Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Pope Francis twists Scripture to promote heresy of false mercy

Pope Francis preaches during Mass March 22 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where the new pontiff resides. Among those in attendance were Vatican gardeners, garbage collectors and cleaning crews. (CNS photo/L'Ossevatore Romano) (April 9, 2013) See FRANCIS-WORKERS March 22, 2013.
Pope Francis preaches during Mass March 22 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where the new pontiff resides. Among those in attendance were Vatican gardeners, garbage collectors and cleaning crews. (CNS photo/L’Ossevatore Romano) (April 9, 2013)

Rome, March 17, 2015: It was and is the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ that all who come to Him with faith and repentance receive the Mercy and forgiveness of God, and He won these great gifts for all mankind by His most bloody death on the Cross.  But He established a prerequisite for every man, woman, or child who would come to Him, to receive these gifts:  namely, faith and penance.  It was with this exhortation, that He began His public ministry, when He said, The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel. (Mk 1:15).  For many Christians, who revere the Bible as the source of their faith, these may only be nice sounding words, but for the Catholic Church, which Christ Founded, these words are both an exhortation unto the end of time and the very form and practice of our Holy Religion.+

The Path of true Repentance & Faith which Christ taught

When a man recognizes that he is a sinner, he comes to Christ by confessing his sins and professing His faith in the Lord Jesus, as God and his Redeemer. He accepts Christ’s teaching as a whole, that is entirely and in every respect, and he submits to the authority of Christ which He handed down, in part, to the Apostles and through them to all the Bishops and priests of His Church.  To be incorporated into Christ, therefore, a sinner must present himself to a Catholic priest and receive Baptism, making a profession of faith in Christ and His teachings, and repenting of all his sins.  He shows publicly that he is sincere in his repentance by removing himself from the public profession of sin, which consists in those forms or lifestyles which are contrary to the Gospel.  Thus, drunkards give up drink and remove it from their homes; fornicators give up fornication, adulterers leave their lovers, sodomites give up their sodomy and its lifestyle, etc.

For Catholics, who have fallen away from the practice of the Faith, and have entered into sinful relations, such as marrying one who is already married but separated or divorced, or cohabiting with anyone, the return to the practice of the Faith requires this same repentance and faith, separation from the life of sin and reception of the Sacrament of Confession. Then one can receive the Eucharist.  In the Catholic Church, we take the Sacraments seriously, because we believe just as Our Lord taught us, that in the Eucharist there is really, truly and substantially the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Most High and Holy God of Israel, the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, before whom, even in Christ, no one is worthy to come, unless he repent and believe, but by Whose mercy and grace a man is made worthy to receive in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, if he repent of his sins and believe the entirety (not just what he picks and chooses) of the Gospel.

This is the discipline and faith which the Catholic Church has received from Our Lord Himself, through the Apostles, and from the Apostles through the very men they chose for Bishops and priests (presbyters), and through these down through the ages. Our teachings and disciplines have never changed, because they are not ours, but Christs, and our Church, the Catholic Church is not ours, but Christ’s.  The Catholic Church, therefore, being the one of which Christ said:  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her. (Matthew 16:18), knows that this Faith which Christ gave her is her victory over the world, the flesh and Satan; to alter that Faith therefore, would be to succumb to the world, the flesh and Satan. This is what we have always believed, this is what Christ and the Apostles have taught, and not only to us, but to all the world.

A HOMILY WHICH CONVICTS THE POPE OF OPEN SCHISM WITH CHRIST

Thus, it was an incredible and shameless act of defiance to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, when Pope Francis preached this blasphemous sermon, this morning, at Mass.  Here is the Italian text of that sermon from Radio Vaticana:

“Un uomo – una donna – che si sente malato nell’anima, triste, che ha fatto tanti sbagli nella vita, a un certo momento sente che le acque si muovono, c’è lo Spirito Santo che muove qualcosa, o sente una parola o… ‘Ah, io vorrei andare!’… E prende coraggio e va. E quante volte oggi nelle comunità cristiane trova le porte chiuse: ‘Ma tu non puoi, no, tu non puoi. Tu hai sbagliato qui e non puoi. Se vuoi venire, vieni alla Messa domenica, ma rimani lì, ma non fare di più’. E quello che fa lo Spirito Santo nel cuore delle persone, i cristiani con psicologia di dottori della legge distruggono”.

La Chiesa è casa di Gesù
“A me fa dispiacere questo”, afferma subito dopo Francesco. Che ribadisce: la Chiesa ha sempre le porte aperte:

“E’ la casa di Gesù e Gesù accoglie. Ma non solo accoglie, va a trovare la gente come è andato a trovare questo. E se la gente è ferita, cosa fa Gesù? La rimprovera perché è ferita? No, viene e la porta sulle spalle. E questa si chiama misericordia. E quando Dio rimprovera il suo popolo – ‘Misericordia voglio, non sacrificio!’ – parla di questo”.

The link above contains the full audio of the homily.

Here is our unofficial English translation, of the citation we just made:

“A man, a woman, who feels bad at heart, sad, who has made so many mistakes in life, at a certain moment feels the waters move, it is the Holy Spirit who moves something, or he hears a word, o, “Ah, I would want to go!” … and he gets the courage and goes.  And how many times, today, in the christian community he finds the doors shut:  “But you cannot, no, you cannot.  You have made a mistake here and you cannot.  If you want to come, come to Mass on Sunday, but remain there, don’t do anything else.”  And that which the Holy Spirit is working in the heart of these persons, Christians with the mentality of doctors of the law, destroy”.

The Church is the House of Jesus
“This displeases me,” Francis affirms immediately afterwards.  He repeats:  the Church always has her doors open:

“She is the house of Jesus and Jesus is there welcoming.  But not only welcoming, he goes to find the people just as he went and found this one.  And if the people are wounded, what does Jesus do? Does he reprove them because they are wounded? No, he comes and carries them on his shoulders.  And this is called, “mercy”. And when God reproves His people — “I want mercy, not sacrifice!” — He is speaking of this”.

Analysis

The context of the Pope’s talk is about receiving communion. And anyone with the simplest Catholic education can understand that what the pope is doing is denouncing the discipline of reserving the Eucharist for those not in mortal sin, which discipline comes from the Apostles and is universal in all the local Churches which they founded (Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, etc.).

Notice, that there is not 1 word about how the sinner is guilty of a moral offense:  in the pope’s mind, the sinner is just 1 who made “mistakes”, and thus has no need to repent, to change his life, and to remove scandal, or to go to confession, before receiving the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  NO! Its the faithful Catholics, who remind him that unless he do this, he cannot receive the Eucharist, but can attend Mass, to pray for the grace of conversion: it is they who have the “mentality” of the pharisees, it is they who destroy the working of the Holy Spirit in these sinners — a most blasphemous and unjust assertion!

Not to mention, an interpretation contrary to 2000 years of faith.

But no, Francis will have none of this!  He wants the “doors open” to all, without regard to the necessity of first believing (faith) and converting (penance).

In a word, the Pope just attacked Apostolic Tradition as it regards the discipline of refusing Communion to those in grave sin.  That is heresy!  And such a sin is condemned by the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea, held in 787 A. D., in its 4th anathema:

If anyone should despise any written or unwritten ecclesiastical tradition, let him be anathema!

The Pope’s homily is also a formal violation of the teaching of the Council of Trent, Session 13, canon XI (bold facing added):

CANON XI: If any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, howsoever contrite they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

Thus, this homily of the Pope can serve as formal, canonical evidence of his heresy.  If the College of Cardinals, whose duty now is to rebuke him, remain silent and allow him to issue no retraction, they are also guilty of a grave sin against fraternal and filial charity. If he persists, after 2 or 3 corrections, then they are obliged gravely before God to depose him from the papacy, as a heretic and schismatic.

The pope’s reinterpretation of Scripture, this morning, is nothing short of a sacrilege: the imputation to a text from Scripture which is entirely at odds with its signification and proper meaning, and this, to foster the approval of sin, the condoning of sin by false mercy.

For it is mercy to preach repentance to sinners, as Our Lord commanded St. Peter and the Apostles, when He ascended into Heaven.  It is false mercy to preach acceptance of sinners without repentance and faith, since that leaves them in the state of sin in which they merit eternal damnation and temporal punishments.

Pope Francis evidently thinks that he is God

And that the infallible and indefectible Church of God, which is the Catholic Church alone, is wrong. And that she has been wrong for 2000 years,* to require both faith and penance of any sinner, before allowing them to receive Jesus Christ in the Sacrament.

What the pope is doing is committing the sins of heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege of scripture all at once.

This is NOT HUMILITY, this is DIABOLIC PRIDE.  It is also an act of schism with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

To say that what God said in the Old Testament, “It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; cf. Mt. 9:16), applies to abandoning the requirements of faith and penance, which God’s Only Begotten Son established as the prerequisites of Christian worship, when He said, The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel. (Mk 1:15),° is a plain and simple and direct denial of the authority of God the Son, and a usurpation by himself of the prerogatives of the Messiah, the Christ, to establish the limits of the faith!

Such a sin is a work of the Antichrist.

____________________

+ The original article did not contain these first 4 paragraphs, since those who read this blog are devout Catholics. But due to the publicity this article has drawn, the editor has added them to explain the context of what follows even to non-Catholics and show why what the Pope did at mass, on Tuesday, was and is such a scandal.

* For citations from the new Catechism, see the comments below.

°  St. Peter the Apostle, shows that this is to be understood of the Sacraments, when he preached on Pentecost day, saying:  But “Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38), where he shows the necessity of penance and faith prior to receiving the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.  Since, the Christian Faith, is not a Pharisaical religion of external observances, but a spiritual one, the spiritual requirements for 1 sacrament are the spiritual requirements for all the sacraments. Thus faith and penance (repentance) is required most of all for the Eucharist, which is the supreme Sacrament of communion with God.

Pope Francis’ Homily at Ognissanti: An Analysis

A CALL FOR VIOLENCE TO PROMOTE THE GREATER REVOLUTION

Pope Francis at Ognissanti, March 7, 2015 (click image for original from Catholic Herald article on this event).
Pope Francis at Ognissanti, March 7, 2015 (click image for original from Catholic Herald article on this event).

Rome, March 9, 2015:  Students of theology at Rome, who are catholic, have long experience in “reading” what their professors are saying.  This is because the current climate of Modernism, and the persecution of Catholic seminarians which is attendant upon keeping it in power, makes a woeful variety of the forms of dishonestly flourish under its pallid “sun” of error.

Modernism, as Catholics know and recognize, is the error which says there is nothing religious but what comes from the sentiments of the human heart. It is a species of atheism, of the kind apt to be found in those who pretend to be religious.  It is a very apt and useful error for the ecclesiastical parasite, the priest-careerist or the hierarchical climber, because it absolves from all conscience and morality and thus enables any compromise necessary to ascend to ever greater depths of moral depravity and power.

In classes at the Pontifical faculties at Rome, the Modernist is easily recognized by his inability to speak sincerely and straightforwardly, his use of metaphors, indirect symbols, passing remarks, to key to his audience the “secret” meaning of his lecture, and allow it to be understood correctly.  Few modernists omit this method, because it is so useful and successful; it leaves them in a strong position from where they can with difficulty be accused of being heretics, and one in which those who espouse heresy, can understand what they should be understanding in a certain sort of coded language or discourse.

The talk at Ognissanti is a perfect example of this method, but since this method is rarely recognized for what it is, let us unpack it for those Catholics who have the blessing never to have been “initiated” into it by attending a Pontifical university or seminary class.

First, the very occasion of the talk provides the context.  The Modernists who pushed to dump the original schema for Vatican II and who controlled the entire implementation of the texts of the Council into which they wrote nearly all their own errors, find no greater occasion to rejoice but the anniversaries of their revolution.  The 50th anniversary of the first mass in the vernacular, as was celebrated on Saturday March 7th, is just such an occasion.

It would be enough for the Pope to celebrate the occasion, even though he scrupulously avoided using the actual ritual Pope Paul VI used on that day, 50 years ago:  no, no! such a liturgy, that of 1965, is much too much like the Traditional Latin Mass, of the “preconciliar era”.  To have used that liturgy, would have been to confirm what Pope Benedict XVI often spoke about, the necessity to reconcile the 2 liturgies.  But since “reconciliation” presupposes equality, and since Modernists deny the legitimate spiritual equality of the Old Rite — they actually deny the totality of the legitimate spiritual quality of that rite — there could be no question about using the liturgy of 1965. That would send the “wrong” message, in their minds, to their followers.

Thus, the significance of the day of March 7 and the use of the Novus Ordo for the 50th anniversary.

Significant too, is the Cardinal of whom this church is assigned among the Sacred College:  Cardinal Walter Kasper, chief theologian of “Team Bergoglio” and papally authorized proponent of the Kasper thesis, which holds that it is mercy to abandon 2000 years of Christian teaching which bars public and impenitent sinners from reception of the sacraments.

All of these 3 circumstances already say all which the Modernists need to say.  Their con-catenation means that unless their agenda is explicitly denounced in the Homily for the celebration, that agenda is in fact explicitly affirmed by the silence.

Let us now examine the text of the talk to see what else can be gleaned.

As the Modernists would be very inclined to fear that Traditionalists would be apt to criticize this talk — there were even rumors in Rome that the Vatican was obsessed that traditional Catholics would stage a demonstration against the Anniversary — we have to look closely to see what is intended to be seen only by initiated Modernists.

Quotations are from our unofficial English translation of the homily…see previous Blog post for citations.

+ + +

Holy Mass at the Roman Parish of Ognissanti, on the Via Appia Nuova

Homily of Pope Francis

3rd Sunday in Lent

Saturday, March 7, 2015

On the occasion of the feast of the Jewish Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem.  Arriving at the Temple, he does not find people who seek God, but people who are conducting their own business:  merchants of animals for the offering of sacrifice, money-changers, who exchange the “impure” money, bearing the image of the Emperor, with the money approved by the religious authority to pay the annual temple tax.  What do we find when we take ourselves there, when we go to our temples?  I give you this example:  The unworthy commerce, source of ill-gotten gain, provokes the energetic reaction of Jesus.  He overturns their tables and throws their money to the ground, he drives the merchants away, saying to them:  « Don’t make the House of my Father a market! » (John 2:16).

Note, from the start, that the Pope founds his entire homily on the comparison between the Jewish liturgy and the Christian liturgy.  This is the standard Modernist reading of the liturgical aggiornamento:  Just as the Jewish liturgy was ignorant and superficial, the Christian inspired and interior; so the old Mass was obsessed with appearances and rules, the reformed Liturgy is open and free and unvexing.

Note that the Pope uses the current Italian version of the Gospels, which erroneously translates the Greek, οἶκον ἐμπορίου, as “market”, when in fact is means “house of business”, that is, “covered market place”.  (The actual mercantile practices in the Gospel text took place, not in the Temple, but in the Courtyard of the Gentiles, the most exterior part of the outer area, in which even Gentiles who were believers could enter.  No part of the Mosaic Law forbade trade in this area.  Contrariwise, the Mosaic Law, of which Jesus as God is the author, precepted the offering of sacrifices to God: the support of the Temple by the annual tax, too, was a customary obligation of the entire Jewish People, to which Jesus never objected.)

In fact, the use of the Jewish – Christian parallelism to fault the old liturgy and praise the new, is a form of antisemitism which we would expect from a Lutheran faithful to Luther’s bigotry against both the Jewish People and the traditional Mass, the kind of theological bigotry propounded in liberal Germany theological institutes, such as those from which Cardinal Kasper may draw his racially tinged concepts of African Bishops, as Edward Pentin exposed during the recent Extra-Ordinary Synod on the Family.  But let’s not allow our expectations or history to get in the way of the evidence.

Referring to the words of Jesus in John 2:16, the Pope continues:

This expression does not only refer to the traffic which was being practiced in the courtyards of the Temple.  Rather, it regards the type of religiosity.  The gesture of Jesus is a gesture of “cleaning”, of purification, and the mentality which He expresses can be found in the texts of the Prophets, according to which God does not take pleasure in an exterior cult wrought through material sacrifice and based upon personal interest (cf. Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:2-11).  This gesture is a call back to authentic worship, to the correspondence between liturgy and life; a call which is valid for every epoch and even for us today.  That correspondence between liturgy and life.  The liturgy is not something strange, over there, far off, and one during which I think of many things, or pray the Rosary.  No, no.  There is a correspondence, between the liturgical celebration and what I then carry on in my life; and on this (path) one must go further ahead, one must journey onward.

Here the pope abandons the common reading of this passage in the Fathers, which attributes Jesus’ ire not to the mercantile operations per se, but to the corruption which had crept into it, such as not exchanging coins at the fair value, or selling animals for sacrifice at inflated prices; all of which defrauded the honest Jew who came to worship God, especially the poorer ones. (Remember that Jesus’ family was so poor that, at His  birth, Joseph could only afford 2 turtle doves for sacrifice not the customary lamb).

To use this text while avoiding the condemnation of the sin of the exploitation of the poor, is a very notable exception for the man who is Pope Francis: seeing that he has railed against this for his entire Pontificate.  This omission, therefore, should be seen as significant: namely that the true message of his homily is aimed at something else.  We can see what that is, in the text paragraph of his talk:

The conciliar Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium, defines the liturgy as « the first and indispensable source from which the faithful can draw the true Christian spirit » (n. 14).  Which means to reaffirm the essential link which unites the life of the disciple of Jesus with liturgical worship.  This is, above all, not a doctrine to comprehend, or a rite to fulfill; it is naturally also this but in another manner, it is essentially diverse:  it is a source of life and of light for our journey of faith.

That is, he is going to speak about the liturgical renewal, not about Jesus cleansing the Temple, per se.  The Pope continues:

Moreover, the Church calls us to have and to promote an authentic liturgical life, so that there may be a harmony between what the liturgy celebrates and what we ourselves life in our own existence.  It treats of how to express in life what we have received by means of the Faith and what which have celebrated (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 10).

The Church does nothing of the kind, actually.  Vatican II did not impose any obligation on anyone in the Church, since it established no canons or anathemas not even promulgated a new liturgy.  The Novus Ordo came into being only in 1969, and its authors were the Consilium established by Pope Paul VI, not by the Council Fathers.  Nor did it even attempt to be faithful to the document, which the Pope just cited.  The Pope could have mentioned this, but he did not: and his silence is significant.  He is affirming that his intentions are to continue in that line of misrepresenting the Council as Pope Paul VI did.

The Pope continues:

The disciple of Jesus does not go to church only to observe a precept, to feel okay with a God who should not “trouble” him much.  “But I, Lord, go every Sunday, I fulfill …, don’t mix yourself up with my life, don’t bother me”.  This is the mentality of so many Catholics, so many.  The disciple of Jesus goes to church to encounter the Lord and to find in his grace, working in the Sacraments, the strength to think and act according to the Gospel.  On which account, we cannot delude ourselves into thinking that we can enter the house of the Lord and “cover ourselves over”, with prayers and devotional practices, comportments contrary to the requirements of justice, of honesty or of charity towards our neighbor.  We cannot substitute with “religious gifts” what is owed to our neighbor, putting off a true conversion.  The cult, the liturgical celebration, are the privileged place to heed the voice of the Lord, which guides us along the road of righteousness and Christian perfection.

Notice the dichotomy between the “disciples of Jesus” and “too many Catholics”.  If you think the Pope is literally saying that “many Catholics” are not “disciples of Jesus”, you are correct!  The truth is, however, that when one speaks properly, “Catholics” are the only disciples of Jesus that there are! for they are the only ones who take Him as seriously as He Himself insisted to be taken.  So what is the Pope getting at?  We must understand, that while it appears that he is using words in their proper sense, he is not; thus we must consider that he is not, if we are to understand him aright.

Secondly, if one considers the many scandalous deeds and actions of Pope Francis, as Pope and before in Argentina, we can rightly say that we find his words astounding: because he is condemning “many Catholics” for doing what he himself is notorious for doing, yet omitting that he is also at fault for that.  What kind of “authentic Christian life” is that?

We must understand, therefore, that in this homily, the Holy Father has no intention of presenting a call to authentic Christian life, rather, his goal is to attack it. For his actions speak louder than his words and give them context, even if that is politically incorrect to say. If his intentions were otherwise, he would publicly repent of his bad example and many scandalous words and deeds during the last 2 years as Pope. He did not. That is significant.

Therefore, the true reading must be, that the authentic Christian life which seeks interior conversion for the sanctification of the exterior life, is to be rejected, and in its place one should implement what the aggiornamento gave us, the appearances of a renewal, which have visibly altered the liturgies of the Church, but have entirely abandoned the interior man, especially the interior of many priests and bishops, to interior corruption, to hypocrisy, superficiality etc., the very same things the Pope appears to be condemning.

The Pope continues:

This regards the fulfillment of a journey of conversion and penitence, to take from our life the scars of sin, as Jesus did, by cleansing the Temple of petty interests.  And Lent is the favorable time for all of this, it is the time for interior renewal, for the forgiveness of sin, the time in which we have been called to rediscover the Sacrament of Penance and of Reconciliation, which causes us to pass from darkness to the light of grace and friendship with Jesus.  There is no need to forget the great strength which this Sacrament has for the Christian life:  it makes us grow in union with God, it makes us reacquire the lost joy and to experience the consolation of feeling ourselves personally welcomed by the merciful embrace of God.

The error of Luther was to seek God in the confirmation of his own personal “will” to be saved, founded in a fiducial faith.  This error gave rise to the sentimentalism of Protestantism, which puts the experience of faith in the place of dogmatic faith; to which error there followed unbridled free thought in matters of religion, since “faith” no longer required intellectual assent to defined propositions or to revealed truths.  What remained from Protestantism was consumed by Modernism, where sentiment alone remains.  Thus Modernists go to church to get a feeling, a consolation, just as the pope is proposing for “disciples of Jesus”.  Thus, we have our true key to read the Papal homily: The “disciples” are Modernists, the Jews are the Traditionalists, the pre-conciliar Catholics, who refuse the Aggiornamento.

The pope continues this line of thought, in his concluding remarks, where he calls for the continued revolution in the Church.

Dear brothers and sisters, this Church was constructed thanks to the apostolic zeal of St. Luigi Orione.  It is precisely here, that, fifty years ago, blessed Paul VI inaugurated, in a certain sense, the liturgical reform with the celebration of the Mass in the language spoken by the people.  I auger that this circumstance may revive in you all the love of the house of God,  In her, may you find great spiritual help.  Here you are able to experience, every time you wish to, the regenerative power of personal prayer and of community prayer.  Listening to the Word of God, proclaimed in the liturgical assembly, it sustains you in the path of our Christian life.  You meet together here between these walls, not as strangers, but as brothers, capable of giving one another a hand freely, because you have been built up in love through Christ, the foundation of hope and the fundament of pledge for every believer.

Him, Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone, do we embrace in this Holy Mass, renewing the resolution to commit ourselves for our own interior purification and for the interior cleansing of the spiritual edifice of the Church, of which each of us is a living part in force of our Baptism.  Amen.

To a simple Catholic it might seem that the Pope is saying something quite different than what we have expounded, but take it from a student of 3 pontifical faculties, that is  just what it is intended and crafted to appear to mean to a simple Catholic.

Thus, in summation, we can say, that the homily as presented is calling for greater violence against the “Jews”, that is the traditionalists — Jesus cleansing the Temple, is after all a prime example for the justification for violence* — and in favor of the Aggiornamento of the Church ever more deeply, and thus in favor of the Kasper Thesis, the heretical thesis of divorcing the Sacraments from the observance of the moral law, the thesis promoted by Cardinal Kasper, who is the Cardinal patron of the very church in which this homily was given.

____________________

* Remember, it is a mortal sin of sacrilege to use scripture for an evil purpose or to interpret it in a sense contrary to the common opinion of the Fathers of the Church.  The true example given by Our Lord in the Temple, is that as God’s Divine Son He has the right to cleanse His own Church from corruption, and this He surely will do, even before the great day of His Final Return. And that it is a grave offense to the Divine Majesty of His Father, that the uses of the places dedicated to the worship of God, as He commanded it, be stained with moral corruption.  In other words, the example of Our Lord in the temple gives us the exact opposite indications as that which the Pope promotes, because it is diametrically opposed to the impiety of Modernism, to the hypocrisy of the pink mafia, and to the objectives of Free Masons and the Progressive Movement, and the adaptation of liturgy to life, such as the Aggiornamento has been applied.

Pope Francis’ Homily at Ognissanti, March 7, 2015

Pope Francis at Ognissanti, March 7, 2015 (click image for original from Catholic Herald article on this event).
Pope Francis at Ognissanti, March 7, 2015 (click image for original from Catholic Herald article on this event).

Rome, March 9, 2015:  On Saturday, Pope Francis celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first use of a vernacular form of the Roman Rite, when he visited the titular church of Cardinal Walter Kasper, at Rome, the Parish of All Saints (Ognisannti).

For the record, here is our unofficial English translation of the original Italian text, which can be found at News.Va.

+ + +

Holy Mass at the Roman Parish of Ognissanti, on the Via Appia Nuova

Homily of Pope Francis

3rd Sunday in Lent

Saturday, March 7, 2015

On the occasion of the feast of the Jewish Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem.  Arriving at the Temple, he does not find people who seek God, but people who are conducting their own business:  merchants of animals for the offering of sacrifice, money-changers, who exchange the “impure” money, bearing the image of the Emperor, with the money approved by the religious authority to pay the annual temple tax.  What do we find when we take ourselves there, when we go to our temples?  I give you this example:  The unworthy commerce, source of ill-gotten gain, provokes the energetic reaction of Jesus.  He overturns their tables and throws their money to the ground, he drives the merchants away, saying to them:  « Don’t make the House of my Father a market! » (John 2:16).

This expression does not only refer to the traffic which was being practiced in the courtyards of the Temple.  Rather, it regards the type of religiosity.  The gesture of Jesus is a gesture of “cleaning”, of purification, and the mentality which He expresses can be found in the texts of the Prophets, according to which God does not take pleasure in an exterior cult wrought through material sacrifice and based upon personal interest (cf. Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:2-11).  This gesture is a call back to authentic worship, to the correspondence between liturgy and life; a call which is valid for every epoch and even for us today.  That correspondence between liturgy and life.  The liturgy is not something strange, over there, far off, and one during which I think of many things, or pray the Rosary.  No, no.  There is a correspondence, between the liturgical celebration and what I then carry on in my life; and on this (path) one must go further ahead, one must journey onward.

The conciliar Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium, defines the liturgy as « the first and indispensable source from which the faithful can draw the true Christian spirit » (n. 14).  Which means to reaffirm the essential link which unites the life of the disciple of Jesus with liturgical worship.  This is, above all, not a doctrine to comprehend, or a rite to fulfill; it is naturally also this but in another manner, it is essentially diverse:  it is a source of life and of light for our journey of faith.

Moreover, the Church calls us to have and to promote an authentic liturgical life, so that there may be a harmony between what the liturgy celebrates and what we ourselves life in our own existence.  It treats of how to express in life what we have received by means of the Faith and what which have celebrated (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 10).

The disciple of Jesus does not go to church only to observe a precept, to feel okay with a God who should not “trouble” him much.  “But I, Lord, go every Sunday, I fulfill …, don’t mix yourself up with my life, don’t bother me”.  This is the mentality of so many Catholics, so many.  The disciple of Jesus goes to church to encounter the Lord and to find in his grace, working in the Sacraments, the strength to think and act according to the Gospel.  On which account, we cannot delude ourselves into thinking that we can enter the house of the Lord and “cover ourselves over”, with prayers and devotional practices, comportments contrary to the requirements of justice, of honesty or of charity towards our neighbor.  We cannot substitute with “religious gifts” what is owed to our neighbor, putting off a true conversion.  The cult, the liturgical celebration, are the privileged place to heed the voice of the Lord, which guides us along the road of righteousness and Christian perfection.

This regards the fulfillment of a journey of conversion and penitence, to take from our life the scars of sin, as Jesus did, by cleansing the Temple of petty interests.  And Lent is the favorable time for all of this, it is the time for interior renewal, for the forgiveness of sin, the time in which we have been called to rediscover the Sacrament of Penance and of Reconciliation, which causes us to pass from darkness to the light of grace and friendship with Jesus.  There is no need to forget the great strength which this Sacrament has for the Christian life:  it makes us grow in union with God, it makes us reacquire the lost joy and to experience the consolation of feeling ourselves personally welcomed by the merciful embrace of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, this Church was constructed thanks to the apostolic zeal of St. Luigi Orione.  It is precisely here, that, fifty years ago, blessed Paul VI inaugurated, in a certain sense, the liturgical reform with the celebration of the Mass in the language spoken by the people.  I auger that this circumstance may revive in you all the love of the house of God,  In her, may you find great spiritual help.  Here you are able to experience, every time you wish to, the regenerative power of personal prayer and of community prayer.  Listening to the Word of God, proclaimed in the liturgical assembly, it sustains you in the path of our Christian life.  You meet together here between these walls, not as strangers, but as brothers, capable of giving one another a hand freely, because you have been built up in love through Christ, the foundation of hope and the fundament of pledge for every believer.

Him, Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone, do we embrace in this Holy Mass, renewing the resolution to commit ourselves for our own interior purification and for the interior cleansing of the spiritual edifice of the Church, of which each of us is a living part in force of our Baptism.  Amen.

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.

 

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.

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)

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.

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.

The Public Consistory of Feb. 14, 2015 A.D. : Pope’s Discourse

The Official English translation, by the Vatican Press office:

Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brother Cardinals,

The cardinalate is certainly an honour, but it is not honorific. This we already know from its name – “cardinal” – from the word “cardo”, a hinge. As such it is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title. Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community. You are “hinges” and are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, which “presides over the entire assembly of charity” (Lumen Gentium, 13; cf. IGN. ANT., Ad Rom., Prologue).

In the Church, all “presiding” flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity. Here too the Church of Rome exercises an exemplary role. Just as she presides in charity, so too each particular Church is called, within its own sphere, to preside in charity.

For this reason, I believe that the “hymn to charity” in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians can be taken as a guiding theme for this celebration and for your ministry, especially for those of you who today enter the College of Cardinals. 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. May our Mother Mary help us to listen. She gave the world Jesus, charity incarnate, who is “the more excellent Way” (cf. 1 Cor 12:31); may she help us to receive this Word and always to advance on this Way. May she assist us by her humility and maternal tenderness, because charity, as God’s gift, grows wherever humility and tenderness are found.

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.

The Apostle goes on to say that charity “is not jealous or boastful, it is not puffed up with pride”. This is surely a miracle of love, since we humans – all of us, at every stage of our lives – are inclined to jealousy and pride, since our nature is wounded by sin. Nor are Church dignitaries immune from this temptation. But for this very reason, dear brothers, the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you. And Jesus is love to the fullest.

Saint Paul then tells us that charity “is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way”. These two characteristics show that those who abide in charity are not self-centred. The self-centred inevitably become disrespectful; very often they do not even notice this, since “respect” is precisely the ability to acknowledge others, to acknowledge their dignity, their condition, their needs. The self-centred person inevitably seeks his own interests; he thinks this is normal, even necessary. Those “interests” can even be cloaked in noble appearances, but underlying them all is always “self-interest”. Charity, however, makes us draw back from the centre in order to set ourselves in the real centre, which is Christ alone. Then, and only then, can we be persons who are respectful and attentive to the good of others.

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!

Charity – Saint Paul adds – “does not rejoice at the wrong, but rejoices in the right”. Those called to the service of governance in the Church need to have a strong sense of justice, so that any form of injustice becomes unacceptable, even those which might bring gain to himself or to the Church. At the same time, he must “rejoice in the right”. What a beautiful phrase! The man of God is someone captivated by truth, one who encounters it fully in the word and flesh of Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of our joy. May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth.

Finally, “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Here, in four words, is a spiritual and pastoral programme of life. The love of Christ, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, enables us to live like this, to be like this: as persons always ready to forgive; always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope in God; persons ready to bear patiently every situation and each of our brothers and sisters, in union with Christ, who bore with love the burden of our sins.

Dear brothers, this comes to us not from ourselves, but from God. God is love and he accomplishes all this in us if only we prove docile to the working of his Holy Spirit. This, then, is how we are to be: “incardinated” and docile. The more we are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, the more we should become docile to the Spirit, so that charity can give form and meaning to all that we are and all that we do. Incardinated in the Church which presides in charity, docile to the Holy Spirit who pours into our hearts the love of God (cf. Rom 5:5). Amen.

Extra-Ordinary Consistory, Feb 12: Discussion and Critique of Papal Address

Editorial — February 12, 2015:  As part of our coverage of the Extra-ordinary Consistory of Cardinals, which opened today, we have begun with our English translation of the Pope’s opening discourse, and will follow, now, with our discussion and critique of that discourse, in the light of last years events, revealing grave doubts concerning the validity of the papal election itself and the push by “Team Bergoglio” to advance the heresy of Modernism in the Church, which has been criticized by Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Lenga and Bishops Schneider, among many others.

The first and most obvious thing about the Papal Discourse is that it is a highly crafted text, which aims above all to impose the ideological and moral context in which the Consistory is to proceed and thus, a discourse, which attempts to preclude any substantive discussion of the real problems in the Church, in the present hour, as if, by pretending the Church is not in a most grave crisis brought on by the apparent invalidity of the papal election in 2013 and the manifest and public heresies of the Pope and his “Team Bergoglio” members and players, one could proceed to a reform of the Roman Curia under the guidance of men mired in such deeds and words.

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 morning.  This 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.

This insistence is heretical because it presents a notion of faith divorced from truth in the mind and divorced from virtue in the will and senses: it is thus an unparalleled form of atheistic protestantism, in which private judgement wed to a denial of all that is supernatural is exalted as the true faith of Christ.  Nothing more blasphemous and heretical could be supposed.  But yet, this is the personal faith of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and he is doing everything, even in this Discourse, to promote it.

The Pope opens his discourse with the traditional greeting, “Brothers”, because the Popes for centuries have considered themselves in humility the brothers of the Cardinals who have elected them, since normally the Pope is a former cardinal.  The citation from the Psalm which follows (Ps. 133:1) is normative for meetings of chapters in religious houses or of Bishops, but as we can see from the text which follows, is interpreted according to the religion of Bergoglio, of the insistence on communion without faith or morals.

Next, the Pope makes clear who is in charge, by thanking only members of “Team Bergoglio” and their closest collaborators. This is to indicate to the Cardinals assembled that he will not brook any interventions by Cardinals which do not fit his prearranged plan to reform the Curia in such wise as he personally thinks fit.

Second, he states his personal religion in the form of an express statement:

The goal to reach is always that which favors the greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, for the purpose of realizing a more efficacious collaboration in that absolute transparency which edifies an authentic sinodality and collegiality.

In this statement, which has no reference to the Gospel or to Tradition, there is asserted as the goal, ideals which have nothing to do with faith or morals of themselves, but which are merely micro-managing principles which mean only, “Do what I tell you”, and “Pretend that what you are doing is a democratic process of equals”!

You can hear the pope shouting his ideology of a religion without morals or doctrine by his used of the words “sinodality” and “collegiality”, terms which means “working with the Pope as brother bishops” and “working together as equals“.  In other words, “Don’t buck me!” and “Don’t imagine for the moment that you can take the moral high ground and criticize my agenda!”

Next, the Pope explains that the reform is not aimed at the salvation of souls, but about control:

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to favor a more efficacious evangelization; to promote a more fecund, ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.

Control of everything by himself: control of Christian witness, control of the work of the Church, control of the relations with other “churches” and this for the purpose of promoting friendship (“ecumenical spirit”) and conversation (“constructive dialogue”), code words for “watering down everything to a common denominator” and “shut-up all criticism”.

With this obvious insistence on all which does not regard the supreme law of the Church, the salvation of souls (“salus animarum”) the Pope ends his talk exhorting the Cardinals to work for that.  Quite a contradiction in terms. But a deliberate contradiction to emphasize that he is all about keeping up appearances while tearing down realities.

Pope Francis opens the Extra-Ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals, Feb. 12-13, 2015

Rome, February 12, 2015:  Catholics the world-over have waited with much anticipation for the Consistory of Cardinals convoked by Pope Francis for 2015, which opened this morning at the Vatican.  And this, for the reasons and doubts raised both by the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” and the facts uncovered by Antonio Socci, as published in his book, Non è Francesco, showing that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is doubtful as to its validity.  In session, the Sacred College of Cardinals has rights to address these issues openly and directly.  From the public announcements, the From Rome blog will attempt to discern what is going on behind closed doors.

As our first installment of coverage, we publish our unofficial English translation of the Italian text of the official Vatican Press communique, which was itself published only minutes ago:

+ + +

The Extra-ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals
February 12-13, 2015

[B0115]

The Consistory of the College of Cardinals (Feb. 12-13, 2015) began this morning at 9 A.M., in the Hall of the Synod of Vatican II, which Consistory saw the College of Cardinals in meeting with the Holy Father, Francis.  The work of the Consistory — part of which will include the creation of Cardinals in the ordinary public session this Saturday — will be undertaken in 2 days, today and tomorrow, with sessions at 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. (Rome time).

This morning, after the recitation of Terce and the opening salutations of the Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, the Pope addressed the Cardinals present with the discourse which we now cite:

The Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brothers,

« How beautiful it is and how sweet that brothers live together » (Psalm 133:1).

With the words of the Psalm we give thanks to the Lord that He has convoke us and given us the grace to welcome in this assembly the 20 new Cardinals.  To them and to all, I address my cordial salute.  Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality!

I thank all of those who have prepared for this event, in particular, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Deacon of the College of Cardinals.  We thank the Commission of Nine Cardinals and His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, its coordinator. We also thanks His Eminence Marcello Semeraro, the secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: it is he who presents to us today the synthesis of the work undertaken in these recent months to elaborate the new Apostolic Constitution for the Reform of the Curia.  As we know, this synthesis there has been per-arranged on the basis of so many suggestions, even on the part of the heads and responsables of the Dicasteries, not to mention of experts in these matters.

The goal to reach is always that which favors the greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, for the purpose of realizing a more efficacious collaboration in that absolute transparency which edifies an authentic sinodality and collegiality.

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to favor a more efficacious evangelization; to promote a more fecund, ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.  The reform, urged in a lively manner by the majority of the Cardinals in the course of the first general Congregation of the Conclave (of 2013), will have to perfect the identity of the Roman Curia itself ever the more, that is, of co-assisting the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and the service of the universal Church and of the particular Churches: an exercise with which the unity of the faith and the communion with the people of God are reinforced and the proper mission of the Church in the world is promoted.

Certainly, to arrive at such a goal is not easy:  it requires time, determination and above all the collaboration of all.  But to realize this, we must, before all else, entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer for the gift of authentic discernment.

With this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins, which will be fecund thanks to the contribution of each of us will be able to express with parresía, fidelity to the Magisterium and conscientiousness for all which is concordant with the supreme law, that is with the salus animarum. Thank you!

[00260-01.01] [Testo originale: Italiano][B0115-XX.01]

Bl. Emmerich’s prophecy of Schism in the time of 2 Popes

With commentary in Italics by From Rome blog, regarding how it may apply to our own day

May 13, 1820.“Last night, from eleven to three, I had a most wonderful vision of two churches and two Popes and a variety of things, ancient and modern.

“I shall relate, as well as I can, all that I remember of it. My angel-guardian came and told me that I must go to Rome and take two things to the Pope; but I cannot now recall what they were — perhaps it is the will of God that I should forget them. I asked my angel how I could make so long a journey, sick as I was. But when I was told that I should make it without difficulty, I no longer objected. — An odd-looking vehicle appeared before me, flat and slight, with only two wheels, the flooring red with white edges. I saw no horses.

This sound uncannily like the Segway’s used at Rome, to show tourists the city.  Which only came into use in recent years. I myself noticed them in use in 2010.  You can see that some of them are read in color:

Photo by Tripadvisor.com
Photo by Tripadvisor.com

“I was gently lifted and laid on it and, at the same instant, a snow-white, luminous child flew toward me and seated himself at my feet. He reminded me of the Patience-child in green, so sweet, so lovely, and perfectly transparent. He was to be my companion, he was to console and take care of me. The wagon was so light and smooth that at first I was afraid of slipping off; but it began to move very gently of Itself without horses, and I saw a shining human figure going on ahead. The journey did not seem long, although we crossed countries, mountains, and great waters. I knew Rome the instant we reached it, and I was soon in the presence of the Pope.”

— Her “experience” of traveling on this strange mode of transportation, except for the length of the journey, is exactly that of someone riding a Segway for the first time.  This places the time of the fulfillment of her prophecy in our own days.

Pope Boniface IV
Pope Boniface IV

“I know not now whether he was sleeping or praying, but I had to say two things to him, or give him two things, and I shall have to go to him once again to announce a third. — Then I had a wonderful vision. Rome suddenly appeared as in the early ages, and I saw a Pope (Boniface IV and and an Emperor whose name I knew not (Phocas). I could not find my way in the city, all was so different, even the sacred ceremonies; but yet I recognized them as Catholic. I saw a great round building like a cupola — it was a pagan temple full of beautiful idols. It had no windows, but in the dome was an opening with a contrivance for keeping out the rain. It seemed as if all the idols that ever existed were gathered together therein every conceivable posture. Many of them were very beautiful, and others exceedingly odd; there were even some of geese which received divine honor. In the center of the building stood a very high pyramid formed entirely of those images. I saw no idolatrous worship at the time of which I speak, although the idols were still carefully preserved.

Emperor Flavius Phocas
A Coin bearing the image of Emperor Flavius Phocas

Visions are often symbolically significant, even in the details they relate. Note that she speaks of a Pope and the city of Rome under pagan influence.  When she had this vision, Rome was ruled by the Popes, but now it is under the pagan domination of the modern Republic of Italy. Note too that she says that she cannot recognize the rituals used by Catholics, they were all different. This is what a Catholic in 1820 might say of the Novus Ordo mass which arose after the Second Vatican Council.  Note too, that “Boniface” is from the Latin for “Good-doer”, it is very similar in meaning to “Benedict”, which means “Good-speaker”.  The emperor in the time of Pope Boniface IV (who reigned from August 25, 608 to May 8, 615) , was Flavius Phocas (d. Oct. 4, 610).

“I saw messengers from Pope Boniface going to the emperor and petitioning for the temple to be changed into a Christian church, I heard the latter declaring distinctly that the Pope should allow the ancient statues to remain, though he might erect therein the cross to which the highest honors should be paid. This proposal, as it seemed to me, was made not wickedly, but ” in good faith. I saw the messengers return with the answer and Boniface reflecting as to how he might in some measure conform to the emperor’s will. Whilst he was thus deliberating, I saw a good, pious priest in prayer before the crucifix. He wore a long white robe with a train, and an angel hovered by his side. Suddenly he arose, went straight to Boniface, and told him that he should by no means accede to the emperor’s proposal. Messengers were then dispatched to the emperor, who now consented to the temple’s being entirely cleared. Then I saw his people come and take numbers of the statues to the imperial city; but still many remained in Rome. Then I saw the consecration of the temple, at which ceremony the holy martyrs assisted with Mary at their side. The altar was not in the center of the building, but against the wall. I saw more than thirty wagon-loads of sacred relics brought into the church. Many of them were enclosed in the walls and others could be seen through round openings covered with something like glass.

It is interesting to note that she speaks of this Pope Boniface who would received and accepted the sound advice of a devout Catholic priest, who dressed in traditional garb, to have nothing to do with the mixing of Catholic rites with idolatry. Which Pope had the courage to confront the civil authorities of his day with the truth, even to the point of risking their disfavor.  In the time of Emperor Flavius Phocas, the capital of the Roman Empire, the Imperial City, was Constantinople, modern Istanbul. It was in Istanbul, during the Apostolic Nunciature of the future Pope John XXIII, that an international assembly of Free Masons called for an Ecumenical Council to reunite all Christians. Note, that the new church, which Bl. Anne sees consecrated, has its altar against the wall, not like the other churches she sees.  The initiation of the restoration of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ad orientem, facing the tabernacle was the hallmark of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, especially through his decree Summorum Pontificum, which defended the rights of the clergy and faithful to the celebration of the ancient Roman Rite, which Bl. Anne Emmerich knew as the Mass of the universal Church.

“When I had witnessed this vision even in the smallest details, I saw again the present Pope and the dark church of his time in Rome, It seemed to be a large, old house like a town-hall with columns in front. I saw no altar in it, but only benches, and in the middle of it something like a pulpit. They had preaching and singing, but nothing else, and only very few attended it.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

— This aptly describes not only the liturgical architecture but the rituals which prevail in the Latin rite since the time of Vatican II, the many abuses and deficiencies of which Pope Benedict XVI was noted for criticizing.

“And lo, a most singular sight! — Each member of the congregation drew an idol from his breast, set it up before him, and prayed to it. It was as if each man drew forth his secret thoughts or passions under the appearance of a dark cloud which, once outside, took some definite form. They were precisely such figures as I had seen around the neck of the illicit bride in the Nuptial House, figures of men and animals. The god of one was short and broad with a crisp head and numerous, outstretched arms ready to seize and devour all in its reach; that of another was quite small with miserable, shrunken limbs; another had merely a block of wood upon which he gazed with rolling eyes; this one had a horrible animal; that one, a long pole. The most singular part of it was that the idols filled the place; the church, although the worshippers were so few, was crowded with idols. When the service was over, every one’s god re-entered into his breast. The whole church was draped in black, and all that took place in it was shrouded in gloom.

— When the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass becomes a time for celebrating the community, then religion becomes nothing more than the self-affirmation of one’s own personal fancies, vices and idols.  Thus Bl. Anne aptly describes a form of Catholicism which has gone astray from a right and orthodox spirituality.

“Then I saw the connection between the two Popes and the two temples. I am sorry that I have forgotten the numbers, but I was shown how weak the one had been in adherents and human support, but how strong in courage to overturn so many gods (I knew the number) and to unite so many different forms of worship into one; and, on the contrary, how strong in numbers and yet how irresolute in action was the other since, in authorizing the erection of false temples, he had allowed the only true God, the only true religion to be lost among so many false gods and false religions.

Here Bl. Anne critiques the two “churches” which exist among the Catholic faithful: one which which has few members, but great zeal to overthrow false religions and establish authentic Catholic worship, suitable to the rites of many nations — this is the Catholic Church; the other which has many members, but little zeal for defending the true Religion from the false, compromising with the world — this is the Church of Modernists and the Church born of the Aggiornamento.

“It was also shown me that those pagans humbly adored gods other than themselves, and that they would have been willing to admit in all simplicity the only God, the Most Holy Trinity. Their worship was preferable to that of those who adore themselves in a thousand idols to the total exclusion of Our Lord. The picture was favorable to the early ages, for in them idolatry was on the decrease, whilst in our days it is just the contrary.

Here Bl. Emmerich gives us a key for interpreting her vision of Pope Benedict IV as applying to Pope Benedict XVI, because she says, “The picture was favorable to the early ages…” and shows that her vision of the former was a spiritual interpretation of the state of the Church under the latter.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

— Next, she speaks of the Church of the Modernists, who in our day are lead by the followers of Cardinal Martini and Cardinal Kasper, under the aegis of Pope Francis’ protection and promotion:

“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city (1). I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening. — And now the vision became more extended.

At this point in her vision, Bl. Anne seems to speak of things yet to come, an ominous persecution of the Catholic Church by the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the Church of the Modernists:

“I saw in all places Catholics oppressed, annoyed, restricted, and deprived of liberty, churches were closed, and great misery prevailed everywhere with war and bloodshed. I saw rude, ignorant people offering violent resistance, but this state of things lasted not long. Again I saw in vision St. Peter’s undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect whilst, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress.

This persecution could refer to Pope Francis’ notable persecution of Catholic Bishops, clergy, religious and laity who attend the ancient Roman Rite: for several Bishops have been removed for promoting this mass, many priests and religious and laity have been denied this mass or persecuted in Italy and throughout the world, at express direction of Pope Francis, for their loyalty to this ancient rite.  Such a persecution, according to Rev. Fr. Matthias of Corona, S.T.D. Paris, A Carmelite of Liège, is grounds for the College of Cardinals to depose the pope.  However, Bl. Anne sees the salvation of the Church by divine means:

“Again I saw the Blessed Virgin extending her mantle over it. In this last scene. I saw no longer the reigning Pope, but one of his successors, a mild, but very resolute man who knew how to attach his priests to himself and who drove far from him the bad. I saw all things renewed and a church which reached from earth to heaven.”

For Cardinal Bergoglio, Lent is a time without sin or repentance

Pope-Francis1

Rome, January 27, 2015:  Following the seemingly innumerable occasions in which Pope Francis has spoken in public and given objective scandal by his remarks, which have diverged so much from the manner in which Catholics speak, that not a few Catholics, in books, letters, editorials and blogs, have publicly speculated that he is a heretic, there has been frequent occasions in which Catholics find themselves questioning whether Cardinal Bergoglio is Catholic or has the supernatural habit of faith.

One common criticism, which one finds on the Internet, is based on the observation that in his public discourses the word “faith” is either absent or is emptied of all dogmatic significance.  Even the pope’s own words support this interpretation because he rarely or ever refers to the necessity of the assent of the mind to revealed truth, or the importance of this assent of faith in the daily life of Christians.

Lent is an important occasion for the whole Church to be renewed in Her adhesion to the Lord in faith, hope and charity, by means of repentance, penitence, penance and conversion.  All Catholics know this from their earliest years.

For that reason, it is more than remarkable, that in Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in 2015, published today by the Vatican Press office, he makes no mention of dogmatic faith, sin, repentance, or conversion in the sense of turning from one’s personal sins.

You see, without dogmatic faith, man cannot recognize that his personal moral choices are offensive to or divergent from God’s Will, and thus, without dogmatic faith, there is, in the mind of the individual, no sin, no need for repentance, no need for moral conversion.  The words of the pope on important occasions continue to give the impression that such is his personal conception of the Catholic Religion.

Yet, if for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, faith has not the dogmatic content and significance and obligation which the Church has always taught, it is not a question of whether he is a heretic or not, he would not even be a Christian. Thus, the lack of evidence of dogmatic faith in his public discourses is a true public scandal, in which he is at fault, not bloggers for pointing this out.

But don’t take my word, read the official English translation (source), which has the same deficiencies as the original Italian:

«Make your hearts firm» (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.

Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.

Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.

Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.

From the Vatican, 4 October 2014

Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

FRANCISCUS PP.