Whither heresy? Pope begs forgiveness of Waldensian sect June 22, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
If one judged by the actions of two of the three most recent popes, one would have to conclude that opposing heresy even to the point of violence is always wrong, and that the Church has almost always erred in “doing so,” or supporting the secular power in doing so. So was it wrong to repress a noxious heresy that posited only two Sacraments and led hundreds of thousands if not millions astray? Or was it wrong to excommunicate prelates who explicitly rejected the Primacy of Peter, or who embraced any of a number of errors in protestantism?
Eliot Bougis claims this is a sterling example of everything wrong with Dignitatis Humanae. I would have a hard time arguing with that:
Pope Francis met on Monday with members of the Waldensian movement, an ecclesial community which suffered persecution from Catholic authorities from the 12th to 17th centuries. He apologized for the Church’s “non-Christian attitudes and behavior” towards the Waldensians during that period.
“Reflecting on the history of our relations, we can only grieve in the face of strife and violence committed in the name of faith, and ask the Lord to give us us the grace to recognize we are all sinners, and to know how to forgive one another,” the Pope said June 22 at a Waldensian temple in Turin. [But such a view can only be posited if one believes in universal salvation, can it not? Or nearly universal? Otherwise, allowing souls to remain in errors that deny them salvation would be an evil even greater, far greater, than whatever violence committed in the name of the Church the Pope has in mind?]
“I ask forgiveness for the non-Christian – even inhuman – attitudes and behaviors which, through history, we have had against you. In Jesus Christ’s name, forgive us!” [This is incredibly dangerous. So Pope Francis has now, rhetorically, at least, “excommunicated” popes, bishops, and Saints of the past for their part in repressing this heresy, among others. So popes (and others) are allowed to excoriate previous popes, but we can’t critically examine the actions of the current one? What is the time limit on the embargo of papal criticism? Is it simply when the “old beliefs” fall out of fashion, then it’s open season?]
Monday’s encounter marks the first meeting between a Pope and the Waldensian community. Founded in Lyon in the late twelfth century, it is currently centered in Italy’s Piedmont region, which Pope Francis visited June 21-22.
The movement was founded by Peter Waldo, and embraced evangelical poverty and lay preaching, and believed there were only two sacraments. The movement’s ideas were condemned as early as the Third Lateran Council, in 1179. Beginning in the early 1200s, many Waldensians were executed on account of heresy. [By the secular authority, not the Church, do note. The Church desires not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. But when some persist in formal heresy for a protracted period of time, and do grave damage to souls, it is not entirely surprising that the secular authority would take this step in a rightly ordered concern for souls and to maintain the public order]
…….Pope Francis told the community, “On behalf of the Catholic Church, I ask for your forgiveness.” [I just cannot stand all these apologias. They are meaningless PR events and I have a very difficult time not seeing them as simply self-serving grandstanding]
During the meeting, the Roman Pontiff praised ecumenical advancements which have been made among those united in baptism and belief in Christ. [I wonder just how united in belief in Christ we really are, and is that not the core of the problem?]
“This tie is not based on simple human criteria, but on the radical sharing of founding experience of Christian life: the encounter with the love of God who reveals to us Jesus, and the transformative action of the Holy Spirit who helps us on life’s journey.” [But Holy Father, did you not also say that muslims have no need to convert and have their own path to salvation, separate from that through Jesus Christ?]
Pope Francis noted that this communion “is still on a journey, which, with prayer, with continual personal and communal conversion, and with the help of the theologians, [ominous?] we hope, trusting in the action of the Holy Spirit, can become full and visible communion in truth and charity.”
He added that unity, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, is not the same as uniformity. [Yes, but “unity” is also a heckuva lot more than shared baptism, isn’t it? What happens when the first mortal sin is committed by a non-Catholic who has no conception of perfect contrition and no recourse to sacramental Confession? Are they still “united?”]
“In fact, our brethren are united by a common origin but are not identical to one another.”
The Holy Father cited the scriptures, which speak of different charisms and gifts.
However, wars often break out when these do not accept these differences of others, he said. [They break out because words and beliefs MEAN THINGS, and wrong belief, the Church has known for 2000 years, in matters of Dogma is a matter affecting SALVATION.]
Pope Francis thanked God that the relationship between Catholics and Waldensians continue today to be ever more rooted in “mutual respect and fraternal charity.”……..
………There are various areas where the Church and the Waldensians could work together, he said, one being evangelization. [So how does that work…..when the Church and Waldensians hold mutually exclusive beliefs? And why are we exerting so much effort over a tiny sect when millions fall away from the Church every year?]
………Pope Francis concluded by saying a“new way of unity begins with seeing the “grandeur of our shared faith and life in Christ and the Holy Spirit,” before taking into account the differences which exist.
How long, and to what extent, do we bask in this grandeur before we can take into account the differences? And how many souls get lost in the interim. The Waldensians are a small sect. In the grand scheme of things they don’t amount to much. But there are other, far larger sects that gobble up millions of souls a year -the longer we bask, the more souls fall away.
There is a horrible conceit that troubles our times, one that is rooted in modernism and libertine ideas inherited from the endarkenment. That conceit is that we are oh-so-much smarter and more sensitive than our forebears. I don’t think that is true at all. I think in fact we are a lot dumber than our forebears.
In all these apologias – and Pope Francis is not the first pope to make them, though they were unheard of prior to 1980 – this conceit is, I think, operative. Also operative is a kind of indifference that is really appalling. What is being implied is that people in the way back were just really awful, bloodthirsty, war-mongering people, people who just wanted to kill others more or less for sport, or for power, or whatever base reason. Of course, we are so much above that, we just have to condemn our lamentable forerunners in the Faith, including some notable popes and Saints (Saint Dominic was very involved in the crushing of the Albigensian heresy, including its more martial aspects).
But what if there really are – as the Church infallibly believes – errors that are so severe and noxious they literally cut you off from salvation if you knowingly profess them? What if these errors are clever and pernicious and become widely accepted? What if millions of people put their eternal souls in danger through these errors? And if you really do, as the Church used to, at least until ~1958, believe that this life is short, and that eternity is forever, and that God really does condemn people to hell, and not just a few, but a whole bunch of them (the Exodus from Egypt being the type for our sojourn on earth, with only 2 out of 600,000 Israeli men making it to the Promised Land)…….what lengths would you not go to prevent souls from falling into hell? Given fervent belief in the danger of heresy and the reality of damnation (just as real a fact today as it was in 1179), could you not even reasonably conclude that in some situations, in order to prevent souls from suffering in hell for all eternity, it might even be preferable to put to death a relatively few, as St. Ephraem said earlier today, incorrigibly corrupted, heretical people to death in order to keep many more from falling into errors that will lead to their eternal destruction?
Well, that is exactly how the Church always thought and reasoned, until the last few years, anyways, before gaining the approval of the world trumped the good of souls in the post-conciliar Church. Would anyone like to argue that point, that to a marked degree, the approval of the world is the guiding concern for most leadership in the Church over the past several decades, the good of souls be damned, so to speak? And isn’t universal salvation, then, quite a handy little thing to trot out when explaining the dichotomy that exists between the behavior of the Church that was, and the Church that is?
In comparison to the belief and practice to the Church as it existed for over 1900 years, the modern ecumenical approach is so divorced from true charity for souls that it would have scandalized to their core so many pious souls, good priests, dutiful bishops, and great Saints of the past. Is the modern ecumenical movement really grounded in love for souls, or in love for the world?
I really should send a letter to Pope Francis asking him if I made a mistake in becoming Catholic.
But you know what, I don’t think I need to……..I’m quite sure I know what answer he would give, if he would respond. Much more importantly, however, I know I did NOT make a mistake, it was the best thing I could have ever done, and I pray I shall never waver in that belief.