To what extent is Pope Paul IV’s « Cum ex apostolatus officio » still in effect?

A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana
A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana

Rome, February 20, 2015:  On Wednesday of this week, Rorate Caeli published an interesting article on the possibility of heresy in the Pope, entitled, “Paul IV and the Heretics of His Time – by Roberto de Mattei“, translated by Francesca Romana. The article discussed the importance of the Papal Bull, issued by the same Pope, which bears the Latin title, « Cum ex apostolatus officio », which means, “On account of our Apostolic duty/office”.  The original of Dr. de Mattei’s article was published the same day in Italian by Corrispondenza Romana.

Readers of the From Rome blog will remember to have encountered this document, when we reported about the existence of a petition to the College of Cardinals, back in December, calling to the investigation into 3 canonical charges made against Jorge Mario Bergoglio, urging them to take action on the basis of this same Papal Bull.

In Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s article, according to the English translation just cited, there is this statement, which the From Rome blog considers worthy of examination (Italics in original):

This Bull re-proposes the Medieval canonical principle almost to the letter, according to which the Pope cannot be contradicted nor judged by anyone, “ nisi deprehandatur a fide devius” unless he deviates from the faith (Ivo di Chartres, Decretales, V, chap. 23, coll. 329-330). There is debate on whether Paul IV’s Bull is a dogmatic decision or a disciplinary act;  whether it is still in vigor or if it has been implicitly abrogated by the Code of 1917; whether it applies to the Pope who incurs heresy ante o post electionem, and so on. We shall not address these issues. The Cum ex apostolato officio is still an authoritative pontifical document, that confirms the possibility of a heretical Pope, even if it gives no indication on the concrete procedure through which he might lose the pontificate.

While Dr. de Mattei avoids the questions of the present validity of this Papal law, on account of the controversy which he says surrounds its legal status, the From Rome blog considers this of such importance, that it cannot be overlooked.

Therefore, let us examine the basis of the validity of this Papal law, and ask, whether it is still valid today, as so many Catholics believe.

The Intention of Pope Paul IV in this Papal Law

First, let us begin, by examining the expressed intent of the Papal law.  We follow the Latin text of the Papal Bull which can be found at Daily Catholic:

Cum ex apostolatus officio Nobis, meritis licet imparibus, divinitus credito, cura Dominici gregis Nobis immineat generalis, et exinde teneamur pro fideli illius custodia, et salubri directione, more vigilis Pastoris, assidue vigilare, et attentius providere, ut qui hac aetate, peccatis exigentibus, propriae prudentiae innitentes scientius, et perniciosius solito contra orthodoxae fidei disciplinam insurgunt, et superstitiosis, ac fictitiis adinventionibus sacrarum Scripturarum intelligentiam pervertentes, Catholicae Ecclesiae unitatem et inconsutilem Domini tunicam scindere moliuntur, ab ovili Christi repellantur, nec magisterium erroris continuent, qui discipuli veritatis esse contemnunt.

1. Nos considerantes rem huiusmodi adeo gravem, et periculosam esse, ut Romanus Pontifex, qui Dei, et Domini Nostri Iesu Christ vices gerit in terris, et super gentes, et regna plenitudinem obtinet potestatis, omnesque iudicat, a nemine in hoc saeculo iudicandus, possit, si deprehendatur a fide devius, redargui, et quod ubi maius intenditur periculum, ibi est plenius, et diligentius consulendum, ne pseudoprophetae, aut alii etiam saecularem iurisdictionem habentes, simplicium animas miserabiliter illaqueent, innumerabilesque populos eorum in spiritualibus, aut temporalibus curae, et regimini commissos, secum in perditionem, et damnationis interitum trahant, nec aliquando contingat Nos abominationem desolationis, quae dicta est a Daniele Propheta, in loco sancto videre, cupientes, quantum cum Deo possumus, pro nostro munere Pastorali vulpes vineam Domini demoliri satagentes capere, et lupos ab ovilibus arcere, ne canes muti videamur nequeuntes latrare, et perdamur cum malis agricolis, ac mercenario comparemur.

Latin translations are usually very poor, but the English text at Daily Catholics is very good, and thus we quote the same opening paragraphs of the Law (bold facing is our own):

By virtue of the Apostolic office which, despite our unworthiness, has been entrusted to Us by God, We are responsible for the general care of the flock of the Lord. Because of this, in order that the flock may be faithfully guarded and beneficially directed, We are bound to be diligently watchful after the manner of a vigilant Shepherd and to ensure most carefully that certain people who consider the study of the truth beneath them should be driven out of the sheepfold of Christ and no longer continue to disseminate error from positions of authority. We refer in particular to those who in this age, impelled by their sinfulness and supported by their cunning, are attacking with unusual learning and malice the discipline of the orthodox Faith, and who, moreover, by perverting the import of Holy Scripture, are striving to rend the unity of the Catholic Church and the seamless tunic of the Lord.

1.In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith. Remembering also that, where danger is greater, it must more fully and more diligently be counteracted, We have been concerned lest false prophets or others, even if they have only secular jurisdiction, should wretchedly ensnare the souls of the simple, and drag with them into perdition, destruction and damnation countless peoples committed to their care and rule, either in spiritual or in temporal matters; and We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place. In view of this, Our desire has been to fulfil our Pastoral duty, insofar as, with the help of God, We are able, so as to arrest the foxes who are occupying themselves in the destruction of the vineyard of the Lord and to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be dumb watchdogs that cannot bark and lest We perish with the wicked husbandman and be compared with the hireling.

From this introduction, the Pope makes clear that his intention regards the divine duties of his office as Pope, and the very nature and constitution of the Church; also the rights and duties he has as a father to Christendom to protect his household.  He also points out that the dangers are not temporary ones, but those of which Our Lord spoke of, which will arise at the end of time, when the Antichrist would reveal himself.

The nature of the penalties are founded upon Divine Law

There follows in the papal law, Cum ex apostolatus officio, further confirmation that the intention of the lawgiver was to impose a law which was valid until the end of time, because the nature of the penalties regard those classes which by divine law, that is by the teaching of Christ, regard those who by their sins and crimes have excluded themselves from communion with the Church.  Here, let us quote the English translation only, to avoid prolixity:

2 Hence, concerning these matters, We have held mature deliberation with our venerable brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church; and, upon their advice and with their unanimous agreement, We now enact as follows: In respect of each and every sentence of excommunication, suspension, interdict and privation and any other sentences, censures and penalties against heretics or schismatics, enforced and promulgated in any way whatsoever by any of Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs, or by any who were held to be such (even by their “litterae extravagantes” i.e. private letters), or by the sacred Councils received by the Church of God, or by decrees of the Holy Fathers and the statutes, or by the sacred Canons and the Constitutions and Apostolic Ordinations – all these measures, by Apostolic authority, We approve and renew, that they may and must be observed in perpetuity and, if perchance they be no longer in lively observance, that they be restored to it. Thus We will and decree that the aforementioned sentences, censures and penalties be incurred without exception by all members of the following categories:

(i) Anysoever who, before this date, shall have been detected to have deviated from the Catholic Faith, or fallen into any heresy, or incurred schism, or provoked or committed either or both of these, or who have confessed to have done any of these things, or who have been convicted of having done any of these things.

(ii) Anysoever who (which may God, in His clemency and goodness to all, deign to avert) shall in the future so deviate or fall into heresy, or incur schism, or shall provoke or commit either or both of these.

(iii) Anysoever who shall be detected to have so deviated, fallen, incurred, provoked or committed, or who shall confess to have done any of these things, or who shall be convicted of having done any of these things.

These sanctions, moreover, shall be incurred by all members of these categories, of whatever status, grace, order, condition and pre-eminence they may be, even if they be endowed with the Episcopal, Archiepiscopal, Patriarchal, Primatial or some other greater Ecclesiastical dignity, or with the honour of the Cardinalate and of the Universal Apostolic See by the office of Legate, whether temporary or permanent, or if they be endowed with even worldly authority or excellence, as Count, Baron, Marquis, Duke, King or Emperor.

All this We will and decree.

The key paragraph is the subsection ii, which includes all future violators, and not only heretics or schismatics, but those who provoke either heresy or schism.

All this argues clearly that the intention of the legislator is that this papal law will remain valid until the end of time, and is founded upon the divine and natural law, and hence draws its validity, not so much from a positive act of the Roman Pontiff, but from the very nature of his duties.

What the Code of Canon Law of 1917 abrogated…

The argument which arises as to the perpetually validity of the Papal Law, « Cum ex apostolatus officio » arose principally upon the occasion of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1917 (which we cite it from jgray.org), and that due to canon 6 of that code, which reads in Latin:

Can 6. Codex vigentem huc usque disciplinam plerumque retinet, licet opportunas immutationes afferat. Itaque:

1º Leges quaelibet, sive universales sive particulares, praescriptis huius Codicis oppositae, abrogantur nisi de particularibus legibus aliud expresse caveatur;

2º Canones qui ius vetus ex integro referunt, ex veteris iuris auctoritate, atque ideo ex receptis apud probatos auctores interpretationibus, sunt aestimandi;

3º Canones qui ex parte tantum cum veteri iure congruunt, qua congruunt, ex iure antiquo aestimandi sunt; qua discrepant, sunt ex sua ipsorum sententia diiudicandi;

4º In dubio num aliquod canonum praescriptum cum veteri iure discrepet, a veteri iure non est recedendum;

5º Quod ad poenas attinet, quarum in Codice nulla fit mentio, spirituales sint vel temporales, medicinales vel, ut vocant, vindicativae, latae vel ferendae sententiae, eae tanquam abrogatae habeantur;

6º Si qua ex ceteris disciplinaribus legibus, quae usque adhuc viguerunt, nec explicite nec implicite in Codice contineatur, ea vim omnem amisisse dicenda est, nisi in probatis liturgicis libris reperiatur, aut lex sit iuris divini sive positivi sive naturalis.

And which, in English, according to our own unofficial translation reads:

Canon 6. The Code for the most part retains the discipline here-to-fore enforce, though it introduces opportune changes.  And thus:

1°  Any laws you like, whether universal or particular, opposed to the prescriptions of this Code, are abrogated unless concerning particular laws something else is expressly exempted;

2° The canons which cite an old law in its entirety, by the authority of the old law, are, for that reason, also to be judged out of the interpretations received among approved authors.

3° The canons which are congruent with the old law only in part, are to be judged according to the ancient law; when they are discrepant, they are to be dijudicated according to their own sense.

4° In doubt whether any prescribed canon is discrepant with the old law, one is not to recede from the old law;

5° What pertains to the punishments, of which no mention is made in the Code, whether they be spiritual or temporal, medicinal and/or, as they say, vindictive, latae or ferendae sententiae, they are to be held as abrogated;

6° If any of all the other disciplinary laws, which were in force up to now, be not contained either explicitly or implicitly in the Code, it is to be said to have lost all force, unless it be found in approved liturgical books, or a law be of divine, positive or natural right.

Here, the key passage is by far n. 6, which exempts from abrogation the laws of divine, positive and natural right. Divine laws are those promulgated by God, natural laws are those which God has included in the natural order of things, and positive laws are those promulgated by the competent authority, which in the Catholic Church is the pope.

That the papal law of Pope Paul IV remained in force after the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1917, is thus morally certain, since the Code of 1917 expressly, thus, excludes Papal legislation from abrogation.

This is confirmed by numerous cases of fact, such as the Papal Bulls regarding religious orders and their privileges.  If these, which are all laws of positive right, were abrogated or abolished by the promulgation of the 1917 Code, then there would have been a world-wide outcry from all religious orders.  This did not happen, ergo, the 1917 Code did not abolish Papal laws previously enacted.  The Papal law, Cum ex apostolatus officio, though not a Divine Law, when considered as a whole, since it was promulgated by the Pope, not by God, yet it is a law of positive right, since it comes into being by a Papal act.  Therefore, it too has not been abrogated.

Moreover, to hold otherwise, namely, that any subsequent Papal law or Code could include in the Church heretics and schismatics such that they had the right to hold office or be elected Pope, is thus as nonsensical as it is contrary to Divine Law.*

But whether this papal law was abrogated by subsequent legislation is another question.

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* After the publication of this article, it was brought to my attention, that the Code of Canon Law of 1917, in canon 188, p.47 of the Kennedy & Sons annotated edition of 1918, explicitly cites Cum ex apostolatus officio in footnote 2: which signifies that the author of that footnote, the eminent canonist Cardinal Gasparri, who supervised the revision of the Code, was of the opinion that the code of 1917 was in harmony with — and did not intend to obrogate or abolish  — the terms of that Papal law.

Bertone knew of Abication of Benedict and Advent of Francis 7 months before?

Rome, February 19, 2015:  It must be a mistake, or a joke, otherwise its the stuff that will ignite the wildest speculation:  Cardinal Bertone was quoted, yesterday, to have affirmed in an interview that he knew both of the planned resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the advent of Pope Francis months beforehand, and even discussed it with Pope Benedict!

Here is the explosive quote from the Catholic Herald, published today, and cited by us, minutes ago, but which was itself cited verbatim from the interview the Cardinal gave to Andrea Purgatori of the Huffington Post.

How surprised were you by his decision to leave?

I had guessed it, but put it out my thoughts. I knew long in advance, at least seven months before. And I had many doubts. We debated the topic at length after it seemed already decided. I told him: Holy Father, you must bestow upon us the third volume on Jesus of Nazareth and the encyclopedia of faith, before you sign things over to Pope Francis.

This phrase cannot have been said after the the Conclave, or before Conclave, because in the first case Benedict XVI had already abdicated; in the second, Pope Francis had not been elected nor taken his name. As it stands, it seems to signify that months before the election of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bertone, his secretary of State, knew that Cardinal Bergoglio would succeed him and take the name Francis.

The Huffignton Post, a liberal pro-Obama publication, was notorious some years ago for receiving a $30 million dollar grant, according to reports, from a foundation directed by George Soros to promote its own activities.

For the entire interview see the link to the Catholic Herald above.

 

“Team Bergoglio” member announces Synod will accept Homo “Marriage”

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Anastasia al Palatino
Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Anastasia al Palatino

Rome, February 19, 2015:  In a stunning revelation, Cardinal Godfried Danneels — whom Dr. Austen Ivereigh, in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, names a member of “Team Bergoglio”, the group of Cardinals who lobbied to elect Cardinal Bergoglio — has announced that the Synod in October will approve of the perversion of marriage.  His comments were made to 7Sur7, a news blog published by Persgroep Publishing nv, a multi-media conglomerate near Brussels, Belgium, headed by the Catholic businessman, Christian Van Thillo.

The Cardinal’s remarks were published this morning in French, in an unsigned article, entitled, Le cardinal Danneels “préoccupé” par la réforme de la Curie.  Here is an unofficial translation of the key paragraphs of that article (bold facing is our own addition).  Speaking of the reform of the Roman Curia proposed in the recent Extra-ordinary Consistory of Cardinals last week, Cardinal Danneels said:

The objective is to promote greater harmony in the work of various departments (ministries), for a more effective collaboration. The sessions took place in an open and positive atmosphere, related the Belgian cardinal, who said that the Cardinals were encouraged to express their views in the presence of the Pope. Godfried Danneels regrets, however, that a minority is not favorable to reform. “I am concerned, but not worried,” he concedes.

“The Church makes her steps gradually. It will be the same for the family Synod“, to be held in October. This synod is an extremely important point, but I do not expect it to put an end to the discussion. Conceptions concerning partner-relationships are constantly evolving in the world. The position of the Church also evolves,” he concludes.

The From Rome blog, which has covered the “Team Bergoglio” story from its inception, distinguishes between the core members and the collaborators (players), in harmony with Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s metaphor for a soccer team.

You margins count for nothing, my margins are very definition of the Faith

CardinalBergoglioRome, February 18, 2015:  Ash Wednesday is by immemorial tradition the day of penance, par excellence, in the Catholic Church.  Catholics can prepare themselves for the advent of Holy Week by returning to a more vivid and faithful practice of the faith.  As the From Rome blog noted, for Pope Francis, however, Lent is a time without sin or repentance, rather it is a time for social work.  An ironic appeal for Lent, if ever there was one, especially since the Holy Father insisted at the beginning of his Pontificate that the Church could not become a NGO, merely a social works organization.

Yet in his homily to the College of Cardinals this Sunday, past, he reaffirmed the same error, when he closed saying:

Dear new Cardinals, my brothers, as we look to Jesus and our Mother, I urge you to serve the Church in such a way that Christians – edified by our witness – will not be tempted to turn to Jesus without turning to the outcast, to become a closed caste with nothing authentically ecclesial about it. I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is emarginated, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith, or say that they are atheists; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper – whether in body or soul – who encounters discrimination! We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized! May we always have before us the image of Saint Francis, who was unafraid to embrace the leper and to accept every kind of outcast. Truly, dear brothers, the Gospel of the marginalized is where our credibility is at stake, is discovered and is revealed!

Official Vatican translation, if you can believe it.*

At the same time, the Holy Father, during the entire course of His Pontificate has granted no private audience to any Catholic group or layman noted for his promotion of the traditional Latin Mass.° Or with all those Catholics, whom Pope Francis has considered it urgent to marginalize by his more than 100 insults.

I guess the Holy Father’s message for Lent, in common parlance, would be, “Your margins don’t count for anything, and my margins are the very definition of the Faith”.  I surely hope not, because then he would be a communist organizer of the Leonard Boff type — you know, the kind who is obsessed that we speak as he wants us to speak and to think what he wants us to think, and that we not have anything to do with what is authentically Christian or truthful — not a Catholic, and thus not even worthy to be the Pope.

Oh, and can we stop talking about sinners & the poor with the terms fit for comments on the side of a page? They are, after all, made in the image and likeness of God, not of letters on a page in a book on Marxist political diatribe.

_________________

*  Where the Vatican translators found the word “emarginated”, I do not know, the proper word is in standard usage is “marginalized”.

°  We do not exclude here Cardinal Burke and other of the Hierarchy who do meet with the Holy Father on occasion.

Oh Catholics! A Call to Arms

Official Logo of « Veri Catholici »
Official Logo of « Veri Catholici »

Shrove Tuesday, Rome, February 17, 2015:  In response to the call by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, for Catholics to form groups of true Catholics to oppose the Neo-gnosticism of our day, a new international Association of Catholics has been established, which calls itself, « Veri Catholici », the Latin phrase for “true Catholics”.  The organization is a grass-roots association, spontaneously arising from the overwhelmingly positive response by Catholics in all nations to the exhortation of Bishop Athanasius.

Their website, vericatholici.org contains a news release describing their spirit, essence and goals, in 8 different languages: Latin, English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Romanian and, soon to appear, Portuguese.

The Association also has a Face Book page and a Twitter Feed. Catholics are invited to show their support by placing the official logo of the Association on their blog, website, or Facebook page, or by liking them on Facebook. Catholics can also promote the Association by sharing news of it with their Twitter followers, or Facebook friends, or email contacts, or in person at their local parishes.

The Association, Veri Catholici, intends to promote the eternal Faith of Christ, faithful to the teaching of St. Paul, by means of sponsoring conferences, distribution of information via their website, and the lobbying of the sacred hierarchy. Its asks for whatever collaboration members can provide.

The Association is also seeking donors to fund their activities, and is taking donations through the web, via Paypal or through the mail, by check.

See their website for more information: vericatholici.org

The From Rome blog, pledges its support, and will proudly display the Association’s logo at the top of our right sidebar.

Francis is Presenting Mercy as a justification for breaking the law of Christ

There is an excellent, and detailed analysis, of the Pope’s Sunday Homily to the College of Cardinals, by Megaera Erinyes at the Remnant, which begins thus:

 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Papal Signaling: Pope Francis and the False Dichotomy

A Thumbs-Up for Cardinal Dolan
A Thumbs-Up for Cardinal Dolan, expresses the levity of the current Pontificate

Pope Francis’ homily for the latest consistory of cardinals meeting in Rome this week is being called a re-statement of his programme for his pontificate. Fr. Thomas Rosica, his English language spokesman, wrote on Twitter: “More than anything I’ve heard from (the pope) today’s homily is his mission statement.”

Let us assume for a moment that the pope knows the implications of what he is saying, and that the people closest to him are telling the truth when they say, repeatedly, that the things that are happening are happening at his behest, and examine what this “mission statement” has to say to the Church.

Francis is clearly signaling, again, his intentions for the Synod and the future envisioned at it by the Kasper faction. The question of Communion for the divorced and remarried is never named, but the terms describing the issue are unmistakable. And they are wholly on the side of the Kasperites, adhering without an iota of divergence from the basic presumption in Kasper’s proposal: that the law of God must be overturned or ignored for the sake of extending the mercy of God. A contradiction that is totally incompatible with all of Catholic theology, with logic and natural reason.

What I hope to offer here is not a detailed theological analysis, but merely a point-by-point clarification, given the context of what the pope means. It can only be described as a volley in an ideological war currently being waged at the highest levels for supremacy in the Church. I will go through the text of the consistory homily and try to add some clarification for those who might be in the position now of trying to explain what some of us see as the grave danger being posed by this pope.

(Continue reading, from the Original)

Why should you kneel to receive Communion?

This is the most awesome, inspiring Catechetical video, the From Rome blog has ever seen.  Spread it everywhere, and the Church will be renewed!

 

 

It contains only 1 error of expression, namely, regarding Satan, he never saw the Glory of God, before he fell; but he did see the Majesty of God with the perfection of his angelic intellect.

 

 

Why love for the Holy Father requires criticism of his errors

On February 12, 2015, Mr. Lou Verrecchio, a noted Catholic Apologist from the United States of America, explained the true nature of charity when criticizing the Holy Father and other Catholics on matters of the faith.

Since his talk contains some important distinctions of which many Catholics are not well instructed, we repost it here from his blog, Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II. The video is in Vimeo format.

 

At Mr. Verrechio’s blog you can read more about the topics he discusses and get the link for Michael Voris’s video.

The From Rome blog will only note here, that the proper response to the expression of heresy and heretical intend of clergy, is not just prayer and faith and public denunciation, but requires in grave matters a formal written denunciation to the ecclesiastical authority capable of punishing the guilty cleric, or in the case of what clear appears to be the intentions of “Team Bergoglio” the organization of national and international Catholic collaborative initiatives necessary to preserve the faith in the face of the prospect of the public apostasy of a large number of the bishops led by the Pope against the teaching of Jesus Christ.

The From Rome blog will have news of such an association in the next few days.  We ask our readers to think long and hard, and weigh in their soul the immeasurable value of the true Faith and what sacrifices they will make to see the Church is not overtaken by a heretical sect proposing communion for all and/or the acceptance of sodomy.

Pope Francis preaches to advance the Heresy of Kasper

Rome, February 15, 2015:  In his homily this morning, at the Vatican, Pope Francis told the Cardinals that “The road of the Church is not to condemn anyone eternally”. In his homily, which was published minutes ago in Italian, he went on to say, that God “embraces and welcomes by reintegrating and transfiguring evil into good, condemnation into salvation, exclusion into proclamation” of welcome.

The discourse as a whole, spoke about the need to go to the peripheries:

Consequently, charity cannot be neutral, ascetic, indifferent, tepid or impartial! Charity is contagious, it impassions, it risks, it co-involves! Because true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous! (cf. 1 Cor. 13). Charity is creative in finding a proper language to communicate with all who have been considered incurable and hence untouchable.  To find the just language … Contact is the true communicative language, the same affective language which transmitted healing to the leper.  How many cures we can accomplish and transmit by learning this language of contact!  He was a leper and he became an announcer of God’s love.  The Gospel says:  « But he went off and set out proclaiming and publishing the deed » (Mk, 1:45).

(Translation: our own)

A grave misreading of Scripture

Unfortunately, the healing of the leper by Our Lord, was not what the Pope is proposing.  He was not healed by contact with another human body, or by human words; he was healed by an act of the Will and Power of God Himself, the Incarnate One, and hence the Anointed par excellence, the Christ.

And though we are all called to have the charity to help the sick and the outcast, we cannot heal or love in the same manner God does.  For God first loves a thing, and only then does it come into being; and when He finds moral depravity, He first wills to cure it and then the immoral person if he accepts the grace, becomes good.

We on the other hand cannot command the power of God or the grace of God or the mercy of God and apply it to whomsoever we wish, or to whichsoever category of sinner we want.

That is why Christ commanded the Apostles to preach, first, faith and penance, then to lay hands upon those who believed.

This point needs to be emphasized.  There is absolutely no case in the entire Gospel where a non-believer was cured by Our Lord.

This point needs more emphasis.  There is absolutely no case in all of Scripture where God has revealed, said, promised or declared that He has any desire to heal or cure the impenitent.

A False Gospel leads to a False Pastoral Practice

The error of thinking that these 2 points are not important leads directly into the error and heresy of Cardinal Kasper, which Pope Francis has done everything to promote.  Even in this homily to the newly created Cardinals he cannot conceal, as much as a Jesuit can, his malignant intent.

For this reason the Church has never allowed public sinners to approach the Sacrament.  She has always taught, and Her laws have always held, that public sinners must be excluded.  Only if they repent, can they be readmitted.  In the ancient Church Lent came into being as the time for which public sinners would do public penance, before being readmitted for Easter though the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist.

In later centuries, when the Catholic Faith embraced the whole of society, the practice of public penance was only reserved for greater public crimes, such as that of kings or rulers.  For nearly 1000 years, Catholics have done their penances in private after going to confession.

Thus, Holy Mother Church has defended the Infinite Dignity of the Immaculate Son of God the Father, present in the Eucharist, from the defilement of a sacrilegious communion.

This does not mean that many clergy, even bishops or popes or cardinals never gave communion to public sinners.  For the sins of individuals do not constitute the Church’s praxis. Rather, all who did so merited justly everlasting damnation in the fires of Hell.  And all who do so today, will merit the same, if they do not repent.

For this reason, it is Cardinal Burke, who is the most charitable of all the Cardinals, since it is he, nearly alone, who has publicly defended, even at personal cost, the duty of sacred pastors to refuse communion to those in irregular situations, such as divorced, cohabiting, etc. or practicing sodomites. He is more charitable, because true charity seeks the true salvation of the sinner; a salvation which cannot be obtained without the sinner being told he is a sinner and worthy only of condemnation, and that penance and a change of morals is the only way to be worthy of the free gift of God’s saving mercy.

It is actions like those of this Cardinal, not homilies of the Pope, which reflect faithfully the teaching which the Church has received from Christ and the Apostles.

Needless to say, to twist the plain sense of scripture for heretical purposes, is itself a grave sin of sacrilege, meriting eternal damnation not only for those who do this, but for those who consent to such evil use.

Stoicism is not Catholicism

Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism (Photo c/o The Basics of Philosophy, click image to access)
Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism (Photo c/o The Basics of Philosophy, click image to access)

Editorial, Rome, February 15, 2015:  Stoicism was ancient pagan philosophy which taught that every excess of human emotion was evil, and that man should seek to perfect himself by the application of right reason to his affections.  Since the Stoic philosophers of ancient times taught a system of ethics similar in many things to Christianity, they were often cited by the Fathers and later writers with approbation.  But in recent centuries, some authors forgot the underlying error and departed from a sound send of human nature under the influence of the 16th century rationalists, who abandoned Christian doctrine and morals and took up once again the ancient pagan philosophers as their guides.

A common error, therefore, is found in many books which advocate “spirituality”, an error drawn from the system of the Stoics. It says that one must never allow emotions to arrive at intense levels, especially anger, which is the emotion which naturally is most disordering of right reason.

A stoic, for example, will always confess getting angry. For to him anger is an evil passion.

A Catholic, however, knows better, taking as he does Our Lord Jesus Christ as his role model of virtue.  Remembering that Christ got so angry at the avarice of those who had care for His Father’s House, the Temple of old in Jerusalem, that He went so far as to make an impromptu whip out of the rope available at hand, and used it to drive the money lenders out of the outer court of the Temple: a Catholic understands that there are things worthy of getting angry about, and that to allow such passion is not a sin, but a virtue.

This is not to say, that anger can be unjust or excessive.  It is unjust when it is directed against what is not evil or threatening; it is excessive when it exceeds the bounds of what is needful or appropriate to the evil opposed.

For this reason, it is a very good thing if a Catholic would allow himself to get angry when a Catholic bishop would use his sacred office to promote error, even as regards the natural world.  Such an error as the global-warming mania, which puts the blame on the variations of solar radiation on humans.  Everyone with any concept of physics, understands that the magnitudes of scale are so great between the variations of the output of solar radiation and any effect human activity, even of all 6-8 Billion of us, that the latter could never ever effect the human climate in any appreciable manner.  And thus the sane and impartial know that the global-warming mania is just that, a mania, a phobia: and if you look deeper, you will find that it is a phobia promoted by international socialists, who to convince those opposed to socialism to accept the socialist agenda of societal reorganization, use the phobia of climate change.

Writers, therefore, are justly angered that this is what Pope Francis is to do in his upcoming encyclical letter on the environment.

One such writer had strong words about the Pope on this issue:

It comes as no surprise. Handwriting has been on the wall along the Viale Vaticano from the get-go. At the beginning of his pontificate, Francis revealed himself to be fastidiously attuned to image. He refused to give communion in public ceremonies lest he be photographed giving the sacrament to the wrong kind of sinner. So, when he agreed to pose between two well-known environmental activists and brandish an anti-fracking T-shirt, we believed what we saw.

It was a portentous image. Press toads hopped to their keyboards to correct the evidence of our lying eyes. Francis was neither for nor against fracking, you see. Nothing of the sort. He was simply using a photo-op to assert blameless solidarity with the victims of ecological injustice. (Both a decisive definition of such injustice and its particular victims went unspecified.)

If that restyling were true, then the more fool Francis. But Francis is not a fool. He is an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist. His clumsy intrusion into the Middle East and covert collusion with Obama over Cuba makes that clear. Megalomania sends him galloping into geopolitical—and now meteorological—thickets, sacralizing politics and bending theology to premature, intemperate policy endorsements.

Later this year, Francis will take his sandwich board to the United Nations General Assembly, that beacon of progress toward the Kingdom. Next will come a summit of world religions—a sort of Green Assisi—organized to lend moral luster to an upcoming confederacy of world improvers in Paris. In the words of Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Francis means “to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion.”

There is a muddle for you. The bishop asserts a causal relation between two undefined, imprecise phenomena. His phrasing is a sober-sounding rhetorical dodge that eludes argument because the meaning is indeterminable. Ambiguity, like nonsense, is irrefutable. What caliber of scientist speaks this way?

(Source: First Things, Francis & Political Illusion, by Maureen Mullarkey )

Steve Skojec, over at OnePeterFive, upon reading these words, makes a very good observation:

Mullarkey’s is only the latest thrust in a battle that has been going on for the better part of the Francis papacy. This, sadly, is what it looks like when you “make a mess” in the Church – division, bitterness, and venom. Amidst the salvos back and forth between the various camps, however, thinking Catholics are faced with a growing suspicion that the powers in Rome see the Church differently than the rest of us. Rather than an institution founded by Christ to convert the world and bring about the salvation of souls, they seem to prefer that she more closely resemble a trendy social-issues NGO. As our own Eric Sammons wrote last week, what the Church has been doing for the past half century hasn’t worked; the practice of the faith is decimated, leaving only a tiny minority of Catholics embracing their religion in an orthodox fashion. The impression that this is no accident is only enhanced when hand-picked papal advisers support communist, pro-abortion, and pro-homosexual institutions, or simply foment heresy in the pope’s name. Making matters worse, the Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and Family produced a public work so deviant from Catholic teaching that it caused one bishop to declare it “the first time in Church history that such a heterodox text was actually published as a document of an official meeting of Catholic bishops under the guidance of a pope” and something that “will remain for the future generations and for the historians a black mark which has stained the honour of the Apostolic See.”

(Source:  This is What a Mess Looks like)

Mr. Skojec goes on to say that both sides in the Church, which is dividing between the liberal and conservative camps, need to tone down the rhetoric and use less angry words.  While I agree that unjust anger and excessive anger, even in just things, is morally wrong, I disagree with Mr. Skojec when he suggests that both sides need to respond similarly.

For this reason:  Stoicism is not Catholicism.

Commentary on Papal Discourse for Public Consistory of 2015

Pope Francis emphasizes again & again a Faith without Doctrine or Morals

Rome, February 14, 2015:  During his address to the College of Cardinals, this morning, Pope Francis emphasized over and over the importance of fraternal charity and of not-rocking-the-boat.  His exhortation expressed the same personal religion of his, which the From Rome blog detected and criticized in his analysis of Pope Francis’ opening speech to the Extra-Ordinary Consistory on Thursday, namely:

This attempt and goal of the discourse is emblematic of the fundamental theological error promoted by Cardinal Bergoglio during his pontificate as Pope Francis and throughout his life, as recently indicated by Jack Tollers, a criminal prosecutor from Buenos Aires, whose interview we published this morningThis error consists in a sociopathic presentation of the Catholicism, that is, the insistence that “being a Catholic” has nothing to do with the observance of the moral law or the assent of dogmatic faith to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but consists rather in a merely human convention and agreement to go-along and get-along no matter what heresies or immoralities are practiced or promoted by other Catholics.

You can read the Pope’s entire discourse, in its official English translation, here.

False Humility

imagesIt is often said that true humility consists in depicting oneself sincerely; but true humility, in the Catholic sense, is much more than that. It consists in taking and tending to the place where God has willed one to be.  As a baptized Christian, a  Catholic is obliged by true humility to unswerving faith, hope and charity for God above and beyond all else, and to love his neighbor as himself.  False humility, however, puts on the display of self-effacement, but in fact refuses to remain in the place which God has willed for it.

Take for example the teaching of the Apostle St Paul in 1 Cor. 11:26-27.  Therein, the Apostle of the Nations condemns those who approach to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar without first examining themselves as to whether they are in the state of mortal sin or not: those who are, are not to receive because otherwise they commit another mortal sin, the one most horribly punished, that of sacrilege.

Now, a humble man who is Catholic accepts this teaching of St. Paul as well as all the others, especially that on true fraternal Charity, which was the subject of the Pope’s Discourse to the Cardinals this morning, which at the beginning, includes these words of the Pope:

All of us, myself first and each of you with me, would do well to let ourselves be guided by the inspired words of the apostle Paul, especially in the passage where he lists the marks of charity.

But it is the epitome of false humility, to cite the discourse of St. Paul on Charity, and work all the time to undermine the continued teaching and practice of refusing communion to adulterers and public sinners, as the Church has ever done for the last 2000 years, faithful as She is to this teaching of St. Paul.

That the pope is working to overturn this teaching of St. Paul has been loudly decried and openly manifested in the recent Extraordinary Synod for the Family, the secretary appointed to which, Cardinal Badlisseri, himself has confirmed that the Pope was behind every scandalous moment and document which it issued.  He even directed the Cardinal in the minutiae of the actions which the Cardinal made during the Synod, sending him, as is reported, frequent notes about what to do.

That’s false humility of a most outrageous kind, the heretical one.

Now lets consider the Pope’s discourse and show how he is reading St. Paul in a heretical light, that of his own personal faith, which is not the Catholic one:

False Charity

When the Pope spoke about charity this morning, he began by explaining what he means (Boldfacing our own):

Saint Paul tells us that charity is, above all, “patient” and “kind”. The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ. “Patience” – “forbearance” – is in some sense synonymous with catholicity. It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things, since “non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est“. To know how to love through acts of kindness. “Kindness” – benevolence –means the firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even those unfriendly to us.

Here the Pope has radically mischaracterized what “catholicity” is about.  In its proper sense, “Catholic” is from the Greek, “catholicos”, which means ‘universal’.  As such, it is used as the proper adjective for the Church which Christ founded for the salvation of all peoples in all times.  It does not, in any sense of the word, mean “patient”.  In fact, there is much which is proper about our faith which has nothing to do with patience, but rather with impatience.

We must be impatient to hear and believe and accept the word of God as preached to us by Christ and the Apostles and faithfully handed down to us through the Fathers, Doctors and Saints and the infallible Magisterium of the Church.  We must be impatient to repent of our sins and go to confession; we must be impatient to do what is right and fulfill our daily obligations of our state in life.  In all these things, “being catholic” means ‘being impatient’.

Contrariwise, it is evil to be patient when we should not be patient.  For example, it is evil to be patient in enduring the unjust persecution of others; in enduring the false presentation of facts, in tolerating the unjust deprivation of the human rights of others. That is evil, and evil which can come from many causes, such as sloth in the good, cowardice in the face of the difficult, malignity in the love of the suffering of others.

For these reasons, St. Paul couched his discourse on charity in the context of personal relationships in the local church, and did not intend what he wrote regarding matters which regard other issues.

But the Pope has taken St. Paul’s words out of context and uses them as a template under which “catholicity” itself is to be practiced.  This is no less a counterfeiting of the faith that the counterfeiting committed by the defrocked communist priest, Leonard Boff, the Brazilian theologian of whom Pope Francis has spoken so highly off.  In his infamous book on St. Francis, Boff attempted to depict the Saint as a Marxist all the while claiming that the values of Marxism were the authentic values of St. Francis.

For those of poor instruction, Boff’s book was a tool to transform the authentic catholic piety of the poor in Latin America into a zeal for supporting communist infiltration and takeovers throughout the continent.  And it succeeded for the most part, as history itself is the witness today.

For Pope Francis to attempt this as pope, does not surprise, therefore, because he is merely rehashing the method of Leonard Boff.  As anyone in the West can recognize, that the Communists and Socialists have always insisted on disarming their opposition by advocating to excess the virtue of the qualities of passivity and toleration and pacifism in the face of mortal threats. This attempt of the Pope is seen clearly when he said, this morning:

Charity, Saint Paul says, “is not irritable, it is not resentful”. Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger. Perhaps we risk being all the more irritable in relationships with our confreres, since in effect we have less excuses. Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing; above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smouldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the Church. Even if a momentary outburst is forgivable, this is not the case with rancour. God save us from that!

It is simply stunning that Pope Francis should have the gall to read these words to the Cardinals, since he himself is notorious for his brutal verbal outbursts by which he terrorizes everyone who is not doing what his whims suggest.  I myself can indirectly testify to this, since in the Fall of 2013, I had the occasion to speak with a Bishop recently ordained by the Pope, and at my suggestion that for the sake of a small justice, he speak to the Pope about it, he began to shudder with great fear, saying, “You just cannot go into Santa Marta and request to speak with the Pope, he does not allow that!”

For more on our coverage of the agenda of the Pope, see our reports on the heretical spirit of “Team Bergoglio” and the schismatic intentions for which they are working.

If you want to see the fear on the faces of the Cardinals attending this weeks consistory, you need look no further that the video Report from Rome Reports.

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