On the day of the spectacular descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were so filled with strength and courage, that Saint Peter went out and converted three thousand people that very day with his preaching. From these conversions we have the first ecclesial testimony: ‘They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life. […] All who believed were together and had all things in common’ (Acts 2: 42–44).
In a previous study, we analyzed a reference that Francis presented in number 159 of Amoris Laetitia. Taken from a catechesis of Pope John Paul II, July 14, 1982, this reference was truncated in its essential theological dimension. Consequently, having silenced what Pope John Paul II had affirmed in recalling that virginity and celibacy are based on an option for the sake of the “kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:12), Francis prompts a one-sided interpretation.
There is no doubt that the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is principally surprising in the field of matrimonial morality, in its veiled contradiction to the principles always defended by the Church. But readers may find many other worrisome points for reflection within this document; they perhaps appear inoffensive, at first sight, but are very decisive points, in reality.
All of us remember the experiences of so many of our national soldiers who went through arduous, exhausting and seemingly interminable combats. How many of them saw numerous companions fall, and they themselves were uncertain of their own survival…but the desire to defeat the enemy, to save their country, and to fight on like heroes encouraged them to continue without desisting, and even to give their lives if necessary. How many nations have the glory of numbering among their sons men of this valor; men who are more concerned with fulfilling their duty than enjoying a life of betrayal and egoism.
Negative precepts play an important role in moral formation. They remind us that we are limited, dependent and sinful beings, made to lovingly obey an absolute Being who created us and governs us according to his most wise designs.
In reading Saint Augustine’s The City of God, we get the sensation that he was writing for our days; not what he wrote on the city of God itself, but rather, the city of the evil one as he describes it.
Francis once again shows his preferences, calling Jesus’ traitor a “poor, penitent man”.
He who perpetrated the most heinous crime of all history is now the object of the Supreme Pontiff’s compassion… Would the saying “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” fittingly apply to this case?
On February 12, all eyes turned toward Cuba on the occasion of Francis’ encounter with Kirill, the Greco-Schismatic Patriarch of Moscow, following a centuries-long rupture of relations. Unfortunately, to the perplexity – or indignation – of Catholics, this encounter did not signify any progress toward the conversion of those belonging to the auto-denominated ‘Orthodox’ church…but rather the contrary. They were encouraged to announce the Gospel without the necessity of returning to the Church…they were called brothers in the faith…without a rejection of the heresies they profess!
When reading the Holy Scriptures, people with limited vision could conclude that, in the Old Testament, God was strictly justice: He seems to be an almighty God who made Sinai quake (Ex 19:18), who opened the earth to swallow up the rebels (Num 16: 1–35), a God of vengeance (Ps 94:1) who struck Uzzah dead for having touched the Ark of the Covenant to steady it (2Sam 6: 1–9).
In his diabolical quest to destroy the Church at its very foundations, the infernal enemy has made varied and frequent onslaughts against all the Sacraments, from first to last. The heretic Wycliffe attacked that of Penance, which is a powerful aid for sinners to reach heaven: he denied the divine character of the institution of auricular confession while also affirming that it is of no use to the contrite. Following in his footsteps, Peter Martinez of Osma taught that contrition is all that is needed to attain the pardon of sins. Luther, in turn, discarded confession altogether as a ‘slaughter of consciences’. His contempt for auricular confession would be shared by Protestants to this day. Rationalists and unbelievers alike also never cease to insist that confession is nothing but a priestly invention for tormenting souls.
Today, other means and affirmations are employed to challenge this Sacrament and the sound doctrine that the Divine Savior bequeathed to us, lovingly safeguarded by Tradition and the Church’s infallible Magisterium.
Is the sacrament of Penance valid without the confession of one’s sins? It is known that only the mute and hearing-impaired are permitted to confess by means of signs and gestures. But does that make it licit to omit the verbal declaration of our sins in confession out of shame, fear, or some other difficulty we may be experiencing? Can we receive God’s pardon by simply presenting ourselves to the priest with contrition?
Let us review what pure and sound doctrine has to teach on the matter. And let us recall exactly what evils await those who profane this sacred Sacrament, and the end they will meet in eternity. Click here to read the complete Study…