What’s one more at this point…
HERESY: Francis directly contradicts Council of Trent again
Francis with a statue of Martin Luther in the Vatican on Oct. 13, 2016
(WENN US / Alamy Stock Photo)
One of the wonderful things about Francis is that compared to his five predecessors of unhappy memory, he is fairly direct and much more open in his denial of dogma, thus making it easier to convict him of heresy. Here’s a recent example.
On October 13, 2016, the 99th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, “Pope” Francis addressed a number of Lutheran “pilgrims” from Germany at the Vatican. The British Catholic Herald reports as follows:
“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” [Francis] said. “You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.” This is a reference to Christ’s injunction to help the needy by such works of mercy as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and welcoming the stranger.
(“Pope Francis: You can’t defend Christianity by being ‘against refugees and other religions'”, Catholic Herald, Oct. 13, 2016)
In case you are wondering what is wrong with these statements, you are not familiar enough with Catholic dogma. Although it is necessary for salvation that we live as Christians and don’t merely profess to be followers of Christ (cf. Mt 7:21), it is nevertheless heretical to say that a baptized man who professes the true Faith but lives an immoral life, is not a Christian.
The Council of Trent hurled an anathema at anyone holding to this error:
If anyone says that with the loss of grace through sin, faith is also lost with it, or that the faith which remains is not a true faith, though it is not a living one, or that he who has faith without charity is not a Christian, let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon 28)
This isn’t the first time Francis has spewed this particular denial of dogma, so it isn’t “new” in that sense, but this particular occurrence is very recent. Benedict XVI is also attached to this particular heresy, by the way, and Michael Voris has uttered it too (see evidence of both here).
Let’s take a moment and explore why this point of doctrine — whether a man who is baptized and professes the true Faith is a true Christian even if he is in mortal sin and thus lacking in sanctifying grace — is so important.
Quite simply, the facts are these: If sanctifying grace were necessary to have genuine Faith, then this would mean that everytime a Catholic is in mortal sin, he is no longer a Catholic. It would mean that any and all mortal sin would expel one from the Church and cancel one’s membership. And this in turn would mean that, since we cannot know who is or isn’t in the state of grace at any particular point in time, we could never know who is actually a Catholic, who is a member of the Church. The inevitable result would be that the visibility of the Church would vanish and we would have an “invisible church”… which, by the way, is precisely one of the heresies of the Protestant Reformation, according to which the Church is an invisible communion of all the saved (cf. Denz. 627). No wonder Francis uttered it in the presence of German Lutherans!
Contrary to this heretical doctrine, Pope Pius XII taught in his beautiful encyclical on the Church:
Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet. For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 23; underlining added.)
Catholic teaching is very clear on this point. Faith is not essentially tied to sanctifying grace; it can exist in the soul without it.
As already noted, it is certainly true that Faith alone does not suffice for salvation, for it is absolutely necessary to have charity (sanctifying grace) in addition to Faith in order to save one’s soul. Charity is what gives life to Faith, makes it fruitful and salvific. One can have all the Faith in the world, and yet, if one dies without charity, he will go to hell for eternity (see 1 Cor 13:1-3). With every mortal sin, charity is lost and so we no longer possess the supernatural life of grace; however, Faith is not lost, unless, of course, the sin was a grave one against Faith itself, such as heresy or apostasy.
So, with this latest denial of Catholic dogma, Francis is simply adding another layer to his ever-growing pile of damnable heresies, errors, blasphemies, and outrages, which we have collected here. By thus attacking, destroying, and preventing the true Faith in souls, he is responsible for leading them to damnation, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6).
Image source: alamy.com