Is the Left’s Honeymoon with Pope Francis Finally Over?

Okay, here we go. We finally have maybe the moment we’ve been waiting for. A major national case of gay marriage, specifically in the country of Slovakia, has prompted Pope Francis to come out firmly and actively against redefining traditional marriage as the Roman Catholic Church has long understood it. In so doing, progressives/liberals who were gung-ho for Francis as their first Gay Marriage Pope are feeling betrayed. They believe they’ve been lied to, or at least cruelly misled.

Before detailing the current situation, I’d like to put this in larger context by briefly recapping what I’ve been writing here in recent weeks:

Despite concerns to the contrary by many orthodox Catholics, Pope Francis, and, before that, Cardinal Bergoglio, has long resisted same-sex “marriage.” In Argentina, he declared it a diabolical effort of “the Father of Lies” to “destroy God’s plan … and deceive the children of God.”

More recently, as pope, there were his widely unreported remarks just after the synod, when he protested: “How … much relativism there is in the concept of the Sacrament of Marriage!” He complained: “What they are proposing is not marriage, it is an association, but it is not marriage! It is necessary to say things very clearly and we must say this!”

There were his likewise strong words at the “Humanum” conference, where he affirmed that “family is a family,” and that such is an “anthropological fact” that “can’t be qualified by ideological notions.”

And then came his comments in the Philippines last month, where he warned that the family is being undermined by relativistic “powerful forces” looking to “disfigure God’s plan for creation” and to “redefine the very institution of marriage.” As even his sympathetic secular media confirmed, Francis was referring to the most obvious attempt to redefine marriage: same-sex “marriage.”

I have argued that gay-marriage liberals, who—without evidence—have convinced themselves that Francis’ merciful tone toward gays signals a certain reversal of 2,000 years of Church teaching on marriage, have been setting up themselves for a serious letdown. Liberals tend to be dictated by an emotional way of thinking that hampers their conclusions. When someone like Francis says that we shouldn’t “judge” or discriminate against gays or (of course) treat them unfairly, the liberal mind takes a giant leap in logic. Liberals assumed that this meant that Francis, by absolute necessity, thereby supported redefining marriage to include same-sex “marriage.”

One of my favorite examples came when the Illinois legislature in November 2013 approved same-sex “marriage.” Leading the charge were Catholic Democrats, in particular House Speaker Michael Madigan, who directly cited Pope Francis in support of their actions. As the Chicago Tribune reported, “Advocates [of gay ‘marriage’ in Illinois] soon received additional help from Pope Francis, who warned that the Catholic Church could lose its way by focusing too much on social stances, including opposition to homosexuality.”

Really? And, if so, did this mean that Francis and his Church suddenly had a Saul-like conversion to gay marriage? In the mind of many liberals, yep, it sure did. The Tribune article continued with some jaw-droppers:

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” Francis said in July.

The comments sparked a wave of soul-searching by several Catholic lawmakers who had battled to reconcile their religious beliefs with their sworn duty to represent their constituents who were increasingly supportive of gay rights even as Cardinal Francis George remained opposed.

“As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion and justice for all people,” said Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora who voted for the bill after spending much of the summer undecided.

House Speaker Michael Madigan also cited the pope’s comments in explaining his support for the [gay marriage] measure.

“For those that just happen to be gay—living in a very harmonious, productive relationship but illegal—who am I to judge that they should be illegal?” the speaker said.

Madigan had come under fire from some gay rights groups who argued that he wasn’t doing enough to build support in the chamber he controls, but advocates say he was critical in rounding up the final needed votes in the last several weeks.

Madigan, for the record, is a lifelong product of Catholic education: University of Notre Dame, Loyola University School of Law, and before that, St. Ignatius College Prep school. He and liberal Catholic allies in Illinois literally pointed to Pope Francis in their decisive shift to enact gay marriage.

For liberals, there is not a lot of nuance on these things. If you believe in A and B, then you must, by necessity, support X, Y, and Z. If you support gay people not being fired from their jobs for being gay, then you must also support redefining marriage for them.

So, alas, as I’ve repeatedly warned, once it becomes painfully clear to Francis-loving liberals that the pope isn’t with them on redefining marriage, the Holy Father shouldn’t expect any charity from them. All hell could break loose. Francis should not expect much tolerance from these self-styled apostles of tolerance.

This brings me to the current situation in Slovakia. Francis had openly given his blessing to Slovakians to vote against redefining marriage in their national referendum earlier this month. There were billboards in the country with Francis’ face urging voters to support traditional marriage. And as Francis’ position is becoming known here in America, all hell is breaking loose with his sudden former friends on the left.

I could fill this website with examples, but I’ll share just a few from readers responding to the news articles posted at the Huffington Post and a leading gay-rights website, LGBTQ Nation.

I’ll start with the Huffington Post, one of the most popular daily news sources for liberals/progressives, replete with a section dedicated to gays. I’ll share only the first names of those who provided comments:

This from Bart: “Soooooooo tell us again how he’s the most supportive Pope in history to LGBT people? I’ll grant him, he talks a good game. But when it comes to actually taking action… same as it ever was.”

From Anna: “One step forward and then he takes three steps back.”

This from “Pappa John:” “My admiration turns to condemnation.”

A gem from David: “As the French say, ‘The more things change, the more they remain the same.’ Catholics are no better than ISIS.”

From Fran: “And that is how a Theocracy begins…. Anyone else recognize that this is just the ‘Christian’ version of Sharia law? Once religious principles become established as law … like it has been in much of the Muslim world … it is a self-perpetuating dictatorship … and whether it is Christianity or Islam makes NO difference.”

From another reader named David: “So Francis finally reveals his true self. I’m relieved. I was starting to like him, but he has now shown that he is a fan of the mingling of church and state by sticking his nose into a civil issue.”

From Michael: “Seemed obvious from the start. Just because this pope learned not to be so blatantly evil than the last doesn’t mean he’s much better.”

From Joe: “And to think an atheist like me was starting to like this guy. Oh well. I guess I was right all along.

From Conrad: “New wrapper, same crap inside.”

And from Lisa: “Well, against equality. Against the poor (no birth control). Against women.”

These examples are taken only from roughly the first 50 reader responses. I could go on and on. Bear in mind that this is one of America’s leading liberal news sources. These perceptions should not be dismissed.

And here are a few examples from a leading gay publication, LGBTQ Nation:

From Charlie: “I really hoped Francis was different. He is in a few ways but he’s still behind the times. Glad I left this institution.”

From Nick: “But, I thought this pope was on the side for freedom of good people.”

Harold: “So Francis finally shows his true colors. Maybe he will bring back the Inquisition and continue the other sins of the Catholic Church as well.”

Another reader: “Some one needs to put up a billboard asking the Pope when the Catholic Church is going to stop skirting it’s responsibilities and pay off these molestation lawsuits instead of hiding the money or filing for bankruptcy. It’s a disgraceful organization. Actually it’s child molestation organization.”

And this: “This pope, as any other, is on the side of his damn church. A lot of bullsh-t, and sick people.”

Another LGBTQ Nation reader writes of Francis “shame on him,” with others following up with “so much for the cool pope,” “bad move, Francis,” and “exactly what I thought,” and on and on.

I’ve only quoted the shorter assessments. Some of the longer ones are especially angry.

We should not be surprised by this. Pope Francis reached out as much as he could. His liberal/progressive detractors will respond without the charity and understanding he has been offering in spades. When you don’t agree with them, they condemn you. They admire you only when they agree with you. They tolerate your position only if they agree with your position—which, of course, is not true tolerance.

Francis’ position all along has been the Church’s position, the only difference being his bending over backward to emphasize the mercy and forgiveness aspects. He never indicated that he would or could change the Church’s teaching on marriage. But to a very emotional left, that didn’t matter. Liberals/progressives projected what they wanted on Pope Francis and believed what they wanted to believe. And now that it’s becoming clear that their views do not accord with his, their love for him will dissipate into the very hate and intolerance they will now accuse him of having.

Paul Kengor

By

Paul Kengor is Professor of Political Science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of many books including The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage (2015). His new book, A Pope and a President explores the extraordinary relationship between Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and their joint effort to defeat Soviet communism.

  • Jiri

    Unfortunatelly, that referendum in Slovakia wasn’t valid, because of the low turnout.

  • St JD George

    They will be made to care when the religion of intolerance surrounds them and the comfort of their worldly non existence enslaves them, or crucifies them. Will they cry out to God for their sins in despair when they are forced to confront evil at the tip of a sword, or will they repent and cry out for God’s mercy. In Europe the price for turning their back seems to be extracting a heavy toll, but most assuredly the ocean is no barrier. Soon enough all will be made to care and the honeymoon will be over, if there ever was one, and only the sacramental marriages that are foundational on Christ will withstand. I pray for our Pope that he his up to the challenge to lead our flock safely through the coming storms.

  • publiusnj

    “One robin doesn’t make a Spring.” Francis will sound somewhat orthodox some days but then come out with a doozie. The proof will be at the Synod. Will he continue to push forward the entirely unchristian proposal Kasper is shilling? If he doesn’t, I will be willing to begin trusting him somewhat. Until then, though, I am not prepared to answer the question that should admit of only one answer: is the Pope Catholic?

    • Rock St. Elvis

      ” Will he continue to push forward the entirely unchristian proposal Kasper is shilling?”

      What do you mean by “continue?” Where is the evidence that he ever agreed with Cardinal Kasper?

      • jacobhalo

        When Kasper made a speech concerning communion to the divorced, the pope called is a wonderful speech.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          What was the entirety of the Pope’s commentary on it? I believe he said there were “many beautiful insights” in it. So what? That’s not an endorsement of its ultimate conclusions.

          • publiusnj

            Come on, Rock. Quibbling is something you might find useful but most of us have seen enough scary in the Pope’s pronouncements as to sound a warning. The proof will be at the Synod. Is the Pope Catholic? For now, my answer is: “who am I to judge?”

            • Rock St. Elvis

              Ye of little faith. Isn’t there something about being guided by the Holy Spirit somewhere in all this? Or do you really think one man even has the power to upend magisterial teaching?

              • Asher Lev

                I’m sorry, but ‘ye of little faith’ platitudes are just a case of ‘tempting God’, as Francis would say. If it is clear from the history of the Church that if and when the Pope and Bishops promote heresy, as is the case here, then it is the responsibility of all Catholics of good faith (who are vessels of the Holy Spirit) to speak the Truth.

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  So . . . when has any pope ever “promoted” heresy?

                  • Asher Lev

                    To name the obvious ones, Pope Honorius was anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople after believing in and allowing the spread of the Monophosite heresy, whilst Pope John XXII publicly preached that the Saints didn’t receive the beatific vision before the Final Judgment, a view which was condemned as heretical by his successor Pope Benedict VII.

                    • Rock St. Elvis

                      Honorius did not believe in Monothelitism; he was just weak in responding to it. John XXII held a view about something that had not been dogmatically defined at the time he held it, so his view could not have been heresy then. Neither pope “promoted” heresy.

                    • Asher Lev

                      Wrong. The Council stated its anathematization of ‘Honorius, the heretic’ as follows: ‘we define that there shall be expelled from the holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius who was some time Pope of Old Rome, because of what we found written by him to [Patriarch] Sergius, that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines’. It is a fact, Honorius believed in and wrote letters promoting Monothelitism. As for John XXII, his thesis directly contradicted Scripture and Sacred Tradition, it doesn’t matter if it hadn’t yet been doctrinally defined. As Mr Mundabor put it: ‘Pope John XXII’s propositions were not in the least less heretical because the immediacy of the beatific vision once a soul has entered paradise had not (yet) been proclaimed dogmatically. This had not happened simply because no Pope had been such a bonehead as to put the teaching into question. To say that every Catholic truth that is not dogmatically defined can be questioned without incurring in the sanction of heresy is … sheer madness, and would simply spell the end of Catholicism. Heretical is what goes against the deposit of the faith. The issue at hand might or might not have been defined dogmatically (this will, generally, be dependent on whether controversies arose about it), but if it has been always believed by the church, to go against it is to commit heresy; which is why John XXII is considered – until his final repentance – a heretical Pope.’

                    • Rock St. Elvis

                      Just who is “Mr Mundabor” and why should I care what he says?

                      The Third Council of Constantinople purported to make a finding of fact by making inferences from Honorius’ letter to the Emperor. Was that finding of fact infallible? Pope Leo II’s confirmation of the Council seems more to condemn Honorius for an absence of backbone: “We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, . . . and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted.”

                    • Phil Steinacker

                      OK, it’s clear you’re doing a lot of hair-splitting as well as insisting that we have precise evidence today about what they understood as true then. We’ve had 30 antipopes, and some of them have espoused heresy. However, none of them did so ex cathedra or what might have passed as something similar. You just don’t want to admit that Francis is too imprecise with his words, and that he obviously is attracted to the ideas of progressives.

                    • Rock St. Elvis

                      Are you accusing Francis of being an antipope?

                      Actually, I do think Francis is often too imprecise in his words, which gives “progressives” their fodder. But some of his remarks have been deliberately blown out of context by both progs and orthodox, most famously “Who am I to judge?” Whenever I see an orthodox pundit throw that one around, I automatically know he’s arguing in bad faith.

              • GG

                That the HS guides is not proof all is well or we should deny the obvious. That would be to presume on our Lord’s mercy.

              • publiusnj

                The guidance directly from God came almost 2000 years ago: ”

                at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’
                ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate….Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” ” (Mark 10:6-12).

                That clarion instruction has been reiterated repeatedly throughout the History of the Church, most recently in CCC Section 1650: “If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. ” Pope Francis merely messes up the Church’s consistent teaching and needs to stop it.

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  publiusnj, I agree with everything in your post.

                  I can also tell you right now how the synod will turn out. It will reaffirm everything in your post, and Cardinal Kasper’s proposal of offering communion to the divorced and remarried (without the benefit of a declaration of nullity) will be defeated, with Pope Francis’ approval.

                  And the Church will show those who are in a difficult situation that it sympathizes with them but that it nevertheless cannot change the truth.

                  And the main stream media will go bonkers.

                  • publiusnj

                    My fervent prayer is for such an outcome.

                  • Phil Steinacker

                    I think that will be the result, too, but only because Francis respects collegiality and NOT because he disapproves of Kasper idiocies.

                    Also, a lot of terrible damage will have been done both within and outside the Church by raising false expectations. There was no need to raise and discuss these heretical proposals by Kasper and Forte, but allowing them – and losing control over the process so they dwarfed serious in depth discussion of the more salient attacks upon families – will have rendered his first synod as a disaster for the Church and for his pontificate.

                    I don’t relish this but you are a foolish polyanna.

                    • Rock St. Elvis

                      If you agree with me on what the ultimate result will be, why am I a “polyanna,” but you apparently are not?

                      I suppose there was no need for Paul VI to solicit input from others in writing Humanae Vitae (thus raising the hopes of onanists everywhere), but he did. And it shows the world for all time that his rejection of contraception was not just the unconsidered pronouncement of some autocrat.

              • Murray

                The Holy Spirit’s role is a negative one: He will prevent the pope from making erroneous ex cathedra statements. There are no promises that we will always have virtuous popes, or that they will not err grievously or even mislead the faithful on matters of great importance.

                We have no assurance that the Church will not undergo great calamities or chastisements, or that she will not be reduced to an infinitesimal remnant of her former self. In the extreme case, we might even say that as long as there is one priest left offering a valid Mass, the gates of Hell will not have prevailed.

                • Pope John XXII did not believe in the beatific vision until the end of times, much like the present day Jehovah Witnesses, but he never stated it to the whole Church. I believe that he did scandalize the local Church in the city of Rome, though. At least his successor, Benedict XII, declared the beatific vision of the blessed after their particular judgment a dogma as one of his first acts as pope. I conclude from this that the Holy Spirit does not protect the pope from erroneous beliefs or even the local church of Rome from his teaching or scandalizing it, but He does protect the universal Church from the errors of a pope.

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  The First Vatican Council teaches that the unity of the Church is safeguarded and guaranteed in the person of the pope. Just one priest left wouldn’t cut it unless that one priest also occupies the See of Peter.

                  • Murray

                    Sure, unless that one priest was the last one remaining at the time of the Second Coming.

                    Or maybe not. (Can a priest operate at all in the absence of a bishop?) Regardless, it’s not important to my point: we can imagine a tiny brotherhood of priests and bishops along with the pope in one location, as in the climax of Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World. The point is, we have no assurance whatsoever that the Church will remain in its current institutional form, let alone that the pope will always be wise, virtuous, and wholly orthodox.

                • Älter und weiser

                  Exactly. It is quite possible that Pope Francis will not make an Ex-Cathedra statement but allow a Synod to be in error. Most Catholics and it appears many bishops don’t understand the need for a rather explicit statement by the pope for it to be “Ex-Cathedra”. Similarly, a Synod is not the same as a council that could make infallible teaching statements in union with the pope. Net-net: much harm can come without actual change of dogma.

              • jacobhalo

                Cardinal Kasper is being guided by Prince of Lies.

                • John200

                  I was wondering more generally if he is being guided at all. Some of these worthies think themselves above guidance by other influences.

                  I cannot be sure about Kasper’s interior life, but he shows the look of an “I got to the truth first!” theologian. It does not work that way.

                  Benedict XVI showed the fallacy in such a point of view.

                • FRLBJ

                  I had the occasion to visit Bishop Kaspar’s ‘Catholic’ crisis pregnancy center twice and found it filled with Planned Parenthood pro-abortion and pro-perversion propaganda. I concluded that he supports the Planned Parenthood agenda. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Kaspar’s proposal to allow adulters to communion was not surprising. He had already proposed it in the 90s, but Pope John Paul II shut him down on it. Upon hearing Pope Francis extolling Cardinal Kaspar’s book in a homily, my worst fears were confirmed and are daily increasing.

              • Phil Steinacker

                No, not necessarily when the evidence is that he is in thrall to Kasper’s ideas. There are a number of instances of this. Where have you been, man?

                You aren’t paying attention. Kasper is openly framing it as preserving doctrine but changing practice. Cute trick. The result will be that there will be a huge change because Catholics will see the doctrine as changed if the practice is changed.

                Were you born just last week?

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  Yes, in fact, I was born last week. So please enlighten me with *specific* examples of Pope Francis being “in thrall” to Kasper’s ideas. I would much appreciate it.

                  I do get that Kasper’s idea is basically a “cute trick” and that its acceptance would be a total disaster for the Church and the world. I am simply confident that it will not prevail.

              • FRLBJ

                No pope has the gift of impeccability. That is the teaching of the Church! Look how Paul opposed Peter to his face! Peter was making a mistake. The Holy Spirit does not take over the Pope upon his election. So many Catholics are confused by Pope Francis and confusion is from the evil one. He is not consistent in his teaching.

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  I’m talking about the Holy Spirit guiding the synod.

            • GG

              When we have cardinals opposing cardinals in public you can bet there is a problem. Where does confusion come from?

              • fredx2

                Cardinals have always opposed each other in Public. JP II was constantly getting guff from all over the place

                • GG

                  Never , in recent times, like this. The idea that there is not a huge problem now is dishonest.

              • “Where does confusion come from?”

                The Sulphurous Realm.

            • papagan

              “Is the Pope Catholic? For now, my answer is: ‘[W]ho am I to judge?'”

              The question “Is the Pope Catholic?” is like the question “Is God good?” Sadly, the answers to those questions aren’t obvious to all. 🙁

              • accelerator

                Entirely wrong.

                • papagan

                  I don’t think so.

          • jacobhalo

            Why didn’t the pope denounce part of the speech which called for communion for the divorced? That part of the speech was heretical.

            • Rock St. Elvis

              Because that’s what the synod is for. If he’s going to simply state his own conclusion, there is no need for a synod.

              • GG

                Many would say there was, and is, no need for the Synod.

                If you, and others, cannot see a huge problem then the obvious is lost on you.

                • fredx2

                  They synod was on the family. You will have noticed that Pope Francis is focusing like a laser beam on the family. He has come out in favor of large families, he reitereated the beauty of Huamanae Vitae, etc

                  • GG

                    He, through words and gestures, gives conflicting information.

                    I suggest, as just one small example, you read:

                    Sandro Magister, interviewed by Goffredo Pistelli

                    Italia Oggi

                    November 13, 2014

                    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/11/under-bergoglio-christianity-matters.html

                    [IT WAS THE POPE’S DECISION TO USE KASPER TO OPEN HOSTILITIES]

                    Q: Among the Italians, the most explicit were perhaps the Milanese, Angelo Scola and the Bolognese, Carlo Caffarra.

                    R: Yes, they were with their interventions before and during the Synod. But it was all inevitable considering
                    the Pope’s decision to assign the opening of the discussions to
                    Cardinal Walter Kasper, and so this basically was the start of the
                    hostilities .

                    Q: Why?

                    R: Because
                    Kasper is proposing again today exactly the same theses defeated in
                    1993 by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger, the latter being the Prefect
                    of the Holy Office at the time.

                    [POPE ACTUALLY SCOLDS CONSERVATIVES, NOT PROGRESSIVES]

                    Q:
                    Yes, the Pope launched Kasper, he made Abp. Bruno Forte special
                    Secretary to the Synod and who carried weight during the work itself,
                    so much so as to provoke reactions from some Synod fathers. But then,
                    finally, Francis intervened scolding both sides – almost like an old
                    Christian Democrat against opposite extremisms.

                    R: It’s another recurring practice of this Pontificate: reprimands to one side and the other. However, if
                    we want to make an inventory, the scoldings aimed at the
                    traditionalists, the legalists and the rigid defenders of doctrine
                    appear to be much more numerous. On the other hand, whenever he has
                    something to say to the progressives you never understand who he is
                    really referring to.

                    • Marcelus

                      Oh please . neither rorate the bashing expert nor Magíster or any other displaced vaticanisti run ThE RCC. they are quoted like a gospel

                    • GG

                      They are one more source. Is the source the problem or are the facts the problem?

                  • Rock St. Elvis

                    Exactly.

                  • FRLBJ

                    The Holy Father contradicted the above statements by insulting and committing calumny before the whole world,a mother of 8! Wow, that is so pro-life and pro-woman and the Pope said you can’t trust in God to provide? I wish he were focusing on the family instead of on the media. He seems to have no concern about feeding the sheep. Instead he seems to seek to feed the wolves by sending his sheep into their clutches. How many children will die as result of the Holy Father’s insult to the Catholic mother of 8? Planned Parenthood will print it in all their brochures and train their saleswomen to bring it up in conversation with Catholics. Prayer and reparation!!

                • Rock St. Elvis

                  I don’t really see the need for the synod, but if the Church is going to have one, then it should have one.

                  The family is under attack from all directions. The synod allows the Church to reiterate Christ’s truth in a pastoral way to a world that insists that anyone who doesn’t embrace wholesale libertinism is full of “hate.”

              • Near as I can tell, the need for this synod has been entirely co-opted by those who want to extend that need to more people, not by those who want to heal the need.

              • jacobhalo

                There is only one conclusion and that is the teaching of the church for the past 2000 yrs. As Jesus said, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder. You can’t have an opinion on it.

            • fredx2

              There is nothing inherently heretical about it. It involves changing a practice. The discussion then is whether the changing of the practice undercuts the doctrine. Which it does, which is why the vast majority of bishops at the synod objected to this proposal. Which is why the Pope, who is not a theologian, has been sufficiently schooled now to understand that JP II and Benedict were both on solid ground when they re-affirmed the practice. But even Benedict said the question must be studied further, becauase there might be special situations where the ban could be waived. Pope Francis is merely carrying out that examination, which is entirely legitimate. But he appears to be focusing on anullment and other processes rather than communion at this point.

              • jacobhalo

                If you give the divorced communion, you are changing the doctrine. The left wing clerics use words to deceive people. I don’t care what practice you use.

          • Asher Lev

            Pope Francis not only approved of Kasper’s original speech and promoted his writings but he approved the Relatio mid-term report at the Synod which strongly advocated the proposals (http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/for-record-as-everyone-knew-pope.html?m=1), he decided that the passages that ‘considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist’ despite not receiving a sufficient majority should still be included in the final Relatio, he added Kasper’s proposal as a question in the Lineamenta ‘including assessment of the Orthodox practice’ (i.e. dissoluble marriages) and he said that at the Synod where Kasper and Co promoted their heresy: “Not one intervention questioned the fundamental truths of the sacrament of matrimony, not one, namely – indissolubility, unity, fidelity, and openness to life. This was not touched” (video: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/12/francis-no-one-questioned-truths-of.html ). Given that the entire critique against Kasper’s proposals is that they directly contradict the fundamental truths of marriage, it’s clear where he stands on the issue. He’s a nice guy and I never doubted that he would hold orthodox views with regards to same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion, as some have, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be wrong about remarried-communion and that we shouldn’t oppose him ‘to his face’, when he is wrong, just as Paul did to Peter (Galatians 2:11: http://biblehub.com/galatians/2-11.htm).

            • fredx2

              The mid term relatio did not recommend anything. It merely listed the things they had been talking about. The Media extrapolated from there to say that these things were going to be changed. The first synod was handled poorly, and a lot of people were jumping to assume things that cannot be assumed.

              • Asher Lev

                Nonsense, the mid term relatio was clear about which side it was batting for. It called for the ‘urgent need to embark on a NEW pastoral course’ for those in irregular unions, then noted regarding their reception of the sacraments that while ‘SOME synod fathers argued in favour of the present regulations because of their theological foundation’, without ANY elaboration as to what that ‘theological foundation’ was, then noted that the ‘OTHERS were in favour of a broader outlook with well-defined conditions, when dealing with situations that CANNOT BE RESOLVED without creating new injustices and suffering’. This time they do decide to elaborate, with quite a developed understanding of the form such a broader outlook would take: ‘For some [remarried couples], access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice — determined by the diocesan bishop — and a clear commitment in favour of the children. This would not be a possibility applied to all, but the fruit of a discernment […] [sic] on a case-by-case basis, according to the law of gradualness, which takes into consideration the distinction between a state of sin, the state of grace and […] [sic] extenuating circumstance. The suggestion of limiting these persons to the practice of “spiritual communion” was questioned by many synod fathers. If spiritual communion is possible, why not allow them to partake in the Sacrament?’

                Of course, the reason they can close on the line ‘why not allow them to partake in the Sacrament?’ is because they didn’t pause to consider the counter-argument, you know the one originally made by Jesus (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10&version=NIV ).

              • FRLBJ

                The Pope’s secretary of the synod has confirmed that Pope Francis approved the mid-term relatio even before the Synod Fathers had read it. The Pope, the secretary says, had it printed up in advance of the mid-term relation without input from the synod fathers.

          • GG

            Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

            • St JD George

              We are still in the first act, maybe the second. Stay on the edge of your seat, more drama ahead.

              • GG

                Yes, and the drama is present because the forces at play are troubling.

        • Well afterall, Kasper is a “clever” theologian, how could it be anything else?

        • fredx2

          You are wrong. Kasper gave a speech about the family and mercy. Four fifths of it had nothing to do with communion for the divorced and remarried.

          On his way home from Israel, the Pope clarified this:

          “Second, thank you for your question about the divorced. The synod will be on the family, the problem of the family, the treasures of the family, the present situation of the family. The preliminary talk which Cardinal Kasper gave had five chapters: four of them were on the family, the beauty of the family, its theological foundations, and problems facing families; while the fifth chapter dealt with the pastoral issue of separations, declarations of marriage nullity, divorced persons. . . . Part of this issue is that of communion. I have not been happy that so many people—even church people, priests—have said: “Ah, the synod will be about giving communion to the divorced,” and went straight to that point. I felt as if everything was being reduced to casuistry. No, the issue is bigger and wider. Today, as we all know, the family is in crisis, it is in crisis worldwide. Young people don’t want to get married, they don’t get married or they live together. Marriage is in crisis, and so the family is in crisis. I don’t want
          us to fall into this casuistry of “can we” or “can’t we?” . . . So I thank you so much for this question, because it gives me the opportunity to clarify this.”

          • jacobhalo

            The pope never denounced Kasper of his heretical speech about communion for the divorced.

            • fredx2

              No because he wants everyone to have their say. You don’t invite everyone to have their say and then denounce them for it.

              • GG

                You do when souls are at stake.

              • jacobhalo

                There is only one say on it. You can’t have an opinion on a particular teaching. The pope has to denounce anyone who calls for communion to the divorced. You either adhere to it or find another Christian denomination with which you believe.

              • Phil Steinacker

                St. John Paul would disagree with you. Kasper tried to raise this same garbage in the 1980 Synod on the Family, and the pope shut down the discussion, putting an end to it. Benedict kept the muzzle on Kasper afterwards.

                Bergoglio opened the door for no good reason; we have good cause to suspect he’s at least attracted to Kasper’s loony agenda.

                He also loves collegiality, and so if the bishops resist again it won’t go through. But if they bishops were to support both Kasper and Forte, then this pope would not block it.

                THAT is the problem.

      • Murray

        You can check out my comment history for several listings of the many concrete, undeniable means by which Pope Francis has favoured the Kasperites, but perhaps the strongest evidence is that we’re having this discussion at all. The issue of communion for the civilly remarried (and ultimately, anyone in a state of objective grave sin) is settled teaching, most recently reiterated in Familiaris Consortio. There is nothing ambiguous or unclear about it; its doctrinal basis is sound, based on the words of Our Lord himself, and easy to understand, even for the simple. The decision to reopen it was entirely unnecessary, and entirely the Holy Father’s.

        Since then, the pope has praised Kasper highly both before and after the 2013 consistory, has never disavowed Kasper’s multiple claims of papal favor, has appointed Kasperites to run the synod, made several mid-course changes to last year’s synod in favor of the Kasperites, approved the interim relatio before it was released, and insisted on the inclusion of the defeated passages in the final relatio. Ask this, before we even begin to look at the countless times he’s berated “legalists” and those with an attachment to doctrine, or his well-attested history of allowing the civilly remarried to receive communion in Buenos Aires, or his phone call to the civilly remarried women. Or, or, or.

        Only a few things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and the Holy Father’s support for Cardinals Kasper and Marx.

        • fredx2

          The Pope praised Kasper for his book on mercy and the talk associated with it. He has never praised Kasper’s take on divorce and remarriage. The Pope knows he is not the world’s best theologian, so he leaves that stuff to Mueller and the other bishops at the synod who do have that expertise. I think his initial impulse is to allow them to take communion, but if there are serious theological reasons against it, he will back down. You will note that after the synod, the Pope was interviewed by La Nacion, and he said not one word in favor of Kasper’s proposal. In fact, he shifted to a discussion of the other things that could be done to make the divorced and remarried more welcome in the church. It seemed as if he has given up on the Kasper proposal. He constantly pushes easier anullments, etc. This is as far as he is willling to go now, now that he understands the full gravity of what Kasper was suggesting. The Kasper proposal is DOA.

          • Murray

            Hello Fred,

            We’ve been round this mulberry bush before, you and I, but I’m afraid you’re grasping at straws.

            First, you fail to address my main argument, which was to point out that a settled teaching should never have been reopened for debate in the first place. Remember that this issue came like a bolt from the blue back in 2013: no-one (apart from Walter Kasper) was clamoring for this teaching to be reopened, there were no grassroots movements devoted to the cause, and there was no serious debate among theologians as to the clarity of the teaching. This is a fabricated controversy, and the decision to allow it to metastasize is entirely on the pope. He could have told Kasper to go jump in the lake, and we would have been spared the ludicrous and scandalous spectacle of the Catholic Church tying itself in knots over a non-issue. Instead, by fostering this rancorous discussion, the pope has caused immense confusion about what the Church teaches and has raised unfulfillable expectations about the prospects for doctrinal change. How many couples have divorced and/or remarried in anticipation of this “pastoral” change? How many souls have been led into grave error by this top-down insinuation that Church teaching can and should be set aside in the name of a false mercy?

            Other than that, the main difficulty I have with your argument is that it runs counter to what we might call the “thematic undercurrent” of this papacy. We can certainly point to statements the Holy Father has made in defence of the traditional definition of marriage (etc.), but what is striking about these is how bloodless and dispassionate they often seem, as if he’s going through the motions. He speaks with far more passion and spontaneity in his homilies, interviews, and off-the-cuff remarks, and we can be certain that his remarks on these occasions reflect his actual inclinations. And what do we find? Mercy victorious over justice, the “pastoral” elevated over the doctrinal, an anti-intellectual populism emphasized over theological reflection … and always, always a constant, grinding denigration of those who “cling” to the traditional teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Give the overwhelming direction of this thematic undercurrent and the complete context, there is simply no doubt where the Holy Father stands.

            You portray the pope as having conducted an orderly retreat in the face of opposition from the bishops, but apparently the Kasperites haven’t gotten the memo, since they’re continuing to machinate as fast as their little feet will carry them. And considering they were all appointed by the Holy Father to their positions of great influence over the proceedings, we can infer that they are operating with his consent. Nor has the pope himself moderated his rhetoric since the Extraordinary Synod; in fact, he seems rather to have stepped up the pace of his denunciations! This is hardly consistent with your portrait of a humbled pope retreating to a prudent fall-back position.

            Finally, in this great wall of text, allow me to reply to your point about the La Nacion interview, because his actual words are far more ambiguous and troubling than you portray them:

            In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution. The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptized, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact! Thus, let us open the doors a bit more. Why cant they be godfathers and godmothers? “No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?”. The testimony of a man and a woman saying “my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on”. Anything more Christian than that?

            The entire answer is very dodgy from a Catholic standpoint–how can someone “move on” when they wilfully remain in a state of objective grave sin?–but how are we to interpret Communion alone is no solution? The plain reading of these words is that Communion is part of the solution, but not the whole solution. There is simply no evidence that he has “given up on the Kasper proposal” as you claim.

            • GG

              Great as usual. I want to add that the people who are most concerned are not simpletons who cannot read or are easily manipulated by the media. No sir. The ones most concerned, like Cardinal Burke, are the most loyal and most intellectual.

              It is the sophists that constantly spin and pretend there is no problem. They have to point out this or that phrase to prove that what is said is really reasonable even in the face of a mountain of contradictions.

            • Rock St. Elvis

              If this quote is accurate then you’ve just answered the question, why is the synod even necessary?

              It is necessary to straighten out Pope Francis himself.

              But as long as we are examining whether Pope Francis has “given up” on the “Kasper proposal,” the appointment of Kasper’s nemesis, the orthodox South African Cardinal Napier as one of the synod presidents just might be evidence that he has. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404872.htm

              I remain confident that when the synod’s work is finally complete, its results will be very unpopular – with the mainstream secular media and libs everywhere.

            • fredx2

              We’ll see. Pope Francis is the kind of guy who opens things wide up for discussion, but that does not mean things are going to change. He just wants all aspects looked at. In the end, they will not get communion, and the Pope will look for other ways to deal with the question. Mostly what people are upset about is the media’s banging and banging away at this, pretending that all of Catholicism is goign to change. It is not.

              The language you saee as keeping the Kasper proposal alive, I see as a sublte pushing it off the cliff. “Communion alone is no solution” to me indicates that one should not focus on communion, look at other things.

              • “Pope Francis is the kind of guy who opens things wide up for discussion, but that does not mean things are going to change.”
                I’ll believe that when I see a Synod convened to explore the efficacy of free markets in providing prosperity and alleviating material poverty.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      I’m never joining any Schismastic group as long as I live, but I can predict that if the Synod approves Kasperian agendas, then the SSPX will have a dramatic increase in numbers.

      • jacobhalo

        SSPX are not schismastic.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          Yes they are. They started off “illicit”, but they’re full-blown schismastic now.

          • jacobhalo

            No they are not.

          • Phil Steinacker

            Not according to the man responsible – Cardinal Muller.

        • Marcelus

          Jacob are you Sspx?

        • Sophia

          SSPX are materially schismatic (that is a technical term) because consecrating bishops without papal approval, which SSPX does all the time, is a schismatic action. Whether SSPX is a formally schismatic organization is a question that the Holy See seems to be avoiding.

          • John O’Neill

            One of my best friends was ordained in SSPX over ten years ago. He was a Catholic in the Los Angeles under the infamous Cardinal Mahoney and finally could no longer tolerate the watered down schismatic Catholicism of Mahoney and his allies. He is a good priest and teacher and I consider him to be a good Catholic. I feel that the SSPX is constantly being maligned by Catholics who came of age in the post Vatican II era when the Magisterium was under constant attack and I do not think they really know what is Catholic and what is not Catholic. In two thousand years the Church has had many popes; some were downright evil men , others were holy men and saints and many were citizens of the City of Man in opposition to the City of God. We pray that the Church will survive because it does not depend on humans for its survival but on God. God bless and keep Pope Benedict XVI, a truly great pope.

            • BillinJax

              And you are so right about Benedict XVI. A truly brilliant mind which has often exceeded the limits of mortal understanding. A gift to the world from its Creator no less.

          • I’m always wondering when most of their male members will be bishops.

            In theory the SSPX is great. In practice though… most of them remind me of backwater weirdos from a Flannery O story with a twist of Catholic.

      • Jay

        Agreed. I also believe this is where the Pope is leading the Church. All indications point to his belief in changing the practice, which in reality changes doctrine. Even Raymond Arroyo from EWTN believes Pope Francis will change the practice.

        I’m the same though. I’ll join an SSPX church, and I believe more people will too.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          Well, I said I myself would Never join such groups, but if I could put money on anything, it would be on that prediction (that droves of people joining the SSPX or something similar as a result of ratifying Kasperian agendas). I remember when Raymond Arroyo said it on his show. Lets pray to God it won’t happen.

      • If Francis breaks the communion with the other 22 Catholic Churches, I’ll keep an eye on them instead of a splinter group.

        • Ronk

          You seem to be unaware that the Pope is the one visible supreme head of the entire Catholic Church including all 23 of its constituent churches. It is ontologically impossible for a pope to “break communion with” any constituent part of the universal Catholic Church. By definition a Catholic is somebody who is in communion with the Pope.

          • If a pope teaches heresy, he’s automatically not pope anymore, but an anti pope.

            So, rephrasing, if FRANCIS breaks communion with the other 22 Catholic Churches, the see if Rome is vacant, if not occupied by an usurper. And, if the Latin Church sticks with his apostasy, this church is not in communion with the Catholic Church anymore and a catholic is duty bound to turn his back at Rome until a pope is legitimately risen to its see.

            • Phil Steinacker

              “If a pope teaches heresy, he’s automatically not pope anymore, but an anti pope.”

              That claim was advanced by several respected saints, but does not carry the force of canon law or any other high-level church authority.

              Yet it is constantly bandied about like as if it is Scripture.

              • I think actually if a pope teaches heresy his head will explode and kill everyone in a 10-mile radius.

              • First off, Canon Law reflects Theology in the governing of the Church, therefore it serves the Deposit of Faith and not the other way around.

                Can. 333 §2. In fulfilling the office of supreme pastor of the Church, the Roman Pontiff is always joined in communion with the other bishops and with the universal Church.

                As you can see, the moment that the pope breaks communion with the other bishops and Churches, he does not fulfill his office anymore.

      • Do your research Before accusing SSPX of being schismatic. they are NOT. (& no Im not a member yet, but they DO look better & better all the time)

      • Älter und weiser

        Given the paradox that would be introduced regarding the infallible teaching of the Majesterium if it remarried Catholics were allowed to take communion, it would be perfectly rational to abandon what was believe to be the one true Church and join another since the Catholics would no longer have an argument regarding the teaching of Majesterium. The problem would be finding the truth. As for me, I would not be confident in any teachings that surfaced after the Schism of 1054.

  • Anne Hendershott

    Thank you for writing this Paul – It has been difficult for those of us who defend Church teachings on marriage and life as progressives have delighted in claiming that we think we are “more Catholic than the Pope.” I am tired of progressives asking me if I “like” Pope Francis – thinking I will say something negative. But, I always say “Of course – I love this Pope – he is just what we need right now–a loving father who loves all of his children.” I say that because I know that Pope Francis knows and acknowledges the potential for darkness in all of us – he speaks more about the dangers of that darkness – and the presence of the demonic in our world than any Pope in recent memory. He sees same sex marriage as an outcome of that darkness. Pope Francis was courageous in defending marriage in Argentina – and courageous in defending life. He may not always appear to support those of us–like you Paul–who continue to publicly support Catholic teachings, but his actions say so much more.

    • lifeknight

      Agreed in that the Pope “may not always appear to support those of us…who continue to publicly support Catholic teachings, but his actions say so much more.” The Pope has not made the job of the Church Militant any easier, and in many instances such as those mentioned in the article, he made it close to impossible to function as a Catholic in the public square. Imagine if he had come out with a really Catholic statement regarding matrimony? The less-than-stalwart politicians could have used that remark instead of the lukewarm remarks that have been misconstrued. We should all (rightly) look to the Pope for clarity. Not mumbo jumbo.

    • fredx2

      Note that none of the the usual suspects in the Catholic media even reported the Slovakian thing. Crux – no coverage at all. National Catholic Reporter – no coverage at all. Whenever the Pope says something they don’t like, they refuse to say anything, because they have been getting such mileage out of pretending the Pope is their liberal saviour. If it gets out that the Pope is actually a regular Catholic, they can’t use him as a battering ram on Catholic politiicians anymore. So they hide the many statements the Pope makes that don’t serve their purposes. Only the secular sources like Huffington Post etc. will report this stuff.

      • Atilla The Possum

        Crux and the National Cat-strangling Regurgitator? Reporting the authentic Magisterium of the Catholic Church? ROFLMHO!
        We have as much hope of these paper-wasters doing such things as ISIS kneeling down to say the full 20 Mysteries of the Rosary!

  • Keith Cameron

    An abomination is an abomination, regardless of how you color it.

  • John Sposato

    A lot of us saw this coming. The Church will remain forever constant in the matter of faith and morals. Alas, the more a culture strays from the truth, the more it will hate and vilify those who speak it.

  • jacobhalo

    So glad to read all of those negative comments on the Huffington website. Now, I have a bit more confidence in the pope.

    • Beleg

      Still, it makes me kind of sad, that there are people to truly believe we’re filled with hate because we won’t let them marry.

      • jacobhalo

        We are not filled with hate. We are filled with the teachings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

        • Beleg

          I know that, and you know that… But these people have convinced themselves otherwise. That’s what makes me sad.

          • fredx2

            That is simply a tactic. They have decided that they can start accusing anyone who opposes them of being a bigot, a hater etc. They believe they can bully and fool the public if they can only harass enough people so that people give up their beliefs and their insistence on the democratic processs.

      • lifeknight

        They will get over it. They should be happy we are not arresting them any longer and they have been taken from the list of mental illness diagnoses codes.

      • They don’t get it or want to: we can’t call it marriage on ontological grounds. It’s not we want to prevent two marriable persons from coming together. They literally *cannot* anymore than one can have a square circle, and to try is a wicked thing.

        • St JD George

          Never say never! I was stupid once (maybe still am), but married once, divorced, and married again now for 28 years last week … and celebrated the first year anniversary of our convalidated marriage with God as our witness. It can be done with Christ in your life.

          • I mean the left as a collective. God can turn the heart of the most vile of men to repentance. So you are right. Congrats on your fresh start by the way.

            • St JD George

              I know you did, I was just sharing … danke.

        • fredx2

          They want the entire public to pretend. To pretend that all marriage is is a decision of two people to come together, for whatever period of time, long or short, and dedicate themselves to each other, even though it is true that most gay men want to have sexual affairs outside the marriage. So they want to take something that is completely different than marriage, and call it marriage, In the process, they destroy marriage.

      • Ruth Rocker

        These people are just like small children having a temper tantrum because they can’t have their way. They don’t really care about anyone else’s opinion because theirs is SO right on the subject. But if you dare to disagree, you are instantly villified and preferably shut out of any discussion whatsoever.

      • The imputation of “hate” is a rhetorical cudgel, that’s all. It sells in our silly permissive society. If they though they could get their way by calling their opponents extraterrestrial aliens, they’d make that charge.

    • lifeknight

      Jacob, someone once said to me that you know more about a person when you know his enemies.

    • St JD George

      I never look, but I do take that as a sign of affirmation.

  • C.Caruana

    Heart warming to see left-liberals hoist by their own petard of self-deception!

  • russell snow

    I wish that followers of Christ would stop using the language imposed upon us with terms like “progressive”, “gays”, “homosexuals” etc. The Church, in bygone days, referred to people as “souls”, albeit souls with bodies. But if the Church has stuck to that understanding, many of the problems we regarding human sexuality in dialoguing with the world. Whether I am attracted sexually to a man or a woman has nothing to do with who I am. I am a soul, made in the image of God. How I behave is one thing; who I am is quite another. Also, the Church ought to abandon all talk of marriage and talk about Holy Matrimony. I think those who speak for the Church ought to follow the example of Christ in dealing with the temptations in the desert. Jesus did not enter into a debate with the devil, he simply stated the truth against the devils lies. It pointless and fruitless for us to attempt to dialogue with the devil in matters of human sexuality. Pope Francis has never done this. People today, as the Amish say, are “ferhoodled” when it comes to sex. All the Church needs to do is to continue to teach and preach the truth about it, as it has done through the ages, and let the chips fall where they may.

  • wannabeapoet

    I wonder if lepers were hoping Jesus would denounce the Jewish law against their participation in religious rituals because they were “unclean.” He didn’t, but implicitly endorsed it by telling the lepers he had healed to present themselves to the priests in accordance with the Law. But Jesus taught the lepers and the priests that God is first of all merciful. That does not mean that he changes His mind about what is right, but it does mean that he opens His heart and his arms to all in the hope they will come to Him to be healed.

    I don’t believe that having disappointed any lepers who had hoped he would declare that their leprosy should not make them unclean, He would then have encouraged all believers to expect that the lepers would respond to his steadfastness by retreating into hate and intolerance. I believe He instead would have gone out of his way to remind the lepers and the believers that all are always welcome and encouraged to come to Him to be cleansed, no matter how unclean they might be.

    That this kind of rhetoric would prompt a reader to have the temerity to question whether the Holy Father is Catholic is proof of the damage it can inflict.

  • St JD George

    I hope everyone has a beautiful Lenten season leading to a glorious Easter in six weeks.

    • jacobhalo

      Thanks, JD, and you and yours also, as well as everyone on this site.

  • LarryCicero

    Why did Pope Francis remove Cardinal Burke? What was the issue?

    • GG

      The key to the answer is ti ignore the question. or spin it. Focus only on boilerplate Catholic quotes. That apparently helps.

    • Scott W.

      Cardinal Burke was moved from an office that sees regular rotation. In fact, Burke stayed in that office longer than many of his predecessors, so this is a non-issue made into an issue by people who need to breathe in a paper bag.

      • St JD George

        Besides, Malta is like a nice garden vacation paradise so why would anybody complain about being reassigned there from Rome. There aren’t a lot of Catholics there either (number, not percent of population) so more free time to enjoy.

        • fredx2

          Burke stays in Rome. The Knights of Malta are headquartered there. Personally, I would rather be in Malta though.

          • St JD George

            I guess I assumed but did not know – thanks for correcting. Maybe he can escape there for holiday during Augusto with the rest of the continent.

          • St JD George

            Referring back to last week, did you ever find anything concrete on Skousen? I looked for awhile and didn’t see anything other than character assassinations by the usual suspects. I get the close association with Hoover and also the times influence. I flipped through the book again this weekend and it wasn’t forthcoming either in terms of sources. Still, after you read you have to marvel at the efficiency and accuracy with which many of the listed goals have been achieved whatever the source, and the goals are clearly to detriment of America’s and also Christ’s church’s, regardless.

        • C.Caruana

          As a Maltese, I thank you for your kind ‘ a nice garden vacation paradise’. We would certainly extend a hand of welcome to Cardinal Burke if he decides to visit or stay. Yet every paradise has its serpent, remember, and one of our local bishops seems to have suddenly discovered himself a hidebound, card carrying Kasperite. Keep us in your prayers because we are anxiously awaiting Rome’s decision for the nomination of a new Archbishop, and believe me some surprises are not exactly God sent!

      • LarryCicero

        Is that why, just a regular rotation? Interesting timing.

        • Scott W.

          Well, timing allows enough vagueness to be a conspiricy-theorist’s playground. Let me recommend Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, particularly the chapter, “The Maniac”.

        • GG

          Exactly, that is the same reasoning that explains all the liberal prelates that have been moved into positions of authority. Nothing to see here. Move along.

          • LarryCicero

            Why Cupich rather than someone like Popracki? To question reason or motivation and not just accept that George was old and sick, so someone has got to do it, makes one a conspiracy-theorist maniac. Coinidentally by George Rutler is all about timing. Noticing the timing of things is reasonable. Sometimes events are merely a coincidence and sometimes something precedes an event that triggers it. Rarely is there thunder when the sun shines. So to ignore the timing aspect is not reasonable, but the question still remains- did they disagree on something? And if so, what?

            • GG

              I guess deny the obvious, spin, and claim all is fine.

              Perhaps what is most troubling is not that politics is played at the highest level of the church. No, what is more troubling is that so many in very visible places spin and spin to the point it insults people’s intelligence.

              • LarryCicero

                And call the one you disagree with names.

            • Bp. Cupich lost no time in sending Kasper’s thesis book, “The Gospel of the Family”, to the priests in the Chicago diocese and set up lectures to the priests about the book, just like he did in Spokane. He’s the choice heretic of Francis to replace the faithful Card. George.

          • Rock St. Elvis

            Well gee, who made Walter Kasper a bishop and then a cardinal? Are we supposed to read something into that, as well?

      • LarryCicero

        You can use your paper bag for barf. What is your source for why he was removed? Newman wrote about probability and certainty. Can you make that claim with certainty or are you calculating the odds? You think maybe, therefore, you are certain. The questions are valid. Why was he removed? Was there disagreement?

        • Scott W.

          That Burke stayed in that office longer than most of his predecessors is not in dispute. Good faith obligates us to assume no maliciousness in his removal unless there is real evidence of it beyond “the timing seems funny” and second-hand speculation. In other words, the burden of proof is on those who think something underhanded is going on. To do otherwise is to capitulate to the fever swamps of gossip.

          • LarryCicero

            The Pope has said he was not removed because of his behavior “at the synod” which still leaves us wondering why. The Vatican has declined to say why, in essence, taking the 5th. The case is laid out at http://www.harvestingthefruit.com/rebukingburke/ that it was more than just a rotation. The Pope said that Burke accepted his “offer.” Are we to believe that he was made an offer which he was in a position to reject, or was his removal an order? Other prefects had been confirmed in short time by new popes, yet he had not confirmed Burke. Other prefects have died in office or retired, yet retirement age is 75 and Burke is only 66.
            The pope referred to “hostlie inflexibility…within in the law” in his closing address to the synod. Who might that have been aimed at?
            I cannot say with absolute certainty, but I do believe, with reasonable certainty, based upon things we do know, that it was not merely time for a tire rotation, but time for a change of something- whether it be emphasis or interpretation, and that it was related to performance and direction.

            • Scott W.

              Tendentious tea-leaf reading that can only lead to despair. You have my sympathy and my prayers. I’ll leave the last word to you.

              • LarryCicero

                So you object to the source. Good luck to you.

              • LarryCicero

                More tea-leaves over at breitbart- Austin Ruse reporting on Fr. Rosica’s tweet lumping Burke in with the dissenters. Hmmm….
                Better get my hands on some Chesterton quick.

    • Marcelus

      You do not have to be a scholarto know these 2 men do not like weach other at the least. However tobe honest , Burke’s term was up.5 years if I recall.

      • LarryCicero

        When there is thunder and sunshine, the odds of there being a rainbow are substantial, but if you don’t bother to take notice, you will most likely not see it. No, it doesn’t take a scholar, just common sense.

  • AcceptingReality

    Wait! Benedict XVI was/is evil?! Bizarre comment based on no knowledge of the former Pope. Amazing how misinformed these commentors are. They seem to have a big blind spot that extends all the way from what “freedom” is to who conducted the Inquisition.

  • Reasonable_Opinion

    As in the days prior to the release of Humanae Vitae, there has been much made of what people think might happen…or should happen (our Progressive friends). But like Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis will not embrace a change in Church Teaching because…he can’t. The Truth of our nature, of our created state as man and woman, cannot change. And so, God will not allow His Law to be changed. This will be a difficult time for all involved. What we must do is seek ways to live our faith while encouraging others–those in troubled or invalid marriages, people experiencing same-sex attraction and anyone else struggling with the path provided by Mother Church–to embrace this joyful reality of the Gospel.

    • However, just like Paul VI hid being his desk afterwards, Francis might hide behind his Bergoglian statements instead of proclaiming the faith “in season, out of season.” (2Tm 4:2)

  • Lou Iacobelli

    The question that remains is, why make the progressives think you agree with them only to later say that you don’t? Just use the Catechism and forget all the wasted talk if all you intend to do is to go back to the beginning. Perhaps the cardinals need to re-read that text before their final meeting takes place in October.

  • Thomas J. Hennigan

    “their sworn duty to represent their constituents”. Catholic politicians who are elected to represent their electors are not robots and cannot or should not leave their consciences at the door of the Congress or Leglislature. They, like anyone else, are bound to properly form their consciences and follow them under pain of serious sin. A Catholic form his conscience by studing and following the teaching of the Church, which is not difficult to discover, especially since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    It is also strange that liberals seem to think that a pope can change what the Church has taught over 20 centures, as if he were saying: “The Church has taught this over 20 centuries. I now tell you that it was wrong and from now on you can believe this other thing. Up to now it was a mortal sin to do this, but I now declare that it is no longer sinful. In fact, it is virtuous”. No pope or anyone in his right mind who has any idea of the nature of the Church and the important of Sacred Tradition could even dream of such a thing.

  • hombre111

    The Pope defends marriage within the Church, as he should. But if a “marriage” between two gays is nothing more than a sociological arrangement that gives them rights that have been denied them, then let them go to the court house, make that arrangement, and be done with it. I think of marriage in Colombia, where I spent some years. The people we married in church had already been married in a civil ceremony. One ceremony for the state, another for the Church. Many people were satisfied with their marriage by the state. And so were we. It ended a lot of the tension and pretext we see about people getting married in the Church to please grandma, or because the church was a lovely building.

    • Objectivetruth

      “Many, many young people cite this as their reason for leaving the Church.”

      Hyperbole, Brian Williams?

      Brian, I know that you’ve got six months of free time. But maybe find something better to do than spreading lies on Crisis under the name “hombre111.”

    • thebigdog

      I really need a “What Would Hombre Do?” bumper sticker.

      • St JD George

        Hombre suffers from bitterness living in the world. We should all pray for all of us who fall prey along the way to remain full of joy and not let the failings of the world bring us down too much.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Mandatory civil marriage, followed by a religious ceremony, if that is what the parties wish, has been the law in France since the Law of 9 November 1791.

      The religious ceremony has absolutely no bearing on civil status.

      It survived the Concordat of 1801 and it is something that Catholics live with perfectly happily.

      • And it was the first time that marriage was made a matter of the state ever since. The state has no business in promulgating marriages. This is a secular invention that many of the faithful defend as if it were blasphemous not to.

        • St JD George

          Amen. Yet another thing they can tax and regulate that they should not.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Even in countries where the clergy can perform marriages, they always declare that “By virtueof the authority vested in me by the state of…”

          This rests on Art 3 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man: “The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.”

          • You mean that nations came about and defined the authority of their serfs to lie in the nation and not the other way around? Brilliant! Only, that’s the definition of tyranny.

      • Enough with France already.

  • Jamodus

    Mr Paul Kengor sounds rather naive to me. When the present papacy condemns the so-called ‘Gay Parades’ and same-sex civil unions then I will believe your far-fetched thesis.

  • Scott W.

    Unsound comparison of homosexual “plight” to slavery in 3…2…1…

    But seriously, my only problem with the Holy Father is his tendency to think he can act the same way when he was merely a bishop, expecially talking to the media as if the internet hasn’t been invented.

  • littleeif

    Couldn’t he have simply begun with the teaching that homosexuality is inherently disordered and be done with it? Is he actually there yet? Alas, we are celebrating faithfulness to point Z which makes it seem that uncertainty about points A through Y is acceptable. I’m keeping the champagne corked, Mr. Kengor.

  • “Madigan, for the record, is a lifelong product of Catholic education: University of Notre Dame, Loyola University School of Law, and before that, St. Ignatius College Prep school. ”

    An American Jesuit education is decidedly not, and should never be described as, a Catholic education.

    • St JD George

      It still can be, but indeed it may not be, and is not for a great many.

      • I think the combination of embracing Land’O’Lakes Academic Freedom with the Ignatian Spirituality Charitable Interpretation has been a disaster of amazing proportions. I do not see any way back to Catholicism from there.

        • St JD George

          One has to be driven to seek it out in sanctuary, not really unlike at any state school, just much more expensive.

    • Hey, that’s my line-but I herarby reliquish it into the public domain.

      • You’ve got me convinced…Well, that and what has been coming out of the Pacific Northwest Province in say, the last 40 years or so.

        • I didn’t know there were so many graduates of certain Northeastern Jesuit institutions in the Pac. North West.

          • Which is why I said “An American Jesuit Education”…..Seattle University and Gonzaga are equally affected by this deadly combination of secular Academic Freedom and Ignatian Charitable Interpretation.

            • You missed my point. I’m talking about my own experience, fortunately at the graduate level, as an adult student.

              • Yes, then it is your line I stole. I only know from the outside where I am tired of the sex scandals, the promotion of abortion, divorce, and homosexuality that seems to surround these institutions.

                • Here try this on:

                  THE CAMPUS MOSQUE
                  306 Taylor Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510
                  Friday Service at 1:00 PM

                  As a gift to the Muslim community of Scranton, the University established a mosque on the campus in 1996. Located on N. Webster Avenue, it was the first mosque in Scranton. It was demolished eleven years later to make room for the construction of Condron Hall.

                  In 2007, the University renovated the house at 306 Taylor Avenue for use as the new mosque. The mosque is open to the public for prayer and reflection. The Friday service starts at 12:30 PM (Standard Time), and at 1:00 PM (Daylight Saving Time). Everyone is welcome to attend. For further information, please call [REDACTED].

                  • Not surprising at all given the illegitimate chaos of Academic Freedom.

                    • It’s not an academic exercise. It’s Jesuit Xenophilia.

  • César Pozuelos

    With the left hand, the Pope meets with transgender and so called “wife/husband”, with the right one, he supports this effort pro family … Which hand is the true hand that expresses his believes?

    • St JD George

      After the jab from the right, and the swift cross from the right … I’d watch for the head butt to knock some sense into the thick sculled.

  • Accer

    I love it when they complain that the pope and Catholicism are no different than Islam and their theocracy. They completely ignore the fact that despite the Vatican being a sovereign nation that there is no one executing homosexuals there. Islamic nations commit horrible atrocities against homosexuals (and just about everyone else) but somehow they are able to equate throwing people off of bulidings with being told that homosexual marriage is wrong. I wonder about the mental state of those who think Catholicism is the same as Isis……or any other Islamic nation.

    • St JD George

      I don’t … wonder.

  • Aliquantillus

    It is impossible to call for a non-discriminatory and non-“judging” attitude to gays without evoking the suggestion that the gay-lifestyle is socially acceptable in modern society. And it is equally impossible to suggest that the gay lifestyle is socially acceptable without suggesting that gay marriage is acceptable. The big point is here that the Pope has deflected on his pastoral and doctrinal duty to unambiguously condemn homosexuality and everything associated with as a sexual perversion rooted in disorded passions and inclinations. The Pope has acted as a confusor instead of as a teacher of Christian morality.

  • St JD George

    Speaking of truth … I know the Pope expressed outrage yesterday at the brutality on display by those who love peace for the killing of the 21 Coptic Christians, but it’s been nearly a week since BHO uttered his specious high horse retort equating the acts with Christianity, and still Rev. Graham is the only prominent Christian I’ve heard rebuke him. Why is their such cowardliness on display in our church? Are we afraid of losing grant money or invitations to grand parties? The problem with a no reply is that it lingers in young impressionable minds which leads them to conclude that it must be the truth … and it makes me mad.

  • crakpot

    While it’s obvious to us that an interview with a communist magazine from his first class seat on the Papal jet is not an infallible statement from the seat of St. Peter, the left doesn’t think that way.

    I’m still not sure about this Pope:

    1. Indeed, he is not one to judge the sin of sodomy – God did that definitively at Sodom and Gomorra – but the real fight is how to shield our children from their predatory recruitment. It’d be nice to have a Pope in our corner.

    2. Freedom to do as one ought, as Blessed Pope John Paul II put it, is our God-given right. It is through the creation and charity of that individual freedom that we receive “to each according to his abilities,” not forcible redistribution. From each, we are then commanded an unfettered multiplication of the loaves. Marx twisted the Parable of the Talents and invented the N-word for freedom – “capitalism.” I cannot believe my ears when I hear a Pope using his language.

    3. I know as an absolute certainty that there is no such thing as a “greenhouse gas effect.” I’ve done the experiment myself. Carbon dioxide is nothing more than God’s airborne plant nutrient. Just as He feeds the birds of the sky, He feeds the plants. The Pope should consider that our prosperity is just part of His design.

    While he may be becoming more disciplined, the Papacy is no place for on-the-job training.

    • I wish the eco-nuts would consider the materials used in their stupid Prius. Exotic plastics, the metal compounds in the batteries…

  • clintoncps

    How is it that those who commit the sin of Sodomy now merit an entirely new classification as a sub-set of the human race: “gays”? What is this? There is no such thing as a homosexual; such a mythological creature does not exist except in the self-absolving mythology of LGBTQ. Let’s not fall into the trap of believing one of the biggest lies of the father of lies: that there is a separate biological category of human beings called LGBTQ.

  • Dick Prudlo

    OK, Are we all supposed to stand and cheer for the current pope because he supports something Catholics are supposed to support? Personally, I will stand and cheer if the upcoming Synod II supports the family, marriage, and penance. Short of that, I’ll keep my seat.

    • Marcelus

      You will find a way not to jump even if what you mention happens.

      “I will stand and cheer if the upcoming Synod II supports the family, marriage, and penance”

      • Dick Prudlo

        Are suggesting that what I said is a lie? Get a grip on your progressive parts, that’s your means not mine.

        • Marcelus

          Oh no.I just said based on prior posts that there willl always be a way for you to stay put with regards to the pope no matter what he does. You are not liying. And no. I’m not progressive at all. Just a common catholic, No branding so please…

  • Francis: the patron saint of the Maricón Dream! Or so the maricones thought…

  • jacobum

    Although PF fka Cdl Bergoglio was against SSM in Argentina, evidently he did approve of “civil unions”

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/04/ncr-report-from-argentina-bergoglio-did.html
    What’s that saying about something being..”a vice or perversion without distinction”. It’s the equivalent of “being a little bit pregnant”. More importantly how could any faithful “Prince of the Church” support, excuse, rationalize or defend , whether directly or indirectly any form of the Sin of sodomy? Answer? You can’t, period! Bishop Athanasius Schneider got it right when he said (paraphrasing). the fact that the discussion on positive aspects of sodomy and communion for manifest adulterers appearing in an official Church document approved by the Pope is first and a dark day for the Church. The subject(s) should have never even been on any agenda of the Church. Love the sinner, hate the sin, confess it, forgive it and go and sin no more. Should be the end of story….except that anything can be justified i/n/o “pastoral care”.

    • Marcelus

      So we follow rorate blindly as a bilble now?

      • GG

        If the facts are true why would anyone deny it?

        • Marcelus

          what facts? what journalists say?

      • jacobum

        With respect and ignoring your flippant remark out of charity, “No, but we don’t ignore it out of denial either”. Tried to make it easy. May I suggest you check out Randy Engel (she); and Marielena Montesino de Stuart (a journalist from Argentina who knows the history and record of PF/Cdl Bergoglio well). From there it’s like pulling a string. A lot of credible information is available. I waited a year listening to too many undenied or refuted comments/interviews from PF before doing my own research. It/he was is “very disturbing” and his actions continue unabated. If the opening Synod on Sodomy and Adultery did not get everyone’s full attention then just wait for the final session in October. Take care and do your homework.

        • Marcelus

          With respect again: I can not blame you nor any american or european for all that matters, for looking or basing comments on totally unknown sources from my country , I supposed many did not know where we were or who PF was before 3/13/13. Comments are being picked up along the way from the internet. I’m 48 live in Argentina and do follow what the press has to say. This woman you bring up , Montesino is ABSOLUTELY unknown here . No matter how much PF ,may be despised or hated by CM posters, there is no need to go looking for strange or unknown sources.(a journalist from Argentina who knows the history and record of PF/Cdl Bergoglio well)! First time I ever hear of her. Reminds me of when Rorate printed against Pope Francis comments from a Holocoust denial supporter and hhad to back down or even when they headlined: “ONE Argentine journalist pronounces PF as….” They even went as far as to report the guy’s national ID number to validate his comment, they said: He is from Argentina !!! Will see in October, but I do suppose and probably agree with you a schism is on it’s way once and for all. Do your homework and look harder.

          • jacobum

            Found her on google with one search. Guess your computer is on the blink? Her blog url is: https://romancatholicworld.wordpress.com/
            A long article on Cdl Bergoglio is here: https://romancatholicworld.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/francis-i-jorge-mario-bergoglio-a-jesuit-from-the-end-of-the-world/
            The open letter from Randy Engel to Pope Francis is here:
            http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/engel/131110
            Btw: I overlooked mentioning Cdl Bergoglio’s self admitted mentor/hero. Namely, the recently deceased Jesuit Cdl Martini. A well known modernist/progressive. The following link is from a well known and very respected journalist in Rome:
            http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350623?eng=y

            Take care. There is a lot more…even from “liberal” sources.

            • Marcelus

              The problem is you are not reading what I wrote:

              Of course she exists and has a blog or whatever. What I am telling you is that she is absolutely unkown int terms of religion in Argentina. Had you mentioned Sergio Rubin or E.Pique , both of them wrote Bergoglio’s official biography, then you would have a point but my friend, you may take it or leave it, honestly I’m here and this woman does not mean anything in terms of journalism here in Argentina.

              As for Egel or other american journalists, I don’t believe they were familiar with Crdl Bergolgio before March 13. Nor with Argentina.

              The rest of the world I do not think knows who EGel is my friend

              The vaticanisti are another case. Italian in the Curia are in decline so the available sources of information are not “fluid” anymore, not with PF. MAgister and the rest, used to getting their info firsthand from Italian cardinals etc, are quite mad at PF.

              • jacobum

                Thanks for the info and points noted. More importantly, is your take on the accuracy of the information the writers have provided. The actions, interviews, comments etc of PF are not inconsistent with the history of Cdl Bergoglio.
                PS: As to Randy Engel in particular? She is superb, professional and exceedingly thorough and fully documents everything she does. Checkout her epic “The Rite of Sodomy” It is stunning!. http://www.newengelpublishing.com/. or amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Sodomy-Homosexuality-Roman-Catholic-Church/dp/0977860132

                It is required reading/study if one really wants to understand and put in perspective the crisis in the Church.

  • TERRY

    How many out there are actually surprised by any of this?

    “The liberal mind takes a giant leap in logic.” A funny statement – putting “the liberal mind” and “logic” in the same sentence is a step too far IMO, but it is a funny statement.

    Along with using the words ‘Catholic’ and ‘democrats’. Their spiritual leaders are Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and they’re NOT going to change.

    Unless we pray for them, and for humility in ourselves.

    Have a good Lent.

    • In Oregon there is an opportunity this Lent on that front. With the resignation of Governor Kitzhaber, there is an opportunity to point out that liberal democrat reasoning leads naturally to the type of ethical shortcuts he took- and that the Democratic Party itself last fall hid evidence of the corruption from the public to win the election.

  • Ruth Rocker

    It’s reassuring to finally have the Pope state clearly and unequivocally what his position about this matter, as well as the Church, truly is. His mush-mouth approach to a host of issues is really what set this up to fail for the looney lefties. Had he come out, clearly, plainly and simply in the beginning of his papacy letting everyone know that the Church cannot change some teachings because they are directly from God, he wouldn’t be receiving the vitriol that is sure to head his way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, the only kind of tolerance the left is interested is tolerance of THEIR position and theirs alone. Anything else, oh, like common sense, is bigoted, or homophobic (a nonsensical word) or islamaphobic (another silly made up word) or just backwards and oppressive of women. Idiots abound. That God he made this clear as we head into Lent. It’s a good time for repentance and reflection.

    Lord, protect your faithful.

    • Marcelus

      It is pretty PRETTY much the same as always, BUT, with a smile and a hand on your shoulder. Though it is extremely almost impossible for rad trads to see that. they are stuck in time or former popes. They just hate him, yet still claim themselves to be loyal to Pëter. Strange sort of catholicism.Omnipotent and very uncharitable.

      • GG

        The faithful are devoted to the Pope. Unlike the rad libs that call the last Pope the library Pope and who reject Church teaching while claiming to be faithful.

        • Marcelus

          I don”t think people who support gay marriage and communion for divorced and all the rest of the circus are intrinsecally linked to Benedict’s view as a library Pope.
          It is a common point of view for most catholics in the world. At least in Latam where 50% of the RCC resides.Not necesarily attached to libs.

          • GG

            Just the uninformed and those who focus only a material poverty then.

            • Marcelus

              So you get to pick what Pope you are devoted to? Ido not see many devoted to this Pope around here

      • Ruth Rocker

        I’m not a “rad trad” as I’m a convert, not a cradle Catholic. And I am faithful to the Chair of Peter, not necessarily the man seated in it. There have been good popes and bad popes but the Church goes on.

        And based on the statements the current pope has made, his stance on a host of basic Catholic doctrines has been uncertain, at best, and misleading at the worst. There is nothing wrong – in fact it would be expected from the pope – in loudly and proudly proclaiming the Truth that only the Church possesses!!

  • James Shaw

    Hey all, I’m a bit confused as to the technicalities of the whole ‘divorced/Eucharist’ situation. Is it being proposed by progressives that divorced Catholics can receive Holy Communion without an annulment and penance? I’d like to weigh in, but I’m not sure on the details.

    • If you’re not well informed about the subject, you should refrain from weighing in until you inform yourself better.

      • James Shaw

        Or you could show an ounce of charity and try and point me in the right direction? But…Naaaaa 😉

        • I did show you charity, but, in the process, I hurt you pride. And, when this happens, it surely is no charity at all, right?

        • Marcelus

          ohh please follow the papabile’s advice….

    • Murray

      James, the proposal is essentially that civilly remarried couples without annulments would be allowed, after a “suitable period of penance”, to receive Communion. There would be no requirement to procure an annulment, end the invalid marriage, or even to live as brother and sister.

      In other words, the Church would be, for the first time formally admitting to Holy Communion people living in a state of objective grave sin. (Subjective culpability is another matter entirely, of course.) In this specific situation, the sin would be adultery, but once in place, there would be no justification for excluding anyone from Communion for any reason at all. Mohammedan? Atheist? Mafia don? Abortionist? Thief? Murderer? Child molester? Come on up! As for the rest of us, we could happily forego Confession, since absolution would no longer be required to receive communion. Even more enticingly, we could join the protestants in trading in our spouses for fresher models as the mood took us, or simply refrain for marriage altogether in order to keep our options open. Once the initial concession is made, the rest inevitably follows.

      • James Shaw

        Thanks for the reply Murray! The Protestant/new models crack gave me my first good laugh of the day. For my humble part, I would agree that the logical outcomes of this being put into place could (and probably would) lead to all sorts of interesting landslides.

  • cestusdei

    They will still misquote him. Deception is part of the homosexual program.

  • BXVI

    Pope Francis seems to be either a completely incompetent communicator or a master of obfuscation.

    • I’ve made this point before, but it bears repeating.

      http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/11/14/pope_to_accountants_work_for_a_globalization_of_solidarity/1111144
      Last fall the the Pope addressed the World Congress of Accountants. While most of the address was banal, much of it was predicated on the vision of the accountant as a social worker with an adding machine. This, in particular bordered on jibberish:

      “It is not enough to give concrete answers to economic and material questions; you must encourage and cultivate an ethics of the economy, of finance, and of labour; you must keep alive the value of solidarity as a moral attitude, an expression of care for others in all their legitimate demands.”

      I don’t expect the Pope to be an expert on accountancy, but if he’s going to address some profession, the remarks should be relevant and actionable and prepared from some reasonable acquaintance with the nature of that profession .

      Had he been properly informed, he would have noted that the principle temptation for an accountant is lying and nowhere is he stressing the necessity of honesty.

      Whether he failed to seek advice, failed to follow advice or received inadequate advice, I do not know. I almost hope that he failed to seek or follow advice, because if he was poorly advised, that’s symptomatic of a deeper problem in the Vatican’s advisory architecture, upon which every Pope must rely.

      • JGradGus

        I don’t know, do people just not fully comprehend what they read these days? Cultivating “an ethics of the economy” means being both honest and fair in all your business dealings. Sounds like that does stress “the necessity of being honest.”

        • “do people just not fully comprehend”

          “Sounds like that does stress “the necessity of being honest.””

          Since you possess such superior cognition, why are saying “sounds like”? Translatio of “sounds like” : unclear.

          Ethics do not stand on their own. They are developed based upon moral and legal understanding. “An ethics” is meaningless without specifying the basis for the ethical framework. Should we have the ethics of Islamic finance, which largely is engaged creating transactions that meet the letter of Sharia, while substantively accomplishing certain secular economic ends? The worst societies in the world have had ethics, just ones based on immoral premises.

          Perhaps YOU are the one that doesn’t understand.

    • Or rather, both a completely incompetent communicator and a master of obfuscation: the Bergoglian way.

  • M

    I just love Pope Francis! He never falls into the petty tribal categories of “left’ and “right” with their primitive beliefs that one side is all good and the other all bad. Everything he says comes from a place of goodness and compassion, and I’ve never heard him say anything mean-spirited. He is able to promote Catholic teaching without being judgmental. He embraces Catholic issues — not political issues — and these cover the full spectrum from teachings on the family to the gospel of the marginalized to the need for assiduous care of creation to preferential options for the poor to the ethical responsibility to address climate change to the tyranny of unfettered capitalism to the need for access to educational resources and healthcare for everyone. There is never a whiff of triumphalism or belittlement in the way he promotes his views. He always seems so sincere and authentic.

    • ForChristAlone

      A declaration of sainthood….and the guy’s not even dead yet….amazing

      • M

        He is certainly a very good and inspiring man. He may very well be canonized one day.

        • ForChristAlone

          He already has…by you

          • M

            Aren’t you being a little illogical and petty?

  • Graham

    There are people on *both* sides of every religious and political divide who are unable to grasp the notion of *not* angrily hating and vilifying those who believe differently than they do. I tend to not identify much with such people, regardless of which end of the spectrum they occupy.

    There are others who are able to interact in a civil manner and even acknowledge common ground with those who hold beliefs that are different than theirs. Understanding and embodying this second approach actually puts one in a much better position to be an effective advocate for their position.

    It is discouraging to see how many people do not make this distinction.

    • GG

      Any time the word hate is used these days you know we are dealing with propaganda. The thing about truth is that it divides like a sword. Our post modern effete culture is obsessed with “tone” because it allows us to deflect the argument. To accept the truth means we must stop living as we are living. That is something we really “hate” to do.

  • James

    Pope Francis is of the left in the sense that the New Deal and the Great Society were “of the left”. (He’s a Peronista. Let’s not try to overly Americanize him. Nor should we overly Americanize Benedict: A “Christian Democratic Party” is a thing in European politics in a way it is not in US politics.)

    Anyway, today’s left in the United States have long sense left their roots as the “party of the working man” and have become the “party of the Ivory Tower”. The defining issues to the modern left are not traditional matters of the left, but are matters of the libertine. And the Pope is, well, Catholic.

    • Marcelus

      good comment.

  • Atilla The Possum

    These LGBTQ/liberal cry-babies are a bullying, narcissistic, histrionic, pathetic bunch of walking, talking, name-calling hypocrites! They are throwing their teddies out of the playpen, playing snowballs with the Farley’s Rusks and are throwing themselves onto the pavement banging their fists on the same … because those mean old spoilsports in the Catholic Church is not giving into them any time soon.
    Time for Pope Francis to put them on the Naughty Step for a very, very long time until they pull themselves together!
    What will it take to get it into the thick heads of these LGBTQ/liberals that the Pope IS a Catholic?
    A woodpecker, perhaps? Or a pneumatic drill with a masonry bit using enough electricity to bust the National Grid to operate it?

  • accelerator

    Kangaroo’s commentary mystifies. No one, and I mean no one, has ever expected the Pope to endorse gay marriage. So his “See?!” is plain silly. The problem is the Pope’s — and the larger Church’s — refusal to clearly identify homosexual activity as mortal sin. “Marriage is between a man and a woman” is not some herois declaration but almost an equivocation if it is not followed by an explanation that the Church is not opposed to just gay marriage but to gay sex. On that subject we increasing hear crickets, but Kengor is busy painting the Pope as a cultural warrior despite himself. Sorry, it does not wash. A better example would be SFs Bishop Cordileone. When the Pope praise him, then we will have something to exclaim over.

    • Marcelus

      well he was summoned to the Synod as well as Chaput

      • Actually, they were chosen by their brother bishops. Since Francis had no qualms overriding the choices by the bishops at the synod, he might as well tell them to stay at home and summon his choice for Chicago, the promoter of Kasper’s heretic ideas.

  • James Scott

    It is impossible to read this and not laugh. Of course the only thing worse than the Liberals who thought Pope Francis was mega-pro gay were the so called “Conservatives” and “Traditionalists” who agreed with them.

  • Robert Herreid

    Pope Francis says things that make it more likely that liberal admirers will pass bad laws. Liberal Catholics are culpable and so is the Pope.

  • bonaventure

    It would be worth to mention that, even though the referendum in Slovakia was deemed invalid because there was a low turnout, the question defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman only was approved by 94+% of the people.

  • Tertullian

    “is he or is he not?” and what is all this discussion of “joining the other group if the Pope or Synod does this or that”. This is exactly the kind of dispirited attitude ‘the evil one’ wants rifting between the faithful and the church. Lent could not have come at a better time. We get the leadership we deserve because we are critical yet don’t PRAY and MORTIFY really hard enough for our shepherds. Can we honestly say that we have lived an austere and penitential life for the conversion of some and the fidelity of the rest? If we can say ‘yes’ then let’s ask for the intercession of the Cure of Ars and St. Catherine of Siena to help our shepherds because they need our prayers more than ever instead of abandoning them.

  • MarcAlcan

    Praise be the Lord! Praise be the Lord!
    This has been a long time coming, but so so glad it has finally arrived.

  • Dhaniele

    I think that Pope Francis is very much following the pastoral approach of Jesus. We read in the Gospel that the Pharisees resented that all the sinners were flocking to Jesus. I am sure he was not constantly scolding them — which would drive them away. He spoke of the love and mercy of God and gradually clarified what our response should be. The Pope seems to be following the same approach.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjaKdtYbTto This is pretty much what’s going to happen.

  • TERRY

    The Catholic Church is open to all, but we have certain rules that must be obeyed. Those who wish to join must agree to that.

    You don’t get to pick the ones you will obey – all or none. If you break the rules, you confess to a Priest and he forgives you and you (I) “firmly resolve to amend my life forever.”

    Yes I know that you (I) continually come back to the same sins over and over, but that’s what confession is for.

  • papagan

    “Francis’ position all along has been the Church’s position, the only difference being his bending over backward to emphasize the mercy and forgiveness aspects. He never indicated that he would or could change the Church’s teaching on marriage. But to a very emotional left, that didn’t matter. Liberals/progressives projected what they wanted on Pope Francis and believed what they wanted to believe. And now that it’s becoming clear that their views do not accord with his, their love for him will dissipate into the very hate and intolerance they will now accuse him of having.”

    If we must employ such labels, one could make a similar comment regarding “conservatives/neocons” who believe that any right-thinking Pope cannot but support their politico-economic weltanschauung.

  • FRLBJ

    I am mighty surprised the Pope came out with some clear support for marriage! Thank the Lord for that! i do agree that he is generally not to be trusted and his constant insulting of faithful Catholics, and even of women, (the mom with 8 children, for example, and just what does he know about the risks of c-sections and about pregnancy ? Obviously, little) is very strange. I have the impression that he is not very smart. He strikes me as being very provincial and seems to have little idea of the experience of living the faith outside of Buenos Aires. The remark to priests about not having boring sermons so that people don’t go out for a smoke during the homily is truly incomprehensible. Since when is smoking allowed during Mass? What kind of Catholics who truly believe would smoke during the Mass?

    • Marcelus

      .The “insulting”? please read carefully— The exact phrase he said since you bring up the mom with 8 kids, 7 actually and pregnant of the eight was:

      “SOME SAY!!!! that to be good catholics we must be like rabbits”.

      He never said breeding or any of that. Look it up. It got picked up and twisted . Lots of people fishing for those little phrases…and taking pride in that bashing competition.No need to look very far.

      Meaning that having lots of kids oonly does not make you a good catholic automatically. And then he went on to explain whay he told the lady something other than that. HE DID not say that to the lady. Case was her life was in danger since she had 7 cesareans, PF talked about that how the Church provided councelling and method on that. Read it.Consult a phisycian with regard to multiple csections.

      “He strikes me as being very provincial and seems to have little idea of the experience of living the faith outside of Buenos Aires”

      Well he led the Church of the continent where the mayoirity of catholics live so I do not think so really..South America. And even back in the 2005 conclave he was considered for the Papacy and God knows what would have happened had it not been for the orders St JP2 left in terms of electing BXVI as a must.

      So well, you say you do not trust the pope, nothing we may say about it. Your choice,.

    • The cardinals elected a Vatican outsider, for it fit their insider interests. Whether such interests are legitimate or not is not my point, but the result is that Francis leaves to be desired to lead Church and its manifold expressions and sensibilities.

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