The Last Mortal Sin…
Francis in “Do Not Judge!” Frenzy
It was a given that we would experience “Francis Unleashed” once the Novus Ordo readings turn to Matthew 7:1-5, as they did on June 23. This pericope, in which our Blessed Lord preaches against rash (!) judgment, presented Francis with a perfect opportunity to go into a veritable diatribe against what appears to be the only mortal sin recognized by the world today: that of judging (clearly one of Francis’ favorite topics).
Here is an excerpt from a report by the Novus Ordo news service Zenit.org:
At morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta today, Pope Francis renounced those who judge others, calling them hypocrites and comparing them to Satan.
He who judges another puts himself in the role of God, the only judge, the Pope said. He went on to recall that if one hopes to one day have his offenses forgiven, then he must not judge others.
The Holy Father reflected on the liturgy of today, in which Jesus commanded his disciples to: “Stop judging, so that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.”
Francis warned faithful not to usurp the role of judging. He said it’s not any person’s responsibility and if one does try to judge his brother, he will be a “loser, because he will end up a victim of his own lack of mercy. This is what happens to a brother who judges.”
(“Pope at Morning Mass: You are not God, Don’t Judge”, Zenit.org, June 23, 2014)
This is absolute poppycock.
As a quick glance at the traditional and solidly orthodox Haydock Bible commentary shows, our Blessed Lord is not condemning all judging in this passage, but merely unfavorable judgment that is rash, that is, based on insufficient evidence. Here is what the Haydock commentary says on Matthew 7:1:
Ver. 1. Judge not, or condemn not others rashly, that you may not be judged or condemned. (Witham) — St. Jerome observes, Christ does not altogether forbid judging, but directs us how to judge. Where the thing does not regard us, we should not undertake to judge. Where it will bear a favourable interpretation, we should not condemn. Magistrates and superiors, whose office and duty require them to judge faults, and for their prevention to condemn and punish them, must be guided by evidence, and always lean towards the side of mercy, where there are mitigating circumstances. Barefaced vice and notorious sinners should be condemned and reprobated by all. (Haydock) — In this place, nothing more is meant than that we should always interpret our neighbor’s actions in the most favourable light. God permits us to judge of such actions as cannot be done with a right intention, as murder. As to indifferent actions, we must always judge in the most favourable sense. There are two things in which we must be particularly on our guard: 1. With what intention such an action was done. 2. Whether the person who appears wicked will not become good. (St. Jerome)
(Rev. George Leo Haydock, ed., Haydock’s Catholic Family Bible and Commentary ; Matthew vii; underlining added.)
Any pre-Vatican II Catholic moral theology handbook will confirm that what is sinful is rash judgment, as well as its cousin, rash suspicion, but never judging as such. (In fact, judgement is a faculty of the soul, the second operation of the human intellect; it is absolutely indispensable for the human mind because all reasoning presupposes judgment.)
Besides, admonishing the sinner is one of the seven spiritual works of mercy. How can you do that if you cannot “judge”? According to Francis, only God Himself is allowed to admonish the sinner — all others are “usurping” a divine prerogative.
What utter nonsense! And dangerous nonsense, at that, especially in a world in which one of the things that is most sorely needed is intolerance towards and condemnation of vice and those who publicly and pertinaciously commit, propagate, or defend it.
The truly Catholic understanding of Matthew 7:1 as laid out above is further corroborated by the Son of God Himself, who said in another passage: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment” (John 7:24). There we have it, straight from the lips of our Blessed Lord! It is not judging itself that is wrong, but rash or unjust judgment. This is clear from the evidence presented here and from a perusal of Catholic teaching on the matter, but it also jibes entirely with reason, that is, with common sense.
Funny how Francis “forgot” to mention all this, instead distorting our Lord’s Words for his own wicked purpose. Remember “Mgr.” Ricca? He’s one of those whom Francis won’t “judge” — unlike the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, whose intolerable “crime” is preferring the 1962 Roncalli Missal for Mass and asking the wrong questions about Vatican II.
Another example of an entire Novus Ordo parish in Seattle that “won’t judge” can be found right here. Note well — Francis preaches against judging and gossip and such, but won’t act where it really matters.
Why is this world so afraid of being judged by men? Could it be because, deep down, they all know that before long, what awaits them is God’s Last Judgment, and any human judgment reminds them of this?
From the perspective of the one being judged by men, just what is the concern? If others’ judgment of us is true, should we not rejoice inasmuch as it gives us an opportunity to see ourselves as we are, which enables us to amend our lives? If, on the other hand, others’ judgment of us is false or faulty, what difference does it make to anything? Do we thereby become less in God’s sight, the only sight that ultimately matters?
So, just what is the problem? Why do people so bitterly resent being “judged”? Only one answer seems convincing: Because being judged reminds them of the fact that some things are right and others wrong, and that in the end, we must render an account to our just Creator of all our thoughts, words, deeds, and omissions (see Rom 14:12; cf. Luke 16:2).