of Blessed Pope Paul II.
Since I also happen to be married to a fine protestant (by birth) wife, our priest advised us, along with all of his catechumens and homeschool kids to steer clear of the confusing stuff, study the Baltimore Catechism volumes, sacred scripture, and the church fathers.

I’m keeping all of theses confusing statements from my wife at this point. This would only cause her more confusion and run contrary to the past two thousand years of tradition

8. Baseballmom - March 5, 2014

I received this beautiful reflection from a gentleman at another site. It gave me much to consider, I hope it will bless all of you.

The Mystical Body of Christ is the Holy Catholic Church. It is always Holy and Perfect because Jesus Christ is Perfect. Now the Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is having its Passion, carrying its cross to Calvary. Imitating Jesus Christ’s Passion, a mirror reflection. It’s going to be as brutal as Christ’s Passion. At the end the Catholic Church will be unrecognizable like Jesus Christ was unrecognizable on the Cross. We as Catholics have to participate in this Passion with the Church. This means there is a Judas who betrays the Catholic Church. Judas soldout Jesus Christ for Silver. Here the Catholic Church gets sold-out to worldly philosophies. St. Pope Pius X warned Catholics about Modernists. The Modernists have a grip on the Catholic Church which attacks Tradition and Traditional teachings. This is our Cross. To carry this Cross with joy in our hearts. With Love for our enemies in union with Christ. Something to think about in preparation for Lent.

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

Wow! What blog was that?! Excellent!

Baseballmom - March 5, 2014

Hahaha! You are asking an old gal to remember which site…. Ok, I think it was in a comments section after an article about some of the strange things going on with this papacy. I had commented that I had concerns about the Holy Father and the direction he was heading. This most charitable fellow sent that response to me…. I felt it was straight from God’s Mouth to my eyes…..I copied and pasted it and sent it to some friends a few days ago…. So it was still in my email. I believe it was an online magazine article.

Lorra - March 6, 2014

Baseball Mom, thanks, but that doesn’t help me. If I had real live support here, I could do it. But I am alone. All alone. My husband means well, but his heart isn’t in it. And the internet, fora and blogs, communities are no substitute. They are, of course, a help, but not the same as having a kindred soul sitting next to you in a wretched novus ordo parish that you can commiserate with as you watch the sacrilege go on week after week.

Baseballmom - March 6, 2014

Dear Lorra, You must carry a very heavy Cross, I will pray for you especially during this Lenten season. God’s Peace be with you.

9. Hannah - March 6, 2014

We must resist the Pope, plain and simple. It has to be done. This is a disgrace if he really thinks homosexuals can “marry” in a civil union.

“Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff that aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” -St. Robert Bellarmine

Pray. Our poor Church! Look at what’s being done to Her by these Modernists!

10. codephined - March 6, 2014

If the “reforms” (support of same-sex civil unions and/or Holy Communion for remarried divorced) that we fear are going to go through actually do materialize, wouldn’t that mean that Rome had abandoned the Faith? I mean, you can’t relax a law that Christ Himself instituted.

In this hypothetical situation, wouldn’t that effectively cause schism?

tantamergo - March 6, 2014

I really don’t know. All would depend on the details, but any messing around with these doctrines – which orthodox Catholics have fought and bled and worked themselves to the point of exhaustion over – would be a catastrophe of the highest magnitude. It’s very frightening.

Hannah - March 6, 2014

This comment probably won’t be welcome, but Archbishop Lefebvre said that Rome had lost the Faith in the 70s. Just saying.

11. Magdalene Prodigal - March 6, 2014

I do not have confidence that the current crop in Rome will defend true Catholic teaching. What more “pastoral” cowardice? Like my former pastor who would say that contraception was a matter of conscience and so almost all the families had only the acceptable two children and then got sterilized? The thing is that we-as a whole-do NOT have a well formed conscience. Catholics know little of the faith these days. Anything goes. And the Pope is not helping. I miss B16! I do not like all this equilibrating. And will it still hold that “he who hears you, hears Me?” Will the Pope not fail in matters of faith and morals? Can we trust that not to happen? All this ‘discussion’ is not helping. They did that in the 60s with contraception and by the time Pope Paul declared the truth, it was and is universally rejected. Here we are in the trenches and Rome does not seem to have our back.

12. maggycast - March 6, 2014

“to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do,” (per contracepting couples). What each person is able to do??????????????? What ever happened to “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me?” (Phil 4:14). It’s all emo, man based assuming people are these weak, pathetic, helpless addicts who can’t help themselves. I guess that makes sense when you set up the Church of Man and place him as “god”. And don’t get me started on the whole “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation” junk based on health care. Seriously? You’re putting someone’s health care above their immortal soul? What’s the point of something stupid like health care when you are burning in flames for all eternity? God help this Pope…he truly is in need of conversion and I greatly fear for his immortal soul. Don’t change the doctrine just change how you apply it i.e. don’t…since how someone “feels” and their “healthcare” trump ALL including Almighty God. Heaven help us and save us. God bless~

Frank - March 6, 2014

Amen! Maggiecast!

13. Steve - March 6, 2014

If only His Holiness would use just one news media interview to exhort priests (Latin Rite) to offer ad orientem Novus Ordo Latin/Gregorian Chant Masses as well as at least one Sunday Traditional Roman Mass per parish.

If only His Holiness would use just one interview to exhort the (Latin Church) Faithful to kneel during the reception of Holy Communion…as well as receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

If only His Holiness would use just one interview to exhort Catholic women to wear headcoverings to Mass…and Catholic men and women to dress and act modestly during Mass…end the chatter during Mass.

If only His Holiness would use just one interview to exhort non-Catholics to please God by converting to the True Church…as Pope Blessed John XXIII did explicitly and mercifully 55 years ago via the first Encyclical of his Pontificate.

Imagine such Papal utterances during a news media interview!

Baseballmom - March 6, 2014

Wow. Just wow.

14. Rebecca Joan - March 6, 2014

I have no doubt communion for remarried people is coming down the pike. NO DOUBT. We used to moan and complain about our priest telling everyone that contraception is not a sin, well I guess according to this Pope he was right. This is sickening.

15. Frank - March 6, 2014

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? Luke 18: 8

16. Frank - March 6, 2014

So Jesus would be okay with men sodomizing one another? What happened to go and sin no more?

Lorra - March 6, 2014

Frank, get with the program! Sins are so yesterday.

17. discipleofthedumbox - March 6, 2014

You know…we’ve had less than satisfying popes before. I am not saying that the current one follows in this tradition, however, this knowledge should fortify us knowing that even if we get a rascal of a villain in the chair of St. Peter, Christ still guides and Christ shall maintain it. Gates of hades and all that…

18. TG - March 6, 2014

The article from Zenit which appeared in National Catholic Register had a note that was interesting. It says [It is important to understand here that “civil unions” in Italy refer to people who are married by the state, outside of a religious context.] According to that article, Pope wasn’t talking about homo marriage. I’m trying to keep a more neutral attitude toward Pope Francis (for the good of my soul.) I like Baseballmom’s comment.

19. Branch - March 6, 2014

The Pope said that states, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples.

I wonder: if marriage is between a man and woman, and that is indisputable and it would be a grave violation of God’s law to think or act otherwise, and then if Catholics may be warranted in assisting the economic well-being of those in civil unions, are we then in a situation similar to that of the person who accompanies the expecting mother to a clinic out of compassion or for her safety, albeit on the way to having an abortion?

Branch - March 6, 2014
tantamergo - March 6, 2014

Any recognition of “civil unions” or any other attempts to normalize homosexual behavior will fatally undermine the Church’s Dogma that homosexual acts are always and everywhere intrinsically sinful. If the Church supports state recognition of civil unions, how can we possibly argue against homosexual acts, as Scripture and Tradition demand we do?

Branch - March 6, 2014

I agree with you. There is no way. It is an implicit support, to some degree, of homosexual acts. How can this kind of thinking come from a Pope? And, how can such thinking come from a Pope on the heels of another Pope who explicitly condemned such a notion?

tantamergo - March 6, 2014

??? God knows.

I have noticed certain more mainstream sites have tried to spin this interview as some grand support for Humanae Vitae. But they left out critical parts, the parts about “pastoral” solutions. Pray God they are right, and I’m wrong, that those statements were of the utmost significance.

20. Lorra - March 6, 2014

I wonder what the straw will be to finally break the back of many Catholics who already have had more than they can take?

Alexander VI was immoral. That’s more tolerable than a pope attempting to undermine Church doctrine and make all sin relative.

21. Branch - March 6, 2014

I was reading an article from Archbishop Chaput from 2001 and he made some pertinent remarks even then about what we’re facing now. Commenting on the dispute then between Ratzinger and Kasper, he writes:

“in presenting a dialectic—setting “pastoral experience” against the perception of Ratzinger’s “abstract reasoning”—Cardinal Kasper’s text inadvertently creates a caricature of the church’s doctrinal concerns. The abstract and the pastoral do not stand in opposition.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20060111080728/http://www.americamagazine.org/gettext.cfm?textID=1710&articletypeid=42&issueID=325&search=1

Branch - March 6, 2014

Another great article from the archives: http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/Blosser_article.html

22. Pope Francis Expresses Extremely Tepid Support for Civil Unions… So Stop Getting All Excited - March 6, 2014

[…] and say either that he really meant to affirm traditional teaching or that he’s an outrage, barely counts as Catholic, and might well be the […]

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