“Apostolic Letter” Misericordia et Misera
on Mercy and Peace
November 20, 2016
At a special press conference today, the Vatican released Francis’ latest official document, the “Apostolic Letter” Misericordia et Misera. The text is available in sundry languages at the Vatican web site, of which we make the following two available via direct links:
Amazingly, the document does not shy away from using the word “adultery”, in its opening sentence even. Of course, it only mentions this word in connection with forgiveness, but it’s still noteworthy because Amoris Laetitia had refused to use the term and spoke instead of “irregular situations”.
Not surprisingly, the text is permeated with countless references to “experience” and “feeling”. The word “experience” and its cognates appear as many as 28 times throughout this comparatively short text. This was to be expected, since for Modernists, all religion, all faith, is ultimately reduced to personal experience, and no one has emphasized this more than Jorge Bergoglio, “Pope” Francis.
As far as the big news that had been rumored regarding the Society of St. Pius X, it turns out that in Misericordia et Misera, Francis simply extends indefinitely the jurisdictional faculties SSPX priests and bishops need to impart sacramental absolution validly (well, validly only under the supposition that Francis is Pope, which he is not, of course). We had already hinted that this might happen back in 2015, and when Bp. Fellay explicitly stated in April of this year that Francis would extend their faculties, it was a given that it would happen. What makes the whole matter amusing is that Francis, not being a true Pope, has no power to extend any faculties to the SSPX, and even if he did, the SSPX’s position has always been that their absolutions are valid with or without his faculties. So, the whole thing is a farce on both counts: Francis doesn’t have it and the SSPX doesn’t think they need it — but it’s given nonetheless.
The “Missionaries of Mercy” Francis dispatched with the beginning of the Year of Mercy will continue indefinitely as well: “This extraordinary ministry does not end with the closing of the Holy Door. I wish it to continue until further notice as a concrete sign that the grace of the Jubilee remains alive and effective the world over” (n. 9).
In n. 10 of the “Apostolic Letter”, Francis claims to want his confessors to be “clear in presenting moral principles”, when this is exactly what he’s been fighting against since day one of his bogus pontificate — unless, of course, he simply means he wants the principles to be presented in order for them to be explicitly ignored.
In n. 12, Francis extends the faculties he gave to all “priests” of his sect to absolve from the sin of abortion (previously, each “priest” had to obtain special faculties from his local “bishop” for this). He then also extends, as just mentioned, faculties to the priests of the Lefebrvian SSPX: “For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon.”
At n. 16, Francis makes the puzzling claim that “[o]nce mercy has been truly experienced, it is impossible to turn back.” Needless to say, he does not clarify what he means, but note that once again it is all about experiencing mercy, and he even goes on to describe mercy as “an encounter between two hearts.” Experience, feeling, encounter — try to find something objective here, something that appeals to the intellect rather than the emotions.
The term “sanctifying grace”, by the way, does not appear in Misericordia et Misera at all. Shocker. “Beatific Vision”? You’ve got to be kidding. Of course not.
Overall, the document actually does appear to emphasize somewhat the need for sincere repentance and amendment of life as a condition of forgiveness. It’s just too bad that this is something most people won’t hear about because hardly anyone reads Vatican documents, and of course in his daily preaching Francis always acts as though anyone will obtain forgiveness simply by asking. Those Vatican II Modernists are sly. The “orthodox footnote” is always close by, it just gets drowned out in what they do and in how they speak.
Francis never says what happens to those who do not repent and are not forgiven by God, by the way. Our Lord, on the other hand, mentioned it frequently (e.g., see Mt 18:8; Mt 25:46). This is not new with Francis, though. Consider, for example, that when Benedict XVI published his first encyclical, on charity, he deliberately omitted a few words from the Scripture verse he quoted: “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting” (Jn 3:16). Benedict omitted the words “may not perish.” See it for yourself at the Vatican web site here (at n. 1, second paragraph).
Toward the end of Misericordia et Misera, Francis threatens: “Now is the time to unleash the creativity of mercy…” (n. 18). Considering what we have seen so far in terms of creativity, we’d hate to ponder what the future might hold.
The Jesuit Antipope then introduces the concept of mercy as a social value, which, he says, “impels us to roll up our sleeves and set about restoring dignity to millions of people; they are our brothers and sisters who, with us, are called to build a ‘city which is reliable'” (n. 18). Unfortunately, that “reliable” city Francis dreams of is not the city which Pope St. Pius X said “cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it”. That is, the Bergoglian idea is not that city which “has been in existence and still is… Christian civilization, … the Catholic City” (Pius X, Apostolic Letter Our Apostolic Mandate), which Bergoglio abhors. No, Francis’ “reliable” city, not being the Catholic City, will crumble because it will be built on sand (cf. Mt 7:24-27). St. Pius X sought to “restore all things in Christ” (Encyclical E Supremi, n. 4) — Francis wants to restore all things in man. In his worldview, Christ only exists to forgive our sins and as an incentive to be nice to our neighbor. This is diabolical.
Francis ends his document by instituting a World Day of the Poor to be observed every year “on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time” (n. 21).
For all those who are looking for real Catholicism, we recommend St. Alphonsus’ refutation of the false Bergoglian concept of mercy:
The sinner exclaims, “But God is merciful!” This is the third delusion which is common to sinners, and through which so many are lost. A learned author observes, that the mercy of God sends more souls to hell than the justice of God; because these miserable ones, boldly trusting in His mercy, never cease to sin, and thus are they lost. God is very merciful. Who is there that can say He is not? But notwithstanding this, how many are there who are daily sent to hell? God is merciful — but He is also just, and for that reason He is obliged to punish those who offend Him. He uses mercy, but to whom? Even to those who fear Him. “So great is His mercy also toward them that fear Him So is the Lord merciful unto them that fear Him.” (Ps. ciii. 11-13.) But to those who despise Him, and abuse His mercy in order the more to despise Him, He executes His justice upon them. And very rightly. God pardons sin; but He cannot pardon the wish to sin. S. Augustine declares, that he who sins, thinking to repent after he has committed the sin, is not a penitent, but a mocker of God. And, on the other hand, the Apostle tells us, that God will not be mocked, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” (Gal. vi. 7.) It would be mocking God to offend Him as we please, and how we please, and afterwards to expect to reach heaven.
But, as during my past life God has shown so many mercies towards me, and has not punished me, therefore do I hope He will show mercy for the future [as in, “God never tires of forgiving” –N.O.W.]. This is the fourth delusion. Therefore, because God has had compassion upon thee, for this reason, He must ever show mercy to thee, and must never chastise thee? No, indeed, for the greater have been His mercies to thee, the more oughtest thou to tremble lest He should never pardon thee again, but should chastise thee if again thou dost offend Him. We are told not to say, “I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? for the Most High is a patient rewarder,” (Ecclus. v. 4,) for God endures, but will not do so for ever; when the mercies which He is willing to show towards a sinner come to an end, then does He punish the sinner for his sins altogether. And the longer He has waited for the sinner to repent, so much the more severe will be the sinner’s punishment; as S. Gregory observes, “Those whom He waits for the longer, He punishes the more severely.” If, therefore, my brother, thou feelest that thou hast offended God many times, and that God has not sent thee to hell, thou oughtest to say, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed.” (Lam. iii. 22.) Lord, I thank Thee that Thou hast not sent me to hell as I deserved. Think of the number who have been condemned for less sins than thine. And with this thought thou oughtest to seek as far as thou canst to atone for the offences thou hast committed against God, by repentance, prayer, and good works. The patience that God has shown towards thee ought to animate thee, not, indeed, to displease Him more, but to serve Him better and to love Him more; seeing that He has shown so many mercies to thee, which He has not shown to others.
(St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Preparation for Death [Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott & Co., 1869], pp. 171-172)