‘The Church is like Mary and has Flaws’
Now that the long Roman summer recess is over, Francis’ daily homilies and weekly general audiences have resumed, and this means there is no predicting what he will say, for anything is possible when Mr. Bergoglio speaks freely.
In his Wednesday audience on September 11, 2013, the man the world believes to be the Pope of the Catholic Church gave a “catechesis” on the Church as Mother of all Christians — and managed to insult both the Church, who is the Immaculate Bride of Christ, and the Virgin Mary, Our Lord’s Immaculate Mother:
“The Church and the Virgin Mary are mothers, both of them; what is said of the Church can be said also of Our Lady and what is said of Our Lady can also be said of the Church”, Francis begins his instruction, before concluding the first paragraph thus:
“Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also taking into account her defects? All mothers have defects, we all have defects, but when we speak of our mother’s defects we gloss over them, we love her as she is. And the Church also has her defects: but we love her just as a mother. Do we help her to be more beautiful, more authentic, more in harmony with the Lord?”
Instead of drawing a beautiful analogy to the Blessed Virgin Mary to explain how the Church is likewise spotless and untainted, Jorge Bergoglio instead accuses the Bride of Christ of being sullied with “defects” or “flaws” (“difetti“) and, having pointed out that what can be said about the Church can equally be said about the Virgin Mary, makes people draw the necessary conclusion that just as the Church has flaws, so does the Blessed Mother.
Bergoglio is once again using his pulpit to attack and deny Roman Catholic truth. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception — proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854 — is well known, but what often gets neglected is the dogma of the Church’s own perfect sanctity, which implies her flawlessness. In the ancient Apostles’ Creed we profess our belief in “the holy Catholic Church” (Denz. 1), and in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, too, we profess that we believe in “one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” (Denz. 86).
The following quotes from various Catholic sources demonstrate the holiness of the Church, that, despite the sinfulness of many of her members, she herself is without any flaws (underlining added for emphasis):
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.”
“Theologically, it is certain that the Church must be holy in every respect.”
(Fr. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise [Herder, 1927], p. 105)
“For, to the Catholic Church alone belong all those many and marvelous things which have been divinely arranged for the evident credibility of the Christian faith. But, even the Church by itself, because of its marvelous propagation, its exceptional holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in all good works; because of its catholic unity and invincible stability, is a very great and perpetual motive of credibility, and an incontestable witness of its own divine mission.”
(Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, Chp. 3; Denz. 1794)
“…although one of the Church’s marks is holiness because she is holy in her Founder, holy in her teaching, holy in the sanctity of a great many of her members, nonetheless she has also within her bosom many members who are not holy, who afflict and persecute and misjudge her.”
(Pope Pius IX, Allocution to Pilgrims from Savoy, Sept. 15, 1876; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 246)
“‘She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed’ [Cant 4:12]. These words of Holy Scripture are applied, according to the Fathers, to the Catholic Church, the immaculate spouse of Christ….”
(Pope Leo XIII, Decree Hortus Conclusus, Dec. 15, 1881; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 246)
“In fact, only a miracle of that divine power could preserve the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, from blemish in the holiness of Her doctrine, law, and end in the midst of the flood of corruption and lapses of her members.”
(Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Editae Saepe, par. 8)
“Now all this array of priceless educational treasures which We have barely touched upon, is so truly a property of the Church as to form her very substance, since she is the mystical body of Christ, the immaculate spouse of Christ, and consequently a most admirable mother and an incomparable and perfect teacher.”
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, par. 101)
“…the Church, although human faults can be found in her, is always the Church of Christ, and, as such, true and infallible in preserving and transmitting the sacred deposit of faith, that is, of truth and heavenly grace; and she is holy, in fact, the very same ‘Church of God, which He purchased with his blood’ [Acts 20:28]. God is always great and wonderful in his works, but He is especially to be considered so where his greatest charity is shown forth, where his most abundant redemption in our regard is made perfect, namely in the Catholic Church.”
(Pope Pius XII, Allocution to the Students of the Gregorianum, Oct. 17, 1953; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 695)
“Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded.”
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, par. 66)
Notice especially Pope Pius XII’s last sentence: that the sinfulness of individual Church members “cannot be laid to her charge.” So much for Bergoglio’s “flawed” church! No, the Church herself is spotless because she is the Bride of Christ, whose mission is to lead souls to Heaven (cf. Apoc 21:27), who alone possesses all the means of sanctification, the true doctrine, and salutary discipline, and who alone has been given by God power over the treasury of grace (see Mt 16:18; 18:18) and the right and authority to preach the Gospel (see Jn 20:21; Lk 10:16).
This is the constant and infallible teaching of the Church about herself. For Francis to say the Church has “flaws” is inexcusable, because, mind you, this is a “Pope” speaking at an official general audience with the express purpose of teaching the faithful. In other words, this isn’t some off-the-cuff slip-up by an ill-prepared high school teacher, which could perhaps be excused. If Francis simply meant that the Church has members who are sinners, then he should have stated precisely that and taken great care to point out that no one is allowed to conclude from this that the Church herself could be flawed, defective, or fail, lest the faithful be led into dangerous error.
But of course Bergoglio is a Modernist and has no genuine care for souls and does not care about teaching sound doctrine. What a contrast to the real Popes, such as Pius VI, who denounced innovators who “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” (Bull Auctorem Fidei, 1794).
Likewise, Pope Clement XIII pointed out the seriousness of doctrinal error veiled in partial truth, warning that “diabolical error, when it has artfully colored its lies, easily clothes itself in the likeness of truth while very brief additions or changes corrupt the meaning of expressions; and confession, which usually works salvation, sometimes, with a slight change, inches toward death” (Encyclical In Dominico Agro , par. 2).
Once again we see that Novus Ordo theology is at odds with true Roman Catholic teaching. And though it is obvious that the Vatican II Sect is flawed indeed, and in that sense Francis right, nevertheless he and all his hearers identify this sect with the Roman Catholic Church, so the immense damage done to souls is just the same.