Akin to the Rescue:
How to Understand what Francis Really Meant in 11 Easy Steps
Jimmy Akin is a professional Novus Ordo apologist. He is employed by California-based Catholic Answers, but also writes for the EWTN-owned so-called National Catholic Register newspaper.
Akin enjoys a generous, six-figure salary at his job, and it is easy to see why: He makes the impossible happen for the Vatican II Church on a daily basis, which now includes even suspending the law of non-contradiction, as needed. And when it comes to Jorge Bergoglio, the talkative Argentinian Modernist who claims to be the Pope of the Catholic Church, the need is great.
Francis and the Multiplication of the Loaves
In his blog post of January 1, 2014, entitled “Pope Francis on the ‘Parable’ of the Loaves and Fishes: 11 Things to Know and Share”, Akin tackles several statements Francis has made regarding Christ’s miracle of the multiplication of the loaves to feed a crowd of five thousand (see Mt 14:14-21; Mk 6:34-44; Lk 9:12-17; Jn 6:1-14).
Modernists have long detested and abandoned belief in genuine miracles, which they consider to be the stuff of fairy tales (cf. Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, n. 16); and Christ’s multiplication of the loaves has long been a particular target of their disdain. If they concede any historical reality to the story at all, the Modernists claim that Our Lord did not in fact cause there to be a miraculous increase in food by making the same loaves and fish to exist in many places at the same time — instead, He merely moved the people to abandon their selfishness and share with everyone the food they themselves had brought but kept hidden.
This Modernist blasphemy, which we can surely call a heresy inasmuch as it is a denial of the inerrant and clear testimony of Holy Scripture and suggests a denial of the omnipotence of God, is so grave that Jimmy Akin himself has written against it (see Example 1 and Example 2), as have other professional defenders of the Novus Ordo religion (Example 3). All the more embarrassing it is when now “Pope” Francis himself comments on the miracle in such a way as to give credence to the Modernist denial — not, of course, by saying outright that there was no multiplication of loaves, but by “re-interpreting” it carefully, while leaving just enough room for that much-needed “plausible deniability” should things go sour.
On June 2, 2013, during his weekly Angelus, Francis commented on the Gospel passage of the multiplication of the loaves as found in Lk 9:11-17:
…Jesus then takes those loaves and fish, looks up to heaven, recites the blessing … and breaks them and gives them to the disciples who distribute them… and the loaves and fish do not run out, they do not run out! This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer.Everyone eats and some is left over: it is the sign of Jesus, the Bread of God for humanity.
…The Feast of Corpus Christi asks us to convert to faith in Providence, so that we may share the little we are and have, and never to withdraw into ourselves.
(Antipope Francis, Angelus Address of June 2, 2013; underlining added.)
So, we have a clear statement from Francis on what constitutes the real miracle: “Rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer.” Then, relating the story to our life today, he says that we too ought to “share the little we … have”! No pun intended, but: There you have it!
Though the Vatican’s own English translation of Francis’ words renders it “Rather than a multiplication…”, some have claimed that he really said “More than a multiplication…”, and the original audio (in Italian) indeed confirms this: “più che una moltiplicazione…” (source). At the same time, “rather than” is a legitimate alternate translation of più che, and even in English more than can be used in the sense of rather than or better than, as in: “More than giving you a pay raise, I will give you a higher position.”
So the matter is ambiguous. (Imagine that, a Modernist speaking ambiguously!) What, in fact, would it even mean to say that the miracle Christ worked is one of sharing, “more than” one of multiplying bread? Does this make any sense? Doesn’t it seem obvious that “rather than” is the better, more appropriate translation?
Either way, the confusion Francis caused doesn’t end here. Confirming all suspicions that his is indeed a Modernistic reading of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, Francis said the following in his December 2013 video message supporting the Caritatis Internationalis campaign against global hunger:
When the Apostles said to Jesus that the people who had come to listen to his words were hungry, He invited them to go and look for food. Being poor themselves, all they found were five loaves and two fish. But with the grace of God, they managed to feed a multitude of people, even managing to collect what was left over and avoiding that it went to waste.
We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion – one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone. The parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fish teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted.
(Antipope Francis, Video Message for Caritatis Internationalis campaign “One Human Family, Food for All”; underlining added.)
Wow! Talk about a denial of the plain truth of Holy Scripture! Here Francis brazenly claims the Gospel account of the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish was not a real event but a mere “parable.” Yet a parable, of course, is but a tool, a story told to illustrate a teaching, not historical fact; it is defined as “a likeness taken from the sphere of real … incidents, in order to convey an ideal, or spiritual, or heavenly meaning” (Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Parables”). So Francis has explicitly stated — and not just off the cuff, but in a pre-recorded video message that could have easily been edited or re-recorded at any point — that he considers the miracle of the loaves to be but a “likenesstaken from the sphere of real incidents”, like the parable of the sower (Mk 4:2-20) or the parable of the wheat and the cockle (Mt 13:24-30).
What more proof do we need that we have a Modernist at work here?
Clearly, Francis has created yet another mess for conservative Novus Ordos, and this mess needs cleaning up, lest anyone might suspect Francis is perhaps not in fact a Catholic. This is where Jimmy Akin comes in.
Enter Jimmy Akin
In his blog post already cited, Akin says it is “understandable” that people “would be perplexed” by Francis’ statements, but adds that by now we should have gotten used to it: “But we know Pope Francis often phrases himself in a way that can require further clarification. That’s just part of who he is, so we should expect things like that.”
You see, Bergoglio just can’t help it. He’s a Jesuit. He was trained in the 1960s. What does he know about sound doctrine and clarity of expression, or about Modernism and the Church’s condemnation thereof? Come on, it’s not like he claims to be the Pope or something… Oh wait — he does!
So this is where the New Church is at, folks. How dare you expect a Pope to express himself in clear agreement with Catholic teaching!
Akin proceeds to assure us that we know that Francis is “a fundamentally orthodox man” — after all, he’s told us so: He’s a “son of the Church”, he once said! And of course, that settles it, right? Imagine a defense lawyer arguing in the courtroom: “But, Your Honor, surely my client cannot be guilty of fraud. After all, he’s said before that he’s a fundamentally honest man!” Good luck with that strategy.
Having told us that we shouldn’t expect Francis to say what he means or mean what he says, and that he is definitely orthodox because he himself has assured us of it, Akin then provides the next three rungs of the ladder that is to get Francis out of his Modernist mess: the fabled “hermeneutic of continuity” as a key to unraveling the Bergoglian enigma!
We’re not even kidding. Here’s Akin’s quote in full:
First, ask how his statements might be understood in harmony with tradition (the “hermeneutic of continuity” that Pope Benedict stressed).
Second, read his statements in context to see what light that sheds.
Third, see what else he has said on the subject, to see if that sheds light on it.
[Brief intermission so you can face-palm.]
So now we need a “hermeneutic of continuity” not only for Vatican II, but also for Francis himself. We’ve said before that Bergoglio is Vatican II incarnate, so this actually makes sense. What’s tragic is just that these Novus Ordo apologists don’t burst out into laughter over their own arguments and the scenarios they propose. (Or maybe they do?)
It would be interesting to find out if Akin considers the Novus Ordo magisterium (i.e. from 1958 to the present) to be part of that “tradition” with which Francis’ statements are to be harmonized. If so, this will make things a whole lot easier for Novus Ordo apologists, because then Francis could say anything he wants to, as long as the same junk has been said at some point before by Benedict XVI, John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI, or John XXIII — and, voilà, there’s your hermeneutic of continuity! Shouldn’t be too difficult. Just think of all the things Francis’ successors will one day be able to say that will then harmonize with “tradition”!
Next, to assist us in our acrobatics of continuity, Akin directs our attention to three additional instances where Francis talked about the multiplication (or lack thereof) of the loaves: his homily on the feast of Corpus Christi (May 30, 2013); his comments at the General Audience of June 5, 2013; and his address to the Brazilian “bishops” at World Youth Day in Rio on July 28, 2013.
Here is a quick summary of what Bergoglio said in each:
- In his sermon of May 30, Francis says that the disciples’ distribution of the loaves and fish is a “moment of deep communion: the crowd is satisfied by the word of the Lord and is now nourished by his bread of life.” Here we have another one of those typically Modernist “could-mean-anything” statements from Francis, not exactly a ringing endorsement of the miracle of multiplication. Also, let us recall that the loaves Christ multiplied was mere bread, not “bread of life”, which is Our Lord Himself (see Jn 6:35).
- In the same sermon, however, Francis (like a true Modernist) does speak of a “multiplication of the loaves” and asks where it comes from. His answer is that it has its origin in the giving and sharing of the disciples, adding that we too must “make what we have, our humble capacities, available to God, for only in sharing, in giving, will our life be fruitful.”
- In his General Audience address, the Argentinian Antipope focuses on the leftovers of the multiplied loaves, which were so numerous that they filled “twelve baskets” (Lk 9:17). “Why twelve?” asks Francis, and answers: “Twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel, it represents symbolically the whole people. And this tells us that when the food was shared fairly, with solidarity, no one was deprived of what he needed, every community could meet the needs of its poorest members. Human and environmental ecology go hand in hand.” You see, it’s all about being fair to each other, to distribute what we have equally among all; the miracle is ultimately ecological in nature.
- In his address to the Novus Ordo bishops of Brazil, Bergoglio makes but a brief reference to the Gospel account of the loaves and fish, referring to the “dynamism of [this] Gospel story” as underlying the growth of the church in Brazil, which he is quick to contrast with “the expansion of an organization or a business enterprise.” In short: whatever.
No doubt, this is plenty of data we can use for our hermeneutical adventure, though whether it will lead us to a conclusion Akin would be happy with, is quite another matter.
Anyway, once you have mastered this three-pronged interpretative exercise to find out “what Francis really said”(wink), you should then be sufficiently befuddled to swallow Akin’s “explanation” of why Francis calling the story of the loaves and fish a “parable” doesn’t signify that he meant it was a parable!
Akin verbatim: “Notice that he doesn’t start by calling it a ‘parable.’ He starts by recounting it as a historical event: ‘When the Apostles said to Jesus . . .'”
Surely, that changes everything. See, Bergoglio doesn’t call it a parable right away, and in fact even uses the word “when”! That’s two unmistakable clues to orthodoxy right there! And of course we all know that the word “when” is a real parable killer. As in, “When the prodigal son returned home…” (cf. Lk 15:20). Oh wait — that is a parable, oops!
Still, Magic Akin has more tricks up his sleeve: He next digs into the ancient roots of the word parabola (Italian for “parable”), which originally means “comparison”, and speculates that this is the meaning which Francis is attaching to the word when he calls the multiplication of the loaves a “parable.” Akin verbatim: “He’s treating the Gospel account as a real, historical event and drawing a comparison between it and our situation to draw out a lesson.”
Spinning it this way is quite an impressive accomplishment of Mr. Akin, except that the problem is that Francis didn’t say he was using the historical fact as a parable for our own times, but rather called the story itself a parable: “The parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fish teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted.”
Aside from this, we recall that Bergoglio’s native language is Spanish, not Italian (something Novus Ordos have gladly focused on when trying to explain other embarrassing and erroneous statements made by Francis in Italian), so it is hard to imagine that he would be using an Italian word in such a refined and specific way.
For those who are not convinced by his sleight of hand, Akin offers another explanation: Francis is guilty of “speech fault”, the speaking equivalent of a typo — a slip of the tongue. He meant “miracle” but said “parable.” “Linguists have found that people use a mistaken word about every 1,000 words,” Akin assures us.
We can probably expect that line to be used a few more times before Francis resigns his “pontificate” — or God resigns it for him. At this point, anything Bergoglio says can be excused, at least once every 1,000 words. And considering how much he speaks, every Novus Ordo apologist now has 3 or 4 Francis Jokers available per day. Really, Akin is worth every penny he makes!
Anticipating the objection that if Francis had simply misspoken, at least the transcribers or the translators would have corrected the mistake, Akin already has another answer on hand: No, they wouldn’t have, just like the U.S. military didn’t correct President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 either when he made a gaffe about a fighter jet.
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!
In case this won’t fly with his readers either, Akin invents one more possible alibi for Francis: Maybe whoever wrote the text made a mistake and typed “parable” instead of “miracle”, and Francis simply repeated it. Akin says:
If the person who wrote the text (Pope Francis or someone else) had a brain freeze and wrote “parable” instead of “miracle,” it could have not been caught and ultimately uttered by Pope Francis, who was reading a prepared text Not In His Native Language.
See, there we go already: Now that it’s convenient, the easy “Italian isn’t his native language” excuse is used again, when a few lines earlier you were being asked to believe Bergoglio is so good at Italian that he might be deliberately using the word parabola in an ancient sense. Take your pick: As long as you conclude Francis is an orthodox Catholic, Akin really doesn’t care which of his magic tricks you fall for.
Are you dizzy yet? Don’t worry: There’s more!
Next, Akin tries to downplay the “sharing” in which Francis said the miracle consisted, and which he somewhat contrasted with the idea of multiplication:
So Pope Francis calls this a “miracle.” He then says that “from this small amount, God can make it suffice for everyone” because “for him everything is possible.”
He then says Jesus has “those loaves and fish” distributed, and as the disciples do so “the loaves and fish do not run out.” He even repeats it emphatically: “They do not run out!”
He does not say that they were supplemented by food people had under their clothes (who does that, anyway?). He says that the five loaves and two fish do not run out.
What’s noteworthy is that despite the fact that in the nine-and-a-half months Francis was “Pope” in 2013, he spoke about the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves on as many as five separate occasions, not once did he clearly and unequivocally say that it was a genuinely miraculous occurrence of an increase in food, wrought by the Omnipotent Divine Redeemer to prove the truth of His claim to being the Messiah, the Son of God (which would come in handy if he were trying to convert others to Christ so they can attain salvation; cf. Mk 16:16, Jn 8:24).
Instead, we hear all sorts of things about a parable, solidarity, sharing, giving, Bread of Life, even ecology. Any statements that seem to support a genuine miracle are neutralized by other statements that deny or at least relativize and downplay it. This is Modernism at its finest, a shrewd tactic used very successfully for centuries by the enemies of the Faith. More on that a bit further down below.
The mere fact that Francis called the story a “miracle” doesn’t mean much, for he himself explained, as we saw before: “This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer.” While Bergoglio is clear about what the miracle is not, or at least not so much, he is quite vague about what it is: some mysterious “sharing” that is “inspired” and comes from God for whom “everything is possible,” which we must imitate by sharing what we have. We are told that the loaves and fish do not run out, but then we are likewise informed that this is because it was shared “fairly”; and besides, it’s just a parable and the number of twelve baskets was just symbolic anyway.
Akin concedes that Francis “phrased himself awkwardly” and “could have said it more clearly”, and if this were the only time he had ever done such a thing, the matter would be quite different still. But for Bergoglio, this is practically a daily occurrence, as Akin himself admitted at the beginning of his post: “[W]e know Pope Francis often phrases himself in a way that can require further clarification. That’s just part of who he is, so we should expect things like that.”
So just what is Bergoglio’s belief about how Our Lord fed the five thousand? Akin envisions the following as being what Francis has in mind:
I think the point he was trying to make is that God accomplished the miracle through an act of sharing, but it wasn’t the crowd sharing the food it was hoarding. It was the Apostles sharing the five loaves and two fish.
When Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fish, God didn’t suddenly multiply them so that the Apostles were looking at a pile of 5,000 fish and 200 loaves, which they then set to work distributing.
Instead, the miracle happened as they were sharing what they had with the crowd. God didn’t multiply it all up front; he kept it from running out.
Yes, there was a multiplication, but it was a multiplication that occurred as the Apostles distributed the tiny amount of food they had.
So there was a real, physical miracle, but it was accomplished through an act of the Apostles sharing what was originally a tiny amount of food.
Such a scenario would be entirely orthodox. The celebrated traditional Haydock Commentary on Holy Scripture confirms this, explaining the miracle as follows:
The loaves miraculously increased partly in the hands of Christ, when he broke them, partly in the hands of the disciples, when they distributed them about. (Witham) — He blessed and brake.From this let Christians learn to give thanks at their meals, begging of God that his gifts may be sanctified for their use. From this miracle it appears, that it is no impossibility for bodies, even in their natural state, to be in many places at the same time; since, supposing these loaves to have been sufficient for 50 persons, as there were a hundred such companies, the loaves must have been in a hundred different places at one and the same time. It cannot be said, as some pretend, that other loaves were invisibly put into the apostles’ hands, since it is said that they filled 12 baskets of fragments of the five barley loaves; and again, he divided the two fishes among them all.
(Rev. George Leo Haydock, Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary , Note on Matthew 14:19)
But here’s the rub: If this is what Francis truly believes, two questions arise: First, why didn’t he just say so? “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil”, Our Lord admonished us (Mt 5:37; cf. Jas 5:12). Second, how then does this square with Francis’ idea that this incident should be at the basis of our fight against hunger? Recall that “His Holiness” exhorted his followers with these words:
The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone. The parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fish teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted…. We share what we have in Christian charity with those who face numerous obstacles to satisfy such a basic need.
Okay, so which is it?
If Christ’s multiplication of the loaves is a true miracle worked by God Himself, then it makes no sense for Bergoglio to draw a parallel with our own situation today, namely, that the “food available in the world is enough to feed everyone” and that we need but have “the will” to share, so that it “never ends.” Or is he saying that we are all divine and can all work our own miracles?
On the other hand, if it is only in a fair sharing of what is already available that the “parable” of the multiplication of the loaves consists, then we, believer and non-believer alike, could certainly use this as our model for feeding the world today; but it would totally negate the true miracle Our Lord worked in multiplying the loaves and fish and causing them to exist in many places at one and the same time, as only an Omnipotent Being can.
So, again: Which is it for Francis and his defenders? It has to be one or the other. It cannot be both, no matter how hard Mr. Akin may try to make black mean white, up mean down, left mean right.
It’s Modernism, stupid!
Cutting through all this convoluted chaos, it is actually quite easy to see what is really going on here: Francis is not a Catholic but a Modernist. He’s speaking out of both sides of his mouth so that people will hear him say exactly what they want to hear. That’s all. There is no great mystery here — the guy just isn’t a Catholic.
But that, of course, is the forbidden conclusion. As far as the Vatican II Sect’s professional (and not-so-professional) defenders are concerned, this is the only inference you’re not allowed to draw. Why not? Well… let’s see what popular adjectives come to mind that Novus Ordo apologists would want to use at this point: It’s just… bad. Silly. Ridiculous. Absurd. Wrong. Uncatholic. Schismatic. Heretical. Protestant. Conspiratorial. Crazy. Nuts. Anti-Semitic. (Please contact Mark Shea for a complete list of slurs.)
Gratuitous name-calling has long been an effective substitute for arguing actual issues, as the same Mark Shea knows only too well. It is also incredibly convenient because it requires no research, no intellectual fire-power, and sways many a cerebrally-challenged reader.
Akin must indeed be achin’ at this point — aching from bending over backwards so many times to make Francis the Modernist into Francis the Catholic. It would be a fun exercise to list and count all the blog posts Akin has written since March 2013 justifying why what Francis said really isn’t what he said, or was a typo, or was misunderstood, or misconstrued by the media, or was distorted by an alien. Just go through his blog archive and see how many posts begin with “What did Pope Francis…?” and “Did Pope Francis really…?” and the like.
In fact, after his tortuous “explanation” trying to rescue Francis from denying the miracle of Christ’s feeding of the five thousand, it was only 3 days before Akin had to engage in yet another clean-up job on behalf of his “Holy Father”: Francis had made a controversial statement regarding “not vaccinating” homosexuals against the Catholic Faith by speaking the plain truth to them. If you’re a glutton for punishment, you can read Akin’s “What did Pope Francis say about the Children of Homosexual Couples? 8 Things to Know and Share”.
Thankfully, however, more and more people are beginning to realize that something is really rotten in the state of Denmark, and they’re not shopping at the Francis Excuse Factory any longer. This can be seen, for example, in various comments people leave on Novus Ordo blog sites.
A user who calls himself Kenneth posted one such comment on Akin’s blog, in response to the post about the multiplication of the loaves:
In other news, Catholic Answers has been forced to double the salary of James Akin who has been given the dubious and near impossible task of handling “damage control” every time Pope Francis opens his mouth. We will keep him in our prayers.
(Comment of Jan. 2, 2014, 4:07 am EST)
Very well put!
Akin’s defense of Francis’ words is so bold and fanciful that we suspect not even the notorious spinmeister “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf would have had the originality or the chutzpah to come up with it (Zuhlsdorf’s tactic for cases like this is to simply ignore the matter, hoping no one notices and proceeds to buy his coffee instead — case in point: Francis and the Beach Ball).
A few days later, even the well-known Semi-Traditionalist writer Christopher A. Ferrara posted several comments on Akin’s blog, expressing his consternation at the hermeneutical gymnastics to which the apologist subjects himself and his readers in order to clear Bergoglio of the charge of Modernism: “Please, Mr. Akin, stop playing your readers for fools,” Ferrara pleads (Comment of Jan. 5, 2014, 3:44 pm EST).
But why is Ferrara upset? Isn’t Akin just using the very principles Michael Matt recently put forth in his video concerning a new ‘strategy’ on how to deal with Francis, according to which we are to find ‘mitigating’ factors that put his words in a better light, lest we leave the ‘narrative’ about Francis to the liberals? (We will shortly have an exhaustive commentary on that Remnant video, by the way.)
Though all of Francis’ five fake predecessors have been Modernists, none of them has been as in-your-face and as bold about his defection from the Catholic Faith as the Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio. We have put together a long list of Francis’ greatest outrages at this page, but a few of his aberrant beliefs ought to be highlighted right here:
- ‘Priests who impose morality on the faithful are guilty of spiritual harassment’
- ‘There is no Catholic God’
- ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary may have thought God lied to her’
- ‘Christ only pretended to be angry when he cleared the temple’
As we can see here, confusing, bewildering, and misleading the sheep is par for the course for Francis. This causes people like Jimmy Akin to be busier than ever, for even just 10 words spoken by Bergoglio may end up requiring some 10 successive “explanations.”
Granted, each of these “explanations” may have some merit in itself, isolated from the rest; yet once you add all of them together (which you must do to keep up the facade of Francis as orthodox), the matter becomes patently untenable. Add to that the fact that such “clarifications” are needed on an almost daily basis for Francis, and you realize you’re no longer dealing with a rare unfortunate mishap by a “fundamentally orthodox man”, but with a full-blown Modernist who makes casting Catholic truth into doubt his daily modus operandi.
One question that must be asked at this point is: If we can constantly jump through all these hoops for Francis and square the circle again and again in order to clear him of any charges of heterodoxy, why can we not do the same for others who deny Catholic truth, people that Akin and his gang go after, such as “Cardinal” Roger Mahony, “Fr.” Richard Rohr, or Bp. Thomas Gumbleton? Why extend the privilege only to Francis, if the goal is to ascertain and defend the truth?
The tragic fact is simply that the Vatican II Church is thoroughly Modernist, and hence its authorities and all those who imbibe and present its teachings, are Modernists. One peculiar characteristic of pertinacious Modernists is their manner of speaking, rarely seeking to spread heresy openly but always under a veil of ambiguity, such that even if no heresy is directly asserted, nevertheless the hearer will usually take heresy from it.
Pope Pius VI exposed this wicked tactic, and his words had better be a solemn warning to all of us. In his famous bull Auctorem Fidei, he denounced the “dreadful and never-ending conspiracy against the very body of Christ” and rebuked a bishop who had “embarked on confusing, destroying, and utterly overturning [sound Christian doctrine] by introducing troublesome novelties under the guise of a sham reform.” Sound familiar?
In no uncertain terms, the same Pope then lambasted the proto-Modernist revolutionaries of his time, calling out explicitly the methods they used to disseminate their dangerous poison, rightly labeling it their “art of deception”:
In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation….
Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
… [The heretic Nestorius] expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged.
(Pope Pius VI, Bull Auctorem Fidei , introd.; underlining added.)
This doesn’t exactly sound like “Pope” Francis, does it? (Nor like Jimmy Akin, for that matter.) It would probably be quite amusing to see one of those popular Novus Ordo apologist bigshots attempt to develop a hermeneutic of continuity between Bergoglio and Pius VI….
In any case, it is plain to see that the forerunners of the Modernists whom Pope Pius VI was denouncing were extremely crafty in the spread of their soul-destroying errors. As their tactic has since been employed by the Modernists themselves and their intellectual descendants as well, this makes the Modernists and Neo-Modernist the most dangerous kind of heretic there is. The words of Pope St. Pius X are very stern on this point:
Although they express their astonishment that We should number [the Modernists] amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action. Nor indeed would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church.
For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none that they do not strive to corrupt.
Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and as audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance.
To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for irreproachable morality.
Finally, there is the fact which is all but fatal to the hope of cure that their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.
(Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, n. 3; underlining and paragraph breaks added.)
Such are the edifying words of real Popes. We should spend our time, not on silly blogs like Akin’s, but reading and studying the great writings of the true Catholic Popes (from St. Peter to Pius XII), especially those denouncing and refuting the very modern errors that have caused in our world so much spiritual destruction. (You can read the Popes’ most important encyclicals at this site or by getting this book.)
Unlike Francis’ Modernistic drivel and Akin’s damage-control bunk, the words of these genuine Catholic Popes are truly “things to know and share.”