Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pope Francis in Italy

I saw a few tweets regarding the National Catholic Register's article about Pope Francis's speech in Italy to the Italian Bishops in Florence.  I read through the entire article, focusing like in the Gospels, on direct quotes.  In this instance, on the direct quotations of Pope Francis.

I refuse to focus on yet another attack against traditionalist, orthodox Catholics.  It is clear by this point that he sees these Catholics as resistance to his view of what the Catholic Church is and what it has to become.  But I will focus on several key quotes, some disturbing, that suggests the problem in the Church is what many on social media are saying.

1. "...it is not useful to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally."

This is a very clear reference to the Tridentine Mass, clarified at the Council of Trent, and could include such things as the Rosary, the St. Michael prayer, genuflecting before the Lord, and maybe even a sacrament or two.  Personally, I consider this a direct declaration of war against the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, who each and every member believed and practiced the very "obsolete conducts and forms" that Pope Francis considers not useful to the Church.

He is also attacking what I have begun and will continue to lobby for -- the DIRECT and immediate restoration of the protocols, rubrics, and behaviors of the pre-Vatican II Church, up to and including the Tridentine Mass of 1962.  I will not accept as standard that all the change you can believe in for the last 50 years cannot be rolled back.  It can and it must.

2. Speaking of the face of Our Lord, Jesus Christ - "If we do not lower ourselves we will not see His face (note: the NCR did NOT capitalize the "H" in His).  We will not see anything of His fullness if we do not accept that God has emptied God's self."

I interpret these sentences as one thing - the heresy of Arianism.  Arianism was a heresy of the 4th century that St. Athanasius of Alexandria fought and defeated.  It was a heresy that many bishops, priests and faithful in the Church believed and was very close to becoming permanently institutionalized in the Church.   This heresy claims that Jesus wasn't fully God and fully man; that He is simply a creation of God.  Not God.

Since God cannot shed Himself, that He can only be Himself, what Pope Francis says here is error and not orthodox.  When we look upon the face of Christ, we see His divinity as well as the human form that He took from the flesh of the Blessed Mother.  We cannot see only one part and God certainly didn't shed Himself as the 2nd person of the trinity.

3. "The Lord poured out His blood (again, no capitalization in the NCR article) not for some, not for the few or the many, but for all!"

Anyone paying attention at mass, even the Novus Ordo mass, has heard the accurate translation established by Pope Benedict's direction, that His blood was shed for many for the forgiveness of sins while the Priest is consecrating the wine into the Precious Blood.  It comes from Matthew 26:28 and the direct words of Christ. 

Pope Francis is again stating, at best, an inaccuracy of the Faith.  In fact, it is very Protestant - a borderline between Calvinist predestination and Evangelical "born again" theology.  Clearly, Pope Francis believes that ALL people are saved and ALL are then, by definition, destined for Heaven.  This flies in the face of Christ's own words in the Gospels, where he clearly acknowledges the existence of Hell and of Souls there (and that we acknowledge in the Apostle's Creed).

Overall, this speech is the greatest evidence yet that our Pope, Pope Francis, has at best a terrible, inaccurate formation of the Faith.  At worst, he is an unapologetic heretic and is leading a rebellion in the Church toward clear heretical teaching.  The truth is probably somewhere in between, but either way, he should not be leading the Catholic Church.

For those interested in reading the NCR article, see the link below:

NCR Article

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