Not long ago, someone accused us of ‘criticizing EVERYTHING that Francis does’!
Heaven spare us! Who could manage such a task? Can our readers just imagine if, for example, we had to dispute, point by point, everything Francis says in the on-flight interviews in his apostolic journeys? Or to discuss whether ‘a person who thinks only of building walls, wherever it may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian’, or if the Bishop of Rome acts correctly when he omits mention of Italian laws which are immoral, after having deliberately involved himself in American politics? Or, far worse, affirmations such as: ‘Abortion is not a theological problem. It is a human problem, it is a medical problem’, ‘it is an evil in and of itself. It is not a “religious” evil, to start with, no, it is a human evil’, or ‘preventing pregnancy is not an absolute evil’? And what is to be said of his absolute lack of rigor in referring to the tale about Paul VI and the nuns of the Congo on the topic of contraception? And there are so many other such issues, that it would be impossible for the Denzinger-Bergoglio priests, absorbed by multiple pastoral duties, to deal with all of them. A priest wrote to us, perhaps with a touch of irony, that Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s lack of basic exactitude, which is indispensable for all things philosophical and theological, would have been more than sufficient cause to suspend him from the Jesuit University where he studied.
What, then, is our task?
It’s not about ‘criticizing everything’, but of doing that which the Church has always done and teaches us to do: show what truth is and the principles on which it is based.
We have limited ourselves to comparing Francis’ teachings with those of the Church, not basing ourselves on personal opinion, but rather on the Magisterium. We have accomplished 140 profound and exacting analyses to date… 140 doctrines of Francis that clash with or contradict the age-old Magisterium.
But we wish to add that the Church is a Mother, and is not only concerned with dogma, the purity of which she has done well to guard with holy zeal. The Compendium of the Catholic Church poses the question: ‘Why is the Church called Catholic?’ (no. 166), and answers that ‘the Church proclaims the fullness and the totality of the faith; she bears and administers the fullness of the means of salvation’. And immediately previous to that, it asks: ‘In what way is the Church holy?’ (no. 165), to then respond that ‘In the Church one finds the fullness of the means of salvation. […] The holiness of the Church is the fountain of sanctification for her children’.
Some of the faithful may feel a little out of their depth venturing into the theological vastness of dogma to discover the truths they wish to have clarified. To these sincere sons and daughters of the Church we would like to say that the seriousness that the truth should be dealt with does not prevent its being preached with simplicity and clarity.
Let’s have a look at one example.
On Ecumenism with the Orthodox
Someone could legitimately wonder what could possibly be wrong with ‘drawing closer’ to the so-called Orthodox Churches. Their members agree that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic and so they proclaim every Sunday when they pray the Creed. So what problem could there be with getting together? Are they not our brothers?
Before knowing if we are in agreement with them or not, what is most important is that those who write this and our readers be in agreement and in harmony with the Church, bringing to light the aspects which a subject that is subtle, but not very difficult to understand, requires.
To promote ecumenical dialogue it is affirmed that there is an ‘objective bond between the Church of Rome and Orthodox Churches’. This is what the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith explains in the first paragraph of a document from June 30, 2000, entitled Note on the expression ‘Sister Churches’, signed by the then-Prefect of the same, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. But when one goes on to read the second paragraph, one observes:
Unfortunately, in certain publications and in the writings of some theologians involved in ecumenical dialogue, it has recently become common to use this expression to indicate the Catholic Church on the one hand and the Orthodox Church on the other, leading people to think that in fact the one Church of Christ does not exist, but may be re-established through the reconciliation of the two sister Churches. In addition, the same expression has been applied improperly by some to the relationship between the Catholic Church on the one hand, and the Anglican Communion and non-catholic ecclesial communities on the other. In this sense, a ‘theology of sister Churches’ or an ‘ecclesiology of sister Churches’ is spoken of, characterized by ambiguity and discontinuity with respect to the correct original meaning of the expression as found in the documents of the Magisterium. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Note on the expression ‘Sister Churches’, June 30, 2000)
The note ‘Sister Churches’ has an introduction followed by twelve points separated into two parts. In the first part, made up of eight points, the “origin and development” of the expression is analyzed; and in the second part, the last four points are instructions regarding the use of the expression. It becomes clear that this term was used primitively to refer to the various churches from the beginning of Christianity, in the sense that Saint John uses it in the Apocalypse: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea’ (Rev 1:11).
The document is clear. So much so that it is like a ‘beginner’s guide’ for all those who wish to understand the correct manner for seeking true union with other Christians in order to have that one and only flock, with one faith under one shepherd. We recommend reading it. Two sections seemed to be sufficient to understand the essence of the issue in question:
10. It must always be clear, when the expression sister Churches is used in this proper sense, that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Universal Church is not sister but mother of all the particular Churches (Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio (28-5-1992), 9: AAS 85 (1993), 843-844). (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Note on the expression ‘Sister Churches’, no. 10, June 30, 2000)
11. Consequently, one should avoid, as a source of misunderstanding and theological confusion, the use of formulations such as ‘our two Churches’, which, if applied to the Catholic Church and the totality of Orthodox Churches (or a single Orthodox Church), imply a plurality not merely on the level of particular Churches, but also on the level of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church confessed in the Creed, whose real existence is thus obscured. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Note on the expression ‘Sister Churches’, no. 11, June 30, 2000)
Our priest friend might say that in the year 2000 the then-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio surely must not have had time to read all the documents published by the Congregation entrusted primarily with guarding the deposit of the faith. What is certain is that he should be the one making such clarifications today, as all the previous popes did:
In order to overcome these equivocations and ambiguities in the use and application of the expression ‘sister Churches’, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged it necessary to prepare the enclosed Note on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’ which was approved by Pope John Paul II in the Audience of June 9, 2000. The indications contained in this Note are, therefore, to be held as authoritative and binding, although the Note will not be published in official form in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, given its limited purpose of specifying the correct theological terminology on this subject. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Note on the expression “Sister Churches”, no. 11, June 30, 2000)
The list of the complete studies of the Dz-B are available here
9 thoughts on “Calling a spade a spade: we’ve reached 140”
“We have accomplished 140 profound and exacting analyses to date… 140 doctrines of Francis that clash with or contradict the age-old Magisterium.”
Hello, I’m new here to your site, so where is the 140 analyses so that I can them? Thank You. God Bless!
Drag your cursor to :The Complete studies and go to Queries & Doubts
“We have accomplished 140 profound and exacting analyses to date… 140 doctrines of Francis that clash with or contradict the age-old Magisterium.” Well, I would hardly call them “doctrines” – more like demagogic and frequently heretical and blasphemous opinions. But thank you for your priceless defense of the Faith, and may God bless you richly for it.
@RCAVictor – ‘demagogic and frequently heretical and blasphemous opinions’ – without doubt, but passed off as catholic doctrine to millions of people. And also, they are opinions that are not isolated, but come together in one piece of heretical hodgepogde
Speaking of “lack of basic exactitude”, it’s difficult not to notice his penchant for that laziest and most dishonest of all apologetic gambits; the “straw man.”
His favorite “straw man”, by far, is the caricature of the modern Church as some sort of merciless, Jansenist outgrowth; rigid, rules-obsessed, introverted, Pharisaical and uninterested in the lives of people. As one who has suffered through the last 50 years in an assortment of typical, heterodox, liturgically confused, catechetically chaotic, quasi-heretical , improvisation-friendly “Novus Ordo” parishes in various countries scattered over several continents, I have to ask; where is this Church of which Francis speaks? I don’t know it.
It has to be said that we’ve lived through a storm these last 5 decades. A storm which has shaken the Church to its foundations and caused enormous scandal, yet Francis talks as if the Church BF (before Francis) was some sort of monolithic, ossified, introverted bureaucracy suffering from pastoral indifference. That’s a lie……a damned lie! The picture which he is attempting to paint is 180 degrees opposed to reality, yet he continues to harp upon it. This “straw man” is essential to his purpose since a great deal of his time and energy is spent in beating it with a stick, usually followed by an exposition of the “Gospel according to Francis” in which he extols his antidote to this fictional, evil construct.
The seminary in Buenos Aires is empty……almost. By their fruits shall ye know them.
Thank you for your tireless work.
Reblogged this on The Deus Ex Machina Blog and commented:
The running indictment of Francis, the bishop of Rome reaches 140 counts. The faithful priests at the Denzinger-Bergoglio are doing a masterful job. The future Council of Econe which will have to sort out the FrancisMess will have their work cut out for them.
In the mean time, I highly recommend following the good fathers as the future counts just roll in. And rest assured, they will.
May the God of heaven bless you and protect you,I am so glad I found your site keep up the good work we need you
Those that accuse you of criticizing everything Francis says most likely suffer from papolatry and need a good healthy dose of Church Magesterium but some are so far gone that they refuse to even read it preferring instead to “follow this Pope to hell” as one Francis commentard I saw put it. Another one, a deacon, is under the mistaken idea that the pope can never lose the Holy Spirit as if somehow he were another Jesus. The levels of pope worship are truly astounding and frightening.
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