140 – “Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also taking into account her defects? All mothers have defects. The Church also has her defects”

“Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also taking into account her defects?” This question proffered by Francis, reveals the high concept he has of the institution he governs. The defects of the Church? What is he referring to? Didn’t Saint Paul proclaim her to be “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27)? It’s possible that the Bishop of Rome does not know how to make a distinction between the Church as a divine institution and her sinful children??!! But in that case, the defect would be his, not of the Church.

On the contrary, this matter was always very clear for anyone with the most basic instruction. Perhaps Francis does not remember that the divine Church welcomes defective children in its midst, providing them with all the means necessary to cease sinning. If one refers to the divine aspect of the Church, there really is no defect to be found. But if one alludes to the human part, it is not necessarily the moment to cover it up, since there are so many scandals that we are obliged to hear about each day; a motive of real dismay for all of those who seek to fulfill the laws of God and of the Church.

If Francis wishes to know if we love the Church as our mothers, we respond that yes, and that is why it pains us to see that she is publically offended by the very one who is called to defend her. In this respect, we ask what kind of son invents lies about his mother and then spreads them to everyone on the pretext of showing love. We recall the words of Gregory XVI: “Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose […] as if she [the Church] could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune” (Encyclical Mirari vos, August 15, 1832).

We don’t deny that there are many sinners in the midst of our Holy Mother Church, but we must not confuse the children with the Mother. And we must also remember that these sinners are not in need of comprehension for their defects, but rather support in order to convert, which may even include the necessity of chastising them. Or by chance does Francis’ concept of mercy bring us to ignore the sins of those who commit them, attributing them instead to the Mystical Spouse of Christ? In this case, the greatest sin is committed by the one who affirms such an aberration…

Francis

Sin-título-336

Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – The Church is a divine institution, without blemish just as the Holy Spirit who animates her
II – Made up of sinful members, the human part of the Church is faulty, but the actions of these members cannot alter the Church’s impeccable essence
III – The defects of unworthy members of the Church need not be ‘taken into account’ nor ‘glossed over’, but rather corrected and eradicated


I – The Church is a divine institution, without blemish just as the Holy Spirit who animates her


Sacred Scripture

The Church is holy and without blemish
The holy city Jerusalem, Scriptural figure of the Church, gleamed with the splendor of God
The Spirit of truth will be always with the Church

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The Holy Spirit sanctifies, guides and directs the Church
The Church’s divine origin: founded by the Lord

John Paul II

The Church is assisted by the Holy Spirit who leads her into all the truth

Gregory XVI

It is absurd and injurious to propose that the Church could be subject to defects or other imperfections

Pius XII

The Church is enriched with the abundant gifts of the Paraclete

Pius XI

The Church is a most admirable mother and an incomparable and perfect teacher

John Paul II

Sanctity is the identity of the Church as the Body of Christ

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Spirit sanctifies the Church
The Holy Spirit resides in the Church

II – Made up of sinful members, the human part of the Church has faults, but the actions of these members cannot alter the Church’s impeccable essence


Pius XII

The Church is a spotless Mother, but has weak children - it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Sinners too are embraced by the Church, herself holy, innocent and undefiled
The Heavenly Church and the Church here on earth are not two separate realities; they form one complex reality

Paul VI

The Church is, by divine vocation, holy and without blemish; it’s members are defective
The Church is holy, though she has sinners in her bosom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The holiness of the Church is the fountain of sanctification for her sinful children

III – The defects of unworthy members of the Church need not be “taken into account” nor “glossed over”, but rather corrected and eradicated


Council of Constance (Ecumenical XVI)

All mortal sins should be corrected and eradicated

Paul VI

Bring the members of the Church to a clearer realization of their duty to correct their faults

John Paul II

Ever since Apostolic times, the Church’s Pastors have unambiguously condemned the behavior of those who proceed sinfully
Just as Jesus, the Church has always taught the prohibitions of the moral commandments, without any exceptions

Pseudo-Basil

It is the part of God’s mercy to threaten sinners and call them to repentance

Benedict XVI

I must punish the one who has sinned against real love
Christ himself commands us to admonish a brother who is committing a sin

Saint Thomas Aquinas

If the sinner is unwilling to amend his ways, he should be made to cease sinning by being punished

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Let us love the Church as a Mother – do not tolerate that they calumniate and blaspheme Her

Related studies

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  • 150 – “Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it”

  • 138 – “The Church is woman. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests”

  • 115 – The Council Fathers strongly perceived a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The time had come to proclaim the Gospel in a new way

  • 106 – Spiritual direction is a charism of the laity

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